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ANNOUNCER: This is the Investing Revolution, a podcast designed to help your real estate investment strategy. On this podcast, we'll teach you the actionable steps to take in pitfalls to avoid so that your real estate investing can thrive.
JONATHAN COOK: Welcome to the investing revolution. My name is Jonathan Cook, and I will be your host along with my co-host Christine Bennett. Hi, there. And our other current co-host for this episode, Todd Ortscheid. Hello. So we are the team here at Revolution Road Management. We are going to speak about real estate investment, how to do things, how to do things in the most optimized way possible. We're here to help you make a go at real estate investing. Even if you have a handful of properties, maybe you have a bunch of them. Maybe you're starting out with none. We are here to help you make these decisions and help you be informed about how to do this right. And so, you know, I want to let everyone introduce themselves, Christine. I would love to hear your story, how you got into this, why we're making this podcast, what, what, what you feel about this. We can we can really help people with.
Christine Malpica Bennett: Yes. So I started in real estate about 12, 13 years ago now, and I, you know, I kind of joke about it. I got the real estate bug. I started in college and I started pretty much in two thousand eight ish when the market was crashing and I, I was in student housing and I started working with investors. It's funny. I called my dad and said, Hey, dad, can I have money for hair lessons? And he said, no. So then I called him back and I was like, Hey, well, can I have some money for a real estate license? And he goes, OK, yeah, that'll work, OK? So I went, got my license and I started working with investors. I started putting in Rio offers that led to doing a lot of short sales. I used to negotiate for you, negotiate with the banks and quickly, quickly got a real education from real investors. Central Florida was one of these markets that investors were flocking to. And I'm talking, you know, small entities that were actually owned by big REITs coming in and just wanting to buy as much as they possibly could. So I started really, you know, understanding what their strategies were and how they were making money. And, you know, why were they even interested in Central Florida? Why was it such a feeding frenzy to buy these properties? And that's where I got the bug. I just I couldn't. I never left. From that point. I was originally doing the sales portion of it, and because I was working with so many investors, I just started doing property management. It just made sense. It started out by necessity. Fast forward a little bit. I bought my first property, which we'll talk about, you know, property classifications. It was definitely a C class property.
JONATHAN COOK: And I can you explain a little bit about what a C class property is?
Christine Malpica Bennett: Well, I think we'll do an entire episode on it, but see classes generally. I mean, a less desirable neighborhood, you know, lots of rental properties. You don't see a lot of owner occupants. And ultimately, I bought it. I lived in it for a period of time. I when I closed on it, I had three hundred dollars in my bank account after I bought it. And so I, we were ripping up the carpets by ourselves. And it was it was. It was a journey which I'm sure you guys are laughing now because you know me at this point, I don't I generally don't rip up carpets myself. But fast forward, that property actually became my first rental property. And I'll talk about that quite a bit in coming episodes about how I did everything wrong in property management and managing that investment. And that's that's how I got here. And fast forward, I worked as a property manager for years, and then I decided I wanted to open my own company and did that. Todd was actually one of my mentors when I was wanting to do that and did that, then Todd and I did a thing. We did a business merger. And that's how we got here.
JONATHAN COOK: Oh, that's awesome. Todd, can you back up and you start from your journey, which I know yours is much different coming from the airline industry to here and building this company that you both own. It's. Really, I think it's a pretty interesting story.
Todd Ortscheid: Yeah, it is definitely a little bit different. So I mean, not too many property managers started out as airline pilots, I'm guessing. But yeah, I was originally an airline pilot. I started back in two thousand in that career. I was based up north and I actually bought my first property when I was a co-pilot at one of my first airlines, and that property became a rental property for me. So that was kind of like my first taste of real estate, and that was back in 2001 2002, something in that range. So I had that rental property. I left Ohio. That's where that house was. And I really, you know, I was a licensee in real estate but wasn't really doing anything in it. So I mean, I had been licensed for a long time. Meanwhile, my father owned this small property management and real estate company, and he kept bugging me. He wanted me to get involved in it. I was never, you know, I was a pilot. That's what I had always wanted to do since I was a little kid. So I mean, that's what I was doing. I wasn't really focused on real estate, which is kind of a side investment type thing. And then the airline I worked for, I was originally a pilot at AirTran, merged with Southwest Airlines, and I was going to get shipped off to the West Coast.
Todd Ortscheid: And I was in Atlanta at the time and I said, I really don't want to live in Oakland, so that doesn't really work for me. So finally, I said, you know, maybe I'll take a look at that real estate thing. Maybe that's something I'll actually be interested in. And I started that. That was, you know, two thousand eleven twenty twelve right around there, and my father was approaching retirement age. So he said, Well, why don't you start taking this business over? So that's what I did, and I got into property management, took over that business. We had sixty one units. My father managed was kind of like a side thing, his real estate sale, which is what he was really focused on. And I grew it from there. So we started growing hundreds of units we were managing and it just became a passion, you know, just growing the business. Not so much the real estate side. I mean, for me, real estate investing is a way to make money. You know, it's a way to build wealth. That's not really where my passion is. My passion is in the systems, you know, building a great business that can manage other people's property. That's really what I focus on, and I really love that.
JONATHAN COOK: Well, what about how did you get into realizing like, Oh, I think I understand how this industry works. I think I can build all these systems in a way that they all operate super, super efficiently, because that's I mean. Some shorthand people in our industry for years when I first met you. It was three or four or five years ago, something like that, and that's always been the niche that you filled was like, if you want to know how to build a business that moves and operate super, super smooth. You go to Todd and let him teach you how to do that.
Todd Ortscheid: I mean, it really it comes from that airline background. I think because when you're in that environment, everything is always a continuous improvement. So because you're in a business where a mistake means people die. So, you know, it's it's that kind of environment. So everything is about systems, checklist policies and procedures. That's that's what your life is and you're just immersed in that. So when I came to this business and I started applying that to this where there was so much portfolio management and everything going on where there's just one person had all their procedures in their head and they were just doing everything themselves. And I look at that and said, Well, that's no way to run a business. You can't do that. That's not going to work. So I just started applying those airline principles to this business and it worked out great.
JONATHAN COOK: Oh, that's great. And so when you met Christine, how quickly were you like, OK, I guess we're going to merge and have a super business now. It's how long did it take you to make that decision? Because clearly your match made in heaven. Who wouldn't have thought this was a perfect idea? So it was probably
Todd Ortscheid: What a year and a half, two years, something like that before we actually did the merger,
Christine Malpica Bennett: It was like two years, two years.
Todd Ortscheid: Yeah. Originally, she had just called me looking for help when she started up her business down in Orlando, and she just heard that I was up here in Atlanta doing what I was doing down in Port Orange, Florida, at the time. So we just met up and started talking about things, and I could tell that Christine had all this, all these skills and experience and everything in sales and marketing. She was fantastic at business development, all that kind of stuff. And I had, you know, I had none of that. You know, that was not my skill set. My skill set was the behind the scenes stuff. So, you know, after a while, it became clear if we combine forces, we would basically have everything that we needed to have this perfect business.
JONATHAN COOK: Yeah. It's very clear that that's what we have here, and I'm very excited to be a part of it. When, when when I joined Na Fam, that was what in twenty eighteen. I believe one of the first people that I became pretty fast friends with, I believe, was you and I, you know, probably drinking whiskey or something better, to be perfectly honest. But my story of how I got into this field is I essentially grew up in real estate, which my family, my mother and my stepdad owned and still own quite a few rental properties, a large number of them in Birmingham, Alabama, where I'm from. And, you know, being in real estate kind of, you know, my family was in it a lot. My stepdad has a broker's license. My mother got her, you know, license for her salesperson's license. And when I became a father, I moved back to Birmingham from Auburn, Auburn, Alabama, which was a little college town. We moved back to Birmingham and I got my real estate license that was in two thousand seven. So I got a license in a really nice good cells here and I sold a lot of houses. Then the next year, the entire bottom just completely crashed, which was an absolute blast. It was really fun rubbing, you know, pennies together for a long period of time. That was that was adorable.
Christine Malpica Bennett: But don't you think because we started in that same time period, don't you think that was an education that you couldn't pay for?
JONATHAN COOK: Oh my god. Yeah, of course. I mean, and without that, I think if the market had continued like it was in 06 and 07, I probably wouldn't have started diving into real estate investing like I did when 08 happened. And I, you know, would have five or six listings on the market for four hundred days apiece or some crazy thing. You know, I started to be able to close properties and started working with real estate investors, and they were local Alabama real estate investors that that were trying to show me what they knew. And you pick up stuff and my parents were investors and it's like, OK, I think I understand this industry. And then the more and more I worked in it, I went from just buy low, sell high to, oh, you know, there's like there's some math to this. I can figure this math out. It's just numbers. It's just moving around on a spreadsheet. Now, I love some spreadsheets. I make a lot of spreadsheets, guys, because that's very important to me. When I got into property management, it just became an additional like, oh, a whole new things to put in my spreadsheets, basically.
JONATHAN COOK: I had never had. So much access to information data, it was like we have maintenance numbers, oh, we have years of maintenance numbers. Oh, I can average some stuff out. I can figure what things cost. Oh, I have access to general contractors now, and I just I just built a lot of systems on top of that for the real estate investor clients that I had and continue to develop that over the years until, you know, finally, I begged you guys to let me come work for you all. And, you know, real estate investing has been, you know, probably my specialty in every real estate company I've been at for probably since 08. So I mean, that's what I've done. That's what I've engrossed myself into. And so me coming and working here. Rev. It was very intentional because the ways in which the two of you have built this company optimized for real estate investors just became a perfect place for me to come and be like, Hey, look at all my spreadsheets, guys, let's build an empire.
Christine Malpica Bennett: So I really think that, you know, our vision is very clear. You know, we we have all the systems we are. We have everything in place to make the investment, as I won't say, risk free but mitigate the risk for the owners and provide good service to owners and residents. I mean, that's what we're here to do. And I think I think people will really enjoy just listening because we're all pretty candid. We are all, you know, pretty straightforward, and I don't want to sugarcoat any of this. I want to talk about what we've done right and what we've done wrong. And I think that's where the value that is.
Todd Ortscheid: I think it's also important to note that we're real estate investors, too. So we don't just do property management. We also personally invest in real estate. So I mean, this is something we understand things from the investors perspective, and we've been renters too. I think I think all of us have probably rented property. So we understand from the residents perspective also. So I mean, it's we kind of see all sides of it.
JONATHAN COOK: Yeah, and that's what I want this podcast to be. That's what we've all discussed because it would be my ideal new property management client is someone who has been listening to us. I mean, it's it's always better. And y'all both know this to be true if we can catch an investor before they've made all these mistakes because we have we are here. And that's what this podcast is for, is to help you make as few mistakes as possible and make smart decisions and understand how to build a team and build a plan and operate real estate investing in a way that can. Basically, build an actual little real estate empire. That's that's what we want to do for people, because what is the best hedge against inflation currently in America? What is disappeared? The middle class for sure. And what is the best way to rebuild that?
Todd Ortscheid: It's always homeownership.
JONATHAN COOK: Absolutely. That's that's it, I mean, and that's what we're here to do. We're here to help people realize that American dream because it's still there. It can be. Captured again, it just takes some intentional purpose, it takes some know-how and it takes a team. And that's what I want this to be. I want this podcast to be able to provide people an actual, you know, actionable way to get to that American dream of old.
Christine Malpica Bennett: I think one thing everybody will appreciate is. A lot of these things that we talk about, a lot of the fancy acronyms, a lot of these concepts. They're not all that complicated. They are really very attainable. And I think when we dive into each topic and each episode and just break it down, I want I want people to realize how nonpretentious this is. You can do this. You just need to have the right people around you. You need to have the right support and you do need to educate yourself. And that's our that's our goal here.
JONATHAN COOK: All right, I mean, and I want to say that's that's probably where we should cut this one unless anybody has anything else to add, I
Todd Ortscheid: Think that pretty much goes over what we're looking to do and oh yeah,
JONATHAN COOK: Definitely. And so I want to say thank you again for listening. Please make sure to like and subscribe. Hit the little bell thing on the notifications, and you know, we'll see. We'll see you in the next episode.