40 Doors In 5 Years! With Anton Ivanov
Have you ever wondered how it would feel like doing property analysis with just a few taps on your mobile device? Apps that save you from such real estate woes do exist, and this is what Anton Ivanov delivers to us. Anton is a real estate investor, entrepreneur, and the Founder and CEO of DealCheck. His platform is one of the top real estate analysis tools for quick analysis and comparison of rental properties, flips, and commercial buildings. In this episode, he presents the ins and outs of his software including what you need to understand further as a new investor. Learn more from Anton himself as he gives us a tour around his system.
I have a special guest from San Diego, California. His name is Anton Ivanov. What’s cool about this guy is he and his wife were in the military. They were in the Navy. They decided that they wanted to get financially independent and in five years, they amassed 40 doors bringing in $12,000 a month. That’s a great accomplishment. It seems fair and reasonable. When people tell you they did it in six months or a year, maybe there’s a little luck involved in that or they were phenoms, but five years to amass $12,000 is reasonable. A lot of people out there could do it. Anton, how are you doing?
I’m doing great, Mitch. How are you? Thanks for inviting me.
Give us a little background. You’re in the military for how long?
I was there for six years and then my wife did eleven.
Did you meet your wife in the military?
We did. It was a funny story. She was my boss.
Give us a little background. What raised your head to real estate? What opened your eyes?
It was unfortunate circumstances how I came to own my first property. It was the Navy that both me and my wife were in. We were stationed out in Japan. They sent us on a ship far away from home. As I was there, both of my parents passed away young. It wasn’t expected. It was some medical issues they were going through. They owned a property. They owned a condo in San Diego that they lived in. While I was stationed out there, I ended up inheriting it. I was a young kid in my early twenties. At that time, I didn’t have any inclination towards real estate. I was beginning the whole getting together my finances, starting to invest in the stock market, IRA and 401(k).
All of a sudden, my parents passed away and I got this property. I was a little overwhelmed because it was out of state or technically in a different country. I was in Japan and it was in America. I almost sold it at the time because I didn’t want to deal with it. I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t know anything about rental properties. I did talk to a few people that were smarter than me, older than me. They said, “Why don’t you not make any sudden changes, any drastic decisions? Just keep it.” They helped me find a property manager locally and they took over management and that became our first rental property. It was an accidental landlord experience. I know quite a few people go through that. Maybe it’s under unfortunate circumstances that they get those properties and a lot of times they do sell them. I was fortunate or lucky not to do that. I owned that property for quite some time and I still do.
I’d say that’s what opened my eyes up to real estate. It was trickling passive income every month. It was professionally managed so I didn’t have to do anything. That was like, “If I get 10, 20, 30 more properties like this, I’m set.” If I can create this business, create this system of consistently generating passive income with rental properties, then me and my wife could retire early and we don’t have to do 20 years or 30 years in the corporate world.
That’s what happened to me. Everything that happened to me was an accident. As a matter of fact, looking back, my whole life has been, “That hurts. How do I stop that from happening again? That felt good. How do I make that happen more often?” The business world started to come at me. I was running it through the same simple filter. How do I stop things I don’t want to happen and how do I multiply things I want to happen? It’s like what happened to you. You liked that little passive income trickle and you thought, “How do I multiply that?”
Not only that, it also did another thing for me with that one property. I met quite a few investors. We talked and they’re like, “I just want to buy a couple of properties and retire.” Back then, early on, I realized that having one or two properties is not going to be enough. It’s great income if that’s all you want. If you want a little side income, that’s fantastic. I realized that it’s like a snowball. Every one property, you might get a few hundred dollars a month of cashflow. If you want thousands, $10,000 plus and you want a retirement income, you need more. That’s where our goal with my wife came off of having 50 rental units that back then became our driving motivator. We figured if we have 50 units, that’s about $150,000 to $200,000 yearly cashflow and that would have been enough for us to retire.
You’re doing multifamily. Units are doors. It’s 50 doors. You’re in San Diego, California. My first question when I was talking to you is, “Are you doing this in San Diego?” Because my inclination was in San Diego and a lot of places in California and a lot of places out there like California, you can’t do business there because the numbers don’t make sense. You are going out of town. Tell me about where your properties are. I understand you started out maybe one in San Diego and then you took off because you have better places. You had to get over that obstacle of doing business from afar.
The hands-on education you get from buying deals, managing properties, and going through the whole process is more valuable than cashflow.CLICK TO TWEET
You definitely have to be realistic about where you live. You always hear people say, “It’s easier to invest in your local market.” I think that’s 100% true especially when you’re starting out. Real estate is a very hands-on experience especially when your new management property is hands-on. It’s safer. You’re here, you can go see the property, you probably know the area where the property is better. If you live in the town, you can drive by that. I definitely think investing locally makes sense. When me and my wife got out of the military, we moved back into San Diego and settled in. We did buy a duplex that we house hacked, which means we bought with owner-occupied financing, low down payment, lived in one of the units and rented out the other. We made it work. We found a property that we needed to fix up. We took a holistic look at the market and that’s when we became realistic with ourselves and decided that there’s no way we’re going to buy 50 doors in San Diego within the next ten or even twenty years. The price here is too expensive and they don’t cashflow. Even if you find a cashflowing property, it’s like a two or three cap. Your cash on cash return sucks. For every dollar that you invest, you’re not getting to that much in cashflowing. You have to be realistic with yourself.
Your cashflow was such that if you have one-month vacant, you’re way behind now. Heaven forbid if you can see the three months vacancy. I’d like to talk about that. It is easier to invest where you’re at but it’s also easier when you’re investing where you’re at. Start doing things that you shouldn’t be doing as a real estate investor like mowing the yard yourself, picking up the trash. I mentor people on how to buy houses, sell them and carry the note. You’re a landlord. I teach people how to be the bank. There’s no right or wrong way. There are two sides to the coin. You can buy and hold or you can create notes. There are so many strategies in this business. If you can’t find the one that you like, just find your niche. The problem is a lot of people won’t settle into one niche and then that’s the big problem. The other problem is that there are a lot of people that are calling me, they’re from places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas or New York.
My strategy doesn’t work there. Your strategy wasn’t going to work in those places very well. Either the prices or the laws can also work against you. A lot of times there are places where the prices are not so bad but the laws are horrible. The occupant has more rights than you, the owner or the lien owner. I always tell them it’s a little tougher to learn to do business out of state or from afar. Once you learn that, you have the business that you should have been working to build in the first place. It forces you into that. I would tell everyone out there, if you were on a desert island with the internet hook up, you would figure out how to do it if that’s what you needed to do to get off that island. If you’re overseas, you can figure it out. If you were in prison and you’re getting out in ten years and you don’t want to have to work and you had an internet hookup, you could figure out how to do this all and never leave a ten by ten square. You would if you had no choice.
That’s a very spot-on perspective. Once we started investing out of state, we focused more on building systems and building the business, building the processes to automate it to run without me and without our involvement because we’re not there. It does it in a way puts you in a position where you’re more focused on creating a sustainable model in terms of rental properties, how to create a portfolio for rentals that somebody else can manage for you and you just collect the cashflow.
At that point, you are a real business owner. You’re not working in a business. You haven’t created your own job. One of the things that happen as entrepreneurs is we get into situations where we need things out there that either aren’t available, the things that are available are too expensive or more expensive than what we want to pay or they don’t do exactly what we want them to do. You’re out there looking at all these properties from the far and you figured out this template how you analyze properties. You invented a software where you go out and professionally analyze properties and it’s turned into quite a success, hasn’t it?
It has. It’s been a wild ride with that. It was exactly like you said. I was looking at a lot of properties, sometimes a dozen a day. Deals come across my table and I needed a software solution that I could quickly analyze each property. I run several acquisition scenarios and get my cashflow numbers, get my returns but also do things like look up rental comps, look up sales comps, figure out what’s the max offer price that I can put on this property, create a report I could send out to my lender or my wife even for that matter, who was my business partner at the time. I didn’t find anything like that. I started with Excel, like most of us have. It’s the bread and butter and it works to a point where you want to save your analysis, you want to copy stuff. It becomes a hassle when you’re dealing with a large volume. You want to do things quickly.
That’s where the idea for the software that I wrote and the company that I found. It started with my personal need. I didn’t expect it to go anywhere. It started with a mobile app that I built. I have a software developer background so I did all the development myself. I started using it myself and showed it to a few people, other investors and friends. They love it and that’s when I thought, “Maybe I should polish it up, add the features, create a full product around this and start marketing to people.” That’s exactly what happened. It’s been quite successful. We’ve grown to over 100,000 users primarily in North America. Investors and real estate agents who work with investors use the software to analyze rentals, flips, wholesale deals, multifamily, commercial, basically any type of property that they want to run cashflow projections, profit projections from flips, and then do a whole host of features around the analysis.
One of the things that I wanted to focus on is build a platform that was geared towards analysis in one complete solution. If you want rental comps, we got them. If you want sales comps, we got those. If you want to create a report, you got it. If you want to look at 30, 35, 40-year projections into the future, analyze your exit strategy, see how your rental properties will be formed, we got that. It’s an all-in-one software program for analyzing properties that you can use both on your computer and on your phone and all the data syncs with modern technology. You’re driving around and you start analyzing a property on your mobile. You come home, pull it up on your computer and continue from there.
I want everyone to go to REInvestorSummit.com/proanalysis. It’s got a free trial level that you can pick. The good news is if you go the whole way and buy the whole big kahuna and get everything, it’s $19 a month for a real professional accurate analysis of properties. That’s a great price to pay. If you don’t have a tool like that in your tool belt, you’re seriously screwing up because one of the things that hurts a lot of the new people out there, even the old guys like me, is when we miscalculate that value. Everything starts with the estimation of the value. When you’re starting out in the real estate business, if you want to know what you need to learn first, you need to learn how to assess value. If you can’t get that right, everything after that screwed up.
We built a lot of tools specifically for new investors into the software. We got a glossary that shows you every single formula we use. It’s not a black box. We know that as an investor, you want to know how the math is done. We show all the math so you can actually learn as you go what these numbers mean, how they’re calculated. It’s a very beginner-friendly. It’s not like we’ll throw you in and expect you to know everything. We want to teach you the process. As far as pricing, we try to keep it very low and reasonable. We have a free forever tier, not a trial. It’s a natural progression. As your business grows, as you’re analyzing more properties, as you need more advanced tools then you can look at one of our paid subscriptions. It’s less than what you pay for lunch on one day. You get a full suite of analysis tools on your phone, on your computer, on your tablet and on any device you use.
Anton, do you have any other things that you give away?
No, I think we’ll do the deal check. We’ll create you a promo code. It’s a little discount if they want to upgrade. I’m good with that.
What else can you ask for? You’re going to get a chance to get a free property analysis for life if you want until you’re ready to move up. Do you ever owner finance houses? That’s what I specialize in. I sell houses with 30-year fixed financing. I wanted to ask you, do you know anybody that does that? Because someone says they don’t think anyone else was doing it. I’m sure someone else is. I just haven’t heard of them.
To be honest with you, I’ve yet to sell a property myself.
I know your MO. You’re the buy and hold.
I’ve looked at owner financing. A few of the people I bought property from, we had talked about it, but we just never ended up using it. I know it’s there. I’ve met people who all they do is they only buy it with owner financing. I don’t think you’re the only one. I think it’s a great strategy.
I’m talking about selling.
I’ve met people with that exit strategy. They own a property maybe five to ten years and then they decide to sell it. They do an owner financing on it to other investors.
Most of the people I know, they want to sell the note or they want to liquidate but I’m trying to find some people that are out there doing it so I can interview them as well.
I’ll ping a few people and send them your way if they’d done that quite a few times. I’ve thought of it, looking at our portfolio of ten years from now, I decided, “We don’t want to do the whole landlord thing anymore.” I would prefer to sell them with owner financing and collect the paycheck rather than just take the money, take the tax hit and then try to figure out what to do the money.
These notes are temporary. It expires sometime and my flips are one-time checks. My forever play is the rentals as well but it’s mini storages and boat storages around the lake. People say, “Why don’t you sell that? You’d be worth a fortune.” I said, “Yes, I’d be worth a fortune. The government would take a big chunk of that fortune. I’ll figure out what to do with the money that was leftover and I already got it in something I know how to handle. Why go through all that just so I can have that feeling of having all that money in one place for a brief moment? I’ve got to go put it somewhere.”
That’s a great strategy. It’s something I’m not there yet I guess because we haven’t sold anything but I’ve definitely looked into that and I had this exact same thought of, “Why don’t we do this instead of liquidating them?”
How long have you been in the business?
We’ve been doing real estate aggressively for about five years.
Hats off to you. It took me a long time to figure out what you figured out in a relatively short period of time. I’m not making excuses but I’m saying that now, people have the internet to get more information. You guys that are out there reading, the field is not even comparable to the field that I had to start on years ago. There are people giving very freely of their knowledge. There’s a lot of information out there. There’s also some bad information so be careful. Run it through the mill first before you take everything for granted. When I first got in, the gurus would tell you all about the money they were making but they wouldn’t tell you about how they lost it.
Unless you buy the $10,000 course and the seminar.
Even then, they would hardly tell you about that stuff. They were all telling you how glorious everything was. If you go out at night, you will get beat up.
It was definitely a different time from what I hear. Kudos to people like you who started and became successful in that time without all this information and all these tools and software programs being available. I think it was much harder.
In a way it was but also during that time, I could open up the classifieds at 8:00 AM and by night I’d have a deal. If I screwed up, I’d have two deals and I’d be worried about how I was going to fund them all. It had its pluses and its minuses because now, there’s a house flipper on every corner. You have a lot of competition. I appreciate you taking the time to come on. Is there anything I’ve left out or anything you wanted to share that I didn’t get to?
The one thing I always like to say to new people especially those starting out is the most important thing, in my opinion, is cliché but it is starting out and that is buying that first property. Don’t be afraid to start small. Nowadays, you go online and you read about people buying 200-unit apartment complexes and doing multimillion-dollar flips. There is nothing wrong with starting small and buying a small house, single-family as your first rental property, getting your $200 cashflow check every month and building from there. It’s a learning experience more than anything. The hands-on education you get from buying the deals, managing the properties, going through that whole process is more valuable than the cashflow you get from those few properties because that’s going to create a foundation and set you up for scaling your portfolio later for getting into those bigger deals. It will give you confidence in investing locally or out of state. It’s all about starting and we’re all going to make mistakes. It’s given and it’s all about learning it and becoming a better investor.
You could liken it to conditioning or strength training. You don’t start off bench pressing 300 pounds and you don’t start off running a marathon. You’ve got to start off in little bitty pieces, something that you can handle that’s not going to defeat you immediately because it’s so big or because you don’t know. It’s something that you can find a little reward at the end of. It’s not about the money on the first deal. It’s that you do the first deal and you get through to the end. That process will seem very difficult the first time. It will seem a little less difficult the second time. The third or fourth or fifth time, it starts to become routine. Those are the steps we go through. I appreciate you taking the time to be on.
Mitch, I had a great time. Thanks for inviting me.
I want the audience to check out the software that you can analyze these properties. It’s REInvestorSummit.com/proanalysis. Go there. It’s got a free option. You can get in that software, check it out and you can move up whenever you want.
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