WS1334: The Smarter Way to Find A Mentor and Hire People | Brandon Cobb

Just when Brandon Cobb thought that life was going great for him, he got fired from his dream job. He then decided to take charge of his financial future by launching multiple business ventures. After several failed projects, his real estate business took off. He now owns a vertically integrated real estate firm managing ground-up developments and active investments in commercial real estate. How did he do it?

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In this episode, Brandon, owner, and partner at HBG Capital, talks about the keys to his entrepreneurial success. He recounts how he surrounded himself with people who are, as he says, “a lot smarter than me”, learned from a great mentor, and continued to hire the right people. Find out the smart ways he found his mentor and honed his hiring process so that he only hires people who bring the most value to his organization. Listen now and learn valuable lessons to improve your hiring process.

Key Points From This Episode:   

  • Brief background on Brandon’s current real estate business
  • How Brandon lost his sales job and was led to the real estate business after several failed ventures
  • How Brandon found his mentor and eventual business partner
  • Key questions that Brandon asks when networking and engaging with people
  • How Brandon committed and succeeded to add value to his mentor
  • How Brandon collected 5,600 addresses, potential house-flipping or wholesale deals, in five weeks.
  • Why did Brandon transition to syndication and affordable housing construction?
  • Brandon talks about building his team and hiring the right people
  • When should you hire and how do you know which positions to hire?
  • How documenting repetitive tasks facilitates training of future employees.
  • Hiring based on experience vs. culture fit
  • The interview process: initial screening, core values and behavioral interviews
  • Brandon recounts an example of hiring the wrong person.
  • Brandon’s outlook on the real estate market over the next 6 to 12 months. 
  • Daily habits and the major factor that brought him success plus the way Brandon gives back.

Tweet This!

“I ask these questions whenever I’m networking and meeting people: What are you trying to do? What are your goals? Where are you trying to take your business? What are the biggest obstacles that are preventing you from getting there? And what do you need?”

“If you failed so many times, the only decisions that are left to be made are the right decisions. You’re gonna run out of wrong decisions eventually.”

“Hire what you are best at, last.”

“Early on, if you’re doing everything, start recording, as a guide, anything that you’re doing that’s repetitive.”

“The only people that I hire are people that can teach us and bring us value to the position.”

“Figure out who’s already doing what you’re doing and figure out ways to align yourself and help them.”

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Brandon Cobb on LinkedIn

HBG Capital website

Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork by Dan Sullivan

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

Blue Ocean Strategy

Loom: Async Video Messaging for Work

Matthew 25: Housing, Help and Hope to homeless veterans and men

About Brandon Cobb

Brandon is the owner and partner of HBG Capital, a vertically integrated real estate firm providing investors with superior risk-adjusted returns and downside principal protection backed by real assets in the residential single-family construction sector in Middle TN, and Commercial Multifamily Acquisitions in the southeast. HBG Capital’s construction arm – HBG Construction, executes ground-up new developments, land development, and residential property rehabilitation in Middle TN. 

Brandon was a former sports medicine medical device sales rep before becoming a licensed GC in TN managing $16 Million+ of new development annually and active ownership in $33 million in commercial real estate. He was featured on the cover of REI Wealth magazine, Realty 411 Magazine, and has been quoted and published in Forbes magazine.

Full Transcript



Brandon Cobb (BC): When you get fired, and you’re not really sure what the next leg of your life is going to look like, take massive action and do a lot of different things. And whatever starts working first, cut out everything else and just focus on that thing.

Whitney Sewell (WS): This is your daily Real Estate Syndication Show. I’m your host Whitney Sewell. Our guest today got fired from his, quote, dream position. He was fired. He had won awards. He was pushing himself in this position and loved it. But he talks about how he was sat down in a Starbucks one day, and was like, oh. Wow, this pushed him to take charge of his financial future. He’s gonna go through how he did just that. Many things he laid out are very practical. From the questions he asked a potential mentor that built a relationship. Now, they’re in business together and growing an amazing business because he took so much action. You’re gonna hear that we hear people talking about adding value to somebody to mentor with them.But we don’t always hear how they did that right, or some practical ways that you could do that today. And he lays that out. Also, he’s gonna go into how he got into the syndication business and started raising money so that they could scale legally and do that, well. You’re going to hear that. And then we’re going to do a second interview, that’s going to lay out many more things about his business where he’s creating layers of insulation around a potential downturn to protect his business. Their business strategies are a little different than, say, multifamily syndication, or self-storage syndication. They’re doing things differently. They have a different business model. And I appreciate it, the things he laid out on how they’re preparing for another 2008. Whether it happens or not, I love that thought process of being prepared for it. And he’s going to lay that out.

His name is Brandon Cobb. He was a former sports medicine medical device sales rep before becoming a licensed GC in Tennessee managing $16 million or more of new development annually and active ownership in 33 million commercial real estate. He’s the owner and partner of HBG Capital and was featured on the cover of REI Wealth magazine Realty 411 Magazine, and has been quoted and published in Forbes magazine as well. Brandon and I had a great conversation. I know you’re gonna learn a lot from the interview with him today.


WS: Brandon, welcome to the show. Honored to meet you in person a few weeks ago at a conference that we were both at, both striving to grow our businesses and learn from some of the best in the business and doing things the best we can. It’s helpful to learn from others who have gone before us, no doubt about it. And I love that you’re doing that I knew you’d be great guests. It’s interesting, you knew that, hey, I’m supposed to be on your show. So it’s great to connect. Honored to have you on. Give the listeners a little bit about your specialty, your niche and let’s dive in.

BC: Yeah, Whitney. It was an honor and the real estate world really is a lot smaller than you think it is. Appreciate you having me on today. So, you know, when you get some capital sitting on the sidelines but you’re worried about the next recession, and your main focus is building legacy and capital preservation, what we do is we target investments where it’s designed to be insulated against market volatility. And how we do that is unique. We look for unique opportunities where there’s a good runway in the event that something’s going to happen right now. We think that there is a very unique opportunity in building affordable housing. Not to be misconstrued with Section 8 or government housing though that is its own thing but first-time homebuyer products. You hear it on the news every single day. There is a housing shortage and it’s a housing shortage of those product types that people can get into that have a combined income of blue-collar working-class families. That’s what we want to focus on. 

But before that, rewind. Once upon a time, I was a medical device sales rep. I was slinging shoulder and knee products. I really loved what I did. I thought I make great money. I get to wear scrubs. I thought that was really cool. It was my dream job and then one Friday I got promptly sat down at Starbucks and fired. I had all the trophies, the sales awards and won Rookie of the Year Award. It was a huge shock. That moment really taught me that you can be as loyal as you want to a company. You can work as many hours and perform. But at the end of the day, the company’s got to do what’s best for them. And for whatever reason, they made that decision to let me go. So I really learned that I was going to be the one taking charge of my financial future. I couldn’t depend on a big organization or corporation to do that. So I jumped in the single-family, started flipping houses, started doing some wholesaling, cut my teeth, used all my own money. Ran out of my own money. Real estate does a really good job of sucking all that up. Scratched my head and said, hey, you know we’ve got to figure something out here. So, started taking a lot of the profits and just reinvesting it back into myself. The business made a lot of hires, doing a lot of masterminds, tried to get into those rooms with people who are a lot smarter than me. And you know, when you do that for six, seven years straight and keep reinvesting in the business and yourself, something wonderful can happen.

WS: Awesome. Now, that’s some great points right there. I want to jump into, you mentioned your dream job, you were fired. It just blows my mind. We talk about it so often on the show but it still just blows my mind, how we are all taught to feel like that’s security, right? That J-O-B. You had the dream job, you were wearing the scrubs, you were receiving the awards. All those things and then you still got fired. You’re still like, what a kick in the face, for lack of better words. But that motivated you. I think it’s so easy to get depressed at that time, right? Almost lay down for a lot of people and quit. And I’m thankful that you took it, almost a kick in the pants, to take charge of your financial future. What was it about real estate though? Were you already looking into real estate? Were you already thinking that way? How, why was it that I had this dream job in this profession but then just completely pivoted over here to this other thing?

BC: Real estate wasn’t the first venture that I set up. Many, many failed ventures before that. I’ve had a motivational blog. I was a big Tony Robbins fan, I wanted to do that. I had a course that was built to help people break into medical device sales, I had multiple other things that coaching business. I was trying to get off its feet. All those failed. Honestly, real estate was the first one that took off. When you get fired and you’re not really sure what the next leg of your life is going to look like, take massive action and do a lot of different things. Whatever starts working first, cut out everything else and just focus on that thing. And that’s what happened. I was networking, going to a lot of meetups. I knew that, I had this advice, go find a mentor, the same thing we’ve always heard. But I was like, alright, I’m gonna find him and then I’m going to add as much value as humanly possible to this human being.

So, I found him at a meet-up. And I do ask these questions whenever I’m networking and I’m meeting people, and I’m engaged in a conversation. I asked them, what are you trying to do? What are your goals? Where are you trying to take your business? What are the biggest obstacles that are preventing you from getting there? What do you need? And what that does is it gives me a little bit of ammunition so that I can go figure out what that thing is. And for this particular person, he had a huge portfolio in Colorado Springs. His girlfriend was living in Nashville, and he wanted to start his business here. And his specific need was he needed some boots on the ground for deal flow. He had this secret magic sauce formula. He needed somebody who was gung-ho about going out and doing it. And I was like, I can do that. I don’t know anything about doing this but I’ll figure it out. I had a sales background so that was really good. That enabled me to be able to talk to these motivated sellers and answer the phones and do everything you need to get things out of their feet. But what I was really focused on was adding value to him and I did that by figuring out what he needed.  I was very aggressive by going out and getting him what he needed. And by the way, that guy’s still my business partner to this day. We’ve done hundreds of deals together. He runs the whole construction side of things and I raised the money and I find the deals. It’s worked out beautifully.

WS: That’s awesome. I love how you laid out even the questions that you’re asking. I love practical things like that that the listeners can take and apply today. But many failed ventures, you said, but then you knew that you needed to find somebody that was already doing this or was already successful in some way right and add value to them. Can you share that? Because I hear often that listeners as well like adding value to this mentor. Can you share how you added value to him? I love the questions that you asked to give you some ammo. What are your goals? Where’s your business going? What do you need? And yes, hopefully, he shares enough with you that you can go do some right? What was that that you did with this gentleman?

BC: I asked him, I said, so you need deal flow? He said, yes, I do. How do you do that? He goes – Easy, here’s what you do. And we created these lists. It’s your typical, you know, house flipping list, wholesaler list, your absentee list, your evictions list. I had to go down and figure out how to get these lists. Not very easy to go down to the circuit courts and figure out how to pull detainer warrants of people who are evicting tenants and pull their information. I did all that work. Then I figured out how to automate it because I figured out you could do it online and hire a VA. But he was given the secret sauce. He said, look, you want to drive these neighborhoods and here’s your app you use and every time you see a home that has really high grass, HVAC units sticking out of the window, the roof falling in, you’re going to click on it and it’s going to build a whole list of these properties. We’re going to start mailing these properties. He was paying for the mailers. In a five-week period, I drove and collected about 5600 properties all over Middle Tennessee. I can honestly say that I’ve probably, without a doubt, driven 90% of the roads at one point in time in Middle Tennessee, just collecting all these different lists. 

Then we had the list built and he’s like, now we need someone to answer the phone. So, he had the system set up. It was a call rail system. I was like, yeah, I’ll answer the phone but what do I say? And so he had a script. He had some of the systems built , he knew what to do because he had a portfolio in Colorado Springs. He just needed someone to execute. And I was very young. I think I was 26 at the time, very young, very motivated. I would do whatever it takes to get the job done. And I was just solely focused on delivering what he needed. Those were some of the things, how it evolved. And then it evolved into so much more. We figured out where my limitations were which was, Brandon is not a project manager? He should not be in charge of building new homes? I can’t say that I’ve built a new home. I completed it. I’ll never do that myself again. I’ve got a great team that does that now. But learning where my limitations were, I mean, he really stretched and pushed me and we had a lot of fun. We figured out where the right butts in the right seats were and that’s when things really took off.

WS: That’s awesome. I love how you approached him and in a short period of time, you collected 5600 addresses. Quickly you showed him that you were serious. That took a lot of work, that took a lot of time and dedication to make that happen. Having that many roads  but also you learned a lot through that process. I love how he was so willing to say, hey Brandon, here’s the script or here’s how we do this or here’s the next steps you need to do. And then you went and did it. You went and performed. Ultimately you built a relationship through that. If you hadn’t been somebody that was going to go after it and just grab-the-bull-by-the-horns type of mentality, he wouldn’t have been able to see that probably pretty quickly. He would have been on to somebody else most likely or just pushing his own business. He saw talent in you, no doubt. I just love that example because I want the listener to be able to figure that out. That mentor, that person we talked about it so often. Get a mentor. It doesn’t have to be a paid mentorship. It can be somebody, just like who Brandon found that already has all the systems in place. And they just say hey, here’s what you do. Go help me do this thing. Love that. So, you started flipping and wholesaling. Was that with him? Okay, so you start you all started that business plan and you ran out of money. Were you syndicating then? You started flipping, wholesaling, when did syndication come into the picture?

BC: We did not start syndicating until we have learned and failed. I joke that people ask me when did things start going? I said, well, at one point, you failed so many times, the only decisions that are left me made are the right decisions. I mean, you’re gonna run out of wrong decisions eventually. We did all that with our own money. We grew it up where we were doing 40-plus house flips a year, and we had done some accidental new construction projects where you come across like a tornado-damaged home or a fire-damaged home. And you’re buying it for less than what the land is worth. And you’re like, okay, what if we just cut out all the stuff that’s black and burned? Get a structural engineer, get the city out here, make sure that we’re covered and just, you know, frame-up. So, we’ve done a few projects like that. So, seven or eight projects, kind of onesie, twosies over the years. And then we just noticed that the market was shifting. We could no longer make $40-$50 grand a home on a $250,000 house. It was like $25 to $35,000 on a $350,000 house, much smaller margins. And everything that we do is designed to be able to insulate risk. I didn’t like these 8%,10%, 11%, 12% profit margins. I like the 25% profit margins we were getting four or five years ago. That was drying up because the market was getting too saturated. 

And so we did a pause and the light bulb went off where we literally built a house faster than we were rehabbing houses. I kid you not. It had this full gut rehab and we built this home in like six months. And we were rehabbing this other one, it took like eight months. And that’s when the light bulb really went off when we realized, wow, the margins are about three times higher on these new builds than they are on these house flips. And if we can do it faster than flipping houses, why in the world would we do that? So, we wanted to make sure that we were vertically integrated. During this time, we were trying to cut costs as much as possible and reduce the interest rates that you’re paying. In order to do that, you ultimately need to self-manage. So, we had this great sales arm that was built out. Had a great brand, people were selling us their land, selling us their houses. Then we had the issue with contractors. Everybody has problems with the GCs and all the good ones are really, really busy. So, we went, we got our general contractor’s license, self-managed everything, reduced costs, decreased the timelines and pivoted over to doing just new construction. 

Everyone’s heard of this term called Blue Ocean, right? You know, Red Ocean versus Blue Ocean. When we pivoted over and just started doing new construction, all of a sudden, we had more deals than we could ever find. I mean, it was the whole opposite problem that we had in the house flipping world where you’re going on 10 appointments and getting one deal and you’re talking to 30 people to get one deal on the phones. I mean, the whole machine built. We were talking with just a handful of people because we’re very laser-focused on our approach. Because we knew the areas that we really wanted to be in, that were doing really well and having a lot of appreciation. And when we pivoted and we started doing that, all of a sudden, boom, we had more deals and we know what to do with. 

So, naturally we ran out of our own money which stagnated growth. We know we built these houses and we’re like, what do we need to do to really take off like a rocket ship? And that’s when we started syndicating. That’s when we started bringing investor partners into the deal giving them great returns, passive income. They’re getting three-week updates, complete with all the photos and video walkthroughs. They really love that they’re recommending their friends and family to us when we were able to pull our own funds out of these deals and use it to hire people, invest in the coaching, you know, bigger builders who are doing bigger, better stuff than us. Investors could come in and get a piece of the deal. That’s when we started syndicating. That’s when things really started taking off.

WS: Incredible. Love that. I love the picture you paint too. We notice this blue ocean strategy, ultimately, right? We had almost a leg up on the market or on the competition. You had a method that maybe not as many, there wasn’t as much competition. So you all had a method of doing things that now all the deals are coming in. You didn’t have enough capital. It’s kind of a good problem, bad problem, right? Seems to be a constant problem. It’s one of the other things in our business. There’s either more deals and not enough money or vice versa. But at this point, you’re growing quickly. You found an opportunity, making things happen. You figured out you’re gonna have to syndicate and you mentioned earlier, too, that you made a lot of hires. Was that during this time too? I want to get into, go into syndication route, and starting to raise money in just a moment. But when did you start hiring people?

BC: We made our first hire probably five years ago. It was when I was doing everything still.

WS: In relation to moving into syndication, needing more money. Were you all hiring people then? You already have a team that you had hired, I know you’d had some people.

BC: We already had a team built out. Yeah, the construction arm was already built out during our house flipping days. We had a construction coordinator who was set up to just purchase the materials, just reduced costs with the vendors, contract negotiation, build the Gantt charts, and the timeline per project that was like his baby. And then the project managers, their sole job was just to show up and make sure the project stayed on time. And then we had a superintendent who’s kind of over everything. He’s got the expertise, working with the architects, the civil engineers, the surveyors. Basically, making sure everything is entitled, and we’ve got a permit in hand so that we’re ready to close on it. And we’ve got everything set up with the blueprint to make sure that we can estimate the costs really, really well. That was kind of the backbone team that we had with the construction.

WS: Awesome. Everybody asks, when do I make my first hire? So, I just wanted the progression there to doing that it never ends it st. You’re right. You’re always hiring, always looking for more talent. The sooner the better, once you can start building that team out. It’s interesting to hear you say too, when you start making some money ultimately, we’re a one-man or two-man show until we finally make a little money. Then, we can start growing our business and hiring the right people. But it’s just a transition and typically a difficult transition because you are doing everything for a while. It’s almost best that way to some degree because you’re learning so much. But it’s hard. It’s a difficult time for most. But, you’re gonna say something about that? Go ahead.

BC: Here’s the best thing, in my opinion, that you can do. This is what worked for me when you’re talking about should I hire, should I not hire? How do I know which position to hire? Hire what you’re best at last. For us, that was sales because I had a sales background. So, I was not good and I did not like project management. So, that was one of the first hires that we made. That’ll give you a little bit of leeway into figuring out what you should be doing with your team. Also, early on, if you’re doing everything, start recording as a guide, anything that you’re doing that’s repetitive. We have onboarding guides for every single position. There’s a great software called Loom. You can literally click a button and record yourself doing something. It’s got your face, it’s got the screen. Build out a whole onboarding guide like you’re going to just train somebody to do your job. Start doing that now. Do it on a weekly basis. So, by the time you make this hire, they’ve at least got 70 to 80% of what they need to be doing. And then it’s their job to figure out the last 20%. 

And by the way, when you’re hiring somebody, you know, we joke, got this book on our desk called “Who Not How”, make sure you’re hiring somebody that can teach you something about the position. The biggest mistake I made when I was hiring is I felt like I need to hire somebody. And I needed to have all the tools for them to get trained up on the job. Now, the only people that I hire are people that can teach us and bring us value to that position. We’re in the midst of hiring a superintendent. And if this superintendent can’t walk our jobs, and look at our systems and processes and poke holes in it and fill in gaps and show us how we can do it better, we don’t hire that person. We do that for every single position.

WS: Love that thought too. Tell me your thoughts though on experience. You’re hammering on experience there, which is so crucial for most positions. What’s your thoughts on experience versus culture fit?

BC: We hire for culture first. We’re big EOS Traction fans. They gotta get it one and have the capacity to do it. But we’ve got a whole system built out around hiring. So, before we even have an in-person interview – I’ll run through our process real quick because I geek out on this stuff – it’s so important. So first, we have a very brief 15-minute phone call. Why are you looking for work? First question I ask is, ‘Tell me what stood out most about the job and the opportunity to you.’ And if they can’t tell me anything, it shows me that didn’t show up for this call and it’s an immediate no. We’ll figure out what their income requirements are. If they’re looking for any special benefits, and then what questions they have. And again, if they don’t have any questions for me, that’s a red flag. We asked them those five basic questions. Poof, they passed the test. Now I want to see if they can figure out technology. I tell them, hey, I want you to send me a video answering these questions. And so you know, one of our core values is growth. Everybody in our organization is listening to podcasts or reading books or trying to get to the next level. So, I’ll ask them that point-blank. Tell me the past four or five books or podcasts you’ve listened to and what you learn from it. And if they say, ‘I don’t read books’, or ‘I don’t do podcasts’, boom, they’re out. It’s that simple. So we built questions that are designed to elicit the core values. If they have the core values, then we’ll do an in-person interview. 

The in-person interview is all about the skillset. We like to do what some call behavioral-style interviewing where we don’t like to ask questions, ‘Tell me about your greatest strength’, ‘Tell me about your greatest weakness’. We like to talk about, tell me about a time where, let’s say, it’s a superintendent, tell me about a time where you had to make the decision to fire a subcontractor. How did you do it? What did you say? And how did you go about finding the next sub to fill in it? So, we asked questions designed for them to tell us stories around specific experiences that show that they’ve got the skills in order to do the job?

WS: How did you learn your hiring process? Is there a specific book or two? I’ve talked about hiring a lot on the show, and it’s incredible, the things you’re saying right now are so crucial. I hope the listeners are taking notes. This will just save them so much time and headaches down the road if they’ll just do some of those things you just mentioned. How did you learn that process?

BC: The behavioral-style interviewing actually came from medical device sales. When I was trying to break into the industry, I met a great guy named Tim. He was regional sales manager of the Depuy Synthes Spine. He’s like, I’m not going to hire you because I don’t hire people with experience. That was the Catch-22 about medical device sales. Everybody wanted to hire people with experience and you’re like, well, how do I get the experience? And he gave me this behavioral style interview. He said, have stories designed to answer these questions and you will do well in the interview. So, that was where the behavioral style interviewing came from. The core values came from Gino Wickman, the Traction book, Get A Grip, great book. Get A Grip tells a story in a fable form. I love the story stuff more than I like the hard advice books. But that’s where the core value stuff came in.

WS: Love that. I couldn’t recommend that stuff enough either. You’re not going to implement all of it immediately. But over some time, you’re going to have a better organization, no doubt about it. So, grateful for that. Brandon, unfortunately, we’re running low on time. I wanted to get into the syndication and raising money. We’ll have to have you back so we can dive into some of that. This hiring stuff is so important. I get questions around that so often. I didn’t expect this to go into that. But I’m glad that we did because you laid out many great things there, very practical things that the listener can do right away to ensure they’re hiring the best candidate. A couple of things, though, around what you were mentioning. You talked about hiring, talked about asking them questions where they respond in a story, experience. It’s so good. It allows them to tell you more also, that maybe you wouldn’t have known about them otherwise. Allows you to ask more questions about what they’re saying. Are there any examples where maybe you hired the wrong person and it just didn’t work out? What were those red flags? Or has that happened?

BC: Oh, yeah. The advice is “fast to fire, slow to hire”. We’re very slow. There are five interview processes that they take. Sometimes, you can do everything right and you feel like you got a great candidate. Tell your story, we had a guy who was for a project manager position. He was coming up from Florida, we flew him up. We loved him. This guy was hilarious. He could make you laugh. He had a very magnetic personality. And we did the whole work day where he flew up. He drove around with another one of our PMs and my partner, going into the project, and he was pointing out things. And man, we thought that it was great. He had the experience because he worked for a company down there that did remodel work for fire-damaged stuff, and flooded stuff. I forget the name of the companies. But it was very, very deep work. We made the mistake where his skill set, he was used to working with insurance companies. Had vendors lined up and they could pay for whatever. Big part about what we do is negotiation, right? You got to be able to negotiate with the contractor right on the spot and figure out how to solve that problem as it happens, especially in a new construction project. He wasn’t used to that. He was used to, okay cool, fires here, insurance is paying this much. Here’s the sub, I’m kind of done. It was kind of this overpayment of the subcontractor. He almost didn’t even need to manage anything. 

That’s not how it works in the construction world. You’ve got to show up every single day and make sure your guys are on time, they’re being managed properly. So, you’ve got to pick this up. He didn’t have a whole lot of say in who got picked. It was a lot of what the insurance companies were doing. So, he had the experience but there wasn’t a direct alignment. We could have done a little bit of a better job of maybe asking him some questions around, tell me about a time you were required to negotiate with a subcontractor when pricing changed? How did you do that? Tell me about that item. So, it’s a learning experience. The best thing you can do when that does happen, though, is figuring out where you did go wrong in the hiring process and make sure you add that to your hiring process so that it doesn’t happen again.

WS: All right, Brandon, switching gears just a little bit. What are your thoughts on just the real estate market over the next six to twelve months? And is the way that you all are operating changing because of anything you expect?

BC: Yes, it is. We, because of construction volatility, we’re raising more money upfront and buying as much materials upfront as humanly possible. So, we felt it when things started to rise where we got our bids in, we locked in pricing and then four or five months later, when it comes time to buy some of these products, drywall, some of the cabinet stuff towards the end of the project, prices were just up 20%-25%. We felt that. So, now what we do is we just secured two warehouses in two locations where we’re doing most of our builds, and you’re gonna see those warehouses full of materials because we’re buying it all upfront. We don’t want prices to creep up on us anymore. That’s one thing that we’re doing. The next is we’re being very conservative in our costs. So, how are we doing that? We’re not building as big of homes anymore, believe it or not. We actually just had eight homes that were going to be around, we had a 1650 square foot product, 1850, and like a 2200. There’s a little area where there’s eight, and it’s right around everything else. That’s what we’re doing. You know when construction costs went up, we just said, you know what, the better products right now are the more affordable products, and that’s what we’re going to build. 

So, instead of doing homes that are larger, we’re doing smaller homes because we’re getting better traction with that product type. And with interest rates creeping up, making mortgages more expensive, we want to make sure that we’re in that asset class that people pivot into when things turn. When there’s a real estate recession or an economic recession, certain needs don’t go away. You still gotta buy groceries, right? Might not be a bad place to have the money into. The need to live is still there, right? People just don’t live in these luxurious living arrangements. They pivot towards those more affordable living arrangements and that’s what we want to be. We want to be in that B class, still great neighborhood, affordable product but you’re not in like the war zone area. As far as where the housing markets gonna go, I think we’re still okay for the next six months. The reality is, no one has a crystal ball and nobody knows. And if they tell you that they know, they’re lying to you. But you can see about six months in the future, without any crazy black swan events, right now, you’ve got interest rates that are going up that’s pushing towards price suppression, and you’ve got all this money printing that’s going on, that’s pushing inflation. You’ve got record housing appreciation, record-low inventory, record-high demand. I mean, the only thing I can, for sure, predict over the next six to nine months is volatility. You have these ginormous forces pushing on each other and that’s going to have some kind of a big effect. One of those forces is going to pop and you’re going to have a big transition over into whatever that area is. So, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I think that affordable housing products are going to remain very attractive, Class B, Class C, value-add multifamily where you can kind of help dictate what the price is through the value at play. I think that’s going to remain very good. 

Markets where the government didn’t shut everything down during Covid, very business-friendly states, I think are a great place to be. One of the reasons we like Tennessee is there are no income taxes. That’s huge, right? Tennessee and Florida, that didn’t shut everything down during Covid, that’s pretty good safe haven. Areas where you’re having massive growth, that’s one of the reasons we like Nashville, one of the top 10 fastest growing cities in the United States for the past seven years. You want to be in those areas when you’re going to have some inflation when and if it does. But I do think that we’re on the last leg. I don’t think we’re going to see humongous price appreciation like we have in the past. What that looks like is it’s going to take a sharp turn and go down? I don’t know. But whatever happens, we’re going to be ready for it.

WS: Awesome. What about some daily habits that you have that helped you achieve success?

BC: I work out every single day. I’m kind of addicted to it. I don’t watch TV. I constantly am looking for ways to improve my body being balanced in business. I make sure that I take care of myself and my family first. So, working out, getting in good shape. I guess it’s not really daily habit with my sibling trips with my family every single year but I’ll make sure that I’m focused on whatever the most important thing is. I tend to obsess about a particular subject before I move on to the next. Right now, the biggest problem that we have hindering our growth is just capital. So, it won’t be like that forever. We’ve got more deals right now than we know what to do with. So, I’m constantly trying to find the strategic partners who I can align myself with and bring into our business to have that growth. I’m focused on that every single day, working out, figuring out who it is that I need to attract into my business and figure out ways on how to add value to them.

WS: What’s the number one thing that’s contributed to your success?

BC: Oh man, “Who Not How”. I gotta go back to that again. I sound like a broken record at this point. But yeah, like I said, we were talking before the show, I’m not a very smart guy. I’m just figuring out, like right now, I’m trying to get in rooms with builders who are doing 300 to 1,000 a year. We had a little get-together at my buddy’s house the other day. There was a guy in there that was building 2,000 homes in Denver, Colorado. Oh my gosh, you better believe I wanted to talk to that guy. That, by far, has been the biggest thing. Figuring out who’s already doing what you’re doing, and figuring out ways to align yourself and help them.

WS: How do you like to give back?

BC: Oh, so we have a program where we’ve actually got one of our developments, it’s a 36-townhome development. We’re actually giving away one of the homes to a family who lost a veteran. And we’re solely focused on reducing veteran homelessness in Middle Tennessee. We’ve worked with the local veteran affairs community and we’ve identified there are about 247 homeless vets. My partner’s in active military, by the way. These vets, so we really wanted to do something that was centered around what he’s done for the past 16 years in the military. We’re really rallying around how do we make a big impact in this community to reduce veteran homelessness. We’re trying to get it down to 90%. So, 247, down to about 26. We’ve got this amazing organization called Matthew 25 which works with VA and helps men get back on their feet. We’re looking to do some stuff with them, and maybe find somewhere where they can help more people because they’ve got a pipeline that is already set up. But we’re really gung-ho about reducing veteran homelessness in Middle Tennessee. Memorial weekend just came up. Every Memorial Day, I think about all the soldiers who gave their lives. And the biggest insult that we can do to them is to not live our life to the fullest. Because if I was one of those guys and I gave my life for people to have this amazing life, I would be really upset if they were just living it meaninglessly and not taking advantage of it.

WS: Love that desire to help them and you’re all focused on it, even giving a home away. That’s incredible. So, appreciate your all’s desire to do that. Brandon, pleasure to have you on the show. You’ve laid out so many great things for the listeners. I love the Blue Ocean strategy but even your backstory before that. How you were fired but how that pushed you forward. Even some failed ventures then finding a mentor and how you went through that. I think there are so many practical steps there that can help the listener to then even being vertically integrated, the issues with GCs. You all brought that in-house. You got a Blue Ocean strategy that was better but it’s still hardships. It’s interesting how struggles push us in a direction that often improves us, helps us to be better. Your story just laid out numerous of those. But I look forward to having you back. I want to get more into how you all transitioned into syndicating, capital raising. You mentioned before we started recording, everything you’re doing, your strategy right now is done with the expectation of another 2008 happening. So, I want to get into how you’re doing that as well, what that means. So, listeners, you know, be looking for that next interview with Brandon. Hopefully, we can record that soon. Brandon, have a blessed day. How can listeners get in touch with you and learn more about you?

BC: Yeah. If you’re somebody who’s interested in building a legacy and you’re focused on capital preservation, if you got some money set aside but you’re not really sure what to do with it and you’re thinking, oh, you know, the next recession might wipe me out. What we do is we invest investors’ capital into recession-resistant real estate that’s designed to be insulated against market volatility. And how we do that is unique. We’ve got a ton of free resources on our website,

That’s Harry, Bob, Gary capital dot net. Feel free to go grab our free ebook, “Passive Income from Recession-Resistant Real Estate”. And then if you’re somebody who’s new to this, we’ve got a book called “100 Questions investors Should Be Asking Before Investing” that by far is going to deliver the most value to you. Everything is designed around just giving back and educating you so that you can make the best decision on who to go with. And we’ve also got a calendar on our website. Feel free to schedule a call if you want to talk about recession-resistant real estate, learn more about it. We’d love to speak with you. You get me not somebody else. I love talking with people and I’m kind of a geek when it comes to the subject.



WS: Thank you for being a loyal listener of the Real Estate Syndication Show. Please subscribe and like the show, share it with your friends so we can help them as well. Don’t forget, go to where you can sign up and start investing in real estate today. Have a blessed day!


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