“I am one of Charlie Dobens’ clients and received an email from him about your dilemma. I’ve been there! 10 years ago I bought my first residential ‘buy & hold’ and spent the next 8 years buying, wholesaling and flipping single family properties….to be honest, I was tired of all of the work! A couple of years ago I went to an event and listened to George Ross (you know, Donald Trumps ‘right hand man’) and was smitten by multi family. I didn’t really get sucked in to any guru’s but do have to admit that I went to a couple of Dave Lindahl events (now they won’t leave me alone!). I even got a commercial investing business coach through JT Foxx (have you heard of him?), but after a year…to be honest…I was still lost.
After failing at a few attempts of getting a MF under contract and then now knowing what to do next (in spite of all the reading I did on the subject!), I connected with Charlie through Linked In. I have to admit, I’m a skeptic (something I learned from my dad) and spend a lot of time doing my homework on people and Charlie was no different. I made an appointment to talk to him and we spent a while getting to know one another. I consider my self a good judge of character and as a woman I have great intuitive sense! Charlie and I ‘clicked’ – he was refreshing in his candor about this business and very approachable. With in a few weeks I sighed up to work with him. Since then, I’ve put 3 properties under contract and this last one we hope to close in a couple of months. The first two failed but learning from those failures is just as important as any success. I haven’t regretted my decision to work with Charlie and since then have encouraged a few other people to seek his services.
I encourage you to try his Master Class. It’s a great way to get started with him. He doesn’t up sell and no pressure techniques…he really just wants to help you with your MF business. I have been to his Shark Tank training twice and just got back from his Due Dilligence seminar in Charleston. I brought a friend (who wants to start a MF business) and she was soooo happy I invited her. She couldn’t believe how much she learned. She also signed up for the Master Class. I could go on and on…but I don’t want you to think Charlie put me up to this! Good luck and Best Regards,”
Anca M. - VA
“I just completed Charle’s Doben’s Due Diligence Seminar in Charleston, South Carolina with a group of about 13 of Charlie’s students, including him. Charlie redirected your inquiry to us and asked that we share our story with you. I am 59 years old and have been working almost 30 years as a family practice physician and am in my fourth burnout. Unlike you, I am not debt-free. What we do have in common is we are pointed in the right direction; apartment investing.
It was from reading the book, “Rich Dad Poor Dad ”, that I changed my paradigm about how I was going to prepare for and create my retirement and ultimately manage the remainder of my life. I am currently on the left side of the quadrant and need to get on the right side.
Twenty years ago I jumped on the bandwagon with 28 other doctors and invested in a limited partnership and got a $30,000 loan to buy one of the membership units in the purchase of a hospital. Unbeknownst to me, I violated the first rule of investing, “don’t invest in anything you don’t understand ”. The general partner got into a cocaine habit and drove the investment into bankruptcy. One of my doctor buddies sued the general partner and had a heart attack from the stress of the litigation and died. That experience dampened my hopes of ever getting out of the stress of m-y medical career which was changing constantly from the financial standpoint due to managed-care, politics and the global marketplace changing everything. That is the extent of my real estate investing experience and my desire to invest finally resurfaced but with a commitment to understand the mechanics of the investing process.
After talking with many real estate investors I noticed a consensus among them that multifamily investing provided the most structured and analytical predictability to of the different kinds of real estate investments. The lending industry supports this fact and their underwriting of a loan uses the same analysis of the multifamily financials that the investors use in order to determine if the investment makes rational business sense.
This is what appealed to me. I have purchased many courses and attended about half a dozen different boot camps in multifamily investing. Yes, you’re absolutely correct; most gurus are making their living selling their course. It is much more profitable for them. One of the boot camps I went to resulted in that guru selling a bogus investment plan for $30,000 that many people bought which was bogus and resulted in a prison conviction for that guru. You will get some very good information from every single course but ultimately you will need a mentor that is going to be able to give you accurate information for the millions of questions you will have during the process of building your knowledge base. My journey has been slow because of my current job and parenting responsibilities but along the way I slowly developed that feeling of comfort and confidence from “getting it” and the accepting there is stepwise process of analyzing the an investment offer. It is a slow but good feeling when that awareness begins to get stronger. The dishonest gurus oversimplify the entire process and hurry you along to get you into an apartment deal. The main reason they do it is that they are promoting the good old get-rich-quick greed attraction factor which is what drives up product sales. This hasty approach is a huge red flag.
One of Charlie’s comment he repeats that the gurus don’t dare say is , “If you screw up your first deal you will never invest in another apartment again”. This is a good time to give a short highlight of the excellent Multifamily Investing Academy selling points (for me): 1. Elite course: ~$200/month, NO CONTRACT ! . Accurate information from an active investor and attorney who has extensive experience assisting people in purchase and litigation investment dilemmas. 2. Cash Flow Analyzer: You get to download to your computer. Every guru has a homemade customized one which uses an Excel spreadsheet and I probably have about eight of them from different gurus. The one in this course is the Cadillac. It is Douglas Rutherford’s, a CPA, who has perfected this program over the last 25 years which contains all the metrics for analyzing deals and more importantly for making multitudes of projections by changing any of the multiple variables. It is phenomenal. You can check his site out on the internet. 3. Look over My Shoulder videos; Here’s where you get to watch Charlie analyze deals and verbalize the process. This is priceless.. Priceless ! The learning curve is straight up here. 4. Etc. etc. Remainder of the extensive course content. All excellent 5. The Due Diligence Seminars: The exposure and networking with the attendees . You need to attend to experience this . You cannot get a comparable effect on a video or audio file since they are not interactive.
One student in last weekend’s seminar was in his mid to late 20s, who, with his three brothers (not attending), are serious investors and own 2400 units. He is currently closing on a 400 unit deal. In attendance was also a commercial mortgage broker with about 25 years of experience. The experiences and interactive discussion between these two students was a wonderful perk to the seminar. These guys have done many, many deals and could easily teach boot camps themselves and I was very surprised that they were corrected at times by Charlie. They both commented afterwards that they learned a lot from Charlie and were very grateful for the seminar. You will not find these advanced players at the other boot camps because they are entry-level courses. The reason these guys showed up to the Due Diligence Seminar was because they know the value of an attorney’s advice when it comes to the technicalities of closing an apartment purchase and went to learn real information.
Let me add by telling you a little bit about how Charlie’s course has impacted me. I joined his course early November of this year. I had seen his name on the internet for several years and discovered his short videos on YouTube. I devoured all of them. His approach was different in that it was not rushed and did not have any hype. What you need to understand about Charlie is that he’s held to a much higher standard than the other gurus, all because of his law license. It is the same in my world. For example, a regular guy on the street can sell multilevel marketing supplements, which I have, but because of my professional degree (medical) I’m also held to a higher standard. If the customer (patient) has a bad outcome from using that product that I promoted and sold him the accountability factor leans heavier on me. The marketer without medical training is given almost a free rein on selling hype and bogus info. Thus, when I used to talk to people about a product I made sure I had multiple studies to support the claims of the product and did not state any claims that could not be substantiated. There have been physicians that have been reprimanded by their state medical licensing boards for unethical medical conduct as a consequence of patient experiences with products that were unfavorable. I’m certain you understand the point I’m making.
Charlie does not make casual or uninformed statements and makes it very clear to the students if he does not have the right answer to a legal question. He also makes it repeatedly clear that there does not exist an attorney-client relationship with his students. This shows his professionalism. I don’t know if you picked up on this in Charlie’s response to your email where he opened with a kind word and then followed by asking for your permission to share your email with his students. This is a sample of both the professional and the personable Mr. Dobens. Relax and be patient. Go through the steps of learning like every single one of us is doing. There is a lot of free sampling available on YouTube that will allow you to compare the mentors. This is important. Google “apartment mentors” or “multifamily mentors” and begin the process of finding out who is out there, then watch them on YouTube. While learning about the investing process you will also get a feel for the mentor’s style and if it is a fit for you. I emphatically endorse Charlie and have given my reasons. I sampled a lot of other mentors and the plus to all that time and money I spent is that all those experiences have helped me to better know and to better appreciate Charlie’s real value. ”
Jose C. - El Paso, TX
I just finished up with the weekend workshop that Mr. Dobens held in Charleston, S.C. First, a little background about me so you can kind of get a feeling of my understanding of what I learned and how I found the information to be correct and useful. Started in Multifamily in 1998 as a leasing agent in Denver Co. with Simpson Property Group (388 units) and worked my way up to an assistant manager. After getting to that level, I was privy to the numbers that were happening on the community and realized what kind of NOI was being realized and I had my first “light bulb turn on” moment if you know what I am saying. I moved to Charleston S.C. in 2001 and stayed in multifamily and went through a lease up and then a condo conversion on the same property. When I saw what the return was (this was in 2005 by the way) on this “A” property, I knew then that I needed to get it figured out as to how I could own, manage and exit a multifamily property and make some great profits while moving onward and upward.
So, that is kind of my “how I get started” story. I live by a mantra, “I don’t know what I don’t know” and am always looking for information, classes, people and networking opportunities to increase my knowledge base and of course “people base” to get me further in my investing business. That is exactly how Mr. Dobens approaches his training…..what we are doing is a business and the business should be managed with out emotion and “gut feelings.” His approach is real data / numbers based and he clearly has high level business knowledge.
Frankly, I would have paid $5000 for the weekend. There is real value in the information that is shared / taught. So, here is the run down: First, I did pay to be a member of the “Multi-family investor Academy” as a online student and attended 2 conference calls and went into the web site and downloaded materials and read as much information that I had time to. It was clear to me that the ROI just to be a member of the site and attending the conference calls was well worth the money paid.
This is not a “RA-RA lets go out and make money by taking out a cash advance on your credit card and flip a property” type deal. It is a straight up business / strategy based program with facts and data and / or real life examples to drive home the concepts to make you understand the reality of what to do or NOT DO. That to me is the best benefit. Leaning what NOT to do or to put something into place to protect your deal. The weekend class started right on time and we got right into it. Again, there is no, “welcome to the first day of the rest of your business life, we are going to be rich” RA-RA, BS. We went around the room and each person did a little intro / bio and I would like to speak to that really quick. I became aware that I was in the right place when I saw the people that I was surrounded by. To my left (and I am not making this up), was a 34 year old guy who started his business at age 26 I think it was and now owns/manages over 2200 units and talked about deals that he was doing that were out of this world interesting. To my right, a multifamily housing broker who has sold over 500 deals throughout his career.
You ever hear the saying, “you are influenced and are like the people you surround yourself with?” Well, those were the 2 guys that I was surrounded by, so that validated the class pretty much right off the rip for me. In my other “work life,” I am a part time Paramedic and I am a big fan of “order of operations” when it comes to anything related to learning and execution of a new concept. Charles presented all the information in the correct way in order to build on concepts initially presented. We started with letters of intent and moved onto the offer and then into due diligence. Now, if you have made many offers on a lot of properties in your career, then you may of course know what you need to know. Something that may sound as simple as a drafting a letter of intent and then writing up an offer to purchase probably sounds mundane and maybe you may think you have been there and done that. I assure you, the guys to my right and left were taking notes and of course all of us were learning. The dialogue that is created by the discussion of these concepts is beyond valuable. I was taking notes, on the notes I was taking, if you get my drift. Please understand the class went into may other subjects, just giving an idea of the start and flow of things. The most valuable part of the class for me was the forensic accounting part of the due diligence process. It gives you the information and tools to dissect a deal even before you go walk on a property. There is good and bad income that comes into a property and line items in a historical budget statement can tell you a lot about a property and how it has been run and what may be inside the numbers that a current owner and/or broker may be trying to hide from a prospective buyer. The forensic accounting process discussion was of course much more in depth that what I am saying here, but I am just trying to give you a quick overview.
That Sunday night (last night of class) I dissected my own books on a 12 unit deal I have and, well, made some changes as to how I was running things to be honest with you. I pretended I was going to put the units up for sale and wanted to see how I would do up against what I learned. I could easily continue to write a few more pages to continue to get my point across, but the bottom line is yes, it is well worth the time and investment to become a member of MIFA and yes, you MUST go to the next weekend class that is held. You will not be disappointed. This is not guru, this is not hype. In my humble opinion, it is high level and a person should come into this training with some sort of property investment experience and maybe even owned and / or managed something over 10 units as what is taught / discussed is, well, multifamily driven and hopefully that made sense. I don’t mean to come off like I know it all or someone who is just starting out would not benefit, but having a little experience will help you get more out of the class as you can apply concepts learned immediately to your day to day operations.Hence, the example of applying the information I learned to my existing business. If you are the type of person that reviews what you have learned immediately and then maybe go back to that information once a week while your getting initial experience, then you would benefit even if you were new to multifamily. I hope this helps. I hope that I did not come across cocky or a know it all as I can assure you I DO NOT know IT ALL. I walked out of the weekend VERY aware I do not know it all, but I gained serious knowledge and increased confidence and that my friend in my humble opinion, is what is is all about.”
Steve - Charleston, SC