Edited Transcript from the podcast episode ‘What’s the Skinny on Assisted Living Investments?’

With Special Guest Vinney Chopra

Originally Broadcast on April 22, 2021

 

Listen to the podcast.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Hi everybody, thank you so much for joining us today. Welcome to the “Raise Private Money Legally” podcast, where we talk about topics of interest to real estate syndicators. And we usually have the opportunity for live questions and answers at the end of the call. This time we’re going to have so much to talk about, I don’t think we’re going to be able to do that because of our special guest, who I’m going to introduce in a minute.

I’m your host, Attorney Kim Lisa Taylor. Before we get started, please note that all of our podcasts that will be recorded may be used for a future promotion, posted on our website or broadcast on a platform that’s available to the public. If you don’t wish to have your voice recorded, please schedule a one-on-one appointment at our website instead of asking questions during this podcast.

Information discussed during this free podcast is of a general, educational nature and should not be construed as legal advice. This is an audio-only podcast. So hello, and I would love to welcome our guest speaker who is Vinney Chopra, my longtime client and good friend.

Vinney, how are you?

 

Vinney Chopra:

Doing great Kim, it’s such a pleasure to be with you this morning. It’s kind of cold out here in San Francisco area. How is it over there in Florida?

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

It’s a little cold here. I think we’re having a nor’easter. It was 80 degrees yesterday. And when I woke up this morning and it was like 50 something. So it’s a little chilly.

Anyway, I would love to kind of pick your brain about your journey and how things have happened for you with your syndication business. So I’ve got a bunch of questions I want to ask if that’s okay.

 

Vinney Chopra:

No, I’m all yours, yes.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Very good. Okay. So tell us, first of all, what are you doing now? I know you’re involved in a bunch of different things. So just give us kind of an overview of what you’re working on right now.

 

Vinney Chopra:

Totally, totally. Right now, actually as you know, with the COVID happening in 2020, that didn’t slow us down, which was good. We have been buying apartments, just like I’ve been doing for many years. Then last September we bought in Austin, Texas, because with the COVID, it just stuck with my engineering mind where the jobs are, that’s in the IT industry. And where I live near San Francisco, as you know Kim, the engineers are moving. They’re moving to Austin, to Dallas, to Georgia, Atlanta and Florida and all. So that’s where we bought in the middle of November.

But also, I’ve been thinking about getting into senior living quite a bit, maybe for the last three, four years. And I’m so happy that we have found a great partner from Michigan, who has been building senior living, A-plus Class. So we are very much involved in that one now, raising money for assisted senior living to ground-up constructions. And then also purchasing the ones that we have built when they get stabilized. And then hotels … I bought a Hilton Garden Inn, and I’m going to be buying some more also as the vaccines get out there more. And our hotel in Texas is doing really well. It’s grown in value. We got lucky that the staff there –  medical staff –  chose our hotel to live in, kept the occupancy way up all through the pandemic.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Yeah, you’re very lucky. Very lucky with that. Yeah, I have some other hotel clients and they say that the market is starting to come back and recover.

 

Vinney Chopra:

Yes, right.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

So it’s been good, those last few months have been good for them as well. So don’t you also have some training programs?

 

Vinney Chopra:

Yes, I do. I do. Definitely. Thank you for reminding. I have a very big MultifamilyAcademy.com. I started kind of recording myself about seven years back, and I have over 1,000 lectures. … I know that’s a lot. All video lectures, and with all the tools and everything. So with the grace of God we are expanding there also. I do master coaching with inner circle on every Wednesday night, which I enjoy thoroughly — two hours with a lot of investors all through USA who bring their deals and bring their questions and camaraderie and working together.

A lot of my students are now in there, while my number one student is doing $80 million now in syndications in just few years. And many, many of them are in the tens of millions and so on. So yeah, that’s been kind of fun. My directors of the academy work so hard to work with the student-investors.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

I’m thinking back to when I first met you, and you had been in someone else’s coaching program at that point. And you were just learning how to do this and came to our firm. And I think we might have helped you with your first syndication, is that right?

 

Vinney Chopra:

Hold on. You have been a pivotal part of my success. Kim, I want to publicly announce that, and everybody knows that in my other podcasts, you helped me to do 26 syndication packets and we bought 26. As you recall, we have two companies, acquisition companies, one with my old partner, which was Moneil Investment Group. And then the new company, I started only six years back, I can’t believe it. It was November 19th of 2014, when I started my new company. And we have done just outlandish business in that one, and thanks to you, I owe so much to you about learning how to raise money. You kept me totally on top of things, and the friendship and the business we have done together. I owe you a lot. Yes.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

And I remember just the first few times you were a little tentative about things, and then I just watched your knowledge grow over these different syndications to where the student becomes the teacher. And that’s kind of the highest compliment. So I think you did a really, really great thing by building your business and then dedicating yourself to sharing it with others. And I think that’s important. I talk about your success with other clients as well and say, “You can do this. Vinney did it; you can do this.”

 

Vinney Chopra:

Totally.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Yes.

 

Vinney Chopra:

Kim, I didn’t know what NOI was, literally 15, 16 years back. I didn’t know what COC was, what LOI (Letter of Intent) was. My friend actually scribbled it on a piece of napkin, literally in a restaurant, who is in real estate here in California and I took it home. And I said, let me study this, what is Letter of Intent?

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Now these things are just second-nature. And that’s what we would like for all of our clients, especially the people that are coming to us that have never done this before. I understand it’s scary, because I was there, too. I was in that coaching program, the same one, you were in, right? My husband and I were learning this as well. And there was a point where I was like, “What’s a security? I don’t know what that is.” We all start somewhere. And some of us come with a little bit of pre-knowledge. And some of us come with none. But we all get to the same place just by dedicating yourself to learning about everything you can, about what you’re trying to accomplish.

And that’s what I did, when I started out as a securities attorney, I just read every single thing I could on it, I went to every workshop or seminar, continuing legal education or anything I could find where someone was talking about it, and just learned that way. And then started doing it and started seeing other people’s documents and improving our own documents, and it just kind of all came together, and now I’m able to teach other people, too. So that worked out.

So, what did you do, Vinney, before you became a syndicator?

 

Vinney Chopra:

Actually, I’m a mechanical engineer from India. And some people might know, I came into this country with real money only $7 in my pocket and a dream. I went to George Washington University to do my Master’s in Business Administration. I always thought, engineering and marketing sales will really make a great combination. But my life changed when I sold books. Some people might know, encyclopedias and Bible books, door to door, and just looking into myself. I really enjoy being with people, and adding value. So I became a full-time promotional consultant, and a fundraiser and a motivational speaker actually for the majority of my life, and became a senior stockholder and retired from that company, by the way, in 2015.

So, I was doing single-family homes, and I was doing flipping and building and I was doing all this, the multifamily syndication business with my partner, and I just built my company when I totally retired from that company as a conflict of interest and all. But I spent a lot of time not watching TV, but learning. And evenings used to be very grueling. After my whole work of the day, I’ll spend three, four or five hours that evening in going to the coaching sessions and analyzing deals and talking to brokers in lunchtime. I remember first thing in the morning, you do whatever it needs to be done, to get it done.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

I’m pretty sure that you don’t ever sleep because I had communications with you before like six o’clock in the morning, and also at 11 o’clock at night. I guess I’m never sleeping either, because I’m doing the same thing. That’s what they say about being self-employed. The good part is that you can work from anywhere and you can work anytime you want, and the bad part is you can work from anywhere, and you can work anytime you want.

 

Vinney Chopra:

I totally agree with you. And for 43 years, I’ve had my office in my home, by the way. In my previous life also, I never had to go to a structured office … and I would give speeches, that’s why I say I’ve given 11,000 speeches or more, because I would get in the front of 100, 200, 500 people. And then my business gave me flexibility, which was the best part, because it was not a 12-month kind of deal. My business was four months, usually three and a half, four months of intensive travel, and presentations and all. But the rest of the time I built a team, I always believe in finding people who can do better than me. And that way, having a strong team, it gave me time to really work into real estate.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Well, and you brought up a really good point, because we’re completely deviating from our questions, and that’s okay. So you brought up a really great point, if any of you on the call are thinking, I can’t speak like that, I don’t want to speak in front of people or whatever. You know what? You can. And here’s how I did it. When I started out as an attorney, I remember I was terrified to go to court, terrified, just like, my knees would be knocked, my stomach would be upset, it would be so bad. But I started speaking at REIA, Real Estate Investment Association meetings, just a little 30-second pitch that you can get up and just talk about your company and what you do. And I would offer some kind of a little educational event.

And the first time I did it, I was afraid, even just that 30-second thing, I was nervous, I was afraid. And I started doing that for a little while. And I would do it every month. And after a while I stopped being afraid of that. And then I started teaching and the thing about teaching is that it really deepens your knowledge. But it also gives you confidence.

The first thing you need to realize is that you know more than 90% of the people in the room already. Okay? And so if you realize that – and you also have to realize that you’re teaching them something that they really want to learn. And that it will help them. So if you’re approaching it from that way, you’re not worried about them and there might be five or 10 people in the room that know more than you do, or it’s all just a review for them or something like that. But you can also learn from those people.

So the fear goes away; the fear goes away with knowledge. And the more that you get comfortable with the subject matter and get comfortable talking about it in front of a group, then it becomes second-nature to talk to investors. Would you agree with that?

 

Vinney Chopra:

True. So true Kim, what you’re saying. When you said about shivering, I remember getting in front of 35 people, first presentation ever, ever. And I memorized and I did this. I even had 3-by-5 cards literally, even with the pointers. And I remember, still distinctly remember that table in front, and I was just so nervous and I was behind the table and I had these 3-by-5 cards in the front of the table, all that. But you know you’re right, action cures the fear and the more confident you are, each and every time I get more and more and more presentations, it made me feel more confident like you’re saying.

The big thing is to know your knowledge and learn and rehearse even. I have done that, by the way. I went to Toastmasters and some other courses. But I did practice in front of the mirror. That’s the best way we can ever do. Even reading our own notes in front of the mirror and making gestures and all.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

I can remember the first time that I ever taught syndication at a REIA, and it was a REIA that I’ve been going to for two years. So I knew all the people there and stuff. And for the topic, I guess it was an important topic because like three times as many people came to that REIA meeting as ever before, and I remember walking through the crowd in a daze. And I was just in a complete daze the whole time. I don’t remember what I said. I do remember there was a guy sleeping in the front row. And so I focused on him. Because he was sleeping, he doesn’t care. So I just focused on the sleeping guy. I didn’t worry about trying to see faces out there. And I got through it. And a lot of people were thanking me, and hugging me and saying, “That was really helpful” and stuff like that.

So all of a sudden, it just kind of … I never had that experience again. But that first time there were like, 120 people there. I’m like, “Oh my gosh, what have I done?” So yeah, you can all get through this if you want to. And speaking in front of a crowd, and even if it’s four people, or two people, there’s a whole lot of meetups out there. They’re looking for speakers and people to teach them stuff. And they would be happy to have you there. And the way I look at it, even if you only get six people, that’s six people that you didn’t have to talk to one-on-one, and then maybe they got something out of it. And then maybe you got better at speaking, even if they never become clients or you never hear from them again, you honed your skills and you practiced and you got a little better. Or maybe you saw something on your slides that you can improve. So all that stuff just makes a better experience for them.

 

Vinney Chopra:

So, true. So true, Kim. And you know nowadays with the world of Zoom, and GoToMeeting and all the webinars, it’s so great. And I always like to even meet one-on-one with my investors through Zoom. And I got now almost 400, some investors, but I started from one face-to-face, to building business for 32 or so investors, I remember. But then a lot of them have been on the phone call, or talking on the Zoom, and I’ll record and I’ll tell them right up front, that I’m going to record the whole presentation and send you a copy of it, a link to it. That way they could go back on the PowerPoint presentation that I went over because we would spend 20, 30 minutes, right?

Then that way they could reinforce that, “Hey, Vinney said this and that,” and then you’re able to follow back up again and build that relationship, right?

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Yeah, that’s great, yeah. All right. Well, what was it when you had all these other businesses, you had all this other stuff going … what was it that changed your mind and made you decide to become a syndicator?

 

Vinney Chopra:

Very good point. We did save some money, my wife and I, we’ve been married 41 years, this year.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Yeah?

 

Vinney Chopra:

Yeah, really, really happy. Me and Monica are doing great, our two children. And that’s our real wealth, right there. But the key thing is, we were buying single-family homes, it’s much cheaper to buy single-family homes, and then scale up, slowly, slowly, slowly. But when I got into the apartment business, I understood that in 2006 and 2007 —  almost 15, 16 years back —  the key thing was money. If you want to scale up more, then you need more money for down payment, for closing costs, and so forth. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with only duplexes, four-plexes and so forth. So that’s when I was introduced to the power of syndication, which is pulling of the money together, of the people you know, family and friends.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Right.

 

Vinney Chopra:

So it is simple, simple way. And I even thought about talking, I remember now talking to my friends, they said “Vinney, oh there can be lawsuits and this and that. You’re signing your life away on the loans, all that.” And they didn’t really know maybe the whole SEC. Why it’s so great to be in this field, because everybody is transparent integrity, and everybody is clear. And investors are there to invest money so that you can take care of their money to make more money, and which rightfully so we have done so well in the last 14 years. I’m so proud of the accomplishments my teams have done. I’m just one guy. But at the peak, we had 135 people in our time, in our integrated businesses, where we were managing them and everything.

And by holding seminars —  I know it’s not seminars, but investor meetings —  which we always record, and then send a link back to all the investors. And we just stop everything, whatever we are doing. If any investor calls us or emails us, or a text to us, we want to deal with it right away within a few hours, like that.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

No, that’s a good policy. If somebody reaches out to you, especially like people set up these contact forms on their websites, and then it sits in your inbox for two days before anybody responds … if that investor sent you something, they’re interested in talking to you now. And if you call them two days from now, they might have gone on to something else, or found a different place to invest.

 

Vinney Chopra:

Totally, totally. And the longer what I found is that some of these questions are very small questions, but if you handle them, great. But as the time progresses, they start thinking bad things. They start thinking about what is happening, why they are not returning all that right. So it’s good to get back and clear up the voicemail like I just call somebody back who called me. Their voicemail is not set up. I said, oh my gosh.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Wow. Yeah, that’s tough. So when I get that, I text. I text them and say, hey your voicemail is not set up yet, or your voicemail is full. But anyway, okay, so how did you learn? What was the beginning of your learning experience when you started learning about syndication?

 

Vinney Chopra:

To be very truthful, when I started, Ive always been a very inquisitive guy. I ask a lot of questions. But I always Google. Google is my best friend, YouTube and Google. I hope everybody uses that. So I just said, syndication. And then I said, okay, let me see. Number one thought came to my mind is somebody must have written books on it. So I did the Googling and all that and I found two great books by Dave Lindhal, I don’t mind saying. And he was my mentor, and all and his coaches. … So one thing I definitely want to say, the kind of money we spent then, very worth it. I wouldn’t be where I am today, if I am not investing in my education and training, because that took away the fear. So the biggest thing is the fear, can I make this investment here or not? Should I? Let’s find out somebody who has done it before. And they can guide us along to mitigate the risk, and not step on the mines, I call it.

Bad mistakes can be so costly, that the education part of paying a little bit of money to somebody who’s going to pave the way, it’s well worth it. So education is huge. And that’s what I believe in right now. And we invested a lot of money, which we didn’t have, by the way. But some good Samaritan gave us a loan of $150,000 I think, just because they liked us, who we were, my partner and I. And then we were able to use that money to get educated. So I started in the business, if I may say to everybody with $500.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Wow.

 

Vinney Chopra:

$500, literally 14, 15 years back, even though we had money, but my family didn’t believe in me, a lot of people probably can relate to that. They said, “We don’t want you to lose what you have made.”

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Right. Yeah, well, but I don’t think you need that much to learn now. First of all, I think that this was what, 12 14 years ago? I think that there’s a lot more options available now. The RE Mentor program is really very, very good. I’ve just certainly gotten a number of really great clients. That’s where you came from. That’s where I was. I was one of them. That’s where I learned about syndication and that’s where I met a lot of my clients. And a lot of people that come into that program go on and become multiple syndicators. They go on and do big things. But there’s so many different trainers and you’ve got your training program. And so I think that there’s just a lot of options available for people that really want to learn how to do it. In fact, we’re creating a website called syndicationeducation.com. And our goal is to gather all this syndication education products, and the real estate training products in one place where people can pick and choose who they want to hear, they can follow it, right?

 

Vinney Chopra:

Yes.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

With their friends or anything like that. So we want to have your products on that as well. So let’s see. So you started your syndication business, oh my gosh, in 2008?

 

Vinney Chopra:

I would say that year, is right about when we started purchasing. But I was doing education actually, two years before that. It’s amazing. You don’t know what you don’t know. But when we started working with a coach, that’s when we took off. Before that was okay, dabbling into this, listening to this and that. But that didn’t take us anywhere. So that’s why I believe very strongly in working on a blueprint and with the timeline, because a lot of people have a lot of dreams. And unless we put a deadline to the dreams, those are the goals. And let’s just then figure out a way, how to accomplish. And, as you know I’ve been a very positive person all my life. So I believe that you can be positive, but you got to act. You can do everything that you want to do in your life by being just positive, you’ve got to prove every day how you move the needle, I call it, in the right direction.

And that comes with getting a team, because commercial business is a team sport. It’s not a solo sport. I think if I didn’t have a partner or two … You’re right, yeah.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Of our clients that have come to us that have been solo, the ones that have succeeded, either had partners or paid staff. If you’re on your own, then you’ve got to partner with people, and you’ve got to partner with people that have complementary skill sets, not identical skill sets.

 

Vinney Chopra:

So true, so true. Because you have to divide, delegate, and then conquer. And then the key thing is, I always say that now, don’t join at the hip, right away, because you want to really have your own two LLCs and join together to buy properties as partnership and all. It’s through syndication, or joint venture and all. But the key thing is to feel out, because it’s 100% sport, you’ve got to put as much effort into one as the other. One cannot just slough off because then those partnerships go haywire. They get into trouble. People are bickering about it, a lot of things can happen, right?

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Yeah, and you definitely have to figure out how to split up your interests, according to how much everybody is able to contribute. And I don’t mean money, I’m talking about time and effort, and things like that, yeah. Has your syndication, have you had any road bumps along the way? And if you did, what do you learn from them?

 

Vinney Chopra:

Oh my God, lots of road bumps. Actually, a lot of people ask me, I can write two books or three books. It’s been pretty… I mean, if I look back at my being the CEO of five companies now, or something, I find that my whole day is filled with a lot of bumps. And even though we proactively work on things, but things happen, things happen on the property management side, due diligence side, financing side, now the construction side, the contractor side, the litigation side. It’s just got so many facets, when you are in any business, I think. But you’re right, a lot of bumps have come on the way but the key thing is, if you keep the interest of the investors foremost, because we have a fiduciary responsibility to take care of investors’ money.

Secondly, are my residents. I want to make sure I make the right decisions, what’s right for my residents because they are the ones why we are in business. We don’t say “tenants;” they’re “residents.” And then the third line which I always look at is our people at our properties. They are representing Vinney and Moneil and our investors. So we want to make sure that they are happy. I’ve never missed a payroll in the last 14 years, never ever. I’ve never asked any of my teams to not work. Even if we had less work, I kept on paying them full time, because I knew we would be able to buy more properties. And that’s how I look at it. Having that, who is behind that is their family and their bills and everything.

So being compassionate and passionate, it really helps you become a better leader, is what I think. And people love to work for you then more with a lot of hard work and into the wee hours of the morning and night. Like my wife said, “You retired but you’re busier than before retirement.” But I don’t get tired. When you are enjoying it, even if it’s bumps in the roads, you’re still able to overcome those bumps. I always find there is a solution to everything. And it could be taking a little bit longer, it may be getting attorneys involved and get the professionals involved and all. But by the same token, you’ve got to expect that in a business. I also have a thinking that God puts in your platter all these hardships or bumps, and they know that you can handle them. And then you can grow as a person.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

All right. Well, so let’s talk a little bit about what you’re doing now, because I think a lot of the people that are listening to us have done a lot of multifamily. So they kind of know that business, but you’ve jumped off into the assisted living and into assisted living development of large projects, right?

 

Vinney Chopra:

Yes, yes.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

What’s different about that, than your multifamily?

 

Vinney Chopra:

I’m so glad you’re saying that. Yeah Kim, what happened was see, the senior housing, there is a shortage right now, even the next 30 to 40 years with the big shift happening, which we have about 74 million or so millennials and the baby boomers where I came from, 10,000 of baby boomers are turning 65 every day in the USA. And that is bringing a lot more people into 65-plus, 70-plus, 75-plus, 85-plus and so on. The numbers, I can get hold off is 54.6 million are seniors out here in USA, and then about 6.4 million are 85-plus, it’s going to be increasing to almost 20 million. And then the 65-plus is going to be 100 million.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Wow.

 

Vinney Chopra:

One third of USA is going to be in that senior citizens. That’s the largest number of people who will be in the older age and trillions of dollars with a T. Many, many trillions of dollars will be spent in housing, in medical care in other things, in pharmacy, in equipment, which will be redesigned for the older population and things like that. So in my mind, it’s been going on for three years, how I can jump into that, but I definitely want to be in only multifamily. I do not want to go back to single-home, single-families and all. So then I started doing research into senior living. And I found there is residential, assisted senior living, and senior living. And then there is also multifamily, which is what really attracted me to it, that if we could build 32 units or 60 units or 90 units, a multifamily which is all the seniors can reside in there.

And then we want to look at what they need, because most of the assisted senior… Well, if I may talk a little bit more to your audience, the assisted senior living is the middle. If you will imagine with me, there is a “no-need-driven” and there is a “need-driven.” Extreme to the left is no-need; it’s just the age-driven. But on the right side is the extreme need. So the independent 55-plus, 65-plus communities or the golf courses and the gated communities, condominiums, they fall in the no-need-driven, because people can take care of themselves, as they’re turning senior citizens and active life which is fabulous.

Then in the middle is actually assisted living, we call it also independent and assisted living in memory care, that’s when somebody has a slip and fall, and they cannot now dress up, or they need more attention from a caregiver, or one of the spouse passes away. So now the life starts degrading, they start feeling the void, and they cannot cook and things like that. So in those instances, where our seniors let’s say age, 70, 75, 85 years of age, they cannot take care of themselves, then they come into our facilities and that’s assisted living. It’s independent and assisted living with memory care, which is the Alzheimer where people with dementia and things like that. So we are designing our communities and other people are too, where it’s independent and assisted living. But then with the age, it gets transferred into memory care, or hospital, if it’s a very, very severe illness, and then they go to the nursing homes.

Now, nursing homes are the farthest right, which are very acute medically equipped buildings, which has got the medical beds and all the equipment and doctors and all that. So we are not in that side. We are just in the middle of assisted living and memory care. And what happened was by sending the signals out in the Cosmos, I believe that people catch that. One came in my life, two years back, and I said, “John, I’m looking into two, three years back, into senior living.” He said, “Oh, my gosh, I went to school with my buddy, and he’s into building senior assisted living.” That’s how it all started. And now we are joined at the hip, and we are building great communities and things like that.

So I’m learning more about the development side of it. But our partner is also fully integrated, just like we are in the multifamily. He needed the multifamily experience and money raising experience, we need the building experience. So it’s just a great joint business together now.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Just to help our audience understand, how are these run? Do you have your own in-house people that run these facilities? Or do you hire third parties that come in and run the facilities?

 

Vinney Chopra:

Very good point, very good point, just like in our multifamily, we had two acquisition companies, two management companies. Similarly, in our assisted living also, we are fully integrated, right from the feasibility study in-house, then we send it out to an outside company to give us a complete, very in-depth feasibility study on the area, and a lot that we are buying for assisted living. But then we start constructing with our GCs, general contractors, which we get involved very thoroughly at the subcontractor stage. And then we can, we build them very quickly by the way. Within 12 months, we build the whole community from shoveling the ground to the final occupancy.

But then we also have our own staff. We have 600 people now, in our staff at this time, and the majority of them are caregivers. I’ll explain why. Because for 80 to 90 members in our multifamily assisted senior living, we need about 55 caregivers, because it’s three shifts, 24 hours. We have full-time caregivers, they go through our training of six weeks to get certification. And then we bring them into the site. But we start to advertise and get executive directors with 20 years or more experience, to manage our facility just like a community manager. In apartments, it’s a very special art to find the right people with great experience and pay them well. And then the chefs also who have been making recipes and things for the older population. Because we cook meals for our older residents at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the snacks and everything, so it’s a well-oiled machine.

When we are about 65% to 70% built, we start hiring the personnel locally, and then get them through the training department, training things. And then we are able to get the leasing, the advertising, because our goal is to be 50% occupied the day we open the facility.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Wow.

 

Vinney Chopra:

Yeah.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

That’s pretty amazing. So Vinney, when are you going to do a training program for this? It’s a very good journey to have out there and I have clients that want to do this and I’ve looked, they’ve looked and they’re just not finding any training.

 

Vinney Chopra:

You’re right. I should, I should talk to our partners, Shahid Imran. It’s so fun to say that to the audience. I came from India, poor boy, six siblings living in one bedroom apartment, into land of opportunity. Shahid, also my partner, came from Pakistan, when he was 17 years of age and with nothing. And the good part is that life brings you in a circle, from India and Pakistan, leading to the USA, to really build these great facilities, and I’m really, so excited to be partnering with him. And our goal is really, B-have we call it, built to last, big hairy, audacious goal or something of two billion, with a B, in this decade, to build these facilities all across USA, to spoil the generation that has spoiled us. So we are working toward it.

Construction loans are not that easy to get, we are realizing that, and especially the COVID didn’t help much, the epidemic. But we kind of hit the nail and nail and nail and nail. And we have not given up and it’s easing up a bit more now.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Now, the construction costs are increasing?

 

Vinney Chopra:

They are going up, you’re right, definitely. All these things we have to be covering in our presentations, even more so with the investors and all. I just started building into how we’re going to take the financing, if I may say. I don’t know if anybody is looking into it, but the big thing is the construction financing for even multifamily, conventional, it’s easier to get construction financing, but only few lenders give the money for healthcare industry and our kind of deals.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

That’s very interesting. Well, I know that I would be able to send you some students if you decide to do a program for this. So what is the No. 1 piece of advice you would give to beginning syndicator?

 

Vinney Chopra:

I would definitely say that you’ve got to learn and learn because if you cover talking to your investors that your company is SEC-regulated, that you abide by all the laws and why, like the SEC, it’s a watchdog to keep the interests of the investors foremost, and also share with them that you are pooling the money together. And meet with them often. The worst thing that can happen is when you just meet with somebody, and you think that they’re going to invest whenever you get a deal, it doesn’t happen that way. You’ve got to bring them into confidence. You’ve got to sit down with them and ask their goals and show them some underwriting … why you are looking at something and why you’re going to where you’re going to purchase it. The money has to flow to that emerging market, I say.

So by having that quarterly meeting — which I started doing it and seminars for my investors —  they liked it and I was sending newsletters and we still do it. So that brings the bond and the more comfortable they are with you, you will get the money. I never asked for money. Money follows to you because they feel comfortable. They trust you, they like you and they see that you’re learning the materials as when I started my first deal, right? I had nothing at all. And my investors asked me, “Have you done any deal?” I said, “No, I’ve not, but I’m learning and I’m doing this and that.” And they believed me. So that shows people will give you money, if they trust you, and if they feel that you’re making every effort to learn the business correctly, and you got to bring the deals with your broker relationships, and then you will be able to qualify for the loan.

And also covering that they are not at risk, but just for their investment. They’re not alone, they are not going to be litigated, the LLC, is the Limited Liability Corporation, and that you are the principal, all those things, right?

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Oh, yeah. And that’s very true. It really is a relationship game. And right now, since we don’t have a lot of live events, which is a way that a lot of people, a lot of my clients have met people in the past. I think Zoom is the next best thing. Even for our firm, we used to do just phone calls with our potential new clients, and we would meet them at these live events. And this, COVID forced us to start doing the Zoom calls, and I found out how much I really enjoy it. First I thought, oh, I don’t like it, and I have to look good, put on make-up, all this stuff. And then I started realizing that I got a better connection with people. And it made my day more interesting. Because I was meeting people from all over the world. And I always start conversation with, “Where are you at in the world?” And that usually sparks some rapport. And then we touched our talking business.

 

Vinney Chopra:

I would love to say, everybody listening to us, if you’re already utilizing Zoom or GoToMeeting or Skype, there’s so many great platforms and they’re not expensive, either, that much. The good part is, I always ask people I talk to, “Hey, make sure your webcam is working.” And I’ve even supplied some. I don’t mind spending $20 on Amazon. I say, just text me your address, I’ll send it so that we can meet and have that feeling.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Right. And I have a little camera that I just love. It’s called a C922 Pro Stream Webcam. And it just sits right on top of my computer, I can move it over my other screen if I want, you can adjust it up or down and it has such a better picture than you get off your computer.

 

Vinney Chopra:

I was thinking I don’t know which one is this one. I’m just showing it, it’s going to be not in the audio side. And this one is the one where you press the button. It got a ring light also.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Wow, that’s very cool. I could use that.  … So how could someone contact you if they have questions for you, Vinney?

 

Vinney Chopra:

Sure. I’m very easily reachable by anybody. And I listen and read with my team, all the emails and texts. You could email actually Vinney, V as in Victor, I-N-N-E-Y @vinneychopra.com. So it’s very simple V-I-N-N-E-Y — put the E in there. Even though I do own the V-I-N-N-I-E Chopra. And I’ve got three domain names because sometimes people misspell. So I just thought mind wise, I can direct everybody to the right. But vinneychopra.com, I’m on LinkedIn also, you can direct-message me. I would love to answer. And then of course, Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

We have got a few attendees that might have some questions, if anybody does have a question that they would like to ask Vinney or me, you can raise your hand if you like. There’s a little hand at the bottom of your screen that you can click on that and it will show us that you’ve raised your hand. Or you can type a question into the Q&A. Or you can just give us some comments in the chat. So we’re happy to talk to you.

So just, who we are: We’re a corporate securities law firm. I’m an entrepreneur myself. We have some other related businesses that are not legal services, we have a company called investormarketingmaterials.com.

If you’re interested in developing some investor marketing materials, by professional editors and prepared by graphic designers, check out investormarketingmaterials.com. We do have ways that you can get involved with us for a very low cost even if you don’t have a syndication. One of our programs is called a Pre-Syndication Retainer. And it’s $1,000 and it gives you up to three hours of legal advice. The whole point is to try to help you develop an investor marketing plan and to answer your questions as you’re learning the business and just helping you gain that confidence. And we do Friday Masterminds, we do weekly Masterminds every Friday at 9:00 a.m Pacific time/noon Eastern time for our clients. So if you become a client, then you can come to all of those Masterminds, and you get to interact with other clients.

And those are really great calls. I love those calls. Because we just get, you never know who is going to show up. And we can get anywhere from two people to 10 people. But it’s just really a great group. And we get to just share ideas with each other. And it’s a safe place to talk about syndication. You mentioned that nobody wanted to talk to you about this. They all thought you were crazy. And that’s one of the reasons that we do our Masterminds. So we would love to have you engage with us if you would like and you can schedule an appointment with us at our website, syndicationattorneys.com. There’s a button where you can click to schedule an appointment, and you’ll be able to talk to one of our staff about what you want to do, and we’ll see if there’s a way that we can help you. So, nobody has asked a question, everybody is being shy. So that’s all right.

 

Vinney Chopra:

I would definitely say Kim, your website is amazing, I would highly, highly recommend. And I tell my students, hundreds of them to please go there, syndicationattorneys.com. You have so many white papers, so many resources over there. And thank you so much, really. And again, that $1,000 with three hours of consulting, that’s a steal. And the good part is that you get to know. See, you’ve got to be thinking about you want to raise money, you want to learn it right, set up the LLC right, everything, structure right, and then dig into it. Right after your due diligence, I usually say in the due diligence, first seven days are important. After that we should know whether we are going forward or not. And that is the time to get the SEC attorney like Kim involved and move forward.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

That’s interesting. Since you brought that up, I’m curious to know what you think is important that people do in that seven days?

 

Vinney Chopra:

I’m so glad you asked me that. Kim, what I find is to be very truthful, we do a lot of research of the neighborhood, drive-by, even photographers by the way, to give me 150 pictures of the building closeups of this and that, and all the different areas of concern. And you can actually look at so much on the computer, and things like that. But once you get into your deal yourself, I like to hire a professional company for due diligence, I love to pay money to the professionals, and that has saved me millions of dollars literally. So within two, three days, you could do the walkthrough of all the units, definitely, the lease audits can be done right away too, simultaneously actually. Having a team of people, local team, and then you can make a decision pretty quickly on the different maintenance.

See, you could find out if the structure of the leases is correct, the demographics are correct, everything. And then the big thing is the structure then, the roof, the parking lot, the AC and how old are they, appliances, so you can make a very good decision within five days. And I don’t like to … “trade” is the word, where you are asking the seller to give some repair allowance. But if there is lot of deferred maintenance, you’ve got to start putting that repair letter and tell your broker right away. Don’t wait until the 29th day because the seller can accept that repair letter or let the contract expire. And then you’re out of the deal. But that’s fine.

I find it important to be very truthful. I’ve closed on all these different indications, I’ve done 34 now. And from start to finish, because you have done the homework beforehand. So it’s just a matter of just going over the numbers and going over the inside of the property. So once you do that in seven days, you should go with a vengeance and get your loan going, get your money raised, yeah.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

You do that after you have a signed purchase agreement or before?

 

Vinney Chopra:

You know what? To be very truthful, I have, that’s another one, I would love to share. I always give the property underwriting when I do to my loan broker also. I’ve had only three loan brokers in my lifetime. And I give it to them so they can underwrite the property, I get the blessing on the loan before my LOI is accepted.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Wow.

 

Vinney Chopra:

Oh, yeah, yeah. That’s why I’ve closed every single deal, every single deal in 56 days. The one I just closed in Austin, was 54 days totally from start to finish.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Interesting. So I usually tell clients, and this is based on my experience and the other experiences of my clients. I usually say, before you hire us, then you should have a signed purchase agreement. Someone from your team has physically been to the site, and you’ve reviewed the financials. But you’re saying, do all that within seven days. But you’re talking about having your machine in place that you can do even a lot more than that in seven days.

 

Vinney Chopra:

Yes.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

That’s amazing.

 

Vinney Chopra:

Totally. And the biggest thing for anybody who is watching us and listening to us, please, please, please get the loan blessed. I think that is the No. 1 thing we find toward the end, which could be problematic. And with so many people going after the deals, the sellers don’t even take the financing contingency anymore in the LOIs. They don’t want that.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Wow. Didn’t think you can do that. Wow, that’s amazing.

 

Vinney Chopra:

Yeah, they are not taking it. I know I’m selling my Texas properties, and it’s all-cash deal, no contingency on the loan or anything. So the whole landscape has changed a lot, it really has. And the property I bought in Austin, I have to give half a million hard signing of the contract.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Well, with one of these shows Vinney and just dedicated to the due diligence process and the whole process of LOI and all the way through closing on the property. I think that will help.

 

Vinney Chopra:

Sure, my pleasure.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

I’m looking forward to your senior living training program, I think that you need to do that.

… Vinney, you’re amazing. And thank you so much for joining us today. And I hope that the attendees have actually learned something. I know I’ve learned stuff, I do every time and this is one of the reasons I do these calls, is because I learn from my audience.

And thank you so much, everybody that joined us today on the call. And if you like our podcast, let other people know. The name of the podcast is, “Raise Private Money Legally.” And we would love to have you all be subscribers. And we would love to have you all as clients. And I’m sure Vinney would love to have you all as coaching students.

 

Vinney Chopra:

Yes. Or passive investors, yeah.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Everybody, thank you so much for joining us.

 

Vinney Chopra:

Thank you Kim. It’s such a pleasure to spend time with you totally.

 

Kim Lisa Taylor:

Okay. All right. Bye-bye.

 

Vinney Chopra:

Bye-bye.

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