How do you leave a lasting legacy to your loved ones?
We welcome Jordan D’Silva today to talk about his journey and celebrate his late father, who built their business from the ground up. His story is an example of how minorities can create wealth and pass it down to their children. Jordan reflects on lessons his father taught him and how he’s following in his father’s footsteps to preserve his legacy.
Jordan D’Silva is a 25-year-old real estate investor from Dallas, TX. He is CEO of Web City
Properties, an investment company started by his father in 2005. Web City Properties owns and
manages over 500 units compiled of single-family rental properties, small multifamily, and
commercial properties, and mortgage notes and is currently investing in the Dallas Fort Worth
Market. Jordan enjoys taking on difficult value-add properties, leading teams, and providing quality housing with great customer service. Jordan also runs a nonprofit dedicated to providing
solutions for families living in poverty. In his free time, Jordan enjoys traveling, sporting events, and trying new foods.
[00:01 – 10:37] Who is Jordan D’Silva?
- Jordan shares how his father who immigrated from India to the US
- Getting into real estate, buying in low-income areas, and carrying notes
- He lost his business but did not give up; he started another company in Dallas
- His father trained him and Jordan believes it’s his responsibility to manage what he built
- Currently, they are looking into multifamily and self-management plays
[10:38 – 15:00] A Legacy Beyond Wealth
- His father showed confidence in him that he can continue the business and he is always striving to make his dad proud
- Jordan did not feel bound to real estate because his father had given him the freedom and flexibility to do other things he enjoys
- The biggest thing he learned from his dad is work ethic
[15:01 – 24:18] Finding Value in Unexpected Places
- The importance of working hard while working smart
- His father recognized opportunities in low-income, neighborhoods, invested in people he could train, and served immigrant and minority customers
- Like his father, Jordan and his team go where there’s less competition
[24:19 – 25:06] Closing Segment
- Watch out for part 2 of our conversation with Jordan!
“I got to commend him for not guilting me with that responsibility for the rest of my life and giving me that freedom.” – Jordan D’Silva
“He combined that work harder with work smarter by doing both. He was going to outsmart you and he was going to outwork you.” – Jordan D’Silva
“It’s twofold: getting into your niche and being where there’s less competition, but also having an appreciation and a willingness to be in the community and engage with these lower-income neighborhoods.” – Jordan D’Silva
Let’s get connected!
[00:00:00] Jordan D’Silva: When it comes to like immigrant parents or when it comes to parents that started businesses and they’re really worried about their kids not taking over the business and running it just like they ran it is that he would tell me that, you know, if you like to do something else, you want to be in sports or, whatever you want to do with your life, you know, you can do that and do real estate. And I think that’s, what’s special too about real estate is that it allows you to set your life up in a way that you can pursue other interests. It doesn’t have to be your full-time job if you don’t want it to be.
[00:00:57] Nicole Pendergrass: Hi, everyone. Welcome back. I just need to tell you today’s episode is when you really, really don’t want to miss it. We speak to Jordan D’Silva, which is, he’s super inspirational. He’s a 25-year-old real estate investor from Dallas, Texas. He’s currently the CEO of Web City Properties, which is an investment company started by his father in 2005. Web City Properties owns and manages over 500 units, compiled of a mix of single-family, rental properties, small multifamily, and commercial office buildings. They hold mortgage notes and they’re currently investing in the Dallas Fort Worth market. We actually talked about his father’s journey and him immigrating here from India and going to California and actually being in Compton, California, and investing there. And he was going all the places no one else wanted to go, and he was creating an impact in areas that other people were shying away from. And that is very apparent in how that’s spilled over into Jordan’s whole persona and the way that he runs the company now because unfortunately Jordan’s dad passed a couple of years ago, and we talked about how that impacted him, and how he’s still carrying the torch, and how his dad actually was very detailed with the estate plan for how all the assets were going to get passed down and who was going to manage the portfolio. And so that’s kind of what we talk about on this show is how do we pass down our assets that we build up to our children and our future generations so that they don’t squander it. So we get to see a real-life example of that happening. And Jordan has just like a phenomenal head on his shoulders. You won’t regret listening to this show in its entirety. Jordan actually enjoys taking on difficult value add properties, just like his father, leading teams, and providing quality housing with great customer service. He also runs a nonprofit dedicated to providing solutions for families living in poverty. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, sporting events, and trying new foods. And so with all that said, this was just super impactful because what Jordan is doing with his father’s company and the family company now is just all-encompassing of what we are trying to do and accomplish with this show, with my own real estate investing. And it kind of lets me see an example of someone who’s further ahead than me on their journey and how they’re actually implementing the same type of impactful investment strategies that I’ve always wanted to do. So it was a very great episode for me and it helped me see the possibilities. And I know it’s going to do the same for you, so make sure you stay tuned.
[00:03:55] Nicole Pendergrass: Hey everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the Share The Wealth Show. This is the show where we talk about strategies to build, grow, and protect minority wealth. I guess I’m having Jordan D’Silva with us today and he has been so patient, I’m a whole mess today.
[00:04:15] Jordan D’Silva: Great.
[00:04:15] Nicole Pendergrass: I just got off of recording another episode, a previous episode, and I’ve been having to be on the phone with my contractor. I’m trying to like, just do all these other things and he’s sitting there so calm.
[00:04:26] Jordan D’Silva: That’s the life that we’re called for, right?
[00:04:28] Nicole Pendergrass: This is the life that we’re called for, yeah. Oh, man, but thank you. Thank you, Jordan, for hopping on. I’m glad that we had a call a little while ago and got to meet each other, at least with air quotes, virtually, but yeah, I gave a brief overview of what you’ve been doing, but can you actually tell the listeners a little bit about your journey and how it started? I don’t know how far back you want to go but, especially anything that was mindset that you really had to shift to go in the direction that you are today. And if nothing else, just basically how you got to where you are today and what were those big transformational moments or opportunities, mindset shifts, anything that you want to share that you think is impactful.
[00:05:13] Jordan D’Silva: Yeah, for sure. I think, you know, I’m super fortunate and it all starts with my dad. So his story is what’s really remarkable. I’m just lucky to be able to continue his legacy. So my dad was born in India, grew up in poverty, grew up in a cycle of poverty. And he dreamed of coming to America when he was young, and he dreamed of achieving the American dream, which was a long shot for somebody of his upbringing. And somehow, some way, you know, when he was 21, he got to the US. He studied. He went to California, in the seventies and he started a manufacturing company and then he realized, you know, the guy next door has a BMW. He says, you know, what do you do for a living? The guy says I’m in real estate. So he says, okay, I think I’m in the wrong industry. He gets into real estate as soon as he can. He gets into multifamily out in California, actually doing, working in areas that most people would want to shy away from. He was in Compton. He got really involved in the inland empire of California, really involved in mobile home parks, so a lot of asset classes and areas that people would shy away from, and that was his calling card and would be for the rest of his career is going where no one else is willing to go because. I think when you grow up in poverty like he did or grow up in with a tough life, you know, his parents passed away at pretty young ages. You know, his father passed away and he was forced to work as a teenager be to support the family. So what he had been through, you know, working in areas that were tough to manage was nothing for him because he had that that passion and that drive to succeed and get out of poverty. So really the mindset shift that you say was him in that early part of his career when he came to America and having that drive that was very rare even in his family. I think, you know, he was the one that had the most motivation and hunger to be in real estate to grow his real estate company. He fast forward to a couple of years later and he actually ends up losing a lot of money in real estate. He gets over-leveraged. The properties that he was owning in those areas, they start to decline, industries move out, tenants move out. And so he finds himself in a really tough situation not only with the business, but with his brother who he he was in business with. So really tough situation. Some people may have just said, okay, we have some success, we still have some money. Let’s just get to our nine to five careers and enjoy our lives. He said I’m not about that. He started another real estate company, this time doing single family. Eventually, in 2005, he sold out of California and moved to Dallas. And that’s when we started doing single family. So he started doing single-family in low-income areas. Again, working in places that people would shy away from, buying properties that needed, you know, as much work as you can need without totally tearing down the property. And so he would do those, he would fix them up, and then he would sell them and carry back the note. So was really in the note business, you know, flipping, but you carry back the note, you’re able to produce more long term cash flow that way, tax benefits, of course, to that as well. And so that’s what he did for about 15 years, and unfortunately, you know, he passed away in 2020. And so that’s kind of where I came into the picture. I graduated from college in 2018. I was fortunate to have one year in 2019 to be able to learn from him, see how the business ran. He had grown it from 2005 having just really just himself. He started in a converted garage in our first home in Dallas. And then now we have 12 employees, we’re in a two-story office building that we own. And that was all him. So he really built something in the 15 years that he was working in Dallas. And so in 2020 when he passed away, you know, that was obviously a very tough time, I think, for everybody with COVID and he actually passed away right before COVID. And so for me, I was kind of left with a great opportunity. He had taught me so much in just one year and then he’d also, you know, brought me up with the work ethic and the planning, which I think we’ll talk about later, but the planning of knowing of course, that he’s going to pass away one day and what is my responsibility? So I was so fortunate that when he did pass away, even though it was scary, I knew exactly what I was supposed to do. I knew exactly what he trained me to do and for him, he said, I like to build things. I don’t like to manage things. And so that was my responsibility. I knew it from the beginning, my responsibility is to manage what he built. And so that’s what I’m doing today, you know, fast forward two years. We still are in the single-family business with notes as well as a lot of rental properties that we own and manage in-house. And in 2021, we kind of had this shift of, well, how do we scale this and said, how do I scale what he built over over 15 years? And so multifamily was the answer to that after a lot of soul-searching, researching, networking. Multifamily has been that answer. And so for the last two years or so now we’re year and a half. We’ve been working in multifamily. We got our first deal in April, a 12-unit, working on getting more deal flow, working on connecting with potential partners and in the Dallas area. We’re looking for, you know, self-management plays because that’s what we have in-house. We’re looking for high value add with our construction experience. So we feel like we have a versatile team. He built something great. And I’m just trying to build on what he gave us.
[00:10:37] Nicole Pendergrass: Wow. What a story. Firstly, I want to say, I’m really sorry for your loss. Like, two years ago is still pretty recent that, you know, you still have those thoughts and you’re like, oh, I need to tell my dad that. And then you’re like, crap. You know, like, that happened to me before, too, like when my dad passed, which was way long ago now, like 2010. But it’s still…
[00:10:59] Jordan D’Silva: It’s still, it always hurts a little bit, right?
[00:11:01] Nicole Pendergrass: Yeah. It always hurts, especially, not related, but then, you know, father’s day, everyone’s saying happy father’s day to my husband. And we said happy father’s day to his dad. And then my daughter who’s four says to me, oh mom, you got to tell your dad happy father’s day. And like, why don’t you call your dad? And so I had to explain to her, you know, that is those moments that like, they’re so perceptive. This is really not even about that but, you know, it goes with the story. You know, what it is about that because this is about legacy and this is about creating generation or knowledge, and finances, and stability in our future, you know, generations that come after us. That is exactly what your father did for you.
[00:11:43] Jordan D’Silva: And for myself, whenever we have a proud moment, you want to be able to tell your dad, you know, and your mom, look what I’ve done and make them proud. And so it is tough and it’s, you know, it’s especially tough, you know, just personally like wanting to make him proud and see what I’m doing with his legacy and hoping that he approves of what I’m I’m doing. And so, yeah, you definitely want to have that gratification from him. And I don’t get to have that, but, you know, I think it’s almost like, you know, he planned it out so well. I know that I’m executing his plan. And so I don’t have any doubts that, you know, he’d be approving what I’m doing.
[00:12:21] Nicole Pendergrass: Yeah. And that he’s instilled with you such knowledge that even if you want to grow and expand beyond what he planned. And he, you know, just having confidence that he taught you so much that there’s no way he can’t approve of what you’re doing ’cause you’re not going to just all of a sudden just move your head, and go crazy, and try to do, you know, I don’t know, something that’s completely out of the wheelhouse, right? So I know he’d be proud of that.
[00:12:44] Jordan D’Silva: What’s remarkable is that, you know, I think a lot of times when it comes to like immigrant parents or when it comes to parents that started businesses and they’re really worried about their kids not taking over the business and running it just like they ran it is, that he would tell me that, you know, if you like to do something else, you want to be in sports or whatever you want to do with your life. You can do that and do real estate. And I think that’s what’s special too about real estate is that it allows you to set your life up in a way that you can pursue other interests. It doesn’t have to be your full-time job if you don’t want it to be. And now, in my case, I love real estate. Why would I not love it? But the fact that he gave me that flexibility to feel like I’m not bound to a business for the rest of my life was really freeing ’cause I don’t have to have that guilt if I decide that one day I want to sell properties and be more passive and get into other things with my life. So I got to commend him, you know, for not guilting me, with that responsibility for the rest of my life and giving me that freedom.
[00:13:40] Nicole Pendergrass: Yeah. And you know what, and I was going to mention that. That’s exactly what you said, that people build their empires and then want their kids to take over. But what if their kids don’t want to take over? Where is that flexibility? And I think like you just mentioned, your dad gave you that flexibility to do, to not have to do it, only the business, but you can set up the system so that you could still do it, but not have to spend as much time doing if you want to spend time on something else that you enjoy. So it seems like your dad was like a systems guru. Is that wise to say? I think you should package all his knowledge into like a systems book, like how to build teams and systems ‘Cause I’m sorry, that was selfish ’cause I need that.
[00:14:23] Jordan D’Silva: It’s sad because I was thinking, you know, before he passed, I was like, he tells me knowledge so much all the time. In 2019, especially I was working with him every day. And like, he would tell me so much every day and I was like, I am not documenting this enough and I’m going to be sorry for it. And I was, but I luckily, a lot of it’s still in the brain. I can, you can see what he did with the company and be able to document exactly how he built things. And I would say the biggest thing that he taught me was my work ethic. I mean, at the end of the day, there’s a lot of things you can do system-wise, but in his case, he also outworked everybody else, and so I think that’s what to me is special.
[00:15:00] Nicole Pendergrass: Okay. Now, what about the whole work smarter, not harder philosophy? Like, did he put anything into it, and even though he’s working hard, that would take some things and, like, make it, I don’t know, run smoother or whatever. Like, what do you feel about that philosophy versus seeing your dad work hard? Because, you know, with, sorry, like the whole law of attraction and mindset, oh, money flows to me easily, and without struggling, you know, all of that stuff, it sounds good. But is that true? Like, everyone who’s successful works hard, but what do they do to still have some people who are successful. Say all these mantras that, you know, money flows to you easily and that you work smarter, not harder, but then, on the other hand, people are working hard. So how do you reconcile that?
[00:15:50] Jordan D’Silva: Well, I think you can have Guy A that he’s working, you know, 16-hour days, and he’s exchanging his time for his money because he doesn’t have systems. He doesn’t have employees, he doesn’t do research to figure out how he can build those systems. But then you could have Guy B who does all that but also works 16-hour days, multiplying those systems and putting in the hours to grow them and scale them. I think that’s what my dad did. Most people think that you can’t scale with single-family. That’s why they get into multi because they want to scale. Well, in his case, he was buying 50 properties a year in tough areas, rehabbing them. You know, and so, and he had systems, he had great crews, he had employees that he built up, he developed. He was notorious for hiring people that did not have a lot of experience and then developing them, right, so that way he can mold them into his system. So he was extremely intelligent, extremely thorough in planning, estate planning. So he did have a lot of great systems in place. But I think he combined that work harder with work smarter by doing both. He was going to outsmart you and he was going to outwork you. And if you have that, this is how you get from zero to what he built. And I think that’s a good lesson to take. You had to put the work in, regardless of how smart you work. You got to still put the work in, I think.
[00:17:05] Nicole Pendergrass: Yeah. And I love that. It’s the equivalent of the E-Myth where we’re working on your business instead of in your business. And most people are working in their business ’cause they’re always putting out those fires and doing the transactional things, and not working on the bigger picture of your business. So if you’re putting in the work to work on your business, then you’re going to expedite things and grow it to a scale ’cause to get 50 properties a year, wow. That’s insane. That’s beyond my comprehension of how I even know it’s possible.
[00:17:34] Jordan D’Silva: Incredible. And I felt like I was, you know, growing up with a celebrity, the way he worked. I mean, it’s an honor, you know, to be able to work alongside him.
[00:17:41] Nicole Pendergrass: Yeah. So what you also said was that what I loved is he was going where no one else was willing to go. And that was when he started his first real estate company working in Compton, you know, in that whole inland area. And then also when he started his second company and was going to low-income housing areas and things of that nature. So he kept that core philosophy no matter what asset type and what state he was in. Is that something that you still encompass today and how are you keeping that core philosophy moving forward in the business today?
[00:18:21] Jordan D’Silva: Yeah, I think you kind of look for, as everybody does, what is everybody shying away from? You want to be a little contrarian, right? You want to go where there’s less competition. If you can find less competition and dominate whatever that area is or that asset class, that model, that’s where you want to go. So I think we’re always looking for models or property types that people are, maybe they’re too complicated, they’re in areas that people are a little fearful to go, whatever that is, we’re just, you think, if you can get that niche that doesn’t have as much competition, you’re going to be more successful. But I also think twofold. It was related to the neighborhood itself, right? People, they shy away from low-income, often, minority neighborhoods, if we’re being frank. And I think he also recognized that these are great people. This neighborhood is great. It deserves a chance. There are a lot of talented people that he can utilize in the neighborhood to grow his business. Like, South Dallas neighborhood that we work in, it’s been underfunded. It’s been underutilized for so long. But when you visit there, a lot of Dallas residents just don’t go down there. You find there’s so much culture, there’s so much great cuisine. I mean, there’s so many opportunities there that if you just give it a shot, you’ll be able to see what the opportunities are in that area. So I think it’s twofold of getting your niche, being where there’s less competition, but also having an appreciation, and a willingness to be in the community and engage with these lower-income neighborhoods.
[00:19:52] Nicole Pendergrass: Yeah. ‘Cause, like, the other thing that you said, too, was that he was employing people with not a high skill level and then teaching them, and training them, and molding them. And not only was he investing money and time in the properties in rehabbing these areas, he also was employing the people in those areas and giving them a skill, which is not just like you know, hiring. Yeah, and creating good jobs is great. Everyone needs jobs, but like actually giving the opportunity to someone who doesn’t, wouldn’t be able to get that job from somebody else because someone else is going to be, like, look at their resume and say, no, you’re not really, and I don’t want to train you. I want somebody who already knows how to do the thing, right? So I really respect that. And another thing that I wanted to ask about, you said he was in the note business because he was actually rehabbing these properties and then holding the notes. What was the purpose of that? Was that because it was strictly for the cash flow, but I have a feeling that it was probably to help people who couldn’t normally buy properties, be able to buy them.
[00:20:55] Jordan D’Silva: Exactly right. And also it was a hedge against management issues. So he came from California. He was actually managing the multifamily out there. And then he built our company to be able to manage in-house, but to start it out, he really didn’t want to have a ton of management responsibilities. And so buying a property and fixing it up and selling it with the note allowed you to still get that good cash flow. You make money off the interest, and you don’t have to have the management responsibilities. It also allows you to not have to make the property like a rental. You can do a little less and then sell to somebody who appreciates the upside and wants to continue rehabbing the property. But then secondly, to what you mentioned, it does give people an opportunity. A lot of our customers are immigrants. They’re people that don’t have a lot of credit built up. So it definitely was giving people a chance to buy a house that normally wouldn’t be able to get a loan from a bank. And the majority of our customers are immigrants and minorities, so it’s a great opportunity. And you’re also seeing now, you know, 10, 15 years later, a lot of those customers that we sold to are being able to sell these properties for double and triple what we sold as the note to them. So yes, of course, we have higher interest rates than a typical bank. They’re not predatory or anything, but they’re higher to mitigate the risk. And then now look at the upside that has come through the DFW market and Southern Dallas specifically. They’re making it a ton of money off of these properties, had a ton of equity into these properties. So I think it turned out well. The business model benefited both sides and also provided, you know, a public good to people that normally wouldn’t be able to buy a house.
[00:22:36] Nicole Pendergrass: Wow. Man, there’s just so much there because it is just so smart. Like, he is very smart, you know. I’m just thinking about, he was self-aware enough to know that he likes building things and not managing things. And he really structured his whole business around not having to manage things. Like, that’s just so smart. Like he’s doing that to hedge against having to property manage and, like, doing well and doing good, you know?
[00:23:05] Jordan D’Silva: The rental properties that we do manage, but that was a product of understanding, like, okay, these areas are appreciating, rent growth is high. Let’s pause it and see what we can hold onto.
[00:23:15] Nicole Pendergrass: Yeah.
[00:23:15] Jordan D’Silva: So we do definitely. We have pivoted, but I think that’s also, like, his gift as well. You know, pivoting, knowing when it’s worth it to manage because we already have the infrastructure. So that’s kind of continuing on the multifamily and the self-management criteria is that, well, we have the infrastructure to manage, let’s build on that and make ourselves more competitive.
[00:23:36] Nicole Pendergrass: Yeah. And he also kind of deemed you the manager from earlier on ’cause he was like, I’m not doing this, so you do it. So now you’re the manager and you’re, you know, heading up the business so you can help grow the management arm of the business.
[00:23:50] Jordan D’Silva: Yeah, there’s always talks about, you know, entrepreneurship, and I definitely have fallen into the case where I’m like, oh man, I want to be like an entrepreneur and grind and have something new. But at the end of the day, if he’s already did that work for you and your job is to manage, I mean, that’s where entrepreneurs want to get to. So I got to remind myself that I’m blessed to be able to be in this position. I don’t necessarily have to run to an entrepreneurial grind to start something. I need to build what we have and grow it.
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