Episode 27: From $7 in His Pockets to a Successful Multifamily Syndicator
Vinney “Smile” Chopra shares his amazing journey from arriving in this country from India with $7 in his pocket to building a $70M multifamily real estate empire. In this episode, we focus in particular on how he started his multifamily investing career and how he eventually raised $1.1M to do his first two deals.
After having graduated from George Washington University, Vinney became a mechanical engineer. He was fascinated by sales and marketing and sold encyclopedias and Bibles door-to-door. For several decades, he was a professional fundraiser for non-profit organizations. He started investing in single-family houses in the mid-eighties, but in 2007 he became passionate about multifamily investing. Since then, he’s done $125M worth of real estate transactions and currently controls over 1,400 units. Vinney’s middle name is “Smile” because that what he did a lot during our interview.
Here are the topics we cover on the podcast:
- Why he decided to get started with real estate. Too much work! Couldn’t really scale.
- His first venture into MF: hard! it took 12 months. It seemed impossible. He ended up closing a 14-unit and then a 109 unit just several weeks afterward, raised $1.1M.
[7:30] Vinney’s start in real estate investing
- Started with single-family housing
- Planned on selling the homes to fund retirement
[12:47] Vinny’s preferred method of learning
- Podcasts (12-15 per week)
[13:31] Why positive thinking is so important if you want to achieve your goals[18:13] Why Vinney decided to stop investing in single-family housing
- Minimal economies of scale
- Risk of 100% vacancy
- After the crash of 2007 lenders would only loan on multifamily housing
[20:33] Why Vinney recommends finding a partner
- Encouragement through the tough times
[26:17] Why you should talk to a syndication attorney before raising money
- Vinney’s syndication attorney: Kim Taylor
[28:00] Vinney’s very first deal
- 14 units
- Closed on 109 units soon after
[32:14] How Vinney raised money for his first deal
- Decided not to accept money from friends or relatives
- Designed a great presentation
[38:55] How one happy investor can lead to 30 more
Resources Mentioned in This Episode
Vinney’s course on syndication: realestateu.tv