Military Vet Goes From 2 Rental Properties to 21 Doors in Just Two Short Years ft. Eric Upchurch

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Eric Upchurch Interview

If anyone deserves financial independence, it’s the military families who serve our country. But understanding the benefits available to vets is difficult enough and knowing how to leverage those benefits to invest in real estate is harder still.

Eric Upchurch is the Referral and Investment Chief with Active Duty Passive Income, an online education platform dedicated to helping the military community achieve financial freedom through real estate investing. A former Special Ops Crewmember in the US Army, Eric serves the ADPI team as a liaison for connecting new investors to passive investment opportunities.   

On this episode of Founders Club, Eric joins Oliver to share the mission behind Active Duty Passive Income and discuss the community they’ve built on the platform. He explains how he got into real estate investing and offers advice around leveling up your networking, finding off-market multifamily deals, and transitioning from SFH to multifamily investing. Listen in for Eric’s insight on being willing to do what other people won’t and learn how ADPI is fostering the wealth and health of those who

Eric Upchurch

Here is how the interview breaks down:

[1:02] The mission of Active Duty Passive Income 

  • Teach active duty vets to maximize available benefits
  • Source for all things military and real estate investing

[8:51] How Eric got into real estate investing

[11:50] How to transition from SFH to multifamily

  • Invest in coaching, conferences and masterminds
  • Build team to take down large multifamily deal

[17:20] Eric’s advice on leveling up in networking

  • Willing to do what others won’t (e.g.: plane ticket)
  • Ask people about themselves
  • Respond to ALL messages from brokers

[23:19] How Eric is finding multifamily deals

  • Buy list through CoStar, look for 100+ value-add deals
  • Cold call brokers and owners and track in CRM

[32:10] Eric’s view of a home as property

  • Make use of live-in flip strategy
  • Move family 9 times in 8 years

[36:20] Eric’s big WHY for serving the military community

  • Veterans deserve to create generational wealth
  • Support for addiction, PTSD through ADPI Helps

[49:19] How the ADPI Podcast scores high-profile guests

  • Write down goals (Top 100 List)
  • Cold call or email member of team

[54:44] What Eric is investing in right now

  • Passive multifamily opportunities (575 doors)
  • Portfolio across multiple asset classes

[57:20] Eric’s top tools and apps

  • Voxer for global communication
  • Paper and post-it notes

Listen Here:

Key Takeaway:

If anyone deserves financial freedom, it’s military families. But understanding the benefits available to vets is difficult enough and knowing how to leverage those benefits to invest in real estate is harder still. Today, Eric Upchurch joins Oliver to explain how Active Duty Passive Income fosters the wealth (and health) of those who serve.

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Full Transcript Below:

Eric Upchurch: Target acquisition is the most essential thing for a veteran. When you transition out of the service, imagine having a super high-operation tempo, and then you leave, and you’re back in the civilian sector. You just go, now what?

Oliver Graf: It’s a totally different world.

Eric Upchurch: Now what? I wanted something that I was passionate about, something that I could focus on and something I could see results from. For me, it was real estate.

Oliver Graf: Welcome to another episode of Founders Club. Watch out for that car right there. Welcome to another episode of Founders Club. Today I’m here with Eric Upchurch, one of the founders of Active Duty Passive Income. We’re going to be talking about all the things he’s doing in the military space to help vets increase their passive income by investing in real estate.

Eric Upchurch: One of the things I do … It chokes me up, so hopefully I don’t get choked up here. But the reason I do this is because there’s nothing harder than what I’ve already been through, but I do this now for my family. I do this for my brothers and sisters who I buried. I’m glad to cold call somebody. I’m glad to go move around nine times. I’m glad to go figure out how to buy multi-family. I’m glad to start a real estate brokerage. I’m glad to start a lending company or an insurance company or whatever. There are a lot of people in our community that can relate to that and just go, man, I need to be a success, because I’m breathing right now.

Oliver Graf: We’re going to be talking about how he went from two single-family homes to 217 doors in the multi-family space, with another hundred under contract in just two short years. If you like what you see, subscribe to this show. Give us a like. Leave us a comment. Let us know what you think, and we look forward to seeing you on the inside.

So I met Eric at a multi-family event probably about a year and a half ago now. I wanted to have you on because I was really inspired by your story and excited by your passion for the military and our vets.

Eric Upchurch: Thank you.

Oliver Graf: I think that that’s a really underserved part of our community, and I think the stuff that you’re doing in that space is really awesome.

Eric Upchurch: Thank you.

Oliver Graf: Not only that, you were just telling me that you went from two single-family homes to 217 doors in the multi-family space and another 100 under contract in two years.

Eric Upchurch: Right.

Oliver Graf: So I definitely want to get into that, which I think that’s just an incredible accomplishment.

Eric Upchurch: Sure, thanks.

Oliver Graf: Then you’ve also got your podcast, which is blowing up. You’re doing great on that. You even had Grant Cardone on there. So I just want to kind of pick your brain on that as well and see how you were able to do that, because that’s pretty badass. Why don’t we start with the Active Duty Passive Income? Why don’t you tell me a little bit about what that is? I was checking it out on the website, and I love your motto, which is, “Financial freedom for those who serve.”

Eric Upchurch: Absolutely.

Oliver Graf: I think that’s a beautiful thought.

Eric Upchurch: Thanks, man. I mean, we wanted to keep it simple with that. So our founder, our CEO, my partner, business partner, Markian Sich. He’s active duty Marine still. He was just into automobile university, just trying to learn about financial freedom for himself. In the military you have a Thrift Savings Plan, which is the equivalent of a 401(k) or retirement plan. And he was just going, “Man, there’s got to be a better thing out there in the United States to serve me better in retirement.”

So the idea of Active Duty Passive Income came after he started listening to Rod Khleif’s podcasts and stuff and just kind of learning about real estate. He liked the idea of skipping single-family completely and going to multi-family, so he wrote the beginning parts of an ebook, started a website, and didn’t know where he was going. He actually started creating this from necessity personally. He and his brother knew how to work all the software and build a platform for that.

So from there he started looking for partners and just people he knew. I came in very shortly after, probably nine months or so after ADPI was initially created. At least the website was, and just through my passion. We are primarily an education platform. Again, that came out of necessity, just trying to figure it out on our own. And now, we’re being recognized now in the industry as the premiere source of all things military and real estate investing. It’s pretty neat. We published a book last year called military house hacking, which hit number one on Amazon, which is amazing.

Oliver Graf: Wow.

Eric Upchurch: We didn’t do that for the money. we did it because, again, we wanted to do research and share our experiences and then just to have people find us so we can help more people learn. You don’t have to count on your military retirement. You can actually do some really amazing things while you’re serving, as well as after you’re serving to make your family legacy [crosstalk 00:04:56]

Oliver Graf: So you’re basically teaching active duty vets, spouses, all the way down the line, and teaching them how to maximize their military benefits and use that to get into real estate?

Eric Upchurch: Correct.

Oliver Graf: Is that kind of-

Eric Upchurch: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: … the play.

Eric Upchurch: So it’s quite a bit more than just the education platform now, which we’ll talk about, I’m sure, later, but that’s how it started. We created a single-family real estate investing academy, 37 lessons. Actually, we give away a lot of free stuff too. Our book is free. We have a VA loan mastery course that’s free, just to let people know what the latest capabilities are for you while you’re serving and after. You get the VA loan forever.

Oliver Graf: Because there are a lot of great products out there for the military, but they’re vastly underused.

Eric Upchurch: Well, they’re vastly underused because they’re not taught. That’s kind of where we wanted to focus initially on being the hub for all things education, because there just aren’t people out there talking about how to invest and buy a fourplex with a VA loan, for instance. You can put no money down, no PMI on a fourplex. It’s owner-occupy, obviously, but the general principle is, as you move around from duty station to duty station as a military veteran or active duty, you are able to buy a fourplex with a VA loan, no money down. As soon as you have enough equity to refinance it, you can refinance it to a conventional loan. Again, this is not to say that this is a real estate investing strategy, necessarily, because you’re living in it, but it’s a smart way to live. It’s a house hack, but you’re doing it on a fourplex.

Oliver Graf: I see what you’re saying. So you’re buying a fourplex. Then you get stationed in a new market, renting that whole old fourplex out.

Eric Upchurch: Exactly.

Oliver Graf: Getting a new one.

Eric Upchurch: And you refi that to a conventional loan. You can move to your next duty station and repeat the process, zero money out of pocket, no PMI. There’s even VA renovation loans that you can incorporate for some minor repairs and stuff.

Oliver Graf: That’s right.

Eric Upchurch: So an amazing thing, but no one’s teaching it. So now we’re starting to outreach to USO and just military installations whenever we can and just completely unbranding it. It’s not about ADPI at that point. It’s about influencing battalions of soldiers and airmen and Marines on what their benefits are. It’s way bigger than just put your money in this account while you’re deployed and let it grow at 3%. There’s so many cool things that we can offer and that people really just need to learn.

Oliver Graf: And then how do people find out more if they want to check that out?

Eric Upchurch: So as far as reach out to us?

Oliver Graf: The website.

Eric Upchurch: Our website, We have tons of free content, like I said. We have a podcast, which is great, you mentioned. We’ve had Robert Kiyosaki, so check us out. Robert Kiyosaki’s interview with us, most people were like, “Oh, okay, Robert Kiyosaki, I’ve heard of Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” but his interview on our podcast was more about talking … He was talking about crashing helicopters in Vietnam. He wasn’t really talking about the real estate stuff too much. He was a Marine pilot in Vietnam, so we had that instant bond with him.

Oliver Graf: That’s great.

Eric Upchurch: So that was pretty neat. But the podcast is great. We have everyone from beginning soldiers, airmen, Marines, who are just kind of starting to do their first deal or maybe starting to learn how to house hack. They’ve read or used some of our materials, and then up to Kiyosaki and Cardone.

Oliver Graf: That’s great.

Eric Upchurch: It’s a great variety.

Oliver Graf: Another one that I found on your site was, “Our goal is for ADPI members to own as much of America as possible.”

Eric Upchurch: Yeah, absolutely. That comes through the process of moving around and just being buyers, as they move from one station to the next station, one base to the next base, being buyers of real estate, not sellers. So we talked about that strategy already, but it goes from there to this little itch of, “Well, I’m already doing it in small multi-family. What about larger multi-family?” So we just launched a military multi-family academy as well. We are multi-family investors, so we’re practicing what we preach. We buy singles and multi-family, large and small multi-family. So within our team, over 1,100 doors, and enough experience that we have enough to say about it. We have the ability to educate others on anything, really, from single family to a couple 100 doors.

Oliver Graf: To the bigger multi-family stuff.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah, absolutely.

Oliver Graf: So that’s kind of what I want to transition into, because I know you’re doing a lot of bigger multi-family deals now, and that’s something that I think is a segment of the market that’s kind of heating up or getting more-

Eric Upchurch: It’s hot, oh, man.

Oliver Graf: … attractive to people, right? So, first off, I’m curious. I want to take a step back on what got you started in real estate.

Eric Upchurch: So Markian, again, my partner at ADPI, he had an extra ticket to that conference, the Rod Khleif conference that we met at, which is also where I met a friend of ours, Kevin Easterly. I didn’t even know who the guy was. I didn’t know who Rod was. I had never listened to his podcast. So when I met you and Kevin, I was as green as it gets, and this is 18 months ago. And seeing what was going on there and seeing you and Kevin wearing … I would say board shorts and hoodies, just kind of hanging out and just being cool. I realized the difference between that crowd. You never know who’s on the other side of that baseball cap. And I love that about multi-family, that everyone is just in it together. Everyone’s a team player. Now I know very well you need a great team, and people are way more-

Oliver Graf: And it’s a small community, yeah.

Eric Upchurch: Absolutely. There’s no room for error. There’s no room for messing around and doing the wrong thing in this industry, in the multi-family industry, because everyone kind of knows everyone. So there’s a lot of integrity, I think, initially infused. It’s a team sport at that level, I think. I definitely know that now.

Oliver Graf: So tell me about the first real estate deal you got in on.

Eric Upchurch: So shortly after that experience, a buddy of mine I’d known in high school for … I’ve known him for 30 years. He and I started a single-family fix and flip operation in Kansas City. And we both realized very quickly that it’s a lot of work for one door. Anyone who’s out there doing single families, you know the refinance process is just as difficult as 100 doors. It’s complicated, and there’s less people working on it.

So we had that going on. We got a few doors under our belt in 2018. But through the process of this multi-family bootcamp, I just kept on going. It wasn’t even about the conference itself. It was about the energy of the group. The networking was amazing, and I think, in anything, if you’re persistent and aware of your surroundings and you let people know who you are, you’re present, people start knowing who you are. It’s brand building. It’s personal brand building.

Oliver Graf: Definitely.

Eric Upchurch: Through that, I started getting approached and encouraged and invited to do deals and to … So deals started coming my way, and I was learning, but also just making sure I was very engaged in it. Then, eventually, we closed in March of this year. We closed our first multi-family.

Oliver Graf: So you started with the two single-family homes?

Eric Upchurch: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: Then tell me about the transition from single-family to multi-family, because I think that intimidates a lot of people. How did you attack that and overcome it?

Eric Upchurch: Anybody who is interested in just real estate in general, look at both categories. I would say that I’m a big believer in paying for coaching and always going to conferences, always engaging.

Oliver Graf: I couldn’t agree more. That is the shortcut to success.

Eric Upchurch: Oh, 100%, 100%. If you surround yourself by people who are better than you all the time … And I do this in a big way now with masterminds and boardrooms and whatever now, because it propels you. It’ll shape 10 years off your investing career, 10 years in a good way. Don’t be scared of the transition is what I would say. In fact, I would say … And I have partners who … Actually, three of my partners completely skipped single-family because they saw the value and benefit of multi-family investing, and they knew, through these conferences and through just education and mentorship, that it takes a larger team to take down an 80-unit or 100-unit or 200-unit building. There are steps along the way that you have to … hard dates that you have to hit certain things. So it’s very structured, but there’s just a lot of people involved, versus single-family where it’s you and your wife or your one partner or something trying to hack through it.

Oliver Graf: Yeah, and your contractor.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: So tell me about those team members, because what it takes to take down a deal in terms of who the key players are.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah, sure.

Oliver Graf: And then which one of those key players were you at the beginning?

Eric Upchurch: So asset management, for sure. Everyone on your team, on the general partnership team, for those of you who don’t know, that’s the sponsorship team, the managing members of the LLC Adventity. Everyone who has any kind of GP or general partnership piece needs to be actively managing in a substantial way. So all of us do that all the time, whether that’s investor relations, whether that’s going to the property and working due diligence or underwriting or whatever. There’s tons of different things that you can do in the asset management piece, raising capital also, networking with people. Depending on what type of deal you’re structuring, it could be a 506(b) or a 506(c) syndication where you have to have a substantial preexisting relationship if it’s a 506(b). So, anyway, there’s a bunch of different things you can do, capital raising or asset management.

Oliver Graf: Then what did you do in that first deal?

Eric Upchurch: So asset management and capital raise, and on a smaller scale, but it was still actively engaged in the asset management piece of that to be a part of that acquisition.

Oliver Graf: Tell me what that means as far as the asset management side. What are you doing? Because I think a lot of people out there, again, they don’t know how to get into that space, the multi-family side, so they’re thinking, oh, maybe either you need to have deep pockets, or you need to have a lot of experience, or you need to know how to find deals. So how did you [inaudible 00:15:27]

Eric Upchurch: The best way … If you’re listening to this, watching this right now, the best way to do it is sourcing a deal. If you can find a good deal and you know how to underwrite, that is the most difficult thing for an apartment syndicator or just a buyer of an apartments right now is finding a deal, because there’s money out there everywhere. It’s always great to find more money too, but that kind of comes along with it. There’s more people with money than there are people with deals.

So if you’re getting started and want to learn this business, go get your proper education. Get mentorship and coaching, and learn how to find deals. And that comes through talking to brokers and being willing to do what others are not willing to do and being uncomfortable and making big mistakes and just cold calling people, whatever it takes to find a good deal. That is a way that takes none of your money, only your time.

Oliver Graf: True sweat equity.

Eric Upchurch: It’s true sweat equity, absolutely.

Oliver Graf: So you earned your way in by finding a deal.

Eric Upchurch: Finding deals or … Actually, so just talking about the asset management part of it, maybe your boots on ground somewhere. Maybe you’re in a tertiary market where … I don’t know. Maybe that’s a bad example, a secondary market or something outside of Chicago, whatever. You’re networking with people, which is one of the most critical pieces. You’ve got to network always. Everyone, your gas station attendant, needs to know what you do. Everybody does, and not in a salesy way, just in a nice talkative, informative way.

Oliver Graf: Very important.

Eric Upchurch: But if you’re, say, boots on ground, meaning local to a market that someone you know wants to invest in, you can be part of that deal, managing that asset, if you’re just local there and they know and trust you and they can bring you in on that deal. So that’s kind of a neat thing. It’s a unique way to be pulled into a deal.

Oliver Graf: Earn your way in.

Eric Upchurch: Earn your way in, yeah, and, just, again, being present, and being integrous and making sure that people know what your intentions are, what your capabilities are, your knowledge level. You need to be actively engaged all the time. I think over a year of being 1% better every day, people will notice that, and they’ll ask you. They’ll say, “Hey, let’s do something together.”

Oliver Graf: I’ve noticed what you’re up to. I’ve been keeping tabs, this and that.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah, absolutely. They’ll see you on Facebook. They’ll see you at the meetups, local meetups, or distant meetups, or at the real estate training events or coaching programs or whatever. Man, I can’t stress. Honestly, the coaching programs and the just networking in smaller groups of people is pretty amazing.

Oliver Graf: You are really good at networking. I’ve noticed that about you.

Eric Upchurch: [crosstalk 00:17:58]

Oliver Graf: Not only that, to the point where you live up in the San Francisco area, and you’re coming to meetup events in LA and Orange County.

Eric Upchurch: All over the country, man.

Oliver Graf: I want to talk about two things. I want to talk about tips for finding deals and tips for networking and leveling up in networking.

Eric Upchurch: Leveling up in networking I’ll cover first. That, to me, is just being willing to buy a plane ticket. Honestly, you can shack up with a buddy at a hotel if you want. Bring your partners with you. If your partner is your spouse, bring your spouse. But get involved, and don’t be scared to buy a $300 plane ticket. If you’re going to be a multi-family investor or a single-family investor, whatever it is, whatever your niche is, get in there. You can’t sit back at home and get stuff done, so you need to be out there. You need to be present. I don’t care if your shirt says a multi-family investor on it. Whatever it is, whatever is your thing, you have to be known, and you have to be willing to go out there, again, and do what others are not willing to do. Because people who go to some of these conferences and stuff, 95% of them are going to go back home and forget about it, because they have lives. They have stuff going on. So you’ve got to be that 5% that’s going to go out there.

I think, inherently, in us, in the military community, it’s like, we’re not sitting back. If we want something, we know how to get it. We’re structured. We’re disciplined, and we’re going to make it happen. So I don’t know. Maybe I’m just speaking for myself there. But if you want it, you’ve got to go get it.

Oliver Graf: I love the idea of going out and getting it. How do you approach people at these events? What’s kind of like, not your pitch, but your advice for people looking to connect, in terms of strategies?

Eric Upchurch: So I’m pretty bold with just approaching people with a smile on my face and shaking their hand and handing them a business card or saying how are you doing. Here’s a little tip, ask people about themselves. Everyone on the planet inherently wants to talk about themselves. I do too. Right? You do. Everybody just wants to … Ask me a question about myself, right?

Oliver Graf: Right.

Eric Upchurch: So go up to somebody and say, “What’s your business? What are you looking for? Why are you here?” Go everywhere with an intent. When you want to talk to somebody, ask them about their lives, and then they’ll ask eventually about your life as well. Then you can just start to be known.

Oliver Graf: That’s a great tip, and just conversations around work, family, vacations. Those spark other dialogue. You’ve just got to kind of lead with something soft, get the conversation started, and then see where it goes, because, to his point, at a lot of these events, you don’t know who the guy in the hoodie is in the corner. And a lot of times those are some of the heaviest hitters, so it’s good to press palms with everybody and make those connections.

Eric Upchurch: There could be a guy in the audience or gal in the audience wearing sweatpants. They could own 3,000 doors. You don’t know, because if I own 3,000 doors, maybe I’m going to to an event in sweatpants too, whatever my thing is. It’s just important to take everybody seriously, see what they’re doing, and feel out the conversation. So be bold, I guess, is what I’m saying. You have to be, again, willing to go out there and just put yourself out and see what happens.

Oliver Graf: I love it.

Eric Upchurch: Understand [crosstalk 00:21:10].

Oliver Graf: You’re really just going out and grabbing the bull by the horns. You’re just making it happen. You’re finding the big meetups in your area.

Eric Upchurch: That’s a Google search.

Oliver Graf: Your area could be a one-hour flight if it needs to be, and you’re willing to go do that.

Eric Upchurch: It’s a Google search away. Anybody can do it. Anybody can do that. You don’t need to be perfect. You can make mistakes and tell people that you’re a beginner. And then some of the pressure comes off. You don’t know exactly how … You don’t have to know how to talk to a broker the first time you talk to a multi-family broker. I certainly didn’t. And you asked this question earlier. How do you find deals? That’s one of the best ways to do it.

Even if you’re just beginning, start calling people. You don’t need to call that broker who’s selling skyscrapers maybe, but find maybe somebody who’s younger and maybe looks a little bit more ambitious and is willing to meet for coffee. Refine your message, and then just follow up. If you follow up with these brokers and you’re the person that they always go, “Well, I haven’t done a deal with Eric yet, but he’s always asking my automated email. He’s always telling me, well, that one doesn’t meet my criteria, but remember my criteria is this.” Every single week you’re the one following up. He’s eventually going to send you a pocket listing.

Oliver Graf: I think you just gave a really good piece of advice right there. It was a little under the radar. You said you respond to all of their messages, even their autoresponders, but not only that, hey, this doesn’t quite meet my criteria, but then you’re saying here’s what my criteria is, and you’re reminding them of the exact type of deal you’re looking for. Now they’re going to just, every time, see this type of deal, Eric, this type of deal, Eric, this type of deal, Eric. And then when this type of deal comes along-

Eric Upchurch: They’re going to go, Eric

Oliver Graf: … it’s going to go straight to Eric.

Eric Upchurch: And for people who are starting, that’s another thing too. It will make it so your message is being refined in your head. It’s the same as if you’re writing down your goals every day. The more you write it up, the more you type it up, the more you email it to people, the more it’s ingrained in your head. So you’re going to get out there, and you’re going to know exactly what you want. You’re going to figure out how to get it just through absorbing that constantly. So it’s repetition. It’s repetition exercise also.

Oliver Graf: I think that networking and closing the loop on all that with the follow up is probably a big part of your success. You don’t go from two single-family homes to a few hundred doors in two years without going out and making those connections and meeting the key players in whatever market you’re interested in and stuff like that.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah, absolutely. It is all about networking, and that can be overstated, really. I mean, I wouldn’t be sitting here today with you if I wasn’t willing to just say, hey, let’s grab lunch or something.

Oliver Graf: Exactly, exactly, good point. So let’s circle back to tips on finding deals, because I think that’s one-

Eric Upchurch: I love this one. So-

Oliver Graf: … thing that you’ve gotten really known as the guy that can sniff out deals.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah. So finding deals, and specifically multi-family deals … For single-family people out there, you can just tackle your local wholesalers. I mean, that’s a great resource. You’ll be amazed at wholesalers who know somebody who’s standing at the courtroom steps every day and who can send you text alerts with a link and stuff on what to expect this week.

Oliver Graf: Here’s the one. Yeah.

Eric Upchurch: Totally. We have a guy in Kansas City who’s literally at the courtroom steps. He’s sending us a link in a text message one time a week with all the deals that we can buy. And that just is through networking, talking to people and telling them what you want. But for multi-family, I like to call, cold calling, warm calling. I like to convert a cold call into a warm call. If you’re smiling on the other end of a conversation and you’re talking to the gatekeeper, or somebody who’s maybe a receptionist or you’re calling Marcus & Millichap or whoever you’re calling, just because they’re on your list, as long as you’re smiling and genuinely interested that there’s a human being on the other end of that line and you can get his or her name, that goes in your CRM. That goes in your spreadsheet of last time I called I didn’t get through to the right person, but I talked to Susie or John, and they were helpful, or they were mean, or whatever it is. But as long as you ask them about themselves, maybe say how is your day going, something like that, that can lead to an off-market deal.

And sometimes you’re cold calling people, and you’re just, again, being pleasant, and you get a guy who goes, “Hello?” And that’s the guy you want, right? Because that’s the owner. I mean, that’s somebody’s cell phone. Sometimes it’ll be somebody who’s 40 years old, and sometimes it’ll be somebody who’s 80 years old. You can just strike up a conversation.

Oliver Graf: So you’re straight cold calling?

Eric Upchurch: I am straight cold calling.

Oliver Graf: Walk me through that process from what type of properties you’re targeting to how you’re getting the information to what you’re saying.

Eric Upchurch: So cold calling … So we get CoStar, a CoStar list. We’re trying to refine that right now, but just a CoStar list. I spend a couple hours a week on it, which isn’t a lot, but I have a lot of other things going on too.

Oliver Graf: On that note, I’ve got to say something. You still have a W-2 job.

Eric Upchurch: Sure, yeah, I do.

Oliver Graf: Which is really unbelievable about this whole thing, because you’ve been able to acquire all these doors. You’ve been able to build Active Duty Passive Income all while maintaining a job.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah, it’s been crazy. I have a wife of 14 years and two little boys also, so we’re-

Oliver Graf: So you’re a busy, busy man.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah, I’m busy.

Oliver Graf: All right, so back to the prospecting.

Eric Upchurch: But that’s a great point. Anybody can do this.

Oliver Graf: Exactly.

Eric Upchurch: If I have a W-2 job and several businesses and a family and you’re wondering if you can do it, you can. You just have to have the right systems in place and be willing to get uncomfortable.

Oliver Graf: So let’s go back to finding deals, the prospecting process, targeting.

Eric Upchurch: Literally, so you pay for a CoStar list. You set your criteria. So for us it’s going to be 100 doors or greater, right? Because if you’re hovering around 60 doors or so, you’re not necessarily going to have enough income to pay for everyone on staff. So the general rule of thumb is 80 to 100 doors. You can kind of afford the maintenance guy, the-

Oliver Graf: On-site.

Eric Upchurch: … on-site PM and everything. So 100 doors or greater, B or C, value add. And anyone who’s listening to this who’s in the multi-family world, that’s kind of just something that a lot of people are looking for right now. Earlier, when you said the multi-family world’s pretty hot right now, I’m like, yeah, it’s hot.

Oliver Graf: That’s why I’m so curious to ask you how you’re finding these deals-

Eric Upchurch: So I’ll cold call-

Oliver Graf: … because it is such a hot market.

Eric Upchurch: I will cold call, because there is nothing harder in this industry than I’ve already been through in my life, in the military and just in life.

Oliver Graf: Oh, I love that.

Eric Upchurch: So if you can talk to somebody-

Oliver Graf: That’s really good.

Eric Upchurch: … and see them through their lens and just treat them like a human being, that’s what I try and do. Whether or not I get through to the right person or I’m leaving a message or I have to call back in a month or whatever it is, I will track that in my CRM, which, to me, I’m old school. I just use Excel. It’s cool, and it works. People laugh. [crosstalk 00:28:08].

Oliver Graf: Excel is your CRM, wow.

Eric Upchurch: Well, for this. For the cold calling, it is, because it’s easy, and it’s all in one spot. It comes like that from CoStar for us. So then, if I explain my criteria and who I am and the company and whatever and I can get through to the right person, I just say, you know, we’re interested in this type of asset. If you have anything coming up off-market, we’d love to take a look. If you get that one probably out of 50 phone calls and you just say, okay, let me see your railing 12, your rent rolls and whatever PnL you can muster up. Sometimes it’s like back of the napkin-

Oliver Graf: Excel. Yeah.

Eric Upchurch: And then yeah. And sometimes it’s pretty thorough and detailed analysis. Then we hand it off to underwriting, and then it kind of goes up. My only piece in that is really just the networking aspect. That’s what teams are for. You do one piece of it, and then you pass it along. And then you kind of leap frog. Once you get the deal you’re working on pitch deck, you know, you’re working on whatever your slideshow is going to be investors or whatever.

Oliver Graf: To get them more money.

Eric Upchurch: And then you’re planning your flight out to go there for due diligence to look at the property and whatever. So yeah.

Oliver Graf: Right. Yeah. You’re actually prospecting brokers or owners or both?

Eric Upchurch: Yes, both.

Oliver Graf: Yes. Okay. And you’re finding this data through CoStar, purchasing a list through CoStar and then just hitting the phone.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah. And I actually, there’s several teams, so the ADPI capital team and then I work with Obsidian capital also. You know Tobin?

Oliver Graf: Dave? Yeah. Shout out to Dave Tobin.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah. What’s up Dave?

Oliver Graf: Keep up the good work.

Eric Upchurch: So amazing teams. And that’s again, the power of networking. People start coming to you and saying, “Do you want to help us do this? Do you want to be part of this?” And so multiple teams that I’m doing some of this stuff with and we just have a great … we’re just … honestly, it’s slow and steady, right? We’ve got so many things going on and our heart, our passion right now is serving VETS and really figuring out a way to be a … I hate to be cliche, but a one stop shop for investors and buyers and sellers of real estate in the military community.

Oliver Graf: Right.

Eric Upchurch: And so for us to invest ourselves, it’s a critical component because we love it and we practice what we preach. But the other … it’s more important to us that we can grow ADPI smartly and methodically. And we read profit first, right? One of the first things was, okay, let’s do this, right? Let’s make sure our accounts are set up. We have an enrolled agent tax advisor that is helping us with payroll and making sure our taxes are right and strategic itself.

Oliver Graf: Which is critically important, the tax piece.

Eric Upchurch: And let me tell you, some of our owners are active duty still, so we have to … and we have W-2 jobs, right? So it’s something that we have to be very smart with.

Oliver Graf: So just to put a pretty bow on that, you are going through that prospecting process, then you’re getting to the owner, you’re getting the PnL trailing 12, all the stuff you need to do due diligence. And then at that point you’re passing it off to the team to vet it?

Eric Upchurch: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: They’ve got the money lined up. And then you step back in to help raise it or you’re done at that point?

Eric Upchurch: Yeah, I can do that as well.

Oliver Graf: Okay.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah. I’ll interject myself into deal wherever I need to, which it depends case by case.

Oliver Graf: Yeah. Depending on who you’re working with?

Eric Upchurch: Yeah. But I’m always active in a lot of different pieces of it. So at least asset management and making sure I’m part of due diligence. You have to do a lot of zoom calls and making sure that you’re talking to your PM and make sure that you’re tracking the asset. It’s a business.

Oliver Graf: It’s definitely a business.

Eric Upchurch: Every multifamily asset you own individually is its own business. So a lot of communication that has to go on.

Oliver Graf: Congratulations on all the success on that because 217 doors in two years with another 100 on the way is very exciting.

Eric Upchurch: There’ve been more in between there too. But you lose some, you win some. We’re doing a … we have a whole mobile home park funnel as well and we had 154 pad mobile home park under contract recently. And that fell out. There were some things that weren’t disclosed. And so that’s part of it too. You can’t be hung up on it and get emotional about it. You just know that the next deal is around the corner and as long as you’re pushing forward every day, just peddle down, just go, you’ll win.

Oliver Graf: A great quote from a mentor of ours, Roland, he says, “The once in a lifetime deal comes around usually two or three times a year. So don’t get too emotional about losing a deal or whatever.”

Eric Upchurch: And I haven’t been even … part of my story after I left the military was live-in flipping in the Bay area. Right? And very quickly I realized that, and maybe because I started reading books about real estate and going to training seminars and stuff, but I looked at the home as a property. Not as a home, but as a property, right? It’s shelter. Yeah. But there’s value in what we own and what we invest in.

And so even with my primary residences, I do not get emotionally invested in there. If I can make 100 grand on a primary not paying taxes on it, let’s do it.

Oliver Graf: I don’t mind moving.

Eric Upchurch: You know what I mean? Yeah. So we’ve moved nine times in the last eight years around the San Francisco Bay area. And I left the military. And I was the staff Sergeant making $40,000 a year. How am I supposed to go back from Savannah, Georgia to the San Francisco Bay area and make a living? I mean I had a W-2 job, which I still have, but how am I supposed to grow? How am I supposed to be a real estate investor with no capital?

So through the power of the VA loan, I was able to use that live-in flipping strategy to do it.

Oliver Graf: So you just house hacked one after another.

Eric Upchurch: The first one-

Oliver Graf: Lived in it. Fixed it up. Let equity [inaudible 00:34:14] and-

Eric Upchurch: Absolutely. The first one was … I needed to buy. I just knew I needed to buy and it was a $500,000 duet in the Bay area, on the corner of this lot. And a year later it was worth 689 and all accounts gone. So that was all. And it was a beautiful little house and it was all market appreciation. The next one we bought in the Monterey Bay area in North Monterey, you know Santa Cruz?

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Eric Upchurch: So it’s a little beach town called Capitola that we bought this little beach bungalow about two blocks from the beach and put some money into it to renovate it. And the value just skyrocketed. In nine months, we sold that one, and paid capital gains tax on it because it was such a great deal.

Oliver Graf: That’s amazing.

Eric Upchurch: And then we did that again … And we’re buying in nice neighborhoods with great schools because we were living there and we had two boys that were dragging it on. So anyway, now when we move, anywhere we move next, our kids are always like, “What’s the next house look like dad?” And they don’t know. As long as mom and dad are there, they don’t care. It’s fun. It’s adventure. So we force appreciation on places, market appreciation and a combination of both.

Oliver Graf: And are you renovating these places while you’re living in them?

Eric Upchurch: Yeah. One of them, I actually lived in the property with the contractors and here’s how powerful networking is. So I paid a bunch of money for a single family fix and flip seminar in 2014. And while I did get a good education, applying what I learned wasn’t exactly possible in San Jose. People are buying … even at the time, they’re buying million dollar houses for 1.7 just to park their money somewhere. And there was a lot more overseas money at that point too.

So, but what I did get out of it was a buddy, a friend of mine, now he’s a contractor and he said, “Well, I’ll drop the elevations for your place in Capitola if you want me to do that and I’ll have my crew go down there. You just need to pay them labor and you can go buy materials.” Went to home Depot and used my veteran discount. And I just made eight rounds a day. And do what others are not willing to do. Right?

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Eric Upchurch: So I lived in that sucker for six weeks while I renovated it and my family moved in right after.

Oliver Graf: So you’ve house hacked nine houses in eight years.

Eric Upchurch: So to be clear, I’ve hacked three. And there were a bunch of moves in between strategic … between waiting for the next house and stuff. And so man, but nine moves, I mean packing-

Oliver Graf: That’s a lot.

Eric Upchurch: … in your house. We had it down to a science now where everything fits into two 16 foot pods.

Oliver Graf: All right honey, we’re doing this again.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah. You’re ready?

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Eric Upchurch: It’s two days of backbreaking work, but then we’re good.

Oliver Graf: That’s great man. Congratulations on that. It’s very, very exciting stuff. I’ll circle back to the really amazing community that you’ve built with the Active Duty Passive Income Project that you’re working on. And I just want to know, what is the goal of it? Because the stuff you’re doing now is really cool. With adding different services and I think you have a real estate piece, a raising capital piece.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah. So ADPI in general is an education platform. But because we created a community first, we have … and in the military community, there is that first go and inherent trust, right? Because we’ve been through some of the same things and we have the same heart, the same drive, the same interests and passions and desires to be better. And one of the things I do, it chokes me up. So hopefully I don’t get choked up here. But the reason I do this is because … and I mentioned this before, there’s nothing harder than whatever I’ve been through, right? But I do this now for my family and for those who can no longer do this. I do this for my brothers and sisters who I buried. And so if you want real why, there’s some serious meat to that.

Oliver Graf: Okay.

Eric Upchurch: And there are a lot of people in our community that can relate to that and just go, “Man, I need to be a success because I’m breathing right now.” So I’m glad to cold call somebody. I’m glad to go move around nine times. I’m glad to go figure out how to buy multifamily. I’m glad to start a real estate brokerage. I’m glad to start a lending company or insurance company or whatever because it’s opportunity. And so through this community, Active Duty Passive Income has created even before a product. It’s how can we all work together? So we have people coming to us now going, “It’d be great if you guys could offer real estate agent services, connecting people who are [inaudible 00:38:48] around the country. Okay, well let’s do that. How do we do that?” And then we figure it out. And people were, “I’ve been doing it for 15 years. Let’s structure this.”

We have that community now. But ultimately I think the goal, the vision for ADPI is to … in the past I’ve said compete with USAA. It’s so different than that. Because I use USAA for all my personal banking.

Oliver Graf: It’s more like a bolt on.

Eric Upchurch: It is. And we’re investors also. So we’re teaching investing and we’re supporting investors. And we’re not doing motorcycle insurance or anything like that, right? It’s strategic real estate investing and buying strategies for people who deserve to create generational wealth for their families. So where ADPI is going to be in the future, I think next year just full transparency, a seven figure business, year three, eight figure business. Year four or five. And who knows from there. Just as long as we can continue to serve the people that fought for our freedom, we are fulfilling our mission honestly. And it’s so gratifying to have people say, ADPI is changing my life. And actually that leads into ADPI helps, which is our new … it’s not a nonprofit yet, but it’s a new way to give back. So that’s [crosstalk 00:40:10].

Oliver Graf: Man, I got to tell you, I love everything about everything that you just said. That was really awesome. Cheers to that.

Eric Upchurch: Cheers.

Oliver Graf: Shout out to our waiter, Heysus for bringing another round of Pacificos on draft. But honestly, man, I’m really impressed by what you’re doing in that space. Because like I was saying earlier, it’s a really underserved market. There are a lot of benefits available to them that are definitely getting under utilized. And if you can show them the path and build this community of people with resources, everybody wins.

Eric Upchurch: Absolutely. And right now we are of the mindset of can we do it cheaper and better? And that is really our way of serving is, can we do the same thing that somebody who’s bigger than us is doing? I mean, there’s nobody doing what we’re doing exactly right now, which is also neat to have a niche like that. But can we do it cheaper and better for the end user, for our comrades? And that’s where every decision we make is, how we do it cheaper, better?

Oliver Graf: And then tell me about the ADPI Helps. That’s the charity component.

Eric Upchurch: So here’s a cool thing, a little Grant Cardone story for you and there’s some people out there that go, “Okay, cool. You had grant Cardone,” and we get this … so people love him and hate him. He’s polarizing. And that’s the beauty of it. It’s like Donald Trump. See when I said that, the hair on the back of your neck stood up. Right?

Oliver Graf: People definitely got an opinion right now.

Eric Upchurch: It’s polarizing, right? But that’s the point is, does that get your attention? That’s great. So what I learned about the Grant Cardone interview was why he does what he does and why he’s so energized to be the guy he is and the path he’s on and stuff. He created great teams. He’s a genius at marketing himself and his brand. It’s all about that brand, right? Everybody knows 10X.

So anyway, I thought to myself, how can we build a brand that is polarizing or that people are like, “Well, they’ve got this guy, they got Kiyosaki, they got Cardone, they got Garrett Sutton, they got whoever. So let’s go listen and let’s get in that funnel, right?” So I called grant Cardone a Monday morning show and I was like, Guys, I may be the first one to call. And sure enough, I was sitting there for 20 minutes on hold, right? And I had this script of things I wanted to say to Grant Cardone on his live show. And I was nervous. Thank goodness I was on hold because I was a wreck, but nothing to lose, right? Whatever.

Oliver Graf: I love it.

Eric Upchurch: So I went in there and I just said … I wanted to catch his attention. I said, “Grant, you talk about … you give the heroes past to your 10X growth Con. And so vets can go for free and teachers and doctors and other people. First responders. So let’s talk about veterans suicide for a minute.

And he’s going … doing his normal thing and his boisterous and whatever. And I’m going, let’s talk, let’s take it down a second and talk about veterans suicide. You talk about it and let’s get real about it. Our passion is to do this. And so that conversation, I just introduced to him and this is how I got him on our show. I just introduced to him that the problem with VETS when they leave is not that they’re damaged, is that they had such an amazing experience in the military, with always having a mission, you always have a purpose. You always have a sense of team and comradery. You always have target acquisitions. Someone’s telling you where to be, what to look like, when to be there and you have successes.

But when you transition out of the service, oftentimes that just goes completely flat. Imagine having a super high operation tempo and you’re successful and you’re awarded for it and you have brothers and sisters you die and bleed for, and then you leave and you’re back in the civilian sector and you just go, now what?

Oliver Graf: Totally different world.

Eric Upchurch: Now what? And so when I transitioned out, I felt some of those things and I actually was driving around from my W-2 job in this Bay area, in San Francisco Bay area and seeing homeless VETS. People were signs up and going, “How do I not become that?” I was the burial detail NCO for my special operations unit in the army and I knew that there’s a chance that something could be up. Because I lost brothers, I buried my friends and that I’d served with for six years.

And so I just said, “I’m going to go to the VA, and I’m going to see if there’s any issues that come up.” Three years later I had gone through cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy, and I’d cried, and I had written everything out, and I had realized that man, there’s something really big to this. And if I felt okay when I left, there is a million other VETS out there that also feel like they’re okay and now they have problems. Now they have alcoholism, drug abuse, PTSD symptoms that are arising.

And so now with ADPI Helps, which is helping everyone live post stress. All it is, is a way for us to go. It’s great to help people with our finances. But how about if we can help in our mission statement and save one life. ADPI Helps, can save one life as many times as possible. And the way we’re doing that is allowing people who come to us write blogs, which is therapeutic. It helped me out a lot. We have a private Voxer channel. You use Voxer?

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Eric Upchurch: Okay. So we have a private … our team uses Voxer all the time because we’re all over the world sometimes. So we need to communicate. So we have a private Voxer channel. People can be anonymous in there. Just listening and talking. It’s a walkie talkie app, if you’re not familiar with it, allows open communication.

We have a buddy check call list. We have a form that we send out to people just to link and people can anonymously just give us their phone number and if someone wants to call and it’s not a suicide hotline, but it’s like if you want to call and talk to somebody, we’ve got an outlet.

Oliver Graf: It’s pretty cool.

Eric Upchurch

Eric Upchurch: And then on the fourth Wednesday of every month we have a zoom call for … it’s free to everyone. It’s always going to be free. Anyone who is suffering from PTSD, addiction issues or maybe they think that they might down the road. Even family members have joined us there. And we actually had an inpatient at the VA facility in Virginia. Russell, he’s an amazing guy. He told us two weeks ago on our first call that we saved his life. ADPI … so man, pretty deep, pretty deep.

So target acquisition is the most essential thing for a veteran. And if for me it was real estate, it sounds silly, but I wanted something that I was passionate about, something that I could focus on and something that I could see results from.

Oliver Graf: And based on what you just said, I feel like it puts you back in a team environment.

Eric Upchurch: 100%. Yeah.

Oliver Graf: Everyone’s supporting each other, right? It almost has that same feel just in a different sport, different activity.

Eric Upchurch: And we’re able to do it with our brothers and sisters in arms.

Oliver Graf: Right.

Eric Upchurch: So ADPI is getting the team back together and given [crosstalk 00:47:10]-

Oliver Graf: So for those that want more info on that hotline or the call?

Eric Upchurch: Yeah, they can-

Oliver Graf: Or they just want to promote it?

Eric Upchurch: I’m available anytime. So [email protected], that’s easy. And I’ll connect you with the form. Anybody’s out there who wants to blog. And to me just writing out your story, you’ll be in tears. If you have any issues with PTSD or addiction or sometimes, actually it comes out as thrill-seeking. Sometimes people end up in jail because they do something stupid. But that’s just trying to get that rush, trying to get that dopamine hit that they got from the military and now they’re, now they’re trying to-

Oliver Graf: Get in a rush.

Eric Upchurch: … to get that [inaudible 00:47:43]. The guy from the military, and now they’re trying to find it another way. So, yeah, if you need any support like that. We’re not a nonprofit, we’re not taking donations. We’re just a group of military active duty and veterans who are willing to help out if we can.

Oliver Graf: That’s great. And the Facebook group, you want them to know that as well.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah. Facebook is a group called It’s a closed Facebook group. So, there’s just a few questions to answer if you’re in there and it’s all real estate, all military.

Oliver Graf: That’s great man. Good job. Really good job, man. And what a great cause.

Eric Upchurch: Thanks. It’s very gratifying. And we’re glad to be doing it. Glad to be part of it.

Oliver Graf: And one … kind of takeaway from that too, is how you’ve been able to take a cause that you’re passionate about and build a community around it. And then leverage that community to create wins for everyone. And I think that for other people out there, you can leverage that same process with things that you’re passionate about, right? Like create a mommy blogger group, create a dog lover group or a wine lover group or-

Eric Upchurch: Again, not about real estate. Our community is … I think where it’s headed is much bigger than that. And we have those groups reaching out to us and in fact, our CEO is a lot younger than me. And he is a computer science nerd and he loves creating apps. He loves creating online businesses.

ADPI is a great online business as well. So I think next steps for us down the road are, online side hustles for military spouses and we are working with the MilSpouse networks and stuff too. So, you think about service members who are deployed, male or female, the spouses back home taking care of the kids. And if they’re not working because they choose to take care of their kids, there are things they can do now to make money and stay occupied so they’re not thinking about their forward deployed service member. So, pretty neat. And we have the capability to do that stuff too. So-

Oliver Graf: Cool stuff, man, all the way around. And then attached to that you also have the podcasts and one thing that you’ve done really well that I’m really impressed with is the caliber of guests that you’ve been able to get. And I want to find out your process for doing that. Right? Because you’ve had Cardone on there, Robert Kiyosaki, some other big name investors.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah. Part of rich dad advisers. And so what started out as a dream … Mike Foster, I get to give him a plug because he’s the one of the co founders as well and he runs our podcast and does an amazing job. Have you met Mike?

Oliver Graf: No. Shout out to Mike Foster.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah. What’s up Mike? Mike is the heart of ADPI. He is so passionate and he’s a great interviewer. And he just said one day, I think just last year, we’re actually about to hit episode 100 next week. But he just said, “Guys, I’m going to start a podcast.” Mark and I are like, “Really? I don’t know how to do that.” So he just took the bull by the horns and he got it done.

I started listening to Kevin Esterly, write your goals. Did you write your goals today? Did you write your goals today? You got to have a planner and write your goals. So I started writing people that I wanted to get or try to get on our podcast, on my shower, in the fog, in my shower. And-

Oliver Graf: Michelle write that on your foggy shower.

Eric Upchurch: Foggy shower. So what’s funny is that my wife started going, “Can you stop writing.” She’d shower after me or the next day. She is like-

Oliver Graf: [inaudible 00:51:15].

Eric Upchurch: … give $10,000. What is it? What Cardone and David Goggins and Jocko Willink and Trump even. She was like, “Can you stop writing Trump on the shower? And I said that, it’s so funny. And I said that-

Speaker 3: Can you stop writing Grandone Cardone.

Eric Upchurch: … Kiyosaki, Cardone. Yeah. And actually one of my buddies got me a three by five waterproof notepad.

Oliver Graf: Perfect.

Eric Upchurch: So now I don’t have to write … Yeah, it’s so awesome. It was so nice of him. Anyway. I still do that, because my shower is, my data state. That’s where I get my ideas and … I’m either running out of the shower, write something down or trying to talk to Siri over there somewhere or whatever.

Oliver Graf: And I just write it on the shower.

Eric Upchurch: So, we started being intentional about who we wanted on the podcast. Again, just to get some intrigue, right. And just to gain some traction on the podcast. We also interview people, like I said earlier, who are just getting started. But it’s funny because in December of last year we had a conference call and we were going, how can we get Robert Kiyos … End of 2019, our goal is to get Robert Kiyosaki, how are we going to do it?

And we’re just like, I don’t know, Google his address and start mailing him. It’s mailers? Does that work for Robert Kiyosaki? So January 7th we had emailed someone on his team just randomly, like [email protected] or something. January 7th, a couple of weeks later after we had that conversation and I started writing that down and all of us were just writing Robert Kiyosaki goals, whatever.

January 7th someone on his team called and said, Robert wants to come on your podcast at 10:30 and we’re were just like, “Mike, cue up the mic. Let’s go. Whatever you got to do.” So by January 7th week one of 2019, we’d already hit our podcast goal and then we were like, “Okay, we need to set aside.”

Oliver Graf: That’s great.

Eric Upchurch: So now we have a list of top 100 that we’re still working on. It can be bigger than that, but just top 100 people we’d like to interview on the podcast. Again, some big names, but there are tons of people in between that are really successful. Maybe nobody knows who they are, but they have a great story.

Oliver Graf: Yeah. Totally. So, the dream 100, you attack the list.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: And then with Cardone you just called in on a show.

Eric Upchurch: Cold called Cardone.

Oliver Graf: And then basically sold him on coming on your show in the process?

Eric Upchurch: In fact since it’s a live, it’s like a bee live feed or whatever. And people were commenting underneath it. And they go … one of these, and I took a screenshot or somebody send me a screenshot and circle this. They go, “This dude just sold Cardone man.” And I was like, I didn’t really think about it that way but yeah.

Oliver Graf: Nice job. That’s great. I love it. It’s really good.

Eric Upchurch: Because I got him to agree for him to come on our podcast and we actually just interviewed Elena Cardone.

Oliver Graf: Oh, great.

Eric Upchurch: That just came out on Friday. So that was a great one too for MilSpouse, female military component. She’s incredible.

Oliver Graf: Totally.

Eric Upchurch: To building an empire and she just talks about her and Grant’s relationship and how great it’s been. So-

Oliver Graf: And dealing with entrepreneur, that’s alpha male type.

Eric Upchurch: Right. And transitioning from being an actress to finding her space in the relationship or just in the industry, and just knowing that as a team, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re a female trying to get into a male dominant thing. No, it’s create your family, create your team. That’s what it’s about. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female or what your thing is. Just get in there and build a team and everything else is nonsense.

Oliver Graf: Good stuff. And Kiyosaki, you just cold emailed him?

Eric Upchurch: Cold emailed Kiyosaki. We put out good vibes though too, you know.

Oliver Graf: But again, it really circles back to the power of being intentional, right? Because most people would just think, “Oh, Robert Kiyosaki, I could never get him.” But if you just simply email him and start the process, you just never know what happens.

Eric Upchurch: I would have driven to his ranch in Arizona or wherever the heck it is, and just want to “Hey, anybody know Robert around?”

Oliver Graf: Yeah, exactly. And just making it happen.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah. Just make it happen. Absolutely.

Oliver Graf: At whatever costs.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: So two things I like to end with that I like to ask people is what are you investing in now? Which I think I already know the answer. And that’s multifamily real estate.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: And then two, what are your favorite tools, apps, softwares that you couldn’t live without?

Eric Upchurch: Good one. This is good. Okay. So I invest in … I invest even with my self directed Roth IRA. I invest as a limited partner in multifamily as well as just cash. I’ll invest in other people’s deals because I learned, but I also I need to keep … the velocity of money is important, right? You got to keep your money moving. If you’re sitting on a bunch of cash, there’s probably a higher and better use for it.

So I’m invested in 575 doors as a passive investor. Now also, I try to invest with people that I know are good sponsors, but also can help me learn along the way as well.

Oliver Graf: So you’re on another 570 doors just passing as the investor?

Eric Upchurch: And just as a limited partner. Yeah, as an investor. Yeah. And multiple asset classes, mobile home parks, a multifamily I’ve invested in … actually still invested in first trust deeds. New construction stuff. So I’ve dabbled in a lot of different things. I did some private lending for a while and not on a major scale but anybody who’s been in the military, any amount of money is a big deal to me because I didn’t make a lot of money while I was in the military that’s for sure.

My wife may have thought I was crazy sometimes, but most of them have paid off because I’ve done enough diligence on who I’m investing with and how I’m investing. I’m a crazy researcher. I love … my own passions is taking a bunch of information and crunching it down into a one pager and then just massively telling as many people as I can how to do that. So you want to call that an investment? I do because I invest in other people. Just-

Oliver Graf: That’s almost like a superpower.

Eric Upchurch: Man, I almost do that selfishly though, because I get a lot out of it by just telling people how I’ve done something, what the result was, and then they can go make their own decision on it. Like buying turnkey properties, which I didn’t need to do, but I did it because we’re helping service members who were deployed in Afghanistan and talking to us on Voxer and stuff, put their money to use. And sometimes they can’t be an active investor.

Oliver Graf: Right. Or they only have 20,000 that may not get them into a syndication or something like that.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah, exactly. So, and there are funds too like, [inaudible 00:57:23] funds that people can invest in at five grand and stuff too. But those are … you don’t get to depreciate the taxes on some of those. The benefits aren’t all there. So man, real estate is my primary but multiple asset classes.

Oliver Graf: Right.

Eric Upchurch: That’s my diversification.

Oliver Graf: I love it.

Eric Upchurch: Yeah. And what was the second question?

Oliver Graf: And then the second question was tools, apps, softwares that you just love.

Eric Upchurch: So I love … and my team will laugh about this, but Voxer is a great app, and some people use WhatsApp or whatever, but the button on Voxer is bigger.

Oliver Graf: Simple. Keep it simple.

Eric Upchurch: So and our coaching students can also use that internationally. Very easy. I know you can use that WhatsApp as well, but it’s easy for them to use that as they’re deployed asking us questions and things like that too. So, we use Voxer. That is a piece of technology. The other piece of technology I love is paper and posted notes. Another thing my team will-

Oliver Graf: Me too.

Eric Upchurch: … totally laugh at is … they’re like, “Eric, get in, click up,” and putting all the tasks and accomplish these things and whatever. And for me to get into ClickUp is like, I need to look at myself in the mirror every morning. Go, “You love, ClickUp, you love ClickUp, you love …” You know what I mean? But I’m just not there yet.

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Eric Upchurch: I’m a real, I’m a posted note guy. I love checking boxes, getting stuff done. I’ll rewrite the posted note when the list gets shorter and add to it. And is that old? I feel old for saying that.

Oliver Graf: Man, I don’t know. I feel the same way though. I write everything down. I never leave without a yellow pad. And just … there’s something, and Mike Ferry always talks about this. There’s something different from taking notes in your phone or on a computer from when your hand actually writes it on the paper to your eye, seeing it, to go into your brain to going back own in hand.

Eric Upchurch: Transferring energy down to something else. Man. I love that. Absolutely.

Oliver Graf: I agree.

Eric Upchurch: Good. So you know what [crosstalk 00:59:17]-

Oliver Graf: So your technology breakthrough is a pen and paper?

Eric Upchurch: Pen and paper, but I mean it’s a cool pen. So just get a cool pen that you like using and a cool little leather bound notebook. It’s pretty nice.

Oliver Graf: There you go.

Eric Upchurch: Hey, why not?

Oliver Graf: And then call it a day.

Eric Upchurch: Facebook. You’re sure about that app. It’s pretty good by the [crosstalk 00:59:33].

Oliver Graf: Love that one too. Well, cheers man. I really appreciate you coming on. I wanted to give you a special shout out because you’re one of the only people that’s ever come on with a gift. And he brought me a really cool Active Duty Passive Income Repel Pin, which will be going on some jackets and a very cool gold presidential coin. Check that out. So I really appreciate it man.

Eric Upchurch: Love him or hate him. Commander in chief.

Oliver Graf: Yeah. And he’s polarizing, which at the end of the day makes waves, creates attention and gets you where you want to be. He got him to the be the president of the United States.

Eric Upchurch: 100%, and he loves real estate investors. So-

Oliver Graf: And he does love real estate and real estate investors.

Eric Upchurch: He’ll take it.

Oliver Graf: So appreciate it man. Thanks for coming on.

Eric Upchurch: Man, thank you. I really appreciate. Cheers to the [inaudible 01:00:21].

Oliver Graf: Absolutely. And if you liked it, give us a like, leave a comment. If you have any questions, I’m sure Eric will be back to answer any questions that you guys have.

Eric Upchurch: Absolutely.

Eric Upchurch

Oliver Graf: Give you any resources that you want access too and we’ll see you on the next episode. Cheers.

Eric Upchurch: Cheers. Thanks.

Pullout Quotes

“If you’re persistent and aware of your surroundings and … you’re present, people start knowing who you are. It’s personal brand building.”

“There’s more people with money than there are people with deals.”

“If you want it, you have to go get it.”

“I will cold call because there’s nothing harder in this industry than I’ve already been through in my life—in the military and just life.”

“Our heart, our passion right now is serving vets and really figuring out a way to be a … one-stop shop for investors and buyers and sellers of real estate in the military community.”

“You can’t be hung up on it and get emotional about it. You just know that the next deal is around the corner, and as long as you’re pushing forward every day, just pedal down. Just go. You’ll win.”

“The reason I do this is because … there’s nothing harder than what I’ve already been through. I do this now for my family and for those who can no longer do this. I do this for my brothers and sisters who I buried.”

“I need to be a success because I’m breathing right now.”

“You always have a purpose. You always have a sense of team and camaraderie. You always have target acquisition … and you have successes. But when you transition out of the service, oftentimes, that just goes completely flat.” 

Connect with Eric

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Connect with Oliver


Other episodes of Founders Club you might like:

From Goldman Sachs to Developing a $20,000,000 Commercial Project ft. Sal Buscemi

How to Crash Proof Your Real Estate Business ft. Mike Ferry

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