Learning The Ropes Of Multifamily With Whitney Sewell

MLM 314 | Multifamily

 

Real estate is the path towards financial freedom, and multifamily is the holy grail. Time to learn about the space as you ready your business to scale! In this episode, Jen Du Plessis interviews Whitney Sewell, founder and CEO of Life Bridge Capital. Whitney is a former military serviceman and law enforcement agent who pivoted towards real estate to secure a future for himself and his family. Learn more about his struggle towards success and gain important tips as Whitney and Jen talk the nuts and bolts of multifamily real estate.

Looking for some help? Jen is seeking individuals who would like to be featured as a panelist on the show for her Mortgage Lending Mastery Mastermind Series.

Email Support@KineticSparkConsulting.com to get scheduled!

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Learning The Ropes Of Multifamily With Whitney Sewell

My guest is Whitney Sewell. He is a seasoned real estate investor, podcast host and philanthropist. He is the CEO and Founder of Life Bridge Capital, a multifamily syndication investment firm with thousands of doors and over $300 million of assets under management. He is going to explain what that means to make sure that everyone understands that. The foundation of the latest and exciting development is his commitment to donate 50% of his profits to support orphans and their adoptive families. I love that part about him.

He is going to share with us as lenders, real estate agents and entrepreneurs. While we are not a real estate investing show, I like to bring investors on because as we are making money every day, what are we doing with it? Hopefully, we are not buying $25,000 watches and boats and accumulating all kinds of monetary things, but we are investing and reinvesting. That’s what he does. He is going to talk to us about how to build your investor list and how you can get involved in syndications for multifamily. It’s a very hot topic in the marketplace. Without further ado, please allow me to introduce our guest, Whitney Sewell.

Whitney, welcome to the show.

It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

I’m delighted to have the opportunity to talk to you. I want to first say thank you so much for your service to our country. I know that you were in the Army and you’re going to be speaking about that a little bit. It means a lot to me. I was raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where I had everything around me military. It happened to be one of my niches when I was in lending. I was working with veterans. We appreciate that.

You’re welcome. I appreciate you saying that.

I want to get started here. If I could ever say that there was a pendulum of one of my guests on the show, you have a huge pendulum here. You started off in the military and here you are, managing over $300 million in assets in multifamily properties. We got to find out all about this story. Let’s start at the very beginning on what you did before you got into real estate and how you got into real estate investing.

I appreciate the opportunity again. I love sharing the story, encouraging others and breaking through those limiting beliefs that we have all had at one time or another. My story started in March of 2001. If you remember, in that year, something massive happened six months later that none of us expected. In March, I decided to join the military. I wanted to serve. I was seventeen at that time. I thought, “I could join while I was a senior in high school.” I joined the Guard before I graduated.

I had no idea that our nation would be at war six months later. Shortly after, I would spend a year of my life in Iraq toting around a machine gun and praying that I get to go home every day. Unfortunately, not everyone in my squad made it home. There were many lessons learned there. One thing I will say the military taught me was to have the never-give-up mentality. I didn’t have that probably before that, but it’s not an option to give up when you’re in combat. Your life and many other lives depend on you. I learned a lot quicker as a very young man at that time.

If you’re curious, I did make it home alive, thankfully. I had no college and education. I felt helpless, almost like, “What am I qualified to even do?” There was such a roadblock for me because we were raised to think, “You’ve got to have this education. You have to do these things to get that good job with good benefits. That’s the way it should be done.” Many of us are taught to think that way.

It’s good education and a good job but not a good life.

I quickly discovered, “I felt like law enforcement would be a great transition and it was.” I got hired by Kentucky State Police. We were 1,200 applicants for five positions. I was blessed to have one of those. I loved working on the road as a police officer. I loved the service, the uniform and being a first responder. I enjoyed that. I would have done it for free in the first two years. However, I got married shortly after that. In the first whole year of marriage, my wife, Chelsea and I passed each other in the hallway.

I also started noticing guys retiring with 25 years on that were still making maybe $40,000 a year. Finally, the light bulb went off like, “This is enjoyable. I love we are doing it, but it’s not what was best long-term for the family we wanted to have.” At that moment, it’s when I started looking like, “What else can I do?” I felt so helpless still like, “I’m not qualified to do anything else but law enforcement. Maybe I can find something to supplement my income and then came real estate.”

I started doing some research and discovered not only I had 1 or 2 people have built wealth in real estate, but millions of people have built wealth in real estate. I thought, “If all these people can do it, I can do something to at least supplement my income.” That’s what we did. I bought two triplexes and made a ton of mistakes. I worked a horrible schedule as a police officer and self-managed these apartments.

MLM 314 | Multifamily

Multifamily: Not only had one or two people built wealth in real estate, but millions of people have built wealth in real estate.

 

We were newly married. We were remodeling a house. My wife, unfortunately, had to wash dishes in the bathtub a lot longer than I would like to admit because we got in the house and tried to live in it. We learned so much about each other during that time as well, but we made it through that. I finally became a federal agent. That moved us to Virginia, where we still live now.

I shared a little bit about all those stories because all those things were difficult and taught me a lot. None of those things were easy, whether it’s the military, law enforcement or federal agent. I quickly hit a ceiling. I immediately doubled my salary with better hours and benefits but still, I was like, “I still believe there’s wealth to be created in real estate. That wasn’t going to happen working for the federal government, unfortunately.”

At the same time, a big part of the story and it has seemed like it’s from left field, I was also training horses professionally. It was a passion that I had since I was a little boy. Finally, at this time, I was a federal agent during the day. I would go home, change clothes, load the horses up, go to the arena, give lessons and train horses until midnight on most nights. It was something I loved doing. It came very easy to me. I was doing tricks and all kinds of things and selling horses for more money than I ever imagined.

However, when we were walking on the beach, my wife and I were praying, reflecting and thinking about, “Is what we are doing right now are going to get us where we want to be? Am I going to continue doing this and working this many hours?” We had only two boys at that time, Samuel and Elijah. I was missing everything with them and Chelsea. We came home and we decided, “We had a house and farm we had always dreamed of. We decided to commit to commercial real estate and building wealth. We are going to sell it all and burn that bridge. We have to be committed.”

We were starting our third adoption process as well. We were expecting a very large expense. It’s $40,000 to $60,000 to adopt, unfortunately. To make that happen and be completely committed to our real estate business, I said, “I have got to cut it off completely. There will be another day to do that, but for now, we have to do this.” We did it.

It was one of the hardest days for us. I will never forget my wife and me, pulling out of that driveway, crying and bawling. That was the beginning of a long journey for us. We bought a little house in town. I built the office in the basement. That’s practically where I lived in the next 2.5 to 3 years. My wife would pack me lunch to go to the basement for the day.

I know that feeling. My husband does that well at my cause too.

I started a daily podcast. We have done about 1,200 interviews. I had two days off of my federal agent job a month. During those days, I built a team that they knew that I had to record at least 12 to 15 interviews a day. To keep the thing going, I need that many scheduled. We called it my marathon day. It was very intense. What happened though before that, when my wife and I moved to Virginia, we were listening to a pastor talk one weekend about how they had adopted and the need for adoption. There are 150 million orphans in the world. Unfortunately, it’s $40,000 to $60,000 to bring a child home through adoption.

On our way home, we had never been exposed to adoption. We were still pretty newly married. We thought, “Why would we not adopt? It seemed like the right thing to do. It seemed that simple.” I’m thankful for our ignorance around the process. We started the process a week later. Within a week, we turned in our application to adopt from Ethiopia. Our first son, Samuel, came home from Ethiopia two years later. A year later, our second son Elijah came to our family through adoption. Now, we have a daughter as well, Eden Joy, who came to our family through adoption.

It's so hard to scale when you're doing single family. Click To Tweet

That became our why behind Life Bridge Capital. It’s to assist other families in the process of adoption. My wife and I committed half of our personal profits to this foundation that we created that will assist families with that financial burden. We often talk with families who want to adopt, but they say, “Whitney, that’s more than I make in a year. How can we even think about doing that?” That’s where The Life Bridge Foundation will help them to commit and figure out ways to even raise more money to help assist them with adoption.

The Lord has blessed that and our business. We have grown in big ways. We have over $300 million in assets under management. We are doing some developments and apartments all over the place in Colorado and Idaho. Our team is growing and we are producing podcasts. We have numerous businesses now. The Lord has been very kind to help and sustain us, especially my wife and me, through that two and a half year period or so before I could leave the federal agent position as well.

It’s funny I have said this on this show. I don’t know how many times. One of the scripture says, “Be silent and you will know that I am.” That’s what you were experiencing, that moment of silence that gave you the clarity. We talk about this all the time. Whether you’re religious or not and you’re listening or Christian or not, it’s a true thing. I have also said, “Slow down to speed up instead of speeding up to slow down.” What you were doing was speeding and you needed to take that time back and figure out what was going to be important.

I know this is a topic that you talk about all the time on your show and when you’re speaking. It’s knowing your why. There’s a friend of mine, Steve Olsher. He has a book called What Is Your WHAT? It’s an interesting book because it has a different twist on the why because sometimes the why and the what don’t match. You created that. A great book title for you would be Washing Dishes in the Bathtub. It tells the whole story of how you did what you did.

Let’s talk about why a podcast? What happened that you decided to do a podcast? A lot of people that are reading are thinking about starting a podcast. I even had a few people on that are podcast people besides just having them as we do. Why did you think a podcast is going to be helpful to you as a catalyst to achieve what you wanted to achieve? What was the emphasis behind that?

I have seen it work for others ultimately. Before starting a podcast and breaking through some of that mental block for others and limiting beliefs, I had hardly ever listened to a podcast before. I had hardly ever spoken into a microphone and much less spoken in front of people on a stage. I have never imagined being able to speak in front of as many people that the Lord’s has brought our way now and on stages that he has brought.

At that time, I had no idea its ramifications would bring in a good and positive way. However, I have seen it work for so many other people, specifically 1 or 2 people who had daily shows. I thought, “If it works for them, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here. Let’s go and make it happen.” It seemed that simple. It was not that simple. It was a massive undertaking to start a daily podcast. I had no idea the level of commitment. My wife and I thank the Lord that we were able to keep it going.

It has done so many things. It has been my own university. It allowed me to speak to so many people that I normally would have never had the opportunity to speak to. To get somebody on the podcast for 30 or 40 minutes which would normally have never given me their time. It allowed me to introduce myself to them, add value to them, promote them to our network, and ask any questions that I have. We have a deal that we are working on.

MLM 314 | Multifamily

Multifamily: Ultimately, we’re buying properties that we couldn’t buy on our own, or maybe our investors couldn’t buy on their own. We bring all these people together to do it together.

 

I have somebody on the show that I know has done that before or longer than me. It’s probably going to come up. Somehow, I’m probably going to bring it up to get to ask them about those things. It helped educate me very quickly, but even bigger than that, it exploded my network of investors and experts in our industry and outside of our industry. It almost became my own mentorship, learning from all these people and even connecting with people we have potentially done business with. It has built relationships for me that I couldn’t have even seen how they were going to affect me three years later. It has been an incredible thing.

I can second that motion. If I didn’t have my first podcast, then I would probably be a retired loan officer. I wouldn’t have what I have now. I love that you chose to take that route. I want to talk specifically about this. When you say that you’re a multifamily syndication investment firm, a lot of people don’t understand what that is. I happen to understand because I have invested in one. Tell us a little bit about what this entails. For those that are reading, maybe they would want to start their own, but how could they get involved in this type of investing?

I appreciate that question because it is an industry that so many know nothing about. I felt like it’s this gym over here that most people haven’t discovered yet in the investing world. It sounds complicated. You say multifamily syndication. To break that down, ultimately, we are buying properties that we couldn’t afford to buy on our own or maybe our investors couldn’t buy on their own. We bring all these people together to do it together. We may have 200 investors in a deal. We may raise $15 million for a project. Let’s say it’s 150 to 200 investors. They all own a piece of this real estate. They get all the benefits. They get passive income and monthly distributions.

From the day we closed from the first month, they get distribution and every month thereafter. They are getting a return on their investment. They own a hard asset. You can see, touch, feel and watch it operate for you. If you invest in Apple, it may do great. However, you can’t affect it. You can’t control it in any way. You can’t buy all the Apple devices you possibly can and watch it go up. It’s not going to work that way. However, with this piece of real estate, we manage it. Our team manages these projects.

It’s such a safe investment compared to things like that. It allows these investors to own a piece of this real estate, get the tax benefits and all those things in passive income because they never take a tenant call. They never have to find a tenant, talk to a contractor and decide paint colors. All these things that our team does, if you were doing single-family rentals and you thought, “I’m going to own a few rentals,” that’s what we did in the beginning. There are two triplexes.

We learned a lot the hard way. It was such a hassle. There was so much brain damage during that time, but there was so much learning as well. Thankfully, we didn’t quit there. Most people have a successful W-2 or job. They are a successful entrepreneur. They love doing that thing. Maybe they are building widgets over here and they are good at that and that’s great. They don’t want to try to manage their own rentals, but this is a great avenue for them to gain the same wealth-building components without having to do that themselves.

Let’s step back a little bit and help us understand how you got into this because someone who is reading says, “I had a lot of experiences in real estate investing, mortgages or something like that, but I don’t know how to get started in this. How would I start my own syndication if I wanted to, which I would not want to do that’s why I invest in?” It’s the same with fix-and-flips, where you have somebody who has the time to find the deal. You have someone who has the experience of being able to do the construction and renovation. You have someone who says, “I have money. Can I just contribute?”

How did you step into this and transport yourself from single-family, living in the house and doing the renovation to buying the house and saying, “I don’t want to be a landlord? Now, I’m going to jump into this big mother world because this is a pretty big lake.” How did you do that transition into that, that now makes you an expert in it?

Passive investing lets you get the benefits of owning real estate but not having to take that call at midnight. Click To Tweet

Early on, it’s scalability. It’s so hard to scale when you’re doing single-family or even small multis. I got to plug a fifteen-unit. Even in that fifteen-unit, I thought, “This is amazing. How do we even get here?” At that time, I had limiting beliefs around seeing that 100-unit complex over that 200-unit thinking, “Who are those people? I don’t know how you can do that.” I never imagined it being possible for me a short time later. Early on, I thought, “If we are going to scale, I have got to figure that out and learn about that.”

I started going to conferences. I started meeting people who were buying 100-unit complexes who had only been in the business for a year or two. The light bulbs were going off like, “If all these people can do it, I can do this too. I will figure this out.” I started doing research about mentors. I knew I wanted somebody who had been there and done that, who cared about my success, which I could ask questions, who was in my corner, who was going to minimize the risk for my family and me. I did lots of research about who that needed to be, but I hired somebody to help me. I went on a massive education trip for myself.

I found somebody and in this case, it was my mentor. I partnered with him on two large projects and found a way that I could add value to him. That way, I didn’t have to do the whole syndication, find the deal, have the broker relationships and raise the money myself. However, there was a value that I could add to him to learn and gain experience and even then expose my network to doing larger deals like this. In the beginning, everybody that knew me before was like, “Weren’t you a cop and federal agent? I don’t understand.”

There are some factors there of shock. That helped me and my network get past that, but I also started traveling to conferences and networking as hard as possible. I had no network of wealth. I was raised in a family where nobody was an investor and had the wealth to invest. To get past that belief as well, people think, “You have to grow up in the country club or doing those things.” I did not.

You have to have a ton of money. Sometimes you don’t need that.

It’s going to take some money. There are very few instances where it’s like, “No money whatsoever,” especially to get into this scale. There were many months we were producing the podcast early on. I’m an early riser. That was the time for my wife and me to connect, even in the craziest of times. It was in the morning and the word, praying together and talking about our day. It was so important to us, but there were many months where I would have to tell her, “I don’t even know if we can afford to do the podcast next month. I don’t know how we are going to do that.” The Lord provides some way. It did cost a lot to produce a daily show.

My son does a daily show as well. I know you have a recording day. I have a recording day, but he records every single day this ten-minute thing and I said, “Ten minutes?” When I do a ten-minute, that wasn’t worth its weight in gold, but he does a ten-minute every single day. It’s the craziest thing. You did that and you started getting involved. For those that are reading and saying, “That all sounds good, but maybe I don’t want to work that hard. Maybe I do.” They can reach out to you and you can be their mentor.

Maybe they don’t want to do it. They are saying, “I have some cash and savings. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m earning 0.0001% annualized on the money that’s in the account or maybe I have it in someplace that is risky.” Maybe they are in Bitcoin and they have had great growth. They are saying, “How could I maybe diversify?” What does it look like to be involved in a syndicate for multifamily generally?

Ultimately, your biggest risk is the operator. Everybody wants to ask about the deal or the location. Those things are very important. However, your operators have the most importance. Things happen in real estate. As anywhere else or any other business, there are things that happen that are unexpected and yes, we are going to try to project and foresee all of those things as much as possible. Have enormous reserve budgets, so we can handle those things. How is that operator going to treat me when times are tough or if something happens?”

You want to ask that operator, “How have you communicated in the past? What happened during this past pandemic? How did you communicate with your investors? Can you show that to me? Tell me about your worst property. What happened?” You want to get to know some operators. I always say get to know more than one. Reach out and talk to my team, but don’t just talk to us. Talk to many because you’re going to learn a lot by talking to different ones.

MLM 314 | Multifamily

Multifamily: When you go to have those first few investor calls, you’re going to be nervous. You just got to do it and get past it.

 

You’re going to come back around and talk to me again. You’re going to have different questions because you have learned a lot. I’m going to try to help educate you and other people are as well. You’re going to start that learning experience about this process. Eventually, you have to determine, “Is this the best investment for you?” We are going to try to determine that a little bit over the phone and walk through your specific situation, but then you have to determine, “Am I ready to put up $25,000 or $50,000 in this potential investment or type of project? Is real estate the best thing for me?”

Once we send out an email for a new opportunity to our list, oftentimes, it may fill up in a few hours. We are very thankful for that desire, but you’ve got to get in. You’re going to get more information from us, learn more about the investment, see a webinar from us and do different things. You are going to have time for questions. It’s a pretty automated process. We have a portal. You fund through. You sign all the documents electronically. We are going to communicate with you about when we close and all those things.

Every month, you’re going to receive a distribution from us. You’re going to get ACH direct to your account or check the mail, whichever you prefer, and an update that will tell you about how the project is performing and different details that are important to you as the investor. Our team is always open for emails or phone calls and myself at any time. It’s a pretty hands-off type approach. That’s why they call it passive investing. You’re getting the benefits of owning real estate but not having to take that call at midnight like I used to. My toilet is running or whatever it may be.

I did, too, for a light bulb. That was one thing we learned years ago. I was like, “Anything up to $100, just do it. Send us an invoice. Please don’t call me for a light bulb.” It’s crazy stuff. You started at zero. You had a mentor who was with you. That mentor probably had some credibility who is into you. It’s proximity credibility. How do you establish credibility when you don’t have it in that world? How do you raise funds when you’re banking on an idea? At that point, it’s an idea.

It is an idea early on and that’s a question I often get because it’s a roadblock for everyone when you’re getting started. Nobody had experience before they did this. Early on, it’s about partnering with somebody that has the experience ultimately. You’re exactly what you said. Even the podcast is credibility by association.

Every day, our investors are seeing my face with somebody else that’s the expert. Eventually, they hear my voice every day. We get on the phone and they say, “Whitney, I feel like I already know you. I hear your voice every day. I listen to you while I’m in the gym or on my way to work.” There’s already this comfort there.

Outside of that, partnering with somebody gives you a whole other level of confidence, especially having that mentor. When you go to have those first few investor calls, you’re going to be nervous. Anybody is going to be nervous. You’re worried about what they are going to ask. You’ve got to do it and get past it. Hopefully, those first few go easy on you. You’re going to learn so much.

What happens is that when they ask about your experience, you want to be able to talk about the person you’re partnering with. This may be your mentor or the team that you’re partnering with. “They have done twelve deals. They are in these markets. This is what has happened. This is why I’m partnering with them,” instead of having to say, “Well, you know.”

You don’t want to go it alone. There’s no question. I know this is one of the things that you talked about. That’s why I said I was going to come back to this because I had a feeling this was going to go down this line. It’s funny because my daughter has five years of experience in mortgage lending, for example, and my husband has 30. When she first came on, she said, “I don’t have any experience. How is someone going to work with me?”

Partnering with somebody gives you a whole 'nother level of confidence, especially having a mentor. Click To Tweet

I go, “You lean on the team. You lean on the experience that dad has and the experience that I had at that time.” I do think that’s important. Never go it alone. That’s really what it is. One of the things that you say specifically is building a team by hiring class-A talent, which I love. I always call it rock stars. You’ve got to keep up with me because I’m doing a lot of things. I need rock stars who can keep up with me, but they can also say, “Time out, you’re running too fast. We all need to catch up with you.”

How do you find that? The people that are reading here are maybe growing their businesses, practices or portfolios. There are a lot of things that they are growing. How did you find this A-talent? I always call it that I’m a talent scout. I’m always out being a talent. Even if you’re not hiring, you have to be on the lookout. What are some of the strategies that you have for creating this class-A talent?

I will give you a resource and some tips that I used. One resource I have learned is a book called Topgrading by Bradford Smart. It’s probably the best resource for hiring I have ever found. Even in hiring now, we probably use 1/20th of what he says in that book. It has improved our hiring to such a degree. I hired the assistant that I have now. She is a rock star. I will give you a couple of tips on how we found her. Your network is typically going to be a great place to find talent and people. Having that referral goes such a long way. However, that’s not always the only way. You may not find somebody that way.

We did for that specific hire to put an offer out through my network that we were hiring. Through the podcast and speaking, my network had grown very fast. I bet I also put the same offer out on places like Indeed. I created two separate forms for our CRM so I could figure out where those people came from so I could manage that. Also, what we did was in that job description at the bottom. There are four things listed that I need them to do. I’m very specific. The first two are mandatory. The second two are optional.

The first one is a fourteen-page questionnaire. That asks them all kinds of things about almost every job that they have ever had, high school and college. It’s all kinds of things that you’re going to want to know about this individual. Also, what that tells you is, “Are they willing to do this? Do they want this position?” We had probably 700 applicants for that position. Immediately, that allowed me to narrow that down to about 40 people.

Perhaps it’s the same fourteen questions you’re going to ask in the interview anyway. It’s the lazy man’s way of saying, “I will wait for the interview.”

How did they present it? Did they present it in PDF format like I asked or in Word format?” I had some printed out right on there with a highlighter. I’m like, “Really? You’re going to go to this much work.” It blew my mind. That allowed me to narrow that down even more. I took those and then narrowed them down to about 12 applicants out of 700.

Out of those twelve, I called randomly and said, “Hello, John. This is Whitney Sewell of Life Bridge Capital. Congratulations. You have been selected to go to the next round. I have four tasks I need you to complete by tomorrow. There’s no notice. Here’s what I needed you to do. Thank you very much. Have a good day. I look forward to hearing from you.”

I left it open like, “What does the end of the day mean to them? Did they have it to me by 5:00, noon or midnight the next day?” It’s not that they had to know the best way to do all four of those things, but it’s more so their effort, “How did they present it? Did they make an effort?” That showed so much to me about them that narrowed it down to four top candidates. My business partner and I did tandem interviews, which lasted about three hours at least with each of those people.

MLM 314 | Multifamily

Multifamily: If you’re looking to be active in this space, a mentor is a must. No doubt about it. And they’re not all created equal, to say the least.

 

Most of those interview questions in that fourteen-page questionnaire came from the book Topgrading, which I would highly recommend. That helped me to narrow that down quickly. It allowed me to see, “Who is going to work hard? What are some of their skillsets that allowed them to shine a little bit before we ever get to an interview?” During the interview, it was obvious to my business partner and me, who is excited about the position and looking for another job.

Let’s recap those steps for those that are reading in here. A fourteen-page questionnaire, right?

It’s about the job description, putting some things in there that’s asking them to do something.

A quick random phone call, saying, “I want four things. Get those done by tomorrow, whatever those are.” It’s some tasks that they would be doing in the job or something similar. You did a tandem interview between the two of you. You had two people listening in. Your fourth step was a final interview to make a decision.

We would occasionally do that. On this one, we knew which one of the four was going to be. That’s a very good summary.

I’m making sure we have that here because people are taking notes. They do the same thing. They are riding their bike, working out, driving down the road and saying, “What are the four things again?” I’m making sure everybody gets it. I knew you were heading in that direction because it’s a strategy that I also want to see how much effort they are going to put in at the beginning. If you’re going to impress me, impress me now. If you can’t impress me by getting the job, then you’re certainly not going to impress me when you have the job. That is an investment in time too.

What do you want to leave with people that are saying, “Is this possible for me to do?” Whether they want to do this on their own, find a mentor, create their own syndication or invest, that’s the biggest thing for me. As people are making transitions in their lives, growing their practices and scaling their wealth, all of this needs to be reviewed and looked at all the time. We always need to be looking for new options. We are all in different seasons, too, not as individuals, but we go through different seasons in our own lives.

The seasons are fine, but I always use the analogy of a ladder leaning up against a wall. As you climb those rungs, the things that you had in the beginning, you don’t necessarily use as you grow. The people that you surround yourself with may not be able unless you’re a barrel and a monkey and you can stretch between the $300,000 in assets all the way down to owning one little property. There are a lot of different people that are involved in different strategies and tactics. People are going to be in a lot of different arenas while they are reading here. What advice do you want to give them that spans all of that?

If you’re looking to be active in this space, a mentor is a must. There’s no doubt about it. They are not all created equal, to say the least. You have to do some research around that. Even bigger than that, you need a why, a mission and something that’s bigger than just a financial goal for yourself. It’s not only for yourself but for you, your spouse and your children. When my wife would pack me lunch to go to the basement or I’m traveling every weekend and all these things, my wife couldn’t care less about real estate. However, she is 110% behind our mission and helping these families. That’s why we started a foundation to help these families adopt.

Also, our children are directly connected to that mission. I can even paint that picture for them. They can understand at that point why they don’t get to see dad for a week or two weeks at times or some difficult times. I have to be able to paint that picture, even for them where we are going and what we are doing. Also, there are two other components that I didn’t see coming in early on. That was one of my employees. Believe it or not, your employees aren’t just there for financial gain, even if they think they are. They want to know they are a part of something bigger. They love knowing that.

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When we have a team meeting, I can say, “We partnered with two more families this month or this week. We were able to do this.” They love being a part of that. Also, our investors love knowing that they can play a role in this. It doesn’t affect their returns at all. However, by investing with us, our byproduct is that, “Children are being adopted into their forever families instead of being orphaned the rest of their life.” That has been huge for us.

That’s if you’re being active. Even if you’re going to be a passive investor, get to know some operators. You have to know this business a little bit. You want to educate yourself. It’s definitely one of the best ways I found to diversify your portfolio into some real estate and some hard assets that are going to benefit you and your family for a lifetime.

Jeff Hoffman is a friend of mine. He is the Cofounder of Priceline and Booking.com. He is the inventor of the kiosks that we use in airports. Jeff is very successful. He donates a ton of his money. His business partner is Pitbull. They both invest a lot of money in Africa in creating schools, clothing and stuff for kids.

One of the things that he says that I love and this fits perfectly with what you and your wife are doing, which is, “Your success is someone else’s miracle.” He said, “This is important when you’re thinking about your team and family. This particular thing is in the team’s aspect of it. It’s not having people to be hired for the sake of being hired.”

One of the questions that you could have in there is not a tactical question but rather a question of, “What are your dreams and goals because our success together could be the miracle that they need?” To be able to buy their parent a home and achieve something that by working with you and rising together, all tides rise boats. As rising together, your success can be someone else’s miracle. You’re living proof of that because it’s a miracle for these kids and the people that you’re touching.

I want to commend you on that. Congratulations on what you’re achieving. You’re at the very beginning of something great. I don’t think you’re even touching the surface yet, in my opinion. Thank you so much for joining us and spending time with us. It has been a great pleasure. Congratulations on all the success that you have had. What a great story. It’s a pendulum story from here to there. It’s beautiful.

Everyone, I want to say thank you for reading. If it’s your first time, welcome aboard. If you have been reading for a while, thank you so much for continuing to read. I will remind you to go to Jen Du Plessis. Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can watch us and listen to us as well. Sometimes you want to do both. Whitney, thank you so much for joining us.

It’s my pleasure. I’m honored to be here.

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About Whitney Sewell

Whitney Sewell is a country boy from rural Kentucky. He grew up riding horses and has always driven a Chevy truck. He is a veteran of the Army National Guard and spent all of 2005 deployed in Iraq. He was awarded the Soldier of the year that year. When he arrived home he began working for the Kentucky State Police and courting his lovely wife, to whom he’s been married for over 10 years. Whitney and his wife, Chelsea, have three children who came to their family by adoption.

They began investing in real estate in 2009 when it became clear that a career in law enforcement was not going to afford them the ability to live off one income as they desired. In 2017, they started Life Bridge Capital LLC, working with accredited investors and helping them improve their investment returns via the exceptional opportunities that multifamily syndication offers. Whitney has always had a passion for both real estate and helping others, and Life Bridge Capital LLC affords him the opportunity to do both, while also funding a very important cause that has become deeply personal. This becomes the best of both worlds for investors.

Through working with Whitney, investors not only receive exceptional returns financially but also change both the lives of orphans around the world and the lives of the families who adopt them. Whitney is quick to point out that while this is his own passion, he doesn’t make this the main focus to investors, but does hope a certain percentage feel good about what Life Bridge Capital does. “We provide a fantastic return for our investors, and that’s why someone should invest with us first and foremost. However, it is my hope that this component of our business – us giving 50% of our own profit to adoption – perhaps helps sway someone to work with us, assuming all else is equal, of course. This is our calling, but our investors can smile knowing that just by working with us, they helped a little bit too.”

We have 1000 doors under management valued at approximately $300 million. Whitney is the host of The Real Estate Syndication Show, a daily podcast where he interviews experts in the real estate syndication business and provides essential content for his listeners. He is also founder of The Life Bridge Foundation, a non-profit that supports orphans and their adoptive families – a cause near and dear to Whitney’s heart. Life Bridge Capital’s motto is: making a difference one investor, one child, at a time.

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