Abel Pacheco, Founder of 5 Talents CRE, joins us to discuss lessons learned in the corporate world before jumping full time into commercial real estate. We also discuss building a brand for multifamily real estate, and starting a fund vs. capital raising for projects.
Connect with Abel at https://www.5tcre.com/.
To join the DJE Investor list and see upcoming projects, go to https://djetexas.com/access
For multifamily coaching, visit ApartmentEducators.com
Devin Elder: (00:03)
Abel Pacheco. How are you, sir? Good to see you again.
Abel Pacheco: (00:06)
I’m doing good, Devin. I’m doing great. Thanks for asking. Thanks for having me on the show. Appreciate it as always, man. I’m excited to have another great conversation.
Devin Elder: (00:14)
Awesome. Well, really glad to have you, really glad to reconnect. So we haven’t had a ton of repeat guests on the podcast. We were just talking about Whitney Sewell before we hit record. He was a repeat guest on the show. You’re a repeat guest on the show now. I think you guys are in rare company. But I love this because it’s a check-in. We had a podcast. I mean, it’s probably been over a year now. I’d have to go back and look. But yeah, you’ve been so busy, man. I see you on social media, I see you with a podcast and hundreds of episodes out there. Doing all kinds of different deals. I love it. So let’s dive in and catch up. Before that, somebody that hasn’t met you, I know you’ve interviewed everybody in the commercial real estate space on earth. But if anybody’s missed you, how about a little bit of background? Where are you from? How’d you get to real estate?
Abel Pacheco: (01:01)
Yeah, I love it. And thanks again for having me on. These are fun. I love getting asked the questions. I’m now in a rhythm of asking all of the questions. So sometimes it’s fun to go back and tell the story. But yeah, for those that don’t know me, nice to meet you. I look forward to having a conversation soon. So my name’s Abel Pacheco. I’m originally from Corpus Christi, Texas. So I grew up at the beach. I moved to San Antonio, Texas. Went to school at University of Texas San Antonio. Met my beautiful wife in my mid 20s. We’ve been married for 12 years. We have two kids, a three and a half and a two year old now.
Abel Pacheco: (01:43)
And really just have came from tech, tech background, tech sales. If anybody’s listening or watching this, then if you can associate with commission, commission only, the grind of zero to hero every month, and starting over.
Devin Elder: (02:02)
Zero to hero baby.
Abel Pacheco: (02:03)
Oh man. That’s me to the nines. I’ve been in sales for so long. That’s what led me to tech, tech sales. We did really well. And then ended up investing in real estate along the way. Realized that if I stopped working in sales, then the paychecks stop coming in. So I’m sure that resonates with a lot of people is just how to get out of the daily grind. And I’m still working my tail off right now. But now, we’ve started building a foundation of wealth, a foundation of equity that will continue to make some money even while we’re not working. And we are not quite there yet, but just adding to the portfolio every quarter, every year. And so that’s a little bit about me, family, business, real estate.
Abel Pacheco: (02:53)
I think we’re in active deals as a general partner in about eight multi-family apartment complexes. And we’re on our second fund. So fund number two that we’ve launched. And a little over 700 doors, and we have another 100-ish under contract. And so we’re excited. We’re passively investing too. Probably in total of about 1,000 roughly doors. And just trying to add to the portfolio one deal at a time. And I’ve met some great people along the way. So nice to meet everyone. And if you don’t know me, thanks for joining.
Devin Elder: (03:31)
Awesome. Awesome. Well, I appreciate the recap and the overview there. Very abbreviated recap. But just thinking back, man, full disclosure, you and I probably sat and shared a cubicle wall. That was a while ago now, but-
Abel Pacheco: (03:49)
Devin Elder: (03:49)
… we’re doing that tech sales thing, and rocking and rolling at a well-known San Antonio tech company. And man, here we are all these years later. We’re business partners on a few deals. We’ve gone and done a bunch of real estate stuff. So to me, that’s a lot of fun, man. It’s like, you get to kind of bring people along this journey. You’ve seen that, right? And kind of get into these deals, which is pretty cool. Pretty cool to do.
Abel Pacheco: (04:18)
I love people ask me, “Well, how did you get started?” And for some reason, I always point back to, oh, professional world. And a lot of times it does because we met. You were my first partner, my first passive investing operator. I invested passively, put some money in with you. But people go, “Well, how did you trust that individual, that person? You gave 50K?” And I go, “Well, I had a little bit of speed of trust. There was no barrier. It was a little bit easier because-
Devin Elder: (04:47)
Yep. Little [crosstalk 00:04:47].
Abel Pacheco: (04:47)
… I went to his wedding. I hung out with him when we were younger. I know him from professional world at this little small tech unicorn that we helped start from 100 million to a couple billion dollars.” So it was easier. But those stories it, they kind of transcend because now there are other passive investors with us. And they’re like, “Well, man, I remember when we did this, and now we’re starting. And we’re kind of learning along with you.” And they’re coming along for a ride. So it’s pretty cool. There’s a lot of great relationships within multifamily that you just don’t get anywhere else, or that I’ve experienced anyways. Just to have other people be successful and come along for the ride. And it’s a big team sport. So that’s pretty awesome, man.
Devin Elder: (05:38)
I like that you said that. A couple of things stand out for me. One is kind of the quality and caliber of people that you are associating yourself with in this larger real estate space. I think a lot of people think real estate, and they think single family rentals or flips. That’s how I started. That’s how you started. That’s kind of where your mind naturally goes. Like, oh, maybe I’ll do a rental house. Nothing wrong with that. Rental house is actually… Gosh, I was looking at some of the valuations on… I still have a single family portfolio. I hadn’t updated my PFS in a while, and was looking at even just kind of some of the Zillow prices, which is not the gospel.
Devin Elder: (06:15)
But I was like, holy smokes, man. There’s just been some equity created there just this year. It’s pretty wild. But that single family, the cast of characters in single family is a little different than in these multi family projects. And it really seems like the caliber of your partners, your investors, your brokers, your lenders, everybody’s kind of at this higher caliber that just makes it more enjoyable to conduct business for the most, right?
Abel Pacheco: (06:40)
Yeah. Yeah. And the education and the sharing of knowledge and learning. I’ve read a number of self-help, number of motivational, number of books that have really fed my mind. And they all kind of reference these really super successful people. They actually are willing to share a lot of the information because they’re not worried about competition. It’s an abundance mindset. So we’re happy to share info. And the information shared in our circles now is like, man, it’s how to create wealth, and how to go multiply it, and then how to save it, and how to keep it. And so there’s a whole different education cycle for me. And it feels great rubbing elbows with people that have already been there. They’ve already done that. They’re already sharing. And they’re like, man, they’re not fearful or in lack. They’re actually in abundance in sharing. So it’s great. A great community of folks on the investing side and business entrepreneurship side.
Devin Elder: (07:39)
I love it. Yeah. The pie is just so big, right? You’re talking about a 10, 20, $30 million deal. I mean, geez, you can really get a couple of partners on that, and everybody does well. Versus trying to carve up an $11,000 profit on a flip that didn’t go like you thought it would.
Abel Pacheco: (07:58)
Devin Elder: (07:58)
And then pay taxes on top of it, right?
Abel Pacheco: (08:00)
And then pay taxes.
Devin Elder: (08:01)
You’re going like, that was tough. Well, let’s kind of skip ahead. I want to get an update. You’ve been so busy. You guys listening, if you don’t follow Abel on social media, go find him. Abel Pacheco on social media. 5 Talents Commercial Real Estate. Tons of content. Very positive guy. A great follow, if you will, in the commercial real estate space. So go do that. But what have you been up to? We’re talking like we’re over the mid year hump at 2021 right now. What’s on your plate? I know you’re super busy. You’re building a lot of things. You got a lot of stuff going on. What’s the snapshot of the current projects you’re working on?
Abel Pacheco: (08:42)
Yeah. Well, we just closed on a 42 unit in Austin, Texas. So it’s our first Austin acquisition. That was maybe just a few months ago, two or three months ago. And our team just kind of did a little introduction. Hello, hi, to the next door neighbor. And it so happens they were interested in selling too. So we bought a 44 unit right next door to the 42 unit. They literally share a fence line. So now we have 86 units that are together. So we just closed on that two, three weeks ago. And then the next deal is 100 something under contract and so here.
Abel Pacheco: (09:26)
And we are excited to just kind of continue on this path of partnering with great teams, partnering with great individuals, partnering with great organizations that are doing great things in their local market, making it happen. And I look back on all of our career. I’ve had the most fun talking to people, networking, building a community, that that’s what we ended up doing. Just I kind of gravitated towards that area. So launched the podcast last year, and we’ve pretty much done Monday through Friday shows for almost a year.
Devin Elder: (10:06)
Ooh, yes. Met a lot of people, I bet. Man.
Abel Pacheco: (10:09)
Networking to the nines. And so about 180 plus shows right now that are out and are published. And built a network. And it was great having that community of support, and just being able to learn from others. And that provided a little extra exposure in the market. So we took that. And our business looks like many multiple people that are helping us on the podcast. So a small team. We have an small social media team. We just hired somebody to help us on the communication side. We have some number of teams that we leveraged like yourself and operations, property management. Some great partners in a lot of local markets.
Abel Pacheco: (10:53)
And so we said, well, let’s start a fund. We started a fund at the end of last year. It was one of my most difficult deals, our fund one. And that kind of led us to, well, what’s hard about fund one, let’s make it easier in fund two. And we just launched fund two with a little bit of learnings, a little bit of lessons from fund one. And now we’re in that mindset of let’s find some really great opportunities for people to invest in. Let’s be honest and sincere about your personal your desires, goals, and dreams and wants. I don’t really love hardcore project management and looking at Excel spreadsheets. I would much rather partner with individuals that are really great at the operations and that side of it. And I do want to find great deals. I do want to be in great markets. I do want to do that.
Abel Pacheco: (11:48)
So we took the best of all that. And we said, well, we should probably run locally our own deals, but in other markets, I don’t want to go travel every day or every week, months to go see properties. So that’s why we created a fund to start investing or open up our network and our base, our community investors, to other opportunities with other great partners. And so that’s kind of what led us to fund two. So all of that good stuff is what we have going, man.
Abel Pacheco: (12:16)
And we closed on a number of deals. Just one deal at a time. Just keep looking at the next one and building the network. And man, I’m in a number of masterminds, apartment educators, ours locally. I’m in a couple of REIs Masters, one with Hunter Thompson. I’m part of a Christian Kingdom Real Estate Mastermind with Ellis Hammond, and Kingdom REI. And it feels like every group, every network is just really an opportunity to meet others, grow, educate ourselves and get better. And I think that’s the biggest part of the ongoing success points that I’ve had is just other people helping us along along the way.
Devin Elder: (13:00)
I love it. Well, thank you for sharing all that. There’s certainly a lot going on. I think if there’s ever a cheat code to pushing the fast forward button for success in business, it’s network. And paying to get into the right room. And there’s that saying, be the dumbest guy in the room. And maybe that’s not accurate, but I say this all the time, you’re automatically going to mimic your peer group. And I think for a lot of people, they’re stuck with their peer group at work. And a peer group they didn’t choose. Or they’re stuck in a peer group with a family that they didn’t choose. And that could be good, that could be bad, or whatever.
Devin Elder: (13:38)
But if you’re listening, you have the ability to change your peer group. You can move cities. You can opt to spend time with different people. That’s been the biggest thing hands down for me is being a part of different groups, just like you mentioned, right? And getting in the room with guys that are doing 10 times what I’m doing. And going, wow, what are this guy’s priorities? What does his team look like? And just sponging that stuff off of people that have gone before, super powerful.
Devin Elder: (14:07)
So it’s not a surprise to hear you say that, right? You’ve been successful. And to hear that you’re connected with all these groups that keep you plugged in, keep you getting better. It’s a common denominator of people that are kind of doing big, big things. So I love hearing it. I’m not surprised. But somebody listening might need to hear that, right? And it’s tricky because there’s so many good podcasts and books and everything. You really can spend all day. When I was working at my last corporate job, hours a day, I would consume podcasts. There’s nothing wrong with it. But at some point you’ve got to connect with real people out there to go make stuff happen.
Abel Pacheco: (14:44)
Yeah. And so I’m glad you mentioned some of these points. For those that may have felt comfortable. I don’t want to spend this money to go learn something. The first course that I took, actually I was texting you, I go, “How much did you spend for those courses?” And you were texting me back. And I was considering dropping some good coin, and I did. But what went through my head was I can take this 20 grand and buy another house was where my mindset goes. And I go I should probably just buy another house. Why am I going to pay for education? And I can do that.
Abel Pacheco: (15:19)
And I’m so glad that I decided to start on this track. Because I could have bought another house, and I could have bought another house, and I could have bought another house, but really one education led me to the next step, next step, next step. And now we’re general partners in 700 plus doors. And now I feel like we’ve unlocked this formula to go do more and go get more. So don’t be afraid to do that.
Abel Pacheco: (15:41)
And then the other part is the action taking, right? So I’ve talked about this a number of times. And I literally have people, some friends, probably mutual friends from where we work with, and then they’ve texted me and then told me, “Hey, I really need some help.” And I said, “Hey man, I’m happy to help you.” Right? And we’ve talked a number of times about investing, and what they end up telling me is I really need some help taking action because I’m scared, I’m worried. I just haven’t been able to pull the trigger.
Abel Pacheco: (16:16)
And even if you’re signing up for courses, and taking education or listening to podcasts, if you don’t act, then nothing’s going to change. You’ve got to take the next step. You got to move forward. There’s a lot of unknown. I mean, I’m in the unknown all the time now, it feels like. But you have to keep moving forward. So if you don’t take that action, it’s just going to be the extra book that you read, or the extra podcast. But it’s the action that sparks. It’s the spark for the fuel that’ll catch everything. You got to take action.
Devin Elder: (16:51)
I love it. You said that you’re in the unknown all the time. And I think that’s such an important thing to hear. I like to be reminded of that. I think a lot of people need to hear that because that was me for years building my companies. And I still have kind of gotten acclimated to just operating in the unknown. Anyway, I think I’m just used to it at this point. But I think a lot of adults will finish school, and that’s kind of the end of pushing the envelope and being uncertain and scared, and being in situations where they don’t know all the answers, right?
Devin Elder: (17:26)
And to grow, so there’s that Gary Keller book, but there’s a standout quote from it, for me, where he says, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Right? And to be able to spend time in the unknown and keep pushing forward, that’s what it takes is to be able to do that. We can talk about all the other stuff and tactics and books and our networks and all that. But you ultimately have to be able to spend time in the unknown. But if you think about it, that’s a relatively short period of your life while you’re building all this stuff. And on the other side of that, your life can look completely different. Dave Ramsey, change your family tree type stuff, right? So, I mean, that’s so important to hear that coming from you. I appreciate you sharing that.
Abel Pacheco: (18:10)
Yeah, absolutely. I think what I like to hear, or I see and visualize, and I’ve talked about is the OODA loop model. Have you heard of the OODA loop model?
Devin Elder: (18:22)
Let’s hear it.
Abel Pacheco: (18:24)
O-O-D-A. It’s a military term. And I think they came up with it in the old fighter pilot military times when they were dog fighting with planes, and the the machine guns going through the air. So they have a split second to make a decision in a dog fight for their life. And the O is you observe what’s happening. You see with your eyes. Everyone that has eyes can see, right? 100% of the people. Well, orient is the second O. Can you orient yourself to what’s actually happening? It’s something like 70-ish percent. The number drops down to only a certain percentage of people can orient themselves to what’s going on.
Abel Pacheco: (19:03)
The D is decide. Decision. So it drops even lower to like 20 or 30% of the people can make a decision in that moment. And then it drops down to even lower percentage for the A, which is like 5% or less to act. So orient is the frame of reference where you say I see what people are doing, and how they’re investing and creating wealth and doing that. Then decide I want to go do that is like 20, 30% of the people. But the act is like 5% of the people can actually take action.
Abel Pacheco: (19:38)
And they call it a loop model because if you can observe and orient, decide and act, it doesn’t mean you’re going to do everything right. It doesn’t mean you know what’s on the other side of fear. It means you’re going to act. But now you can, again, observe the loop model. Says, did this go well or not? No, it did not. Okay. Well, what needs to change? Let me orient myself, decide, and act again. And you just keep repeating this process, and it leads you to success. And so when I hear people say I’m having problems moving forward, I go, “You’re not acting. You’re like freezing. You didn’t make it past the decision. And you’re definitely not acting.” So I would encourage anybody that’s in that, just keep moving forward.
Devin Elder: (20:22)
Love it. Thank you for sharing that model. I want to go back a little bit and talk about the funds. There’s kind of this evergreen question of deal by deal versus fund. You’ve done both. You mentioned you did a second fund, which means it wasn’t all bad if he decided to start a second one. What are your thoughts on fund versus a versus deal by deal syndication? What’s been your experience there?
Abel Pacheco: (20:51)
Yeah. So let’s hit on this. I think this will be a fun one. So I saw a fund and I go, man, this is an amazing vehicle to diversify a bunch of diversification of assets in one investment. Somebody that maybe doesn’t have million dollars cash, but they got 100K. Well, I want to deploy it. And I want to buy multiple different assets across multiple different markets. Some really great real estate. So that’s how I saw the word fund initially.
Abel Pacheco: (21:19)
The words that I didn’t understand, and now I know much better, and they said, “Oh, you’re starting a blind pool fund.” So blind pool, put some money in a bank account, trust us. We’re going to make good decisions. And then what are we getting? Well I can paint a picture of what I was trying to invest in. But that blind pool is hard for some investors to kind of see, especially if you’re new to the world. You want to be able to see one asset at a time, see what you’re investing in.
Abel Pacheco: (21:49)
And when the fund didn’t have assets in it yet, you’re painting a vision of what’s going to happen in the future. And capital is sitting basically uninvested for some period of time. So that was what I didn’t see. So some of those things that was like, man, that was some of the hardest deal for me was that. I thought that everyone would be in. And really, it was a limited select amount of folks that could really see that, and say, okay, I want to move forward. Which I still think it’s a really great model. I think if you have a huge track record, and a lot of ongoing success, and you’ve done this for years, and deal flow is coming at you left and right, and there’s a lot of investors.
Abel Pacheco: (22:35)
I’ve interviewed a number of folks that are on our podcast that have a billion dollar portfolio. A few of them. And many multiple investors that have had $700 million portfolios, and half a million dollar portfolios. Hundreds of millions of dollars. You’ve got a track record about you. You can find a deal flow. That may be the right model. Somebody starting out a little younger in the business, where I didn’t quite have that, that was why it was one of the hardest deals for me to have somebody see that vision, right? So that led us really to fund two.
Abel Pacheco: (23:12)
I said, well, what was everything that was really hard about fund one for people to grasp. It was man, there’s a bunch of deals and a bunch of markets. And I’m not quite sure about that. And then having to invest money before the deal came. So our fund two, we’re making it a single asset fund. I kind of departed from the diversification side. I said, “If you want that, it’s probably not me.” It’s still our fund one, but fund two will be we’ve gotten our first asset in it today. We’ll have our second one in it as soon as we close this one.
Devin Elder: (23:46)
So single asset type basically?
Abel Pacheco: (23:49)
Yeah. The easiest way to think about it is I’m calling it “a self-directed fund.” So if anybody wants to be invested in a self-directed fund, what does that mean? They get to choose which investments they want their money to go to one deal at a time, a single asset at a time. They opt in or opt out. On the opt in or opt out, they can choose which investments. If they don’t find an investment they like, they don’t put any capital in. There was no skin off their back and no time of their capital unreturned, it was not having to worry about returning a capital when there’s no deal. So they invest in one deal at a time. We call capital when the deal is identified, and they opt in.
Abel Pacheco: (24:35)
And then the way we’re doing our second fund two is we’re creating a class A and class B structure, which I thought was pretty cool. We have a lot of stock market investors. For whatever reason, they’re comfortable investing eight to 10% a return. There’s no tax benefits at all, but they trust the 401(k). They trust the stock market system for whatever reason. So when we started asking people why, they said, “Well, it’s stable. It’s reliable.” They felt like real estate brought risk, even though I think of it as the other way. So we said, okay, well, how about we do a 12% preferred return to stabilize their returns? So 12%, six on the cashflow, six on the equity at sale or the cash out event. So that way they’ve got a 12% fixed return. There’s no upside though. Just like in the stock market, they’re averaging eight to 10. In these deals, they’ll average 12%. So that’s the self-directed option. They can choose that.
Abel Pacheco: (25:39)
Or some investors that want a little more risk adjusted return, they can go to a class B. There is no cap and they just participate in the upside with the partners. So there’s equity split on that side. But we thought that was a little more our speed, right? So we’ve invested in our money in passively. We’ve done eight deals. We’re invested in a small percentage, in 100 million in dollars worth of real estate, over 1,000 doors. I think this is a good next step for our team and our experience level. We want to invest in other markets with teams kind of like us that have had track record. We’re not the huge billion dollar, we’re not raising 100 million. The fund is essentially a one-year fund. No more than 100 investors. We’ll cap it at probably around 15 million bucks. And kind of just see if we can find four or five good assets this year.
Abel Pacheco: (26:34)
So kind of our speed, our level. And there’s a number of investors that have liked what they’ve heard so far. And kind of do it a blended. Some people on the 12 fix and some people on the uncapped. And they’re putting money in both sides. So it’s just kind of cool. And so I like the single asset fund. I really think it depends on where you’re at in your own track record of expertise, and then your own investor base and what they want. So that’s another big part of it is. So what are your investors asking you for? So do they want the diversification, or do they want single asset, and how are they going to do it? Or are they in a bunch of multi-family and they want to be in self-storage, right? So I think those are all good questions to ask before someone starts their own fund.
Devin Elder: (27:22)
Right. So maybe not a beginner strategy, but you got some flexibility with it that they certainly don’t have with a single deal by deal model. I love it. Well, thanks for shining some light on that. There are two different strategies for sure. One thing I like about what you’re doing, you building this business and raising capital, that’s not something easy to start day one. But as you build it over time, you’re probably going to be doing deals five years from now with a huge network, lots of experience. You’re going to have fine tuned exactly what you want to be in. And you kind of continue doing that for as long as you want, right? once you build that up and you’ve got a track record with investors, they all want to go rinse and repeat, right?
Abel Pacheco: (28:07)
Yeah. Yeah. Even in the first three to four years now, we’ve had a number of investors that have just told us, “Hey, I want to go to this longterm. Are you going to do this long term?” Yes, I am. They’re asking me the questions and vice versa. And there’s these, I guess, things that I think about like golf or snowboarding. I hope to do that when I’m older too. Golf is one of those sports where you can play on in your ages. You see all level age. Where you’re not going to have a senior citizen play some football out there. It’s just not going to happen.
Abel Pacheco: (28:47)
Well, I see multi-family real estate investing in the syndication model, it’s pretty much the similar mindset to me, where we can do this as we get older. And as I get towards “a more retirement age,” man, I don’t think it’s going to be easy for me to just sit still. I enjoy working and I enjoy doing something. I’m like, oh, I want to choose a deal at my own pace, and maybe bring some of our investors in. And looking down the the pie 10, 15 years, we’re like, wow, we’ve made a lot of people a lot of money. We’ve given them back their capital many multiple times. Their seed started at 50, and then it was 100. And then it became 200. And now they’re $500,000 investors with us some way down the road. And it’s not going to be a grind then. It’ll be like, hey, we found another deal with the team that’s willing to put in the time, effort, energy, and work. And maybe they’re younger, and they’re in their grind and hustle, kind of like what I am now.
Abel Pacheco: (29:49)
And that’s one of those sports that we could do for a while. This is one of the businesses that I could see myself working in for a long while, as long as you hit it hard today for me. So that’s why I’m grinding, I’m working my tail off. How many hours can I put in? I work more hours today than I did in my full-time W-2 by miles. I’m grinding, grinding, grinding. But I can see that what we’re building now is our long-term future, and our investors are also building their retirement incomes. There’s college tuition. There’s things for their children and things like that. And I’m like, oh man, I could see a lot of really great friendships and relationships being established. Partners, investors all the way through. So I’m excited for that.
Devin Elder: (30:35)
I love it. I like the golf analogy. I took up golf in my mid 30s because I knew it was going to take me a while to get good. But I had a while. Hopefully, God willing, I got decades playing that game. This is the same kind of game. It’s investing for adults, right?
Abel Pacheco: (30:53)
Investing for adults. I love it.
Devin Elder: (30:56)
Yeah. Hopefully again, God willing, we’ve got a lot of runway to work with there.
Abel Pacheco: (31:02)
Yeah, brother. Yeah.
Devin Elder: (31:05)
I want to talk a little bit about something you said earlier on kind of finding your strengths because I think this is important, and I think people struggle with it. It seems like people fall roughly into one or two buckets. They’re the excel guy, or they’re the shake everybody’s hand in the room guy. And it seems like you’re kind of one or the other. And I think you kind of identified as you’re the shake hands with everybody in the room guy, and get to know everybody. Was that real easy for you to identify early on, or did that take some work? Because I think the sooner people can figure that out about themselves, the happier, more effective they’re going to be, right?
Abel Pacheco: (31:43)
Yeah. Yeah. Identified early on really quickly. I had many conversations with people. I was like, “Hey man, I think my superpower is just going to be raising some capital and helping investors along the way.” Something I learned in the professional world, as we built this tech unicorn, literally from $100 million to $2 billion company, it was the founder, Graham Weston, that would always say focus on our strengths, not our weaknesses, right?
Abel Pacheco: (32:13)
And so a lot of times you take a weakness, and you’re like, man, I’m horrible at organization. I got to figure out how to do this organization thing. Where your skill and your savant, the passion has nothing to do with organization. It’s being out there, or shaking hands for me. And so that’s what I look like. I’m invigorated. I like being in a room, 40, 50 people, and talking. At the end of four or five hours, I have more energy than I walked in the room.
Abel Pacheco: (32:45)
Now on the flip side, if I’m in a project management, a Gantt chart, which I had to put together multiple different times in our business, I’m like, okay, I got to come up with this marketing strategy and our plan. And here’s a timeline of events. And in the professional world, when I did those Gantt charts, I could spend an hour, and I felt like I worked on it for eight or nine. I was drained. So it was through that process, I go, okay, these are my strengths. I need to partner with people that are really good at the other areas that I don’t really want to be great in.
Abel Pacheco: (33:25)
And so that’s kind of what I subscribed to all the way from 26 to I was 40, right? And so that was an easy transition for me where I don’t know if everyone had that way of growing up in the professional world or whoever they learned from, right? So that was an easy transition for me. And then another something I learned in the professional world, I was talking to our CEO, which was top 40 CEO, 40 under 40, at the time, Lanham, Napier, who was our CEO there. And we had this, I think it was he was congratulating me for stellar yearly performance. And I’m in his office.
Abel Pacheco: (34:05)
And he goes, “Not very many people get to sit in this office. So number one, I want you to recognize you’re excelling at this extremely high level.” And I said, “Thanks.” So he goes, “Man, this hour is yours. Whatever you want to talk about.” And so we’re sitting down. And the question that I asked him was, “How does somebody come from being an average every day individual, like you were, to this top 40 CEO under 40 global company, growing a tech unicorn? How does that happen?” And what he told me was, he goes, “Well, what I did was,” I think he was an accountant or an accounting something major, and he goes, “I was really good at the numbers, but I stretched myself every year to learn a part of the business,” that he wasn’t an expert in. He went and hung out in marketing for a year. He went and hung out in sales for a year. He went into the operations for a year. He hung out in many, multiple areas of this business that was a global company.
Abel Pacheco: (35:07)
And then he said, “And then I went global to their organizations.” And he goes, “I was able to do it without global experience. In the future, people are going to have to have global experience to kind of scale to where we’ve done.” But he described that every year. I’d go hang out with them. And he goes, “I didn’t need to be the expert. Instead I needed to learn what the heck the experts were talking about. So that I’m at the table, and I have all my experts there. Marketing, the sales, the operations, the finance, everyone.” He goes, “When they’re talking to me and reporting to me, I understand what’s happening. I understand the language. I understand the problems. I understand. And then I ask them, ‘Hey, what’s the best course?’ And when they tell me the best direction, I move forward.”
Abel Pacheco: (35:53)
So that’s, I guess, the long-term play that I’m making essentially is I love my strength. I love talking to people and networking and doing that. But I still need to understand what the Excel says, what the profit and loss say, the numbers and the mechanics. I need to learn the marketing and the stats from the market, the deal. I need to understand a little bit about each area. And so this year I kind of dove into underwriting. And I’m like financial analysis. Does it excite me? No. Am I invigorated afterwards? No. But I can read a dang Excel spreadsheet now. I’m like, okay, I can read my T12, my rent rolls, and I could read the financials. And God bless somebody that’s really excited about doing that. And maybe next year I’ll dig in further, like to operations and property management. So it’s a long-term game for me. But spend some time in every area. And I don’t need to be an expert in it, just do that. So it’s that mindset is what I took from my early years that I’m now applying to commercial real estate and building our business.
Devin Elder: (36:58)
I love it. Well, wise words from Mr. Napier there. And congrats, Abel on all your success in the corporate world. Taking all the lessons learned there, taking the leap, leaving a safe, cozy W-2, which is no freaking joke, man. That was the scariest thing I ever did. The best thing I ever did. And I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience with fear and with the reward too. Well, listen, you got a lot of stuff going on. It’s 2021. We got interesting years behind us with 2020, and we’re moving ahead. If somebody wants to connect with you, learn more, get in your universe, how can they do that, Abel?
Abel Pacheco: (37:40)
The best place right now is our website 5tcre.com, 5tcre.com. And you can go to /invest, and fill out a questionnaire. Go check that out, and happy to set up some time with you. All the links to all the stuff is there. We have an eBook that’s there. It’s kind of the ABC’s of real estate investing. And that’s a very helpful free eBook. There’s podcast interviews. There’s all kinds of links to all this stuff, but 5tcre.com is kind of the best place to go to it right now.
Devin Elder: (38:10)
Outstanding. We’ll link to that in the show notes. If you’re listening to this episode, you can just go to the description, click right through to Abel’s website, and connect with him there. Abel, can’t thank you enough for joining. Man, it was great to catch up, and I wish you continued success.
Abel Pacheco: (38:22)
Yeah, brother. Thank you very much. And you too, man. You’re crushing it. Keep doing what you’re doing in San Antonio. We look forward to partnering with you many, multiple times, God willing, in the future. And just you’ve been a great mentor and a great coach and a great friend. And so appreciate it, brother.
Devin Elder: (38:38)
Awesome. Awesome. Well, thanks again for jumping on, and we will catch up soon.
Abel Pacheco: (38:42)
All right. Bye-bye.
Devin Elder: (38:43)