Manage episode 266886235 series 2529243
James: This is James Kandasamy from Achieve Wealth through Value-Add Real Estate Investing Podcast. Today I have Ashley Wilson from Philadelphia. Ashley is a specialist in Asset and Construction Management; she is an asset manager and also taking care of construction as well. So it's going to be a very interesting discussion. She has a GP in 350 units and also have invested as an LP and working on deals on her own as well, which is awesome.
Hey Ashley, welcome to the show.
Ashley: Thank you so much for having me.
James: Good. Have you been on podcasts before?
James: Okay. A lot of podcasts?
James: Okay, good. So it looks like you're going through that podcast circuit, I guess, right?
Ashley: Yes. I have been on the podcast circuit for a little while now, yeah.
James: Good. So a lot of times when I bring guests into my podcast show, I usually bring operators, which are people who buy deals, who does the raising money, who does the asset management as well and who also do the rest of the investor relationship as well. A lot of times some people do not do third party property management or in house property management. They are not [inaudible 01:18] integrated, but some are. You are special because now you are an asset manager, right? And you also do construction. Can you tell us a bit more about your role as an asset manager and construction manager?
Ashley: Absolutely. So what I like to tell people about operations on multifamily is operations are very important in a down market, they are the most important and what I like to specialize in is everything from once a property goes under contract, even prior to that looking at the numbers, making sure that we account for how things actually happen, as opposed to just accepted statistics in multifamily in terms of underwriting, because every market is different and the way in which you operate a property can be vastly different from market to market.
So being very well versed on what things work within a specific market accounting forward within underwriting, then verifying it during the due diligence process and then ultimately operating according to the business plan, or if the business plan needs to be adjusted to make better value for the property and an ultimately a better return for the investors is what I enjoy doing the most, the property, the real estate component of multifamily is what excites me. I know some people really enjoy networking with investors and going to dinners and doing all of those things while that can be very exciting, it's really exciting to me, the property and how much money I can squeeze out of a property. That's what I enjoy doing.
James: Got it. I'm an asset manager as well so I really appreciate what you're saying because you can go around and raise money from people. You do a lot of advertising marketing too to get people to give money to invest and a lot of people give up on that, right? But once you close on the deal, executing the business plan is the harder part, right? It's not closing the deal. It's easy to close the deal, especially pre-COVID and market-speak. There's so much money chasing multifamily. There's so much Bootcamp and so many people who want to invest right, everybody has this formal effect, right? But you're right, I mean, executing the business plan is hard, right?
And I've seen a lot of people who were very motivated before closing because they tell all the fun story but after closing, they're very quiet or they don't really talk about their performance on their property, right? Nobody really declares about their property performance because it's hard to really do post closing execution, right?
So let's talk about when do you come? I mean there's asset management fee and some passive investors, especially new one who comes in, ask me, why are you taking asset management fee, right? Why not an asset manager which is the same as the property manager? Can you differentiate between that? I can add my things and differentiate property management and asset management.
Ashley: Yes. So there are a couple of questions there. I think that investors seeking an answer to. The first being the difference between the two positions, property managers and asset managers, a lot of times when you speak to people who own multifamily, they see that a property manager works for an asset manager. I do not see that the same way, I see it as we're a team and we work together and the only way you can achieve your business plan optimally is working in conjunction in partnering.
And ultimately the asset manager has a different number one client that they're answering to, they're answering to the investors, the property managers they're answering to the tenants and they're making sure that the property is the best property for that particular tenant, that demographic and if someone doesn't really understand everything that a property manager is doing, a property manager, in my opinion, is comparable to a teacher.
They have more things on their plate than they have hours in a day. They are doing marketing; they're doing general service complaint calls, et cetera for the property. So they're managing the current tenant base while also trying to attract a new tenant base and also trying to execute a business plan for the ownership group. It is very difficult to do especially in terms of the metrics, the national metrics for number of property managers per unit; typically it's one inside one outside's per a hundred units.
So for example, a hundred unit property would have one interior, a property manager, and then one maintenance person on-site for every hundred units you have. That can happen on a property that is a stabilized asset, but a lot of times, especially the properties that I go after their value add assets.
So there are things firing on all cylinders because there's deferred maintenance that we're tackling, there are tenants that should not be in the property that was put in the property probably by pre-released ownership so they're really trying to tackle a lot of different things. The asset manager, on the other hand, answers to the investors. The asset manager is the person responsible for protecting your investment, they're responsible for maximizing every single dollar that's placed in that apartment, we want to try to get two times that dollar three times that dollar up, ten times that dollar, that's what we're trying to do, every single investment we make on a property. So what we're doing is we are the added layer of protection. We're looking to make sure that the day to day operations are not only executing that business plan that you have in place but also maximizing the investment.
And I say that, and it sounds like a broken record, but truly that is what an asset manager does and there are so many things to make sure that you're doing from vetting contractors, making sure that you're getting the best price on the renovation too. It's very strategic when you're doing renovations, how you should do the renovations, how much you should do, how little you should do, what rents you can charge, what's the absorption rate, what is the market comparables in that market that you can push the rents?
There are so many different components, I could probably talk for an hour alone on just different components that I look at even on a daily basis, let alone on a weekly or monthly or quarterly basis. So to me, it's a full-time job and that is why personally I've been able to execute business plans a lot faster than, you know, I've had two properties where I've had to execute a business plan on the first property. It was a two-year business plan with a refi in year three, and I was able to execute it all under budget within a year.
So I think that's pretty impressive and then on my most recent property, it was a four-year business plan that after we executed the renovation over four years, then we were at the end of three years, we would refinance in year four and we were able to execute the business plan in actually less than a year and also under budget. So that is the difference between having someone oversee your investment on the asset manager side and work in conjunction with the property management team. I've been very blessed to have an incredible property management team that I work with on these properties. So for us now we have systems in place to make it even easier to execute everything we do.
James: Got it. So let me summarize what Ashley just mentioned, right? So asset managers basically approve, execute property budgets. They look at property financial reporting and making sure that budgets are met and at the same time they also have to make sure that you are able to execute what you thought in the beginning, whatever performer and whatever the original sponsor has planned for that and they have to make sure they hit that, but as for the budget as well, right? So do you work any part of it as part of the investor side of it like investor tax document and any other things on the investor portal and all that, or is it all that a sponsor takes care of it and asset managers on the asset?
Ashley: Well, I also am a sponsor, I sign on loans, I'm not just doing asset management and I've also brought my own investors in, on deals as well. So in terms of being fully involved, 60 knots of whether or not we execute a cost segregation study, getting the K ones out, getting all the information, I provide all the reports to the investors. I'm the one who creates all the reports for the investors. So really I'm doing soup to nuts and I do it in a very granular fashion. So I'm a full-time real estate investor.
I think there are a lot of opportunities for people to get in multifamily while working at W2 and there's a point in which you absolutely need to transition. I don't know how someone could keep up with all the work that you need to do for an asset manager of a larger property. When you are also juggling a W2 on maybe a more stabilized asset you could probably do that, but in terms of the volume, if you want to scale, ultimately what you would be looking to do is to do it full time, which is what I do. So in terms of prepping everything that the investor needs for whether it's preparing their taxes or doing things for the property, I just really make sure that I'm the glue that puts all those pieces together.
James: Got it. So let's go a bit more technical here, right? So you have a plan from the sponsor, right? So when you're working as part of the sponsorship team as well, and now you said, Ashley, you're going to asset manage this, right? And we talk about absorption rate and renovation progress, right? So let's go into each one of those and you say like four to five key indicators that you look at. Can we just quickly summarize that? What are the four to five key indicators that you look on either daily or weekly basis?
Ashley: Okay. So first I also wanted to mention that despite how many properties I have, I also consult with other sponsorship groups. What they'll do is they'll bring me in and I will basically audit their property and I will point out all the things that they could improve upon. So there are things that I look at when I'm auditing other sponsors deals and then they're also things that I look at on a daily basis for my property, I can speak to the things that I think probably most people who asset manage. They don't have the time to look at things on a daily basis so they're probably looking at it more on a weekly basis.
So I'll share what I look at on a weekly basis because what I look at daily versus what I look at weekly what I look at monthly and quarterly are completely different.
So what I look at on a weekly basis is obviously I'm going to look at my traffic, I'm going to look at my occupancy, I'm going to look at move-ins and move-outs, I'm going to look at work orders. How many of those emergency work orders, categorizing the work orders, time of resolution, and then in terms of repeat work orders and or the reviews of the work orders. So in terms of whether or not someone would give the work order a five-star review or one star, those are things I'm looking at. I'm also looking on the traffic side- where's my traffic originating from, my source and what's my conversion rate on those sources. So that way, I know very thoroughly, which traffic sources are working, which traffic sources aren’t. I also look at it on a weekly basis specials within the market to make sure that my property remains competitive.
I look at my renewal rate; I look at a lot of different things. I'm trying to see if I'm remembering every single aspect of everything that I look at, but ultimately what I'm trying to do is I'm looking at the property in such a detailed fashion as if I was operating the property with boots on the ground. So that way I can make little adjustments immediately when I see that there's a need, as opposed to waiting until let's say, for example, I've plugged a lot of money into a marketing campaign that I don't see working, three weeks in, I'm going to yank that marketing campaign as opposed to keep it running for six months and lose that investment when I could have plugged it into a resource, it's giving me a higher conversion rate and higher traffic.
So that's really the things that I'm looking at. I'm looking at how to influence the people who are coming into the property and how to influence the people to stay at the property.
James: Got it. So let's talk about renovation per unit, right? I mean, before you close on the property, I mean, let's say for example, 5,000 per unit, right? And post-closing, how's that 5,000 per unit budget being tracked? How do you know that it's very effective in terms of your rent growth and your annual growth and meeting your business plan?
Ashley: So when I go into a property, I know exactly what I'm going to do to that unit and day one, I pick every single finish that I want for that property. So that's inclusive of if I'm going to change the flooring, I pick out the exact flooring I want, I pick out the paint, I pick out everything and then what I do with my management company is because I'm not located in Texas and my properties are located in Texas, we've implemented systems where we have a tracking system so it initiates what units are available to be renovated and what condition they're in and then we put together a package on what that particular unit needs. So I know to a penny, how much that unit costs to be renovated and then ultimately what I do is then I track the progress of the unit through pictures before pictures storing and after pictures.
So I can see the progress of the unit and then I can see what the total cost of the unit, if there are any change orders, typically I don't have change orders unless there is something extremely grave at the property that is unexpected but I've been in construction long enough to know I'm raised by a general contractor who had his own business for over 40 years. I'm very well versed in construction that I know how to negotiate prices, I also have a lot of contacts so I can get prices down pretty well so in terms of verifying afterward, I then confirm the cost for the unit and then I have my own tracking system to ensure that I stay below budget and that's how I've been able to stay below budget on all of my projects.
James: So let's go into that process, right? So now you have a unit that you're going to renovate and I presume the property manager is the one that is going to give you the budget on the progression of whatever being spent on that unit. Is that right?
Ashley: Well, what I do is I package it. So I know, for example, there are two things in construction. It all comes down to labor and material. I know how much material it's going to cost me and we have a checklist on what that individual unit needs so I already know upfront what the material is going to cost me and then what it comes down to is what the labor is going to cost me and in terms of the price per labor, everyone should know how much it costs to switch out an outlet, how much it costs to switch out a fixture, how much it costs to paint a room.
I know all of these numbers. So if someone says to me, okay, this unit costs this much and it's over budget I can then question them and say, why is it over budget? And they'll say because our guys spent three more hours, so why did they spend three more hours on this unit versus another unit?
Oh, well there were some issues. Well, you walk that unit in advance, you knew what the unit condition looks like and let's say it's painting, you knew like unless I replaced like a put up a whole new wall or took out a wall and I reframed it like you knew what the estimate was, you knew the square footage of the wall that you were going to paint. We have it priced for rooms. So it's very easy for me to argue, because I know it's such a granular level that I can get the price down and that's how I confirm that I stay on budget is to know all of the prices to that level.
James: So you are assuming that, or maybe you already have a really good crew, which is working as what was planned, right? Otherwise, you're going to always question then why you guys are late because that's another variable, right? You have to schedule, right? I mean, you have your materials of labor cost, but they can take forever to finish one unit. How do you keep track of that one unit renovation?
Ashley: So we have, in terms of scheduling, we have certain times in which we release a certain amount of units and then they get them to renovate. I have worked with contractors for years now, across all different types of properties-single-family, multifamily. And if one thing I have learned across along that process is that when you work with someone for the first time, you're not going to give them an entire job, you're going to give them a piece of a job and they're going to have to prove themselves to get the rest of the job.
These contractors, when I have large multifamily properties, they want the entire job. So they're going to work very diligently at the beginning and hopefully throughout the entire project, but most likely they're going to work very diligently at the very beginning. So I will give them a little piece of what I need them to do in terms of the grand scope, but I'm not going to give them the whole scope of the project initially when I have no track record with someone.
So I'll give them a little piece of the pie at the beginning. If they prove themselves, I'll give them a little piece more. If there are any issues upfront, I just pull that crew and get a new crew immediately. So I minimize my risk of loss and I minimize my risk of loss of time. So it's a loss of time and a loss of dollar amount and honestly, time is also equitable to dollar amount too. So that way I just minimize the risks across both.
James: Yep. Well, that's exactly what we do as well. I mean, we usually hire for a few new projects. We hire like two, three crews, and give them a small portion and see who's doing the best and kick out the other two and keep one and keep on giving them the work, which is a good validation of what we do too, right? Thanks for that and how do you work with the property managers onsite? Because you can't be on site, so you need a lot of communication unless the contractor is giving you the data directly to you through some kind of Excel spreadsheet or you're having meetings with them. So you're doing both.
Ashley: Yes, both. So first before I got into real estate, I worked in pharmaceuticals, I worked in clinical research and development and I worked on global clinical trials. So I worked on studies all over the world and I had to leverage technology. So my entire professional career, entire working career has always been in a virtual capacity. I had become very well versed on how to work remotely and I've put into play different things to make it very advantageous for me to work remotely by leveraging technology, I've taken that same approach and applied it to multifamily. Before I got into multifamily, I built up a very successful high-end flipping business in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I did that whole business while living in Europe. So even though I lived in Europe, I created a flipping company while living back in the States, I've taken the same approach and I've done the same thing in Philadelphia suburbs now back living in the States and my properties are in Texas.
So to be honest with you, it was a lot harder when I was working in Europe, creating the flipping company that I'm faced with today. I already had all of the systems that I built up on the flipping company, and I've just been able to apply them on the multifamily side of things. Unfortunately, there's only an hour time difference as opposed to I had anywhere between a six to nine-hour difference because at one point I was living in Russia. So it's been very easy for me to make that transition. I have never had any single time where I said, oh, I wish I was like right down the street from the property, because the way in which I react and manage would not change by being on the property, you don't need to be physically at the property. Now, do I still go down to the property?
Yes. I go down to the properties quarterly to check on the property. Also, I think there's much to be said about the relationship that's built between your onsite team and the ownership group and I think it's really paramount if you want to run a successful business, which multifamily is real estate and business. So I don't discount that, but I definitely think that your operations, as long as you have an excellent team, which we make sure that we always put a really great team in place that you still can be successful.
James: How do you test rent growth based on the rehab?
Ashley: In terms of how much I can push the rent prior to completing the project or afterward for absorption?
James: For absorption. So basically, there's a certain limit of rent growth based on the rehab that you're doing, right? So how do you test that? How much you can get based on the rehab that you're doing?
Ashley: So I'm huge into understanding the market demographics. So what I do is I spend a lot of time researching market comparables. I look at if I was a prospective tenant, what properties would I look at and why, what property would attract me, would I be willing to pay an extra $10 more for property A versus property B? And what are their amenities? We live in an amenity based society right now where people love the bells and whistles that properties provide. They love having a pool, they love having laundry in their unit, they love having like in Texas carports or garages, there are certain amenities that based on the market draw people in and that changes by market. That doesn't mean just because you're in Texas everyone wants a carport, some places they don't care. They're not going to pay extra for, you really need to understand your market very thoroughly and then compete with what that market wants.
If the market is a tech-based market, maybe you should implement thermostats that are able to be controlled with your phone or laundry facilities that are able to be controlled by your phone. If you're not in a tech-based market if you're in maybe a secondary tertiary market, I'm not saying all the secondary tertiary markets, but I'm just saying, if you're not, as close to a major MSA or primary market, they might not be as well versed in technology and they might not see why they would pay extra.
It's really about understanding the market, understanding what is renting in a market, what properties have high occupancy, what their rents are at, what their specials are at, what amenities they have, and then trying to compete on that level. I walk the other properties. So when I go tour the area, I always make sure to tour other properties and see what their unit interiors look like, what their exteriors look like.
I want to secret shop these properties because I want to understand what a prospective tenant is looking at. I want to understand how they are greeted by their staff. I want to understand if a market is Hispanic speaking, let's say right, and they want someone to greet them in Spanish and they want Texas, TAA contract in Spanish, like a Texas Apartment Association contract in Spanish, these contracts. So they're very little things, the devil's in the details. It's really important that you understand the details of the market.
And then you ensure that you are exploiting them on your property. So people want to live on your property. You're providing a better value than competing properties, and that's how he tests it. So then I can see, okay, this property, they're not doing granite counters, but they're getting a hundred dollar rent bump over what we had initially projected. So we don't need to go with granite counters, maybe our business plan had granite counters in it and we don't need to go with granite counters because I know the market will pay a hundred dollars more, even despite the fact that they have granite counters. So some people like to over-improve. It's no different in flipping people do the same thing in flipping all the time. You really need to understand not how little you can put in to get the maximum value, but in a sense, that is true.
James: I mean, follow up question to what I asked just now is like, for example, let's say an ownership group, come to you to do consultation and they said, hey, we plan for 3000 per door until rehab, and we want to get $150 a rent bomb and that was all planned and now you are coming in, how do you communicate to them that that $3,000 is not going to get 150 rent bump? I mean, have you been in that kind of situation?
Ashley: Yes. I have been in that situation and I've been in this situation where I've been given a business plan and I went down and did due diligence with this ownership group as a consultant and I said, hey, this is not what you want to do. You want to do X, Y, and Z and you're going to get this rent bump instead and it's a better return on your investment. So I think it's very hard to argue with numbers, right? So I understand underwriting very thoroughly and all I have to do is take their underwriting and plug in what I think the business plan should be and show them their underwriting versus mine and ultimately I think that kind of speaks volumes to speak in that language most people who are in multifamily, I would say, are very proficient with mathematics and finance and understanding underwriting, especially if they're the key principle.
So if you're dealing with the key principle, the operator you really just have to speak their language and ultimately they should want the best return on their investment. So I've never had anyone disagree with the strategies I've recommended. No one has really taken it negatively at all.
James: If they already closed on the deal and you're coming now, and you think that it's not realistic
Ashley: In terms of it not being realistic and squeezing the dollar out that really comes into a lot of people don't bring on a construction manager and I think that's a huge shortcoming on a team. I think that a lot of people try to shortcut that position because they think they can outsource construction management to a third-party vendor. I think third party vendors when you hire a construction manager, they're paid off of the cost of the total construction and, therefore, they are not motivated by the same reasons that your team is motivated, which is to get the highest return for your investment.
So ultimately my suggestion to them is that they need to bring on a construction manager if they don't want to bring on me, which I'm not doing this to sell myself, I'm doing this to help people. I find the more people I help, it comes back to me. I never have to worry about it. So I just say to them that I recommend bringing a construction manager who is motivated by the same reasons as them.
I get approached often to be compensated as a construction manager from a flat fee and my comment back to them is if I take this, then I'm a hypocrite because what I'm telling you is that you should bring someone on who is motivated by the same reasons. The only way you will find someone who's motivated by the same reasons if they have a piece of the GP equity, because then the more work they do and the more they put into it, the more they get on the back end and that's why you should have someone on the construction management side.
And the reason I propose having someone on the construction management side is those are the type of people who not only can negotiate something, but I've used this example in other podcasts where I call it the porch deck scenario or whatever you want to call it. But basically what I'm saying is that you can go to a property and on the property, you have a patio and on that patio, it's a second-floor patio and when you do the due diligence, you have a contractor come in and say, all of these have to be ripped down and they have to be report and the framing has to be redone and you need new posts, a new joyce, and new concrete slap, okay. That is one way to fix it, right? But there's another way to fix it.
And that contractor is not doing you just service by telling you that they're doing it because when they do their due diligence, they are not giving you advice based off of a hold period. They're not assuming that you're going to hold the property. They probably don't even know how long you intend to hold the property for whereas a member of your team is going to know, okay, we're trying to access this property in three years or exit this property in five years and really what could happen instead is you share up one of the posts or two of the posts, and you have all these cracks on the patio, but really it's a facade and it could be just resurfaced and it'll get you through maybe five to ten years, but you plan to exit the property in three years so it won't be that big of a deal and it won't be that big of a risk and you're talking the difference between maybe a 3 to $5,000 repair job versus 500.
So by having someone who not only understands the process of construction but understands the different mechanisms in which to solve problems and negotiate. That's what you're looking for in a construction manager. You're not looking for someone who's just good at managing construction and knows a very high level of construction. You're looking for someone who really knows the details of construction because that is the way they provide the most amount of value to you.
I mean, there's a reason why I've been able to save hundreds of thousands of dollars on cap X budgets, hundreds of thousands and it's because I know construction like this, and I'm not just saying like, toot my own horn. I'm saying you should seek someone if you're not going to seek me, you should seek someone like me who is going to save you hundreds of thousands of dollars and get the project done faster because at the end of the day if I can hit my business plan after year one versus year three or year four, that's a different exit opportunity or a different other capital event, which is a refi. So that gets your money back to your investors. It could drastically change your returns. It gives you a better track record. I mean, ultimately that is your ACE in the hole, so to speak of executing your property.
James: Got it. Yeah. Very interesting. I mean, construction manager or which whoever managing that construction budget it can give us a lot of benefit in terms of reducing costs and exiting the plan as quickly as possible, right? I mean who should be hiring a construction manager at how many units or what kind of project should they be hiring a construction manager?
Ashley: I'd like to say that someone on your team should be well versed in construction. If you plan to have any property that is multiunit even on a duplex or quite small multifamily, you want to make sure that you are either connected with someone or know someone, because the example that I like to always say to anyone who has ever owned a house, if you own one house, a single-family residence, right? And you've owned it for a year; I don't know anyone who can tell me they've owned a single-family residence for a year without needing some sort of work on that house, something. So when you extrapolate that across a hundred plus units across a three to five-plus year hold, you are magnifying, the need for someone of that skill set.
So maybe on the smaller properties, it's easy to like outsource it but when you get to larger properties and especially when you're taking in investors, I think it becomes more important that you safeguard that person's investment. That's why I think it's really important. It's an added layer of protection for people, whether its college funds for their kids, retirement money, generational wealth, it doesn't matter the reason you want to protect their investment. I forgot your second part of that question.
James: Well, the second part is like I'm missing that second part as well, but let's go to the next question because that was a long answer, but I have a follow up question to you. I mean, in terms of the most valuable value add, right in multifamily, I mean, you have done quite a number of construction projects on multifamily. What do you think is the most valuable value add for high ROI?
Ashley: Before I got into multifamily, I used to think that the interiors were the most important part of the value add, because I thought that where someone lives, where they sleep at night, where they're raising their family I was like, okay, that makes the most amount of sense, but the more I'm in multifamily and just in real estate in general, I am more of an opposite opinion, which I think the exterior matters way more than the interior and I see that across multiple markets, I think if you were asking me for a specific market, what's the best ROI.
That might be a different answer, but in terms of just a general blanket statement, I think people are really concerned of the impression that they give off.
And I can tell you that I see market after market, where the exteriors are stunning and the interiors are horrific, and they have the highest occupancy and they're able to collect the highest rent bumps in the market and then alternatively, I've seen beautiful interiors, but the exteriors are really dated and those are typically the ones that are maybe a little bit more challenging, but they are definitely not competing with the other properties and I think people don't tend to look to do the exterior because the exterior costs more and it's a huge gamble and they don't see the added value but ultimately if you focus on the exterior, you impact the entire property.
If you focus on the interior, you're only impacting one unit at a time. So the bump in ROI is only when you complete an individual unit whereas bringing people on the property, to begin with, can be sometimes the hardest part. That's why even on single-family, they always say the exterior matters more than the interior, getting someone to visit that property, getting someone to tour it, they want to buy it. It's all about the facade. It's all about this illusion of the lifestyle that someone's living.
James: Maybe it's social proof, I guess, right? You live in a nice house too. You can show it to others, I guess, right? That's my apartment, looks really nice, but who cares about the inside, I guess, right? And I've seen a lot of times owners who have been doing this very long time. When they buy a deal, they just do exterior and they say interior somebody else can do it and they sell it quickly after they do the exterior. I mean, that's a very interesting perspective that you're able to get high occupancy.
You may not get a high rent bomb, but you may get high occupancy and stable demographic if you have a nice exterior, but the rent bomb comes from the inside, I guess, right? Interiors as well so I think the valuable side is more on the exterior side because that brings in people, right?
James: Got it. So let's go to your personal side of it. I mean, as part of your venture into single-family and multifamily do you have a proud moment that you can never forget? One proud moment that is going to be living with you throughout your life.
Ashley: I'm really just proud of the people I work with and I partner with. I have gone through some really challenging things with apartments and when I talk with other people, when I talk to owners and operators, who've been in multifamily for 10 plus years, they haven't even gone through half the things that I have gone through. And in the moment I'm like, Oh my God, what do I do? And a bit frustrated. But I think that experience has propelled me to the position that I'm in today and the fact that I've been through a fire, I've been through a gas leak and a line where it's a replaced an entire line, I've had to replace the entire sewer line from the building out to the street, I've been through multiple plumbing leaks, I've been through roofs coming up, I've been through incidences with the police being involved, I've been through a whole new rebuild of an apartment and a whole host of other things- depleting occupancy to 60% and then building it up to hopefully over 90, in less than a year is another thing I'm going to be really proud about and I'm just proud of the people that I work with. I'm really proud of the fact that we take a team approach, we're never pointing fingers and I also like to think of it if I had this same opportunity to mastermind with these same people, how excited I would be.
So just because I'm the one who's actually living in the moment of what we're talking about in the quote-unquote mastermind, I should just think about it from a different perspective. Think about it as I'm having such a great opportunity to learn from the best people in the business and people who are really supportive. I think that opportunity is something I will never forget for the rest of my life, that I've had this amazing opportunity to connect with people and to learn from people and to help other people. It's just been something that I'm really excited about and the other thing I'm excited about is something that I do on all of my properties is I really connect with the community.
I'm not into changing a property; I'm into changing a community. That is my goal on every single property that I'm a part of is to have an impact on the overall community, to whether it's by partnering with local nonprofits or school systems or helping provide food or gifts to children at holidays really it's important to me that you can be successful at business a lot of different ways, but to be successful and help someone's life is much more rewarding. So I really get a lot of joy out of creating change in a community, along with helping my investors either build or preserve their wealth for whatever reason they were doing it for. So I just really enjoy helping people.
James: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we are all about helping people. We like to improve the community and really, we have a lot of initiatives that we do in our properties- we give school backpacks when they go back to school, we do many libraries follow communities. So we do a lot of things for our communities. I mean during COVID-19, we have a lot of people who lost their job and don't have food, we usually buy food for them, right? I mean, that's what you and I think the same, I guess, right? I mean, you can make money in many ways, right? But helping people, kind of come with you to the grave, right? So awesome, Ashley. So why don't you tell our audience about how to get hold of you and how to get in touch with you?
Ashley: Absolutely. You can follow me on badashinvestor.com on the website or badashinvestor on Instagram, my website badashinvestor.com. It actually links to all of my other companies. So if you're interested in learning about multifamily, I have a link there. My multifamily company is Bar down Investments. So it's very easy. All the traffic just goes through badashinvestor.com.
James: Oh, that's a nice catchy name. Awesome. Thanks for coming on the show.
Ashley: Thank you so much for having me.
James: Absolutely. Thank you. Bye.