From NFL to Real Estate

A Pro Athlete’s Journey – Most people typically know me for one of two things: my passion for real estate investing or my passion for football. It’s always enjoyable when I get to connect with other investors who share similar passions and hear their stories.

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Transcript

Gregor sense podcast man excited again for another guest today was going to talk about his professional NFL career and how he
transitioned that into real estate and contrasting I want to get in that post you shared the other day too Devon but
anyway Devon Kennard so yeah tell us about your kind of background even like before came to the NFL and were you
always kind of thinking about real estate even like in as grown up in high school and Elementary I mean when did
that start clicking I wouldn’t say I was always thinking about real estate but I always had a Clear Vision of uh you know
what I wanted my life to look like I remember I was in seventh grade and I was like uh I won student athlete of the
week in basketball and I said I wanted to go to USC for college and play in the NFL and uh while I was in college I
wanted to graduate with my undergrad and master’s degree and you know that’s exactly what I did so I was in you know
seventh grade and had a Clear Vision for what I wanted and I feel like that just came from having a father who played in
the NFL as well and seeing his life a lot post football gave me some perspective and made me realize that
like all right even if I have as successful as a career as he did which he played 13 years professionally I’m
like man I’m GNA have a lot of life you know after the ball so it gave me that perspective and I always thought about
okay how can I set myself up so I’m in a good position and as I got older that’s where I started to really look into
where I’m going to invest how I’m going to invest and it wasn’t until I was in college and coming out of high school I
was a top recruit in the nation and I got to college and it wasn’t going too well so that put me in a position where
I was like man I don’t know if I’m going to make it to the NFL and I kind of doubled down on okay if not the NFL what
I’m going to do and that’s where I kind of landed on real estate man Devon that is so cool I love I didn’t realize that
too that your dad had played so long you already talked about how it shaped you but just kind of curious how growing up you saw him obviously you were part of
him and assume watching his career and then how he made the transition so I guess what what did you initially learn
from that transition when he made it from the NFL to the to after the NFL well I kind of took it upon myself at a
young age to take responsibility of of my life in the sense of my father put my
family in position to be successful you know he didn’t come from the best city he grew up in Stockton California was
known for a lot of violence and trouble and he got you know us out of that
situation and put us in in a much better situation because of his NFL career and I always felt like it was my duty and
responsibility to take that uh Paton and and do more with my life and and change
my family’s future just like he did so having that I wanted to stand on his shoulders and he was always a giant to
me so it was always like how can I do that more than anything and that perspective kind of propelled me to
where I’m at today love it that’s just cool how it shapes you and how you had a plan and not many people it’s I mean
even I wasn’t thinking real estate back then or exactly fully planned out right but I’m curious so you did it kind of
play into your major like when you so I saw your Communications M or Communications management so is that kind of did you intentionally kind of
decide that going like figuring out what you were going to be doing post football no when I got into college it was more
than anything like I wanted to pick a a major that I felt like could apply to a lot of different things I knew I could
go the broadcasting route I knew I like business so I didn’t know exactly what major I should choose but what I felt
like a lot of guys made a mistake is they were changing majors and credits weren’t County so I was like what’s a
major that I feel like will apply to whatever I want to do so I can stick to it because I didn’t want to choose
sociology and then try to switch to business and half the sociology classes didn’t um didn’t count so my strategy
going in was like all right communication I think that will apply whether I become broadcast or you know
I’m a business person uh the communication major and business management and the things that I I’m going to learn and I did learn will
apply to whatever I wanted to do so it gave me leverage because I was able to stick with it which allowed me to
graduate faster because sticking with my major declaring right away and passing all my classes put me on track to gradua
in three years with my undergrad degree and then I got my masters in a year and a half so I’m one of the few players
that was drafted in the NFL with the undergrad and master’s degree already wow no kidding I can imagine what was
your M’s in Devon uh communication management focused on like business and and strategy love it man ironically that
was my undergrad was uh Communications because I similar to you I’m like I mean I I love sports I love sports broad I
was like always wanted to be a Sports Broadcast right but fortunately I kept doing math classes and I majored in math
while I was there and that’s what led to engineering but anyway it’s kind of cool it’s funny how out man cool man so yeah
so you had a masters going into it okay so then yeah kind of tell us about your kind of Journey once you uh once you
graduated from USC kind of jumped in the NFL and what that looked like and then yeah we’ll roll from there yeah um my
last year of college going into the year it didn’t look like I was going to make it to the NFL I dealt with a lot of injuries and position changes so I met a
mentor you know in his office one day and it that was the meeting that I always say changed my business life
forever because it’s a guy who was a police officer and he you know started
to buy properties he was house hacking bought one turned to two and but at the time I met him he owned over 5,000 units
and managed over like seven or 8,000 in LA and you know I couldn’t get over the fact it was a couple things one he
started off with the police officer salary so I wasn’t pocket watching I don’t know exactly how much much you make but you can kind of estimate of how
much a police officer will make and I’m like you own thousands of units in LA and you started off with a police
officer salary so that gave me Insight on like if he could do it even if I didn’t make it in the NFL or if I only
played like one or two years it was going to give me put me in a position where I can do the same thing he did so
that and then he was his own boss I really thought it was cool that you know I went into the meeting with the suit and tie trying to impress him and this
guy’s in a sweatshirt and and some sweatpants and and you know in this big office managing tons of people and
dressing how he wants so that kind of stuck out to me where I wanted to put myself in a position where I could go to
work dressing how I want to man so cool isn’t that funny how those little conversations and you yeah they’re just
pivoting or turning points in your life right you saw that because because had you like most other people maybe they
read Rich Dad Poor Dad but had you like done much research or read many books on real estate at that point when you had
that meeting I would say business and finance in general but no after that’s when I you know read Rich Dad Poor d i
dived all the way in but I was already into like the financial space business I was really like interested in it but
that kind of gave me a lot of Direction and when I got into the NFL you know my mindset was like save as much as I can I
don’t know how long I’m going to play I want to put myself in a position where I have a nest egg so I can invest so you
know my my running Story and there’s even a CNBC article from 2014 when I got drafted but I brought out my 2007 Kia
serento and I drove that my whole rookie season in the NFL that I didn’t get a I didn’t change and get a different car
until my second year halfway through the year and even then I got a free car from a marketing opportunity with a Kia
dealership because and it was after the CNBC article like I became known as oh he’s driving a Kia and so my whole time
I either drove my 2007 Kia serrento or a fre Kia from Kia dealership locally and
I didn’t buy my first vehicle till I got my second contract and went to the Detroit Lions so um you know with that
mindset instead of saving I was just stacking as much money as I could trying to be as Frugal as possible and I
started investing right after my rookie season man I love it that’s exactly where I was going next toon is how how
you managed the money and what you did once you started to have a a high W2 income man that’s so cool so you started
stock you started stockpiling it as much as you could like what initially did you
like start investing right away in real estate when you had that or were you more just stockpiling for a couple years and then started looking for opportunities or if or how did you
manage that while you’re playing in the league I started investing right away so the first thing I did when I got in the
league and started to collect some checks was all right I was asking guys in the locker room and everybody was in the stock market so I’m like it felt
like the thing to do I got to get in but one thing that bugged me about the stock market is like you have absolutely zero
control and it’s up one day down the next and all the volatility and there was no cash flow within it so I’m like
man I can’t dictate like my whole mindset was like I want to be able to make enough money to pay for you know my
rent and pay for my car and like sustain my lifestyle and I’m like it for me the
stock market wasn’t helping me solve that problem so it brought me back to real estate I knew I wanted to get into
real estate and right after my rookie year I went to a couple of meetups with friends of mine and met a guy who was
flipping uh houses in in uh Beach Grove Indiana on at scale so a random City but
it attracted me because the properties were cheap you know you’re getting three bed two bathroom house and good working
neighborhoods for under $100,000 I’m from Phoenix and I went to college in LA
and I was playing for the New York Giant so I’m used to three markets where there you know you could get a pile of dirt
for for more than $100,000 so that’s why I like found the the Indiana Market I
bought my first property and I never looked back from there and how did you how did you who turned you on to the Indiana market and may help you helped
you find that those deals so I went to a Meetup and like one guy recommended me to another guy and ended up meeting a
guy who was flipping on scale but TurnKey property so a big thing my first property was TurnKey cuz I’m I’m playing
in the NFL I didn’t want to have to worry about renovating a property and finding a tenant and doing all this
stuff so there was already a tenant in place it was a good cash flowing uh you know it was underwriting at like eight
and a half percent cash on cash return at the time and I was like man you know that’s solid it’s going to appreciate
I’m gonna hold holds for five plus years really my mindset was uh at the time was I’ll hold forever it’s going to be worth
two three $400,000 one day all right let’s make this work and yeah I I bought
and you know that’s how it kind of led to more deals from there more man Devon that is so cool so we talked with a lot
of people about turny right because people who know that they want to eventually get big into real estate or even if just want to get into it and own
their own stuff TurnKey is such a powerful way and it’s hard like because real estate there’s a lot you have to learn you can be really active and do it
all yourself but there’s also a lot of expensive lessons you can learn right sounds like you went in did the turnkey Model A you were busy cuz I think so
many people could relate to this right you were busy trying to do everything you could to probably extend your career in the NFL give be all in there right
but just like some people are focused on their W2 it’s like TurnKey is such a powerful powerful way to do it but any
other comments on TurnKey yeah well I would say I became an expert at figuring
out how to invest passively and it’s very interesting because if you’re active on social media and watching
YouTube videos the trends kind of going on the other way of like a lot of investors saying there’s no such thing
as passive and you have to be an active investor and passive is fleeting and and
every all these people on social media who are talking about passive investing don’t know what they’re talking about they’re lying to you and it’s like I
understand why they are saying that because it can be an active investment but I didn’t have the luxury of looking
at it any other way than passive so it wasn’t like do I invest actively or passively it’s like how do I invest when
I don’t have time and I need to focus on my career I got to figure out but I want to invest in real estate what are the
Avenues to do so so buying TurnKey was a great segue for me and figuring that out
and in certain markets the numers still made sense and still do today you know you could still make it make sense
especially when you have a long-term Horizon and you’re building in Revenue somewhere else this is more wealth
wealth accumulation as well as you know tax benefits cash flow Etc so I think
it’s its perspective and understanding what your goals are and what your life’s going to be looking like wow I want to
dive deeper in how you’ve really mastered or really you were thoughtful about how to invest passively and how other people can but yeah I want to
highlight too what you said about TurnKey in the long Horizon right like it is easy to mess up a flip and go
negative or lose money on a flip right but if you buy a turnkey or buy and a Buy and Hold asset you have that long
hor long-term Horizon it’s a very hard game to lose right you still can but it’s the odds are in your favor to not
lose right versus Fix and Flip tell me more about the passive like how you felt comfortable being passive and how you
managed that right to where you again you had a busy bus W2 or busy career but you were able to get in passively a how
did you feel comfortable and B how did you continue to do it and how can other people do it well I would say there’s
like four steps or four things you really need to do and one is increase your spread so for me increasing your
spread means how much you earn how much you spend that money in that amount of money in between is your spread how do
you increase that more and more so for me that’s why I was driving a Kia sento for so long because I wanted to increase
my spread as much as you can two is knowledge so it’s hard to invest even passively if you don’t understand so I I
related if I if I give you a Football Playbook right now I’ve played for you know four different organizations in the
NFL most of it would look like gibberish but once you understand the language what it looks like all of that then it’s
like you can identify things really easy oh that’s a cover three defense oh that’s this route concept etc etc so
getting gaining the knowledge on understanding that the language of real estate investing and and really um
investing overall because there’s so much overlap between real estate investing and business in general and
stock market they just call certain things differently but once you understand one it’s easy to understand
the other so I say that’s you know knowledge is is a huge thing and then it’s building a system and a team so a
system for me is like okay I got Property Management making sure I set guidelines on how often they’re
reporting to me and the and the reporting I’m getting and if there’s a repair is there a limit on how much they
could do without notifying me and all of those and then as far as systems it’s like okay how am I keeping track of
making sure I I received the income the property manager was supposed to send to me um etc etc so I would say if as if
you could do those four things which is increase your spread gain the knowledge build the team and build the system then
passive investing is is easy but I don’t think a lot of people kind of identify what class passive investing means so
I’d like to dive a little bit into that and for me I’ve identified it it like while I was playing as putting five
hours or less of time in a week and that’s passive to me everybody should have their own definition based on their
lifestyle but I can show you my football schedule and and it’s packed I can devote five concentrated focused hours
to my real estate are investing in my finances a week and I if it doesn’t fit
within that if it’s not going to stay within 5 hours it’s an investment I probably shouldn’t consider so I always recommend people clarify Y what passive
means to you because for me it might mean something different than it does to you so identify that and and that’s
become super helpful man that is gold Devon figure out the passive amount
that’s just a great way to put it because yeah passive means a lot of different things to a lot of different people if you define it then you can be
intentful about it man yeah I just I think that’s genius and those four steps man I love the four different things cuz
you really built upon it right and don’t people don’t expect don’t expect you can do all four of those like initially right but sounds like you kind of
building blocks right initially you’re spread getting the spread down and then you could start to build out your
education right they could be doing that now the team and like the processes all come later it comes together and when
you’re talking about TurnKey stuff the team and the process is kind of laid out so that’s why it’s a great place to
start because you learn about when you’re dealing with a turnkey provider they kind of walk you through the
process so I like now I could I could work with TurnKey providers but I can
also execute the process myself because I know what I need to be able to invest passively and you need your core four
you need a contractor you need a property manager you need your dealfinder and you need a lender if you got those four people those four people
in place you can be your own TurnKey provider essentially and that’s what I’ve you know grown into and realized
over time so you know once you understand that the that’s the knowledge piece and then that helps the you know
you determine okay what’s my team look like and what’s my process and strategy look like man another good point because
again yeah go and turn key or if you try to go buy it you got to find those all those people find the lender find the
construction guy find the repair guy find the property manager right you got to go find all those or you can go TurnKey let them bring them all to you
and then like you say you don’t have to do it TurnKey the rest of your career but it’s just a great building block yeah it it helps you realize what who
and what you need and then it kind of clarifies it you get used to the process and you could take off from there but
I’ve learned how to leverage TurnKey providers so you know I’ve done good work with some TurnKey providers so now
now that I’m willing to build out my own team or do things a little differently I’m like hey you have the system to
you’re finding tons of deals if there’s deals that I could take off your hand before you renovate them pay you a
little assignment fee and use your team so I’m keeping your team you know their pockets filled you get an assignment fee
but I but I get to keep more meat on the bone because I’m handling the renovation I could it could still be passive to me
because your team is used to this process it’s just me doing it instead of View and like that’s how I’ve been able
to take advantage of relationships I already have with TurnKey providers and grow into okay I can bur or I can flip
or I can do any kind of strategy on my own leveraging the relationships I’ve met through TurnKey providers yeah
that’s selfishly that’s a super interesting one Devon because it’s like and I guess to cl to add a little bit more to that you’re willing because yeah
as a turn we’re a turnkey provider right but we’ve also looked at that option where somebody else ultimately you as
the end buyer you could take on a little bit more risk on a little bit more management but I agree as a turnkey
provider we still like it’s still very beneficial for us and and we could take down more deals that way right to where
we could hand them off to you because we found that there’s more deals often than at least in our Market there’s more deals than we could take down but again
it requires somebody who’s got the capital somebody who’s willing to take some risk on it that’s ultimately you’re getting more upside right because you
Tak a little more risk well yeah absolutely but you got to think about it so if you’re a turnkey provider and
you’re dealing with an investor who you might end up starting to slowly lose because they want to participate in more
of the upside of the deal you could lose them completely or you can offer them this opportunity to where it’s like hey
I’m getting a 100 deals a month just throwing a number out there I’ll slide you two or three of them you know charge
you an assignment fee but there’s still some some meat on the bone and if you don’t mind you like how we managed you
like my Contracting team you like you know the team I have in place still use them now it’s mutually beneficial and
you’re not you’re still benefiting from that client so I think uh there’s ways to make that work on both ends that
makes a lot of sense and that’s how I kind of approach TurnKey providers now when I’m looking for more leverage it
more opportunity and more upside in a deal I wasn’t planning to go there I going to go deeper on that so how did you make that transition for a turnkey
buyer to starting to approach people and have the confidence to do it other than you talked about like knowing the systems and getting introduced into it
but what else did you do to feel confident to make that leap uh over the years of learning what the system was like and and thinking about it and then
it’s like all right I just need my core four team and I could go to a a random Market Arkansas and I could go out there
and try to find out who the best contractor is and and who’s going to be my dealfinder that’s bringing me deals
or whatever but I I just honestly started to think about it it’s like if I like like one of the markets I invest in
is Kansas City if I like Kansas City my TurnKey provider that I’ve worked with out there has done good for me over the
years but I want more upside in deals like like it’s just a conversation like hey like probably going to end up losing
me because I want to find a market that I’m going to I’m going to be able to keep profiting from more than I am with
you or I can keep investing in your Market can you slide me some deals so it just it just made sense in realizing who
you need on that team and if you’re confident in the team that that that’s already in place then I think that gives
you a lot of Leverage but I will say from an investor standpoint one thing that I think about that I like to cover
myself on is really diving in and like okay I need backups in case like okay
who else can I get deals from who else can potentially be my property manager who else can potentially be the
contractor because you never want to depend on when you’re building your team if you’re dependent on one person for
each role then if they start slacking your stuff so I like to have at like you know my starter and my guy coming off
the bench at least but if I could have two to three people at each position that I could potentially call on that
gives me safety so that’s how I kind of build it out and think about it but yeah I I don’t think it’s that complicated
people need to kind of realize that that’s all you have to do even if you’re trying to invest past L and it’s not
that the workloads not that much more love it yeah I call it single point failure you’ve got backups that’s so
smart Devon okay one thing though and I guess just somebody might be asking this right they’re like hey man okay I bought
TurnKey or I want to buy TurnKey but I eventually I want to do what Devon is doing but I don’t maybe have the financials and the capital saved and all
that as you do but what do you what would you say to those people to be able to make that transition again from being a turnkey buyer to hey I actually want
to participate I want to build some equity on this deal like what would you say cap Capital wise that we need to have ready to go I know know it’s Market
dependent but how would you answer that well I mean if you don’t have a ton of capital on hand there’s a lot of markets
like I that’s why I started in the midwest I think there’s tons of Midwest markets where you can buy affordable
properties but that’s why in the four things that we talked about earlier increasing your spread is so important
because you like if you’re going to properly invest in real estate you need some level of capital or it’s better I I
wouldn’t say you need but it’s better if you have some Capital to play with so that’s one is increase your spread and
go to a market that’s cheaper and and more affordable be the two things but the third thing is there’s a lot of
people doing it with little to no money by leveraging private lenders and and
using OPM which is just other people’s money so now that you go to a turnkey provider and you’re getting more
built-in Equity because you’re going to do it yourself you can leverage that even more and start to be like okay I’m
going to use other people’s money because I have equity in the deal now to where I can refinance pay them back back
and play the game now in full transparency that’s a little tough with interest rates where they’re at now but
there are people who are still making that work they’re using OPM in certain markets and buying deals getting paying
their you know private money lenders back putting on fixed debt and kind of chugging along with using little to none
of their money so figuring out the financing component is what will help you unlock all of that man good stuff so
we went deep on the passive investing in TurnKey which I think was perfect right but I want to back up a little bit to
where Devon how did you go from so initially rying turkey deals sounds like next transition was a little bit being
doing the tury yourself but I’m curious kind of as your NFL career played out and as you exited the NFL how all that’s
transitioned and what that looked like yeah so I love talking about this stuff because people who do have N9 to-5 jobs
and and are in the position I’m in like I want to be able to help them figure out like the best Avenues to invest
passively so we Dove really hard into the turn key and then how you can convert that into even more more
potentially uh just now but I I think it’s important to like identify a couple of other ways to invest passively that
people Miss sometimes and that’s through syndications private lending and triple
net leases and Commercial deals so those are the four ways so you got core four Buy and Hold through a turnkey provider
or on your own you have syndications you have private lending and you have triple net leases those are the four ways that
I’ve identified throughout my NFL career that I can keep the main thing the main thing which is NFL and football while
also building a real estate Empire so it’s like how do you excel at work but build a real estate Empire you invest
passively and I found that those are four great Vehicles they’re not the only but they’re great vehicles that you can
use to do so yeah those are four great ones especially passively cool and then how how have you kind of evolved from
when you did leave your career NFL career and you were ready to go fulltime real estate and a I assume you knew
exactly what you’re doing as soon as you left or what did that transition look like yeah I mean even now I would say I’m still a passive investor but what
again what passive looks like has changed a little bit like now I’m willing to put in 20 hours a week you know I still want to do something I
still want to work four to five hours a day and maybe I’ll take a at least one day off a week so I like I still want to
be able to I want to be able to work a little bit more because this is all that I’m doing now but I don’t want a full 40
50 80 hour work week so for me I’m able to put a little more time which allows me to grow my portfolio do more things
and that transition I feel like I’ve kind of prepared myself for and put myself in position to like all right now
football’s phasing out I got more time on my hands I don’t want to go from five hours a week to 80 hours a week but I am
willing to go 20 or you know between 20 and 30 hours a week so what what does
that look like and what things that I’m doing and how I’ve kind of solved that for myself is all right I’m going to
invest more actively building relationships picking Market Market looking for for deals that’s one and
then two I want to solve the cash flow problem and I’ve identified private lending as a great source for me to be
able to do that using my own Capital Bank Capital as well as providing other investors a return on their money by
lending through my company and coming to you know investors who are looking for private money and lending to them uh and
you know being able to help them but also get a good cash on cash return on my investment yeah let’s talk about that
one where the where you’ve gotten comfortable lending money right because you’ve obviously understood the deals but what would you kind of share with
other people who maybe want to go that route to where they again they just want to be a private money lender but maybe they don’t quite have the level of
experience that you have and and the knowledge and I’m curious how you actually underwrite deals and and what you do to kind of make sure you’re
setting yourself up for success I’ll say the first thing you should consider is obviously I always kind of start with
like it goes back to the spread knowledge system and team so spread you got to increase the spread the knowledge
now we’re talking about lending so what’s the knowledge you need to know a lot of it is crossover between just regular investing and I’ve identified
aggressive Underwriters and people who are taking on too much risk versus oh like I know I’m risk averse and I I like
conservative underwriting so I when I’m looking at somebody who’s asking for money and it’s like you know you’re looking at the deal and it’s like man
this spread is kind of thin or they’re counting on they’re doing a flip and they’re counting on three three months
of holding cost when in a lot of markets it’s going longer than that now I I
would like to see underwriting for six or more months potentially like so those are the type of things that I would look
for but to start with the knowledge as well is I actually read a good book that got me kind of good Headway is and
that’s ly to live it’s a a Bigger Pockets book by two two ladies uh that talk about it and they build a lot of
the foundation and and then from there it’s building relationships with people who are are already having success um
not lending but flipping properties and investing in real estate so for me it’s like like man all right I got I know
these people who are really good at at at flipping and they’ve had a ton of success are they willing are are they
looking for more capital and if I like how they’ve done it I’ve watched from afar I’ve seen some of their deals man
I’ll I’ll lend to I’ll lend to you and you know you win I win it’s mutually beneficial and we could build a
long-standing relationship so that’s kind of how how I’ve built it I’ve been able to identify some investors who I
think are conservative in their underwriting and have a good track record a good reput
and I um you know can I lend to you and you know help you execute on your plan
while also get a good return for myself yeah man love it love it okay I got another one too for you I wanted to
ask this one so coming from your career in the league you’re always W to be an impact player right you’re on the team you want to have an impact on the team
now have you kind of like now that you’re in real estate and you’re doing that again more so passively than some
people I love by the way I love that I want to dive deeper on that in a second but now that you’re an impact player in
real estate State like how do you continue to be a part of teams and really have an impact whether that’s on your team or other people’s teams or
just I mean just in your network yeah I would say the biggest impact I’m trying to make is becoming like known for being
an athlete investor I want to help more athletes uh you know aspiring current
and former athletes invest I feel like we have so much leverage that is not fully tapped into and it’s because we
don’t understand the language of investing we don’t understand the game and it’s no different than learning our
Sports so uh you know it’s a p like outside of my own portfolio and stuff I’m I’m I’m starting to put more
information out more education out and build and you know I got some stuff in the works on what I’m building out
because I want to help more athletes figure out how to invest especially in real estate and take care of themselves
because you always hear about the big names you know you you see uh Tom Brady just retired and he’s investing in this
team and that team but man there’s so many guys who maybe made a couple million while they’re playing and it
sounds like a lot of money but it got to last them the rest of their lifetime if I could reach those guys teach them how to invest how to look at it how to
leverage the capital they built and put them on a trajectory like like how we started I was talking about my mentor
who was a police officer like you know that’s what I want to help help people do and that’s that’s kind of within my
portfolio how I want to start to help people love it well that’s a great Segway I wanted to hear too about your book this year recently wrote tell us
about that one Devon yeah my book is it all adds up designing your game plan for financial success and honestly I wrote
the book with with the idea in mind that like man every Finance book and real estate I book I’ve read it’s mostly by
middle to late age white guys to be honest and I’m like there like I feel like me being a professional athlete I
can reach a de diff different demographic and I have a passion for it and like I could have waited till I was
40 50 years old and I knew even more than I do now but I thought it was important to write it as while I was a
current player write fresh um fresh out of the NFL and I can connect with a larger audience and and you know I put
my face on on the front of the book because I wanted I wanted uh you know people all over the country as uh
minorities to be like whoa this is you know a black athlete writing about finance and the importance of it and and
how what he did how I can translate it into something that I can do and you know give them a different perspective
because you know I think I can access more people that way so that was my you know passion all the all the books and
all the concepts I’ve learned from people like Tony Robbins and Robert kosaki and Sue Orman and Dave Ramsey and
you know all these finance and real estate gurus it’s like all right how can I gather all the information I’ve
learned and you know translate that into a way that can relate to more people and that’s what it all adds up is all about
man that’s cool and I’m with you well it makes total sense right but I’m curious what’s the response been like because
because I’m with you that demographic I feel like they can relate to you right then so what’s the response been like since writing the book it’s been
incredible you know I’m working with the NFL and NFL PA to get it to a lot of players uh throughout the the league I I
went on a book tour and I was speaking at nonprofit organizations and and high schools working with them and getting it
in front of uh middle school and high school kids because you know I think once you once you understand the
importance of investing the importance of Finance you stop thinking it’s
optional you know especially in this day and age if if you’re just ignoring your finances you’re behind the eightball so
helping helping like you and people realize that so to change their trajectory I think is really important
and the feedback on it so far has been incredible yeah it’s cool stuff well another thing so you talked about that
you are still and again I would agree if you’re spending 20 hours a week what or first off what does that look like
you’re investing now and then with that other time you have I’m curious what else you do other than maybe the writing the books and what else are you up to
I’ll work a few hours a day um you know making sure I check the check the email my emails and overseeing the finances I
just just hired a bookkeeper who’s going to help me a ton cuz I’ve been kind of just winging it or using systems and and
software but not on top of my books as much as I could so you know getting her acclimated and on board and and getting
that all the way ironed out and then a lot of the educational content and the things I’m going to be rolling out in the coming weeks and months been been
working on um working on that and beyond that man it’s been a lot of family time you know I I want to make sure you know
turned off from work by 3:30 or 4:00 and I’m full kid mode I got two young girls at home so they’re getting off school
they get a little homework done and then you know Dad’s taking them to the park or we’re going to some type of activity
uh I want to be uh very active in my kids’ lives um you know especially considering all the time I spent away
while I was playing so you know being able to do that and still work out consistently it’s it’s been great man oh
that’s so cool definitely envious in that to to to where you’ve built something that is so passive like mine’s
very active and I do enjoy it but I’m envious of that and I do try to still make that time at the end of the day it’s a big part of my life is my boys
and being able to coach them and be with them but uh but it’s a grind it’s not a grind it’s just a very busy day up until
4 o’cl but man cool so where where you going from here Devon like you’ve got you are you going to continue to be
those core four as far as syndications private money buying pass or buying actually long-term rental properties and
the private lending yeah so I I think I’ll focus on you know building out my core four teams in in different markets
and continuing to buy deals in the private lending I think those will too as I’m in a ton of syndications
throughout the last decade that I’ve gotten into but as those fully mature and and I get my money back I’m probably
going to start to put that Capital more into my own deals because I have a little more time I understand more and I
feel like I have the resources and the connections to be able to to do it myself without you know having to do it
through a syndication but uh so you know I think I’ll be focused on that and and between the The Lending and building out
my my own portfolio I think my hands will be full absolutely especially with the especially how intentful you are
about the time you do spend on it and I’m sure the return I mean again you started early you built it up and and
you had a strong W2 income to really Propel it man it’s really cool cool stuff what you’ve done man oh last thing
I was going to ask is on the the blend the balance between syndication because I’ve talked to a lot of investors that
are kind of in and may they’re doing one or the other but you’re doing both but the blend of the syndication which like
you said it’s a long long term Outlook it’s going to pay out in five maybe 10 years versus the private money lending I
assume those are maybe shorter term 3 6 12 months but how have you kind of Blended those together yeah I think they
serve completely different purposes because there’s no upside with the private money lending so that is all
right I want a good return on my money in a year or less essentially most of my loans are a year or less the the
syndications depending on the structure and the type of deal it is there there’s usually some type of pref like a
standard deal is 8% % pref so you know you’re going to get 8% annually now whether that’s actually paid the ones
that pay you know from the get-go that’s pretty much 2% a quarter but some of them they have to remodel the whole
apartment complex for instance so you’re not going to get that right away but after a few years they’ll start back
paying you and you’ll get an 8% pref annually and then you know when the deal closes say they sell it or refinance you
get your Capital back plus a 7030 split of the profits now what a lot of people don’t like about syic is there’s there’s
a good amount of fees baked baked into syndications now one being smart about
the syndications you’re getting into to where they’re they’re lean and and um you know they’re not oversaturated with
too many fees but but two I feel like it’s the cost of doing business they’re doing everything literally you’re
underwriting the deal putting your money into it and then you can get an 8% prep and when the deals sells or refinance
you’re talking anywhere from 16% to 30 plus depending on the deal deal percent
return you know over the lifespan of the deal so I feel like it serves a purpose because you get all the upsides of real
estate still you get you know I get k1s and they show losses sometimes that helps me um so you’re actually owning
the real estate and you get the upside when lending there’s no upside outside of the the return you’re going to get
love it you reminding me another one that I said at the beginning I love your recent post comparing active income when
you were in the NFL versus active income as a real estate investor talk a little bit more about that and how you’re because I assume you’re keeping a lot
more money in your pocket now yeah I mean I really ran the numbers and like if you’re making a million dollars in
the NFL versus a million dollars in real estate the the difference is hundreds of thousands of dollars because of taxes
because in the NFL we’re taxing the highest tax bracket and you know like when I was playing for the Cardinals the
last couple years I was playing 44% taxes and that’s not including a 3%
agent fee on top of that which is off of gross revenue as well so you know you
could pretty much say 50% is gone from taxes and and as you probably know in real estate that’s just not the case so
you know you you’re able to pocket a lot more of the money and it’s not treated equally so you know I I’m like man once
I get to the point where I can make NFL league minimum in passively investing through all all the different ways we
talked about today I’m going to be able to make just as much as I was or just as much as I could in the NFL but keeping
more which is kind of crazy yeah man that’s just such a cool point that and a lot of a lot of wealthy people have
figured this out right but there’s a ton of people out there I think still that make so have such a great W2 income but
they don’t realize what they’re leaving on the table or what they’re giving to the IRS because they don’t have real estate assets that are helping write
that off have you I mean was that you I’m just curious your perspective on that and how you kind of help people to
or like how do people really go do that right so let’s say you’re a guy making a million do it doesn’t have to be that
say it’s 500,000 a year in a really well-paying W2 job but they’re paying $45 40% tax rate like how does that
person get into the game and you’ve talked a lot about it so I want you to kind of summarize but how does that person get in and start getting those
right offs to to where he’s not paying so much the IRS I mean a good example is what we’re talking about like if you
going if you create an LLC and you buy TurnKey properties you you know and
you’re writing off a lot of the things you’re doing through your business now and your LLC you can start to write off
a lot of things that you’re probably already spending money on yeah you know um because now we’re talking about some
of your some of your transportation needs with your car now you’re talking about can you ride off a portion of your
house because that’s your office for your real estate business now now we’re talking about oh restaurants and
sometimes you go to dinner that’s a business that’s a business dinner and relationship and obviously in all this you need to talk to your accountant but
those are the type of things that I’m able to write off nowadays because hey I really do have a dinner and he might be
a buddy of mine but he’s the dealfinder in the Arizona Market where I live and
we’re having dinner and I paid for it and I’m going to use my business credit card that’s a dinner I probably would have had anyways because this is a buddy
of mine but now I’m able to write it off through the business so being able to to structure that differently and just add
that layer just by having an LLC which typically cost less than $ thousand dollars to to start and get running but
you can start to write off a lot of the things that you probably would already do yeah 100% so if you combine that and
then obviously just buying uh so you’re not going to get the same benefits as Devon talked about you could be a private money investor or you could be
in part of a syndication or byy TurnKey but if you do the syndication or the turnkey that’s when you’re going to be
able to get the depreciation of the properties right and be able to actually offset a lot of that income so yes I
always tell guys like the long-term play is is buying properties or are investing in syndications but when you’re trying
to replace a certain level of your income and get a good solid most likely double digit return that’s where the
lending comes into place because that puts you in a position to be able to earn more capital to reinvest to for
like you know you could private money lend you know for a couple years like make enough money for down payment on a
property and do that every two years for instance so you know that’s just the perspective but full transparency you’re
going to pay taxes on that income that’s adding adding income but so it’s like you got to balance it out with with the
other strategies as well I love it it’s all about like you said from the start build that spread right you’re using the
private money to build your spread to to continue stockpiling that cash then you
can go in and start doing the taking the bigger not necessarily bigger risk but taking the bigger shots that are going to really pay off big in the longterm
man Devon it’s been good stuff today man I’ll just yeah I’ll wrap it up with where could people find you and anything
else you want to leave us with especially inspiring people because I I think you not everyone maybe talks about
doing it but they don’t necessarily actually take action and invest passively and you’ve given so many good
ways that they could do it today but I’ll let you take us off of that yeah I just you know I’m I’m super passionate about people who enjoy working or they
have a job that they don’t want to leave they will never leave and I want to encourage you out there to to start
start investing and specifically in real estate I think it’s a great vehicle and even if you love your job and you don’t
want to leave for the next 30 Years you know you you can’t tell me that having an extra $1,000 $2,000 a month coming in
passively that takes five hours or less if you’re someone like me that that wouldn’t be beneficial to you your life
and your family and all it takes is increasing your spread gaining the knowledge building the team and and and
the system so I want to encourage you guys to to go do that and you can find me at Devon Canard on all social media
and www.don Canard dcom and make sure you go order my book it all adds up yeah
awesome and more books coming on the pipe right keep an eye out for those yeah yeah definitely hopefully by the end of the year I’m I’m announcing
another book but uh stand by on that one awesome that’s exciting step well thank you so much Devon for coming on gave
these people a ton or gave our audience a ton of gold nuggets ton of ways to invest passively ton of ways to take the
transition from passive to being a little bit more active man good stuff today awesome thanks for having me man
as you may have learned by tuning into to this episode of Gregor sense the easiest way to make real estate investing hard is by going at it alone
so as you continue learning and seeking knowledge of the industry I want to encourage you to build relationships
with other professionals who are passionate about real estate whether that’s an agent a business owner or a
managing investor like myself there are Pros that want to see you succeed and are willing to help you by sharing their
experience you can always reach me by visiting casy gerson.com and scheduling a call I look forward to connecting with
you and continuing to share my experience with you here on Gregor sense mobile until next time I’m Casey Gregerson thanks for tuning in