How to Retire Early Through Passive Income

How To Scale Commercial Real Estate
Hosted by Sam Wilson

Podcast Transcript

Flint Jamison  00:00

You got to find a general partner that’s working on assets that you feel comfortable with working in an MSA or working in a certain city that you agree with. The economy’s good. Right? There is a level of learning when it comes to being alone and with a partner. You have to understand the deal. You have to be able to underwrite a little bit yourself, right? Is the deal actually gonna give you the promise 15% that general partnership is providing?

Intro  00:25

Welcome to the How to Scale Commercial Real Estate Show. Whether you are an active or passive investor, we will teach you how to scale your real estate investing business into something big.

Sam Wilson  00:37

Flint Jamison spent 20 years in aerospace as an engineer and program manager and he is now finding a path to early retirement through commercial real estate investments. Fun fact about Flint, he and his wife visited all seven continents before they had children, which is awesome. Well done. That’s That’s fantastic. Flint, welcome to the show.

Flint Jamison  00:56

Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Sam Wilson  00:57

Hey, man, the pleasure is mine. Same three questions I ask every guest who comes on the show in 90 seconds or less, can you tell us where did you start? Where are you now? And how did you get there?

Flint Jamison  01:04

Yeah, so as you mentioned, I’ve been in aerospace for almost 20 years, and I wanted passive income. This is where I got into real estate. So I jumped in, I burned up a duplex remotely. I’m in Denver, I did this place in Milwaukee. It wasn’t a huge success. But it wasn’t a failure either. I still own the place and it’s been cash flowing great. So I did not get the cash-out refi on it. And then from there, I realized getting the passive income was going to take me a little too long with that path. So I actually came across a podcast with Michael Blank talking about multifamily syndication. And from there, I was hooked. I digested all the information I could. I got into the online courses. And last August, we tried to mean some other newbie partners tried to take down a 23 unit outside of Denver. That one didn’t happen. We can go into that later. But uh, now I’m partnered with a very experienced group, I’m capital raising with them and we’re about ready to close on my first deal here in two weeks.

Sam Wilson  02:03

That’s fantastic. It’s interesting. You know, let’s ask this question. Are you still in the aerospace industry or…

Flint Jamison  02:09

I am. I have not freed myself from my W2. So I’m doing this in mornings, evenings and weekends.

Sam Wilson  02:14

Right, right. Yeah. For those of you that don’t know, Flint got up. We started this call at 7 am blintz Time. So that’s fantastic. Yeah. And that’s part of the early grind that this business requires. It certainly isn’t a get-rich-quick business. Talk to us about the I mean, you said that you started going in as an LP or not a limited, apartment, but on the passive income side on a single family rental. But then you discovered early or pretty fast that this is not I can’t, it’s not going to move the needle in the way I want it to, what what were some of those discoveries along the way?

Flint Jamison  02:44

Yeah. So on the single family side, I just started running some numbers to figure out how many doors I needed to get to retirement. And I just picked up my first two doors, it was that duplex, and I needed, I was going to be accepting of 50 doors before I said, “You know what, I’ll be financially free. I’ll step away from my W2. Maybe I’ll grow from there.” But the path to get there I saw was gonna be long and arduous. And I was just looking for a more efficient way to get there. And it turns out multifamily syndication is the way.

Sam Wilson  03:14

Interesting. Yeah, that’s a tough, I’m sure a lot of time, you know, researching single family properties, talking to brokers talking to, you know, property management companies. Yeah, you get the one, you’re probably excited about it. And then you go “Wait, isn’t what I thought it was gonna be?”

Flint Jamison  03:27

That’s exactly it. Yeah. And so am I stuck with that market? Or do I have to start over with a different market and find someone else and then start all over with property managers, construction companies, right? The whole bit?

Sam Wilson  03:38

Right, right. That’s interesting. So then you said, “All right, so passive income on that side isn’t going to work out. “What about a long-term goal? Is there a long-term goal of being just a strict LP?

Flint Jamison  03:48

Yeah, that is the goal. But I think for me, my first goal is to get financially free. And the quickest way is to do both, be an active syndicator and be an LP. So right now, I’m actually an LP on three properties. So I know that that flow as a limited partner, and then yeah, jumping in on the general partnership side where I can get some of the upside on sale. Sorry, can you repeat that?

Sam Wilson  04:14

Yeah. So you went in as a limited partner? What were some of the things you discovered along the way you said, “Man, I didn’t know that as I kind of dug into this limited partnership journey.”

Flint Jamison  04:22

Yeah, it was largely feeling out how the limited partner funnel works. Like you got to find a general partner that’s working on assets that you feel comfortable with, working in an MSA or working in a certain city that you agree with the economy’s good, right. There is a level of learning when it comes to being alone and with a partner. You have to understand the deal. You have to be able to underwrite a little bit yourself, right? Is the deal actually gonna give you the promise 15% that general partnership is providing?

Sam Wilson  04:53

Did you find anything along the way or deals along the way that you said, “Man, this didn’t pass the smell test?”

Flint Jamison  04:58

I’ve been really as a limited partner I was working with some of the really big, very successful groups. So for the most part, their deals were all really good. I have since watched some presentations with some other groups where they didn’t quite give you all the details that I personally would like, they kind of just kept it at the 5,000-foot level, and we’re talking to a limited partner base, and maybe their investors were very confident and return visitors to, to their deal. So they were confident. Me as a new investor to that group, they didn’t instill confidence in me because they didn’t tell me all the details I wanted. So that’s really where I see it, I have not really come across a deal where I said, “No, that’s not gonna make it.”

Sam Wilson  05:40

You said they didn’t give you all the details you wanted.

Flint Jamison  05:43

I really want to know how they’re going to convert the place as far as the renovations. They kept it a high level, they said, “Yep, we’re gonna go renovate apartments. And we’re, we have a B-class and we’re gonna spruce it up,” and they didn’t get into the details of, okay, we got a property, we need to put a fence around it, we want to do FOB access, we’re gonna put up security cameras, we’re gonna refresh the playground, we got a pool deck that we got to rehab, we’re gonna move, move the property management out of a unit and put in a mobile unit on the property, right? There’s so many little details that comes into it. When they just keep it at a high level, like, “Yeah, we’re gonna refresh all the units, and we’re gonna raise rents by 150 and then success.” It didn’t instill confidence, I wanted to know a lot of the details to understand that they really know what they’re getting into.

Sam Wilson  06:30

Yeah, that’s intriguing. Do you feel like you’ve taken that experience and then now you’re raising for a 100-unit property that you’re going as a general partner on? Do you feel like you’ve taken that and said, Okay, we’re going to do this a little bit differently when I’m out raising capital.

Flint Jamison  06:43

Yeah. And you know, what I’ve really learned from this group that I’m partnering with because they are experienced on this 100-unit, they do put out all that information. And to be honest, I was using what I just said was an example of what they say in their pitch, like, let’s get the property manager out of that unit that we can turn into another rental unit where we may move in this mobile office on some spare space on the property. So we gain more rent.

Sam Wilson  07:12

Right? Yeah, those are small things that make a big difference. So you’re if you’re not following along, I think what you said was that on this 100-unit property, one of those units was used as an office?

Flint Jamison  07:20


Sam Wilson  07:21

Oh, wow. Yeah. So you can immediately get a 1% bump yeah and potential rents. That’s amazing. Okay.

Flint Jamison  07:27

Yeah. And some of the other things is just like, alright, we got some boilers that we have to replace, they’re 30 years old, right? Get into the details, tell me because those are the gotchas when you get into doing big complexes. And I’ve even seen it on the LP side with some other big groups. They got in and they realize, holy cow, we have some water meters that all need to be replaced. There’s some plumbing and valving system that we did not even see. But you know, what, they had enough capital raised for that, just those issues that pop up that you don’t see going on through inspections.

Sam Wilson  08:02

Right, yeah. And that’s, I mean, you know, that’s the situation that all of us, as sponsors, try to avoid, but you’re in this business long enough things are gonna happen where you go, “Well, you know, we just didn’t see it, we just didn’t see it doesn’t matter how much due diligence we did.” And to your point, you know, raising extra capital is a great way to keep your investors happy, because even if that capital, unfortunately, is sitting in a bank account, collecting dust, it still is able to be deployed when it comes time for those unexpected capital expenditures. So that’s really intriguing. Talk to us a little bit about how you found this general partnership to work with. Do they approach you did you approach them? What was the conversation like? How did you guys work out? duties and responsibilities? Things like that.

Flint Jamison  08:41

Yeah. So this was a kind of a fun one. It was not planned. It was kind of serendipitous. I ended up talking to one of these guys a year ago. And to be honest, I don’t remember the reason why we got on the phone and we chatted, but what I do remember is we talked for an hour and a half and it was I think 10 o’clock my time and we talked till 11:30 at night. I mean, sometimes we work long hours, right? But we were geeking when I got off that phone call. I was just pumped. I was talking to my wife. She’s like, calm down. Way too excited. So like six to nine months later, we ran into each other at a conference. And we hit it off. I talked to him, his other partner. And then somewhere around November, they kind of opened up and said, “Hey, we want to bring in some co-sponsors to capital raise you want to you want in?” “Absolutely, I want it.” So that’s kind of how it happened. And now we’re doing my first deal. It’s their 20-something deal, I think, but they’ve been killing it. So I’m kind of riding their coattails and it’s really exciting for me and my investors.

Sam Wilson  09:48

Yeah, absolutely. No, and that’s a great way to get started. What are the duties and responsibilities that you have lined out? Because I know that you can’t just go out and raise capital, you got to be an active member in the team. What’s that look like for you?

Flint Jamison  10:00

Yeah, it’s a lot of investor relations on that one beyond the capital raising.

Sam Wilson  10:05

Let’s then talk about a 23-unit property. You said last August, right? So you’re pumped, you’ve talked to a potential partner, and you’re like, hey, this is the way the deal’s done. Now, some time has elapsed, right? And you’re going, hey, you know, guns blazing, we got a 23-unit property, you put it under contract, and then the deal falls apart. What happened?

Flint Jamison  10:23

So this fell apart in so many different ways. I’ll go through a few of the big hitters. One, our initial property manager we chose, they were smaller but worked in the area quite heavily. They turned a lot of single family homes, and they were looking to grow. So when we walked them through 23 units, they’re like, “Yeah, this is no big deal.” Somewhere around three or four weeks, and they just goes to this. I think they got scared. We have no idea why we couldn’t even contact them. I, to this day, don’t know why they ghosted us. So we did a quick turn, we found someone a large property manager that does very large properties and can turn a 23-unit in their sleep. They were willing to work with us. So that was cool. We were recovered from that. But we as a general partnership, were young, we did not have the investor base. So here’s the mistake. When you build it, they will come that doesn’t work that works for Field of Dreams. Right? Right. It does not work in this world. And so we thought we had some and then if we had an apartment, we could get the rest. That didn’t work. There’s some that we thought we had weren’t there. And then we definitely didn’t get the rest. We reached out to some big capital raisers. And then they turned around said no 23-unit’s too small. We love the 80+ units for stability. We asked for an extension. But to be honest, this place was a heavy lift that I think that also worked against us it was a C-class property, probably c-minus. It was owned by a slumlord. For the last two decades, this place. I mean, there was a lady that was paying 850 For a single unit that didn’t have a working kitchen, her stove, and her sink flat out didn’t work paying 850 yet. So the owner as a slumlord, he didn’t work with us very well. We asked for an extension to raise more capital, and he said nah, and it just fell apart pretty quickly after that.

Sam Wilson  12:16

I mean, that’s crazy, you know? And really, there’s opportunity could be found in those you know, slumlord fee properties, but you got to have an owner still that’s willing to sell and be cooperative in the process. And if that’s not there, then you know, nothing really you can do. So let’s jump back in here. Yeah, that’s I mean, that’s just unfortunate the way that that work, but sometimes, I mean, that’s okay. You, especially if you get to learn the lessons early on without paying, you know, a huge price to get into it. I mean, I’m assuming you guys had earnest money and things like that down a lot. Right now is earnest money is going hard on day one. Did you guys lose any money?

Flint Jamison  12:50

Yes, those money lost because we did go hard. It was unfortunate. Yeah. And then all the inspection costs and stuff. All that was lost. However, so out of this, this is like failing forward, right. We always talked about, we got kicked hard. You got kicked hard on that one. But we had to fail forward. The lessons learned, I immediately jumped on the capital raising, they always call it the Law of the First Deal, or at least Michael Blank calls it, The Law of the First Deal. I feel like I got The Law of the First Deal, because I went through all of that, right? I did the underwriting, I didn’t do the deal. Finding my partner, found the deal. We did underwriting I was the only boots on the ground. So I was working with all the inspectors and contractors underwriting right. I did a ton of it. We failed on the capital raising ultimately. So I quickly turned around and now I am, I reimagined myself as a capital raiser. And that’s what I’ve been focusing super hard on. And it actually worked out here I am now capital raising for some big partners.

Sam Wilson  13:47

Right, right, man, that’s great. And yeah, that’s one of the things you know, we always say there’s two things that make this industry go around. It’s deals and money. And every single person that’s come on this show, they said the one thing that they would do differently if they were to do something differently, would be to focus on raising capital first to get that investor base lined up. Yeah, you’re right, the idea of build it they will come as nonsense, find a deal and the money will follow is at the bag of lies. So…

Flint Jamison  14:12

You know what’s funny is the online course I took, they started out with capital raising, and in my head, I’m like, no, no, get me to the good stuff. How do I find a deal? How do I own a REIT? How do I manage right now? They start out with capital raising for a very specific reason. So those of you who are aspiring syndicators capital raising have to start there.

Sam Wilson  14:34

And it seems so like you’re not moving forward, right? You get a deal under contract, man, we’re slinging paper. We’re meeting guys on site we’re doing inspections crawling, you know, doing waterline and I mean, all this stuff. Oh, yeah frenetic activity, but can you close the deal? And when you’re raising capital, it’s a slow growth. It’s investor calls. It’s putting out newsletters. It’s I mean, it’s this just yeah, don’t you don’t have that sense of accomplishment and that’s why it’s so hard.

Flint Jamison  15:01

And it’s it’s hard because you don’t have an asset to show him. Right? Right. There’s ways around it right? You have to create these examples of what you could bring. It’s an education too. That’s actually part of the fun part about capital raising, you’re bringing new people in, and you they all need to be educated. People don’t understand what this is,

Sam Wilson  15:19

right? Man, you said it. I’ve loved it. Flint, thanks for the time today, come on the show. It’s been a blast. Thanks for sharing your mistakes as well as your successes. I said luck to us, you guys get this first 100-unit of yours under your belt. Let’s jump into the final two questions here. The first one is this: When it comes to investing in the world, what’s one thing you’re doing right now to make the world a better place?

Flint Jamison  15:38

So there’s two stages to this. One is when we buy apartments, we change the community around so we are directly affecting the apartment community that we are investing in. And to me personally, once I get more bandwidth and able to retire from my W2, I really want to get into Engineers Without Borders. I’m an engineer at heart. I would love to travel around the world and help make people’s lives better.

Sam Wilson  16:04

That’s really cool. That’s fantastic. Flint, if listeners want to get in touch with you, learn more about you or your business, what’s the best way to do that?

Flint Jamison  16:11

Yeah, go to That’s V-E-S-T-U-S, capital dot com. You can find me on LinkedIn. I do have a free report on my website. It’s the benefits and simplicity of investing in multifamily.

Sam Wilson  16:24

Fantastic. What’s that website? Do a full link there for that. We’ll make sure we put that in the show notes.

Flint Jamison  16:29

Yeah, I do. It’s longer. You’ll just have to go to the link for that for good work. But You can find our free report from there. 

Sam Wilson  16:36

We’ll find it from there. We’ll make sure to put that in the show notes. Flint, thank you for your time today. I certainly do appreciate it.

Flint Jamison  16:40

Thank you. 

Sam Wilson  16:41

Hey, thanks for listening to the How to Scale Commercial Real Estate Podcast. If you can do me a favor and subscribe and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, whatever platform it is you use to listen, if you can do that for us, that would be a fantastic help to the show. It helps us both attract new listeners, as well as rank higher on those directories. So I appreciate you listening. Thanks so much and hope to catch you on the next episode

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