Building Relationships with Chris Berg

In today’s episode we focus on Connections.  Our guest Chris Berg shares how he BRRRRed his way into real estate investing and grew to 150 doors in 5 years.  Spoiler Alert, it was all about relationships!  Chris tells his story and explains what you can do to find the same success.

We’re glad you joined us!

Chris’s Three Steps to REI Greatness:

  1. Provide Value
  2. Get Educated
  3. Keep An Open Mind

SECTION 1: Chris tells his story

Chris was a teacher and his wife was a college professor.  They we’re making a lot of money and Chris was looking for a side hustle.  A friend had a bunch of properties and encouraged him to start investing.  So he studied.  He listened to every Bigger Pockets episode, watched Loopnet, Trulia, Zillow, etc.  He found a triplex close to his house and pulled the trigger.  From there he realized this stuff was fun and he was good at it.  He started pulling together more and more deals.  Now he owns and manages about 150 doors.

SECTION 2: The Value of Relationships

There are a couple of parts to this:

  1. Find mentors, folks who are further along the path than you are. Find a way to provide value to them by finding deals, providing a service, etc. 
  1. Don’t be afraid to thoughtfully inject what you do into conversations. Don’t be salesy. Don’t walk into the room and yell it, but inject your stories wherever you can .  Let people know that you buy houses.
  1. Tap your service providers for leads. Show them you’re good at what you do and ask them to share opportunities.  Contractors, property managers, insurance agents, they all know who’s buying and selling.

SECTION 3: A Diverse Portfolio

Chris has three main types of properties.  Each serves a specific purpose in his overall strategy

  1. Buy & Hold – stable and safe
  2. Short term rentals – profitable if a little volatile
  3. Flips – Quick cash flow

Being able to diversify makes the portfolio strong.  His real estate investments pplay very much like the stock market.  He can leverage the part that’s don’t the best to support another that may be struggling.  The Covid scenario with his short term rentals is a great example.  That would have been a major problem if his entire portfolio was in short term.  But it’s not so he was able to weather the storm.

How to find Chris:

Mentioned in the show:

  1. Loopnet
  2. Zillow
  3. Trulia

Special thanks to Chris Berg for taking the time to share so many great insights with us

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Until the next time, We truly appreciate you listening.

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If you’re a transcript type of person, Here you go:

You’re listening to the REI Clarity podcast. The show that guides you from confusion to clarity and sets you on the path to financial freedom faster. Learn how to grow your portfolio the right way with your host REI superhero, and co-founder of Shine Insurance, Jeremy Goodrich.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Hey, this is Jeremy Goodrich, owner of Shine Insurance, and your host for the REI Clarity podcast. So excited to have you with us today. Our guest is an investor. He’s a realtor. He handles properties in a lot of different ways, and he’s going to talk about that experience on many different sides of the coin with us during our 30 minute conversation today. Chris Berg, thank you so much for being with us.

Chris Berg:                    Yeah, thanks for having me. I’m excited.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Tell us a little bit about how you got started in real estate investing?

Chris Berg:                    Yeah, so just to start from the beginning, I was a teacher for 14 years, and then I continued being a teacher even after we started investing. I think, we’re only in this for five or six years now, but we took a road trip, my wife and kids, and I took a road trip to Colorado and we went camping for a month. And on the way back, I was like, I want more of this.

                                    And then on the long drive, back from Colorado through the Plain State [inaudible 00:02:57] looked at my Indiana teacher retirement fund, and it wasn’t pretty. I’m like damn, how do I get more money? She’s a college professor, but she’s into school nurses though. She took a big pay hit, going into education as well. I’m like yeah, we have a good life, but what’s the next level.

                                    I just reached out to my best friend. I’m like, Hey man, what’s the best way to get wealthy. And he said, you’re really good at real estate, because I’d been doing it for years. I’d fix up my own houses. I help people fix things. I read a lot about it. He’s like, why don’t you just buy a property and see, because he owned hundreds at the time. I said, all right.

                                    We started doing what everybody else does, going to LoopNet or Zillow, Trulia and literally by the time we got back to West Lafayette, which is where we lived at the time, my wife [inaudible 00:03:44] found something on MLS, which, people say it’s dead and you can’t find any deals there, but we took the equity from our home because we’d fix it up and got it appraised, and literally bought a triplex, a student rental triplex on the campus of Purdue.

Jeremy Goodrich:          So your first purchase was a triplex and it was a student rental triplex?

Chris Berg:                    Yeah, it wasn’t pretty-

Jeremy Goodrich:          [inaudible 00:04:05] it got you in.

Chris Berg:                    But it surprised us because it was three doors down from us, so easy for me to manage. I dip my toe in the water with the property management side of things and just learn. The day we got it appraised, which wasn’t soon after we bought it, it appraised for 50 grand of what we bought it for. So it wasn’t, but two months later we were able to use the equity from that and roll it into a fourplex. So within a matter of months we were owners of seven units.

Jeremy Goodrich:          And have you continued to do that? Kind of take the equity out of one, use that as the down payment for the next, kind of almost a bare type of approach and take it from there.

Chris Berg:                    Yeah. So what we did is, we moved to Colorado. It’s been a little over a year and a half ago. When we left town of West Lafayette, we sold those for a decent little profit. We did our first 1031 exchange into an 11 unit apartment complex. So we upgraded and the number of units that took care of that. We’ve obviously we’ve increased the value, it’s appreciated. So we did really well on that.

                                    Recently we went under contract and selling that as well, we’re in our 90 day period for the 1031 exchange currently.

Jeremy Goodrich:          So that was kind of your start, it sounds like over five years, you’ve grown. Can you tell our audience a little bit about where you’re at as an investor right now?

Chris Berg:                    Yeah, currently I have partners. I am a broker. I own my own brokerage here in Bloomington. It’s called Kirkwood Realty and it’s brokered by a larger company, a parent company called eXp. I do the traditional buy and sell for everybody and also for myself. We have a great business model for house flipping because that’s the passion projects, helps us be creative. With my partners, I manage 112 units, doors and then my wife and I owned 69. I manage the managers. I’m like the acquisitions plus the overall portfolio manager of all of them. I deal with the day to day operations of those and then I’m the boots on the ground guy, for the flipping business as well. I deal with the contractors. I do the acquisitions, all that stuff. I do a little bit of everything.

Jeremy Goodrich:          It’s fascinating to me. The folks that I meet in this industry that seem the most fascinating are, doing kind of what you’re doing, where not only are you investing in a couple of different ways, it sounds like you’re doing a lot of buy and hold and you’ve built your portfolio up, but then also flipping for the creativity and probably for the cashflow sometimes I would imagine.

Chris Berg:                    Yeah.

Jeremy Goodrich:          But then you’re playing a central role for other people. You sort of the brains and I’m might be putting words into your mouth. So tell me, but you’re kind of the brains behind the operation. Where other people say, hey, I’ve got some money or, hey, I’ve got some element of it. And you’re like, hey, well I love this. I’m good at pro formas, I’m good at connecting with other people. I’m already a realtor and so I can find things maybe before other people. You sort of play a central role for partners, could you describe a little bit how you started doing that and maybe for a listener who wants to play that role? What works?

Chris Berg:                    Yeah. So every podcast you listened or book, when you start in the business of real estate you want to provide value to someone. And so I started doing that to my business partners, providing value. But you and I before the podcast, we’re talking about me being, I have a high motor, so I just don’t stop. If I were to just do, be a real estate agent, that’s a tough job alone. But my creativity, my passion wouldn’t be fulfilled. Doing the management side and the acquisition side, all of that helps and I like helping other people do that as well because not everybody sees the full picture. Since I have my fingers in a lot of different pots, I feel I have this broad knowledge to help people who want to be investors, people who just want to get rid of their homes, people who want to renovate homes and just want me to bounce ideas off of, I’m happy to do that.

                                    I’m a no fee type of guy when it comes out stuff, because number one, I love it. Ever since I left education, I feel like I’m missing that piece of giving back more. So a lot of my services are free when it comes to asking me, what should I do?

                                    I’m happy to hold a hand every now and again, eventually, my [inaudible 00:08:25] is going to be taken up, but I like to guide people. It’s part of the giving back projects that we do, is just helping people better because I’ve seen what real estate has helped me with. So I want to help other people do the same.

                                    Hopefully people look at me as a resource, if they want to get rid of a home and or they want my help flipping it, or they just want to sell it. Hopefully they call me or knock on the door and say, hey can you help me with this? Because I’m happy to do it.

                                    I’m definitely not the brains behind the project. My partners are very savvy. I feel like have a niche of finding properties and I feel like I have a niche of evaluation of properties, but all the credit doesn’t go to me. My partners, they started before I did and it’s the reason I look at them for mentorship as well.

Jeremy Goodrich:          I heard a couple of things there. One, you and I have that in common that we’re both former educators. I think that being a former teacher gives you the capacity to, one, like kind of empathy, right? Clearly we’ve both chosen to have jobs that we knew were not going to make us a bunch of money. There’s some like element around that, that I think the service piece is really valuable and important.

                                    The other one that I’ve found is that the capacity to explain things, I say to folks a lot, I explained how to do division to fourth graders for 13 years. I can explain how to navigate, REI insurance. I think there’s something about former teachers who can explain and describe things in a way that isn’t talk downey. That isn’t like, let me show you how much information or knowledge I have. It’s just kind of like, okay, here’s my best of my ability, here’s what I see and here’s what I understand. So part of the value, it sounds like you bring to these scenarios is simply being an educator and the other is you found your value in being a resource on the element of finding properties.

Chris Berg:                    Yeah.

Jeremy Goodrich:          So, if a listener is like, well, I know I have this value, maybe I don’t have the money, but I have the ability to, I’m a realtor and I know that I can connect with properties and be able to connect them with other people. Let’s see if I can find someone with the money or just the ability to like reach out to people and talk with them about the stuff they’re doing and what they’re working on, ends up being an opportunity for you. Not that, that’s what the intention behind it, you’re just trying to help people but then it becomes opportunities as well.

Chris Berg:                    You know, we’ve only been back in Bloomington and I’ve been in Indiana my whole life except for the one year in Colorado. But since we’ve been back, most of the deals we have with flips come from relationships and just mentioning, hey, I’m looking for another home. A lot of times they don’t come for two or three months, but people, they come to me with deals and say, hey, my mom, she wants to get rid of her house. She doesn’t know what to do with it. She doesn’t want to list it on the market. It’s in really bad shape. Do you know anyone? And I said, yeah me, this guy.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Exactly. So let’s talk about those relationships. How can a listener really, if they’re wanting to create relationships, what are some of the ways you found that do that the best?

Chris Berg:                    Yeah, the most organic way is, and I had a hard time doing this because I was never, I’m an entrepreneur, but never felt like I was a business person. When I engage in conversation, which I don’t have a problem with, it was easy to tell people it was in education, I was a teacher, but when it come to telling them I’m a real estate agent or an investor to me at the beginning of this career path, it felt a little sleazy to me. I don’t know why, but it just did. But-

Jeremy Goodrich:          So with you, I’m so with you.

Chris Berg:                    Pumping it into a conversation, It doesn’t mean I’m trying to get the business. Now I’m just saying I invest and that’s what I do. I’m super passionate about it. I love it. There’s so many aspects of real estate that I love. So now getting myself and my wife to talk to people about it is becoming easier, but just, organically thrown it into a conversation is the best piece because there’s always somebody listening who either owns a home or know somebody who wants to sell a home or get rid of a home.

                                    I can talk real estate all day, so it becomes this natural conversation and I think they see my passion with it. Even if I don’t buy the house, I will truly help them. I’ll show them the best realtor for that type of home or the best way to go about it. I’ve talked to several people that wanted to flip or just get rid of the home. I’ve talked into refinancing because they just don’t know the strategies of refinancing and using their equity for their benefit, so I’ve talked to them. So I feel, I’ve even lost deals from helping people get better in that way.

Jeremy Goodrich:          I’ve talked to, in fact, an apartment association, I was talking with them about risk. They asked me as an insurance agent to come talk to them about risk. I was like man, insurance presentations are always the most boring. How can I make this not boring?

                                    So I really talked about this balance between, look, everything we’re doing is a balance between two things. One, on one side it’s making money. If we’re not making money on some premise, then we’re not a business and we’re certainly not going to be able to keep doing this for very long. On the other side, it’s helping people, if we’re not helping people, then we’re just like some other terrible person out there, a slumlord and not doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

                                    If we’re looking at our business and our investment properties as a balance between making money and helping people, we’re naturally going to what you were saying, where we’re naturally going to find great opportunities, because we’re just trying to help people. In the case of the conversation I was having, we’re naturally going to make good risk decisions. We want to make sure people get down the staircase properly and don’t fall down. We want to make sure there’s a smoke alarm in each apartment, so that if there’s a fire, they don’t die. These are just basic things we do if our intention is to help people at the same time.

Chris Berg:                    You know, you and I haven’t talked about this, but you’ve used the word risk [inaudible 00:14:13] and that’s one of the reasons I never jumped into real estate earlier is because people see it as a very risky thing to do, rather than have that steady paycheck. The more and more people I talk to, because I really want to get more people into investing. I find out that there’s just a large population of people who are so risk adverse that they’re afraid to take action. But I will tell you, when my wife got on board with investing, which she wasn’t always, as soon as she was on board, we took that one step, that leap of faith. We saw how it actually works. The tax advantages on the buy and holds, the flipping side of things, the flexibility in our day to day life that provides. Once we saw it work, our belief started going up and up.

                                    That’s one thing I’m trying to portray to other people who have not gotten into investing yet. Who have the knowledge, but just don’t want them to take the first step. I’m trying to find a different way to explain to them that the juice is worth the squeeze.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Yeah. It’s like pouring out of a cup of risk or I’m using that again. But yeah, you have to take those first steps and then you see the value of it. So as far as those relationships, one is just talking about it all the time, like making sure that you’re not forcing real estate into conversations, but truly just chatting with folks about what you do. Why you do it and why you love it is valuable.

Chris Berg:                    Yeah.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Are there other ways that listeners can build relationships that you’ve seen work?

Chris Berg:                    Yeah. A couple things that I do is the contractors that I work with, the boots on the ground guys. I work side by side with them sometimes on the first flips that we do, to show that not only that am I knowledgeable, but I have a strong work ethic and that once they see that and we get more of a personal relationship, they’re more, I’ve gotten several deals just for my contractors because they see that, I’m in it for the right reasons. I think that’s an approach a lot of people don’t take, because they get into this and they don’t want to get their hands dirty, but I enjoy doing that. I don’t like to sit behind a computer all day. I like getting out there and doing that, the real estate agents in town, getting out there and doing the dirty stuff with them as well.

                                    We don’t always love doing open houses, but I’ll stop in and do the broker’s opens with them and have conversations. That’s different ways to create relationships with those guys as well because being an agent isn’t as easy as what people think it is, it’s a job that requires grinding.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Yeah. So it’s like connecting with your service providers in some ways.

Chris Berg:                    Yeah.

Jeremy Goodrich:          I think that we all know our network of folks and contractors is certainly in there. If they know what you do, why you do it and how you do it, then they’re going to be likely to share the deal with you and that makes a ton of sense.

                                    I want to talk a little bit about another topic, digging into the idea of diversifying your portfolio. You have a pretty diverse portfolio, as far as I can tell. It’s multiple different places. It’s multiple different types of investments. Is there a reason you’ve chosen to be as diverse as you are?

Chris Berg:                    Well, because the market number one is volatile and you never know where it goes, but we enjoy all of our asset classes. As you know, Shine Insurance has the bulk of our portfolio, but we have short-term rentals. We have Lake homes. I believe we have four now, but because we just sold one. We do the Airbnb and BRBO, our cabins are in Kentucky and Tennessee. Then we have the apartment complexes as well and then obviously the flips.

                                    We do it, number one because it’s learning, so it’s the education piece and we see the advantages of all them. We do the flips for the instant cash. We do the Vrbo and Airbnbs, those happen to be our best returns, but they’re not in guaranteed especially COVID, and everything that it’s brought to our doorstep, but the buy and holds the tax advantages, especially when you get into any of the tax advantages that we do, cost segregation and different things like that. Then as of this week, we’re diving into mobile home parks.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Oh cool. Yeah, there’s a lot of people who’ve been very profitable in that type of investment. I think when done, right. It’s a pretty solid way to invest.

Chris Berg:                    It is. There’s a few tax changes that recently came out that helped us decide to move towards that, so we’re pretty excited about that acquisition. But, there’ll be a huge learning curve for us as well, but we’re pretty excited about it. But each bucket helps each other, so sometimes when our short-term rentals aren’t doing as well, our long-term rentals help feed that. We’ve been able to keep each asset class afloat, taking the cashflow of each and helping each other with renovations, CapEx or whatever happens to be.

Jeremy Goodrich:          That’s really cool. So what I heard was, flips are cashflow, Airbnb tends to be a profitable space, buy and hold helps with taxes and also is probably the most stable of them all. And then the new mobile homes probably fairly profitable. Sounds like you’re kind of learning about that space as you go. Let’s talk about COVID for a second. You’ve described how diversifying has helped you. Certainly someone who is all Airbnb right now is probably hurting more than your portfolio is. How have you seen it affect your portfolio?

Chris Berg:                    Man, it’s crazy because I manage all of our Airbnbs, the first two weeks it was a massive canceled reservations across the board. But then the later this is last [inaudible 00:19:45] I mean, sounds like a play on words or a pun, but [inaudible 00:19:48] people are having cabin fever, so now more and more people are booking. So lots of cancellations beginning and then booking.

                                    Airbnb admitted fault a couple of weeks ago. They allowed 100% cancellation refunds to anybody, which put the owners in a bind. Because we’re business owners and now they’re helping us out with a 25% refund of those.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Oh, that’s cool. Yeah.

Chris Berg:                    Yeah, they’re doing okay in that regard, but our Lake homes there’s specific type of short-term rental, they’re all waterfront or water access. It’s definitely a vacation type of spot. It’s not in the middle of the city, that they’re isolated. So we haven’t felt the hit as much as other people have. But I will tell you this outside of COVID, well, I guess that helps with COVID, so when COVID hit my family and I were going to one cabin, it happened right at spring break. So we took our kids down to cabin just to check up on it, see if it needs a paint job. We do some yard work, but then we found that they were shutting everything down. So we extended our vacation and we bounced around to all of them. We stayed at like a week or two at a time and we were able to turn it into a smaller vacation. I felt like we were cheating the system.

Jeremy Goodrich:          That’s really cool though.

Chris Berg:                    It’s the one asset class, we can truly enjoy personally. We can book it out for a week or two in the summer and we can go and enjoy those. If any of the listeners are able to do that or look into it, I’m happy to help them out or they questions about, happy to help them out with that as well. But it’s that one asset class you can truly enjoy with the family, which we enjoy.

Jeremy Goodrich:          It seems like and what you’re saying is that it may be not as volatile as I was thinking it was, but it seems like Airbnb is a pretty big risk at this point, but you’re saying, you’re seeing some return of bookings.

Chris Berg:                    Yeah. We’ve seen a return on books. I will tell you this though, this is just my thought. Airbnb is taking the side of the consumer rather than the business owners at this point. I think they’re backpedaling a little bit.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Yeah.

Chris Berg:                    So we’ll see, we happen to be more keen on Vrbo than Airbnb, we like their platform a little bit more. We feel like their policies are a little bit more strict and which help us out, but you have to be on both platforms to be competitive in the market.

Jeremy Goodrich:          That makes sense. All right, so the two topics we dug deep into are relationships, how to build great relationships and then diversifying your portfolio. Great example of why to do that is right now with this COVID scenario, you’ve been able to, because you have a diverse portfolio sort of makeup losses in one area with the stability of other areas. I’d love to move into for those listeners who really want to take the leap from three to 10 doors up to finding financial freedom faster with a larger portfolio, getting to that place where you’re at Chris, what are three steps that they could take to get there?

Chris Berg:                    Well, the first one be providing value. Well, I have a bunch of steps, Jeremy, I don’t know where I’m going with this, but I will tell you this.

Jeremy Goodrich:          It’s fine you can give me whatever you want.

Chris Berg:                    I kept an open mind when I went into investing and the number one thing I heard was provide value. So what I didn’t talk about is my wife and I are partial owners of a 42 unit in Louisville, Kentucky. We got in on that with zero money and then we also purchased a 16 unit, we’re 50-50 owners of that one was zero money. It’s because I found the deals, I put them together. I’m the boots on the ground, the manager of the managers. I did that because I provide value, there’s so many different ways to get units, but you have to have an understanding with whoever’s looking.

                                    If you can provide them value rather than taking a paycheck, somebody could’ve given me 10 grand to find the 42 units and some people would run with it. Luckily we didn’t need it. We live frugally, we do okay. We’re not high rollers, so I didn’t need the 10 grand so rather than take, and it was more than 10 for the 42 units. I said, I want the equity and then my partner, it’s a different partner that, we have the units in [inaudible 00:24:04], that was a straight up cash deal. He said, I’ll give you 50-50, if you find it and you do everything. So, I got lucky on that one. So I’m a 50-50 owner on [inaudible 00:24:16] those with zero money in the deal.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Wow, so as a [inaudible 00:24:18]-

Chris Berg:                    We’ve done capital injections or was it even an acquisition by realtor. We found an off market, it was pre-market type of thing-

Jeremy Goodrich:          That’s awesome.

Chris Berg:                    So many different ways, but I will tell you if you don’t have the network of people that I do, which is, I think there’s always somebody looking, the way that we got in, I truly believe it is, the BiggerPockets calls it house hacking. We house hacked. We took a decent home and we renovated the kitchen and the bathrooms and we did landscaping and we called in an appraiser and he appraised our home for 70 grand more than we bought it for. We took 80% of that and we bought the triplex. And then the triplex turned into a different one, so using the equity in your own home is an excellent strategy.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Yeah, that’s kind of creative financing maybe not the key definition of creative financing, but it’s a obvious way to creatively finance something by using the equity in your home and starting from there and growing out of there. And realizing that sitting back and growing equity in a home is one approach. Certainly there’s positive to that, but that equity is the capacity to grow that number exponentially. I think a lot of people are finding more and more that using that equity to grow your portfolio is a good idea. I guess maybe I turn that around into a question. What are your thoughts about when to use your equity and when to grow equity in a property?

Chris Berg:                    I think the answer to that is individual, you’ll know when you’re ready. So to this date, we have taken zero dollars from our investment properties are buy and hold because they are long-term play. When we were ready for long-term play, we said, let’s use our equity. That’s when it’s time, when you’ve had almost enough of like the status quo, if you can buy a house for a 100,000 and you need 30 grand to fix it up, look at your equity and see if that’s enough to get that done. So, when the time is right.

Jeremy Goodrich:          That makes total sense. Okay, cool. So providing value was the first step. What would the second one be?

Chris Berg:                    It’s easier for me than you to say, but it’s all day it’s education. Education, it doesn’t matter how you get it. It’s podcasting, it’s reading books, REI groups, it’s mentorships. I’m always talking and thing is I’m learning every day, there’s so many different strategies. I think a lot of people get into this after they read Rich Dad Poor Dad but mine was a different book and mine was a different, I’d read Rich Dad Poor Dad and it helped me conceptualize the whole idea of investing in getting money to work for you. But I use all of these education pieces to help me podcasting books, REI groups and then I have my mentors, which happens to be my best friend and my other partners. So we all just bounce ideas off each other. We get creative.

Jeremy Goodrich:          That makes sense. I’ve heard over and over again that, there’s two pieces to making good decisions. The first one is education and the second one is experience and you can’t buy experience, but you certainly can buy or find or put headphones on for education and you build that foundation and then you make some decisions, take some chances and get that experience.

Chris Berg:                    Yeah. You know, I’ve never told somebody this, but when I got serious about investing and it was years ago, but first podcast I listened to on the way back from Colorado was I think it was Spouses Flipping Houses. It was okay and it got me, peaked my interest.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Was it like interpersonal part of like two people married to each other and having to navigate the construction and yeah, okay. Right on, cool.

Chris Berg:                    It was great and then again, my business partner, he goes, have you heard of BiggerPockets? And I said, no. So I literally, I jumped into like episode 100 and then I’m like, wow, this is good. And so all I did, and this is anybody who gets obsessed about anything like me, I’m all the way to episode number one. I listened to every single one. When I went jog, mowing the lawn. I always had my headphones and I listened to it. It’s a complete education. And it’s a bunch of terms you didn’t understand, once you hear them a hundred times, you start to understand it. It was just great. It’s fun.

Jeremy Goodrich:          So providing value and your example was how you got into these 42 and 16 units by being the person who facilitated finding those buys and then education learning as much as you can. Let’s finish out this episode with one more step to clarity for someone who wants to take that big leap.

Chris Berg:                    Mine is, whatever opportunity, so this is a keep an open mind part a little bit. I guess I’m giving you four, but it doesn’t matter if it crosses my desk, my crosses in front of my face. If it’s an opportunity, I truly heard it and I don’t know who told me, but a lot of people have heard it. It’s not, I can’t afford it. It’s like, you have to ask yourself, how can I afford it?

                                    If it’s a deal, it’s a deal. If I don’t have the money in my pocket, I’ve got to figure out, all right, I don’t have it, but how can I get it? I don’t have to own a hundred percent of it to be a victory. If it’s 10%, then I’m super happy as well. It’s 10% better than 0%. Then I think the one thing that I bring to the table is just grinding. I’m non-stop all the time. Again, I’m never focused too much because I’m always thinking about the next step or something else going on, but I’m always out there grinding. My wife hates the word grind. No, she hates the word hustle, which I think is just a spin on the word grind. Hustling sounds a little bit more sleazy.

Jeremy Goodrich:          You can do both hustle, grind, work hard, get it done. All of them you can do well and you can do poorly. You can do ethically and you can do sleazy, but it really is. It’s just like hard work and I think that you put a lot of things together.

Chris Berg:                    Yeah, that’s a good way to put it, it’s just hard work.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Yeah, absolutely.

Chris Berg:                    The truth is, one thing I haven’t portrayed in this interview is, I fricking love what I do. I’m having a blast.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Yeah.

Chris Berg:                    I mean, as soon as I get off here, I’m going to go to a listing meeting for a probate and I’m super excited about it. Because, I know I can help the family out to get rid of that asset and help them make some money. Then I’m going to go over to a flip house and see how the renovations are going. It’s so much fun, this whole real estate investing.

Jeremy Goodrich:          I love it so much and it’s exciting to listen to you and hear from you, Chris, on how you’re doing it. I feel like there’s been a lot of insight here and a lot of forward progress. So you mentioned that you’re willing to help folks out. Obviously no one should be taken advantage of that. But if someone does want to get in touch with you either for some help, some questions or to have you, do the work that you do for them, how can they do so?

Chris Berg:                    Yeah, they can email me, which is So live Kirkwood,, or they can text me. It’s fine. It’s kind of the hug of death if give out your phone number, but they can find me on the internet.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Yeah, sure.

Chris Berg:           is my website. It’s pretty basic, but it’s good enough for information and my contact information is on there. I do Facebook posts and Instagram and I have a small YouTube channel, all that stuff. So find me on social media.

Jeremy Goodrich:          Sweet and all those things are linked in the show notes below the show. If you want to find Chris, there’s all those ways to do that. Chris, thank you so much for being on the REI Clarity podcast. I think you created clarity for a lot of folks today.

Chris Berg:                    Thanks man. I appreciate it, had a great time.