Ditching the “American Dream” & Finding Ways to Live a Wealthier Life

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In today’s episode, you’ll get to see the third major reason why Alpha Geek Capital, Tony’s fast-scaling real estate company, is so successful. Omid Tehranirad is the third partner in the group, acting as the first layer of protection, or as he puts it, the “chastity belt”, of the partnership. Omid is the head of investor relations and splits operational duties with Sara, Tony’s wife.  

He discovered real estate after being unfulfilled by the typical “American Dream” job. His parents encouraged him to pursue the tried and true traditional path that leads to retirement at sixty-five, but after sixteen years at a corporate job, he needed something to change. Omid was looking for something new when he stumbled upon BiggerPockets and discovered the power of real estate investing. He already knew Tony since he was Sara’s cousin, but it wasn’t until they found out they both followed David Greene that they realized they could be making money together. From there, they did their first deal and as the saying goes, the rest is history.

Omid and Tony work well together because they complement each other’s skillsets. Where Tony is idealistic, Omid is realistic and together they reach each goal they set. Omid has been able to leave his corporate nine to five of eighteen years and increase his wealth overall—his financial wealth, social wealth, time wealth, and physical wealth. For the first time in years, he’s able to drop his kids off at school, prioritize his physical health, and travel while still making money. Omid serves as proof that we all need to stop classifying wealth as just financial and realize true wealth is about finding your freedom.  

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Ashley Kehr:
This is the Real Estate Rookie, episode 183.

Omid Tehranirad:
Sometimes we got to be aware of our biases of like, “Okay, this may not be a place I may want to travel,” but the data proves that there’s a huge demand. And so now it’s changed my attitude around, okay, just because maybe I don’t like this particular vacation rental market, it may not mean that it’s in high demand. I’m going to default to Tony. He’s the geek when it comes to software, and it’s like he bust out all this data and I’m like, “Sold. Sold. I’m good. Okay.”

Ashley Kehr:
My name is Ashley Kehr, and I’m here with my co-host, Tony Robinson.

Tony Robinson:
And welcome to the Real Estate Rookie Podcast, where every week, twice a week, we give you the inspiration, information and education you need to become a real estate investor. So Ashley Kehr, what is going on?

Ashley Kehr:
Not much. I’ve dropped my crutches. I was allowed to get rid of them. Now I’m just hobbling around up in the place.

Tony Robinson:
Just hobbling. Yeah.

Ashley Kehr:
I actually took an impromptu road trip to Florida last week. And so I had to have my crutches for about half the road trip, and then the second half I got to get rid of them. And yeah-

Tony Robinson:
There you go.

Ashley Kehr:
… so it was nice.

Tony Robinson:
It’s progress.

Ashley Kehr:
What about you, Tony? Yeah. What’s new? How’s your foot?

Tony Robinson:
My foot is also healing. I took my boot off today for the first time, so we’ll see how it does. But keeping busy. We’re actually going to be out in your neck of the woods in like four days. Or no. Yeah, yeah, shoot, like four days. Yeah. We’re going to be out in Western New York in like four days. We just bought a bed and breakfast out there, so we’re excited to check that out.
And then as soon as I get back, we’re actually going to be walking the Big Bear Resort that we have under contract with our contractors so we can start getting the bids together. And then after that, we leave to Denver for like three days for the Rookie bootcamp. I’ll barely be home over the next week, but it’s all for a good cause.

Ashley Kehr:
Yeah. And actually, Tony, since we’ve been recording this podcast, I mean, a ton of snow has accumulated outside. So hopefully by the time you get here it’s all melted.

Tony Robinson:
It’s melted, hopefully. Fingers crossed.

Ashley Kehr:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tony Robinson:
I’ll bring some good California weather with me.

Ashley Kehr:
Yeah. Today we have a very special guest on. Tony, who is our guest today?

Tony Robinson:
Today we’ve got none other than my partner in Alpha Geek Capital, Mr. Omid Tehranirad. Omid, actually Sarah, my wife, they’re cousins, but he’s the third leg of our tripod when it comes to running Alpha Geek Capital. And he just recently quit his job, so we kind of talk about his journey of going from … He was at the same company for almost 18 years, and kind of taking that leap from doing that to coming full-time with us in the business.

Ashley Kehr:
Yeah. I think, yeah, we touch on that for sure, him quitting his job, but also go into partnerships and how you guys have structured it, how you guys kind of started out and also what it looks like now, what are the roles and responsibilities.
If you’ve been thinking of getting a partner, this is a great episode to listen to as to how they structured their partnership, how they keep the lines of communication open, alignment, everything like that you need in a good, solid partnership. Omid, welcome to the show. But before we really get into anything about you, tell us all the dirty details about Tony as your business partner. We want to hear it all.

Omid Tehranirad:
Man, oh, I got so much to share. I can’t wait. I don’t even know where to start.

Ashley Kehr:
Yeah. Omid, well, go ahead. You could start with yourself. Start from the beginning of your real estate journey. Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you even decided to get into real estate.

Omid Tehranirad:
Sure, absolutely. I’m first generation, so my parents both came from different countries. Very different backgrounds, but I think the common values that they had were, “Okay, you’re going to pursue that American dream.” So that was, “Go ahead and seek out. Get good grades. Go to college. Get a good paying job. Buy a house. Have some kids. Retire at 65.”
And so fast forward, I got my job, I got married, I bought my house. I really felt that there was a sense of something that I was missing. And so I had worked this corporate job at the time for 16 years. I had excelled in the job, I had moved up. And at some point I decided, okay, I needed something else, or what I was doing wasn’t really fulfilling me, and so I started kind of looking in other places.
Just like everybody else, I came across BiggerPockets, started studying, and somehow I came across Tony. I don’t even know how this happened. Yeah. The power of social media, just hitting a button saying I liked something that David Green posted. And this was around the time when I was getting more serious about investing.
And so fast forward, invested as an LP in apartment syndication on a couple deals, mostly investing in short-term rentals. And quit my job, and now I’m here talking to you guys, which is bizarre. I would’ve never thought that in a million years I’d be on a show with you guys.

Tony Robinson:
Can I give the back story? Yeah. Omid is, he’s my business partner, but he’s also my wife’s first cousin. Me, Sarah and Omid were like the three-legged horse that runs Alpha Geek Capital. Obviously Sarah and Omid knew each other, they’re family. And Sarah and I, we’ve been dating since we were 17, so Omid and I have seen each other in family parties and things like that.
But I wouldn’t say that we were ever super, super close before we started investing together. And what Omid was talking about when you mentioned the social media thing is rewind to 2019. This was before I had my first deal. And Omid and I were kind of in the same space. We were both separately educating ourselves about investing in real estate.
And it was actually David Green from the OG Podcast. I was on his Instagram profile, he had posted something, I clicked through. On Instagram it shows you followed by X, Y, Z, and one of the people’s names was on there was Omid, and I was like, “What the heck?” I was like, “I didn’t know he was into real estate.” We started talking and finds out we’re both trying to do the same thing, and actually pulled it up, Omid. I pulled up the email.
On October 15th, 2019, at just before 11:00 PM, I sent Omid an email and I said, “Hey, I know we had been talking about maybe doing a deal together, but I got this deal. Do you want to partner on it with me?” And he replied in like, I don’t know, three minutes and he was like, “I’m in.” And that was the start of this long relationship.
But last thing, right? The funny part is that, that email that I sent, that was the Shreveport house that we ended up losing $30,000 on. So not the best start to the relationship, but it worked out.

Omid Tehranirad:
I think really the takeaway of, I think, with that was just more like it was really a stepping stone just to get our feet wet. And I know Tony’s message is often just take action and just kind of … You won’t know until you actually start kind of getting involved in some of the day-to-day activities. That led us to wanting to seek out apartments indication, to meeting, networking with a bunch of people that eventually led us to short-term rentals.

Ashley Kehr:
Omid, how did you guys structure this partnership? And did it take a lot of negotiating, or did you just say, “Well, let’s do it 50-50, because we’re each going to put in half of whatever that half is, money, energy.”? And did you have roles and responsibilities to find? Kind of go through what that structure looked like in the beginning, and also, have you made changes to that since then?

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah, that’s a great question. I think we just kind of went in there blindly to a degree, right? I think sometimes I am just like … I don’t say spontaneous, but I just have an idea and I don’t know necessarily how I’m going to do it. We’re just going to kind of work it out along the way. I knew that Tony’s skillset complemented mine.
In my line of work before we did DiSC profiles, and so I would kind of learn through interacting with people, “Okay, this person is a analytical person.” And so for me, being more of a … I take action, but I don’t necessarily look at the details as much. And I know Tony is more of a analytical look at the details, so I was like, “Okay, he’ll complement my skillset. We’ll figure it out. We’ll make it work.”
There’s not that much risk in it per se, because there’s no money out of pocket at the time. I mean, at the time it was, okay, this was a bur where the lender funded the rehab portion as well, so I was like, “Okay, it’s not that much risk. I just want to learn, and I feel like this is a great opportunity to learn.” That’s kind of how we initially started.
And I think over time, as we’ve kind of completed different ventures, we’ve more clearly defined things along the way. But I think that’s something that we’ve just kind of figured out over time.

Tony Robinson:
Yeah. And actually really quick, I think that’s part of the reason why Omid and I work so well together, is because we’re both, in some ways, we’re like … What’s the saying? Fire, aim, shoot, or whatever. We’ll shoot first and kind of ask questions later, kind of guys, and we’ll both kind of go with the flow. I think that’s what made this partnership so successful is that we’re similar in that way.

Ashley Kehr:
When you guys structured this partnership in the beginning, was this like, “We’re just going to test out one deal,” or, “Let’s go and see what other deals we can find right away.”? What did that kind of look like?

Omid Tehranirad:
There wasn’t even really clear dialogue around where it was going to evolve. It was just more like, “Hey, let’s just do this and see what happens,” and that was it. And then after that, it was I just started calling him partner and then he’s like, “Hey, there’s this Black Friday deal to this Rod Khleif event. Do you know who Rod Khleif is? And are you interested in multi-family?”
I’m like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I don’t know Rod Khleif, but if you’re into it, I’m into it. I’m going to buy the ticket. Let’s go together and let’s kind of learn along the way.” For us, it was just more like, “Okay, this is a journey, and we’re just going to kind of figure it out,” and that’s kind of what we did.

Tony Robinson:
That event was super, I think, critical to our partnership as well, because we walked away from that event, I think, with a better sense of what we wanted to do as a partnership. And it was apartment syndication, that’s what we were initially planning to do. That didn’t work out, but it led us eventually to the short-term rentals.
But I think that spending three days together at this event, soaking in all this information about real estate investing really laid the foundation for everything we built from there on out.

Ashley Kehr:
Yeah, it gets you all hyped up and motivated together.

Tony Robinson:
Yeah.

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah. Ironically, I mean, we’ve still talked to some of the same people that we met at that event, and we’ve been on parallel journeys with short-term rentals. And even just relationships we built through like a coaching program we joined, I think it all allowed us to kind of learn along the way and to kind of shorten that learning span for us to kind of invest, or just understand just the different spaces and niches in real estate.
Because I think one of the biggest things that’s like … I think we have a very big threshold for discomfort. For me, just throw me, kind of like what Tony said, throw me in anywhere, or Tony, I’m just going to kind of figure it out and learn. And I don’t mind spending time to learn it and master it. And then it was like the education piece. So learning education about whatever the particular niche is.
And are we interested in cash flow and appreciation or depreciation? And all those things we kind of learn along the way. So just a bunch of different items and then identifying the niche. There’s so many. I think you go to these presentations and you are like, “I want to do this and I want to do that,” but you don’t really realize … I think it’s hard to kind of narrow down once you’ve been presented so many opportunities, okay, what actually works or what fits your skillset, or where you are in your current real estate journey.

Ashley Kehr:
What are the different roles and responsibilities you guys have in your organization now before we kind of get any further?

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah. Currently, I tag team operations with Sarah. Sarah and I both do operations, which that includes communication with our handyman, cleaners, addressing anything guest related. Also, I do guest relations, investor relations. We have the funnel of the Alpha Geek website and it leads to a calendar, and then essentially I’m the guy.
I told somebody today I’m like the chastity belt. You have to get through me to get to Tony and Sarah. I’m like the first layer of protection in a way. But I’m also the guy that just kind of assesses, “Okay. Is …” I had a call today, and somebody filled out a partnership or they’re interested in partnership. They don’t have enough funds, but they’re also interested in learning.
And I know you guys always talk about how can you bring value. This person had a lot of analytical skills. We have an opportunity with acquisitions. And so we just started talking and I loosely said, “Hey, we may have an opportunity,” and he was all in and he’s going to send me his resume. But I think it’s just being able to identify parts of our business and where I can fit them in the business. But primarily, yes, the investor relations is the role. Yeah.

Tony Robinson:
Omid, you have no idea the floodgates you just opened up. You know how many people are going to fill out that form now [inaudible 00:14:15].

Omid Tehranirad:
Oh God. Oh God. I know. I know. Oh, hopefully not. Yeah. No. I mean, no, as long as they bring value. Yeah.

Tony Robinson:
And Ash, it took us a while to get to this point where we’ve got more defined roles. I think when we first started, we were all just kind of doing everything, and kind of stepped on each other’s toes and doing all these different things. But as the business has matured, we’ve really kind of settled into our different roles. Yeah.
Omid and Sarah had all the guest communications. Omid’s handling all the partnership relationships. I’m focused more so on the acquisitions. I think most of the deals we’ve found so far have been from me kind of doing a lot of that work. And then I handle a lot of the technology pieces, right? Like our property management software, our pricing tool, our email automation tools. We’ve really kind of settled into our groove now that we’ve been doing this for a little over two years now.

Ashley Kehr:
Going forward with your partnership, you guys are building your team. Can you kind of talk about, Omid, you touched it a little in the beginning, what your strategy is now and your focus now going forward?

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah. I think specifically we’re continuing to grow the partnerships. And so Tony does acquisitions. For me specifically, we’re looking to identify people that kind of fit the culture. I think there’s a lot of investors out there, there’s a lot of people, there’s a lot of capital. And I think sometimes what’s challenging is we’re going to have a long-term relationship, so we want to be able to work with people that we enjoy being around and also to have similar goals in terms of like …
Yeah. For us, the partnership is a cashflow play to a degree. Is that what they’re looking for? And then in terms of what we bring to the table, we run a short-term rental from A to Z. And so is this more of like a passive investment for a partner? And that might be more ideal for us because then we can have autonomy, we run everything, and they collect their monthly check for the distributions that we provide.

Ashley Kehr:
You mean you don’t want somebody to come in and tell you how to do the layout and the design and what the paint color should be? My point is that you guys know what you’re doing, and that is what operator … If you are going to be an operator, you should know what you’re doing and what works, and you guys are confident in that. And that’s why you’re saying the ideal investor is somebody who wants to be passive and not to be hands-on, and make the color choices and things like that.

Tony Robinson:
Yeah. And I think we do involve them to an extent, right? When we’re designing the space, we’ll typically share that with them. Any major decisions around the property, we will typically go over that with them as well. But yeah, the minutia of the day-to-day grind, I’m not going to reach out to the partner and say, “Hey, how do you want us to respond to this message?” Right? There’s some balancing there.
But Omid, one thing you mentioned, and I want touch on this because I think it’s important to call out, is you talked about goals and things like that. And I think that’s one space where me, Sarah and Omid really kind of balance each other out, right? We had our annual planning meeting maybe like a month ago, right? Coming up on a month ago. Omid, share what your goal was and share what my goal was and share kind of like where we landed.

Omid Tehranirad:
Tony’s like, “Yeah. No big deal. I just want like $5 billion in real estate acquisitions over the course of the next 10 years,” and then I was like … And then of course Sarah’s like, “Wait, billion with a B or with an M?” And for me I’m like, “Let me look at my answer,” because we were sharing answers and I’m like, “Let me adjust mine.”
And I forgot where Sarah was, but I mean, I think for me, I was maybe like a hundred million or something pretty … I was going to say 500 million, but I had to change my answer because I was like, “Okay, let’s be more realistic, somewhere in the middle.” And I think we landed on 1 billion. But I think it’s just funny.
We talk about our partnerships, what are some pros and cons of partnerships and what are your pet peeves. And Tony’s like, what I love about him is that he always is setting the bar super high. And sometimes, for me, I’m always trying to assess, “Okay, is this realistic? Is he being crazy again?” I think that’s what I’m trying to assess. And I’m trying to find some middle ground, I’m like, “Okay, this is more realistic.”
And then Sarah’s like, she’s just maybe on the other end of the spectrum a little bit, like, “Hey, let’s just do … You mean more work? We’re going to have more work? Is this realistic?” But yeah, no, I think it’s kind of fun to kind of have those discussions to kind of figure out what makes sense based on goals and seeing where we land.
I mean, a great example of that was, and Sarah likes to share this story, where she … Tony told the realtor after we closed on the first Joshua Tree property, “All right, we’re going to close one per quarter moving forward,” and then the Joshua Tree realtor was like, “What?” He just had this reaction like … And his personality, he’s like … Can I use the B word? Is that allowed? He has a very strong personality and his reaction was just like … He’s very sassy. That’s a more PG term. He’s more sassy.
But fast forward and we were able to close, I think, one a month or something like that. We’re able to kind of go beyond. I know you guys talk a lot about mindset and limiting beliefs, and I think sometimes we get caught in that. For me, I was like, “Okay, I have my one short-term rental in Tennessee. I’m good. I’m done,” and then Tony a month later was like, “Hey, what about Joshua Tree?” and then I was like, “Oh, I don’t like Joshua Tree. That place is not interesting to me.”
But again, that was kind of me rolling with the punches, I’m like, “All right, let’s try it.” And it was already an existing Airbnb, so there was a little bit less risk. It was already an established property. But this property was producing, I think it was like 30,000 gross. And I mean, if we would’ve kept it, we ended up selling it, but if we would’ve kept it, that easily would’ve been a hundred thousand dollars grossing property. That’s the irony.
And Tony doing the research on Joshua Tree and me trying to maybe … Sometimes we got to be aware of our biases of like, “Okay, this may not be a place I may want to travel,” but the data proves that there’s a huge demand. And so now it’s changed my attitude around, okay, just because maybe I don’t like this particular vacation rental market, it may not mean that it’s in high demand. I’m going to default to Tony. He’s the geek when it comes to software, and it’s like he busted out all this data and I’m like, “Sold. Sold. I’m good. Okay.”

Ashley Kehr:
He’s a lady in the streets and a freak at the spreadsheets.

Omid Tehranirad:
Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Absolutely. Yeah.

Ashley Kehr:
Okay. Before we move on to a different topic, Omid, I just have to ask, and Tony too, do you guys have weekly calls? How are you guys staying intact as a team? What does that look like? You had your annual meeting. Do you have quarterly meetings? Is it you guys are just constantly texting each other? What are your lines of communication like?

Omid Tehranirad:
I mean, you can’t text Tony, because you’ve seen his phone. I mean, I don’t know if he ever sees it or not. I mean, I know Sarah’s his chastity belt right, for messaging.

Ashley Kehr:
I actually message her. I had a question about Airbnb locks the other day, I just text her to ask.

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah, of course. Yeah, it’s funny because it’s like, okay, if I need something done, I’m going to do the group text that includes Sarah, then I know she’ll tell him. Because sometimes it’s like, “We need these docs signed. Where’s Tony?” and I’m like, “I don’t know.” I mean, I know, but I don’t know. I’m like, “Okay, he’s not going to respond. Let me just tell Sarah to tell him to sign the docs.”
Tony’s version of yelling at you is basically he’ll sign you a task, right? Does he get upset? I don’t know if he ever raises his voice. He just does like … He kind of squints his eyes and then he just kind of looks to the side. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen those videos with him and Sarah. He’ll just kind of look to the side and that’s his version of like, “I’m pissed.” I don’t know if he’s done that to you yet, but if he does, that’s his signal.

Ashley Kehr:
I’m definitely going to notice now if he does. That’s the signal itself.

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah, that’s signal. I interpret like, okay, you send me a task, uh-oh, I must not be doing something right. But yeah, we use monday.com, and that’s kind of our version. We originally were using Wrike, we’ve transitioned to Monday. We have kind of a combo of Monday and just text messaging. I think we use Monday just overall kind of like action to dos. And if there’s anything that needs a more immediate attention, we’ll just send messages, just text message.
And I feel like I’m privileged because he responds to mine sometimes, so it’s pretty good. Yeah. No. But yeah. I would just say it’s a combination of those things. And Sarah and I were very late adopters to Wrike, so Tony would yell at … Again, not yell at us, he’d do the side eye thing. And it would just like, “Hey, can you guys look at your task?” And we’re like, “What task? Oh yeah, Wrike.”
I think that’s the way he’s very organized, and let’s say Sarah and I maybe are a little more scatterbrained with some of those things. We’re very task-driven, but I think he keeps us organized. Now we’ve been better adopters of Monday and that’s allowed us to stay more organized. Especially as we’re scaling, we have to. There’s no other way other than to just leverage a system so that way … Because we’re including more people as we are starting to grow.

Ashley Kehr:
Omid, I hate to burst your bubble, but Tony actually has an alert set on Monday to remind himself to text you every once in a while just to check in, and it’s actually gone off while we’ve been on the podcast of our show.

Omid Tehranirad:
That’s awesome. I love that.

Ashley Kehr:
Okay. But I really want to get into the exciting part and one of the biggest reasons we’ve brought you on today. We had my business partner, Daryl Clinch, on not too long ago, talking about him quitting his job, and-

Omid Tehranirad:
I saw that.

Ashley Kehr:
… now you have quit your job too. So congratulations.

Omid Tehranirad:
Thank you so much.

Ashley Kehr:
I think it was maybe a month or maybe six weeks before you actually quit we had been in the Smoky Mountains together. And I have to say, if you knew you were going to quit your job then, you did not show it at all to me. I was shocked when you announced it and you were talking about how you’d eventually like to. Congratulations.

Omid Tehranirad:
No, thank you so much. For me, it was just like so … I was almost in denial. Because I was just so used to the mindset of I wake up, I do my job, I go home, I collect my paycheck. And I think so many people get into that routine and they’re afraid to make that decision. Tony approached me. It was actually at the BiggerPockets event in New Orleans.
He approached me, caught me completely off guard. And I didn’t know what to say at the time, I was just like, “Um.” He must have planned this way in advance because he’s like that. He already has it all planned out, like a mind trick. He just mind tricks on me. And so I was like, “Oh. All right.” It’s the same reaction I had to every deal we’ve done. “All right.”
My wife, she was there at the time ,and I think she was very supportive. After I committed to it, I started doing the math in my head. I know in Daryl’s episode, you guys kind of talked about that. When he was presenting it to me, I was doing the math in my head, I was like, “Okay, this is my gross income. This is my net income. This is what I contribute for my 401(k)”. I had a six figure job. And then I contributed like 20 something percent a year to my 401(k).
With the company match, it was like probably 30 plus K, 30K before compounding. Every year that would be contributed to my 401(k). My original plan before Tony approached me was, okay, I was 40 at the time. When I hit 45, I’ll have a million dollars in my 401(k). And at that point I feel comfortable where there’s a safety net and I’ll walk away from my W-2 and do anything I want.
I mean, at the time I was like, “Okay, let me get more involved in short-term rental.” I had a five year plan. Fast forward, that was probably, what, a year and a half after getting involved in short-term rentals that I ended up putting my job. And I think that what pushed me was, one, Tony, but two, thinking about all the things that I’ve always wanted to do, but was too afraid to do.
And I think hopefully this speaks to a lot of listeners. When you think about wealth, wealth a lot of people define it as financial wealth, but they don’t look at all the other things. You see these TikToks and it’s like, “The new wealth is time and experiences.” But that really speaks to me because I think for me it’s just okay. I feel like I have all the basic necessities. And so there are other areas that I really want to kind of work on. The time piece, so having the time wealth, physical wealth, so just being in better shape.
I see so many people that were in corporate jobs, a lot of my peers, and they’re my age and they look like they’re 50. I’m trying to do the opposite. I’m like, “How can I stay looking like Tony and Sarah?” And so hopefully if I’m just around them, it’ll just force me to look like them. I don’t know. I have my black shirt by the way. I have my black shirt. I never liked wearing black shirts, but Tony said it’s required now that I’m a part of Alpha Geek. I don’t know if that …

Ashley Kehr:
That’s the uniform?

Omid Tehranirad:
That’s the uniform. It’s like the black shirt. Yeah. But yeah, so financial wealth, social wealth, time wealth and physical wealth, those are the four. And a lot of times people trade their time and their physical wealth for that financial piece. And I had friends who were attorneys, who were doctors and they have no time for their families, they don’t go to any of the … They can’t coach. They can’t go to any of the games. They’re consistently tired.
I thought about it and it’s like, “Okay, I get my time back.” And fast forward, now I’ve been able to coach. I was doing orange theory and I was the … They had this like dry try competition, which is basically like a overall fitness competition, and it was like I had the top time for males in my gym. And I would’ve never done that under the circumstances I had before, because I was able to commit to it every day.
And then I’ve been able to drop off my kids at school, pick them up and drop them off. Before COVID, I never did that once. And I missed out on so many years of that and being able to do that. And now there’s just so much upside in terms of opportunities long term. I was willing to trade my salary for those things. And I think I was afraid. I was afraid of giving up that salary, but I think in the long run, I’m going to be a lot more happy.
I already have way more flexibility. What I want to do is be able to inspire others to do the same, because I think so many people are stuck in the they want to work, they’re afraid to walk away from their six figure job. They’ve done all the right things, but they’re just afraid to take the risk or walk away from a six figure job.

Ashley Kehr:
Omid, you took a pay cut, correct?

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah. Yeah, I did take a pay cut.

Ashley Kehr:
Yes, okay. Were there any things that you had to cut out of your life or that was your extra money anyways, or did you have to kind of rearrange your budget that you have for your livelihood?

Omid Tehranirad:
I’ve always consistently lived way below my means, and I’ve always just needed a few things, the gym, the beach, somewhere to hike, hang around the kids, some good food and that’s it. I don’t need a lot of fancy things. And so I think for me, I’ve been able to just maintain that lifestyle living. I could probably live off of a … I don’t know what income. But the way I structured even my pay, I’d have increases in my pay, but I always lived off of 4k net income.
So that was no matter what my income was, it was always my paycheck was every month was $4,000. And so even though I was making six figures, even though I was getting bonuses, it didn’t matter because I put all the additional income into my 401(k) so that I could compound it faster at a younger age.
That’s the way I thought about it. My 401(k) became I’m doing the same pay now, but my 401(k), instead of it being invested in stocks, it’s now invested in real estate. Through acquisitions that we have, I have a percentage of ownership and that’s allowed me to still kind of grow, I guess, my retirement portfolio. And that’s how I’ve been able to kind of justify it while getting back kind of some of those other things.
I feel like financially I’m in the same position, if not better. Socially, I always want to be active in social media, but I never had time. That was like a very low priority item. And when I was working my W-2, it required a lot of hours. And so now I’ve been able to allocate some time for that. The time piece with family. Traveling, I’ve traveled more in the past six months than I have in the past two years.
Every month, there’s where we’re going somewhere. Shout out to my wife for allowing this, for enabling me to go and travel, because she gets comments all the time from people, a lot of naysayers who say, “Oh, he’s gone again. Oh, okay.”
And I feel like they’re stirring the pot in a way, but I think sometimes people don’t necessarily understand kind of what’s going on or what sort of dedication I have to kind of like the long term play in terms of like the real estate piece. Because maybe right now today the income’s the same, but I think you look fast forward five, 10 years and there’s a larger trajectory for just our financial independence.

Tony Robinson:
I mean, a couple things I want to highlight, right? When you look at going full-time into the business, there’s the benefits that you mentioned obviously. I think another big one is that you accelerate your ability to scale, right? When we first started Alpha Geek Capital, the only person that was full-time in the business was Sarah, my wife.
And she was really just focused on the guest communication side of things, right? But she wasn’t focused on growing the business per se. And then when I went full time at the beginning of 2021, we went from … We had two, almost three units when that year started, and we ended that year with, what, like 11 or 12, right?
We scaled a ton in those 12 months. And now we just finished Q1. And with you being full time, I think we’ve already closed, or under contract we had like nine properties already this year, right? So it’s like, as you add more fuel to that fire and you free it more time by going full time, it’s like an exponential curve that you’re on when it comes to the growth.

Ashley Kehr:
Yeah, it’s like taking that short amount of time that you’re going to be taking that pay cut so that you can build up and get to that replacement salary. And let me ask you this, so at your old job, was it a set salary that you knew how much you were getting every month or was it like commission based where it changed? And then how does that compare to how your pay is now? Did you kind of have to adjust when income was coming in and kind of when you had to pay your bills and things like that?

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah. Nothing’s really changed in terms of my lifestyle or income. I think for me it was essentially at a fixed salary and then there was a bonus structure. There’s a bonus depending on how the company had performed. At the end of the year, you would see anywhere from like 20, 15 to 30K bonus, I would say. That bonus is nice at the end of the year, I mean, then you can kind of use that to invest or whatever it is that you want to do.
But in terms of the fixed salary, I’m contributing a big percentage into my 401(k). I had the fixed amount every month. In terms of the fixed amount, it matches. Nothing has really changed in that sort of piece. And what was the question again?

Ashley Kehr:
Well, I think it’s not really going to apply to you, but what would be your advice? You seem pretty money savvy. What would be your advice to somebody who’s going from a fixed salary to, okay, now they’re getting … They have multiple income streams from their different properties or something they’re going to be living off that might change like, “Oh, this month we have to replace a hot water heater. Your cash flow is not going to be as much,” or things like that. What would be your advice to kind of plan that out? Because that can be scary, getting that fixed income every single month going to a variable income.

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah, absolutely. I think we’re very fortunate in terms of the cash flow for the short-term rentals. But I think it’s just identifying what you can live off of and setting a reserve. I mean, we have a reserve kind of set aside just for anything that can happen. And I know people’s idea of reserve varies.
Some people aren’t as liquid. They put all their money into stocks or invest, whatever type of investment. But I think the idea is, for us, what we felt comfortable with was, okay, between my wife and I, we had four different short-term rental loans in our names. In terms of debt to income for traditional loans, we weren’t going to qualify for any more loans that were traditional.
We’d have to go into like a DSCR loan or some other commercial loan product. At that point I felt like, “Okay, the leverage of the W-2 income and the salary, it didn’t have as much benefit by being in the job anymore.” I think the name of the game for me was cash flow. How can I create cash flow that’ll replace my income and through these assets?
And so the niche that was identified was short-term rentals. And so with that, just you can walk away with one or two. It doesn’t require that much. And so it’s just a matter of finding the right location that works for you. And do you have the appetite to run your own Airbnb business? Some people don’t. Yeah, some people don’t have the personality or the time or the know-how.
And not everybody has a Tony J who just bust out data in their sleep. But maybe it’s finding a partner that does. I think that’s for me what I was able to do was, “Okay, I can do operations. I can talk to people. I can build teams.”
Now, if somebody’s in that same position and they have capital and they have a good paying job, find somebody who’s good at systems, who likes data. And go to these Facebook groups, go to local meet up events. And there’s so many people who are just wanting to get their feet wet and just need the one person to maybe partner with.

Tony Robinson:
Yeah, I think the other thing I want to comment on is how we kind of manage cash flow, because we do it, I think, a little bit differently than other real estate investors. For the Rookies that are listening, Ashley and I interviewed Mike Michalowicz on one of our Rookie Replies. I think it was episode 132.
And Mike, we interviewed him about a book called Get Different, but Mike also has a book called Profit First. And in that book, Profit First, he breaks down how entrepreneurs should manage their cash flow. It’s a relatively quick read, but a really impactful one if you implement it. And that’s what we’ve done in our business.
Every month, we don’t really look at like … I mean, we look at them, but we don’t really manage our distributions based on the net cash flow, right? If a property nets a thousand bucks, we’re not going to look at that as a money that we distribute, instead we use a percentage of the bank balance every month. Every month on the 25th, I go into each one of the accounts for every one of our properties and I see how much capital do we have available in the actual bank account.
And then we have different percentages set up for different ways we allocate the funds. A certain percentage gets held back for operating expenses, another percentage gets held back for taxes, another percentage gets held back for our salaries and then another percentage gets held back for profit distributions.
And so we take a small salary every month for running the business, but then throughout the quarter, we have this big profit bucket that’s building month over month. And at the end of every quarter, we take a profit distribution as well. So that’s kind of how we’ve managed our cash flow as well.

Ashley Kehr:
I think that’s great you guys.

Omid Tehranirad:
What he said.

Ashley Kehr:
Thanks for sharing that. Yeah. Omid doesn’t have to worry about that end of thing. It just shows up in his bank account.

Tony Robinson:
He just gets a check. He just gets a check. Yeah.

Ashley Kehr:
He doesn’t know where it comes from. Yeah. Did you guys want to share a deal with us at all for your deal review?

Omid Tehranirad:
Okay. Yeah. So-

Ashley Kehr:
Go ahead. I’ll let you guys tag team it.

Omid Tehranirad:
… Can I deal with La Flora?

Tony Robinson:
Yeah, whichever one, man. You pick one. Dive into it.

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah. Okay. Yeah, La Flora. This is one, it’s off market deal. We have a relationship with a builder. He essentially comes to us and says, “Hey, I have a tiny home in Joshua Tree. Are you guys interested?” We say yes. I think the purchase price on this one was … It’s a 400 square foot, tiny home in Joshua Tree. 333, I think, was the purchase price on it.

Tony Robinson:
But, Omid, before you keep going, I think you glossed over that. Dive into that a little bit, right? One of our secret weapons in Joshua Tree has been our ability to get off-market deals. We’ve gone direct to seller. We’ve worked with wholesalers. But one of our unique strategies is going direct to builder. Omid, maybe if you want to talk about how we built that relationship and how beneficial it’s been for both parties.

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah. Tony had identified this tiny home in Joshua Tree and I was not a fan. I was like, “How much is it per square foot? And what’s so big about these …” Again, talking about biases and it’s not a good property. And of course, trust the process. Fast forward, he’s like, “Yeah, let’s make an offer.”
I normally do, “Okay, let’s just do it.” And so I went ahead and I approached the person who was selling the property, who was also the builder. And so I was trying to ask a lot of questions to identify specifically how we could get this one under contract or how we could be competitive. I asked a lot of questions. I realized he’s a mass builder. He wanted somebody who can close quickly, and he didn’t want a lot of nonsense.
Not too many questions, don’t bother him. His time was very valuable. And he really had zero patience for people in general. And he wanted to build a long-term relationship because he’s a builder. He wanted also be able to build on the particular lot or on a future lot. I essentially listened, identified what was important to him, and I told him, “Hey, look, we’re short-term rental investors. We’re looking to scale. We’re interested in your product. What is a number that would be competitive for us to be able to not only secure this, but also buy future deals?”
We proved that we could close, so he accepted our offer. I think it was asking price. We offered asking price, and accept the offer, we closed right away, no issues. And then fast forward a couple months and he had another property. And so he essentially at this point just started approaching us and said, “Hey, look, I have this property.” Ironically, this one property led to another three, and then there was additional.
I think we had seven under contract with him, and then now we’re going to be at 11 tiny homes with him, particularly. The irony is these tiny homes, there’s such a high demand, but this is the challenge for somebody that wants to buy these. One, typically, you’re going to have to hire a builder. The turnaround time is, what, a year from planning.
Nobody’s going to sell these because they spend so much time into engineering. And then the few that ever go on-market sell way above market. We’re able to get them at pretty much market price and off-market. He now comes to us. Few things, he likes that we close quickly, he likes that we are low maintenance and we have good communication with him. He’s kind of a grumpy guy a little bit, and so just like how can we keep things positive, but maintain a positive relationship? It’s worked out really nicely.

Tony Robinson:
It’s been mutually beneficial, because for us, Ashley, we have a very consistent source of deal flow for a property that we know has performed well. It’s easier on his side because he doesn’t have to worry about listing the property, dealing with different sellers or someone getting under contract and then backing out.
It’s really been a mutually beneficial relationship. And like Omid said, by the time this episode airs, we’ll have bought 11 houses from this guy and they all perform really well. Omid, sorry, I didn’t mean to get you off tangent there, but if we want to go back to the floor and maybe walk through what we picked that one up for.

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah. This one we purchased, I’m going to say Q4 November-ish of last year, I’m going to say October, November-ish. It’s all becoming a blur. But 333, 10% down loan. It required about, what, 20K furnishings plus design, et cetera, et cetera. Total out of pocket is going to be probably close between like 65-ish, I’m going to say, with closing costs.
This particular property has actually become our best performing property. This is supposed to easily gross maybe 110 to 120. And the price point being 333, you can’t find properties at that price point for that type of gross. Usually you’re going to have to spend 600 plus to get that sort of gross. And 600 is on a conservative side. Usually it’s more like 700, 800 to get a gross of 120K.
But ironically, Sarah, she designed it and I was not a fan. I’m always not a fan. It is kind of funny, but I wasn’t a fan of her design. She’s like, “Hey, what do you think?” And I was like, “Oh, that’s cool. It’ll either do really well or it’s not going to do well.” I think that was my reaction. I think that was my response.
And we agreed to proceed forward with the design, and it became the most popular design of all our tiny homes. It’s actually now become our consistently most sought out tiny home. And I think it’s booked out two months in advance or so, give or take. And we got to raise rates clearly, because it’s like we’re not charging enough. But yeah, it’s doing well. Cash on cash return is probably 50 plus percent.

Ashley Kehr:
Omid, I think that’s a really great point to touch on, is that you have these tiny homes that are all the identical layout, but it’s the design. And the design has made such an impact on that one that it’s outperforming the other one. I think that a lot of people, and even I did this for my first Airbnb, was go and, “Hey, who has furniture laying around in their basement that they don’t want anymore that I can throw in my Airbnb?”
And you just prove that taking the time to actually design it and add that aesthetic to it can really give you a way better return than just throwing in mismatch furniture that you find on the side of the road or from your parents’ basement.

Omid Tehranirad:
No, I think that’s a great point. Because when we look at the portfolio itself, we’ve optimized and kind of made adjustments along the way. Because we’ve had the same model, we’ve been able to kind of get feedback from guests and even from social media. And we’ve been able to kind of keep making different adjustments along the way, and I think we have a more polished product moving forward because of it.
But we also, when we launch these, we are launching them more polished than they were initially. I think our very first one, I think we initially looked at it and we were like, “Okay, this is going to gross about 40K.” And then Tony’s like, “Oh yeah, we’ll do 60, no problem.” And of course I’m a skeptic and I’m not believing you, I’m like, “There’s no way this place is going to do 60.” And we’ve made modifications along the way.
And I think what happened is like during summertime, which is I would say like the low season because of the heat, we really had to look at, “Okay, how can we make our property stand out so that way we can make it gross even during low season?” We made a few adjustments to the property. And at that point from September on, every month the growth kept going up to now it’s averaging close to nine plus K a month since we made the adjustment to that property.
This property will do 100K plus. And the irony is, again, limiting beliefs and thinking, “Oh, okay, this can only do so much.” But I think just continuing to do your education, receive feedback from your guests, make the adjustments and try to optimize the property so guests want to come back.

Tony Robinson:
Awesome brother. Yeah, we’ve had some definite success with those tiny homes in Joshua Tree, and appreciate you, Omid, for building that relationship, man. I want to take us to the Rookie request line. For the Rookies that are listening, if you would like your question featured, give us a call at 8885 Rookie, and maybe we’ll play your question on the show. Omid, partner, are you ready for today’s question?

Omid Tehranirad:
Oh, man, I don’t know. I’m not prepared, but let’s try it.

Tony Robinson:
All right. Today’s question is from John from Fairfax, Virginia, and John says, “I have a question about putting offers on deals. You guys talk a lot about putting offers on, but not on having the financing lined up, and I’m wondering how do you do that. How does a seller have the patience to get you to put the deal together? You know it might take some time to get partners or a bank to get approval on the deal, so what’s running around my head is how are you making offers without having any financing lined up right away. Love to hear you guys talk about that.” And that’s funny, Omid, because we do that all the time, right? We’re like, “Just get under contract and we’ll figure it out.”

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah.

Ashley Kehr:
You want to control the deal.

Tony Robinson:
Yeah.

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah, very true. It’s going to completely vary depending on your local market and what the market environment is, and then building a relationship with your realtor, what sort of experience you have. If you can’t get pre-qualified, I mean, you should definitely get pre-qualified to get some sort of loan, even if it’s a hard money lender.
Sometimes you may not, let’s say, not qualify for a traditional loan. If I build a relationship with a hard money lender where you get something, that’s a great place to start. But I don’t know. Tony, do you have any … I feel like you always have a great answer, so I want to-

Tony Robinson:
Yeah. I mean, I think the only thing I’d add is that whenever you put a property under contract, you always have your financing contingency, right? Worst case scenario, if you’re not able to figure that out within that timeframe, just make sure you cancel the contract before your financing contingency. But I would try and exhaust every option before you have to cancel.
Because I think the second you start canceling on people, that’s when you kind of build the wrong reputation. I would use the financing contingency if I needed it, but first, yeah, hard money, private money, partners. If it’s a good deal, I’m going to be going to everybody that I know saying, “Hey, please, please, please work …” Not even please, but, “Hey, here’s a great opportunity. Work with me on this deal.”

Omid Tehranirad:
… Yeah. I think we went to a Ryan Pineda event, and then the quote they used was, “If it’s a good deal, money will follow.” I think just find that good deal and money will follow. And that’s whether you post it on social media, whether you’re posting it in local groups, there’s always somebody who has the capital who’s looking for that deal and they don’t have the access to the deal flow. If you can bring the deal, I’m sure money will follow.

Ashley Kehr:
Okay. Omid, I’m going to take us to our Rookie exam. Now, this is graded and this will actually be reported as to whether or not you stay employed by Alpha Geek Capital, so the pressure is on.

Omid Tehranirad:
I feel like I’m in college and I’m trying to get into some sort of like a Greek organization, and this is the hazing process, like-

Tony Robinson:
This is the hazing-

Omid Tehranirad:
… “Do I get accepted into the club or not?”

Ashley Kehr:
Omid, what is the return on investment, the ROI, based on the cash flow from the third Joshua Tree property you bought? The clock starts now.

Omid Tehranirad:
I’m going to say it’s like 100 plus percent.

Ashley Kehr:
Okay.

Omid Tehranirad:
100 plus. Yeah.

Ashley Kehr:
Yeah. Okay. What is one actual thing Rookies should do after listening to this episode?

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah. Assess your threshold for discomfort. Because I think a lot of people, they get this idea, “Oh, I’m going to do this. I’m going to do this,” but then when they find out what it really requires in terms of the extra work and assess your threshold for the additional work. Are you willing to sacrifice maybe on the weekends, like not hang out with your friends? Are you willing to get uncomfortable? Are you willing to go to a network event and talk to people when you’re not comfortable talking to new people?
I think all those items are really big. If you’re married, is your spouse okay with you spending more time away from your family? And can your spouse maybe step up with some of those responsibilities at home? It’s all those little things that I think sometimes are overlooked before actually getting your feet wet into whatever it is that you want to do.

Tony Robinson:
Awesome, Omid. Question number two, what’s one tool, software, app or system that you use in your business?

Omid Tehranirad:
I have this one tool, and it’s called Tony J. Robinson. He’s like the software master. As long as you have a Tony J in your life, okay, great. Not everybody has a Tony J. But I think specifically for our line of business, Airbnb, our short-term rentals, it’s Hospitable.
And I know there’s different substitutes of that, but I think Hospitable really allows us to integrate pricing, messaging, gas, experience, communications all in one. That’s really a lifesaver. I feel like that allows anybody to scale long term. I would say if it’s not Tony, then Hospitable is a close second.

Ashley Kehr:
Where do you plan on being in five years? What’s half of 100 billion?

Omid Tehranirad:
Yeah. I feel like we had this discussion, because I feel like there was like a 10-year plan and there was a five-year plan. And in theory, what, half of that should be 500. But I’m going to say like 300 million in acquisition. Because I feel like it’ll kind of skyrocket faster as you kind of go towards the end of your journey, so I’m going to say 300 million in acquisitions. More time freedom, leveraging, just growing an organization. And so leveraging the organization and the culture to kind of build.

Tony Robinson:
Awesome brother. Well, as we round things up, I’m going to highlight today’s Rookie rockstar. And if you would like to be highlighted as a Rookie rockstar, get active in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook groups, get active in the BiggerPockets forums, slide into my DMs or into Ashley’s DMs. But today’s Ricky rockstar is Andre B.
And Andre says, “I caught the real estate investing bug a couple of months ago and have been hard at work since trying to secure my first property. Three contracts, two terminations post-inspection, I finally have doors 1, 2, 3, and 4 fully occupied with what seems to be great tenants.”
And this was a fourplex, all one bedroom, one baths. It was listed at 240, he was able to negotiate down to 210. And then after the inspection, got it down even further to 205. And right now the rents are … Or he’s going to cash flow about $351 per unit. Amazing job, Andre. Really proud of the work you did there.

Omid Tehranirad:
Andre, high five, man. That’s awesome.

Ashley Kehr:
Omid, thank you so much for joining us today. It was great to have you. Can you tell everyone where they can reach out to you and find out some more information about you?

Omid Tehranirad:
Sure. You can find me on IG, Omidtheradinvestor. So O-M-I-D, the rad investor. Or you can find me Alphageekcapital.com. And hopefully I’ll be launching my YouTube soon, so you can find me on YouTube, Omidtheradinvestor. Do I get a picture? Do people ever take pictures with you guys, like a digital one for their social media? Is that allowed?

Ashley Kehr:
No, we charge extra for that.

Tony Robinson:
Absolutely not.

Omid Tehranirad:
Oh, man. I’m just trying to fanboy a little bit since I’m on the stage with you guys. This is an amazing moment. My hair is like I got a haircut for you guys, just …

Ashley Kehr:
Actually, Omid, I already took a picture of us when we first started, actually before we even started recording. So don’t worry, I got you.

Omid Tehranirad:
There you go. Nice.

Ashley Kehr:
Well, Omid, thank you so much for joining us. And to everyone listening, if you guys have enjoyed the podcast and you loved Omid’s episode, maybe you actually have a similar story where you have learned from BiggerPockets and being able to quit your job, we would love to hear about it. Please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or whatever platform you use to listen to podcasts. We’d greatly appreciate it. And also share the podcast.
If you know somebody that would benefit from getting started in real estate investing, please feel free to share the podcast to them. I’m Ashley, @wealthfromrentals, and he’s Tony, @TonyJRobinson. And don’t forget that you need to go through Omid, Tony’s chastity belt, if you’d like to talk to Tony. And we’ll be back on Saturday with the Rookie Reply.

Watch the Podcast Here

In This Episode We Cover

Breaking away from the traditional “American Dream” (and finding something even better)
The BRRRR method and how to a find low-risk rehab
How to prepare to transition from a fixed income to a variable income 
How to structure a partnership and prioritize partner alignment 
Understanding cash flow and making the numbers work for you
Identifying a client’s need and how to create a mutually beneficial relationship and partnership
And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

Get Different by Mike Michalowicz
Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz

Connect with Omid:

Omid’s Instagram

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