On this episode of Investing With Purpose, Kyle talks to real estate and capital management expert and former star of Flipping Boston, Dave Seymour. Dave talks about how he turned hard times into prosperous times by changing his mindset and offers up advice on various real estate and investing topics. Enjoy!
“Replace my fear with faith today. Let me step into action and let me follow my intentions. Don’t sit still, don’t parallel, always be moving forward. Inch by inch life’s a sinch, yard by yard, life is hard.”
FIND | DAVE SEYMOUR:
Phone: If you’re an accredited investor you can call Dave directly at 781-922-4418
0:00 – Intro and background on Dave
1:51 – Kyle talks about how Dave’s show was a catalyst for his journey, and they talk about some rough times they have gone through
6:50 – Dave talks about how he managed to get into the multi-family industry
12:49 – Dave read The Secret, a book about manifestation, which changed his mindset
14:54 – All successful people do the same things
16:31 – Dave tells the story of how Jack Canfield’s PA enjoyed his speech
17:54 – Kyle explains why he believes in speaking things into existence
19:16 – Kyle gives Dave 4 quotes and asks him to say what comes into his mind
21:22 – Kyle says there’s purpose in investing locally
22:28 – Dave explains where his purpose in life has transitioned to
28:32 – Kyle and Dave discuss how they’re in the people business, not only with passive investors but in the property sector
34:26 – Dave reads a poem called The Man In The Glass
37:02 – Kyle asks Dave about what he’s up to right now
43:01 – Dave and Kyle talk about some alternative investments and Tiger 21
45:01 – Kyle asks why Dave has a sense of urgency when talking about passive investing and how it’s not for the ultra-rich
50:38 – Dave is seeing other syndicators in his networks without a deal flow
52:06 – Dave talks about what he’s excited about in 2021
55:34 – Dave leaves you with his mantra “replace my fear with faith today, let me step into action and let me follow my intentions, don’t sit still, don’t parallel, always be moving forward, inch by inch life’s a sinch, yard by yard life is hard”
Kyle Jones: Dave Seymour is an investor with over a decade of experience in real estate and capital management. He launched his career from being a firefighter and paramedic to where he is now, having transacted several million dollars worth of real estate. And is now recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in both residential and commercial real estate. He was also the star of A&Es’ hit TV show Flipping Boston, and if you’ve forgotten about that show, I know you’re going to recognize his voice as soon as he starts talking. So, Dave welcome, I’m so grateful to have you on the show, man.
Dave Seymour: Oh, brother, I got to tell you, thank you for taking that big ass bio that they send over, and condensing it down into something that’s tight and right. Thank you for having me on. And yes, this is the guy from Flipping Boston. How are you doing, you know what I mean? Nice to hear you brother. Thanks for having me.
Kyle Jones: Absolutely, absolutely. I read it a couple of times and it just didn’t flow the way that it came across. So I just put it in my own words.
Dave Seymour: Nice job.
Kyle Jones: But really happy to have you, and I’m just going to get real with you really quick, because I actually started watching that show in 2012 when things were just really extremely challenging for my wife and I. She had just resigned from her teaching job because she was dealing with an autoimmune disease. And I was basically making peanuts as a high-tech software sales rep that just started out at a new company. And, I know several parts of reality TV are always staged, but I know there is some authentic aspects to it. And one of the things that I feel like you just can’t stage though, is true authenticity from the person. And I had watched several previous flipping shows and just yours just really resonated with me at a time. And I think when I was also just trying to seek a better life, but at a time where I had my back up against the wall and I was really staring adversity square in the face. And your show was really one of the shows that I think really helped me finally take a step. There were a couple of other things that happened, but as far as just taking a step and being a catalyst into my life and my real estate journey to essentially where I am today with about $150 million portfolio. So, I’m so grateful that you’re here. I’m grateful that our teams got connected and just wanted to thank you and kick that off that way before we get into it.
Dave Seymour: Wow. That’s humbling, brother. No, I appreciate you. Yeah, look 2008, 2009, 2010, were not the smilest of times familiar, let’s put it that way and I appreciate you coming right out and sharing some of your own challenges because that’s authenticity in and of itself. There’s not a lot of vulnerability that is shared today. And I think vulnerability and relationships are the new currency. And I don’t mean that in the sense that everybody goes out and there’s their dirty laundry, just because they can, it needs to be purposeful. But from adversity and challenges creates massive opportunities. You know, some people will just put their head down in the sand and hope things, change and hope things go away. And then there’s other folks like yourself and like me, we see adversity as an opportunity to step up and, go to war if you really want to get based with it. And I was in that similar position. As you said, in the intro, I was a firefighter and a paramedic for 16 years, and I absolutely loved what I did Kyle. I really did, man. I loved it. I loved the comradery. I loved the chaos. I liked working in a city with the flippers on the floppers and the wackos in the weirdos and the gang bangers and the DUIs. I mean, I loved it. I loved that. I loved that chaos and it fed something in me. And the challenge was is that I didn’t have any financial education in me back then. I was a product of a working-class family, right. My dad was a heating and air conditioning guy in England. So, with ignorance comes results, right? Every action has a reaction to it. Every inaction has a consequence to it. My inaction in the sense of understanding finance had a reaction to it, and you weren’t making money in software sales. I was making money, but I was spending more money than I made and that could be slightly problematic. Because if the only thing you have to trade for money is time, then you’re very quickly can run out of time. So, I was in that position in late 2007 where my house was in pre-foreclosure. I was working 120 hours every week, try to be a father to a son trying to be a husband to a wife and failing miserably in both of those areas. And I had nowhere to turn for any numbing medication and I’m sober 31 years, so I couldn’t go tie one on. There was nothing I could do, but just face it. And that’s when I stepped into real estate. So I identify with challenges, my friend, for sure.
Kyle Jones: Yeah, I appreciate you sharing that. And I think my approach to this podcast is talking about a couple of things. I mean, our premise is talking about investing local and investing in local businesses, and what’s your pony, our pony is multifamily. And we share that commonality, but more than anything, if we’re going to go out and raise capital, we’ve got to build relationships with people. And I think the easiest way to do that is by being vulnerable and sharing our story and telling other listeners we got there. So I appreciate that. And I want to just take it from where you kind of left off. So how did you really get into the real estate industry? You obviously had a desire, you were needing to trade time for money kind of thing. And you are in the process of doing that. So walk me through some of the steps that you took to actually develop the education around that. And was it through partnerships or just fuel, you know, experienced by just getting into it.
Dave Seymour: Yeah. Look, man, you don’t just step into it without a foundation. You know, I’ll give you the reader’s digest version. My house was in foreclosure. My marriage was on the rocks and I was feeling a distancing from my son who was then, Robert was probably 9, 10 years old. And you know, I was a father I only ever want for my son to be proud of me. The same way I want to be proud of my kids. We just want recognition, up and down the family tree, we want recognition and appreciation. And I wasn’t in a position to be admired because I was a beaten man. And I ran a small construction company on my days off. And I remember these investors showing up to these properties that I was digging ditches at, their cars were nicer, their shoes were cleaner. Their clothes were tight and right. You know, they had a smile on their faces. And I am thinking to myself, what are these people doing, man? I mean, come on. You know, I did as my father told me, work hard, don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal show up for life. It’s going to be okay. And that he lied. He lied to me cause he didn’t give me financial education. So I started asking questions of these people and please don’t take this the wrong way, but they weren’t that smart. They weren’t that engaging. There was nothing about them that was overly impressive. Not to say that they were bad people. I didn’t like them. I just wasn’t overly impressed by him. So that sawed a seed for me to learn what they were doing. And I’d love to tell you, I immediately stepped into greatness and that would be a lie, right? Everything’s a journey. It’s a process. It’s not an event. And I was in my truck and I was upset. I wasn’t good. I’ll be Frank with you. I was at the lowest of the low and I remember screaming and shouting and hollering to my God. And I’m like, dude, I’m pounding on the steering wheel of my truck, crying like a baby because I’m losing everything. And I’m asking for help, for the first time in my life, I think, you know, I put my ego aside, my macho, my manhood, and all of that crap. I put it to the side, and I said, do it with me what you will, man. Thy will be done, not mine cause I’m screwing this thing up. And as I said that there was a commercial that came on the radio, teach me foreclosure, a free one and a half hour seminar coming to your neck of the woods. I’m like, all right, is that divine intervention, maybe. And I didn’t ignore it. And I went to that event and I heard things there that I’d never heard before. I heard things like if you don’t learn how to have money work for you, you’re always going to work for money. I heard things like if you don’t figure out how to earn money while you sleep, then you’re never going to become financially independent. I heard things like what is true wealth. Is true wealth just money in the bank or is it quality of relationships, quality of choices. Do you want better choices? Do you want to not care at all you know the prices on a menu when you go out to dinner, do you want to just go eat what you want to eat, be with who you want to be with. And so and this guy said to me, he said, real estate has done that for him. And it could do it for me if I just followed the plan. I’m that kind of guy, Kyle, if you show me what to do and I know it works, I do it. I don’t second guess it, I don’t look for reasons why things won’t work. I get up every day and look for reasons why things will work. And that was my journey. I started as a student in the seminar world. And then because of my results, I was then asked to teach in the seminar world. And I’m like, what do you mean teach? I can’t get on the stage and teach. And they said, dude, your results are exceptional. This was the rich dad education company and Russ Whitney and those guys back in the day. And they said to me, they said, you know, your results speak for themselves and people will identify with your story. And then to our point that we’re discussing here, you’re authentic. I don’t lie. I don’t make it up. I was broke as a joke, standing on stages, talking about financial freedom. And the reason I could do that was because I could report the successes of the people that I learned from number one. And at that time in my life, tell me if you resonate with this, at that time in my life, financial freedom had nothing to do with money. At that time in my life, financial freedom to me was eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. That was financial freedom, right? It’s all relative. And that’s where it started. And I did my first deal, a $5,000 wholesale transaction, started flipping houses, get a TV show. Next thing I know I’m sitting on CNBC and squawk box and today’s show and Rachel Ray. And I’m a cool guy just ask me, you know what I mean? It was crazy. So that’s the short version.
Kyle Jones: Well, I love it. So obviously there was a mindset shift that had to take place though because I mean, I believe in divine intervention as well, but sometimes we actually have to just take the step, take the leap of faith, and just allow God to guide us into path, not knowing what the next step is, just taking the next step, like a foggy day where we don’t have clear vision. So, talk to me a little bit about that aspect of it from a mindset. So you had that intervention, you had that awakening, and you kind of went through this. So through that process, I mean, how long did that take going through that course and everything else before you really realized that, Hey, this actually works. My view on money is changing, and this is true freedom. This is true wealth.
Dave Seymour: Powerful, powerful questions, man. So around that time I don’t know if you’ve read the book, the secret by Rhonda Byrne was big, right? The secret was…
Kyle Jones: I’ll put it to the list.
Dave Seymour: Put it down. It talks about the law of attraction. And it says the law of attraction is as much of a definitive law as the law of gravity as you know, the laws of the universe. And it was a book that was written, and it basically was the uncovering of the secrets of success kind of concept. And what it said was, is what you think about is what you bring about. Manifestation and things come into your life because you ask for them, you intend them. It’s an intention and intention has a vibration. And that vibration goes out to the universe to Buddha, to queen God, whatever it is, that’s bigger and better than you. And it says, what you think about you bring about, what you vision, what you see happening in your life. And at that moment in my life, all I was thinking about was debt. So I got a lot of debt at that moment in my life, I was focused on pain and misery, and lack of performance, right? So that’s what I continue to get. So I began to reset my thinking and I did a lot of work. I did a lot of work. I’ve done a lot of work to stay sober this long, you know, personal development stuff. But when I started reading the secret by Rhonda Byrne and manifest in my thoughts into actions, at first you feel like it’s voodoo, it’s all woo-hoo. It’s a bunch of kapashi. If you listen carefully to Will Smith, if you listen carefully to gentlemen, by the name of Jay Shetty personal development girl from England, if you listen to my very dear friend, Jack Canfield wrote chicken soup for the soul. If you listen to these overachievers, we all do the same thing, man. We get up every day with an expectation of gratitude for what we have and an expectation of great things to come. And I started working that as best as I could. And it’s a yin and yang. It’s a push and pull consistently because of the personal dialogue, right. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Yes, it does if you have an orange grove, right? Who do you think we are? The Rockefellers. Yeah. If I do what the Rockefellers did, I could be a Rockefeller too. It’s resetting that internal dialogue, and I’ll just end with this. You talk about, you know, how did I do it? I believe, I act as if. I believe, I believe, I believe. MLK says, take the first step, even though you don’t see the staircase, I’m sure I just butchered that quote, but to your point of, I stepped into it, I lean into it. Jack Canfield says lean into your greatness. And I remember sitting in a firehouse and I was looking at something related to the secret and I started following Jack Canfield secrets of success, chicken soup for the soul, all the work that he does. And I really resonated with him. Like I liked his delivery. It made sense to me. It wasn’t overly academic that it was confusing. And I sat in that firehouse and I said, one day, I’m going to meet Jack Canfield. And I’m going to spend a day with him. And I throw that out into the universe. And I continue to throw that out there. Two years later, I’m speaking on a stage in Philadelphia. I think it was, I was doing an event with Daymond John from shark tank. And I came off the stage and a lady introduced herself to me. I can’t remember her name now. And she said to me, hi, I’m blah, blah, blah. I’m Jack, Canfield’s personal assistant. She said, I really enjoyed listening to your presentation. And I’m like, hold on a minute. She said, yeah. I said to her, yeah, I’ve been a student and an admirer of Jack for years. And she said to me, she said, Oh, that’s great. That’s great. I said, you know what? Does Jack do any one-on-one coaching? She said, no, he doesn’t do that anymore. He might do a one-day coaching thing. She said, but it’s really for only exceptional people. I said, well, congratulations, you just met an exceptional person. And then I sold her on why I should hang out with Jack Canfield. And three months after that, it was in October. I invested $20,000 to go see Jack Canfield. And I hung out with Jack for a day in his living room at his house cried like a baby all day long, but I had opened a loop. I had opened up a loop. I was always looking for a resolution of my intention and then the universe lined it all up. So that’s it, man. That’s it. Every day I get up with an expectation of a 20% return on everything that I do and everything that anybody does with me. Anything less than that is something that needs to be addressed that needs both work. It’s got to how I look at it. Does that all make sense, man?
Kyle Jones: Absolutely. No, I’m a huge believer in just speaking things into existence and it’s not, I’m a money magnet type thing, specific things. There’s things that I want to do with my family, things that I want to do with my kids. And I have actually have similar stories about that. And, even like when we start setting goals, just as around, like in my case, when I was starting to build my real estate portfolio, I had lofty goals, but I was visualizing it every day. I actually had it in front of my face every single day, right behind my computer, even when I was still working my W2 corporate job. And I didn’t hit those goals right away in those first couple of years, but I was still much better off than where I was when I was just starting out. You know, so even though I was short of my goal, I was still building progress. And that’s the key to, I think, any aspect of our lives, whether we’re investing in real estate or we’re trying to start something else like a side hustle or something, something to give us some extra income, just to invest, to be able to enjoy time when we’re older, we have to take the steps, progress is the key versus perfection. So there’s a couple of quotes though, that that you had mentioned, and I actually have some quotes written down and I wanted to get your thoughts. So I’m going to play a little game here with these four quotes. And I just want you to say the first thing that comes to mind, some of this is traditional quotes and, and maybe, not what you feel, but society has put in front of us. And then so just get your thoughts. So there’s no right answer. I’m just curious. So the first one is the quote, a penny saved is a penny earned.
Dave Seymour: I can’t answer that with one word. That’s the perpetuation of poverty. That’s what that is.
Kyle Jones: I love it. I agree with that. I mean, that’s exactly how I feel. So we’re aligned there. The next one is the love of money is the root of all evil.
Dave Seymour: Perpetuation of poverty. You see how these work.
Kyle Jones: Absolutely. Absolutely. Now there’s one has a different spin, and this isn’t a really popular quote, but it’s something that I heard somewhere else on another podcast, but it’s money is not the focus. It is the fruit. Money is not the focus. It is the fruit.
Dave Seymour: Sew first, receive reward second. That’s how I look at that. Zig Ziglar, you can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want. That’s that truth. Yeah. I love that. I’m on it. Yeah.
Kyle Jones: And the segue into that is, I think when we first start out investing or trying to build a side hustle, I think initially, we would all be lying if we said there wasn’t some level where it was money-driven. We’re trying to build a better life. We’re trying to create extra income. We’re trying to create a better life for our family and trying to buy our freedom. But I think you and I both know that’s not going to sustain us. So that’s where investing with a purpose comes in and I’m going to tie in investing locally here too, because I think when we start talking about investing locally, there’s purpose behind that, and just from a standpoint of, if you’re going to go out to eat with your wife and you have the option to go to this large chain restaurant, or you’ve got a friend who has a restaurant, that’s still decent food. A lot of times maybe I’m the only one that thinks this way, but I’m going to go choose to eat at my friend’s restaurant to support them, support the local economy and support the local business. And so tying that back into purpose, that’s what I mean. But your purpose and really continuing to progress your career. And now you’re into multifamily. And you’re building this fund and you’re acquiring more properties, how has your purpose changed from a standpoint of, Hey, you needed some other lifestyle because you weren’t winning, you’re overworked and underpaid. So what has transitioned, what’s your purpose transitioned to outside of money?
Dave Seymour: Yeah, dude, I love your questions. No, I’m serious. I do a lot of these podcasts. I really do. I appreciate your questions because they’re mindful. They’re not cookie-cutter bullshit that you get on every podcast under the sun.
Kyle Jones: There’s intention there. I want to get to know you as a person. Real estate’s just a by-product. That’s not what we are.
Dave Seymour: No, absolutely. So look, you’re absolutely right. Day one it’s me. I take care of me first because it’s the old adage of the oxygen mask analogy. You put your own oxygen mask on first, and then you can put it on somebody else. So my oxygen mask is well and truly secured. I’m good. I could walk away tomorrow and be good. So why do I still do what I do? Coming from where I came from that blue-collar background, I always have a blue-collar attitude in a white-collar world today. And my mission ends up being, helping break down the barriers to retirement freedom. Let’s just go there. So I probably, like you, work alongside accredited investors because of the mantra that’s been delivered generationally about money, you know, putting it in a 401k and not even understanding the way a 401k structure works. Nobody really talks about what the compounding costs due to the compounding returns of a 401k account. Guy said to me one time, he said, show me who you get your financial advice from, and I’ll show you what that financial future looks like. And, you know, the investment in 401k is a brainwashing that has been allowed to continue for so very, very long. So I get a little soap boxy when it comes to this stuff. So, you know, my intention today, I’ll give you an example Dr. Joe Russo plastic surgeon here in Newton, Massachusetts wealthy on paper, overworked in reality, say it again, wealthy on paper, overworked in reality. Inspired to teach him and his two millennial sons, the power of real estate investing. And now he’s engaged. He’s excited. He’s this deal, that deal. Can I come into your fund with this much and that much? And you’ve got any one-off deals right now. He’s excited. He’s excited. What I can do for a guy like that is, as I say to him, doc, I said, you know, you’re a highly paid technician. If you don’t do a liposuction, you don’t get paid. If you don’t do a facelift, you don’t get paid. If you don’t do augmentation, you don’t get paid. You’re trading time for money at a very high level. So I get to allow them to look to a different retirement, because as you know, though, through real estate investing and the way we do it, we bring those accredited investors in. Now they’re passive. They’re just getting quarterly distributions. And all they had to do was move money from one place to another. So I enjoy that. Does that benefit me as well? Yes, of course it does. I’m the GP, right? And the general partner, me, and my team. But at the same time, I get to work with professional athletes. I’ve got MLB pitches on our radar. I just had a call with one of them this morning, before I jumped on with you. MLB pitcher and they’re like, we’re sick and tired of, these predators being around the periphery of professional athletes, retired and active. Pitching crap. He said, you know what I like about you? You don’t sell me anything. And I said to him, I got nothing to sell you, Mike. I don’t even know if you qualify for my fund. I’m not sure it’s a good personality fit. And to your point, that’s exactly it, a personality fit. I’ll turn away money from the dig jam. Damn, I’m good, just ask me, they know everything, right? It’s not a good fit. However, the individual who knows the sticks and bricks is a longer play. You know, it’s a seven-year run in our fund, it’s a three-year run in syndicated deals. They become partners. It’s exciting. Look, man, I was miserable for a very long time. I saw a lot of what human beings do to each other in a bad environment, being in an inner-city medic and firefighter. I’ve heard enough horrendous stories in my journey, through sobriety from other guys and girls trying to get sober that I know there’s pain and misery out there. So I want to shine a light and I do it through giving people good feelings financially, because look, let’s be honest, can money buy happiness? No, but man, you can get some better choices. You know what I mean? And they could put a smile on your face. So I’m in a service business, Kyle, that’s what I do. I’m in a people business that serves. The fact that it sticks, and bricks is the product that we move through the service line, whatever, whatever, the end goal is the same, virtual high fives on zoom calls and just great email communications. I appreciate you keeping a slot open for me on that deal. I went through the data room. I loved the deal, I’m in. Okay. So on your subscription docs, the opportunity goes in one way or another, towards or away from you. You know, and people get appreciative of that kind of environment. So, people first, profit second, that sums it up in one sentence. I’ll say it again, people first profit second. And if you approach business, especially app business that way, failure is not an option. Failure is not an option. So it’s kind of how …
Kyle Jones: I love that, and you know, I actually have that line of I’m in the people business, in my bio, and the one that I send out to people I really do. And I think one other thing to take it a step further is we’re not just in the people business with our passive investors, you know, think about it at the property level. I mean, we’ve got, you know, a couple of hundred residents per property in some cases, plus our staff, you know, our leasing team, our maintenance team. And if you’re catering to just the passive investors, as far as the people side, I see this all the time and I’m sure you’ve acquired some properties where the office staff is just so miserable because they’ve never had any guidance. They’ve never been trained properly. It’s just so much operational upside. I love those types of deals because we’ve got a good team and we have third-party management, but I’ve gone through five different property managers to find the right one that had the same alignment and the same philosophies around how to handle people.
Dave Seymour: So good.
Kyle Jones: You know, it’s a people business with passive investors, but if our people at the property level aren’t taken care of, it doesn’t matter how much money you can raise. It’s going to be a bad event. It’s not going to bode well for anybody.
Dave Seymour: With an English accent, which is where I’m from originally. You’re allowed to say shite. So it’s shite show if you don’t have the ability to execute. That’s such a great point. And thanks for bringing that backup, because it’s absolutely true, you know, when we take down, so I’ve got 81 units that we’re going to close on in the next few weeks in Orlando. And that 81 units probably has 160 tenants in those properties with that comes, you know, a property manager on site, a couple of maintenance folks then I can help the insurance business cause I need insurance. We just bought on another construction vertical for our company, guy out of Chicago. He’s going to start taking now some of that biggest stuff at one sixties and above that don’t fit at a fund structure and all of those people deserve value. I think one of the important things I’ve figured out in business and in life is, money isn’t as important as being somebody feeling like they’re valuable. Everyone wants a purpose, man, everybody, otherwise, you’re just dragging your carcass through life in a mediocre state. You know our management company is a 10 year vertical with us. You know, you talk about history. You know, that’s a lot of communication going on over 10 years to dial it in to be perfect. And I use that word purposefully as well. It’s perfect. It runs, it hums like a machine. And you know, the end game for the investor is, is making sure that that business model strategy is executed flawlessly, flawlessly so that you can over-deliver and under-promise, which is one of my favorite things to do. I’ll give you an 8% return. And then you turn around and it’s, you know, 10 to 14. And they’re like, Whoa, that was God. And you’re like, yeah, that was good. That was just a starter. Do you know what I mean? That’s just a taste of things to come. And then it gets exciting. It gamifies doing great, guy said to me one time, there’s nothing wrong, there’s nothing wrong with doing great works and making great money. There’s nothing wrong with that. Money is the root of all evil. That’s what the broke guy said. The wealthy guy, both spiritually, financially, and relationship-wise, he turns around and he goes, no, I do great work and I make great money. And then I share, right. I share, I payback. You know, I got a friend of mine, tell me if you love this. Guy, I know. I know him very, very, very well. And this past Christmas, he took his two youngest sons to Walmart. And they went to the layaway department at Walmart, like three days before Christmas, something like that. And this guy went up to the girl at the Walmart counter in layaway, and he gave her a credit card and he said, put $5,000 on this credit card and pay off $5,000 worth of layaways as you go down the list of whoever shows up next on the computer. And then he just walks away, just walks away, it is choking me up. Yeah. That was a gift. Guy said to me one time, the definition of humility is doing something really great for somebody else or donating to a charity or whatever, and keeping your mouth shut. It only matters that one entity sees what you do. And that’s the big guy, the big girl, the universe, whatever. Cause they pay attention. That pays attention because we’re all going to stand somewhere at some point and have to look back and discover whether, we did a good thing or not, were we participatory. Did we make a difference? And those moments I think are absolutely everything going forward when it comes to this stuff, you know what I’m saying?
Kyle Jones: Absolutely. Absolutely. I love that. You’re giving to truly give, you’re not giving to be seen in that case. I mean, that’s what it’s all about. And, at the end of the day, just to really simplify it, when you’re talking about how you handle people, you just be a decent human, don’t be a jerk, especially when you’re talking to your residents and your local staff there.
Dave Seymour: Let me ask you a question. Cause this seems appropriate, but it’s your podcast.
Kyle Jones: No, come on.
Dave Seymour: Have you ever heard of the poem, The Man in The Glass, by Peter Dale Wimbrow, ever heard of that poem?
Kyle Jones: Maybe not, don’t recognize the title, but if you have it memorized and you want to give…
Dave Seymour: I got it right here. It’s full of short little pieces. It’s not a long one, but it really sums up. Look, man, we just met, but it sums you up as well. I know people. All right. So this is called The Man in The Glass.
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
That one rolls me, man. That one rock and rolls me. You know, being in the media space with TV and all of that stuff, it’s easy to let the ego step into it, right? The ego, how many doors you got? How much you have assets under management, right? That’s all ego. How excited are your tenants? How excited are your employees? How appreciative are your tenants? How appreciative are your investors? If you can tick those boxes, then you can look at the man in the glass at the end of the day, give him a wink and a thumbs up and know that you did the right thing. So, that’s kind of my approach to all of this stuff, man. If I went a little too deep, I am not going to apologize. It is what it is.
Kyle Jones: No, that’s, I love it. I mean, I was hoping that we get to this level, that’s like I said, this is my intention with this podcast. I want to really get to know the person and allow them to shine as well, because I really only want to bring on people that I know are genuine in nature. And so I appreciate you sharing that.
Dave Seymour: Yeah, for sure. For sure.
Kyle Jones: So we’ll start winding down here and there are a couple of tactical things that I’d love to get your thoughts on. So we jumped right into it because I think we just kind of hit it off, but let’s go back and let’s tell the listeners a little bit more about what you’re doing. Obviously, you’re multi-family but maybe go ahead and give yourself a spot here.
Dave Seymour: Look, man. Out of every, out of chaos creates opportunity, right? So January, February, March of 2020 I was running a very proficient hard money lending business at about $15 million in the pipe. I had seven loan originators. I was working off a $50 million line of credit. That line of credit had takeout partners or multiple takeout partners in New York that were buying the notes. Life was peaches and cream, right? Everything was kumbaya and a up pops COVID. And in the words of, in the words of who is the boxer there, what was the name with the, with the gap in the middle of his teeth? Mike Tyson. Tyson says, everybody’s got a plan until you get smacked in the mouth. And we got smacked in the mouth with COVID because wall street stopped buying out mortgages and I’m out of business in a matter of days. So, you know, pivot unprecedented, all the words of 2020, we pivoted, revisited a relationship that had been strong for years where my partner Walter Nowicki down in Fort Myers, Walter raised 125 million in private equity over the past 25 years deployed it, paid back double-digit returns to his investors, ground-up construction, apartment complexes, smaller park complexes repositioning. So we got on a call and said, what are you doing? What are you doing? We both licked our wounds. And he said, look, Dave, I can continue to do onesies twosies. He says, Oh, we’ll bring the, you know, we’ll bring the branding to it. Why don’t you reach out to your boy Kevin Harrington from shark tank? We’ll bring Kevin on board as well. So Kevin Harrington, myself Walter, and our operations guy, Eric created freedom venture management, freedom venture investments. And he said, instead of doing one or two, he said, let’s raise a hundred million dollars and we’ll buy them all. He said the amount of deal flow that I get because of my track record in Florida he said is going to be ridiculous. He said, because we’re going to focus on mom and pop deals you know, 20 to 150 unit apartment complexes for the fund. He said they’ll all need repositioning, you know, because of the challenges that people are going to face through 2020 and COVID. So that’s what we did. And as a result of that, you know, our investors coming in on the fund, they buy shares in the management company. So now that diversified across all of the assets, the good news is, and I love saying this, you put the money in, we pay the quarterly distributions back out. We don’t have to wait. We’re not holding on. So, you know, we’re very blessed in that sense. You know, if you write me a check today for 10 million, I can buy, you know, I can buy 30, $35 million worth of, you know, B class assets, B neighborhoods, slight repositioning in offering double-digit returns targeted. I mean, that’s how much deal flow we have. So that’s what we’re doing. And then we do these one-offs which I’m sure you’re familiar with, syndicated deals. Those have a shorter hold time. They got a different buy box attached to them. They might have a little more value add attached to them rather than core-plus. And yeah, I mean, we raised 3 million in 10 minutes, for this last deal. It works, it works. You just got to get in the way of it, get in the way of something good. So that’s what we’re doing right now. Freedom venture. Yeah. It’s good.
Kyle Jones: No, I love that. Go ahead.
Dave Seymour: I was just going to say, out of chaos creates opportunity, right? But the opportunity is still a service to those in chaos because our sellers are motivated, help me get out of this property, I didn’t have reserves. I don’t have good management. I’m in California, it’s in Florida. I bought this because it seemed like a really good idea at the time. I didn’t understand how much work it actually takes to make these things hum. So we still get to serve those that are in need out of this process as well.
Kyle Jones: I love that. I love that. So, you guys have actually put together an actual fund and you’re going out and buying multiple properties within this fund. What’s the cap on the fund?
Dave Seymour: The cap on the fund is a hundred million. We’re about 70% of where we want to be right now. We just brought in some institutional partners, which is very exciting. So we bought them on staff, they are part of the management company, now they have access to the bigger cheque writers. So these guys, you know, 10 million, 15 million at a whack they’ll take the whole bridge position because we’ve already dialed in our first lead position with our banking relationships. So yeah, a hundred million. And then the infrastructure is in place right now for the second fund, which will probably be about, I can’t believe I say this out loud, it will be a half a billion dollars or $500 million will be the next fund going forward, but there’s so much dry powder out there. I mean the amount of money retail savings, I read a statistic this morning, 16% of the income that was made in 2020 has gone into savings. That’s how frightened everybody was going into 2020. So, you know, it’s our opportunity as syndicators and fund managers to really help these people, you know, steer them, look away from the stock market. Although the stock market still needs to be part of a balanced portfolio, in my opinion. I don’t ever tell anybody all or nothing. I always say to them, you know, work all the angles, try this. Alternative investments. I was looking at tiger 16 or tiger 21. They’ve just bumped up their AI for real estate. On average, that group now is up to about 30%, 35% of their portfolio stack is now alternative investments in commercial real estate. So, you know, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel brother. There’s people out there are a lot smarter than us. We just cut and paste the copy.
Kyle Jones: I love that. I actually follow tiger 21 and look at their investing strategy every year. And it’s really just, you know, I think the perception that people might have is that they think the elite, the rich, the ultra-rich that they’re so aggressive. And so, you know, just risk-averse and everything else. And I think it’s actually quite the opposite. I think they’re more conservative in nature. They’re looking for the long-term game. They’re looking for true long-term wealth. Like they’re not in the get-rich-quick type of approach. You know, they probably have a portion, you know, maybe a small percentage where they’re playing around with Bitcoin and some other, you know, Highly volatile stock.
Dave Seymour: GameStop.
Kyle Jones: Yeah, GameStop. It’s coming out of their sludge fund. It’s not their true strategy. It’s not the true wealth strategy. And so to that, I was actually going to go back to what you were kind of talking about. You know, you’re throwing around some big numbers and talking about institutional capital, but I think this is still something that I preach from to our investors. And I’m sure you’re the same that this is actually, this is not just for the ultra-rich, like this is for the everyday person that has some money and has some capital that’s looking for an alternative. So talk to me about that because I think that the other part of that too real quick is if you, there’s a sense of urgency in your voice, talk to me about why that’s important to have a sense of urgency and especially, you know, tie that into like what we’re talking about, where private equity funds and things like what we do is available to the investor. So you kind of have to do a little bit of work as a passive investor. You can’t just sit back and collect because if you do that, you’re going to burn anywhere.
Dave Seymour: Your work as a passive investor, is all done on the front end. It’s all your due diligence. It’s all your due diligence in the operators. You know, you’re hitting some fantastic points. You’re talking about barrier to entry or what I call a perceived barrier to entry. My buddy Walter, he always says the type of deals that we bring to our investment group used to be the deals that were done on the 10th hole of the golf course. Nobody ever knew him. I had a lady who has been chasing around LoopNet deals for over a year and she’s been watching, Look, you know, she’s been watching that deal of the week that we do in a webinar format every Thursday. And we highlight the deals that we have on our desk. Some of the deals are in underwriting, but we show our deal flow and she reached out. She said, every single one of those deals that you shared, I didn’t see them on LoopNet and her barrier to entry. I mean, this respectfully is her ignorance, right? Probably she’s ignorant. She has ignorance around an area. So, deal flow is somebody else’s’ history, right? So like I said, 25 plus years in the marketplace. So now our investors, the barrier to entry of good deals is now removed because we have them and we share them, number one. Number two barrier to entry is capital. You need at least the ability to write $10 million, like those institutional guys, wrong, wrong, minimum investment is a $100,000 for an accredited investor. Well, I’m not an accredited investor. I don’t own $200,000 a year. Yeah. But you’ve got $6.2 million sitting in a 401k retirement account that’s earning next to nothing. How about we put that into a self-directed retirement account so that you control your own financial destiny. So, there’s absolutely ways to circumvent the perception that this is only for high net worth families and individuals. And also to your point, so good, right? One of the gatekeepers to a family office, he said, and he was pretentious. I wouldn’t take his money anyway. He turned around, he said to me, Oh, you do need to realize that you know, these high net worth families got their money, not through making dumb investments, they did it through making smart investments. That’s how they created that net worth. And I’m like, Oh my God, you’re a genius. Thank you for stating the obvious. You know what I mean? Like, that’s what I’m thinking in the back of my head. I don’t need pretension. I don’t need your money through pretention. But the truth of the matter is, yes, they do. They make intelligent decisions. I mean, some of the underwriting that we go through to be on platforms with these kinds of offices, you know, it goes deep, man. They want to see absolutely everything. And that takes time. That’s building that relationship going forward. So look, the barrier to entry is removed for finances, it’s removed for access institutional-quality investments. The one area that I can’t remove is knowledge. I can’t remove the knowledge. So on our site, we do a lot of educating. First of all, it’s no good just putting an investment in front of somebody if they don’t understand it. So do you know what a cash on cash return actually means? Do you know what a cap rate is? Do you understand the underwriting that goes into a cap rate? Do you understand that the IRR is the most manipulated number in the marketplace? How’s the waterfall scenario on that deal? I’ll ask them and they go, what? The waterfall scenario. Well, they should, I get 8%. Oh, that’s great. But the GP takes over 50% of the profit, so cashflow on the back end, have you done your numbers and really looked at, you know, they get 50% of 50% and then 20% of 40%, and they take 10% of 9%. And I’m like, what the hell are you? Why, if it’s confusing, don’t do it. Nice and simple. 75%, 25%, you get 75% of the cashflow. We get 25%, you get 75% of profit. We get 25% of the profit. So, you know, all of that knowledge needs to be you know, in my opinion, bought up the gradient because you know, people, it is the number one rule of sales, a confused mind says no. And what’s really cool about it is, they get excited about the deals cause they are almost underwriting the deals themselves. You know what I mean? Like that’s how these things get funded so quick. Cause they see the underwriting, they understand what’s going on. You know, we shoot video cause we walk every asset obviously before we bring it in. So it gets to be a team effort. So yeah.
Kyle Jones: And there there’s trust there now too because they’ve actually taken the step to do a little bit of upfront homework so that the next deal it’s even easier, especially I know, cause we’ve talked to some, some private institutions and family office types and you know, those first couple of deals they’re going to really run you through the ringer. And even the first couple of deals that you take them, they’ll probably going to say no, but you keep bringing them to them and then they get more comfortable with you. It’s just like anything, the same thing for the common man, you know, you’ve got to get comfortable with it. You’ve got to do some upfront education.
Dave Seymour: You know what we see is interesting right now is there’s other syndicators within our network who don’t have the deal flow, right? They got the money, they don’t have the deal flow. I got all the deals. I’m still raising the money. So what’s interesting now is we’re starting to get into discussions and scenarios where these syndicators create an SPV, and then they’re getting a GP position. Plus they have their own investor platform specifically for their group. So they get to still interact with their investors, but we’re just leveraging each other’s experiences. I mean, the way that to help other syndicators to help their investors, help our own investors, keep that deal flow going, employing the people in the business structure on top of that, it’s so corny brother, but it’s so true that it’s a win-win-win. But if you structure them right, we don’t show up for win-lose, you know what I mean? We don’t show up for win-lose. We don’t show up for lost win, you know, and we definitely don’t show up for lose-lose obviously. So, you know, it creates a lot of good energy for these deals and the movement of money.
Kyle Jones: Absolutely. Well, we’re coming towards the end of time here, and I want to be respectful because I know you’re a busy man and you’ve got more capital go raise and deals to find, but just to ask a couple of closing questions, I mean, what are you excited about in 2021 now? You know, what’s got you excited?
Dave Seymour: Yeah. Finishing up fund one, starting fund two. I’m excited about that. I’m also excited about going out to dinner again with my wife and date night. She loves to get dressed up, but man, she looks good when she does. So I’m excited for that. I’m excited to finish building the Colosseum Lego set with my 11-year-old. I’m very excited about finishing that in 2021. So I’m a simple guy.
Kyle Jones: How many pieces is that?
Dave Seymour: That’s over 10,000. Over 10,000 pieces. I have an addiction to Lego and tropical fish. So I’m excited for another fish tank. Don’t tell my wife, I’m excited for my nine-year-old to play soccer and participate in that with him this year, too. So lots to be excited about.
Kyle Jones: Getting back out there and being able to come out of hiding. I mean, I’m in Texas, so, you know, we’ve been out of hiding.
Dave Seymour: Yeah. You guys don’t care in Texas.
Kyle Jones: But you need to spend more time in Florida. It sounds like you need to make some, you know, bring your wife on to some of those property visits so you all can go to dinner.
Dave Seymour: Yeah. I’m going down next week for a mastermind, but I’m in and out in like 24 hours. It’s, I keep on going up and down. I said to her last night at dinner, I said, just to let you know, I’m very, very certain that this time, next year we’re going to be living in Florida. No, we’re not. The kids are in school. And I’m like, Oh my Lord. I got to get her over to the entrepreneurial side.
Kyle Jones: Well, Fort Myers. That’s where the red Sox have spring training?
Dave Seymour: What’s funny man. I’ve got an ex Boston, red Sox pitcher. Who’s part of our inner circle if you will. And I walked him through all of our presentations. Now I don’t know if he did it. He said he was, but he said he was going to go down to Fort Myers and hang out with his old buddies there and start raising the awareness, I am like go for it brother, see what you got. I’m excited about him. He’s a cool guy. He’s all excited about what we do. So, yeah, it’s fun.
Kyle Jones: Well, two quick questions. How can listeners get ahold of you or follow you to pay attention to what you guys have going on?
Dave Seymour: Yeah. Two ways. The accredited investors, I like to talk to them. You can call me direct (781) 922-4418. But first of all, hit www.freedomventure.Com. Go to the website. Spend a little time there. Punch your digits or info in there. I promise I won’t spam you. If you feel like spam and I’m giving you too much, incredibly wonderful content, just opt-out. Don’t talk to me anymore. It’s all good. You won’t hurt my feelings, but go and get some great education. See what we do. There’s a fantastic video on there where we did an interview with my team and Kevin Harrington at a property down in Bradenton, Florida like 15-minute video really breaks down what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and where we’re doing it. So, yeah. Www.freedomventure.com or call me on the telly, on the telephone.
Kyle Jones: I’ll add it to the show notes, so folks can find it easily. So well I’ve really enjoyed our time. I really enjoy getting to know you and getting inside the mind of how you have transitioned into where you’re at today. So I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and fun too. You are closing out fund one and getting fun two ramped up. So do you have any final parting words for the listeners?
Dave Seymour: Look, everybody gets scared, right? So I have a mantra that I use every day. It served me well. And maybe it will, your listeners, every day, I just say a quick prayer, you know. Replace my fear with faith today. Let me step into action and let me follow my intentions. Don’t sit still, don’t parallel, always be moving forward. Inch by inch life’s a sinch, yard by yard, life is hard. That is how I do it all man. Replace my fear with faith. So god bless.
Kyle Jones: I love it. God bless. Dave Seymour, thanks brother.