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  • Navigating Real Estate and Travel: Shawn Griffith’s Guide for Accredited Investors [Ep179]
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November 14, 2023

Navigating Real Estate and Travel: Shawn Griffith’s Guide for Accredited Investors [Ep179]

In today's episode, we have Shawn Griffith joining us to discuss his journey in the real estate industry and his passion for writing a book. Shawn shares his insights on building a real estate portfolio that supports one's travel ambitions, targeting accredited investors in their early to mid-fifties who haven't started thinking about retirement. We delve into the importance of problem-solving, leveraging the wisdom of others, and the need for long-term thinking in the real estate market. Shawn also highlights the significance of building relationships with property managers and the advantage of direct communication in syndications compared to other investments. We explore risk factors, due diligence, and the role of insurance in mitigating risks for investors. Join us as we dive deep into the world of real estate and travel with Shawn Griffith on this exciting episode of The Darin Batchelder Real Estate Investing Show!

Episode Timestamps

  • 00:03:11 Versatile problem solver with extensive network connections.
  • 00:06:35 Experience leveraged for solving deal problems.
  • 00:07:25 Fence issue during lender inspection with property.
  • 00:13:14 Editor personally invested, promotes only invested deals, risk reduction, attention, skin in the game. Different property risk classes.
  • 00:15:08 Thorough due diligence and proper insurance mitigate risk.
  • 00:19:07 Investors hesitant due to fear and news.
  • 00:22:37 Fixed rate debt is preferable for stability.
  • 00:23:37 Agencies struggled with numbers, sponsors sought floating-rate deals with caps and escrow reserves became problematic.
  • 00:29:20 She signed me up for a race.
  • 00:32:48 Confidence in good deal leads to success.
  • 00:33:40 Investment: Live in 1, rent out others. Prepare. Excitement and doubts.
  • 00:37:00 Identify good deals, focus on preferred markets and people.
  • 00:42:22 Investment disappointment leads to introspection and blame.
  • 00:45:09 More real estate, less stock for wealth. Travel enthusiasts.
  • 00:48:58 Build real estate portfolio for retirement travel.

Episode Table of Contents

  • Pursuing a Passion for Writing and Real Estate
  • Overcoming Challenges and Problem-Solving in Real Estate Deals
  • Mitigating Risk and Getting Comfortable with Investments
  • Funding Frequent Travel Through Real Estate Investing
  • The Role of Real Estate Investing in Funding Future Travel

Pursuing a Passion for Writing and Real Estate

Pursuing a Passion for Writing and Real Estate
Photographer: Yannick Pulver | Source: Unsplash
Discover How To Save Taxes and Build Wealth

Shawn Griffith's Lifelong Dream of Writing a Book

Shawn Griffith shares that writing a book has been a lifelong dream and passion of his. He currently has a couple of book ideas swirling around in his mind. As someone with a love for both real estate and travel, Shawn has decided to focus his first book on bringing these two interests together.

Providing Guidance to Accredited Investors on Real Estate and Travel

The intent behind Shawn's book is to offer guidance to accredited investors on how to build a real estate portfolio that will support their travel aspirations and habits. He advises readers to start by determining their ideal travel budget and lifestyle vision, whether it be moving from coach to first class or even first class to private flights. Based on this budget and vision, Shawn suggests working backwards to structure the necessary real estate portfolio to sustain those financial needs long-term.

Real Estate Success: "You know, the 1st 6 months, I felt like I was spinning my wheels. I was getting out there, networking, underwriting, meeting people, more underwriting, looking at properties, meeting brokers, going to events. All the stuff that you need to be doing to, start making all the connections that you need because real estate is very much a team sport."— Shawn Griffith

Planning for Retirement Travel Through Real Estate Investing

Throughout the discussion on his book plans, Shawn emphasizes the importance of viewing real estate as a long game, not a get-rich-quick scheme. He reiterates that building wealth through real estate takes time and consistency. Shawn encourages accredited investors to start thinking about and planning their real estate portfolios in their early to mid-50s, so they are set up for retirement travel by following his advice and strategies.

Overcoming Challenges and Problem-Solving in Real Estate Deals

Overcoming Challenges and Problem-Solving in Real Estate Deals
Photographer: sebastiaan stam | Source: Unsplash

Dealing With a Fence Repair Issue

Shawn talks about a problem they faced with a lender inspection on one of their properties. The lender had pointed out issues with a fence between their property and another one. Residents would kick out pieces of the fence to create shortcuts to nearby stores. The lenders required the fence to be repaired, which Shawn's team did initially. However, when the lender returned they found more damage.

Shawn decided the best solution was to completely remove the fence rather than repeatedly repair it. This saved time for their maintenance staff and costs of hiring someone for repairs. By thinking through the root cause, they arrived at a solution to eliminate the problem entirely.

Managing Unpredictable Risks to Maintain Real Estate Returns for Travel

Darin notes that in 2021-2022 fixed rate loans were difficult to make work. So sponsors used floating rate loans, sometimes with rate caps for protection. However, the speed of rate increases impacted escrow reserves down the line.

Shawn explains that after a set timeframe, massive reserves are required for new caps on floating loans. This can greatly reduce cashflow, which many sponsors didn't anticipate. He emphasizes the need to understand all risks, even unlikely ones. Thorough due diligence and adequate reserves are key to managing unpredictable challenges.

Mitigating Risk and Getting Comfortable with Investments

Mitigating Risk and Getting Comfortable with Investments
Photographer: Loic Leray | Source: Unsplash

Insurance and Due Diligence Reduce Risk

According to Shawn, 80% of risk mitigation in real estate involves having the correct insurance on the property, and the remaining 20% pertains to thorough due diligence. Proper insurance coverage and conducting thorough due diligence significantly reduce the risk to investors.

Focus on Deals with Existing Investors

Shawn advises investors to focus on deals in which other investors have already put money to avoid potential risks. He explains that when other people's money is involved, there is a strong focus on preserving capital for investors.

Investing: "Because I have my own money invested alongside them. I won't promote a deal… that I'm not invested in as well."— Shawn Griffith

Overcoming Fear in Real Estate Investing

The fear factor in real estate investing, especially amidst higher interest rates, is a common concern for many people. Shawn encourages investors to stop watching the news and advises them to analyze deals or spend time getting to know the general partner (GP) team.

Stop Watching the News: "Sometimes I just wanna reach out and grab them and go stop watching the news. You know, because there's a lot of stuff going on in the news that, it it's really designed to stoke everybody's fear."— Shawn Griffith

Funding Frequent Travel Through Real Estate Investing

Funding Frequent Travel Through Real Estate Investing
Photographer: Luca Bravo | Source: Unsplash

Shawn's Disappointment with 401(k) Performance

Shawn reflects on his experience with his 401(k) investments, which failed to grow as much as he expected over the long term. After 10, 20, or even 30 years contributing to his 401(k), the balance was not sufficient to support the retirement lifestyle he wanted. This disappointment motivated Shawn to seek out an alternative investment strategy.

The Shift from Stocks to Real Estate

Gradually, Shawn moved more of his investment dollars from the stock market into real estate. In his view, real estate offered superior growth potential for building long-term family wealth and funding retirement. Compared to the volatility he saw in stocks, real estate provided more consistent returns over time through cash flow and appreciation.

Real Estate Supporting Shawn's Love of Travel

As an avid traveler who enjoys frequent international trips, Shawn finds real estate better aligns with his lifestyle needs. The regular cash distributions from his real estate investments give him the freedom to comfortably fund his travel plans without worrying about timing stock sales. Recently, Shawn took month-long trips to Antarctica, South America, and other exotic destinations.

The Role of Real Estate Investing in Funding Future Travel

The Role of Real Estate Investing in Funding Future Travel
Photographer: Eva Darron | Source: Unsplash

Understanding Investor Risk Profiles

Shawn stresses the importance of understanding an investor's risk profile before they invest in one of his deals. Some investors may be excited to invest six figures but Shawn cautions them to ensure they are a good fit first. He asks questions to determine their level of real estate investing experience and comfort with the risks involved. Even experienced investors need to examine the unique risks of each new deal. Shawn says he never wants investors to lose money, but they need to honestly assess if they could handle that outcome. He wants them to read the risks outlined in the PPM to confirm the deal aligns with their risk tolerance.

5 Step Process Ad

Investor Risk Profile: "I need to understand where you're coming from as an investor because honestly, some of them have never really thought about, you know, what is their risk profile."— Shawn Griffith

Gaining Confidence Before Entering Deals

Shawn advises that confidence before entering a deal increases the probability of success. Networking with other experienced real estate professionals builds confidence by providing access to solutions when challenges arise. Thorough due diligence also reduces doubts by confirming solid fundamentals like location, debt structure and team competency. Shawn says the first deal is often the scariest, but with each completed deal, investors gain experience to take on more substantial future deals. His advice to get comfortable before investing has helped many new investors pull the trigger on their first real estate investment.

Where To Find Shawn Griffith

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Darin Batchelder


Wealth creation through real estate provided me with a new passion to get the word out and let others know that they have an alternative to investing in the stock market.

If I can inspire and educate just one person to take action that results in life changing wealth creation then the work to launch and grow this podcast is well worth the effort.

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