Episode 189: Full-time Trucker and building his portfolio on the side!
In today’s show, Pancham interviews Eric Neely – a trucker, real estate professional, and executive partner at Febros Capital.
While pursuing his W2 job as a trucker, he has been listening to real estate audiobooks and podcasts to get educated in the investing world. Now working on his retirement portfolio, he has invested in multifamily real estate as a limited partner and a general partner, formed joint venture partnerships, and is constantly increasing his investments!
Learn from his experiences in this episode as he highlights the power of education and research, why he chose to focus on passive and multifamily investments, and how he’s on the road to financial freedom!
Listen and enjoy the show!
Tune in to this show and enjoy!
- 0:42 – Pancham introduces Eric to the show
- 2:12 – How the idea of retirement income got him into investing
- 8:31 – Starting as a limited partner to get in the investing game
- 10:04 – On scaling up and focusing on passive investments
- 17:02 – His first syndication that paved the way for his later success
- 19:48 – On achieving his uncomfortable goals and making them happen
- 22:06 – Taking the Leap Round
- 22:06 – His accidental flip as his first investment outside of Wall Street
- 22:53 – On having no fears and simply diving into investing
- 23:40 – Why his first syndication did not go as expected
- 24:04 – Why rookie investors should prioritize research and education
- 25:21 – How you can connect with Eric
3 Key Points:
- Real estate investing must not be rushed. Prioritize educating yourself and learning the best investing strategy for you before venturing and taking the leap.
- Research the kind of market that you’re going to invest in. As you’re going to put your money at risk, you should know what’s being done with it.
- If you’re looking for a way to create passive income in retirement, passive real estate investing could be a viable option.
Get in Touch:
- Febros Capital Website – https://www.febroscapital.com/
- Eric Neely LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-neely/
- Eric Neely Contact Details – (316) 640-8163
- The Wealthy Trucker Podcast – https://www.febroscapital.com/thewealthytrucker
- Download the FREE e-book “Top 6 Reasons To Invest Outside of Wall Street” at https://thegoldcollarinvestor.com/download/
- The Gold Collar Investor Club – https://thegoldcollarinvestor.com/club/
- Pancham Gupta Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to The Gold Collar 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.
Well, hi there. I’m Robert Helms, host Of the Real Estate Guys Radio Program. And if you want to have better results in your life, you got to put better ideas in your mind. You’re in the right place. You’re at The Gold Collar Investor Podcast.
Pancham Gupta Welcome to The Gold Collar Investor Podcast. This is your host Pancham really appreciate you for tuning in today. My guest is Eric Neely. He is an American trucker, trucker like trucker for last 20 years. He is a real estate professional focused on developing private placements in apartment complexes. So, the everyday professional has an opportunity to invest in high yield cash flowing real estate. Eric has invested in multifamily real estate as a limited partner as a general partner has structured joint venture partnerships and is currently an active apartment owner operator in Wichita, Kansas. He’s been trucking all his life and he’s switched his careers. And you know now right now he’s got himself educated while he was on the truck, driving to different destinations while listening to the podcast and listening to audiobooks. So, if he can do it, you know, you definitely can and you know, if you had any doubts, whether you can do it or not. So, listen to his story. Definitely very, very motivational. Hey, Eric. Welcome to the show.
Eric Neely Hey, man, thanks for bringing me on.
Pancham Gupta Glad to have you on here, I see that you are in your truck. You’ve been trucker for a very long time you were talking just before the show that you’ve been pushing 20 years. That’s pretty awesome and pretty interested to get into your story. Before we get on though? Are you ready to fire up my listeners break out of Wall Street investments?
Eric Neely Let’s make it happen, man.
Pancham Gupta Let’s do this. So, I before we get started and go into the investing side of things, give our listeners a background on you. And, more importantly, the person behind that background.
Eric Neely Sure, well, like you said, I’ve been in the trucking industry for almost 20 years. And during that time, I’ve gone from managing lots of people, I managed a lot of drivers at one point in my career. And currently, all I do is drive a truck. When I got out of the management mode and got into just driving, I found out that, hey, I’ve got an opportunity all of a sudden to work on myself instead of constantly taking care of other people and being on call all the time. And so, when I started getting all this windshield time as when I started truckers’ education, as was what I like to call it, I hit the podcasts, I started listening to audio books, and really educating myself. And I ran across real estate and started taking the idea of retiring started taking it seriously, which I’d never had before I’d always kind of just ignored it was in my 401k and, and realized, man, if I’m gonna ever get out of this truck, I’m gonna have to start working towards it. So, you know, I got educated in the world of real estate investing and, and I started doing that passively. And then ultimately, that transitioned into where we actually buy our own apartment complexes and manage them. So, I’m still in the middle of doing that. And that’s kind of taking the idea of retirement and fast forward it to maybe just a new career. But ultimately, real estate will still be a large portion of my quote unquote retirement portfolio if we want to use those words. So yeah, that’s kind of a quick synopsis of who I am and what I do. So
Pancham Gupta that’s awesome. I have a couple of follow up stat. So, when was it that you started listening to how long ago to the podcast audiobooks and getting educated?
Eric Neely Sure, probably, oh, probably to the tune of about six years ago, I think so when I started really getting interested. I guess you could say I wasn’t really invested in at that point. But I started getting interested in started educating myself at that point. And I really, you know, I spent a couple years before I did anything, just listening. So, you know, I could have gotten in a lot faster. Sometimes I regret not getting in sooner, but then again, I needed to learn it. And I don’t regret that so.
Pancham Gupta Absolutely. So, you made a couple of decisions at least in Yes. I read that you said that you were managing people, and then you kind of took a different route you started doing your own became like an individual trucker. And, you know, taking that decision must have been difficult for you. Right? What transpired that decision? Was it being real estate, or was it completely different?
Eric Neely Sure. I mean, yeah, that was a big transition I’ve got, I’ve got a lot of responsibility home, I’ve got five kids and a wife, and we owned our house. And the idea of transitioning into a new career, if you will, I mean, it was a job change. When I did that transition from management into just driving, that was a big change in life taught me a lot, I learned about how to weigh pros and cons, you know, and getting over the mental battle of, of being stuck in a groove, you know, I think I was very much stuck in a groove. And I just, I knew what I knew, and that’s what I was gonna do, and, and nothing else mattered. But the idea of, well, for one, reducing the amount of stress I was dealing with, with managing people, and to increasing my pay. When you look at it, when you step back and look at the decision I made, it shouldn’t have been that hard. And when you’re when you’re caught in the middle of it, and all the emotions are there, it was a big challenge. And it was a hard decision to make. So, and I’ve learned a lot from that, it’s given me the ability when I get into real estate deals to Okay, I got to step back, not look at this from an emotional standpoint, and just look at the numbers and look at the reality, is this a good deal? Or is it not? And if there’s not, there’s no need to do it? And if it’s a good deal, it makes sense. Let’s do it. And all the emotional stuff, while it is always going to be there, it’s easier to overcome it. So.
Pancham Gupta Right, right, so and how did you get hooked on to listening to real estate podcasts or audiobooks? Was it like someone told you or just you found out like, well, what happened there? You know
Eric Neely I don’t know the exact thing that caught my attention. It’s just one of them rabbit holes, I fell down, I know that one of the first podcasts that I was really hooked to was bigger pockets, which I’m sure a lot of people know that if their research and real estate, and I learned a ton there, I learned that I don’t want to do flips, I learned that I don’t have time to do flips. And, and so ultimately, because of that, I ended up getting away from bigger pockets, because a lot of what they talked about on there, at least at that time, it was more about single family stuff and building a small portfolio and, and I knew if I was going to make a career change and a big transition that it wasn’t going to be through building single families, it was going to be in the multifamily realm. So ultimately, I ended up steering towards listening to syndication podcast. And then of course, every time you listen to podcasts, you get a book referral. So, I’d hop on Audible and download a new book and read that while I’m driving and really just started educating myself.
Pancham Gupta That’s great. Yeah, you know, one amazing thing is that for you, you’re driving. So, you’re in the moving library, or education moving University in a way. And you can you know, all that time you’re spending driving, you can educate yourself. So that’s pretty, pretty awesome. So, let’s fast forward, you start listening to these things go into this rabbit hole, bigger pockets, you’re now getting motivated, and you’re driving getting more motivated. So, what happens next? Like when do you actually pull the trigger? And what gives you the strength or courage to do that?
Eric Neely Yeah, well, I’d say the, probably the first step that I took, and this isn’t everybody, nobody has to do exactly what I did. But the first step I took and I recommend people do it, is I started investing passively in a syndication, so got to know a group just by listening to podcasts and finding those referrals through that I ended up joining a syndication as an LP, and invested in that deal, learned a lot about it, learn how to set up, self-directed 401k Learn how to transfer my own money in and out of it. And then of course, you get to see what a private placement memorandum looks like and an offering memorandum. And you really get to see a lot of intricate details that you don’t have to put together as a limited partner. You see it all, but it’s not really your responsibility to put together so I was just learning the different things learn what they look like, learn what websites look like started building my own just kind of on the side, just so I know what it would look like now I started talking and networking. So that was probably Really, that’s the first step that I took to get in involved.
Pancham Gupta So, you did your syndication as your first investment. But did you also go down the path of doing active investments like in single family, a lot of people who are listening right now and they want to kind of do what you’re doing? They like natural path is to start to sink like to single family. Right? Did you do that at all?
Eric Neely No. I mean, I did a flip year prior to all of this, it was kind of an accidental flip. I mean, it was our first house, and we bought it kind of beat up, we fixed it up, lived in it for a while, and then ultimately, it was a good investment for us. And then I look back at that, I should say, when I first started getting involved in this, I was working 60, sometimes 70 hours a week out here on the road. And unless I hired it all done, which I could have done, there was no way I was gonna flip a house, I just didn’t have the time. And I’m a handyman, so I enjoy doing that stuff. But I just straight up didn’t have the time. I’ve got five kids; I want to go to their ballgames and stuff. So, the idea of just taking on the whole nother career didn’t sound appealing to me. So, so No, when I first started getting into this as an investment opportunity, I didn’t mess with single family, and I still don’t my first deal was a JV deals a 24-unit complex. And then moving on after that it was a 66 unit. And I don’t intend to ever go that small, again, is pretty
Pancham Gupta awesome. Anyone listening, you don’t want to deal with active investments. And you know, want to build a passive portfolio, you know, definitely reach out to Eric and his experience, it’s, I commend you on that, like, it’s very, very hard like to follow that path where you don’t get your hands dirty. And timing is one thing that you said, you’re on the road so much, it’s so hard to,
Eric Neely I’d say one thing that I hear a lot of people talk about is they didn’t think that they could start so big, you know, I look back in my 24 unit. And I would never do on that small again, because it’s a pain in the butt to manage. And I can’t imagine just trying to go do a four Plex or an eight Plex, I’d be there all the time myself unable to hire a property manager because I didn’t have the margin. Now, of course, if you buy it, right, you can make anything happen. But the larger you go; the more scale comes into play. And when you can factor in property managers or third-party property manager, that makes all the difference in the world, because there are they’re doing every day hard work of running the property. When I buy a property, I do the hard work all on the front end of doing the research and finding investors and inspections and all that stuff, you know, I have to figure out how to work that into my busy schedule. But once that’s all said and done, then it’s really just a matter of managing other people again and managing a manager and so the workload drops off significantly. I mean, there’s still stuff to be done but it’s not like it would be with a single family I’m not in there replacing roofs and fixing hot water tanks and things like that, you know, unless I choose to do it and sometimes I do I’ve taken my kids matter of fact we just went out a couple of weekends ago and cleaned up the alley behind our complex I took my kids and we spent time doing that kind of just cleaning up the neighborhood so but didn’t have to.
Pancham Gupta Right so I have you invested mainly Where do you live, or you’ve gone out outside that
Eric Neely everything I do is where I live and ultimately is because I’m still driving a truck and I need my investments to be close by I don’t want to try and manage something that’s far away. But I don’t even know if I would do it after I stopped driving a truck because I like being able to have eyeballs on it anytime I want to. But that said the multifamily it can be done long distance especially if you have a property manager that that you know and trust. I mean because that’s ultimately the primary aim if you have a bad property manager you’ve got a bad investment and that’s kind of what it boils down to. So
Pancham Gupta yeah, do you manage all of your properties yourself now or
Eric Neely with my other two partners? I manage our 24 unit but the other no our larger property we hire third party for that. Got it got it
Pancham Gupta alright so far you know you started with passive now you’re doing active are you still doing passive or now if pretty much sold on
Eric Neely always do passive matter of fact, the more active I get, the more passive I want to be. So, like I said in the intro into this, I’m looking for You know, retirement vehicle and active investing is no retirement. It’s a lot of work involved. So yeah, ultimately, I, every time I make a good chunk of money, I, I look for opportunities to invest it in, if I’m not investing it in my own, you know,
Pancham Gupta got it. So, anyone listening if they’re, you know, want to learn from your mistakes, and, you know, given the benefit of hindsight, like, what would you do differently than what you already did? If you were to start all over again?
Eric Neely Oh, that’s always a hard question. Because I can always look back at the things that I didn’t like and see how they were beneficial to me.
Pancham Gupta Like, for example, you know, if someone asked me, when would you do even though I love what I did, I would house hacked when I
Eric Neely was well, yeah. Okay, since you say that, the very first thing I would have done, instead of buying that house that we bought, when we first were married was, I would have bought a duplex. I regret not doing that. But I didn’t know the first thing about House hacking or investing in properties. That’s one thing I teach my kids all the time right now, your first house, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a duplex or triplex or quad something along those lines, some that you can start with, have a good place to live, but then also start developing the skills and the knowledge and how to manage a property. Because there’s not a heck of a lot of difference in managing single family, as opposed to, you know, our 24 unit. The only difference is you have 24 people to deal with instead of just one. It’s just an economy of scale. So, but the same basic concepts are all in play there. So, if an early 20s individual can get their start by House hacking a duplex? Yeah, that’d be the first thing that I wished I would have done. Cool
Pancham Gupta Alright, so let me ask you this, like, is there any specific failure that you can speak to us about that set you up for later success? You know, either with your syndication or investing in general?
Eric Neely Yeah. My first syndication I invest in, I did it out of excitement, and didn’t put much research into it. I didn’t dive in and really do any of the underwriting. I didn’t really research the team I was investing with. And ultimately, it didn’t go well, I still made money on it. But it wasn’t anywhere near what they had projected, they thought they would make and, you know, so that was probably a good learning experience there that you really just, I should have done my own due diligence there in the team. But I was excited and said, I just it’s real estate, it’ll make money, right? If you can mess anything up if you don’t manage it well, so.
Pancham Gupta Right, right. Okay. All right. So, I guess you would say definitely, so what? What would you have knowing what you know, now, like, what would you look at the syndication before investing in like, for example, if that deal came to you today, now that you know what, you know, like, what would you look at?
Eric Neely Yeah, well, I would have looked at the numbers a lot better. And I would have researched the neighborhood it was in; it was in a market that I’m not familiar with it was out of state. So I think if I was going to be passively invested in somebody’s deal that’s out of state, I traveled down there and take a look at the asset, I mean, you’re gonna learn a lot, if it’s your money that’s at work, you need to know what isn’t working, and the team that you’re investing with, if they don’t like that idea, then you need to find a new team, because they’re using your money to improve a property. And if you don’t have the faith that their business plan is actually going to get carried out. Or you go down there, and you think this business plan doesn’t make any sense, because this property needs a whole bunch of work put in here, and they don’t have that written down on anywhere on their business plan. You know, there’s all sorts of things you can figure out even if you’re not an active investor. But if you’re gonna put your money to work and quote unquote, at risk, you should know what’s been done with it. So, if I could do it over again, I, I would have traveled down there and look at property, I would have researched the neighborhood, and I would have read the business plan a little bit better.
Pancham Gupta Got it was a great advice. So, I have one more question for you before we move on to the second part of the show. My question is like what is one goal that you’re most proud of accomplishing within last 12 months and going forward? What is something uncomfortable there? What you’re working towards now?
Eric Neely Oh, big goal that I’ve accomplished. I’ve been doing some public speaking here lately, I started a podcast, which is outside of the public speaking. So those are a couple of milestones that I’m pretty proud of happy that I’ve finally pulled the trigger and done it. Just getting a little uncomfortable and making it happen. Yeah, what’s the name of the podcast? It’s called the wealthy trucker.
Pancham Gupta Well, the trucker very appropriate. Because what’s it like going forward? What is that goal that you’re working towards now? And that makes you uncomfortable?
Eric Neely Yeah, raising capital to buy more properties. That always makes me a little uncomfortable, just because it’s a challenge. Not because I’m nervous about doing it anymore. But just to challenge, you know, yeah. hard thing to do. So, I don’t know if I’m nervous about it. But that’s the hard task I’m working on right now.
Pancham Gupta Have you raised any capital? Oh, yeah. Yeah. Okay. Yeah,
Eric Neely we raised a couple million on a deal. So, moving forward, I intend to do much larger deals, where we’re probably going to be bringing in 5 million worth of equity or maybe even 10? I don’t know. We’ll see what it brings. But it’s working quite well, so far. Cool.
Pancham Gupta Well, thank you for that. We will be back after this message. If you want to know the top six reasons on why you should consider diversifying outside of the Wall Street, then you are in the right place. I have written a free report for you. It goes into not just the top six reasons why investing in stocks for one case may not be the sound strategy. But also, what are the alternatives. Get your free report today on thegoldcollarinvestor.com/download, I repeat thegoldcollarinvestor.com/download. So, Eric, let’s move on to the second part of the show, which we call taking the leap round, 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 it that passive investing you did?
Eric Neely Well, I could say it’s probably that flip that I did. I did that one, quite a long time ago. It’s private, close to 18 years ago. Now. I like the common accidental flip. But we bought a single-family house because we needed a place to live. And it was beat up and run down. And we put when I say we as my wife and I, we put a ton of work into that thing and really made it worth a lot more than it was when we bought it. And when we sold it, we were able to take all that money and use it as a down payment for the house that we still live in today. So, it was a good investment. It really was.
Pancham Gupta Yes. Great. Cool. So, did you have any fears that you had to overcome when you bought that one?
Eric Neely No, I was too young and dumb. I didn’t know what I was doing. So no, I’ve probably should have been a little more scared. But we bought that when I was 20 years old. So no, I we just kind of dove in and did it. My wife probably did the bulk of the research on it. It was a good opportunity. I mean, we went out with zero money down because the city was doing a first-time homebuyer grant. And so, we’re able to utilize some of that money as a down payment. And then we were also able to take some of that money and use it towards improving the property. So, we went into that with no money down and made it worth something. Got it.
Pancham Gupta My third question for you is can you share with us one investment that did not go as expected?
Eric Neely I’d say that first syndication I invested in didn’t go as expected, the operators gave us some blue-sky numbers that sounded really awesome and didn’t play out that way at all. But we’re still making money on it, but it did not go as expected.
Pancham Gupta So, my last question for you is what is one piece of advice would you give to people who are thinking of investing in Main Street that is outside of Wall Street?
Eric Neely Well, the cliche answer is education. You know, you can learn a lot through podcasts and audiobooks like I did. But if even if you’re ready to just start investing passively, find an operator, you know, that you can invest with passively. There all over the place, you know, I do it Pancham here does it and there’s a lot of other people that are interviewed on podcasts that do it. And I’d say find somebody that you resonate with somebody who holds your values and somebody that you can align with philosophically or theologically and start there and then researched more. I mean, you still need to know who they are. do background checks on them. Make sure that these people are not gonna just rob you blind of your investment. When people I want to talk about risk in real estate. It ultimately boils down to the amount of research you’re willing to do. If you do the amount of research, you need to do. There’s hardly any risk. But if you just dive into something and don’t research it, of course there’s risk. Yeah.
Pancham Gupta That’s great advice. Thank you, Eric, for that. It’s been great. You know, if someone wants to connect with you reach out to you, how can they reach you?
Eric Neely Awesome. Go to my website. It’s called FEBROS capital F E B R O S. And then Capital.com. I’ve got contact list on there where you can schedule time to talk to me on my calendar. Or if you want to hop on my podcast, you can schedule a time on the podcast on the website there. So that’s probably the best way to get ahold of me. You can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook. But I like talking on the phone. So, schedule a time on my calendar and let’s have a conversation. Cool.
Pancham Gupta Well, thank you, Eric, for your time here and we’ll put that link to your website in the show notes as well. Perfect. Thank you for tuning in and listening to what Eric has to say about his background and you know his story. If you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out to me at p at the gold collar investor.com. That’s P as in Paul athegoldcollarinvestor.com This is Pancham signing off. Until next time, take care.
Thank you for listening To The Gold Collar Investor Podcast. If you love what you’ve heard and you want more of Pancham Gupta, visit us at www.thegoldcollarinvestor.com And follow us on Facebook at The Gold Collar Investor. The information on this podcast are opinions. As always, please consult your own financial team before investing