LUR Billy Keels | Managing Properties Abroad

 

Investing in properties in the area where you live is already enough of a challenge on its own, considering the things you have to take into account in order to make good decisions. But managing properties from abroad, especially from across an entire ocean, is a whole new ballpark that takes a lot of thinking—and a lot of moving cashflow. Keepon Cashflow Founder “Billy” Keels is a bestselling author, speaker, educator, entrepreneur, and long-distance investor. Billy shares his experience of investing in American properties while living in Barcelona with Lisa Hylton. Thinking of doing the same? Perhaps Billy’s story can inspire you, and show you that with a little work, you can also make it happen!

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European Living and Cash Flowing American Real Estate Investments with Long Distance Investor Billy Keels

I am super excited to have a special guest. His name is Billy Keels. He is the Founder and CEO of KeePon Cashflow. He’s a bestselling author, speaker, educator, entrepreneur and long-distance investor. Billy Keels founded KeePon to build a bridge between investors in Europe with impressively cashflowing properties in the United States. Living in Barcelona, Billy conducts a business in Spain while owning multifamily properties in New Jersey and North Carolina. A seasoned professional investor, he has done his research into the location and knows how to create killer cashflow from his properties there while juggling several roles in his company, as well as a consistent flow of new deals. Using the principles he learned first from reading Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad series, Billy has carved a niche for himself as a real estate entrepreneur. Using systems and strategies unique to the investing world, Billy now shares what he knows online in videos, podcast interviews and written content that is archived on his website, KeePonCashflow.com. Without further ado, thank you so much, Billy, for coming. I appreciate it.

Lisa, it is a big pleasure and I’m looking forward to the conversation. When you’ve mentioned that, I started realizing we’ve done a lot of stuff even since then. I’m excited to get into some of that.

How I found you were two things. One was you play the CASHFLOW game and I play the CASHFLOW game. I was looking for videos online of people who play to get feedback as I was trying to host it here in LA and I saw your video about you playing CASHFLOW game and the review that you gave. I was like, “This is interesting.” I didn’t connect it until a few months later. I was continuing to invest in real estate. I ran across your profile on Facebook and you do some Facebook Lives. I was like, “This is interesting.” I realized this is the same guy that was for the CASHFLOW game. I got it. A lot of coincidences. I also noticed that you went to the Real Estate Guys event that they had about creating or designing your future or something. I was thinking about going to that event, but I had a lot going on. I was like, “If someone is going to do something like this, this is someone who is investing in personal development and personal growth.” I’m glad to have you here.

This is a real pleasure even more. Doing those videos, sometimes you think, “Are people connecting?” The fact that we were able to connect in that way without knowing one another to now being able to speak here, it sounds like sometime very soon we’ll get a chance to meet even offline, which is great. I’m very excited about that.

To get started, can you share with my audience how you got started investing in real estate?

Typically, there’s a reason for either you’re running towards something or running away from something. The way that I got into real estate was that person who had been through the ups and downs, primarily the downs of the stock market back in 2000 and again in 2008. When I realized that I didn’t have as much control over my financial future as I thought because I was doing all the things that you’re told you’re supposed to do. You go and you get the corporate job. When you’re in the corporate job, you make sure that you’re doing everything that you can to be promoted and rise to the ladder. Of course, make sure that you put as much money as you can in your 401(k) and max that out. The rest, put it in mutual funds and then sit in cash.

You need to start taking action right now and figure things out for your future. Click To Tweet

I am an A-student and a recovering perfectionist. I did all that stuff. In 2008, when the market went down and I was told to wait. I waited and went back up. In 2008, I went down again. When I lost about 33% of my portfolio over a period of time, I realized that it was that that point in time that you need to do something else. You need to get better control over your financial life. It happened that I’d picked up Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki’s book. I started it, but I didn’t finish it until a little probably about a year and a half later. Once I started reading it and put it up, I was traveling between the US and in Spain. It was the right moment for me in my life. Things were changing with my family dynamic and things like that. I figured I was tired of reading books, tired of looking at courses online, tired of disconnecting and I wanted to take action. That’s what I did back in 2013. I’m running away from the stock market. I’m running towards a little bit more control over my financial life.

What did action look like in 2013?

In 2013, it looked different for a number of different people. At that point in time, I had gotten married. At that point in time, our oldest child was three and a half. Our youngest was one and a half. I was at a point in my career where things were moving up. I was head of responsibility across Europe, Middle East and Africa. I remember one day getting on a plane and thinking to myself, “This is my youngest son’s second birthday. I’m flying to a meeting in Frankfurt.” I was like, “This is not what I wanted to do.” When you looked around, most people thought, “Things are going well for you because you’re living the dream. You’re flying around all over Europe, Middle East and Africa. You’re staying on these great hotels.” I had a lot of responsibility and things were going well that way. Financially, things were going well, the market was right but I didn’t have any control over my life. Because I wanted to have more control over my life, things in the market were starting to turn around, at least in the real estate market. It was the moment.

All of these things combining, I said, “You need to start taking action now and figure it out.” That was what the market was doing. Things were ripe at that time. What it looked like on the outside for most people that things were going well and right in my life at the time, there was also that yearning for how I need to have more control. I needed to have more control over the financial part of my life. The convergence of all those things is what helped me to take action.

Did you decide to invest in single-families first? Where was your first investment?

It makes me think back to Kiyosaki’s book. When you think about it, the book goes into a lot of detail. I recall at the time, talking about the single-family house and being able to go in and creating cashflow and being able to have $150, $200 a month every month, etc. I thought, “This is amazing.” In my mind, I thought that my very first investment was going to be that single-family house because that’s what was going to create the $100 and $200 a month. That was a lot better than what I was getting in my return. It so happened that the very first property or the first problem I solved was a lady who just lost her mother. Their mother owned a duplex and she owned a duplex in an area of town where I had family. At that point in time, my criteria was I have enough money. I can get a bank loan and if everything goes wrong, then my family can go bail me out of the situation. As luck would have it, that very first duplex that I bought was a smoking deal. It was unbelievable and I was able to help a lady who didn’t want the property anymore. It worked out well for me to get my feet wet. I have never purchased a single-family residence in my life. I started out in small duplexes and gone from small duplexes to now being able to also partner with deals that are over 250 doors.

LUR Billy Keels | Managing Properties Abroad

Managing Properties Abroad: When you want to have more control over your financial future, you’re going to have to dedicate a bit more time, a bit more energy, and a bit more education.

 

That brings me to how do you play in real estate now. Can you talk about that part?

Especially when you’re going to work every day and you’re thinking you’re doing the exact same thing that you should be doing. You’re doing the hours and you’re creating the results for the company that you’re there. I was definitely there. I didn’t know. The only way that I thought that you could invest in real estate was actively investing in real estate. Meaning you went out, you bought the house and you fixed it up and you did all that stuff. Even reading Kiyosaki’s book, I read the book but I have this in my mind. Because of that, the way that I primarily operate now is what you would call as an active investor. Not only do I work in my day job, but I also find the time to build teams to be able to go out, bring in assets into the portfolio, and then from there be able to have them operated so that we’re providing the right service to our clients.

That’s one way that I participate in real estate. What I didn’t realize at all was that there was a passive way to participate in real estate. What does that mean? You are working as someone who is in sales, finance or accounting. You’re doing all the things that you are supposed to do. If you happen to be like me and you do like the role that you’re in, you want to be able to have something that’s a bit more predictable. In time, I found this whole world that’s called passive investing, which means I get to keep doing and you get to keep doing your day job because you’d like that. You can start to have more control over your financial life by finding the right people and the right teams, and passively put your capital and be able to invest with them. I am primarily an active investor, meaning I go out and work with teams or syndicate and work with operators. I’ve also found a way that’s good for me to also continue to keep capital working and that’s doing passively. I do both active and passive investing.

My question to you now is as someone who is in the process of doing that, but younger in the pipeline than you look as you’ve been doing this for a lot longer than I have. How do you manage working full time and building an active investment portfolio? Do you have systems that you put in place and processes?

I definitely do. It’s not one of the things that have been perfect. It’s far from perfect. It’s a big challenge. It’s not something that’s easy. You can’t do it like snap your fingers and everything’s done. What I did was a lot of trial and error because keeping in mind that I like my day job. I like living in Europe. I like investing in US-based assets. It’s not necessarily the normal picture for most people. What I found is that once you’re crystal clear on what it is that you want as an investor, meaning do you want to be passive? Do you want to be active? Now we’re talking about that active part. If you still like your job, which you do, you want to continue to make sure that you are then looking for the areas or the locations that can provide you with what it is that you want. Some people like cashflow, some people like capital gains. One is you’d like to have consistent cashflow every month and some people would like to wait for a long time and get capital gains over time.

You figure that first one out, then you figure out where are the locations that can provide the result that I’m looking for. The key is the third layer, which is finding and working with the right teams. When you’re working with the right teams as an active investor, it’s going to allow you to scale. When you are looking to level up your game, this is the part where you want to make sure that you’re working with the right team that understands the location that is going to provide the result that you’re looking for. Afterwards, if you find a property that’s a duplex or 100-unit apartment complex or a 250-pad mobile home park, that’s the step-by-step process that you want to follow. That’s ultimately what’s going to help you scale up and level up in terms of your time and be able to get the results that you want to get as an active investor. Following a similar formula, you’re going to be able to do that as a passive investor as well.

When you become an active investor living abroad, you must put your money where your mouth is and get on a plane. Click To Tweet

Connected to that, in your experience, how would you say you have gone about increasing your wealth outside of the 9:00 to 5:00 and achieve your financial goals?

Everyone starts from a different place and I worked for a number of years where I was relatively frugal. I saved and did all the things you’re supposed to do. From there, it didn’t have a lot of eccentric taste and didn’t buy a lot of extra crazy stuff. What I started realizing and what I learned from Kiyosaki was there’s this thing called inflation that’s constantly in the back of your mind. It should be closer to the front of your mind. The reason I say that is because when you are leaving your hard-earned savings in a savings account that is bearing 0.05% some at 0%, some people that I’m living here in Europe, it’s negative yielding interest rates. It’s crazy. You’re giving your money to the bank and it’s staying there. You have to start realizing, “What is it that I can do that will allow me to have more control, not just the salary that I’m coming home with every day, but what are the types of investments that you can look for that fit into your own personal philosophy?”

I realized real estate was one of the things that I could do. I realized that there were different parts of real estate. I know I typically talk about real estate as an asset class. However, it’s not like a commodity where it’s traded at the same value across the world. There are constant inefficiencies that you can find in any local real estate market. That’s one of the beauties of it. When you want to have more control over your financial future, it means that you’re going to have to dedicate a bit more time, a bit more energy, and a bit more education. If you’re reading now, you’re taking that first step. You’re educating yourself to figure out what are the other opportunities that are out there. You find out and you understand which real estate play is the right for you. Do you want to be active? Do you want to be passive? Do you want to be in something that gives you payments over time? Do you want to get into something that gives you payments immediately? From there, that’s how you figure out how you can have more control outside of your normal 9 to 5 or investing in mutual funds. Hopefully that gives you a better perspective.

What asset classes do you focus on primarily at this point?

You’re constantly changing in real estate. In terms of if you’re looking at assets, I enjoy multifamily assets. When I say multifamilies, it can be multifamily in terms of an apartment building, B-class or mobile home parks primarily what I am enjoying and what I’m also looking to do more of. That B-class asset where there is a value-add component and those could be in multifamily apartments or mobile home parks. I’ve also found something that’s a great cashflow. I particularly like cashflow. In order to build the wealth, it’s also that value-add component that helps you at the disposition of any types of large assets. Disposition meaning that the time that you sell the particular asset that you own. I’ve found a great cashflowing play, which is ATMs. I’ve gone in and invested in ATM machines.

How does that work exactly? Do you then buy the ATM machines?

LUR Billy Keels | Managing Properties Abroad

Managing Properties Abroad: Accept the fact that there is a possibility that you could be wrong. The reality is it’s better to get it wrong faster, learn from it, and move on than wait and never get the input.

 

There are lots of different models out there. The particular model that I like and I am a part of is where you are working with someone who goes out, secures the locations, already has the relationships so that you can make the purchase of the ATM machine, you know which location it’s going to be in. For a period of seven years, you are the owner of that particular ATM machine in the space that it’s being rented. You’re working with other companies who are the experts in terms of understanding the location, making sure that the maintenance is happening on the machines, making sure that the cash is being refilled. Also, that the transport of the cash or the refilling of the machines is all taken care of by other parties.

That is quite unique. I did not even realize that that was an option. For some reason, I thought that the banks own those ATMs.

That is what most people think. You want to keep in mind that there are two different networks and the network that you’re thinking about is that is the real traditional network and there are other multiple networks that also are there.

You said that you also play in the mobile home park space as well. I’m always intrigued by that particular asset class because it’s affordable homes. I’m curious, why do you like to play in mobile home parks?

Initially, I did not want to play in mobile home parks. This goes back to when you’re talking about making sure that you’re taking the time to become more educated and also when you want to level up your game and you’re looking at understanding who are the team members that you want on your team. One of the markets where my teams currently operate, I told them I want to be able to create cashflow as a first position. That’s the main goal for my investments. The longer-term payoff at disposition is also something that I’m interested in in terms of building wealth. Because of that, this was a couple of years back where I built a great relationship with the broker in the Charlotte MSA. I was clear with him that I wanted to be able to go out and create cashflow. That was one of the reasons why I’m in that market. He came back probably a year later and said, “I think you need to look at this mobile home park stuff.” I said, “I don’t want to be involved in any mobile home parks,” because at that time, I was not educated and I let my own blinders to shut things down.

Thanks to the relationship that I have with this broker, he had an off-market opportunity and we were able to sit down and discuss it. I got through all of my own mental blinders, which were holding me back. Once I had a chance to see the physical opportunity, knowing that I already had the team in place and it was aligned with what I wanted to be able to do, this particular opportunity was the right opportunity. That’s why we brought in the mobile home park into our portfolio. It’s still being actively managed by my team. It’s not something that I started out with and that wasn’t something that I was interested in, but it was having that strong team that helps you to recognize where the opportunities can be. You then apply your own criteria to make sure that that particular opportunity does fit with everything that you want it to do and will provide you the results you ultimately want to have.

If you want to play in real estate, don't be afraid to make a decision based on imperfect information. Click To Tweet

What advice would you give to readers who are in a situation where they’re interested in investing in real estate and they’re thinking, “How do I get started to get my feet wet?”

The good news is if you’re reading, you’re already realizing that you want to be able to take part of your life to the next level. Now that you have that feeling in your gut, in your heart, you need to help move that towards your head so that your mind is completely engaged. By being able to continue to educate yourself by listening to podcasts, by meeting people at events offline, by connecting with people online, it will help move those feelings that you have. Your stomach and your heart is going to help you to realize and test the boundaries a bit and say, “I don’t understand this particular concept, but I know that Lisa is in my network and I can reach out to Lisa and she can help me to understand what this means. I can reach out to whoever so that you can continue to grow.” As I say, all the growth happens outside of your comfort zone. That’s what I would recommend to anyone that has that feeling. Take action on that feeling so that you can begin to figure out where exactly you want to be able to play within the real estate space so that you can get the results that you’re ultimately looking for.

I want to pivot a little bit to your international experiences because I am originally from the Cayman Islands. I do live in Los Angeles. I grew up in Cayman and I have a lot of friends that live in Cayman still. I do find that people that I know and came in are interested in investing in the US. Granted that Cayman is a little different from Europe, I am curious about how you have accomplished living in Spain and yet investing in the US and how you recommend others can follow suit.

The way that I got started initially after I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I said to myself, “You’re going to go out and you’re going to buy a property here in Barcelona. You’re going to manage the property yourself and you’re going to do this and you’re going to do that.” I realized that when I was looking for cashflow, the market here doesn’t lend itself to providing cashflow. I was frustrated for a while and then it got to a certain point where I said to myself, “You’ve got to figure out how you can make this book, which you read the theory, you can make it practical and bring it into reality.” One day someone said to me, “You’re US citizens. Why wouldn’t you buy in the US?” I thought, “Have you not seen the Atlantic Ocean between where I live and the United States? It’s an issue.”

Once I got over that small detail and realized that it was about being able to build relationships with people. At the end of the day, this business like most businesses is based on relationships. Once I was clear on what it was that I wanted the asset to provide me and I knew the locations where I can find them, then it was like rolling up the sleeves. I’m getting on the phone and calling people. Having many people not return my calls because they saw I was either calling from outside of wherever USA. I’m sending emails and I would send ten and they would never respond, but they had no context, and getting through the reality of trying to start and build a relationship with anyone. Eventually, there were the precious few. With those precious few, I made their cut and they made my cut. We worked on building the relationship. We worked on phone calls and exchanging. What was I looking for? What information could they provide me?

Eventually, we got on a Zoom session. We started speaking to one another. This way and that way, looking at documents. This is one of the things that I do say to people. It’s important specifically, but in particular, when you become that active investor, you must put your money where your mouth is. You must get on a plane and go see the operations of the people that you want to team with. There’s no way around that. Maybe people do it. I don’t know how they do it, but especially when you start to look at going and aggregating other people’s capital and doing that, my recommendation is you put your money where your mouth is and you go visit people face-to-face.

LUR Billy Keels | Managing Properties Abroad

Managing Properties Abroad: Be okay with making decisions based on imperfect information and allow yourself to go faster than you think you should be going.

 

There’s a gradual process that I’ve gone through from Barcelona back in the specific markets where we were investing in the United States. Anywhere in the world that you’ve built a relationship with people, whether you are dancing in Paris or Santiago in Chile or Buenos Aires or anywhere in the world, you start at the basics and you eventually get to a level where you’ve mastered the dance. It’s a similar thing in the relationships. Active or passive, the steps are the same. It starts with a lot of cold calling, figuring out, emailing, eventually get on the phone. Once you’re on the phone, you build the relationship. Once you build the relationship, you use technology. From technology, eventually it should be able to lead you offline where you can meet one another face-to-face and continue to develop that relationship and move closer to your goals together.

What would you say are some of the different markets? You are in the European market, you invest in the American market. Would you say that these are different markets? I think you would agree. How can you use the differences to your advantage?

There are differences in terms of the markets. When I say the markets, I don’t necessarily mean Spain and the United States. I mean this particular area of Barcelona versus the specific submarket that I would look to invest in Columbus, Ohio or Charlotte, North Carolina or wherever. I would look there first and then when you’re recognizing that the process is the same, it’s understanding what is important? Is it the fact that they speak language X in this country and language Y in that country? Is it recognizing the opportunity that exists, for instance, in the United States, wherein the markets where I invest, the laws are much more owner-friendly versus tenant-friendly? It’s something that I would see here where I live in Spain, they’re very tenant-friendly laws or I would consider them when you compare the two markets.

Recognizing the differences helps me to be clear on the fact that I want to invest in a particular market or in a particular submarket. Knowing that I have access to financing in a much easier, more flexible way in one market versus the other market are also things that I start to take into consideration. It helps make my decision to invest in the United States. In my case, it makes it easier. I was on the phone with a guy from Singapore who’s French and he’s decided that while he lives in Singapore, it’s better for him to stay in Singapore, investing in France. One of the main reasons is because he’s going to be back to France. He’s there on a short period of time and the financing that he can get in France is unbelievable.

It is an unbelievable story. We’re talking, exchanging, and building relationships. I learned he’s seeing the differences in the different markets, this particular price per square foot and the financing. He’s decided that it makes much more sense to wait until he goes back home and make more purchases when he goes back to France. It’s a very similar thing when you can say that you live in one place and you understand another, recognizing what are the differences in working as much as possible to continue to educate yourself so that you can take advantage in a positive way of those opportunities that present themselves.

You mentioned that in the span of eighteen months, you are able to produce nearly five figures in monthly revenue. How did you go about doing that?

All the growth happens outside of your comfort zone. Click To Tweet

That was about taking action. I continue to work my day job as you will continue to work your day job. As you’re reading this and you’re thinking about that day job that you like so much and you’re going to continue to have lots of different ideas or different thoughts. You’re going to read this and you’re going to read that. I got to a certain point where I got tired of reading. I had to figure out like, “The book says this.” Normally you can take an exam and you figure out, you thought you knew the knowledge and you test it and you’d tested well. The only way to figure out if you can start creating and whether your figure is you want to start making a €50 a month or €100 a month more, then you have to take action.

It can’t be a philosophical exercise. By being able to be super clear on what it was that I wanted, being able to figure out and study, look at the different markets, put some thought behind it and process, and understanding those locations, it became to building the team. When I built the team, then it was taking where my mouth was and saying, “This property meets the criteria. The team is in agreement. Now we’re going to go out and we’re going to work to bring that property into the fold, into our portfolio.” It wasn’t any more mastermind than that. I probably should have done that in less than eighteen months. That’s one of the things. It is what it is. I thought at the time it was going to take me five years to do that, but that’s because I had my own mental limitations on what was possible.

It was going from what I was reading and taking what I was reading and putting it into action. That’s difficult for me because I am a recovering perfectionist. I always want things to be right. What I started realizing is that they’re never going to be 100% right. You make the best decision given the context that you have and the information that you have and you move forward. You accept the fact that there is a possibility that you could get it wrong. The reality is it’s better to get it wrong faster, learn from it and move on than wait and never get the input.

These are the level-up questions. The first one is what are you grateful for in your life right now?

I am grateful to be healthy and to be loved by many people, starting with my family. It’s a reminder every single day as we see things that happen all around us that life can be taken from us quickly or life can be taken from us slowly over time. I feel fortunate and blessed to be happy, healthy and loved at the end of the day.

What would you say are your top one or three lessons that you learned in your real estate journey so far?

There are two things. The first thing is maybe building on what I said. It’s never going to be perfect. If you want to play in real estate or you want to play anywhere at a high level, you have to be willing to make a decision based on imperfect information. If you’re not ready to play that game, then you should probably stay in your cubicle or in your job and be comfortable with that. I can’t stress this enough. I am a recovering perfectionist. It’s difficult for me to sometimes make the decision based on what information is there. Not being afraid to make a decision based on imperfect information, number one. Number two, I set a goal for myself to continue to invest in relationships. That’s the second thing. Don’t be afraid to invest your time and your money in being able to build relationships with people. Everybody starts in a different place. I’m fully aware of that. I am married with two young children. The fact that I live in Europe where we don’t have quite the same events or ease of meeting people.

Every week when I look online, there are fifteen events all across the United States and whatever you want to do in this asset class, that asset class, this development course. At least I’m not seeing the same abundance of them here. One of the commitments I had was to get to the United States to meet more people offline to be able to break bread. It is something that you realize is necessary when you want to be able to grow and want to be able to provide as much value to others and to yourself as possible. It’s being able to invest your time, especially because you’ll never get that back and your capital to be able to go out and build relationships.

What do you believe is key to your continuous success and growth?

It would be the fact that I’m constantly curious. I’m curious by nature. I always want to be learning new things, meeting new people, learning new language. People are like, “You’re American and you speak five languages.” It’s that curiosity and it’s not easy because when you are making mistakes and if you’re not born speaking X number of languages, normally you speak one or two. My kids now speak three, which is crazy. It’s that curiosity, I think that has helped me to continue to move forward and desire to want to do things right in the beginning. Now, I just want to do things as well as I can.

What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your journey that you now know?

I don’t know if it’s that I didn’t know it. People said it and I didn’t believe it. Whoever you are and you’re reading, I’m going to say it and it’s going to go in one ear and out the other. I wish I would’ve done more sooner because I think I’ve even left massive opportunities on the table over the last few years without a doubt. Don’t let that happen to you. If you’re reading this, do not let that happen. Be okay with making decisions based on imperfect information and allow yourself to go faster than you think you should be going.

Thank you so much for coming. I appreciate it.

Lisa, it was my pleasure.

I took a lot of good nuggets. I know my readers are going to absolutely enjoy it. Once again, if they would like to get to contact you, what is the best way to get in contact with you?

This is an international thing, you’ll get this a lot as well. People typically want to take it in three flavors. I’ve learned to give people three flavors. For those of you who you feel like you want to go out and you want to talk or have a conversation about doing international or long-distance investing or new things. You’re working in that job and you want a new perspective, feel free to reach out. I’m happy to give you a 30-minute call and you can go to Bit.ly/speakwithbilly. For those of you who would like to maybe read a little bit more and find out, I have an eBook. It’s on Amazon. I’m happy to give it to your readers for free. All they need to do is go to GrowYourMoneyTheSmartWay.com. They leave their name, email address and they can freely pick up the book and learn more about me and KeePon Cashflow. For those of you who want to take a look around and see what’s going on the website and the videos and stuff like that, go to KeePonCashflow.com or BillyKeels.com. Hopefully, that will help.

Thank you so much, Billy. I appreciate it.

Thanks, Lisa. It has been awesome.

That was such a great interview with Billy Keels. I hope you got tons of nuggets from that conversation. I personally did. Some of my insights that I got from talking to him, he said this a couple of times in the interview when I asked him about advice for people interested in getting started in real estate or even leveling up their real estate game. Number one, be clear on what it is that you want. He talked about sometimes that’s listening to podcasts, reading books, getting out there, networking and meeting people. Through that, you start to hone in onto what it is that you want. Once you get clear on what it is that you want, maybe you’re investing for cashflow. Maybe you’re investing for appreciation. Maybe you want $200 a month in cashflow. Maybe you want to 2X your money or 5X your money in five years, two years, one year, whatever it is, getting clear on what it is that you want.

Also connected to that is getting clear on where you want to invest. That could be, do you want to invest in markets that cashflow? That’s going to be driven on what it is that you want. A person who’s interested in cashflowing are going to be in cashflow markets. Someone who’s going to be interested in appreciation is going to be looking at markets that appreciate. The second step, you’ll also start to get clear on what kind of assets you want to be a part of. Maybe it’s multifamily, maybe it’s mobile home parks, maybe it’s ATM. It’s fascinating that he’s investing in ATM. I didn’t even know.

The third was building teams. He talked about the work it takes for him to build those teams. Once you build the teams, you make the calls, you talk to people, you reach out, you then go to meet them in person, and start to solidify and continue to build that relationship. From there, after you build a team, you start looking for the property. When you get to find the property now together with your team, many times you might not even find the property. Maybe your team finds a property as well. Someone on your team finds a property. At the end of the day, when you have the team assembled and then you start getting into the property, then it’s much better. It’s advised to do that instead of trying to find the property and then try to get your team together.

That was key for me. The other thing that I thought was key from this was it’s never going to be perfect. You have to be willing to make a decision based on imperfect information. Not being afraid to make a decision. This is so key. I too struggle with perfectionism. When I heard him talking, I can totally relate to this. I would encourage you, if you’re reading this episode, don’t let perfection stop you from going after your goals and your dreams. I see it even as I produce this show. As I get started further investing in real estate as an active investor, continuing to get out there and take action on your goals and know that the action is going to reveal, it’s so important.

He also said, “Continue to invest in relationships.” Spend time and money to go out there and invest in relationships because the reality is business is a relationship regardless of what kind of business you’re in. Real estate definitely is a relationship business. It’s super important to get out there, build relationships, and meet people. He lives in Barcelona and he invested in the US. There are amazing people who are doing it. You can be an active investor. You can be a passive investor through knowing people who are active investors. You can invest alongside them and be able to grow your money and make returns, especially if you’re looking at your bank. If you haven’t looked at your bank statements yet and figure it out, whether the bank is paying you interest or taking money out of your account, you need to do it sooner or later, so you know what is going on in your account. It’s an awesome interview. I hope that you super enjoyed it as much as I did. Until next time, keep leveling up. Have a good one.

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About Billy Keels

LUR Billy Keels | Managing Properties Abroad

Bestselling author, speaker, educator, entrepreneur and long-distance investor, “Billy” Keels founded KeePon to build a bridge between investors in Europe with impressively cashflowing properties in the United States.

Living in Barcelona, Billy conducts business in Spain while owning multifamily properties in New Jersey and North Carolina. A seasoned professional investor, he has done his research into that location and knows how to create killer cashflow from his properties there while juggling several roles in his company as well as a consistent flow of new deals.

Using the principles he learned first from reading Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad series, Billy has carved a niche for himself as a real estate entrepreneur. Using systems and strategies unique in the investing world, Billy now shares what he knows online in videos, podcast interviews and written content that is archived on his website at www.KeePonCashflow.com.