How did you hear about The Real Estate Physician?
I stumbled upon “The Real Estate Physician” through various physician Facebook groups related to financial freedom and real estate investing. I saw Dr. Cherry Chen posting her blog posts in some of the Facebook groups and clicked on them and read them. And then I found her website and subscribed to her email list in May 2019 and have followed her educational content since then.
What made you want to diversify your portfolio with commercial real estate?
In 2018, I got into real estate investing by buying a single family home and then a 4-plex in Tucson, AZ near the University campus and Medical Center. I rented them out and slowly renovated them with the rents collected, and they appreciated in value due to the market growth. It was a good learning experience being a landlord for the first time in my life, but I found out I don’t enjoy having to manage property managers and dealing with problem tenants and unexpected maintenance issues from out-of-state. I realized as a busy full-time physician with all those headaches, owning more single family rentals and small multifamily rentals was not going to make me happy and free long-term.
In October 2019, I attended a real estate conference in Phoenix where I met Robert Kiyosaki in person. I got his autograph on a copy of his Rich Dad Poor Dad book and asked him how he got so wealthy and free. He told me he invests in so many multifamily apartment syndication deals as a limited partner instead of owning rental properties and that’s why he can scale up to owning several thousands of apartment units and can sleep well at night.
After about 2.5y ears of headaches and sleepless nights of being an active landlord, I finally sold both properties making a great profit overall in October 2020. I moved that profit from the sale of my rentals into multifamily apartment syndication deals as a passive investor. I have networked with many syndicators in the past year through conferences, real estate investor retreats, online summits and Facebook groups. So far, in 2020, I have invested in 8 syndication deals in multifamily apartment complexes in AL, TX, GA, NC and a self-storage facility in TN. I enjoy the economy of scale and recession-resistant nature and tax benefits of multifamily and self-storage syndication real estate investments as a limited partner. Above all, I enjoy the sound of cha-ching in my bank account while I get to sleep well at night as a hands-off passive investor in commercial real estate syndications.
Have you had prior experience investing in commercial real estate syndications before signing up with The Real Estate Physician?
No. Dr. Cherry Chen has been a great influence in my decision to switching from single family rentals and small multi-family real estate investing to commercial real estate investing. By listening to multiple podcasts where Dr. Cherry Chen was a guest interviewee talking about her successful experience in commercial real estate investing and by directly talking to her through a series of phone calls and zoom calls during which she connected with me on a personal level and answered all my questions, I gradually gained more confidence about taking action towards investing in commercial real estate syndications. Based on her previous experience as a successful passive investor, having vetted all the sponsors and deals, she introduces solid investment opportunities to other physicians through her platform. Since she has already done all the heavy lifting of networking with the trustworthy sponsors, performing the due diligence of each deal and streamlining the process of investing, she makes it easier for other physician investors to jump into syndication investments. By leveraging her knowledge and network, I believe you can fast-track your way to success, which is smarter than spending months and years going through slow trials and errors on your own.
What suggestions do you have for physicians interested in getting started in commercial real estate syndications?
Dr. Cherry Chen wrote an eBook called “The Physician’s Definitive Guide to Commercial Real Estate”. It’s a very clear, concise and well-written book explaining the benefits of real estate syndications. I love the way it had lots of pictures and diagrams to make it easy to understand a syndication and compare it to other types of investments. It also explains various complex real estate syndication terminology so it’s easy to understand for the dummies. I finished reading it in a couple of evenings. I highly recommend reading it first it if you are a newbie and need to understand the concepts!!!!!
In addition to connecting with Dr. Cherry Chen, I would attend a lot of real estate conferences, listen to lots of real estate podcasts and connect with as many commercial real estate syndicators as possible. Schedule calls with them and network with many sponsors to see if your investment goals aligns with their goals.
What does financial independence look like to you?
Financial independence means being able to live an abundant life, having options to do only the things I love to do, having options to spend time with only the people that I want to spend time with and having options to be generous in giving back to the society according to my own intention.
When I was a poor premed college student in 2004, I was blessed with an opportunity to receive a merit-based scholarship which covered all my tuition and living expenses. This was awarded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. As a result, I was able to graduate from college not having to work but fully focused on academics without any student loan debt. This foundation has financially supported several hundreds of college students like me every year since 2004. Since then, it has always been my goal to become a wealthy person like Mr. Jack Kent Cooke who could give back to the society by creating a scholarship foundation for future medical students.
I realize that the earned income from working as a physician alone will not be enough to enable me to do big charity work such as this. However, I believe consistently investing in commercial real estate for the next several years will get me to the level of wealth where I can have the financial freedom to create such legacy.
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