Most of the time, careful planning is a good thing. It is smart to develop a strategy first, and then take action on your goals. But the one situation in which it might be better to just put the blinders on and jump in? Multi-family real estate investment.

Pili and Jason Yarusi have a background in running restaurants and bars as well as experience in the family construction business. So when they were starting a family of their own and wanted to get out of the grind, real estate investment seemed like the perfect fit. They started doing capital-intensive flips and had success with out-of-state duplexes, but soon realized that flipping was a job that would have to be repeated time and time again. If the Yarusis wanted to achieve cashflow, apartment building investing was the way to go.

After doing a lot of reading and reaching out to mentors with multi-family experience, Pili and Jason found a quality property management company in Kentucky, and made use of the firm’s expertise to find a deal that fit their criteria. The Yarusis sold investors on their background of success in other businesses, and raised the $800K necessary to close on a 94-unit property. Today they share how their willingness to jump in without a clearly defined strategy paid off in the end and how they overcame the mindset challenges around multi-family investing. Listen in for Pili and Jason’s advice about reaching out to mentors and learning as you go.

Key Takeaways

[1:39] The circumstances that motivated Pili and Jason to invest in real estate

  • Ran restaurants, bars
  • Family construction business ‘gratifying, but grueling’
  • Pili pregnant with first child

[4:25] Pili and Jason’s start in-house flipping

  • Capital-intensive flips
  • No strategy going in (let idea grow)
  • Also purchased two out-of-state duplexes on gut feeling
  • Gave footprint (right questions, team members and processes)

[7:40] Why Pili and Jason shifted to multi-family

  • Realization that one single-family vacancy = 100% vacancy
  • Five vacancies in building with 100 doors = 95% occupancy
  • Multi-family income means you can afford team (on-site manager, maintenance, etc.)
  • Experience with duplexes taught them to vet property management company

[10:49] How the Yarusis moved forward once the decision to do multi-family was made

  • Jason educated himself, sought mentors
  • Utilized resources like BiggerPockets
  • Looked for deals in favorable out-of-state markets

[12:50] The mindset challenges around multi-family

  • Numbers seem scary (large = hard)
  • Concerns about raising capital

[14:09] How to overcome mindset challenges

  • Surround yourself with team, mentors
  • Meet people at networking events, REIA meetings
  • Reach out to friends of friends, other investors
  • The more you talk, the more it seems doable

[16:28] The hurdle of raising capital

  • Challenging due to lack of experience
  • Sold people on background of success in other businesses

[18:24] How Pili and Jason chose the Kentucky market

  • Looking for population growth, job growth/diversity
  • Familiar with Kentucky (friends, sister there)
  • Found property management company to offer feedback
  • Discovered property that fit criteria

[21:58] The Yarusi’s outlook when it was time to sign the contract

  • ‘Game time’
  • Work toward closing
  • Remain conservative (ensure return for investors)

[23:36] How much capital Pili and Jason raised for their first multi-family deal

  • $800K
  • Verbal commitments prior to contract
  • Didn’t start due diligence period until written notice of records received (extra 30 days)
  • One investor pulled out 20 days before closing
  • Scrambled to fill in gap

[25:27] How the 94-unit property is performing

  • Very well, achieved rent increases
  • Modest increase for good tenants
  • Turnovers up to market price

[26:45] The lessons Pili and Jason learned in their first multi-family deal

  • Walk every unit on morning of closing
  • Talk to everyone (don’t leave out any high-level investors)

[28:34] What’s next for the Yarusis

  • 47- and 57-unit in Kentucky
  • Bigger CapEx than first property

[29:56] Pili and Jason’s advice for aspiring apartment building investors

  • If multi-family is your endgame, start now
  • Consider the advantages of multi-family
    • Easier to secure loan
    • Can afford team
    • Vacancies less debilitating

Connect with Pili and Jason Yarusi

The REI Foundation Podcast

Email Jason at [email protected]

Email Pili at [email protected]

Resources

BiggerPockets

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

Review the Podcast on iTunes

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