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WS476: Success Without the Sugarcoating with Collin Schwartz

Pursuing real estate full-time, either as an operator or an investor, is no easy feat. While there are some stories of meteoric rises, it is consistent hard work that moves the needle, albeit slowly at times. Our guest today, Collin Schwartz, has seen tremendous success fueled by 16-hour workdays and more sacrifices than he could count.

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In this episode, Collin walks us through his journey and how he went from tearing his hair out at his W2 to being driven by his passion for real estate. As a property manager and investor, Collin has a well-rounded knowledge of real estate. That does not stop him from learning more through continued education. He also sheds light on the meetup group that he started and how this has been instrumental in his success. Not only has it expanded his network but it has cemented him as a thought-leader in the space. Collin realized early on the power of community and has fostered his relationships and surrounded himself with experts ever since. He also shares more about the role that partnerships have played, why it’s fine to not know everything, and much more. Collin’s story is inspiring and he does not sugarcoat what it takes to succeed. Tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Collin’s background and the ‘lightbulb moment’ that led him to pursue syndication investing.
  • How a partnership led Collin to do the hard work of property management.
  • Find out more about Collin’s meetup and how it has helped fast-track his growth.
  • You have to put yourself out there to get attention and gain partners.
  • Strategic partnerships: have the same vision but different skills to succeed.
  • An overview of a deal that Collin has recently closed, how he funded it, and met his partner.
  • Some of the sacrifices that Collin made in the first year when he was getting started.
  • Building wealth is a long-term play and a lot more work that people realize.
  • What Collin has in the pipeline and where he is raising capital from.
  • The hardest part of syndication, a recent improvement, and a contributor to Collin’s success.
  • Collin’s advice for aspiring syndicators and limited partners.

[bctt tweet=”I realized that I could not rightfully spend my life, the next 33, 34 years, sitting in a cubicle, working for somebody, living for the weekends. — Collin Schwartz” username=”whitney_sewell”]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Collin Schwartz on LinkedIn

Collin Schwartz | BiggerPockets

Collin Schwartz on Facebook

Brick Town Management

Omaha Real Estate Meetup

Rich Dad Poor Dad on Amazon

Robert Kiyosaki


Millionaire Real Estate Investor on Amazon

Chris Pomerleau

Reed Goossens



About Collin Schwartz

Collin Schwartz is a full time real estate investor and owner of Bricktown Management a property management company located in Omaha Nebraska. He is married with two young children and another on the way. He is also the creator of the largest real estate meetup in Nebraska. His passion is working with fellow investors in value add multi-family real estate.

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.


[00:00:24] WS: This is your daily Real Estate Syndication Show. I’m your host, Whitney Sewell. Today, our guest is Collin Schwartz. Thanks for being on the show, Collin. 

[00:00:32] CS: Thanks, Whitney. Super excited to be here. I appreciate you having me on.

[00:00:36] WS: Yeah. Glad to have you on. It’s going to be a great conversation. You are deep into this business and have different means or avenues that you’re an expert in, and I’m looking forward to this.

But a little about Collin, he’s a full-time real estate investor and the owner of Brick Town Management, a property management company located in Omaha, Nebraska where he just told me a little bit ago that it was -20 not too many days ago. That’s a whole another level of cold right there, especially as a property manager. He has over $22 million in assets under management. Also, creator of the largest real estate meetup in Nebraska. His passion is working with fellow investors in value-add multifamily real estate.

Collin, thank you again for your time in providing your expertise to the listeners and myself today. Give us a little more about who you are, and let’s dive in.

[00:01:23] CS: Yes. So, kind of the mile-high view. Kind of like most people, I got out of college. I had my masters. I got my MBA in business and finance. I started working at a corporate career. I started climbing the ladder. I started getting promotions. I found myself in a cubicle, as many individuals possibly listening to this right now find themselves and are kind of on that perpetual rat race in which you’re slowly looking at your 401(k) grow and hoping for the day that you turn 65 in which you can actually utilize it in living for the weekends, etc.

As many other people, through a friend’s recommendation, I picked up Rich Dad Poor Dad, and immediately I think I felt really upset after I was about a third of the way through it, the fact that nobody had told me about this book before or that this wasn’t required reading. I was – My mind was absolutely blown of the idea of passive income and utilizing leverage. It seemed so simple in the way that Robert Kiyosaki described it. It just made no sense that somebody can spend 30 minutes on a class for that.

That was on January 1st, 2017. With New Year’s resolutions and everything, it was very fitting with a second child on the way at the time. I now have a third child on the way. I realized that I could not rightfully so spend my life the next 33, 34 years sitting in a cubicle, working for somebody, living for the weekends, in which, honestly, I was mostly stressed out on Sunday and which I would call Smonday, because you would actually feel Monday coming, the work, the dozens of meetings that I had.

I basically started digesting everything that I could. I got on BiggerPockets through somebody’s recommendation. I read probably 10 or 15 books within January. Millionaire Real Estate Investor just to name a few, as well as all of Robert Kiyosaki’s books. I started applying everything that was in there. I quickly realized that I needed to network with individuals, I needed to understand what my finances were, and I needed to understand the lingo in getting an education, going to meetups, etc. What I did was I asked around for individuals that were involved in real estate that were smarter than me, which isn’t very hard, and I wanted to connect myself with those individuals. They were the ones that were able to help me get going.

I started those conversations in April 24, 2017. I was able to close my first three-plex with a partner. He helped guide me through the process. He had about 50 rental units at the time. He was doing property management on those properties as well and he kind of guided my hand through the process. Within that, he said, “You know what? You should probably manage it, at least to get the experience under your belt. If you don’t like it, I’ll take it back over. We can go find a third party, but I think it’s really important for you to understand the actual process of rehabbing, leasing, residents, and the overall mechanics of a building.”

I’m truly thankful for that, because as you stated before, I do have a property management company. We manage about 350 rentals, and I’ve really, really gone towards that. Many people shy away from the property management, because it’s hard. You don’t want midnight calls. I find that if you go towards those things that are really difficult, you can start adding a lot of value to many other individuals who may not want to do that or that may not be their strength.

Kind of during that period, I was going to different meetups, etc. and I really wanted to create another one. I couldn’t stop thinking about real estate, so I basically created one. We had 10 members or 10 individuals at the first one. The next one was 30. We started it out of a – The first one was a fourplex in which I was remodeling. The second meetup was a three-plex in which my partner was remodeling. Now, we have it at a local restaurant/bar and we get attendance of about 80 to 100 individuals each month.

That’s kind of me in a nutshell and kind of the –

[00:05:20] WS: You started that meetup right after closing on that first triplex?

[00:05:24] CS: It was around then. I would say it was probably a month or two later but I found that I wasn’t getting as much as I wanted from the current meetup. Not that there was anything wrong with it, but I figured one is good, two is better. Yeah, it was a couple months after. More than anything, it was just like, “Hey! Does anybody want to talk shop, have a beer, and talk real estate, and see what we can do and figure out?”

[00:05:46] WS: I think it’s interesting and I think the listeners are thinking about this too. You were – You found yourself sitting in a cubicle, which I can relate to as well like, “Okay. I cannot see doing this for the next 30 years. You read that purple book, and it’s like your eyes were opened to that. There’s the possibility, right? It is how many people have built wealth through real estate, and I have a very similar story to that. But it was like I didn’t know this option was even out there, was even something that I could do. So that’s awesome to hear that.

But you did that January 1st of 2017. Now, $22 million in assets under management, 350 units. I mean, you haven’t been letting the grass grow under your feet. That’s for sure. I want to hear the story a little bit. I mean, you moved fast, right? I mean, it’s just now the beginning of 2020, so you have moved fast in that short amount of time. But I bet starting that meetup has been instrumental in that growth. I’m looking forward to hearing about that, because your network is so important.

What I see too that is so neat that you learned that or realized that very early on. You mentioned I want to go rub elbows with those that are way ahead of me. I want to go talk to those people.  I found just in my career, I mean, over and over and over again, it’s trying to add value people and also surrounding yourself with people that are way ahead of you, and it’s just amazing what happens in those groups.

But tell me a little bit about your group that you started and how that has helped with your fast growth.

[00:07:13] CS: Yeah. Absolutely, Whitney. I think something important for anybody that’s looking to start a group, don’t over think it. Just do it. There’s a lot of people that are interested in real estate and building wealth. Just do it. Done is better than perfect every single time. My wife may disagree with that when I’m doing laundry or doing the dishes. But in real estate, done is better than perfect a lot of the time. It has been absolutely instrumental.

I focus it around kind of a casual environment. We bring in a speaker once a month. They speak for about an hour. Sometimes, we do panels. But being able to host and facilitate that really does put myself in a light in which individuals think of you as the thought leader, although I am very much – Admittedly, I do not know everything. I admittedly don’t know anything about a lot of things. So I think surrounding yourself with those individuals and creating that group, you begin to find multiple facets of people that will help accelerate your education, your overall understanding exponentially.

We have a tendency to get siloed in our thinking, where we read a book. We’re like, “Okay. This is what we’re going to do, and I know everything.” You can have one conversation with one person that can absolutely change your overall mindset. So it’s – The meetup group has been 100% just everything that I found so many deals through that. It’s really true the first deal is the hardest. You are hunting for it. Brokers don’t give you any respect and rightfully so, because there’s a lot of people trying to get into it that flake out very, very, very quickly.

But once you start a meetup group or get involved, you can find numerous partnerships. As many of my deals have been all throughout the past year and a half or two years, individuals have brought them to me because of my expertise. I’m using air quotes in management. There’s – It’s an uphill battle every day.

[00:09:00 WS: Tell us about those strategic partnerships that’s been created possibly from the meetup or not. But tell us how this partnerships have come about?

[00:09:07] CS: Lots of them I found through BiggerPockets as well, so it’s kind of been a mixture between BiggerPockets and the meetup.

[00:09:12] WS: Give us a tip though about how you found them on BiggerPockets. What were you doing on BP to make –

[00:09:16] CS: I wrote a post. This was after I hit 25 rental units. I did the clickbaity title of 0 to 25 units in four months, and it got a lot of traction. I tried to provide a lot of good content in there, and numerous people reached out to me. It was – I was having a really rough day at my nine to five and I was like, “You know what? I need to celebrate the successes that I’m doing in,” what at the time was a side hustle, my investment. I just documented everything and I posted it there. Sure enough, a lot of people found value from it.

I think documenting is very important and putting yourself out there. Just as you are with this podcast, you need to get over the thing that people are going to think of you weird for doing that or getting the icky feeling of –

[00:09:57] WS: That’s hard at first.

[00:09:58] CS: Very, very hard. It is incredibly hard, and people are going to look down on you for it, some of them. But the people who are going to get value out of it are the people that you want to associate with.

[00:10:09] WS: I like that. No, that’s awesome. I just wondered that. Ultimately, you’re documenting what you’re learning and how you were getting to where you’re going at the time and putting that on BiggerPockets, and people are connecting with you, because ultimately they want to be where you’re at or they’re having the same issues or problems that you have overcome now and they can relate. So that’s awesome. Go back to the strategic partnerships and how – What is that? What has that been to you?

[00:10:32] CS: Yes. I do have multiple partners, but I guess I can focus on my main business partner, Chris Pomerleau. I mean, I own probably 250 of those rentals together, and we have about another hundred under contract currently. I was just listening to one of your most recent podcast with Reed Goossens and the fact that it’s good to have similar interests, but you need to have different strengths.

I am the person with 30,000 unread emails. He has zero unread emails. I handle operations. He is the one that’s juggling all the balls. He is talking to the insurance companies. He’s talking to the financers, all the different lenders. He is sending out information to all the different investors, etc. It’s really finding somebody that maybe has the same vision as you. You want to be on the same path, but having different complementary skills is incredibly important. I think that’s where him and I really connected.

Some of the other partnerships have – Individuals have brought really good deals one of my most recent projects. A younger gentlemen brought me 10 rental units we partnered on. He knew I could do the operations. Well, he has a successful wholesale business. We bought them at basically 50% of ARV, because he sees the value in it. I see the value in partnering with him as well. It’s really finding individuals that, yeah, as I said, on the same path but different skill sets.

[00:11:47] WS: Yes, very important. That was a good show. I enjoyed that as well with Reed and talking about that. It sounds like you related to that. My business partner and I are the same way. We have complementary skills where we can go so much further together, right? I can’t remember that saying but what was it? If you go by yourself, you don’t go very far ultimately. But together you go so much further. I can’t remember how – It’s a nice little way to say it, but yeah.

[00:12:08] CS: That’s true.

[00:12:09] WS: It’s – What’s that?

[00:12:10] CS: I said that was beautiful, Whitney.

[00:12:12] WS: Thank you. But it’s so true. It’s so true, and I’ve experienced it firsthand myself. It’s neat to hear your story and how you all partnered and even partnering with other people now as well, because you can see the value in that and the skill sets that they have. Tell us about maybe a recent deal that you closed, and let’s dive into that a little bit.

[00:12:29] CS: Yes. I mean, there’s been a couple that we’ve closed recently. But one of them that we – The first one of 2020 I guess is top of mind, so I’ll discuss that one. This is the younger gentlemen, the wholesaler. We’ve partnered on a couple projects before, but he brought me these multifamily deals, a four-unit and a six-unit property, and quickly realized that we’re going to be able to get it at a steep discount. So, I utilized my lenders, I guess. I kind of sent it out to a couple lenders, and then I asked a couple questions. “Hey! Since these are purchased at such a steep discount, maybe this one, that’s the four-unit, could we separate the loans?” Was the first question. The second one, the four-unit, was, “Hey! Can we fund the rehab out of pocket but can we purchase it for 0% down?” All the answers yes to that. Okay, so we don’t need to bring money for that one.

The six-unit was, “Hey! We’re going to need some construction funds. We need new windows. Three of the units need full rehabs. We’re going to need about $90,000 to fix this one up and purchase price was 222,000. Well, the appraisal came back at 426,000, so the total amount that was needed for funding was about 315,000. So, leaving us at 74% loan-to-value of the after-repair value. The bank was okay with that with us not bringing any funds down for that project either. Kind of more uniquely, something to not forget is we collected the security deposits in the prorated rent. So, we actually received a check at closing, purchased 10 units, and got a $90,000 construction line of credit on it.

It was a good way to start off 2020. I know lots of the listeners are probably like, “Hey! How do I become a GP on 150-unit project and get 5 or 10% of that GP?” Well, me and my partner own 100% of a 10-unit. I am looking at larger projects. I also own an 87-unit but I think it’s also important to look at the wins, as long as it fits your model of investing, which it does for mine. It’s local, it’s value-add real estate, it’s multifamily, and similar to syndications bringing low or no money down as the general partner.

[00:14:34] WS: You call this guy this younger fellow, but he added a lot of value here, right? He knew you could add value to him and really get this closed. But I wonder, what was the stipulation that the bank would have for this type of deal? I mean, I understand the loan-to-value and why they thought, “Okay. You know, we can still finance that 100%.” However, I’m sure they put a lot of weight on maybe your experience or somebody’s experience to actually make this happen.

[00:14:59] CS: Yeah. I would say that it – I mean, without diving into their boardroom meetings, etc., it’s got to be relationships. I mean, I’ve done some successful projects with them before. They’ve seen how those have turned out. I’m very comprehensive when I send a lender what the construction’s going to look like, what the projects look like. Also, what I’m sending to the lender, I’m also sending to the appraiser.

I think lots of individuals just assume, “Hey!  Here’s the project, All right, bank, you go do your work. Appraiser, you go do your work. I’m done. I’m focusing on the real estate. You focus on your appraisal. You focus on the money.” Although that works, you’re probably not going to optimize anybody’s situation. So, if you can hand all the data over to the lender, to the appraiser, you can really start, as I said, optimizing your situation. Yeah, I would hope that it’s the experience and the information that I provided to those parties that made them comfortable doing a project like this.

[00:15:57] WS: Where did you meet the younger guy?

[00:15:58] CS: BiggerPockets as well. Kind of funny, he always says. I’m 35 now. He’s 24. So this was two years ago. As you probably get a lot, people will reach out, “How do I invest in real estate? That’s cool.” After a while, it becomes overwhelming to answer those questions.

Well, on the fourth time, I finally responded. Not trying to ignore. Just I got busy, kids, I was working a full-time job, etc. We just started hanging out. We really started hitting it off. He – I would say any 22-year-old at the time or 23, you don’t have a lot of money, so he started looking at wholesaling. He was self-educating. He read tons of books. He’s constantly self-educating. I saw something in him. He probably saw it in me too that we’re both kind of on the same path.

[00:16:47] WS: Was he local to you?

[00:16:48] CS: Local, yup. All the partners are local in the Omaha area. But, yeah, he just was hustling and he brought me some previous projects in which we partnered on, which also had more incredible at 50% discounts. He’s very, very good at marketing and he’s becoming more and more involved. His name is Logan [inaudible 00:17:10]. He’s been able to help with the intricacies that maybe I’m having less time for. He got the property under contract. He understands how to write a contract. He now understands the negotiation processes and he’s really good at that. That is a value that he added. I mean, a tremendous amount of value.

[00:17:28] WS: You mentioned also that you were working full-time while doing all this. Is that right?

[00:17:31] CS: Yes.

[00:17:32] WS: Tell me a little about that. I tell people about doing a daily podcast. They can’t believe that we can even do a daily podcast, and I say, Well, I’ve been working full-time the whole time I’ve been doing this and doing deals.” I just cannot get over that. I would love to hear how have you been that productive while working full-time and making these deals happen.

[00:17:48] CS: Yup. I was able to leave my job in February of 2018.

[00:17:52] WS: But a year after you read that book.

[00:17:53] CS: A year after I read that book. Now, I was not rolling [inaudible 00:17:56] by any means. I had some savings and I basically said, “I’m going to burn the ships and somebody will hire me back if I screw this up, but now’s the time. Full focused, I’m going to do it. Screw it.” It was basically the conversation. My wife gave me the go-ahead [inaudible 00:18:10]. She was super supportive and still is.

But that first year was – It takes immense focus and sacrifice. When I mean sacrifice, I mean, this is kind of hard to say but it was like the first year of my daughter’s life, and I was not around much at all. The thought was in my head that, “Okay. I’m going to miss out a lot on the first year.” My wife, who was also working full-time, taking care of both kids under two or three at the time, that this sacrifice is going to pay off. But if I’m going to do it, I can’t half-ass it basically. I have to go all in.

That means not hanging out with friends, not going to the bar after work, not going to work lunches that don’t provide value on real estate. That means I am listening to podcasts and books and nothing else. Music does not fit into this scenario. I am reading every night and not watching Netflix. I am devoting all of my drive time to either podcasts or making phone calls. It is being very, very, very sensitive to your time and being very, very focused.

It was incredibly hard, every day, 60 hours a day, and I would say I still work quite a bit. It’s just a little bit different, because now I have you know people to help out. I’m not taking resident phone calls anymore, but it was no writing leases, writing purchase agreements, reaching out to sellers, doing off market, writing letters to potential sellers. It was everything and it’s a lot of sacrifice.

[00:19:45] WS: I can relate to you so much. It’s amazing all the things you just said. I think a lot of the listeners, a lot of times, if they’re getting into real estate business or starting a business, just they don’t understand the sacrifice that they’re going to have to make to really be successful in getting started. I mean, the first year or two is the hardest. No doubt about it.

[00:20:01] CS: I think many get into this, and honestly, initially I thought this too, “Hey! I’m going to own 25 rentals. I’m going to cash flow $200 a month off those rentals. I’m going to make $5,000 a month passively. I’m going to sit on my couch. I’m going to replace most of my previous income. Life is going to be good.” I haven’t found it to work that way. Maybe some individuals do, but it is a lot of work. It is a slow process to build long-term wealth. To be able to quit my job, I had to create a business out of this. I had to create the property management company so that I could fund another source of income.

For me, currently, it is not a passive sport at all, and I think a lot of individuals in the beginning are so frustrated with their jobs and are so lacking content from what they are doing that they are just like, “I need a break. This seems like it. I would love to sit on the couch and collect checks.”It turns out or at least for lots of investors is that you end up loving this and that you end up working more but you actually find a passion. But it’s a lot of work regardless.

[00:21:05] WS: Collin, are you moving into a larger – You said you’re moving into larger deals as well or you’re doing some of both still. Tell me about your progress into larger deals. I know you have quite a few units under contract right now as well.

[00:21:16] CS: Yes. Last year, we were able to close on an 87-unit apartment complex. We used agency debt on that, so Freddie Mac nonrecourse. Three years – No, two years interest only on the front end. We’re going through value-add, increasing all the rents with the goal of refinancing on the back end and also getting another three years interest only. We’ve done that. We just purchased a 48-unit and a 23-unit. We kind of pulled those together.

Currently, I have 24 townhomes under contract, kind of class B, B+. A really good area that we’re purchasing through a commercial lender and getting construction loan with the intent of refinancing on the back end with a Freddie Mac, a CBRE lender for long-term nonrecourse debt, pulling out all of our cash. Then we also have 54 units down in Kansas City under contract as well, which we’re going to pursue agency debt on.

[00:22:05] WS: You’re syndicating?

[00:22:06] CS: Yes, absolutely.

[00:22:08] WS: Where are you raising the capital from?

[00:22:10] CS: Maybe you at some point know. It’s really from the network. It really started with some BiggerPockets and just reaching out. Not really I guess the typical friends and family but other individuals that are looking to partner or looking to get into this.

[00:22:25] WS: That’s what I was looking for is your network again. It’s come back to your network. What about from the meetup or how much – Are you raising any capital from people you’ve met through the meetup?

[00:22:34] CS: Yeah, absolutely. Our last deal raised over half a million dollars in the past couple months from just the meetup alone.

[00:22:41 WS: From just the meetup. I’m just trying to –

[00:22:43] CS: Just the meetup, and that doesn’t include deals that have been brought to me, yeah, and I’m just thinking of a couple investors. I’m sure I’m missing some more and I have lots of other investors that are looking to deploy more capital. Yes, it’s putting yourself out there. There’s plenty of people out there with money, but they’re looking for somebody that has some institutional knowledge that’s willing to roll up their sleeves and do the work.

Lots of them are doctors, attorneys, etc. that are sophisticated, but they are not going to become full-time real estate investors, but they have a high income that they need to find the write-offs and they needed to put their capital and get some returns. So, yes, from the meetup, from being on podcasts, etc., but the meetup has been absolutely beneficial.

[00:23:27] WS: Okay. We’re about out of time, Collins, so just a few quick questions before we have to go. But what’s been the hardest part of this syndication journey for you.

[00:23:35] CS: Oh, boy! It’s – Everything is exponential in this business. You think that going from 1 resident to 100 residents is linear but, gosh, the paperwork and keeping all the balls in the air and everything moving forward, you just have to become more sophisticated. You have to outsource more and more things, because time becomes more and more precious. I know this isn’t directly looking at like going through a syndicated deal, but I’ve hired a company to be my CFO to handle my books, which I was doing at first. I’ve hired some interns to do the running around it.

There is just so many pieces, and staying on top of that has been – It is a constant journey every day of improving that process. I don’t know if you’ve ever read the book Traction, but I would love to get to that state. But it’s a journey there.

[00:24:23] WS: For sure. Tell me, how are you prepared for this potential downturn than everybody’s talking about?

[00:24:29] CS: Yes. I think when I got into this in 2017 that the same conversation was occurring, “Hey! It’s risky. We’re at the top of the market, etc.” I don’t have a crystal ball and I probably don’t have any great answers, but the property management and being able to control expenses internally and not entrusting somebody else to do that and building systems around that provides a bit of a buffer in which if we need to be lean, we can go lean pretty quickly.

I would say controlling the assets and being very hands-on. Obviously, purchasing at steep discounts, etc., getting into longer-term debt, nonrecourse, kind of all the typical answers. But I think really controlling the ship is what helps me sleep at night, although it keeps me up at night too but either one.

[00:25:12] WS: What’s something that you’ve done recently to improve your business that we could apply to ours?

[00:25:16] CS: Yes. I hired basically a consulting company to come and be a CFO to my books, and they have individuals there that can help with paperwork, paying bills, and just random task for my business. They also happen to be a – They run a property management company, as well as multiple other things, so they’re very familiar. Just getting that headache out of there and knowing that my financials are in really good shape and that when I pull reports, they’re accurate.

[00:25:42] WS: You said a consulting company. Are they like a bookkeeper? I mean, or are they doing more than that?

[00:25:47] CS: They are definitely a hybrid. They are doing more than that, because as I said, they’re also investors as well and own a property management company. So it’s kind of difficult to describe, but we can dive into different conversations together from maintenance to leasing structures to pricing to just numerous different systems that they’ve already implemented that they provide feedback on but also take care the books as well.

[00:26:10] WS: What’s a way that you stand out with your investors that makes them want to come back to the next deal?

[00:26:15] CS: Well, so far – I mean, once again it’s been in an up market, so I don’t want to jinx it. But I’ve been able to deliver on what the projections have been and often times exceeding them. I’ve got a high level of energy. I live and breathe this stuff. So, this is not just a job for me. This is an absolute passion. I think it’s – I would assume that would be the reason.

[00:26:35] WS: What’s the number one thing that’s contributed to your success?

[00:26:38] CS: I think initially it was just self-educating, reflecting, and being humble in the initial stages and always constantly admitting that I don’t know everything. As I said, there are some things I know nothing about. And asking questions. Surrounding yourself with smarter people and just networking. You’re going to gain something from almost everybody, so do that. Don’t silo yourself.

[00:27:00] WS: What’s your best advice for somebody who’s becoming or wanting to become an operator or a syndicator?

[00:27:05] CS: It depends on where you are. If you have never done a project before, go on and be maybe a limited partner or go purchase a duplex. Just understand the fundamentals of real estate. Read a lot. Read a lot. Listen to a lot of podcasts. Individuals, when they first are looking to invest and they reach out to me, I always have them read a few books. That’s kind of just like, “Okay. Get the basics, and then we can go from there.” Because it’ll start being kind of serendipitous where people will come to you with capital once you’ve hit that certain phase, but I think you risk it on your own at first, or at least put some skin out there before you’re saying, “Hey! I found this project. Give me $5 million, and I’m going to keep 30% of it.”

[00:27:46] WS: What about your best advice for limited partners who are maybe just getting started investing through a syndication in real estate?

[00:27:53] CS: Try to stay active with the general partner and try to tag along. Learn as much as you can. I mean, ask a lot of questions, because your questions although you may think are uneducated or that somebody else will be like, “Oh! Of course, you should know that,” the general partner may not have thought of that. Just go through and ask questions about everything with the offering memorandum. Come through and ask questions.

[00:28:19] WS: The worst questions or the ones we don’t ask, right?

[00:28:21] CS: Absolutely.

[00:28:22] WS: What’s a way you give back or a way you like to give back?

[00:28:24] CS: The meetup group is one big way. I try to take some time and speak with individuals and kind of help them through the process of becoming an investor, etc. Another one which is really cool, in December we did a little fundraiser. It’s called the MICAH House for battered women and children. We raised a couple thousand bucks for that.

We don’t charge for the meetups, so we’d really like to use that power for good and do more of that stuff. I haven’t pursued it as much as I would like to yet, but that’s kind of the focus is to be able to give back and improve the community.

[00:28:55] WS: Nice. Well, thank you for sharing that, Collin. I’m grateful for your time today in sharing just your story, your path to getting where you’re at now and not sugarcoating it either. I mean, you’re telling us 16 hours a day and 30,000 unread emails. I mean, it is. It’s a real struggle getting a business started like this, and you’ve done it though and you’re pushing through. Congratulations to you.

But I was writing the dates down of you found yourself in a cubicle and how quickly these things happened, and not just everybody can make that happen that fast. So congratulations to you and to your success. Tell the listeners how they can get in touch with you and learn more about you.

[00:29:29] CS: Yes. Reach out to me on BiggerPockets. Facebook is a good one. I’m a little bit more active on there. I like to reach out to investors on there. I’m on Instagram. It’s @collincschwartz. I’m not very active on there.

Yeah, send me some messages. I’m always looking to jump in a phone call. If you are in Omaha, Nebraska, definitely hit me up. We’d love to get together for your coffee, etc. Come to the meetup. It’s every third Wednesday of the month. Yeah, I’m always happy to have discussions with other investors.


[00:29:57] 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 the latest episodes. Lastly, I want to keep you updated. So head over to and sign up for the newsletter. If you’re interested in partnering with me, sign up on the contact us page, so you can talk to me directly. Have a blessed day, and I will talk to you tomorrow.


[00:30:38] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to The Real Estate Syndication Show, brought to you by Life Bridge Capital. Life Bridge 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. Life Bridge 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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