You know it’s time to make a career change when your job becomes more difficult to be both profitable and fun. Today, Toby Mathis of Anderson Business Advisors talks to Ken Harris of Harris Properties Investment Real Estate and Austin Commercial Real Estate Investing Group. Ken was born and raised in Houston. He went to the University of North Texas to study economics and finance because he wanted to be a banker or stockbroker. However, after serving in Vietnam for one year and then four years in the Air Force, he decided to return to Texas, but not Houston.
- How did Ken end up in real estate? He didn’t want a state job or to work for a corporation and then be transferred after a few years
- Why did Ken wish he would’ve never done residential real estate? Didn’t know any better
- What should Ken have done? Started directly with commercial business, mostly doing side acquisition for users
- What happened to Texas in the mid-80s? Economic crisis, a total collapse, where Ken ended up with a lot of debt and real estate
- Why did some of the richest people and home builders in Texas declare bankruptcy? Lenders no longer giving loans or wanted loans paid back
- How did a two-week projet turn into a 25-year career? A friend in construction business asked Ken to find locations, property owners, and negotiate deals for cell phone towers
- What is Ken’s secret to success? Living a long time and owning places so long to build up some good equity
- Why did Ken decide to be a passive investor by getting into apartment syndication? Didn’t want to work hard or have as much responsibility, so converted his equities
- Why did Ken decide not to be a deal sponsor? Wanted to build a portfolio around his lifestyle and love for the outdoors
- How did Ken pick his syndications? Focus on who’s running/sponsoring them; know those people are in a position to take care of what needs to be done
- Why meetup for lunch every Tuesday? Networking and education are primary focuses for Austin Commercial Real Estate Investing Group
- What are some of Ken’s biggest wins? Holding onto real estate and then selling it; although it stabilizes, it doesn’t usually go down much
- What’s Ken’s advice about the world of investing? Understand what passive income is, how you establish it, and how you can make it work
Ken Harris’s Phone: 512-288-2022 or 512-663-2022
Ken Harris’s Email
Full Episode Transcript
Toby: Welcome to the Anderson Business Advisors Podcast. This Toby Mathis. Today, I have a great guest with a group I have actually been down and spoken to. It’s really an exceptional group as far as experience, with Ken Harris, who is down there with Austin Apartments buyers. Fantastic guy. Welcome, Ken.... Read Full Transcript
Ken: Great to be here. Glad to join you.
Toby: Just as a precursor before we get into what you do, your group, and everything else, just a background. You grew up in Texas. This is your home and you always lived there. Did you start someplace else?
Ken: I was born and raised in Texas, third generation, in Houston. I went to school at the University of North Texas, which is north of Dallas, and studied Economics and Finance.
I thought at that time, I wanted to be a banker or a stock broker. Then, I went to the military. I was in Vietnam for a year. After four years in the Air Force, I knew that I wanted to come back to Austin, Texas not Houston.
I’ve said before, I offended some people. I’ve said nobody really lives in Houston because they wanted to. They just live there because that’s where their jobs are.
Toby: […] make a few friends here.
Ken: We […] in Texas Hill Country. Austin started the gateway to that, so I decided to make my home here. The problem was at that time—we’re talking about 1971—Austin wasn’t so big. Most of the jobs were state jobs or state agencies. I didn’t really want to do that. The other jobs offered to me were corporations where I might be transferred in a year or two. That’s how I ended up in real estate. If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have never done residential real estate. But then, I didn’t know any better.
Toby: Really? You would’ve stayed away from residential units?
Ken: Absolutely. Started directly with commercial. I know people who do that these days and that’s what I would’ve started with. I was in the business wasting and selling houses. I had a franchise office about 16 salespeople. I did that for about six years, but I decided to make the change, so I went south. In the late 70s, got into commercial business, mostly doing side acquisition for users.
Mr. Gatti’s, a local pizza chain in this part of the country, 7/11, folks liked it. I did a lot of side acquisition work like that and that business. I ended up business with a partner. We started doing little shopping centers and office buildings. We got a carwash business. We had about six self-service carwashes.
That gets into the mid-80s and young people don’t know what happened in Texas in the mid-80s.
Toby: What happened?
Ken: The economic crisis, a total collapse. Basically, I’ve said before, the state closed. The state went out of business. It’s a little bit ridiculous but we had hundreds and hundreds of see-through buildings, big office towers all over the state. Not a tenant—one—anywhere.
The banks in Texas at that time, there was no branch banks. Every bank was an individual bank. You bank in national bank. You bank at that bank. There were no ATMs. There were no branches. The banks ended up going out of business. All but a few of Texas banks ended up in bankruptcy.
Lenders who have come to us and said, “Hey, we won’t loan you money,” a year later, we’re saying, “You have to pay back that loan. We can’t honor the terms we said we were going to give you because we don’t have the money.”
The richest people in Texas filed bankruptcy all over the state. The former governor of Texas, John Connally, was actually in the car with Kennedy when Kennedy was killed. Connally was wounded. He was an attorney, but he ultimately got into the real estate development business and he filed bankruptcy. I remember his governor’s chair being auctioned off.
In Austin, the Nashville Scope was a name of a home building company. In 1985, they were homebuilders of the year of the entire country in National Home Builder Magazine. It was in 1986 or 1987 they filed bankruptcy. They went out of business.
That happened across the state. As a result, my partner and I ended up with a lot of debt, and a lot of real estate. It was small compared to the bigtime folks. It took us about four or five years to negotiate our way out of all of that. During that time, I really went into the real estate business making a living. I own a lot of real estate and that meant a lot of responsibility.
In 1990, a friend of mine who’ve been in the construction business came to me. He was making a living building cellular telephone tower sites. He said, “The problem was, we need somebody to help out with the real estate—finding locations, could run down property owners, find out who they were, where they were, and negotiate a deal for a tower.”
I started doing that in 1990 thinking I want to be like him. Maybe a two week project and it turned into a 25-year career. That’s what I did pretty much full-time for quite a while. The first few years, I was learning my way. After that, I got into it seriously and got some very, very good years. A lot of good stuff.
Toby: You would go to the property owner and you’d said, “Hey, we want to put a cell tower on,” or would you negotiate it?
Ken: What happened is that whoever was looking for a location, we’re saying, a tower or antennas, could be up on an existing tower, it could be on a water tower, it could be on top of an office building or something like that. Somebody had to figure out how to locate property owners.
The engineers work at their computers. Their radio frequency engineers work at their computers and figure out, “Okay, this is where we need something.” They would give that to me and it was my job to turn that information into reality. Find out what the possibilities were, get the engineer’s approval on the best possibilities, and put it together.
The tower companies, whether it’s an individual tower company or cell tower company, lease the locations. I work for the tower companies. I was getting paid by them on a fee basis. We did a lot of those deals. I did over a thousand of those deals over the 25 years I was in the business mostly in Texas.
Toby: You would just go into these multi year leases on somebody. How long was the lease typically?
Ken: Most of them were 25-30 year leases. That’s what we did. During that time, most real estate investing I did was almost by accident. That is real estate that I owned, residences that I lived in. I keep it as a rental house and buy something else. Then, after a few years, I did some 1031 Exchanges. I rent houses for duplexes. I did that.
Somebody asked me (one time) my secret to success. I said I was living a long time because owning some of those places 25 years or so, you’ll build up some pretty good equity. That’s what I did until about 2014, along in there.
By that time, the cellular tower business had consolidated a lot. About 15 years, I had one customer, Verizon Wireless. Good folks, but it just became more and more difficult for it to be both profitable and fun. So, I decided that I was going to make a change. That’s when I began to take a look at what we know more about real estate investing. I looked into fix and flip business and decided that was hard work and I didn’t want to work hard anymore.
About that same time, I also learned about getting into apartment syndication. The more I learned about that, the more I decided I wanted to be a passive investor there. That’s what I did over a few years period of time. That’s exactly what I’ve done. It’s basically converting my equities to being a passive investor in apartment syndication.
I’m in about 2200 units, about 12 different entities, 15 properties, and 10 different cities. It’s almost none in Austin, Texas. It’s mostly around other places. A couple of those are out of state. One in Albuquerque and one in Lawrence, Kansas.
Toby: Wow. After all these years, it sounds like you did residential, you did a lot of commercial, you did […], and then you settled on, “Hey, I’m going to invest in syndications and people that actually buy the apartments.” You don’t manage the syndications, I take it?
Ken: I looked seriously at the possibility of being a deal sponsor. For me, at this place in my life, I don’t want that much responsibility. It’s hard work but the hard work part didn’t bother me. It’s a lot of responsibility to investors and sometimes, it can take five, six, seven years or so. Seven years from now, I don’t want to have that kind of responsibility. Me, personally. I know guys my age that are still doing those things and that’s what they want to do. I choose not to. I want to go hiking, biking, camping, kayaking. Those are what I want to do.
Toby: Yup. You built your portfolio around your lifestyle. “I want to sit back and just get the checks.”
Toby: How did you pick your syndications then? That’s a big one. There are a lot of folks out there that want to put money in real estate and they’re scared to death, or they get ripped off, or they’re worried that their money is going to be locked up. How do you pick yours?
Ken: I focus on who’s running, who the jockey is. Some people like to look more at the horse. I look more at the jockey. I want to know who’s doing it and be comfortable with those people that they’re going to be in a position to take care of what needs to be done.
I’ve been very lucky in my decisions. I don’t do a terribly good job of analysis. I look at the basics, which are available to most folks. But those are numbers that are provided by the deal sponsor, more or less. You can see how legitimate the numbers are, but it’s harder to really analyze them completely.
So, I just try to make a determination. Are these folks the folks that I think are going to give me wealth? I’ve been fortunate. I do a lot of that of paying close attention to who’s sponsoring the deal and how I feel about that. Truthfully, I’ve done a few of those that were kind of, “I don’t know, but let’s just see,” and they turn out very well.
Toby: Do you ever have a relationship with the people that you invest?
Ken: That is correct. There is not anybody that I’ve invested with. There are folks that I just don’t know anything about at all. I have some […].
Toby: Tell me about your group. So people would know, I’ve had the pleasure of going down and speaking to them. It’s a really educated, smart group. I was joking, I was saying that if I’m going to go down and give a talk, if I can’t get through my first slide, I have a good group. If I’m going through our slides like crazy, it’s because I’m not getting a lot of feedback or there’s not a lot of questions in your group, I probably didn’t even get past the first slide. I just remember, very intelligent, very good, people. Maybe share with us what it is, what you guys do, and how you came about.
Ken: Sure. It started because I thought I wanted to be a deal sponsor. I knew that to be a deal sponsor on syndicated deals, Reg D 506(b), has to be based on personal relationships, no general solicitations, and a meet-up is a good way to establish those kinds of personal relationships. That’s how it got started in the first place. That was about 40 years ago.
For whatever reason, the decision was made that it will be a weekly meeting. Not once a month, not first Tuesdays. It’s every Tuesday at lunch time. It’s a lunchtime meeting. That was our logic that you need to be able to have the flexibility to come to a lunch meeting. We started on that basis and it’s just grown.
Our focus primarily is on networking. Other people want to do the same thing. Deal sponsors want to come in contact with passive investors. The same thing, passive investors looking for deals to get involved in. So, the networking aspect and then education. It’s the same there. Education of passive investors so they’ll know what to look for in deals. Education in deal sponsors so they know how to make the right connections, connect with the right people.
That’s generally what our focus is. Of course, when you were there, we talk about income tax, their taxation. That’s important to both passive investors and deals sponsors. The meet up is that kind of meetup. That’s what it’s about.
One of the things that has happened, to be mostly in the discussion room, but it’s grown so much that it’s hard to do that and the demand for education trainers. People who do what you do has grown so much.
We have a speaker tomorrow. That would be Tuesday the 7th, 2020. Our speaker tomorrow is a friend of mine and he does national presentations. He also has a podcast; he probably has done 500 of those […].
Toby: Who is it?
Ken: The guy’s name is Tom Singer. What Tom does is go to corporate meetings. He’s an emcee for corporate meetings and a lead speaker across the country. Tomorrow, he’s going to focus on goal setting; some of the gaps between good intentions and actually accomplishing goals.
Those are the kind of things we focus on, education things along those lines. We meet every Tuesday. We met on Christmas Eve, we met on New Year’s Eve at lunchtime.
Toby: How was the attendance?
Ken: We are about 35 or 40 people on both days. Tremendous crowd.
Toby: What’s the name of it? What’s the name of the meetup?
Ken: It was called Austin Apartment Investing Discussion Group. We now changed the name to Austin Commercial Real Estate Investing Group simply because some of our focus is on more home parks, storage facilities, self storage, and other possibilities.
The main group is still on apartment investing, but we can syndicate anything. We successfully syndicated all sorts of real estate and we have parts of our group there branching out to other areas. Austin Commercial Real Estate Investing Discussion Group and it’s a meetup. Just meetup.com. Look for Austin Investing on meetup.com.
Toby: Free, right?
Ken: It is no charge. We welcome everybody. I say that we are nondenominational. I use that to refer to the fact that many meetups are associated with a particular mentor. We have mentors that come to our meetups. That doesn’t make any difference whether you’re a mentor, have one, don’t have one, or who you’re associated with. It is for everybody that’s interested in commercial real estate investing, whether as a deal sponsor or a passive investor.
We really like newbies. People who are just starting out. They don’t know exactly what they want. They learn about it and ask questions. What I told people is, “You come to my meetup every Tuesday for three months. You’ll know all the questions and most of the answers. You’ll get it because you can’t help it. If you’re in there, you’ll get presentations by people like you and many others who sit on the table with the guy who owns several thousand apartments, you’re going to catch on. You’re going to figure something out.” It’s for everybody.
Toby: It sounds so interesting because I get these people and they always say, “Hey, what do I learn? What do I learn?” In our world, a lot of people are going through a company’s workshops. They’re doing these. I always say, “I will probably learn more from just meeting people that actually did it.”
Toby: Yeah. It’s nothing against the workshop or seminars. They’re absolutely wonderful if you invest yourself. The whole trick is to go there to meet people that are doing what you’re doing and if we have a meetup that’s even better. You can hop in and you’re meeting people that are doing what you’re doing, which is great.
Ken: We’ve been blessed with some very heavy hitters that come to our meetup on a regular basis and they’re great about sharing their experiences with other people.
Toby: Isn’t that interesting? I’ve always been shocked. I always tell people, the rich folks or the successful people tend to pay it forward. They like to share. Usually, you should listen when they talk because they’re talking from experience.
That’s fantastic. How long did you have that group now? Is it about four years?
Ken: About four years. It began to grow a lot. It used to be that we were happy if we had twenty people show up. Now, it’s usually from 40-70 people every Tuesday.
Toby: I remember when I was there, it was packed. It was, absolutely.
Ken: Our meeting has been successful in spite of me.
Toby: We met at a really cool restaurant, you knew the owner. What was the name of the restaurant?
Ken: Casa Chapala. It’s a Mexican restaurant. People have a choice, a bar, a menu, or a really nice buffet. It’s in North Central Austin, pretty easy to get to. Folks can get there on a regular basis. We have visitors that come from all over the state. We have lots of people show up. It’s a good meeting and a lot of fun.
Toby: Fantastic group. Again, I could just tell you because I get to meet the people. Very knowledgeable. I always look for people that are the BS artists that are out there talking, that haven’t done it, and everybody there seem pretty straightforward. The guys that were new were very clear about, “Hey, I haven’t done this. I’m trying to figure out where to deploy funds.”
Ken: We had a pretty good showing at your three-day event that was in Austin.
Toby: Oh, yeah. I wasn’t able to get down there.
Ken: You weren’t there. You were in South America, I think, at that time, but we had a pretty good showing from our crowd that was there.
Toby: I hope that they got something out of it. They probably had Carl or maybe Clint, or Michael.
Ken: I enjoyed it. It was my second time to go, it’s a great event. I enjoyed it and we had a good crowd from our meetup that was there.
Toby: Great people so I can always recommended it. If you can get to Austin, go hang out with them. On a personal note in your investing, what are your biggest wins that you’ve had over the years, if you are willing to share?
Toby: Because you know it’s going to come after the biggest wins, right?
Ken: Yeah. Really, what’s worked the best is holding on to real estate for a long period of time. Yes, we had some big wins in the 80s. We did and that was great, but then the crash came and it all went away. And since the mid 90s, for the most part the economy’s been pretty good.
So, holding on to real estate, even though it stabilizes, it doesn’t really go down very much. In the 80s, yes, that bad time we did, but other than that, most of the time, maybe they didn’t go up quite as much. I would say that just the properties that I held onto and then subsequently sold. Those were some of the things.
Also, I will share with you that I went in as a passive investor. I also participated to a certain small degree and it was the deal sponsor’s first deal. He’s a very hard worker, and I had faith, and I decided, “Okay, I’m going to go in on this deal.”
We were only in it for about fourteen months and we had better than 40% IRR on than deal. He went in there, did what needs to be done, and after a year’s time, I said, “Let’s put it on the market,” and […] did very, very well.
I’ve actually had two deals I’ve done full circle on the past couple of years and lay it done better than 30% internal rate of return. Those deals have gone well.
Toby: That’s fantastic. That’s actually good. Now, what about the losses? You probably had some deals that you wished you had a do over.
Ken: Sure, and of course, those refer to a lot to the 80s. I will say that, I also was a lender on some deals with a deal sponsor that I had faith in. I thought I was going to be okay. He made some very serious mistakes and it wasn’t until it was too late that I became aware. One particular case. The only way I could have a chance of saving my investment was to take over the deal and at the time when I really didn’t want to be on my own. We might describe it as a A-plex. It’s one piece of real estate that has four duplexes on them. Has a piece […] or 50 duplex..
When I took it over, I assume the debt that probably exceeded its value. I still have it, I’ve put some more money in it, made some changes, it’s doing okay. If it didn’t have debt against it, it would be great. But it still has too much debt. Maybe someday I’ll work my way out of that. So, that’s not one of my favorites, for sure.
Toby: You are hitting something that I personally believe. I’m not a real estate instructor or any of that, but I do talk to a lot of young people. I’ll ask you about what you would tell young people here in a second, too, but I always tell them, “Time tends to make you smart in real estate. The longer that you hold something, the smarter you look.” It was with a lending group down there, Jet Lending, that’s in Houston.
Ken: I know them.
Toby: Fantastic. They had an economist from the University of Texas coming. He talked about using the non-scientific approach of going to the multiple listing and when you are dealing with real estate agents, you just have to go and pull it up and say, “Go find me some places where you weren’t even or above over a ten-year stretch.”
Even over the last recession or depression, whatever you want to call what happened in 2007-2017, it’s really tough to find properties that didn’t recover over that ten-year stretch. So his big thing was, “Hey, if you hold it for ten years, you’re not going to be worse.” The longer that you hold something, it tends to make you smarter. So, I assume that you agree with that, sounds like.
Ken: Absolutely, there is no question. I think Warren Bufett even talks about something along those lines, that time is the greatest asset in real estate investing. If you just give it enough time, it’s going to be okay in most cases.
Toby: He always says that his holding period is forever.
Toby: I do that same thing in the worst case scenario. How many properties did you end up flipping or did you jump into on those?
Ken: Did I personally?
Ken: I didn’t flip very many, probably a dozen or so.
Toby: You say not many, that’s a lot for a lot of people. I flipped a bunch of properties and I always said that I wish I had them all back.
Ken: Sure, absolutely.
Toby: I wish I had them all back. I would rather have those in my stable of properties at this point.
Ken: I have personally never heard anybody say, “Oh, man. I am so glad, I sold that property.” No. Nobody was very happy, usually, that they sold something. There was a reason. You sold whatever you had to along the way.
I told this story before, this goes way back. I actually made my first real estate investment in 1968, before I even lived in Austin. I had bought 30 acres of land outside of a ranch near Austin and I’ve had people ask me. They said, “Well, do you still have it?” and my response has been, “Well, it really wouldn’t make any difference. I did sell it. But it wouldn’t have made any difference if I hadn’t sold it because one of my ex-wives will probably have it anyway.”
There are lots of factors that come into play along the way. And yes, do I wish I still had that piece of property? Well, certainly, I wish I still had it, but I’m sorry it had to go, which time […]. So, I agree with you. Nobody really wants to sell something. They usually just have to for one reason or another.
Toby: You do it for another reason, which is fine. I have so many investors and they flip houses I’m always like, “Oh, man.” They walk away with a little bit, I’m like “That’s a lot of work for that little bit.” I would’ve sat on it for ten years.
We’re just going to conclude with this one. I have a feeling that this is going to be an interesting answer, I’m just going to set you up for this. What would you tell a sixteen year old, walk up to you and said, “Hey Ken, what advice would you give me? What’s the one thing that you would tell me in the world of investing?”
Ken: That’s pretty simple because I have experienced […]. That is read […] get an understanding of what it’s about. I personally know some people. In fact, a good friend of mine, a woman, read Rich Dad Poor Dad when she was sixteen and she sat out to get herself to a place where she could accomplish that, and she did. She’s thirty-five now, and she has retired, living off of her real estate income. And it’s just because she practiced those principles.
Someone may decide, maybe that’s not what they want to do, but at that age, having an understanding of what passive income is, how you establish it, and how you can make it work, I think, is critical. I really do. I know several people who read that book at an early age and at least they understood and begin to focus on that direction.
Of course, when I was sixteen it hadn’t been written, but I did read a book at that time, about how I made a million dollars in real estate. It was a guy who worked for a telephone company. He put away $50 a month and he kept buying rent houses. He would sell them, take his equity, and move up until he […] real estate. Of course, back in the 60s and 70s that was a lot of money.
That was the motivation for me. I understood the principle of investing in real estate way back there. I didn’t quite understand the passive income portion the way I understand it today. That’s what I recommend to a sixteen year old today. Get an understanding about how the economy works, what it takes, why investing works, and what good it does not only for you as an individual, but for the rest of the world. We, as passive investors, help by providing housing for people who need it. It’s a two-way street.
Toby: That’s a really good piece of advice. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Robert Kiyosaki is one of my faves, I’ve actually spoken with him on the same stage. Great guy. And to this day, he still keeps it really simple. He always talks about buying houses and trading them up for, hotels.
I wish it was that easy, but makes it sound like it’s something you want to do. If you do it everybody I have ever met that’s actually follows those principles has had a lot of success. Never met anybody that didn’t, which is interesting.
Ken: Great info. If you have the time, I’ve got one quick story I’ll share with you about that.
Ken: One of our members of our meetup, a local orthopedic surgeon in Austin, Texas, a guy named Tom Burns, we see him on a fairly regular basis. About twenty-five years ago, somewhere in that time frame, Tom was very interested in passive investing because he was concerned that something might happen and he couldn’t be an orthopedic surgeon. He wanted to have some passive investment, so he was interested in real estate.
He was at a car wash in Austin, Texas. Finish Line Car Wash in Austin, Texas. He saw this little stack of books, looked at it, he thumbed through it and said, “Wow! This is exactly what I’m interested in.” He bought that book and every copy of it. He bought 12 copies because he wanted all his friends to see it as well. I love hearing Tom tell his story. He should be on your podcast sometime to tell his story. Obviously, I’ve heard it from him.
Tom noticed when he looked in front of the book that the author’s name and phone number was in there. So, he called him and talked with him. He was wanting to get more copies of the book. He asked the author, “How many of these copies do you have?” He said, “I ordered a thousand on the first printing.” Then Tom asking, “Do you have more that I can get?” and he said, “How many more do you have?” He said, “How many did you buy?” Tom told him, “You’re the only one that’s purchased.”
It was Tom Burns who purchased the original copies of Rich Dad Poor Dad. now sold by 45 million copies. Tom and his wife actually went to Robert and Kim’s house and played the Cashflow game with them way back there, and Tom’s now associated with him. Tom now has that book framed and presented it to Robert Kiyosaki.
Toby: Oh, wow. That is so cool.
Ken: I don’t know the exact details, but as I understand it, Rich Dad was started with a composite of people, not one person. I think the guy’s name was Keith Cunningham but I’m not certain of that, but at that time he was living in Austin, Texas and that’s the reason those first copies were for sale in Austin, Texas. He recently printed these to go along with the Cashflow game. And Tom, if I remember this correctly, was one of the original people who said, “Hey, you need to sell this book by itself not just as with the Cashflow game.”
So, we’re blessed that we have somebody that goes back that far with Robert Kiyosaki, the Cashflow game, and Rich Dad Poor Dad as part of our group in Austin, Texas. Tom has presented to our group in the past and supposed to present again at some point in the future.
Toby: I would like to talk to him. What’s interesting when you look at this, that’s going way back there on the Rich Dad Poor Dad, but I still talk to people now who have never heard of it. That book was about two years on the New York Times Bestseller list as a business book, which is pretty interesting. I don’t know anybody who has read it, who wasn’t influenced greatly by it. He’s such a fantastic educator.
Anderson, ourselves, we have done the tax and legal behind Rich Dad for a lot of years, for more than 15 years. Again, to say that there is buy-in on this side is no, this is the way you do it. He makes it very simple, the Cashflow game is a great way. I think Monopoly and Cashflow are two peas in a pod, that they work out, and it teaches you the principle of what an asset and a liability is.
Toby: So fantastic when you actually realize that. That is wild, though. He bought the first twelve copies.
Ken: Right here in Austin, Texas.
Toby: And he talked to Robert. And Robert, such an interesting guy. He actually used to speak for Dame DC Cordova and it was all based off of a critical path. It’s a philosophy book. It’s so interesting to see that this girl who taught T. Harv Eker, Anthony Robbins, and Kiyosaki, and he used to teach. It was all on the principle of what occurs up here. It’s so amazing when you see that come through after the decade, that’s holding up.
That’s fantastic, I had no idea that you had that connection. That’s interesting. I am a big believer. He’s helped my family out, he helped my brother out just in reading that book. That’s a really good one. I’ve asked that question to a lot of people, nobody just came out and just said, “Hey, read this.”
Ken: That’s right.
Toby: Usually they wax philosophical for a little while. Anyway, do you have a website or anything for your meetup group?
Ken: The truth is, we don’t. Just meetup.com. It’s called Austin Commercial Real Estate Investing at meetup.com and that’s it. All the information is there and we love to have people come. If they visit and they want to get on our mailing list, we send them a reminder once a week about coming to our meeting. We like to have people join us, for sure. You and Clint both are welcome to come back and see us any time.
Toby: Would love that and I really appreciate it. That was a fun group. I’m going to bug you to come down there just rub elbows with a few of those guys at some point. Maybe come down and join you just for lunch just because I enjoy to get to talk to everybody. Before I even talked, that was probably my favorite time because I’m meeting everybody, and they are all like “Are you the tax guy?” It was fun and I was like, “Yeah.” They all have really interesting scenarios and to me, that’s what I really enjoy is the different scenarios and trying to figure things out. It’s like a Rubik’s Cube. You’re always trying to figure out the puzzle.
Toby: Ken, I really, really appreciate you spending time. I just want to say thank you.
Ken: Thanks very much and enjoy the visit. We look forward to seeing you in Texas.
Toby: Fantastic. Thanks.