Episode 172: Learning English after coming to US in 2003, Vee shares his story of overcoming obstacles
In today’s show, Pancham interviews Vee Khuu – real estate investor, passive income mentor, and creator of the IPO Real Estate Investing Method.
When is the best time to invest in real estate? Vee Khuu saw the opportunity in 2009 when properties are being sold at low prices! After attending seminars and learning with the help of his mentor, he took the leap in investing and now has been involved in over $20M in real estate transactions!
Get inspired by his story as he shares his immigration journey and how he got to learn about real estate investing! He’ll also share how his mentor gave him the confidence to start investing, how he is building up his career, and lessons he learned throughout his investing experience!
Listen and enjoy the show!
Tune in to this show and enjoy!
- 00:47 – Pancham introduces Vee Khuu to the show
- 2:03 – On attending free real estate weekend seminars and finding a local mentor
- 6:18 – Details on his 1st investment and learning from his mistakes
- 16:53 – What his current investment portfolio looks like
- 19:21 – How his multi-family home deal got into bank foreclosure
- 21:56 – Why investors should need enough money and not completely rely on cash flow
- 23:43 – How journaling and visualizing his day helped with his productivity
- 30:34 – Taking the Leap Round
- 30:34 – His 1st investing deal outside of Wall Street
- 30:45 – Overcoming his fear of making the wrong moves
- 32:54 – How his apartment deal didn’t go as expected
- 36:46 – Why investors should note that investing is a people’s business
- 39:53 – How you can connect with Vee Khuu
3 Key Points:
- It’s okay to simply breakeven and not earn any profit in your 1st deal since you would learn a lot from your mistakes and would do better with the next investments.
- It’s important to do your due diligence when going into an investing deal.
- Real estate investing is more than its numbers. Investors need to care about the person more than deal and ask if they can trust the person first before going into it.
Get in Touch:
- Vee Khuu Website – https://www.veekhuu.com/
- The Real Estate Lab Podcast – https://www.veekhuu.com/the-real-estate-lab-podcast/
- The Gold Collar Investor Club – https://thegoldcollarinvestor.com/club/
- Pancham Gupta Email – email@example.com
- Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki – https://www.amazon.com/Rich-Dad-Poor-Teach-Middle/dp/1612680194
- The Miracle Morning Series by Hal Elrod – https://www.amazon.com/The-Miracle-Morning-15-book-series/dp/B07B5RD8MK?ref=dbs_m_mng_rwt_0000_ext
- The Secret by Rhonda Byrne – https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Rhonda-Byrne/dp/1582701709
Welcome to the gold color investor podcast with your host Pancham Gupta. This podcast is dedicated to helping the high paid professionals to break out of the Wall Street investments and create multiple income streams. Here’s your host Pancham Gupta. Hi, this is Tom Burns, author of why doctors don’t get rich. You’re listening to the gold collar investor podcast with puncheon Gupta.
Pancham Gupta Welcome to the gold collar investor podcast. This is your host punch him really appreciate you for tuning in today. Let’s get into today’s show. I have a fellow immigrant on the show. It’s a story of hard work, struggle and persistence. Vee Khuu is a real estate investor, coach, consultant and podcaster. Vee came to the US from Vietnam in 2003. After a lengthy immigration process of over 20 years, not knowing much English, we had to quickly study the language in school to communicate with people around him coming from a communist country. Khuu’s story is a perfect example of how anyone can overcome obstacles and achieve the life of their dreams. We began his real estate investing career by wholesaling properties in Denver Metro area, and has been involved in over $20 million in real estate transactions. His latest project is a multifamily development deal outside of Austin. Hey, we welcome to the show, man.
Vee Khuu Thanks for having me.
Pancham Gupta So excited to have you on you know, a fellow engineer, you are going to add a ton of value. Before we get started. Are you ready to fire up my listener break out of Wall Street investments?
Vee Khuu Heck, yeah, let’s go, let’s go.
Pancham Gupta Let’s do this. I like the energy. So Vhee tell our listeners about your background about I believe you immigrated to this country just like I did. And talk about that and how it came about and more importantly, the person behind that background.
Vee Khuu So I came to the US in 2003, after a lengthy immigration process, I’m sure many of your listener who have been through the same process with understand the legal immigration process in this country is it is what it is I’m not going to complain, you know, our family waited 20 years. So finally in 2003, my family came to USwhen I was 16. Then I went to high school here, around 2008-2009, when the last meltdown of the financial market happen. I was in college, I was still going to school and I was still working at a call center. And at that time, I realized that this time is actually the best time to buy real estate because it was so cheap. And I saw a lot of people around me who were actually, you know, buying real estate for 30-40 grand sometimes even 20 grand a house. And so I was like, this is a good time to get in. But I had no money. I worked. I mean you can call it minimum wage now. I mean, it was not much I work at a cost center part time went to high school. And then even in college, I was doing the same job making the same same wage basically. But when I saw there are programs out there telling me you can buy real estate with no money. Right. Sign me up, Sign me up. I’ve read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I went to his weekend seminars and no and that turns into so I went to the free weekend seminar and then I went to a paid one thing like 500 bucks or 750 I can’t remember. I went to that weekends and they pitch me some more products. I didn’t have money to buy any of them. The cheapest program was $9,000. You could pick any of them how to wholesale how to buy apartments, how to do development was nine grand What year was this? 2008 End of 2008.
Pancham Gupta So after the meltdown, right, like crisis? Yeah, actually no.
Vee Khuu So when I started going to his classes that was in July of 2008, I remember was shortly after my birthday. So it was like a week or two after my birthday I went and I still remember that hotel every time I drove by that hotel and like that’s where it all started. Wow. Renaissance Hotel here and in Denver. And so I went there and I saw the an couple who bought into the PhD program they call it. The Mother of All you buy every single package that they had, and it was $120,000. They cash out their 401k. And they went in, then I said, Wow, that’s, that took some guts house only 2030 grand, and you’re paying 120 to learn how to do this, you must believe them a whole lot. And that’s so that that gives me FOMO. I was like, Man, I don’t have money. I don’t have any money to go learn. And the one thing that they taught you is you have to change your mindset, right? Even in the book that he said, You have to ask yourself, How can you afford it. And so I did what they asked me to do, which was to increase my credit limit. But unfortunately, I still didn’t like that, that program because it was still nine grand now wasn’t approved for much. Then I went to a local mentor here in Colorado, I got approved, and somehow I managed to get some more credit cards, and I apply for more and got approved, I pay the guy two years of my salary and learn how to do real estate. Wow, that’s how the whole thing started. So this is
Pancham Gupta pretty young, coming out from a different country here in 2003. I actually came in 2003. Also. So that makes two of us. So you, you got this, you got the courage to, you know, pay and learn and pay you’re kind of tuition to learn the subject of real estate. What happened next,
Vee Khuu or what happened next was that after I paid the mentor, he gave me all the documents. He is a an attorney here in in Colorado. And at the time, you will remember that we had a massive foreclosure wave. So he was one of the attorney who helped crafted 1/3 of the Colorado foreclosure law. Wow. Yeah. So that was one of the reason why I went with him because I wanted to target the niche of doing foreclosure deals and buying foreclosure, buying short sells creative financing and the whole nine. So being that he crafted a third of it. I just trusted him whatever he said, Go so he said Vee go do this. I did exactly that. You go do that. I did exactly that. There was no fear. And at that time, you can imagine a guy who just learned the language. Oh, it just became like, conversational. English. Yes. English, right. I was able to do to just communicate barely understood what’s going on. So look to a native language, though. So I’m Chinese. I was born in Vietnam. So I, my first language was Chinese, Cantonese. And then I had to learn enemies when I went to school. And then when I came here to learn English, got it. Okay. Sorry, go ahead. Right. So at that time, I’m reading over a contract was like, really hard. I didn’t understand any of the words. And I didn’t understand the law. You can imagine like, asking a kindergarten kid to do like algebra, advanced algebra, it was kind of like that for me. And so I didn’t understand anything. He just said, You go do this, that I did exactly that. And he gave me the confidence, you just go ahead and do. So I went out, talk to a bunch of people who are much older than me. And I said, Hey, I’m in real estate now. 21 year old kid had no money. But I’m in real estate. Now. How can I help you? What are you looking for, and started to build up my buyers list and wholesale properties. And then in that same mentoring group, I met my two business partners. My first business partner, he just came back from Iraq, saved up some money. And I think he is a Navy chief. I don’t know his rank at the time. But I know he was in the Navy just came back from Iraq with some money saved up. And he was looking to do something with that money. And I said, Hey, you have money, you don’t have experience. I don’t have experience. But I have time. And truly, I didn’t have time because I was going to school full time. I was working part time, and I didn’t think you have time to do anything extra. But I have sleep time left. So for a while I slept three hours a night for two, three years. Wow. That was my life for a while. So I told him, Hey, if you want to partner up, let’s do this, because we’re learning together. And here’s an opportunity that I found, saw in wholesale a wholesale deal. And he said, okay, yeah, I have enough money to come into the deal with you. We can put the money down to fix it up. I solved the problem of where I would get money to fix up the properties. But now I need the money to go buy a property. And through my mentor. I was introduced to a bunch of other lenders here locally. I ended up not going to any of them because they didn’t approve me. They didn’t believe me, I have no knowledge, no background, nothing to prove to them that I could carry out this project. So I had my business partner came with me to last meeting to another lender. This whole time, we had some money out for earnest money already. And we came down to the wire. We spoke with this lender, and he said, Okay, I’ll believe that he believed my business partner know what’s going on, because he just came back from Iraq and in the Navy, so they trust the military background. So he approved us to buy the house, he gave us the loan to buy the house, and we close on that property, essentially, in three days, from the time we met him and talk to him to the time we closed three days. Wow. So that was your first deal. That was my first deal. And I had no idea what what was going on everything I could have done wrong. I did that in that deal. Because even though I not had a mentor, I was shy, to ask for help. And then legally, he did help me out. But then he had another business partner, who also was my mentor. He was the construction guy, he would go out to site and help us build out a scope of work on how to maximize the potential of that house. And I didn’t ask him to come out when my business partner said, Okay, what, what do we want to do and a business partner didn’t know. And so the only thing I had left at that point was to call around for contractors. And I remember my mentor told me at whatever you do, you need to get three bits. So I call three people out to meet me at the house and walk through the house with me. And that remember, they asked me, So what do you want me to do? And I said, you know, I tried to be smart. I said, I don’t know, tell me what you think. And so the first guy would walk through the house with me and told me some jargon, blah, blah, blah, you know, walk through the entire house with me once. And I said, okay, yeah, just let that sounds good. Go ahead and give me a bit based on that, what we agree on, just send that bid over to me. And when I met the second guy, I was more knowledgeable. By the time I met, the third guy was an expert. I knew exactly what I wanted. But I just told him, yeah, these are, these are the things that I want to fix. And so they gave me their proposal. And the rule is that you don’t go with the most expensive guy and you don’t go with the cheapest guy, you want to go with the middle guy. My problem is that I have three different people that I met with, I didn’t have a scope of work. So I based my scope of work from the expensive guy. So they all give me kind of in the same range. So then I went to another contractor, and I said, he just came out of rehab, I think, from his previous job, a wall had collapsed on him. And so he had to reconstruct his face, a bunch of screws in his face. And when he told me that story, I was like, Man, this is painful. And I’m glad you’re okay. But he said, Yeah, I can do your job. That’s not a problem. And he was in the mid range, like, the job is yours, adding sign a scope of work with him, I didn’t sign anything. I just trusted him and give him some money, I pay for material and just pay for his work. That was the first deal. It was just like a lot of mistakes. And I’m glad I went with him and not a crew. Because later on I found now most construction workers, regardless of the age, they are like high school kids, they will fight, they will do dumb things. They will lie, they will cheat, they will do anything that you can imagine a high school kid would do they all contractors, from 20 to 70, they will all do.
Pancham Gupta So this is quite I have a lot of questions. But let’s I want to first quickly ask you if you have very high level numbers on this property, if you can share with us like what did you pay? And how much did you put on top of it? And then what did you sell it for?
Vee Khuu Okay, so I bought this house, I think it was for $90,000 or $80,000 or okay, it could have been at $80,000 I don’t remember now. And then I we put in initially the budget was 20 grand. And then we found out that we had some rotten wood underneath the roof that we had to replace. And so we couldn’t just tear out the roof, we had to add some more costs. And then on top of that my business partner, the Navy guy fought with our contractor because the person who installed our flooring at damaged the wall, and so we had to pay some extra and that was another like 10 grand or so. And we sold it for about 140 So we after costs and everything we broke even on the first deal. We didn’t make any money but I learned a ton. Yeah, I learned a ton.
Pancham Gupta So let me ask you this going back to your story., right? That you kind of paid for the mentors and the course. And then you had this guy and the bank and you met him. And he gave you a loan in three days. Yeah, he made a lot of mistakes. So from the mindset wise, and you are also studying and going to college and all that. Were your parents okay with you doing and paying this guy and all this and or did you? I didn’t tell my parents, you didn’t tell your parents that you were doing all this?
Vee Khuu No, yeah, I didn’t tell them for us is bad. Because at the time, I regret that period of time, because I didn’t tell them. They worry about me. But there was nothing that they could do. Because we had just came to this country, they had to work. And so that every day, they would wake up at 3am. And, you know, get ready, go to work, be at work by 4am. And what my work what my job at that time, going to school and all that I came home at around midnight, and then I shower, I ate dinner, then around one or two o’clock, maybe that’s when I start doing homework. And then I usually go to sleep right before they wake up. So I could go for months without talking to them, even though we live in the same house.
Pancham Gupta Oh, wow. I truly understand the struggle that you may have went through your parents and you know, coming to this country for them even harder to learn the language and at the age that they came in and spending all this time and going to work and you’re doing the same thing really appreciate for all you get the appreciation for all the hard work that everyone puts in, you know when when they come in, right. So well. Kudos to you for that. And now you did that. And here we are today in 2021 How many deals have you done? And what’s your overall portfolio as of right now looks like?
Vee Khuu Okay, so I have transaction wise I’ve done just a little bit over $20 million worth of real estate through all that year. Now I don’t have that many left. I started selling properties in 2016. And I started selling them piece by piece just single family homes so I can consolidate and then started doing multifamily spent a lot of money learning multifamily, but later found out multifamily is not like single family is a team game. I’m sure a lot of your episodes relate to that. Right you have your your team as well. But I was really going at it alone for a long time. And then I got into a bad deal. I would say that wasn’t my mistakes in multifamily bought a c minus class property in outside of Kansas City. And the business plan was wrong, but I didn’t have the experience to know so but all the money in that deal. Normally I would say when you buy a C Class property or any value add property you need to raise all your capex cost upfront. What we were doing was that we raised just enough to buy the property and then just enough to build out some of the units. And then we were using the cash flow to fix up the next down unit. Which was dumb because when COVID happened that was it. I mean, especially when they have the moratorium I think more than half of our people were not paying so we were just like barely barely keeping it and
Pancham Gupta so you had that property and but you had sold your single family so at this point you’re mainly doing multifamily.
Vee Khuu Yeah so at that point just multifamily I was going after opportunities to buy multifamily yeah that was the deal that that I made too many mistakes.
Pancham Gupta Got it yet man
Vee Khuu finally is gone. The bank took it back. Van took it back. Yeah,
Pancham Gupta it was a foreclosure
Vee Khuu yep, I went full circle I started out pursuing foreclosure or single family home and then finally I was on the other side I was being foreclosed on.
Pancham Gupta Wow. I actually you know if you don’t mind sharing the story behind that like not Why’d went to foreclosure but like just the numbers and the lessons that you learned. I actually have one question the next round. Would you call that your worst deal? That deal that did not go as expected?
Vee Khuu I wouldn’t call it My worst deal. No, that was the greatest lessons I learned the worst deal. Is this another smaller much smaller size deal, but the business partner was the wrong fit.
Pancham Gupta Oh, I see. So So on this multifamily deal.
Vee Khuu Can you share The numbers like what did you pay? Yeah, bought it for about 7 million to 7
Pancham Gupta million. How much did you put down? 20% was a little bit over 20 Without a caucus, so like 1.6, maybe, whatever, like maybe two, 2 million, okay. And then the bank took it back after how many years? Or how many months
Vee Khuu to two years, after two years, around 19. We had it appraised, and we got an offer, at around, I think, 9.4 million around there. So after two years, we could have just cashed out and made money. But we thought that there was still potential we thought we could push north of 10 million. So that was in 2019. And waiting, sell it. And then in 2020, COVID, you know, COVID, and all that whole thing. Oh, my God,
Pancham Gupta that is you and was Oh my god. Okay, so she had it appraised for 9.4, you could have made a lot of like, very good return on your capital in two years, and then you didn’t sell it thinking that you’ll push it further up, and then COVID happens. And then
Vee Khuu and then is Yeah, I mean, everyone’s stuck. And everyone just kind of was blaming COVID. But I was just there thinking, Well, we were too greedy.
Pancham Gupta Right? No, I think there are a lot of moving factors. So okay, so then that go got foreclosed. So pretty much you lost all of that 1.6 or 2 million, or whatever yet put in
Vee Khuu the lead GP lost a lot more. Okay, lead up, I think he lost personally. close to a million or maybe more. Oh, wow. And so, you know, numbers wise, that was a big deal. But it’s not the No, no, money is money. You feel hurt a little bit, but it’s still just just money.
Pancham Gupta I know. Well, thank you for sharing that. What’s your biggest lesson from that one?
Vee Khuu You have to plan for a pandemic? kidding, I’m kidding. No one could plan for it. But you definitely have to raise all your money upfront your business plan, you need to have enough money to execute your business plan from day one. You can’t rely on the cash flow to do what you want to do. Because, you know, as we saw, what happened during COVID was that we didn’t have cash flow, then then the whole thing Stop and the whole project just deteriorate day by day. Hmm. Before too long, the bank just said, No, we’re not gonna allow you to keep this going any longer. We’ll just take it back.
Pancham Gupta Mm hmm. Cool, man. Well, sorry to hear that. But I think those things, these are real world seminars. And, you know, you do them and you learn from them. Right? Yep. So I’m sure this has made you stronger. I’m sure this has made you learn some of the lessons the hard way, but you will be a better investor and multifamily because of this experience.
Vee Khuu Oh, yeah. I mean, definitely my I would have to say because of it. Now. I do my research like crazy. I, the moment I got my hand into a project, I could talk to everyone I could about due diligence, I start doing due diligence before it actually the clock start to count. Basically, if you know what I mean. When when Yeah, when your money before it goes hard, right? You know, you have to do everything you can to make sure that your money is safe. Right.
Pancham Gupta Okay, cool, man. So, let me ask you, let’s switch gears and I’m going to ask you one question before we move on to the next part of the show. And that is, what is your morning routine? Do you have a morning routine? And if so, what is it and do you attribute your success to that routine?
Vee Khuu So I didn’t have a morning routine until last year. I read the how Elrod morning routine. Morning Miracle Morning. Yeah, so his routine I’m sure everyone know silence right the Savers framework, you go with silence so you meditate you do your gratitude. One thing from the saver I don’t do is exercise. I haven’t. I am really bad at that because in the morning, it’s really tough to get out of bed and go and go do some exercise. So I do that in the evening. And reading you’re supposed to read but I listened to Audible so I don’t know if that count it’s all gone. It’s all in my in my head. This is my journal. Nine we covered let me cover the branding. I don’t know if they
Pancham Gupta Which brand is that? It’s called the be fulfilled journal. Okay, be fulfilled. Okay, there you go. Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. So dating this attributes to your success?
Vee Khuu Yes. i It helped me plan my day a lot better, and it’ll help me plan out my time, much, much better. The reason why I think silence works so well from the saver framework is when you sit there and you meditate and you visualize yourself going through your day, it’s really, really helpful because it helps your brain know that this is real, right your brain, your brain cannot differentiate between what’s real and what’s fake, what’s mixed up in your mind. So when you close your eyes and you do this exercise, you can actually plan out your day and in your head and see that is happening, and put positive thoughts into your head. And it could be woowoo. And I, I understand, I used to think the same way. But until I tried it, and I did a bunch of different exercises regarding to visualization as well just listen to Tony Robbins, and his famous twist your body exercise, you could try it at home, basically, the twist your body exercises, you just kind of twist around with your feet planted, and you just turn around as far as you can and just look at a point in your room. Just turn clockwise, right. And then just remember that point, now you have to close your eyes and visualize that you’re lifting up your your finger, and then you’re turning your body you’re turning, like past that point that you just remember. And then you come back, open your eyes, and then you do that, again, you close your eyes. And then now you do that again. But you must go almost like twisted your body twice. And then when you open your eyes when you do that, that whole exercise now for real, you will find out that you can turn your body much farther than the point that you thought you could before. And it’s all happened because of your mind.
Pancham Gupta Wow, I did not know about this exercise. I’m gonna try that.
Vee Khuu I don’t know where he learned that from. But I found out I’m like, Okay, so there’s something to it is and I started doing more and more of it. And I just found out I mean, this whole thing really worked. And it works in the morning when you visualize it worked. When you’re negotiating with someone. It works really good. When you’re negotiating with someone and you visualize the outcome, you visualize the whole conversation, essentially, you’re just you’re just doing this with yourself in your mind. But when you talk to someone for real, all of a sudden, you knew all of this scenario already has already happened to you once. So it’s like a rerun in real life. It was weird. I don’t know how to describe it.
Pancham Gupta It is surreal. Actually, you know, they said that there is this book called Secret by Rhonda Byrne. And I actually am big fan of that. And that’s what they said like if you write your goals, like many people don’t even have goals, but if you write them, the chances of you getting them is much higher than if you do not write them. But now if you add visualization to that, the chances go even more higher. And if you do it really correctly, and you have actually getting that sense of really visualizing and actually feeling that moment. You can add the feeling to it so that you connect to the universe, then actually, it will happen there is literally nothing that can stop it from happening. So yeah, as engineers I find this approval even while talking about it right now. But it is the law of universe
Vee Khuu you coach with Coach Tee right. So yeah, I bet he has you do the same thing.
Pancham Gupta Yeah, no, I, I didn’t do visualization when he was Yeah, but I can tell you that for sure this thing works. So cool, man. Thanks for sharing that. We will be back after this message. If you are an accredited investor and have been thinking about putting your money to work for you. Then I have good news for you. I have created an investor club which I call the gold collar investor club. I will be putting together investing opportunities exclusively for the group. These are the opportunities where I have done the due diligence for you and will be investing my own money alongside you. If you are interested, please sign up on the gold collar investor.com forward slash club. I repeat the gold collar investor.com forward slash club. I will reach out to schedule a 30 minute phone conversation to discuss your investing goals once you sign up. This can be a good opportunity to diversify and take some chips off the hands of Wall Street to produce some passive income. And in case you are wondering, what is an accredited investor? Accredited Investor is someone who has earned more than $200,000 as filing single or more than 300,000 dollars filing jointly for last two years. Another way to qualify as an accredited investor is if your total net worth is more than $1 million, excluding your personal home. It includes your stocks for one case I arrays, cars, etc. Just not the equity in your personal home. If this is you, I would highly encourage you to sign up. So we let’s move on to the second part of the show, which I call taking the leap round. And I ask these four questions to every guest on my show. My first question for you is, when was the first time you invested outside of Wall Street? Was that that flip that you bought with the bank in three days?
Vee Khuu Yeah, that was the first time. Got it.
Pancham Gupta Oh. So did you have any fears? I know, you said that you were 21. You didn’t know anything. But did you have any fears to overcome? Given that you didn’t even talk to your parents? You didn’t know what you were doing? And you kind of had all this alternate life going on for yourself? Do you have? Did you have any fears that you had to overcome?
Vee Khuu Yeah, man, definitely. Because at when I first started, at that time, the financial market had just melt down. I met people who lost half of their 401k. You know, their 401K became 201K in a day. And it was it was real. I talked to people who invested in Wall Street for a long time. But Wall Street was I was all that I knew. Because I had a 401k at work too. And I knew them stock market from watching on TV. Mad Money was a big deal. I watched it. Jim Cramer, I read his book. So it was all I knew until I found out about real estate. And then when I switch sides, you know, go into the dark side. I talk to you on all kinds of people that hating on Wall Street. Because they had just lost their money. They had just lost their retirement. And it wasn’t fun for them. So I was like, I had the fear of going over here without knowing anything. What if I made the wrong move? Because for hundreds of years, the stock market and Wall Street is where that right? Everyone the brightest minds in all the countries wanted to work at Wall Street and some private equity firms. I mean, I’m sure Asian parents, you know, they said you have to be a doctor or a lawyer, or you go to Wall Street an engineer. Oh, yeah, engineers. Man, these. Well, the joke now is that the parents in India would ask you when Why are you not a CEO?
Pancham Gupta Oh, really? I didn’t know that. I’m the CEO
Vee Khuu of Twitter is now Indian of Microsoft is Indian. Google. Google is also Yeah. Looking over the world, man. Yeah,
Pancham Gupta exactly. Just wait and watch, you know. All right. And you for an Indian company, too. Right. You said Yeah. Yeah. Reliance. Yep. Cool. All right. So my third question for you. Can you share with us one investment that did not go as expected? I know you share that multifamily building that foreclosed and you said that there is a smaller deal that’s even worse than that one, maybe share that?
Vee Khuu Yeah. Okay. So the small deal was small apartment in Southern Illinois. So the town is about 10,000 people, 12,000 people if that. So I went into that town, it was the eight unit apartment that my business partner found on Craigslist. And so we went into that town didn’t know anyone, we had to rehab the property, kind of put it back to a livable condition get a certificate of occupancy. Right after we did that. We had a tenant in there, you know, we placed a tenant after we did that the tenant was making fries, and then we went to the toilet. Then when he came back, my building was on fire. Half of the building was gone. So I was I had four down unit and then I had four livable units that I had to learn a lot during that time because I need to deal with the insurance company. They give me an I could have hired some outside companies to help me do this. But I didn’t know what I didn’t know. So I printed out their their report of the line items are telling me how much they pay me per items. So I went through essentially 100 200 pages of each pays about 40 line items or so of the apartments. They pay me some money and we said hey, let’s put this whole building back because we were stupid we paid for a replacement value was much higher. It was like two times higher than the real value of the house. All because it used to be a factory that was making ice cream in there. So the wall and everything was like really special is different. So to put that back together, it would have been like $300,000 That’s that’s the replacement cost. We only paid 80 for it. We put in 40 to fix it up to us, you know 120 But the replacement It was 300. So we thought, hey, why not just let it burn, man, that was really going in my mind after I dealt with the bank. Why? After all the dust settle, I have rebuilt it and everything. We sold a property for a small profit. And I’m not going to say that, because that’s still going on right now, after all this year, the guy basically, the Navy guy that I met all the years ago, he was one of the managers with signature authority. So he took the money and never communicated back to us. Oh, wow. And it was something happened in his life. My other business partner and myself, we try every way to communicate with him. phone, text message, we went to his house, which he moved. And yeah, I mean, it was the money was, like I said, was nothing but I lost a friend and someone who, who started with me from the get go, ah, was not much. I mean, really money was, money was not much. He was, if you share the whole story with anyone else, they’d be like, yeah, just let go. And I did let go. But that hurt because you lost a brother, who worked with you through all this hard time. And all of a sudden, because of that little bit of money, they turn.
Pancham Gupta Oh, my God. Yeah, you know, it’s interesting, sorry to hear that. It
Vee Khuu sounds like I freaking make the whole show just go down. And just like, No.
Pancham Gupta I think these are some of the real world stories that people need to share, like, share and listen to and really learn from and these are the real world seminars, right? So alright, I gave you the last question where you can tell anyone who’s listened to the show one piece of advice that you want to give to people who are thinking of getting into real estate, and after listening to your show, and they’re like, Damn, man, this is dark, the dark place to go to so get into them?
Vee Khuu Well, I would say real estate is a people business. It’s not it’s a person business. So it’s not about numbers. I know, as engineers, we’d like to look at the numbers, It either makes sense or doesn’t make sense, right. But real estate is much more than that. It’s not just about the deal, you have to care about the person behind the deal much more than the deal. Because if you are working with a person with high integrity, like Pancham, I’m sure many of you investors are happy with what you’ve been providing to them, you know, but if you’re working with a person of high integrity, they will do everything in anything to make sure they put you and your money above of their personal. And that’s what’s important. You cannot go into a deal just because it’s a good deal. Because anyone can massage the number to make it looks good. And I’m sure when when you want to fix some numbers, you can look at the case of like, we were gonna Theranos and then they fake a lot of stuff on Wall Street. But when it comes to real estate, it’s much more easier to spot those fake numbers, especially when you know that person is a shyster. You would have to you know if that person is a shyster, you’re going to be like really careful when you do your due diligence, and you underwrite your numbers. But if that person is the likable person, and you think that person is good, because he’s been on, or he or she has been on some famous podcast, or make YouTube show or on TV selling program and whatnot, and you don’t do your due diligence, that’s on you. You cannot trust anyone, you you trust the numbers to a certain degree, but you need to look at that person, can you trust this person first, before you go to the numbers, if you cannot trust the person, don’t even bother the numbers because you are gonna have some nights that you doubt your decision to invest with such person. And then you’re gonna call them and Buck them and doubt every move that they make. Yeah, it’s a very hard way to invest because we only have 24 hours of the day. You know, we have work, we have personal life, we have family life. You shouldn’t have to pay your bills. Let your mind wander to those spaces where you think something wrong is happening. When you decide to park money with someone. It’s because you have vetted this person fully and you truly believe that this person is a good person that could help carry out the vision that they laid out for you.
Pancham Gupta Great advice, man. Thank you for sharing that. It’s been a pleasure to have you on the show. And if someone wants to reach out to you to learn from you, your experiences, you also have a podcast. So tell the listeners That’s how they can reach out.
Vee Khuu Yeah, you can contact with me at my website www.veekhuu.com And Pancham has that in the description as well. And my podcast is called the rich lab podcast. I have put that on hold for the moment and I’m doing some other projects on YouTube as well. You will find me on there soon.
Pancham Gupta Great. Thank you for your time.
Vee Khuu No problem. Thanks, Benjamin.
Pancham Gupta Thanks. You learn something from Vee story. Thank you for listening. I really appreciate you if you have questions email them to me at the firstname.lastname@example.org That’s P as in Paul at the gold color investor.com This is Pancham, signing off. Until next time, take care.
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