Ben Risser had a bad case of entrepreneurial ADD. He knew that the corporate environment was not a good fit for his personality, and he knew that real estate was the route he wanted to take. But Ben couldn’t get focused on a single strategy. He looked into several different single-family alternatives and even pursued lease options for awhile, but he couldn’t seem to stick with one strategy long enough to see it through… And then he landed on multifamily.

Ben enrolled in the Ultimate Guide to Buying Apartment Buildings with Private Money course and started networking at local REIA meetings. Through a random series of events, he ran into his partner, Matt Faircloth, and started underwriting deals. Matt’s broker connections led the team to a 198-unit deal in Fayetteville, NC—a D property in a B neighborhood with big value-add potential. It took six months and lot of legwork, but Ben and Matt closed in January of 2018, and they are actively pursuing other multifamily opportunities in the southeast US.

Ben sits down with me to explain how he came to realize that he is an entrepreneur at heart, despite his background as an aerospace engineer. He discusses his lack of focus early on and how he finally made the commitment to multifamily. Ben shares the story of his unintentional leap into full-time investing and the value of his wife’s support in pursuing the real estate business. Listen in for Ben’s insight around perseverance, focus, and finding a partner with a complementary skill set.

Key Takeaways

Ben’s introduction to real estate

  • Worked at Boeing as aerospace engineer
  • Creativity not valued, stumbled into Kiyosaki
  • Real estate to build pipeline vs. carry buckets

Ben’s initial real estate strategy

  • Liked idea of rentals, passive income
  • Zoomed in on single-family (analysis paralysis)
  • Pursued lease options, burned by partner

Ben’s shift to multifamily

How Ben found his partner

  • Matt presented at credit/investor meeting
  • Follow up, persistence led to partnership

Ben and Matt’s partnership

  • Matt raises equity, focus on big picture
  • Ben does underwriting, loan process
  • Complementary personalities

Ben’s first multifamily deal

  • 192-unit in Fayetteville, NC
  • D property in B neighborhood
  • $6.65M purchase, $1.7M CapEx
  • 24% rent increase

Why it took 12 months to close on the property

  • Offered $6.59M in July
  • Seller initially accepted higher offer
  • Renegotiated for $6.65M
  • Runway to raise equity, get financing

The complications Ben encountered in his first deal

  • Laundromat next door necessitated Phase II ESA
  • Changed lenders twice

How Ben and Matt raised money for the deal

  • Established network in Trenton, NJ
  • $3.2M equity raise

Ben’s transition to full-time syndicator

  • Laid off from small engineering company
  • ‘At peace’ about pursuing real estate

What’s next for Ben and his partner

  • Value-add on property, 20 units available
  • Actively seeking opportunities in southeast
  • Property manager instrumental in due diligence

Ben’s advice for aspiring real estate investors

  • Perseverance is key
  • Focus on one strategy

Connect with Ben

Email b.risser@providencecapital.org

Resources

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

REIA

Strategic Management Partners

Financial Freedom Summit

Partner with Michael

Invest with Michael

Financial Freedom Summit

Michael’s Course

Free eBook: The Secret to Raising Money to Buy Your First Apartment Building

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The Secret To Raising Money To Buy Your First Apartment Building

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