Joining us again to talk about creating an impact in the community is Brian Grimes. He continues to tell us about his mission to uplift C class neighborhoods and share wealth-building knowledge through coaching. He also offers his advice on how to establish trusts to protect your assets and how to remove yourself from your company by building simple systems.
[00:01 – 08:42] There Are Infinite Opportunities Out There
- Check out part 1 of the interview with Brian!
- There are two things you need in real estate: money and knowledge
- Why you need to tap into lenders when exploring C class neighborhoods
- Brian on stepping away from his companies to focus on community development
- Learn to build simple systems and delegate
- When you pass knowledge to others, the outcome multiplies, and more people can create change
[08:43 – 15:26] The Importance of Having a Trust
- Have the trust own the properties and the LLCs, and you be a trustee
- The difference between having an existing LLC and creating the trust vs. starting off with the trust and then acquiring assets
- Why you need to know about the straw man concept
[15:27 – 17:29] Welcome to the Club
- You don’t need to know everything to be an investor
- Being afraid means you are smart enough to know that you’re entering an unknown space
[17:30- 26:09] Closing Segment
- The final questions
- Millionaires are not made from diversification. They focused on one area first and once they became successful, then they diversified.
- Brian shares his strategy in choosing between Baltic Avenue and Boardwalk
- What’s next for Brian?
- Connect with Brian!
“If I’m good at anything in life, it’s building systems and systems that don’t break. The best systems, by the way, are simple. They’re very scary simple because a simple system, you can magnify by a hundred. It won’t break.” – Brian Grimes
“I don’t believe there’s competition in this game, right? There’s so much inventory out there, there’s so much opportunity that I give it all. I don’t hold back any information.” – Brian Grimes
“You’re going to have these different fears. But in reality, as the deal unfolds, you’re just going to learn day by day, and you’re going to get better, and you’re going to get comfortable.” – Brian Grimes
Connect with Brian Grimes through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Go to 24/7 Cashflow University and check out their newsletter, webinars, and more. Don’t miss out on his FREE training at www.workwithgrimes.com/cashflow.
Let’s get connected!
[00:00:00] Brian Grimes: I’ve seen so many people just fighting over properties. Some, I’m trying to buy properties from, siblings who, they’re just arguing so much they can’t even dispose of a property and get a top market value for it. It’s just crazy. So you have to acquire these properties, but then it is, you know, keeping them, can be a greater challenge, but using trust, life insurance, wills, keeping your assets out of probate, all of these things are very important.
[00:01:25] Nicole Pendergrass: Did you meet anybody that kind of catapulted you into that going bigger kind of stage?
[00:01:31] Brian Grimes: I think it was a natural byproduct. Like, when you start doing well in this game, which, here’s what you’ll learn about, like, lenders ’cause a lot of people start off and they’re like, but Brian, I don’t have the money, so how am I going to do this? And it’s like, well, there’s two things in real estate: there’s money and knowledge, and the less you have one, the more you need the other. So if you had $2 million, you don’t need any knowledge, you can just go throw your money at the game and you’ll figure it out after you burn through half a million like I did to a degree, right? And in the school of hard knocks is not as fun as advertised. Mentorship is much cheap. It’s maybe 1/100 of the cost and much more effective. You need knowledge. If you get the right knowledge, you can get off and running. And once you have the knowledge of how to go into different communities that are desired, like C class neighborhoods, believe it or not, these lenders want to get in there. They want to get in there. They don’t know how to get into the C class. Almost nobody does it. Nobody has this specialty and they want a pour millions of dollars in. So what happens is they’ll give you a 100K or so to do a deal. If you do good with that, they’ll give you a million. If you do good with that, they’ll give you 10 million in terms of a line of credit. So it can happen exponentially. You will be presented with problems, like, well, can you deploy $2 million in a quarter? And you’re like, yeah. And then if you do that, they’re going to say, can you deploy 20? Because lenders get paid to lend out money. They don’t get paid to sit on money. So once they find what they’ll view as like a golden goose, the floodgates are going to open. You’re going to have more money than you could deploy. There’s an oversupply of money in this game. There’s an undersupply of developers, which is why I spend all of my time educating people and building, you know, developers in these C-class neighborhoods across the country so that you can go out and get your hundred properties. It’s not as difficult as you might think, and you don’t need to know how to do property number 100 right now. You need to learn how to do property number one, and then how to do that over and over and over again. And eventually, it will be, you know, 50 to a hundred deals.
[00:03:35] Nicole Pendergrass: Okay. I love that, that tidbit and that insight because it’s really, people see someone who’s so far ahead and they automatically jump to, I can’t do 300, you know, instead of just thinking about that first one. That’s how I started too, with an FHA house hack, you know, and getting in, and I’m in an expensive market, you know. So who would’ve thought? I wouldn’t have thought. Like, I didn’t come from money or from a family who was doing this kind of thing. So it’s just one foot in front of the other. Another question I had, I guess your two companies, Bloyd Street Capital and Alma Ventures, though you ended those in 2021, so what were those companies about? Kind of how did it transition from Bloyd Street to Alma? What were you doing with that, and then why’d you stop it?
[00:04:23] Brian Grimes: I’ve kind of taken a step back from both of those companies to focus on kind of this mission, like, whenever you’re building a company, so if you build out a company correctly, your goal should be to remove yourself from the day to day and to delegate to the point where a company can essentially run without you, or else it’s just a, what I would call like a practice, which is you become beholden to your clients and you know, if you’re not there, then nothing moves type of thing. So I’ve constantly, if I’m good at anything in life, it’s building systems and systems that don’t break. The best systems, by the way, are simple. They’re very scary simple because a simple system you can magnify by a hundred, it won’t break. Very complex systems, they might work for 1 or 10 deals at once, but then when you try to magnify it, they just fall apart, too many moving parts. So I stepped back from those because I wanted to, one, I wasn’t needed day to day. And two, I wanted to focus really on the community development piece in terms of building other people who can go out and rebuild their community because I want to have more impact, even as myself, like, people hear 300 deals. That’s so much. How did you get that done? It’s just a fraction. It’s kind of a drop in the bucket of, you know, the inventory that is out there. That’s not going to transform all of these communities that we need to rebuild across the country in order to really have the community impact that I want to have. So I saw my value as being a bit higher to the universe in that sense of actually building other people and giving them the education and connections, tapping them into lenders contractor relationships, wholesalers, realtor networks, so that they can go out and experience similar results. And that, you know, collectively that would have more of a community impact. Because, look, I could go flip houses in the best parts of any city, right? I have the same contractor crew. I’m finishing high end. I have the knowledge of full gut renovation. I do this in a C class neighborhoods because I care, because that’s where I grew up, and I want to create affordable housing and restore community pride. So it’s just more important to me than, you know, sitting behind, you know, a desk and keeping all the knowledge to myself in that sense.
[00:06:37] Nicole Pendergrass: I love that. Yeah, ’cause I was going to ask about you going into coaching now and your coaching university. But I love that mission. It’s basically like, the butterfly effect, you know? When you’re putting a drop in the bucket and it’s spreading, but it’s spreading through all your students. And now, because you can only, let’s say, do 3 to 500 flips in a year, but if your students can do 3 to 500 flips in a year and you have 3 to 500 students, like what is that multiplied out? And then I could just see the wave of transformation going throughout different cities and areas that really have been blighted and ignored and not really developed because everyone, you know, does see C class areas with subpar conditioning and, like, materials, and no one, like, builds it up to the level that you’re doing, which, like you said, gives people pride of where they live and then they treat the areas better and then the whole community just like rises. And that with the affordable housing aspect helps prevent the gentrification if you’re letting people live in those co-living spaces. And I love that concept and that model. That’s really great because, you know, actually one thing I saw on the website was that, and this was about Alma, which I know is where you’ve transitioned out of, but it seems like to have the same type of kind of soul there is that, well, and I didn’t say soul on purpose, but it’s there. Alma builds soul back into communities overlooked by everybody else. And, you know, I talked to someone else where their father had the same mission of like, they were going places where no one else would go because they cared. They were giving back and helping to build up those areas and those communities. So I really, I commend you on that.
[00:08:21] Brian Grimes: It is about that mission and, you know, how many people you can build up over the course of time, especially when you think about people’s family. Like, people are taking this knowledge, passing it down to their kids. What are their kids going to do? How big can they get it? They can definitely do, you know, a thousand deals or thousands of deals or start a fund. There’s just, you know, infinite opportunity out here.
[00:08:42] Nicole Pendergrass: You’ve built up all these properties and, you know, capital and cash flow, and you’re teaching your students how to do the same and to leave their jobs if that’s what they want to do. But one of the things that I’ve noticed, I’ve seen a lot of people teaching people how to make the money in these different strategies, but how do we keep it? What is the generational wealth aspect of that? What if your kids don’t want to be into real estate? You know, how are you setting up your empire to outlast you and outlast that first generation and even the first three? Because, you know, you’ve heard that wealth is normally, you know, squandered within the first three generations. So how do we kind of, what does that look like? How do we build that up? What kind of distribution requirements or whatever else do we put into our portfolios, like, rules or whatever we’re passing on, information or inheritance to our children, so that they, one, don’t squander it and that it still grows even if they don’t particularly take up the business. Do you have, ’cause you’ve worked with high net worth individuals and I’m assuming they have some type of those things in place?
[00:09:46] Brian Grimes: Yeah, we got to have trusts. We have to have, you know, these properties and family trusts and different types of property trust with different guidelines, you know, management boards, trustees. One, you want your properties in trusts anyway because you want to have as much creditor protection as possible, right? So you don’t want to own these properties in your name, and sometimes even owning them in LLCs that are owned by you is just as bad. Have the trust own the properties and the LLCs, and you be a trustee so that anything that attaches to you and your straw man is not attaching to that trust and the different assets there. There’s also, like, the life insurance aspect of it. And in the minority community, you know, especially if you go back generations, there’s like the life insurance man, walking around with the briefcase and selling you a whole life policy. And we need to make sure we have our life insurance in place because those estate taxes are real. Some of these taxes are real. And, you know, not having that in place, you can’t be passing the hat and passing down generational wealth. It don’t work like that, right? It’s one or the other. Making sure that your affairs are in order, making sure you have a will, keep your assets out of probate. I’ve seen so many people just fighting over properties. Some, I’m trying to buy properties from, siblings who, they’re just arguing so much, they can’t even dispose of a property and get a top market value for it. It’s just crazy. So you have to acquire these properties, but then it is, you know, keeping them, it can be a greater challenge, but using trusts, life insurance, wills, keeping your assets out of probate, all of these things are very important. And there’s nothing wrong with, you know, property management and having a trustee, you know, overseeing that property management and just keeping the cash flow rolling and keeping the distributions rolling to the beneficiaries type of a play. So there’s definitely a lot to it. There’s a lot to the debt piece. Don’t over-lever yourself, you know, know what you’re getting into there. There’s stuff with partnerships that can go, you know, horrific and how to structure your LLC, your operating agreements, your partnerships, your syndications. There’s really a lot to this game that I’ve seen, that I’ve been through, that, you know, I dropped that knowledge onto people, and it’s important. It’s really important stuff. So there are so many ways that you can get attacked in this game, even if you acquire, you know, a massive portfolio. So it’s really just about having all your ducks in a row.
[00:12:12] Nicole Pendergrass: Okay. Is all of that type of detailed information, is that kind of stuff that you go over in your coaching?
[00:12:18] Brian Grimes: It is. Like I don’t believe there’s competition in this game, right? There’s so much inventory out there, there’s so much opportunity that I give it all. Like, I don’t hold back any information even here, you know, now I’m not holding back anything. Somebody could take the knowledge from this, and run, and make a million dollars. And I want you to. I want you to go out and do 500 deals and leapfrog me and say, you know what? He didn’t do anything. Look what I did. It’s not going to bother me at all. I’ll be applauding from the sideline. But yeah, I give it all away, all the knowledge because you don’t need just to know how to do this, like, do full guts and build crews and do that. You need that, but you also need the game behind the game because that’s what keeps you tapped in, locked in, and on the right path. There are definitely levels to this thing and like I said, there are a lot of pitfalls. And my job is to make sure you don’t, It’s like the Jay-Z, like, Hov did that, so you don’t have to go through that type of mentality.
[00:13:13] Nicole Pendergrass: So one detailed question that is, I just want to circle back because I’ve been having this question with someone else as well. I have a trust that we got set up. We still have to go get it notarized and all that. But the suggestion to me was to not have the LLC, ’cause I have multiple LLCs, not have them in the trust right now. But once, you know, I pass away, then the LLCs will ought to be, the trust will be the beneficiary of the LLC. But I think the way you said it, it kind of seems like the LLC is in the trust right now and you’re the trustee, so you can still control what’s happening with the LLC, I’m assuming, irrevocable or revocable right now. And then when you pass, it turns into revocable. So what do you think is, like, the benefit or not benefit of putting the LLC in the trust now? Because they were thinking like it’s an extra step that I would have to go through if it was in the trust.
[00:14:06] Brian Grimes: Yeah. I think, I mean, you definitely want to go with the advice that you’re given, but there’s a difference if you already have existing LLCs and then you’re creating the trust versus starting off with the trust and then acquiring the assets. There’s just different procedures that are going to be more effective or easier to establish. So I think they’re looking at things from a reverse mode right now and saying, well, you already have the LLCs and the assets within the LLCs. Now we’re creating this trust. So they’re structuring it in the most efficient way now. Versus if somebody was new and listening to this and they haven’t even started real estate yet, they might just open up the trust now, and then everything is owned by the trust directly. So the LLCs are created, the trust is the owner, and it’s just kind of run that way. So there are all different ways to structure it. The thing you don’t want to do is be running around with, you know, a hundred properties and your name on the deed, because it’s just asking for it. So if you’re doing anything outside of that, you’re going to be safer than not. But it’s just to know that there’s more protection than just the LLC. The trust is a higher level because you’re really getting it out of your straw man name and research straw man. I’m saying that for a reason. Definitely guys, look this up, this straw man concept. You need to start to familiarize yourself with that. It’s going to be important moving forward.
[00:15:26] Nicole Pendergrass: Okay. Wow. All right. This was super great. Like, I feel like I could sit here and like dig deeper and deeper and deeper and just ask more, more questions ’cause there’s literally like you said, there’s so many different ways to do things. And I think what people also get caught up in is just wanting to know every single step in every single detail before they even get started. And that’s not really necessary. You can kind of adjust as you’re going. It’s good to know as much as you can upfront, but I think that also freezes people into inaction, which is not great. So for the sake of time, I won’t dig in and ask you every single detailed question swimming in my brain right now.
[00:16:05] Brian Grimes: I do want to touch on that though. It is paralysis through analysis. And you don’t need to know everything. So, you know, take me, my first deal I told you guys about. The funny part about that deal is it was turnkey. I did no rehab on it, painted the walls, swept the floors, handed over to keys to the tenant. I was horrified. I was completely horrified. It’s probably my scariest deal ever. I knew less than 1% of what I know today. But that was my easiest deal by far, like by a mile. So just understand if you’re afraid, it just means you have a pulse, and you’re smart, right? That means you’re smart, and you understand that you’re taking on some risk to get some reward. But it doesn’t mean that the deal itself is really bad or dangerous. It just means you’re doing something new and you’re aware that you’re taking on an asset, this house could fall down. It’s going to catch on fire. You know, you’re going to have these different fears. But in reality, as the deal unfolds, you’re just going to learn day by day, and you’re going to get better, and you’re going to get comfortable. And before you know it, you’ll be off and into, you know, building a portfolio. So if you’re afraid, you’re like all of us. Everybody who ever started real estate was completely horrified and had no idea what they were doing. So welcome to the club.
[00:17:19] Nicole Pendergrass: Welcome to the club. That is great, that actually should be the, no, that’s not going to be the title.
[00:18:37] Nicole Pendergrass: So final three. These are the questions I ask every guest. Warren Buffett said that diversification is protection against ignorance. What do you take that to mean? And is that a good thing, a bad thing? Is he right? What do you think about that?
[00:18:51] Brian Grimes: There are known unknowns, unknown unknowns, and another variation of that I think what he, what Warren Buffett is saying is you don’t know everything, right? None of us know everything. So when you do diversify, it can cover some of your mistakes. If you make a bad bet here, you have something over here that’s working in your favor because you’re well diversified. Now, what Warren Buffett is not telling you in that statement is most people make their first million off of, like, one thing. And then once they get that money, then they diversify. And this is how millionaires are made. They’re not made from diversification. They’re made from going all in on one business, one concept, one idea. And in fact, 80% of the world’s millionaires or thereabout made their first million in real estate of some sort. So go out and make your first million, stay tapped in, and then once you get the money, then you can diversify as a protection mechanism.
[00:19:47] Nicole Pendergrass: Perfect. Actually, I think that’s exactly what he was saying. And you summed it up. Great. That was a great explanation. Have you ever played Monopoly?
[00:19:55] Brian Grimes: I love Monopoly. That was always my favorite game, you know, growing up. I didn’t really know why, but I just love that game. But yeah.
[00:20:03] Nicole Pendergrass: It makes sense compared to what you’re doing now. So Baltic or Boardwalk, what are you buying and why to win the game?
[00:20:12] Brian Grimes: To win the game.
[00:20:13] Nicole Pendergrass: Or what was your strategy?
[00:20:15] Brian Grimes: My strategy was always just buy anything, anything you land on. I like the utilities too. I like some of the off-the-beaten-path stuff. But I think you buy whatever you can get your hands on is kind of my philosophy. I think as a real person, I’m buying Baltic because it’s undervalued. I can get a hotel on it much cheaper and much faster than I can get that hotel on Boardwalk. If you land on my Baltic enough times, I’m going to have more money to go buy Boardwalk or trade for Boardwalk faster. So as I’m working my way up, I’m doing that. If I was a trust fund baby and I just inherited some money and I can go buy Boardwalk right away, then I’ll do that. But yeah, for most of us, if we have to start off on Baltic, buy those houses. Get your red hotel and wait for some people to hit and then go buy some more. Just keep buying, you know, lay low and keep buying.
[00:21:07] Nicole Pendergrass: I love it. What are you doing next? What’s next for you? And what would be the biggest thing that could come your way to impact your next step in your business and your life?
[00:21:20] Brian Grimes: I’m working on some really cool ideas, like, I’m working on an underwriting project right now. Like, I think the way that we underwrite in real estate is antiquated, right? We’re still looking at credit scores. People don’t know that. People aren’t their credit score. Like, I had a C class tenant that they had like a 550 credit score, paid five months in advance, rent out of nowhere. Like, moved in C class in security within in a month, and then five months. And people are like, how does that happen in a C class neighborhood with a 550 credit score? Because people aren’t their credit score. So I’m working on a massive project that’s going to be direct to consumer, that’s going to tap in people, and underwrite them differently, and tenant match differently, and get that in front of some of the big, you know, the big fish REITs that are out there. There’s a lot of interest in this project already. So that’s developing. And I may start a fund. I’m not sure. You know, for me, my intermediate goal, like one of my mantras that I got from my father’s mentors is keep the main things to keep the main thing the main thing. And right now I’m really tapped into just building people. I want to build more developers. I want to have more community impact. Having a fund, maybe a part of that, working on these underwriting projects and these different things is a part of that. But just really building people and staying locked into that mission, you know, is where I see myself long term, even outside of some of these other larger projects.
[00:22:42] Nicole Pendergrass: Okay, great. I love that. And it makes sense just to stay focused ’cause it’s so easy to have the shiny object syndrome. And even if every shiny object has a mission behind it, but you still, if you spread yourself too thin, gosh, I got to work on that. I’m talking to myself because, yeah. But yeah. So tell our listeners how they can connect with you or, you know, reach out or however they, you want to, what other information you want to put out there for people to reach out.
[00:23:13] Brian Grimes: Yeah. You can reach me on LinkedIn, Brian Grimes. If you type in like Brian Grimes through the state, find me. You can find me on Instagram, @briangrimes_247cfu for Cash Flow University. You can find me on Facebook, Brian Grimes. You can find me on YouTube. I have a platform on YouTube where I drop constant weekly and give you, like, the goods, like all the game, video tutorials, whiteboards, everything. Brian Loves Cash Flow. Brian Loves Cash Flow on YouTube and that’s easy to remember cause I love cash flow. And those are the best ways you can find me. I also have like a free training you can tap into on www.workwithgrimes.com/cashflow. workwithgrimes.com/cashflow. And that’s a training that I put together that’ll show you how to acquire properties for pennies on a dollar all across the country. So you can tap into that free training and if you go to any of the other platforms, there will always be, like, back links where you can get to that free training, get on the phone with me 101, and tap into the mentorship program for anybody who’s interested. We’re also building houses for people in Philly with my boots-on-the-ground program. So if you want to be me and what does that mean? That means, you know, out of 300 full gut renovations, I built 295 properties in my underwear at my kitchen table, bouncing my kid on my knee. If you want to learn how to build properties out of town remotely and tap into my systems, my contractors, my boots on the ground, my realtors, wholesaler networks, and get a property built for you that’ll generate cash flow, you definitely want to reach out and inquire about that as well. We have people from all over the country and from outside of the country tapped in to US real estate that are in this boots-on-the-ground program. So that’s been highly successful as well.
[00:24:55] Nicole Pendergrass: Wow. Okay. Definitely going to have all of those links in the show notes. People, you’ll be crazy not to look him up and consume the information that he’s sharing across all his platforms and even tap into one of his trainings. So, because this all sounds great and I can’t wait to talk to you even more. But thank you so much, Brian, for joining us today and for sharing all this wonderful information. You definitely shared the wealth, and I just, I can’t wait to see what you do next. I’m definitely going to keep in touch with you.
[00:25:29] Brian Grimes: No, thanks for having me. I really, really appreciate it.
[00:25:31] Nicole Pendergrass: No problem. All right. Bye, everyone. We will see you next time.
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