Are you looking to invest in real estate but think that you are not good enough or equipped enough to succeed in this space? Then being on the right tribe should be a top priority for you. In this episode of The School of Cash Flow, GoBro Maurice Cyrus explains all the merits of being in the GoBundance tribe. He also talks about his journey to real estate investing from being an inexperienced investor to owning an 11-door property in Elkhart, Indiana, and a 63,000-square-foot commercial-industrial property in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Tune in and learn more about how having the right tribe and leveraging the different strengths of your team members can take your business to the next level.
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Running In The Right Tribe – Leveraging Teamwork With Maurice Cyrus
My guest is one of the fellow GoBros that I got to meet in person in May 2022 at the Commercial Academy conference in Las Vegas. We were learning more about triple net investing and commercial, specifically the retail space over at that event. I’m excited about my guest. His name is Maurice Cyrus. He’s a commercial real estate investor. His background is in the medical field. He’s an anesthesiologist.
He made the decision to invest in real estate in 2020. He jumped into the commercial real estate investing space with a big splash. He’s got rapid growth. I love that he’s taking action. Success is showing. Here’s a little bit more about Maurice as well. Throughout their medical careers, Maurice and his wife have worked as independent providers taking pleasure in serving their patients in Central Valley, California.
In July 2020, Maurice and his wife made the decision to begin investing in real estate. In early 2021, Cyrus Capital LLC was formed in a very short time. Their thesis changed from single-family homes and multifamily opportunities to commercial real estate. They own an eleven-door property in Elkhart, Indiana and a 63,000-square-foot commercial-industrial property in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Without further ado, welcome to the show, Maurice. How are you?
Dale, thank you for having me.
For folks that don’t know you yet, where do you reside? Where is home?
I live in Central California, born and raised for the most part. I had a career in the medical field. I am a nurse anesthesiologist. I’ve been working in that field for years. I’ve always had this powerful desire to know more about finance. For the past few years, that was expressed in the market. While other guys like to garden, I would spend hours reading finance, deconstructing companies and investing thesis. A GoBro named Joe Martin shared with me what he was doing in real estate. While many of the thoughts were a little bit different, the understanding of the preservation and growth of wealth from a poor kid like me growing up has always been fascinating for me.
Tell me more. Did you start real estate investing versus doing single-family homes over in Central Valley? When did that start? You’ve made the transition to commercial real estate. A lot of people shy away from commercial real estate because of the knowledge gap. They get scared of it but here you are jumping full force into it. I’m curious to hear more about that progression.
I’ve had several single-family rentals. Like many of the guys at GoBundance, I was always the most active person in my peer group. I loved investing. Real estate was something that I could get in front of a computer and learn. The market was my first expression of that. I certainly had several friends that are investing in real estate but it was nothing big, pronounced or changing the course of a family’s legacy.
I met a friend of mine. He is an orthopedic surgeon in Central California. He started Sierra Pacific Orthopedics or otherwise known as SPOC. He built quite the surgery center and surgery hospital. He’s a fantastic giver. He’s very philanthropic with the way he thinks and lives. I heard these stories about how much he gives. I had a chance to meet his wife who was a person from my church who spent a lot of time serving other people. There’s this couple whose whole life is built around giving.
I took a risk and shared with Eric that I’m having these thoughts. I’m not quite sure where to go but I do know that I want to do something big, meaning it’s not in my nature to nibble but I wasn’t quite sure where to start. These events started coming together at the same time. I met with Eric one day after his clinic over at SPOC in Fresno. He opened up to me about his giving, how he does it and how he creates as well.
It was the first time in my life that I’ve ever sat with someone who had built great wealth, not from a W-2 or a sweat equity point of view. He’s a person who created their opportunity in the form of this medical group and hospital center. He created it. He was the founder, creator, innovator and driver of the project. It blew my mind. I was certainly intimidated, “I don’t know if this could ever be me,” but he seemed to think differently.
There’s more of a little twinkle in my eye. It sounds stupid. He stopped me. It was the first time I experienced this. Later in GoBundance, I would experience it a lot. He said, “It’s not weird. It’s only weird to people who don’t think like us.” It was the first time I heard that. It was the first time a gentleman of his caliber used the word us with me. I appreciate it. He gave me some first steps.
I started doing the exploration that would lead to investments. I moved rapidly between thought processes. Here are houses, multifamilies and Airbnbs. I went through it all. What I saw were folks spending a lot of time on busy work. I didn’t want to buy and sell 100 houses. I wasn’t looking for the change of sweat equity from one to the other. I feel very fulfilled in the anesthesia.
That wasn’t the business that I wanted. That was another grind. I started looking at bigger multifamily and setting up teams. How do I do that? I pursued some folks that he knew. They gave me more. The real inflection point for me came when Joe Martin told me about GoBundance. He gave me the number for how much it costs to get in. I told him, “It’s crazy.” He called it tuition. I said, “You’re crazy. I’m going to give these guys $10,000 to hang out with them.”
I trust him very much. He pushed me and I did it. That was October of ’21. Since then, I bought that portfolio of eleven doors in Elkhart and the 63,000-square-foot asset in Vicksburg. I have been in a contract with a property here in North Carolina. I’m about to enter a contract with another. I could realistically expect to take down 3 to 6 properties in this asset class in year one.
That’s a direct result of GoBundance. It’s to get around human beings that want you to do a little bit more than talk about it. The more I talked about it and shared it with you, it stopped being twinkle in my eye and started being real as I saw other guys who had done it. I feel like I am one of them. I didn’t have to go lift a world. All I had to do was run with my tribe.
I want to unpack a few things that you said. There has been a lot of trajectory growth by joining GoBundance. I could relate to a lot of the things that you’re saying. For example, you had a lot of mindset shifts that happened even from the conversation with Eric because it’s as if you thought what you’re doing is weird but he made it seem like, “This is normal. You belong here. You see yourself along there and going that path at that time.”
That was enlightening. There’s always a turnkey moment for you to stay. Maybe you didn’t think you belong but he thinks you belong. I love that we have synergy. We’re both over at GoBundance. It’s one of those things. You meet the guys that are doing big things, talk to them and get to know them. They’re no different from you or me. It makes us realize we could do this.
It’s with the want. This is a little bit off-topic for talking about wealth building but it’s fun. To be around people that you view as your peers is flat-out fun. It’s the conversation I want to have. It’s the conversation that I had about myself. I was limited by the information that I read without any real practical approaches to building wealth. It was almost like a person who studies about the world but doesn’t get to travel and see it.
That’s how I was with finance. With GoBundance, the rubber hit the road. It was fun. I wish I could tell you it was about the legacy stuff but for the first time in my life, I don’t know besides My Faith Walk that I ever felt like I belonged in a group that I wanted to be in so much and whose participants I admired so much until I got to GoBundance.
I met you in May 2022 but I would have no idea that you got into commercial real estate investing. In the way you do your business and present yourself, you’re very purposeful. I don’t know if you’re always like that even when you’re doing anesthesiology. I’m curious. There’s all this dedication to developing this business. You’re so purposeful. Where does that all come from?
It’s not natural. Let’s be clear. I don’t know that it was always me. I was always on the move even if I didn’t know where I was going. Quite often, it wasn’t a good place but for me, it started years ago. I was about to be a father. I was aware of my immaturity. I had this faith that I didn’t want to live out because it costs too much, at least in my mind. For me, it started with that spiritual change where I was ready to leave the life, in my opinion, of a child.Master something first, and once you feel like you have taken down five or 10 deals now, see what's next and surround yourself with the right people and then do it. Click To Tweet
A lot of us don’t feel comfortable calling it that when you have a framework or mental reality that everything is revolving around you. There was something about knowing that my children were going to count on me and this woman who was willing to say, “I do,” to me, was going to be counting on my ability to cast a vision for a family generationally. For whatever reason, it emotionally hit me like a ton of bricks, not in a negative way but in a very solemn and joyful way. I was ready to answer.
It wasn’t loud. It wasn’t a party. It wasn’t something to tell everyone about. It happened very quietly and gently that I was ready to grow up and lead a family. For me, the intentionality of that infected every part of my life, the things I did, the words I said and the plans I made as a father. A lot of guys take it for granted. It’s what you’re supposed to do but that’s not the life I lived prior to that. Once I was committed to a life of being intentional, it impacted everything.
Curiosity is your going into commercial real estate. I take it you are still working as a nurse anesthesiologist too. Is that correct? You’re balancing out both.
I don’t want to stay this busy for sure. It’s no fun putting 20 hours in an operating room and then 50 hours into what you want to do. At this stage of my life, I don’t think it’s fair to my wife to put her and my kids in a tough financial position. If I want it, then I’ve got to go get it. I asked for her forgiveness for one year to let me get after this with the idea that I have a great deal of faith. Once the processes are in place that I have been building, they are allowed to run smoothly. It will mean less work in the long term. That’s what I work for in 2022. She is willing to forgive me. She is one to let me do that. That’s what I’m doing.
You are a massive action taker. A lot of people want to get involved in real estate investing but they keep analyzing and then never pull the trigger. You didn’t come up in the real estate space. You weren’t a realtor, a lender or anything like that. Getting into real estate investing is scary. What was it that put you at ease to be able to even take down your first multifamily?
The main catch is nothing. I don’t mean to be funny with your question. There are a lot of people in the real estate space. He’s a motivational speaker that has a big organization that teaches folks how to think and interpret things. He has these six pillars of needs for every human being. I won’t get into all six but it is Certainty, Uncertainty, Love and Significance. There are two more but I won’t get into those because I was interested in the ones that affected my wife and me.
The first time I heard that, I was thinking, “How could you say certainty and uncertainty? That makes no sense. Who needs uncertainty?” She started to explain it. That was me. A lot of us have this little Dennis the Menace in us that is a little risk-taking. I don’t think it’s an accident that you find a lot of people in our group that got in a little trouble in our youth. We had to get called to the principal’s office a little bit. It’s a little bit of a high-wire act. There’s something in us if I’m honest that loves that feeling.
Maybe we drive too fast in the car sometimes. There’s a certain personality that comes with the space. The interesting thing about the commercial real estate space is you don’t have much room for self-deceit. What I mean by that is you’re told by everyone, “If you don’t smartly go about your business, you will get your head handed to you.” No one wants to lose a couple of thousand dollars on a house flip but it’s not going to end the life of someone. You could lose millions in one deal with laziness.
Part of the CRE space in my mind is it takes a human being that knows who they are. That’s rare because if someone says, “You can get into this space but if you’re not who you say you are, expect to get your head lopped off sooner or later,” you have to answer the question. This space is a space for people that won’t let any stone be unturned. It won’t let any bow not exist. Loose strings can’t work. You won’t miss anything. You will outwork your peers. This is a space for high-end achievers.
In every space, some people are putting in their work on a time card. That’s not this space. If you aren’t who you think you are, it can be very painful. Even though there are a lot of us that live to see when we’re forced to make a decision or pay a price, we will say, “That’s not for me.” When you know that you are built for this and it’s fun when you hear it from other people who are wiser than you that you are built for this, that’s the whole thing about this space.
I don’t think it’s a space to be comfortable. That’s why I like it. Every single deal has terms. It could be adversarial, unlike homes that have all these government protections. You’re buying from another person who might be a shark, most sharks aren’t looking out for you. Buyer, beware. It’s your ability to take the appropriate steps and make the appropriate decisions under sometimes a lot of duress. I have felt some duress. It’s not for everyone.
If you can’t walk up to the podium to get married to everyone there and the rings are out and you can’t walk away at the very last minute, this isn’t for you. You’re going to be disappointed because many of these guys know the time to push is at the very end. I’m learning quickly that you sometimes get the biggest curve ball with about fourteen days left in escrow.
They’re doing this to get something they want, which fundamentally changes the deal. They will put it in a take-it-or-leave-it form. It’s ruthless. I’ve experienced that no less than three times. There were a couple I was able to close and a couple I wasn’t. Those bad deals could lead to a lot of lost capital. If you don’t have the spiritual wherewithal to say no or goodbye or to walk away from the deal, this is going to be a painful business experience.
Knowing that you’re all in commercial real estate investing, I want to double-check. What are your commercial asset classes that you’re focusing on and why?
It’s industrial because it’s where I did my training first and took down my first deal. If I’m frank, at first, I was everywhere with the Shiny Things syndrome. One of the things I am good at is listening to the advisors and people that have what I want. When I say, “Have what I want,” I don’t mean money. They’re equipped in such a way that I want to be equipped. They have sound decision-making and a history of success that’s replicable and plausible.
They have demonstrated it over and over again. They demonstrated integrity and leadership. When I see that guy, I’m all ears. When they say something, I listen. Jake Harris gave me some great advice. For those of you who don’t know, he’s the Catching Knives author. He has a great podcast. He said, “To master a class, master an asset.” Once you master that asset some of them relate. There are ways industrial and retail relate. They are different but there are a whole lot of basics there.
Master something first and then once you feel like you have taken down 5 or 10 deals, see what’s next, surround yourself with the right people and then do it. I was everywhere. I had an opportunity to buy 50 single-family homes in Ohio. I thought it was a very good deal. I had no freaking idea how to arrive at a value for these. I took the opportunity and called a buddy who knew what he was doing. He was able to benefit from that.
I didn’t dive into something that I wasn’t equipped to handle. The message is to focus on the asset class. If you haven’t mastered it, don’t jump around too much until you do. You can move asset classes. Guys do it very well but it takes time for that mastery to occur. You’ve got to do some deals and mitigate some issues. For now, it’s industrial, which usually by definition has a little office because many times, it’s 90% to 10% industrial to office in the asset itself.
I want to ask you about the geographic areas where you’re investing in. Catch me up on that. What area or areas are you investing in and why?
I tend to stay in the Red states. There are a lot of opportunities in other states, no doubt, particularly in the Midwest. The Midwest is a great place to invest for the long-term cash-on-cash investor. You don’t get a lot of growth but you get the purchase assets cheaper. The rents are pretty congruent with rents in other areas even though the prices for the asset are cheaper.
You would think, “Why not go there?” The asset is depreciating quite often in those areas. The tax liability in the Midwest states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana is going to be significantly more than in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Utah, Alabama and Mississippi. All these Red states are going to have significantly less insurance.
As an example, I was interested in a property in Illinois. It was in Winnebago County. This particular property was $14.4 million. The year prior to that, the owner had paid $167,000 in taxes, which is a lot of money. Being a novice and not evaluating that percentage in my head to the $14 million, if I would have, I would have realized that’s a very low percentage for Illinois and probably not accurate.Surround yourself with people that fill in the gaps to make up for what you may not know. Click To Tweet
As we dove into our due diligence, we found out that the tax rate and Winnebago County is the highest in the country. It’s somewhere between 12% and 14%. That’s unheard of. Even California where I live is a pretty expensive real estate state. It’s not 14%. That means on a $1 million property, every year you pay $140,000. You can do that. That would be more than your mortgage.
They’ve got a lot of funny stuff. I didn’t want to deal with that. In North Carolina, the deal that I had been on a contract with, their interest rate was 1%. It was an appreciating environment. It’s my approach to do the legwork even if it’s harder to get the below-market deal in an appreciating environment and play the long game because this is what I believe in. I will get an asset in control for myself and anyone who trusts me and invests with me. I’m always very honored by that.
We buy it and position it. It gives us money for a long time. Every five years or so, we’re removing the value from that asset and refinancing it. That’s why I prefer to be in areas of the country that are appreciating. I’m hot on the tail for a deal that hopefully will have new contracts for the next 7 to 10 days. To give you a sense of this, the population is growing at an average of 7% a year.
That’s massive because there’s a massive amount of people moving into the Charlotte, North Carolina area and that secondary Triangle. In Illinois, the population hasn’t changed in 50 years. It has continually shrunk. That should be disconcerting for any business over time. A shrinking population and high taxes mean that for them to subsidize their more robust government programs, they’re going to have to take more from the remaining citizens. That’s a long-term play that I’m interested in.
Can you describe a typical deal that you’re looking at or you would go for?
I’ve got several ideas. You asked me what kind of deal I was interested in. There has been a little evolution for me because I keep running across properties that fit the buy box for many of my GoBros who do self-storage. That wasn’t in my buy box before but I’m opening up my mind to identifying properties with GoBros and partnering with them so that their mastery of the asset would take precedence over my lack thereof.
I look for buildings greater than 20,000 square feet, buildings with a little acreage and buildings in great markets and submarkets in the states I’m in. It’s about every market. I look for great tax areas where the tax burden isn’t as great and the local regulations aren’t as onerous. What that typically means is I arrive at a Red state frankly. Mississippi and Alabama are not growing like the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida but they’re growing.
People follow businesses. Businesses are going to those states because they’re open for instance. An example of that would be this last property that we have been evaluating. Hopefully, we will get it under our control. We were able to access a state office. Their whole reason for being was to connect local businesses with out-of-state businesses including international businesses. That’s awesome. They weren’t there at our building to hassle us. It’s quite the opposite.
They were trying to collect the positives of the area or the submarket and what we could offer to international businesses. I got some very strong leads as a result of that. These are the states I would rather be in. They want us there. They want the business there. They want to grow. Eventually, it might even be somewhere my family and I want to live. That’s why we focus on that. There’s industrial. I would add industrial with the ability to convert. It’s something I’m opening my mind to in terms of partnerships.
A lot of people feel uncertain because of the economy. There’s a looming recession coming potentially. For you, since you’re actively looking at deals, are you doing anything differently to hedge against any potential wonky waters that might be coming from the economic environment?
I expect to see a lot of blood in the water. It happens during these times. For those who are well-positioned, well-leveraged and have been sound decision-makers, these could potentially be the times that springboard you into long-term lucrative positions. I am not afraid of the coming recession. While I don’t want to see anyone struggling to put food on their table do so, as an investor, I’m gearing up for opportunities. What I’m doing is everything I can in the different properties or assets that I own to avail myself of as much capital and dry powder as I can, using it to finance itself.
One of the pieces of advice I would give to someone is if you’re going to have a line of credit or HELOC with an agency, a bank or a credit union, make sure you keep that money at another bank so that they do a sweep or if they pull back on credit, they certainly don’t have a liberty to do so. You could put that money where you want to use it as you will. There will be an increase in opportunities over the next 12 to 18 months.
As a simple rule of thumb, I’m looking for properties I can get off-market for 20% to 30% less. I believe my process lends itself as a natural mitigant because you buy something below-market at the time knowing that markets always return the way they are at some time. I’m in an appreciating market. I don’t think you could turn off the spigot to North Carolina.
It’s my position that a bad recession will hasten the move out of states that are owners of businesses. It’s not going to stop me from buying. Will my buy box get smaller? Yes, because with more opportunities, I’m going to be more aggressive in pricing. It’s that simple. Another thing that I expect to see is our business has always had yahoos.
The way that expresses itself is there’s a property that’s worth $100. They owe $100 or $110. They are interest-only. They’re too spread out and overleveraged. When we see those interest rates rise and they cannot handle their debt service, those properties go to the market. They quite often get foreclosed upon. That’s where the guys that are so positioned can avail themselves of that. That’s why I’m building up capital reserves as we speak.
Speaking of off-market deals because I’m not sure about your setup, what are you finding is the most effective ways of deal-finding? Are you going direct-to-seller, working with brokers, networking or all of the above?
By definition, it’s all of the above but my focus is direct-to-seller. In the direct-to-seller technique, there’s nothing new under the sun unless you maybe add silent voicemail being relatively new. In some way or another, cold calling has been around since telephones. We’ve got phones and texts. Aside from voicemail, we’ve got mail or some mixture of that. Several companies provide good services for that. We tend to focus on texting, calling, cold calling and so forth but I do know that guys have been very successful with a mail point of view.
One of the things my research has shown me here is each technique works better for a certain class. I plan on incorporating a little more paper trail because many of the older folks that are in some of these properties communicate that. They may not have a bunch of time we spend on the phone and are maybe more receptive to that form of communication.
I’m curious about all the stuff that you’re going on. You’ve assembled a team. How big is this team? Describe some of the things that you have people doing for you.
I do have the ability to underwrite but I don’t have the experience that other people would. I found an underwriter that could do the work and has underwritten everything from massive multifamilies to commercial real estate of all asset types. His skillset dwarfs mine. Given his reasonable price, it seemed like it was pretty reasonable to have him do it. I get to go over it and check his assumptions. I have two virtual assistants that help me with reaching out to potential sellers.
It’s their job to handle and maintain the platforms on my CRM. I use Podio. It’s their job to reach out to sellers, manage that information and package it into a form where I’m ready to insert myself, which is usually when we’re ready to talk to someone. My super skill is to be able to make someone feel comfortable with the voice on the phone and come up with a plan that meets what they want or need, meets ours and makes them feel comfortable about doing it.
I’ve had some success with doing that. They tee the ball up. In terms of people, I have a person that gathers the information. That’s one. I have two people that synthesize it and place it in the appropriate templates and databases. I have two VAs for that and the underwriter. That makes up five so far. One of the issues I had was I wanted mentorship with these high-end deals. I put it out there. I was unable to do it.You can’t properly move forward in this world if you cannot connect with other people and have some form of trust. Click To Tweet
I ended up finding this fantastic human being. His name is John Penn. He no longer works in the office and never shows up in the office but has a 50-year career with a massive portfolio of work for the biggest companies in the world. He understands what I’m doing in such a way that is very deep and intimate. He will share it with you if you ask him. The first few deals he did coming out of Harvard Business School was a 100-story building with paper, a pencil and an eraser. He underwrote the things that we use Excel for.
His ability to use Excel makes it easier. He has a clear form of communication. He’s in San Diego. He is sharp as a whip. He chooses to work because he likes to. He gets to work on his terms. He gets a kick out of me because from his point of view, he could see my, “Go get them.” It’s an affirmation. I found him as a freelance. He was a freelance person whose job was to advise on business deals.
I threw some things at him with some other deals that other guys have done. His advice was on point. At one deal I gave to him particularly, I wanted to see how he would catch things that didn’t go well. He saw within five minutes what he would have a problem with. Sure enough, that was the problem we have. I’ve got a very high degree of trust. I have my underwriter do it. I package this deal. I use CoStar as my primary foundation of information and data.
As I package these deals, I’m ready to go. I hand it to John and ask John to kill it. I don’t want to ever take anyone’s money or lose mine on a bad deal. His job is to give me every reason not to do it. If he can’t kill it, then I have a deal. That’s the way I approach it. The last person but not the least is the broker I have in whatever state I’m working in. In North Carolina, my broker and partner is a guy named Taylor. He’s awesome. He knows all forms of this asset class of commercial real estate.
He can shepherd or build through. He wasn’t as knowledgeable on the investment side. I probably had as much knowledge there in terms of the way finances move but on the acquisition side, he’s as smart as it comes. I recognize his talents and try to go past the typical broker-client relationship. I invited him into a partnership where he was able to grow as an investor. There’s a deeper level of trust where we find these deals. If I find a deal without Taylor, he’s still my bet.
You’re very resourceful. You’re good at circling or surrounding yourself with people that fill in the gaps to make up for what you may not know. Are you finding all these folks and business partners a lot through GoBundance? I’m curious to know the network to find all these people.
One thing is I’m not afraid to talk. If I’m with you and this group brings it out of me, I will default trust at this point in my life. There was a time in my life when I didn’t do that. I don’t think you can properly move forward in this world if you cannot connect with other people and have some form of trust. I realize that can at some point cause pain but if you handle your business correctly with regard to contracts, understanding and structure, it should be interpersonal and not financial because everything I do has checks and balances.
I’m not afraid of that. I can be in a deal with someone who gets on my nerves. That’s okay. If we have a successful financial deal, it will work out. Maybe he’s not a person I jump to with the next one but I default trust in relationship and service. I have a belief. It has everything to do with my faith. If I am who I’m supposed to be and I trust, do right by others and serve, then I’ll take what comes inside of that. If I get nine great opportunities and one of them doesn’t go as well as I would like because the person wasn’t who they were selling, I’m going to live with that. That comes with the territory.
From your being in commercial real estate investing, are there any big lessons learned or even horror stories on any deals past or present? Is there anything that shocked you?
Greed is a killer. I’ve seen it. Every one of us wants to do well but if money is the why, I keep seeing them wreck and make bad decisions because if you love money, then you’re going to have a fear of losing it. There’s no doubt I want to feed my family and make good decisions but if you make good decisions after good decisions, it’s going to work out. Bad decisions are framed in fear. The love of money brings out this inappropriate fear, at least for decision-making. I don’t know if that’s something I’ve learned in real estate. That’s something I learned before I got here.
Real estate affirmed and confirmed it. The other thing is there aren’t a lot of rules in what we do. There are concepts and principles. If you follow them, you will do well with regard to ways to do due diligence and having the appropriate contracts. Even if you’re friends and you trust one another, do it by the book. It keeps everyone safe. If you’ve got a twenty-year relationship when things are in a rush, maybe that would be an exception. Especially in your 1st or 2nd time out with someone, play it by the book. It makes everyone feel more comfortable if there are any rules in regard to interpersonal relationships.
I host the Triple Net Call. We discuss some of the things that people do that are less than good partners. There’s a lack of transparency. You can’t get a straight answer that has a set value in space and time. They have a very colorful story but they don’t have much data. They don’t want you to do your due diligence. They dissuade you from learning about the asset that you’re buying. They sell the shiny thing but they don’t sell process. The folks that do well and don’t do well over time understand it’s a process.
If folks are promising things that aren’t anywhere else besides this weird promise something should pop up. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Those kinds of things with human beings, I knew before I got here. They have been affirmed to confirm. We’re in an asset class where people love shiny things. It’s back to that level of money business. If someone promises you a lot of money, all he needs is $500,000 of your money. You better watch out.
All good points are taken. What’s your take on investing with a team? Are you doing a lot of investments with the business partners? Would you like to invest by yourself?
In my first deal, it wasn’t a big team but it was a team. I enjoyed it for several reasons. It allows the expression of talent as it exists in each person. In the team concept that I wanted with this deal that I’m in, the team is central to where I’m going. In the people that I admire in GoBundance and the guys who started GoBundance, over and over again, you see a team. Even when a team is a family, it’s still a team because each person brings a set of talents.
The deal that I’m in brought a person. He’s a bulldog negotiator. I was almost uncomfortable, “Are we going to lose this financing?” Sure enough, that broker had some movement to be done. In this environment, we came out with 4.76% non-recourse and 75% loan-to-value. It was because he had that specific skill that he brought to bear. If I did one thing right, I backed up because he felt convicted about what he was saying.
I was going to let my players be players if that makes some sense. Let your wide receiver be a wide receiver. This is what Andy brought to the group. I thought it was awesome. It’s good for him that he’s there. Taylor brought some ability to see some problems coming, was able to notice right away the repercussions of things and kept me safe. These talents are brought to bear. I don’t see any other way to do it at this point.
I certainly think the only mix you need is some mixture of experience at the GP level. You may not even need a ton but you need it. You need an advisor. It’s almost like a borrowed valor. Someone says, “How can I trust you? This is your first syndication.” That’s a fair thing to ask. When a person can demonstrate that our team has 50 years of experience and this is being brought to bear on this deal, that’s a fair mitigant to that question. The team is everything. Your team should be filled up with people that have something that you lacked. If you get five clones, then you’re not a very good leader or team picker.
Leverage everybody’s experiences. I love how each person in the team could see that deal different from the way you see it to uncover these blind spots. That’s very powerful. We’re rolling into these last questions I have for you. What are you excited about in your business?
It’s that team. I had the good fortune to listen to a very strong investor named Pat Hiban who wrote a book that was some of the founding ideas of GoBundance called Tribe of Millionaires. I saw visually this spreadsheet of all his investments and cashflows and where they’re coming from. It was 98% team. I saw two Pat Hiban-only things in all of these horizontal cashflow assets. It hit me hard because while I accepted the team might be okay, it was always finding someone that helped me.
What he found was his team was someone that he could give to, serve and bring his talents to bear for the team. I don’t like to think of myself as the self-centered kid that was here years ago but I got into that a little bit. Once I saw what he did and what he brought to his team, my mindset changed. I said, “What can I bring to my team?” I’ve set up an acquisition model, the team, the flow and the CRM in such a way that I haven’t seen another CRM.
Podio is set up on YouTube. That’s something that someone else could find useful. I don’t have Taylor’s acquisition history. I can’t recreate it. It took him twenty years to get it. It’s good on him for having it but he didn’t have my setup. I don’t have Andy’s hardcore negotiating skills. How do I know that this guy has some more on the plate that he’s not sharing with me? He brought that. It’s a stringent process. He’s used to being in a position of trust because he works his financial life out with his brother, which is awesome.Greed is a killer! Every one of us wants to do well, but if money is the why, you can make bad decisions. Because if you love money, then you're going to have a fear of losing. Click To Tweet
I’m excited about who we bring along next. I believe and hope so, unless they say something different, that the three of us are ready to do it again. I’m super excited about who we bring in along next because there are guys that think very highly of that aren’t five years deep but you see success written all over them. I would love to be a part of their equipping. They can bring their hustle and excitement into it. We will keep the old hats on our team and let them be the rudder for us so we don’t go a little too crazy with our excitement.
Speaking of success, what does success mean to you?
I don’t know that I have a big financial view of success. I’ve got more money than I ever thought that I would have. I don’t live a life where I need a whole lot more. In terms of my self-care and my family’s self-care, anesthesia provided a good life for my family. I’ve been investing hard in the past years. For me, it’s intertwined with my faith. There’s no getting around it.
I want to be a man in the image of my Lord and Savior. That’s who I am. I want to be a giver and a servant. I want to do it big, live my life out according to the talents that I have and live congruent to those talents, not swimming against the stream of those talents. If I have the ability to cast a vision and create synergies, I can create what’s not there. I believe in the ability to share a vision with others and say, “Let’s go.” If there are any risks, I’ll take them first and go. I will charge a hill.
Success for me is being able to live in my talents. Deion Sanders said this in an interview. They said, “How are you doing?” He goes, “Life is good. I’m walking in my purpose.” This is a guy who is the best cornerback of all time. He’s a coach. He pulls the best recruits in the whole country to the small historically Black university over at Jackson.
Success is probably a little Deion Sanders version, “Am I walking in my purpose? If I am, I’m good. If that means something bigger, that’s great. If it means not quite as big, that’s great. If I’m doing what I was born to do, made to do and equipped to do, I’m going to do some good things and build with the friends and people I care about.” What a life. Are you kidding me? I’m taking that.
You’re taking everybody for the ride, growing up and getting beyond successful together. What’s the superpower that has got you so far in life?
I live my life according to something I call the line theory. I share this with my children as well. Getting somewhere depends on knowing two points in time and space. Where are you going? It seems like people can figure that out a little bit better with a little help because that’s fun, “I want to be bigger, stronger, prettier, more handsome, richer or whatever your er is.” The hard part is defining the point you’re at. David Goggins talks about that a lot when he talks about being more than you think you could be.
It is because so many of the things that are going to stop us from getting from Point A to Point B are internal. My superpower is the ability to describe in myself reality as it exists, not as that as I would have it. Based on that reality, I create a plan to get from Point A to Point B and get there. It sounds simple. I don’t tell you how I’m going to get there but I’m going to get there. That’s my superpower. Many times, people can be physically good at lots of things that inhibit them because it takes them on these journeys that are not from Point A to Point B.
My mindset is framed in that straight line. The thing I need to accomplish in that straight line is to know where I’m going. I have to be honest with where I am financially, mentally, educationally, academically and relationally. If I can get those things right, then I can start building a plan that gets me from Point A to Point B. If I lie about any of those first to myself, that lie is going to be what torpedoes me.
My last question then is this. How can somebody get ahold of you?
You can reach me at my email, Maurice@CyrusCap.net. My website is coming online. You can feel free to reach out to me through my email. I’ll share that with you. I’m a member of GoBundance. If there’s any GoBro that wants to reach out to me and talk about synergies, I would love to do it or do for him what a guy did for me. If he has some questions that he thinks to sound weird, I’ll be the first one to tell them they’re not. They’re quite normal for people like us.
Are there any final words? Is there anything else you want to say? Is there anything that I forgot to ask you?
That’s it. Thank you for having me on. You have this super powerful communication. I sat next to you for quite a few hours on that one little trip to the Commercial Academy deal that we attended. You can listen. I’ve seen you listen intently. You don’t miss a thing. That’s a superpower to have in the room. I’m glad we connected. We’re going to be listening more.
I appreciate that. I’m glad that you joined me on this show. Thanks, Maurice, for joining this episode. I appreciate you sharing your story and your real estate journey with us so far. I feel your energy and momentum. You’re going to kill it. I love this team approach you’re bringing because you’re going to bring a lot of people up with you. It’s going to be a fun ride. Your drive and passion are very infectious. Those are the things that I noticed about you.
I wish you all the success as you scale up this business. We’re going to be connected through GoBundance and Commercial Academy. To my readers, feel free to reach out to Maurice directly if you have any more questions for him. Thanks for checking out this episode. Remember to leave a review on iTunes as it helps me attract even more great guests like Maurice. Until next time. Live life abundantly.