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WS345: Being an Owner-Operator with Robert Martinez

For today’s episode, we are joined by Robert Martinez of Rockstar of Capital Management, who gives some valuable insights into self-management and what it’s like being an owner-operator of a real estate investment management company.

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While this extra responsibility may seem like additional work, for Robert, having skin in the game not only means that he is personally more invested, but it also allows him to make quick, on the spot decisions. Growing his company has been as a result of the incredible investment in his team. Real estate is a team effort and being a great leader means finding other people who have strengths that you do not and building them up to be the best that they can be. If you help others achieve their goals, they will return the favor, which will lead to greater growth overall. Robert also touches on some other aspects of business operations such as reputation management, branding and what the future holds for Rockstar Captial. For all this and more, join us today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Some of Robert’s real estate background and how he got into his current work.
  • How Rockstar Capital has managed to achieve such prolific growth.
  • Robert’s motivation for self-management, rather than utilizing a third-party manager.
  • What Robert has done to ensure a personal relationship with all of his team members.
  • Heart and a good work ethic are more important than having the best skillset.
  • How to find employees who are selfless and have a great deal of passion.
  • The importance of good reputation management for real estate companies.
  • Some effective techniques for conveying your brand message.
  • Surround yourself with people who are where you want to be and use that as fuel.
  • What the future holds for Rockstar Capital Management.
  • Why getting the first deal is often the hardest part of real estate syndication.
  • Having great video ads makes your content far richer.
  • Leaving a legacy in whatever work you do is important.

[bctt tweet=”If you’re not promoting yourself, you’re demoting yourself. How are you going to know how great it is to live with us if we don’t tell you? — Robert Martinez” username=”Whitney_Sewell”]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Robert Martinez on LinkedIn

Rockstar Capital

Robert Martinez on Instagram

Robert Martinez on YouTube

About Robert Martinez

Robert Martinez is the CEO of Rockstar Capital, an investment and multi-family property management firm specializing in the acquisition and management of value-add opportunities in Texas. Currently, the portfolio consists of 3699 units across 21 communities. As the CEO and founder, Robert Martinez directs the investment strategy, sources the investment capital, and secures the appropriate financing. 

Since 2011, Rockstar Capital Management has been one of the most decorated property management companies in Texas with 17 city, state, and National Apartment Associations awards. Other industry achievements include Top Rated status by for the entire Rockstar portfolio between 2015-2018 as well as the distinction of having the #3 Rated multifamily community in Texas and #38 Nationally for online reputation by J Turner Research.

All four of Rockstar Capital communities ranked in the Top 1% nationally (out of 101,000 communities) in online resident satisfaction. Most recently, Rockstar Capital was included in the prestigious Houston Business Journal Fast 100 and recognized as the 15th fastest growing privately held company in Houston from 2015-2017. In 2019, Robert Martinez became the first two-two recipient of the National Apartment Association’s Independent Owner of the Year and was recently recognized by the Houston Business Journal as one of Houston’s 60 most admired CEO’s.

Full Transcript


[00:00:00] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Real Estate Syndication Show. Whether you are a seasoned investor or building a new real estate business, this is the show for you. Whitney Sewell talks to top experts in the business. Our goal is to help you master real estate syndication.

And now your host, Whitney Sewell.


[00:00:23] WS: This is your daily Real Estate Syndication Show. I’m your host, Whitney Sewell. Today, our guest is Robert Martinez. Thanks for being on the show, Robert.

[00:00:31] RM: Hey, Whitney. Thanks for having me on your show, and congratulations on all your success.

[00:00:34.] WS: Thank you. You as well.  You as well. Reading your bio and talking to you already, very impressive what you’ve accomplished, and I’m honored to have you on the show. But a little about Robert, he’s the CEO of Rockstar Capital, an investment in multifamily property management firm specializing in the acquisition and management of value-add opportunities in Texas.

Currently, the portfolio consists of 3,699 units across 21 communities. As the CEO and founder, he directs investment strategies, sources the investment capital, and secures the appropriate financing. Since 2011, his company is one of the most decorated property management companies in Texas with 17 city, state, and National Apartment Association awards and top-rated status by for their portfolio from 2015 to 2018. Their communities rank in the top 1% nationally for online resident satisfaction, and his awards and stuff go on and on.

I mean, Robert, just grateful to have somebody at your level and that’s done all these and performing at this level on the show. I know you’re going to bring lots of value to the listeners and expose a lot of people to who you all are as well. But tell the listeners a little bit about where you’re located and what your focus is right now.

[00:01:44] RM: Right. So, I own a company called Rockstar Capital Management. We’re located in Houston; Texas and we buy a variety of deals. We only focus on multifamily. So, class A, class B, class C. I am an owner/operator. What does that mean is that I manage my own assets. I’ve been involved in multifamily real estates since 2007. I got my education through a local real estate club here in Houston. I grew my awareness and education that way. I was the COO of our previous company before. Then in 2011, I founded Rockstar Capital Management.

As you’ve mentioned, we’ve grown on. When you’re an independent owner, you’re very passionate. You’re very passionate, and you wear your heart on your sleeve, which means I’m very competitive. And if anything is wrong with my properties, it’s my fault. No one else’s fault because I allowed it to occur. I believe it’s just the whole concept of necessity’s the mother of invention, right? If it hurts you enough, you’ll do something about it. If it doesn’t, then you won’t.

And I don’t like to hurt. I don’t like criticism or ridicule. I want everything to be the best that it can be. With that, I think that’s what’s fueled our growth.  We’ve only grown in the last recent years. In 2011, I bought one deal. In 2012, I bought on deal, in 2013, I bought one deal. We started winning awards, and I realized, “you know what? We got a little formula here. We got a good secret sauce, and I’ve got some really good thoroughbreds in the stable. Why don’t we – That are winning these awards with me.” It’s team sport. Real estate is a team sport. You cannot do it all by yourself, because I’m not the one who has to go out there in the middle of the night when something is not working.  That’s really someone else, but why are they going to go out there? Are they going out there out of fear? Are they going out there out of love? Are they going out there because they don’t want to let you down?

So, I take a personal interest in each of my staff. I find out who they are, I gauge their situation, and I try to help them and operate under the concept of, “f I help them, they’re going to help me,” and it’s worked really, really well.

So, in 2014, that was the first, we started buying more than just one deal a year. We bought actually four, but they were smaller, in the 100-unit, the 150-unit range. And that’s great, but you don’t get all the economies of scale. I was buying those smaller deals, because I felt that if I had one manager in the office, then they’re that much closer to the resident. There’s nobody in-between. There’s not an assistant manager. There’s nobody else. So, if something is said, if you have the right person in the chair, she’s going to act on it. She can help the resident meet their needs.

What I realized though that is as you grow, you need to have a bigger budget. A budget fixes everything. You don’t have an expense problem. I followed Grant Cardone a lot, and I was actually on this show last year and the video went viral. I had my two boys in it who are now 13 and 11, last August 2018. And one of the things that he mentioned to me is that bigger is better. It took me a little while to understand that concept, but it is. When you have more budget, you can do more. You don’t have an expense problem. You have an income problem. So, to generate more income, right? You’re going to have more budget to have better marketing. You’re going to have more budget to have a better quality staff.

And so, as we grew our company, we started buying bigger deals. So instead of buying four small deals, we buy two bigger deals. The next, it’s three bigger deals. So, we’ve grown out to 21 communities across Texas. Recently, we just expanded outside of Tucson and going down to South Texas in the Corpus Christi area, and we’re doing really well there. It’s very exciting. We’re building a brand. We use a lot of video to tell our story, because nobody shows up on a Saturday morning to look for apartments. They do all their research during the week, and they find you on the different reputation sites; Google, Facebook,, Yelp. You got to make sure that you’re represented the way you wanted to be represented. Otherwise – Because if you don’t, who’s giving you reviews? People that are angry with you. Why are they angry with you? Because they’re being evicted, or because they don’t want to follow community policies, or community directives, right? And so, you’ve got to go and drown out the noise.

So, we realized that, wait, “every time somebody renews, aren’t they happy?” “Yeah.” “Every time somebody moves in, aren’t they happy?” So why are we asking for a review? Why are we letting the haters dictate our reputation?” So, we’ve gotten very good at reputation management.  As I’ve mentioned earlier, when you and I were probably speaking, we got four properties that are ranked in the top 1% of all communities in the country. That’s 101,000 communities in the United States. I’ve got four that are ranked in the top 1%. I have only 21 properties.

So, we put a lot of effort on our brand and our reputation, and it’s very important to us. But again, I said I’m a very emotional guy. I wear my emotions up my sleeve, my heart on my sleeve. It’s a representation of who I am.  So, I want it to be the best that it can be.

[00:05:58] WS: Love it. That’s awesome. We wanted to be the best that we can be. Yeah, I love that. So, I wanted to back up a little bit and talk about when did you decide to self-manage? When was that? Was it on the first property or was it in 2, 3 properties into it? How did you determine that?

[00:06:13] RM: I’ve got a strong sales background. I went to Texas A&M. I have an engineering degree, but I wasn’t one of those 4.0 guys that you hire and you put like in a think tank. I was going to be the kind that sold the think tank, right? Sold you the concept and the value add and the benefit cost analysis.

And so when I got into real estate, I recognized, “man, this is just like what I used to do, but actually a lot easier, because if I could sell $100,000 piece of equipment to a guy with a PhD and explain to him the cost benefit analysis, then I can certainly lease a $500,000 apartment to guy making $35,000 a year.”

So very quickly, I recognized that I could do this. And it’s very hard for me to give my money to somebody when I think I can do that too. And so, I walked away from my day job.  I was making six figures, and I realized that the opportunity for me was in real estate. And so, I dove right in, and I put $200,000 in my first deal. I syndicated the idea. Worked with some other people, and I took care of it and I guarded it my life is what I did. 

I think that if you will find out very quickly who you are when your money is on the table. And so, I am very big of having skin on the gain. There’s nothing wrong with third-party property management companies. It’s just not for me, because unless they have skin on the game, then they don’t feel my pain. They don’t understand we got to win at all costs. We got to make sure that they make it and say, “I’m here right now. I would walk two properties this morning. These are my historical, my legacy properties that I bought in 2010, 2011.”

And there’s a couple of small little things that are being – Were talking about on how to protect our history and our legacy moving forward even though occupancy is at 96%, and we’re getting rents, I still want to invest in it, right? Well, I want to be involved in those conversations. I want to be able to make a decision right there on the spot. We made it and say, “hey! Go get a quote, man, and let’s see if we can work that in the budget for January.” Even though we’re doing really well, we want to continue to do well, so you go to keep investing in your properties.

How does that happen if you’re dealing with a third-party? You don’t get to act on the spot. You don’t get to make those reactions. You’re a big, giant battleship and you’re like, “I want to turn left. You want to turn it, turn left.” But you can’t. When you operate an independent owner-operator, you can make those decisions, right? They’re on the spot. Policy becomes off of this conversation. You want to have a conversation right now, you give me an idea or something, tomorrow, it becomes policy first, and we implement it.

And I think that’s the key to a lot of our success, and that success has generated 12 100% cash out refinances where I literally buy a property and within 36 to 48-month period, now through cash flow and through a giant cash refinance then, you’re getting all your money back. We’ve done that 12 times. That’s pretty good.

So, over a 10-year period, we’re probably looking at a 3X, if not a higher return for our investors. We’ve got about 91 million in investor capital that I take off. So, I take it very serious. I take it very personal. My mom is in those deals. My other family is those deals. I got to know that I go to bed at night with a clean conscience knowing that I did all I could today to bring value.

[00:08:58] WS: Nice. I know being able to do this, your team is so important and you elaborated on that a little bit and you talked about the personal interest that you take in each staff member. Tell me about how you’ve built this team to operate at this level and how you do take that personal touch.

[00:09:13] RB: It’s a credit that I got from my father. My father works for a company called Whataburger, which is a fast-food retail chain, and it just seemed like his stores always did better than everybody else’s. And I didn’t know at the time, I was in my own little box. I was a kid. He was always on the phone. There were no cellphones back then. So, he’s on the house phone or he’s on beeper, giving them calls. I would hear him talk to people. I think some of that just kind of stuck in me, but this is a people game. If you find out what makes you tick and what your heart’s and your goal, you desires are, and I make them important to me, and I hope you achieve them, chances are you’re going to want to help me achieve my goals, right? Because I think people generally want to help other people out. They just don’t know how. Well, here you are. If I help you out, you’re going to ask me how to help me out. I don’t expect you to work hard every day. You shouldn’t work as hard as me. I’m the owner. But how will you? How do you take that extra effort if I’ve gone and I’ve helped you? If I’ve gone and I’ve done things that make your life easier to help you get your goals? I think there’s a great chance that you’re going to help me. It doesn’t always work out, but you’re going to want to help me get my goals. So, we play in a team atmosphere here. I’m not going to go into the jungle by myself. I want to go in there with holding hands with a bunch of people that there’ a better chance of me getting out alive if I have a bunch of people with me.

[00:10:26] WS: No doubt about it, especially if you’ve already been adding value to them, and hopefully they care about you a little bit.

[00:10:31] RM: For sure. But [inaudible 00:10:32]. I mean, right now we just – Like I said, I’m walking up on properties and the first manager I talk to, she’s been there for two years, and I didn’t know her as well as I needed to know her, and I asked her all these kind of questions, man. I now know why she’s successful. I now know why she’s at 96%, 97% every month, because she has a heart. If you surround yourself with heart, heart isn’t quick. I don’t need the most talented guy in the room. I need the guy with the most heart. I’ll give you skillset. I’ll help you grow. I’ll tell you what I need, but I can’t give you a heart. You either have it or you don’t. You either have work ethic or you don’t.

Her first job was working at Walmart, and she worked the graveyard shift, and she did that for the better part of two years. Then she worked at a Subway, and she became from just being a team member to growing to become the store manager over four years. The girl is only 26 today. I mean, what does that say about who she is? Her property, and then I find out from the regional that that’s my number one. Yeah, I believe it. I can see it in her heart. I know who she is. I don’t have to look at the P&Ls to know that she plays every day with heart. The question she was asking me, because I always ask, “what can I do to make your job easier? What do you need at the property?”

She immediately starts talking about her team, her maintenance team about making sure that we pay them for the extra time that they put in. That they save us thousands of dollars and plenty of work. What can we do? What kind of consideration can we give them to help them? Rather that was so selfless, that she wasn’t even asking for herself. She was asking for them. I knew immediately. When you surround yourself with people like that, you’re going to win. You’re going to win. I don’t have to look at the P&Ls to know that we were doing really well.

[00:11:55] WS: Give me a couple of tips on finding people like that.

[00:11:57] RM: I think service industry is really big, because this is a sales fork. So, I think it’s very good to have people that know how to look you in the eye that can have a clean voice, that can speak and sell themselves. You’re not going to get a 10 sales – You’re not going to find a Grant Cardone any everybody for sure. But if you have people that a caring heart, have a serving heart, they’re going to go out there – Remember, we’re in a – We take care of people. That property that is 126 units. If we throw in all the kids and all the family members, multiple that by 2.5 to 3. That’s a lot of folks, 400, 500 folks that are living there, and she takes care of all of them. It’s just one person in that office. So, you got to find people that have that kind of background. We’re really big on service industries, in retail, restaurant. Those have been our big winners for us.

[00:12:41] WS: Nice. Okay. So, you’d talked about how you all are really big on reputation management and why that’s important and drowning out the noise, some things. I’d love for you to elaborate on some of that reputation management, even some of the branding techniques you all are using.

[00:12:54] RM: Well, for sure, is that we’re saying nobody shows up on a Saturday. They do all their research during the week. So how do you rise above the noise? Well, you got to make sure of your reviews, because nobody goes to BestBuy and think, “oh, I want this one.” They ask a sales guy, “Hey, which one’s everybody buying?” That’s just how we are. We’re wired that like as humans. We don’t want to make a decision.

So, if you read a positive review, “wow!” and you read another one, and you read another one and you’re like, “wow! This must be a nice place to live. I’m going to give it a try.” Then you go and you check out their website and you see their videos. What it’s like living at their communities. The videos are what the amenities look like. You see a dog park. You see a barbecue pavilion area. You see areas where there’s engagement, a community feel. You’re more than likely to be there versus just the website.

That’s how we started out. We started with just websites. They’re just basically platforms for the investors would log in and try to pay their rent, right? No, it’s a book. It’s number two to storytelling. So, you need to story tell and throw your brand, because if you’re not promoting yourself, you’re demoting yourself. How are you going to know how great it is to live with us if we don’t tell you?

Now, I know your mom and your dad, they tell growing up that, “don’t talk about yourself. Stay in line, color within the lines.” That’s not how it works, man. As children, we color outside the lines, right? That’s how we wire. We like to talk. We’re in talking. We’re so loud. And then somewhere along the line we get conditioned. That’s what’s happened to everybody. We’ve gone in tradition. We don’t tell you who we are.

Quick story. My little boy, I got approached one time at a parent night by the parents of another little boy in his class, “oh, you’re Ryan’s dad.” I’m, “yeah. Very nice to meet you.” They’re like, “no. No. No. You don’t understand. We hear your son’s name all the time.” I go, “really?” “Yeah, Ryan’s the fastest in the school. Ryan is the strongest in the school. Ryan is the smartest in the school.” Well, who do you think told that little boy that? Ryan did.

So, the myth became fact, right? I don’t know if he’s the smartest guy. I don’t know he’s the fastest guy, or Ryan believes he is. So, he told those people, and now that’s the reputation. So, you either you want to be considered well or you don’t. It’s your job to tell your story. So, as the owner of the business, it’s my job to tell our stories. It’s my job to tell you that we won those 17 awards. It’s my job to tell you how important reputation is, right? Because we’re promoting our self, and you got to learn how to do it, because then you will rise above the noise.

[00:15:04] WS: I love that. That’s a great analogy too about your son. Yeah, that’s incredible. So, what are some other ways that maybe you all are using either social media and also things like that to help with branding and pushing your name out?

[00:15:17] RM: Picture would tell a thousand words. Video says a million words. It’s amazing, right – Or podcast. Any way to communicate. On this podcast, right? Everybody listens to podcasts now. They’re in the car, they’re at the gym. This morning, I was listening to a podcast in the gym. In the car, I’m listening to something. I listen to Grant Cardone. I listen to Gary Vaynerchuk. I listen to some other podcast and things that get me going. You got to communicate your message. It’s just simple as that. Communicate your message, but also surround yourself. You kind of like engage in this daily. Somehow, I don’t know how it’s wired. I don’t have [inaudible 00:15:47], Whitney. But I can tell you, the more I think about something, the more reality it becomes.

People say you can manifest your reality. There’s no secret. The book, The Secret? The whole secret is work. If you’re say it enough times, it’s going to work. If you believe in like, “well, our goal is to get – We’re at 3,699 units. We want to get to 10,000 units. That’s our goal.” I say it over and over and over again.

It’s amazing, since I came over that goal, how much we’ve pushed in that direction, buying bigger deals, buying better assets. Three years ago, I didn’t have anybody on marketing, and now I’ve got a seven-person marketing. It’s just the commitment. Is it important to you? Is it a priority to you? Yeah.

So, I’ll take it a little less because I want – I’ll put a budget into that group, because I want to stand above the noise. I want to create commercials. Nobody is watching on ABC, CBS and ABC. They’re watching here, right? Right here on the phone. You got to learn Facebook. You got to learn Instagram. Because pretty much if you don’t learn this today, you deserve to go out of business, because it’s all right here. This is the gateway. This is the platform to communicating with the masses, and you got to tell your story.

[00:16:49] WS: Love it. I agree completely. That’s a little Gary V. right there.

[00:16:53] RM: I’ve had the chance to meet him a couple of times, and one of the greatest things, I went to his 4D event about a year ago, or maybe two years ago now, and that started everything. Within two months I have my first videographer, because I believed it, because Gary convinced me of it.

In February, I got a chance to take the team up there. We had a 30-minute conversation in his office, right? It didn’t make his DailyVee, but it made my daily rock, right? If you want to go to that, you can find us on YouTube with the Apartment Rockstar, and you could find that video with me and Gary and the rest of my team.

Yeah, you got to surround yourself. You got to network yourself. For me, that was adult Disneyland, meeting Gary, meeting Grant Cardone. I’m going to have a chance to maybe meet Tarek El Moussa, or I don’t know how to pronounce the last name on Flip or Flop. He might be coming out and hanging out with me in September, and I’m really excited about that, right? Because that’s how you grow. You surround yourself with people that are already where you want to be and it drives you and it fuels you.

[00:17:42] WS: So, what’s the future for Rockstar Capital? I know you said the 10,000 units. I guess tell me how are you getting there. How are you pushing to get there? What’s helping you grow faster? 

[00:17:49] RM: Well, you know what? It’s funny. I don’t mean to keep name dropping, but Gary said to me, “If you’re good enough, the market will find you,” and he says that on his podcast, and it’s true. As we’ve grown, as we’ve pushed out the brand, it’s amazing how you get contacted by a lot of people. We’re raising investment equity, and I want to grow. I want to grow the 10,000 units. I want to become synonymous with independent real state owning. I want to be that guy. I want to be the owner-operator. I’m not the guy that syndicates. I’m not the guy that goes in like use a third-party. I want to be that owner-operator guy. I want to be able to look back and know that I gave it my all and I helped as many people along the way and I helped their kids go to school or I helped them get out of debt or whatever the situation is. That to me, that’s a legacy. I want to keep growing.

We got a Breast Cancer Walk that we started back in 2015 under our [inaudible 00:18:36] part of company called Rockstar Cares. My mother got diagnosed with breast cancer and it just hit me. I needed to do something, and I realized how preventable it was just through education. Through education, everything’s possible, right? And so, we started this breast cancer walk for three years now. We’ve putting it out within the suburb of Houston, and it’s just been a phenomenal success. I just want to continue to give back. I mean the success fuels to give back, and it’s just a big circle that goes on there again and again. So, it’s really exciting.

[00:19:00] WS: Awesome, man! Robert, what’s been the hardest part of the syndication journey for you? You were doing one deal a year. Now you’re growing a lot faster. But what’s been the most difficult part?

[00:19:09] RM: I think for sure the very first deal is going to be the hardest, because you’re an unknown. Nobody knows who you are, and why should I invest money with you? “Why should I send you $50,000, $100,000?”

For all you guys that are out there trying to syndicate your first deal. I would totally get involved in a real estate club, because that’s what’s in the real estate club, is people who want to buy deals and people who actually want to operate the deals. Get in there and find a good one, in Houston, in San Antonio, in Dallas. There’re a lot of big ones here in Texas. Get involved. Network there and get known, right?

I think the word is out, apartments is the way to go. There’s a lot of – You can really be passive. You want to invest that way and find a guy that’s got some energy. Find a guy that has a skillset that you don’t think you have that you would like to invest with and see where it goes from there. But also, educate yourself in the process. Don’t just blindly give your money away to somebody.

So, I think that you can communicate what you’re going to do differently than the other guy, because we’re all fighting for the same dollar essentially, right? What can you do? I’m using Facebook. I’m using Instagram. I’m using podcasts such as this. I’m getting our story out, our own videos. You’re getting out there. You’re perfecting your craft, because it’s not just about operating apartments anymore, right? You got to actually go out there and sell yourself. Because if you can’t sell yourself, how are you going to sell your apartments?

I joined the group, that real estate club with a lot of people and they have all kinds of backgrounds; accounting, scientist, engineering. I’ll tell you what, the best guys that are doing the best are the sales guys, because they get it. It’s a great skillset. So, if you’re not a good sales guy, that’s okay. Find your one. Find your somebody. Partner with them. Do something and figure out how to promote what it is you’re trying to do. Maybe you’re the number guy, maybe you’re the organization guy, but someone’s going to tell people how you’re going to do it. Why your organization is so great? Why you’re such a good number’s guy? How you understand people.

[00:20:53] WS: Awesome. Yeah! No, that’s great. Maybe it will lead into this, but I’d like to ask everybody, the way that your business has recently improved that we could apply to ours.

[00:21:00] RM: I think the videos was a big game changer. I think understanding that websites are more than just a way, a place to show pictures. I think you need to understand the algorithms that go involve with how to advertise on Facebook and Instagram. It’s not going to happen overnight, but it’s in Google, you just got to do a little research and figure out, right? There’s no, one way, and it’s hard to measure the ROI. But I’m going to tell you. If you live with a belief that everybody’s on the phone and you make that your priority, you will figure out how to advertise.

I think advertising is really big. Try to take away – Try to find your weakness and try to come up with a defense. Our weakness right now is that I rely on I rely on I rely on Apartment Guy and these other big players, but why? Because we got too lazy to go and learn how to advertise on social media, right?

Remember 10 years ago, “oh! It’s just a fad. Facebook  is not going to be around,” whatever, whatever. Now it’s like where everybody goes. When Instagram, Facebook go out, everybody freaks out, because they’re so dependent on advertising on those platforms. But your podcast was still alive, LinkedIn was still alive. There was no issues that day.

So, I think it’s understanding how to advertise and using all the different channels that keep pushing forward. I think that’s somethings that’s really helped us a lot in the last 24 to 36 months. It’s not just about leasing apartments every day, because you got to generate your own needs, right? So, you’re either going to pay for it or you’re going to do it yourself. If you’re going to it yourself, that’s what’s going to take care of you in the long run, because those guys can charge you three times the rack rate tomorrow and then what? Then what? If you learn how to do it yourself, you don’t need them.

[00:22:33] WS: What’s the number one that’s contributed to your success?

[00:22:35] RM: Heart.  I invest in people. I think people believe in me and trust in me as results, and they try to help me get what I want. It’s a very big family atmosphere at Rockstar. I hate to do a little plug, but I was recently honored as one of the most admired CEOs in Houston. And that award is based on the submission that your team sends in on why your team thinks you should be admired.

There were 300 nominees. There were only 42 for-profit companies up that made the banquet table, and I was very proud of that. It’s one of the most proudest moments in my life was the fact that my team saw how much I put into this. And so, I think that my heart is what separates me, and a little bit of innovation. I don’t like to lose. So, I try to find out a way. If the pain is enough, you’ll figure out a way to fix it.

[00:23:22] RM: So, I ask every guest also, you already touched on this, but how do you like to give back?

[00:23:26] WS: Man! We’ve got – Charity is the big part of what we do, whether it’s a back to school drives for the kids or the drive that we do through the Apartment Association. But I’m a real big proponent on just legacy. What can you do? Last year, we did Rockstar Scholars, which is scholarships awards for our team members and their families. As I mentioned before, Rockstar Cares, which does a variety of charitable events, whether it’s food for the homeless.

We had a monster hurricane here a couple of years ago, if you remember. We did all we could to raise supplies and go and visit those properties that were – Not properties. Those communities that were hurt the most and trying to help out. But our Breast Cancer Walk is our big signature item that we do every year and it’s coming up on October. So, I’m really excited about that. I think charity is a big, big part of  life. When you realize that you’re not alone and that your impacts will last, right? It’s not about who you are today, but it’s about the lives that you touch and who they touch tomorrow. And I think once you realize that there’s a big domino effect in life, and I think I learned that from my dad. I think when I was – My dad passed away a couple of years ago, and I didn’t know my dad the way other people knew my father. But when they go up there doing the eulogy and they were talking about him, how if it wasn’t for him that their children wouldn’t have gone to school and graduated, that they would have not recovered from being a drug addict, or an alcoholic. He helped them, that here it is years later, they don’t even work with him anymore and they felt the need to come back. That really woke me up and that was right around the time when we started Rockstar Cares, is that there is a long-term benefit to give back and helping other people. So it’s become a big part of who we are as a company.

[00:24:55] RM: I couldn’t agree more, Robert. I appreciate you sharing that. I appreciate your time today. You’ve been a great guest and going into why you all self-manage and that process of doing that and building that team. Why those team members are so important, the branding, and how you’ve done that through video and social media and the importance of being on the phone. But I can’t thank you enough, Robert, for your time. Tell the listeners how they can get in touch with you and learn more about Rockstar.

[00:25:18] WS: Well, again, it’s Robert Martinez, CEO Rockstar Capital, and you can find us at You can go on Instagram @TheApartmentRockstar, which is my tagline, or YouTube at the Apartment Rockstar. We got a bunch of videos. I don’t charge for anything. It’s just content. It’s just free stuff to help you guys be better operators.

[00:25:36] RM: Awesome, Robert. That’s great. Fantastic show. Thank you so much.

[00:25:39] WS: Hey, Whitney, thanks for having me on the show. It’s been an absolutely pleasure.


[00:25:42] WS: Don’t go yet. Thank you for listening to today’s episode. I would love it if you would go to iTunes right now and leave a rating and written review. I want to hear your feedback. It makes a big difference in getting the podcast out there. You can also go to The Real Estate Syndication Show on Facebook, so you can connect with me and we can also receive feedback and your questions there that you want me to answer on the show. Subscribe too, so you can get see the latest episodes.

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[00:26:22] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to The Real Estate Syndication Show, brought to you by Lifebridge Capital. Lifebridge Capital works with investors nationwide to invest in real estate while also donating 50% of its profits to assist parents who are committing to adoption. Lifebridge Capital, making a difference one investor and one child at a time. Connect online at for free material and videos to further your success.


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