June 17, 2022

Education and Communication In Real Estate with Sia Senior

In this episode of Cash Flow Pro, we talk with Sia, Senior Principal and Asset Manager at Arrowhead Capital. Sia started as a Mathematics educator at the high school and community college level. She earned her MBA in Economics and Finance and started...

In this episode of Cash Flow Pro, we talk with Sia, Senior Principal and Asset Manager at Arrowhead Capital. Sia started as a Mathematics educator at the high school and community college level. She earned her MBA in Economics and Finance and started in real estate as a real estate professional before transitioning to real estate investing. Sia has almost twenty years of real estate investment experience and is here to share her knowledge with us!



Arrowhead Capital is a real estate investment firm that acquires multifamily assets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Their goal is to provide their investment partners with excellent opportunities that allow them to create passive wealth while enhancing the lives of those who reside in their apartments.


In this episode, we discuss:

  • Real estate education
  • Investing in real estate Vs. Stocks
  • Understanding the big picture of real estate as a long-term investment
  • Working with your tenants


Tune in on this episode to find out more!


Find your flow,

Casey Brown


Resources mentioned in this podcast:


Casey Brown  0:00  
Great Hey there and welcome to today's episode of cash flow pro your daily real estate investing podcast and YouTube channel. I am here today with ces senior of Arrowhead capital. Now, we were talking there briefly before the show. And she corrected my pronunciation. It is senior. Not Senor, it is senior. And she also told me that she almost didn't marry her husband because of that. So anyway, no, I'm sure he's a great guy. And I'm sure you glad you did. So, anyhow, sia was just telling me that she and her husband are both licensed real estate agents. They work on referrals as far as that goes, but they are mainly in the capital raising space and the multifamily invest in real estate investing in general. So see ya. How are you today?

Unknown Speaker  0:58  
I'm great, Casey, how are you doing?

Casey Brown  1:00  
Doing Wonderful, wonderful. Just trying to figure out I guess what this weather is going to do? I'm sure by the time this podcast airs, it will be nice and warm and 100% humidity outside. But today, it's like 59 degrees. And, you know, so I actually had to wear jeans today, believe it or not,

Unknown Speaker  1:20  
anyhow. I can't really absolutely, yeah. And

Casey Brown  1:23  
you said it's raining there today, right? Yes. I'd rather have the cool weather than I would the rain rain, just kind of aggravating. So anyhow, we'll see, I want you to start by kind of telling us a little bit about your background. Know You said, teaching at one point and, and ultimately what led you into the commercial real estate space, and then we'll get into how you move forward from there.

Unknown Speaker  1:47  
Sure, great. Thanks for having me again. So I started real estate. Actually, as a full time teacher, my husband and I, we purchased our first home and realized how easy it was for the agent to in 2002. That's a lot of people were like, wait a minute, we can do this. So we both got our license, he was actually full time as it worker for the federal government. And me as a teacher, a high school math teacher. And so we would, I would on the weekends and summers do real estate, he would do it, you know, on his off hours, and about 2005, he just had to go full time because the real estate market was really picking up in our area. And so we sold off, you know, we rented out our first house that we lived in to move into the house we live in now, and saw the potential of the rental income coming from that. And so adding on the real estate, you know, Agent piece of it, we started buying more rentals. In the DC area, Baltimore, single families are single families, we bought a four unit in DC. And up until the point where we decided, you know, like 2015, because he stopped working by 2008, doing the full time into real estate. And I moved into, you know, I continue to work while we continue to add to our portfolio and about 2015 after my third child, I realized I couldn't do the managing of our assets, we had a little over 15 at that point that we were self managing plus, you know, managing the kids managing, teaching, doing the flips, it was a lot of work. So I decided to give up teaching and since 2015. Now I've been figured maybe you gotta give up the kids you

Casey Brown  3:21  
didn't give up. I was it was

Unknown Speaker  3:22  
close. Let me tell you, I was

Casey Brown  3:24  
like, close. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  3:28  
Real close, real close. But thankfully, you know, we've had a great time doing real estate full time, you know, managing our assets. And then little over two years ago, we decided to transition into working multifamily commercial real estate. And so we made some connections with other individuals, we got into a networking mentoring program. And were able to at the end of December 2021 Connect with some people that we had met with unknown and aligned in their values and went down and did a joint venture 16 units in Johnson, Tennessee. And then we also did a slight LP, you know, investment. 134 years in Houston. So that's a quick story about how we transition out of transition from being a full time teacher to full time big.

Casey Brown  4:13  
It's always funny how many how many people are just into quick little deals in Houston. I mean, you're like that. It's just it's an unbelievable place right now, I guess, just from what everybody says it talks about Houston is just exploding. So hopefully you were in on that deal early and it's going to, it's going to pay off. So. So let's kind of go back, you know, you and I chatted a little bit about where you look for or potentially find investors. And of course, you mentioned possibly the possibility of some past real estate, like as a real estate agent past clients that maybe had had some decent net worth and so on. So how does that How do you approach those folks now like, like, let's say it's just been Some time before you spoke with them, do you just call them up and say, Hey, you sent me a check?

Unknown Speaker  5:05  
Well, we don't do that. Well, the cool thing about what we I mean, we could, but that would be, you know, wouldn't really work for us, I don't think just, we were, who we were, as agents, you know, and who we now are is real estate investors, we're really about relationship building. So just like with our tenants, and connecting with them, and making sure that everything works out well, so that we can continue to have the cash flow from them. You know, our past clients, we have developed relationships that we, you know, connect with them every season, we do a follow up phone calls, just in general. So some of them aren't even aware of the opportunities right now that we have, particularly because we're trying to make sure that what their goals are for investing match up with what we have to offer for them. Sure. And so right now, we're just kind of in the, you know, mode of trying to connect with them, figure out what their plans are, what their goals are, and how we could possibly help them. I think another thing that for us is going to be important is that I've really been, we've both been working on making sure that we educate them, because we have a lot of people who are regular w two workers, you know, they're they've been told, as we all have about, like, oh, invest in stock market, you know, do this kind of thing. And they don't really have the experience or exposure to the benefits of investing in multifamily like this. And so for us, we're really committed and intentional about making sure that they understand the risks that are involved, but the also the benefits. And so we've been basically working on educating them right, so that they are confident and well prepared for all all that they're gonna be able to receive in this aspect. How

Casey Brown  6:33  
do you how do you educate? Do you hold like webinars? Or do you hold classes? Or do you have a program on your website? How do you how do you go about the education part?

Unknown Speaker  6:43  
Right, so right now we do have, we have a webinar, that's just getting people informed about real estate in general, because I think that's the basic piece of it. And so we've been doing webinars, to educate them on different aspects of real estate investing, because not everyone's going to want to do or be able to afford right to do the capital, do the, you know, none of that meant a lot of people were accredited investors, or have the net worth to be able to do that or are willing to risk you know, that a Sarge large amount of money on doing those types of investments. So we've been really broad about all aspects of investing in real estate, because we recognize that, even if just as we were able to grow our wealth on single family, that's something that might be an option for some people who are willing to be active. But for those that don't want to be active, but have a high income and want to still invest, they can passively invest with us as well. So our our education piece is really going to be for the bots broad spectrum of people and investing with a focus on what makes sense for them, and informing them about that, I think the other piece that we do, is, you know, we're working on the social media aspect of it, because that's where you find a lot of people, that's where some people are hanging out. And so presenting the content in a way that makes sense, that inspires and gives them inspires them to move and take action, you know, as a church to just, you know, looking back and scrolling.

Casey Brown  8:03  
So that's when you get when you get somebody that's been through your education, and you get on the you get on a call with them. And they're, they're interested in potentially moving forward? What are the what are a few of the objections that you typically hear? And then how do you handle those?

Unknown Speaker  8:21  
Right, so at this point, you know, we've we've just been kind of connecting to inform. And so some of the objectives that we hear objections that we hear are really more like, oh, it's really risky, you know, investing in these types of deals, real estate, you know, whether the tenant doesn't pay those kinds of objections. You know, that's pretty much it, right? Because the concern with real estate is like, Oh, you're not gonna get paid, look at what happened with the pandemic. And all of these, you know, judges, you know, giving the tenants, you know, they don't have to pay, they can stay in the property. So that right now was probably the biggest one. I, you know, in terms of how we, you know, deal with that is we go back to our experience having been in real estate, but besides being agents, but being investors and having our own portfolio for at least 1520 years, sure to inform them about, you know, how we are clear, you know, how we're intentional about the types of tenants that we pick, the types of residents in the community that we create in our housing, such that, you know, we pick the right tenants that are going to be fully qualified, and we still have relationship with them, such that if something happens, we can work together so that the rent still comes in, and if they need assistance we've had in the past with the pandemic, you know, worked with them to get, you know, financial assistance from any government programs that were available to them, and just working with them. And so we've, you know, had great collection during the entire time of the pandemic and we, you know, communicate that communicate that to the potential investors to let them know about that aspect. Sure. And then we also bring up the police about, you know, no offense, but that stock market right now, you know, I want to talk about a risk. That's a risk. That's very well.

Casey Brown  10:05  
And here's the other part. And this is what really bothers me is as syndicators, we are basically required to disclose, disclose, disclose, disclose, disclose, like, at every single turn, we're required to say, hey, no, this is a risky investment, you could lose this, this, you know, I mean, basically everything we have to go through, okay. And all of that comes down, and then but but then you can log into any platform and you can buy, you can buy penny stocks that have less than a less than a 1% chance of taken off and becoming something. And it's like, you know, and and the issue that I see here is, is that the real estate investing part of it is probably the most secure. Right? Because how many stocks over? Over however, you know, I particularly I always go back to a stock when I was growing up, it was called MCI. Okay, I think that's what it was, MCI was the telephone, they, they had some some kind of technology, and it was, you know, the, the whole nighttime or evening calling was going on and telemarketing was going on, and so on and so forth. And that stock alone costs, no telling how much you know, at one time it was this, and then all of a sudden, boom, it's gone. It's gone, bankrupt, gone. Now, somebody's investment is truly, truly gone forever. And then you and I are out trying to say, hey, here's some of these investments. And let's say you invested in an apartment building and for some reason didn't have it insured, right? It burns to the ground. Now you have nothing left. Except for what you still have the dirt, you still have the Grammy. So what I'm getting at is, is Is this, like they're it's like they put us in this corner over here. And they're like, Okay, hey, you guys can talk about investing. And I get that we have to educate, I get that we have to tell people what it is what they're investing in. But the fact that that all of these things have to come into play. And we are actually, I don't even know what percentage more secure our investments are than some of those other than others. And I hate to get off on that. But you know, I just feel like we're kind of as real estate, syndicators kind of put in a corner in a way. I mean, I get we're not licensed to trade securities. And you know, they've kind of given us a way to fly without necessarily having our wings fully spread. And so it's, but anyway, that

Unknown Speaker  13:03  
no, no, I completely understand. I think I completely agree with you, I think the biggest key is that, you know, if someone is going to be investing in the stock market, and they're doing the day trades, or you know, penny stocks, or that kind of stuff, it's just them being involved in not being influenced. So the idea is that, hey, you know, you take the risk, you made the investment, that's kind of your thing. I think when we, you know, I think we have responsibility as real estate investors, syndicators, you know, in the multifamily space, or even if we're not just any kind of deal that you're doing, what you're bringing on investors is to, you know, inform, because we're introducing something that they wouldn't have access to in the first place. Right. So I think it's important that, you know, we are transparent about the risks, because we are leading them to something like this, but the benefits, you know, as long as we are communicating, you know, well what the potential benefits could be, I don't see really an issue with them trying to invest because it's the same thing, like you said, if you're going to be spending 10,000 20,000 50,000, and doing these types of investments, at least you have a hard asset here, I'm gonna go on the whim of you know, someone tweeting something, and then the stock drops down, you know, so we don't have that impact. And that's what I use to inform and educate them about that. And that you can go

Casey Brown  14:15  
all you have to do is look at a graph of, of real estate values. I mean, that, you know, we always have troughs in there, and you always have points where it's worth less today than it was a week ago, but when you look at it on a 10 year scale, what does that say?

Unknown Speaker  14:30  
Right, right. So the other thing I do is really in you know, reiterate our experience, because we have been managing and I think that that allay some kind of fears, because when you're with a group that you know, is able to talk about managing the assets so that you can continue to get the income coming in from the tenants right and you can improve the management of the asset such that you can decrease the expenses which you know, ends up giving you a higher, you know, noi that is what we do I have to communicate with them in terms of our experience, have

Casey Brown  15:02  
you set yourself? Do you lock yourself?

Unknown Speaker  15:05  
So you manage everything but the 16th unit in Tennessee? Uh huh. Yep, I manage it, my husband and I together. Also, that's been a lot of experience from us, we've learned a lot. But I think it's really benefited us such that we're where we are now, where we are able to, you know, because of our experience, educate people about that, when we go into the when we went into the 16 unit, and, you know, we're on, I'm on the asset management team. So knowing you know, what kinds of things that the property manager should be doing to make sure that we can continue to have income coming in, you know, we can decrease the turnovers. We're communicating with the tenants, because we still want them to have housing, right. And so it's a matter of making sure that we're communicating, no, we don't want to kick you out in the street. But we also need to recognize that rent needs to come in, and this is what you're paying in rent, here's the market rent, it's not the same, let's work on this together kind of thing. And so we've been very successful with that. And so that's what I hope to kind of continue, as we grow, you know, our real estate,

Casey Brown  16:00  
well, and that's the same, that's the same thing. You know, I went to a tenant of mine here, I just had one of my single families that I've got here locally, and, and you know, very nice guy, he and I've always got along, we've always cut up whatever and had a good relationship. So I consider him a friend, right. And when you have a friend and you go to him, you say, Hey, man, listen, or it's gotta go, you know that, that creates a weird dynamic. But the bottom line is, was I just called him up. And I said, Listen, man, I hate to do this to you. Because, you know, we are friends. But, you know, my insurance just went up this, they're talking about property tax increases this, I've got a mana. Since it's a commercial loan, I'm on a, I'm on a fluctuating interest rate at the bank. And I said, so I've got, I basically don't have any choice left, but to go up on rent, if for nothing else to cover the insurance expense that's just gone up. And so again, and he was he was very grateful that I was straightforward with him. I didn't, I didn't pull the wool over try to. So I feel like when you get some of those things, if you if they're if they're if you're kind of in the what I call, like the stabilizing type point of the property, if you're just straight up with people, and you're just like, hey, listen, this is this is the deal. Are we just bought this and then I feel like people are pretty receptive and willing to work with you, because the last thing you want to do is everybody move out. Now you may have some troublesome tenants that, that that kind of, that's going to kind of take care of right, naturally. But so what's the biggest challenge with managing long distance like that?

Unknown Speaker  17:44  
So well, because it's a 16 unit that we have a joint venture with, we don't, you know, it's actually one of our benefits, because I just basically am communicating with, you know, the point person, we only have one person talking to the property manager, but, you know, as a team, we share the experience and gives them insight on opportunities, how to approach these different things, and making sure that, you know, our point person is communicating with their property manager, about how we want to approach the tenants with this, and I think it worked out well, for us, when we did the transition, you know, a lot of them were month to month. And they had been their rents have been grossly, grossly under market, but that's because it was self managed. And so, you know, once they recognize, you know, we communicated from the beginning, we're going to be the new owners, here's the property manager, here's what we're looking at doing, you know, getting some time to take it in, because obviously, it's going to be a shock from you know, having, you know, self managed, you know, kind of, you know, owner managing and paying in cash and paying and dimes and whatever else to your professional kind of setup, you know, giving them some time recognizing, you know, letting them know, like, hey, we see you, we understand what you're going through, we're not going to just turn you over now, but recognize what the rent is in the market and what you're paying, and you know, that it's, you know, four or $500 different, let's come to an agreement to see how we can work this out. So we were able to work with them on that.

Casey Brown  19:04  
Sometimes I'll tell them sometimes I'll even tell the tenant, we had a different deal a couple of months ago, and I said, Listen, if you decide to move out, you know, there's not gonna be any hard feelings. We're still gonna, you know, this wasn't my same tenant that I was talking about a minute ago, but But I said, you know, go go check around, go fight. If you can find something better to rent for less money, then by all means, we you know, we're not trying to hold you back or keep you tied here. And the other thing, you know, I've got a, I've got a 10 year old, and she has this. I don't know if all kids are like this or if it's just or sometimes I feel like there's very little bit of hair I've got left out. But she has this really weird i don't even know if it's, again, all kids maybe like this, maybe maybe something that everybody's like, Oh yeah, my kids like that too. But if you tell her say hey, tomorrow morning, we're gonna get up and then we're going go do this, and then we're gonna go do this, and then we're gonna go to this, okay? If he goes to sleep gets up, my next morning, everything's great. If we get up and we start out the door and I say, oh, shoot, we gotta go do this, before we do this, and then we've got to go grab that before we can do this. It's like she loses her mind. It's like, everything just goes really bonkers. And I love her to death. But it's like, it's like she, she was so set on doing this, this and this, that when something even as minor of a change as it is gets thrown into the mix, she becomes this almost disoriented, really. And I feel like that's a little bit the same thing that I've seen with tenants, like if you run in there on one day, and you're like, Hey, I just bought the apartment, rents going up, locks are getting changed. And we're going to do this and that and that. It's like, everybody's like, I was just trying to go to work today. What? And so you're right. And when you say you set out a timeline, and you're like, Hey, listen, I'm Casey Brown, and we just purchased the unit. Nothing's gonna change for a little while. Just go back to your waist one introduce myself. Then a couple days later, or a week later, whatever it is, you know, work with people like that, because what you don't want to do is is lose the decently the decent quality tenants that you do have? Absolutely, because you're just an ass about it. And I hate to say that, but I mean, it's just, you know, so many of us have this. And I've seen so many real estate investors and syndicators in one off deal owners who take a who take up podium stance at their tenant. And that's not right.

Unknown Speaker  21:46  
That's a great story. One. Yes, the kids are like that, because I have 311, nine and seven. So it's

Casey Brown  21:52  
not just for me, it's not just for my kids. I've got five. I just have one that's worse about that than anything.

Unknown Speaker  22:00  
Yeah, we Yeah, the flashback that of you know that backlash is nothing else. So yeah, we try our best to kind of like we said this, but you know, when ungraciously I'm sorry, Mommy made a mistake. Can we you know, so that kind of softens a little bit? But that's just yeah, that's definitely what could be the age too. Who knows? Sure. Yeah, you're right. Like, you know, making sure that you communicate and I sorry, part of it is sort of turned it off. I'm sorry. That's my husband, because he was

Casey Brown  22:28  
hurt. He said, he's from Jamaica, like, I can't hear that, please call him.

Unknown Speaker  22:35  
But I was saying like, you know, part of that, I think the benefit is when you approach the tenants like that, and the residents, you're recognizing you're seeing the humanity, right? Because, out in society, it's like, Ooh, andorre, it's awful, you know, kind of thing. But when you present and say, like, hey, you know, we're the new owners, you know, our team is very excited about this, we want to, you know, give you a wonderful place to live, we're looking at doing these types of changes, we're going to be fixing those things that were an issue, you know, giving them that which is what we did our group, you know, went and found out what the items were from due diligence. And hey, we need to fix these things and find out from them what they were concerned about, we had the property manager do that. And so we addressed those things. And then after that was done, it was like, okay, just to give you a heads up rants about 1200 in the area, you know, and you're paying seven, so there's gonna be some working here, because we still have bills to pay and that kind of stuff. And I think you don't

Casey Brown  23:23  
go from seven to 12. Like, you'll call him up and say, Hey, we're going to 12 under, or you say, hey, over the next six months, we're going to have a gradual increase, this is what's going to increase too. If you if it's more than you can afford, we certainly understand we need to help let us know. And, again, and that's one of the big things so as a fund of funds, which is what our business model is, that's one of the first things that we look at is is quality of life at the at the sponsors, assets. And that plays into that big time. Because if somebody's being an asset to the tenants, you're probably not going to want to be involved in a business deal with them because it's obvious that their you know, that they feel some sort of whatever. So yeah, quality of life stuff and just just just overall easiness of making people feel like that's their home because it is the end of the day. So So what do you all have on the in the pipeline? Is there is there a knock that I want you to reveal any specific deals that maybe you're you're back to scoring like that, but what do you all have kind of moving right now,

Unknown Speaker  24:40  
we're doing a lot of underwriting on deals, we're looking at a couple in the DC area. You know, we are focused in this area two and a half mile two and a half hour radius from where we are is anything between, you know, five and 100 that we can take down either as an industry like as a, you know, ourselves for personal portfolio or something that we can do with joy Venture Partners. If it's big enough, then we would like to syndicate that we've been, like I said, working with our investors to kind of see what they're looking for if they're cashflow people, or if they're okay with, you know, a nice appreciation deal kind of thing. So we're, we're working on those and connecting with other investors to, you know, in North and South Atlanta. That's our secondary markets that we're interested in. What was that? I'm sorry, North and North and South Carolina, North Carolina. Yeah, like those areas as well. And just really connecting with people to see, you know, what we can do together, we're excited about this. And we're looking forward to getting some of our investors who have no clue about this in the game, you know, what I mean, to help them with their generational wealth and their cash flow and passive income that they probably didn't even know they could?

Casey Brown  25:40  
Well, if nothing else, set them up for something that's anti inflation, yes. Or an inflation hedge rather more more so than then just, you know, and that's, that's the whole thing is, and again, it all circles right back around to what you said educating, educating and handling that part of it is paramount to the success of, of any investment model. And even if they don't invest with you, educating them, and making them aware of alternative investments, and things that can be done differently, is, is where it's at. So, all right, so we're kind of running out of time here. And I want to we've got a couple of questions that I ask every guest that's on the show, all of them are the same, there's no right or wrong answer. But what is the best book that you most recently read or currently reading?

Unknown Speaker  26:39  
Well, my two favorite books that I always go back to them and use them as a point of reference. The first one is a Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller. I just love that book. And I tell people about it all the time. I just think that it's, you know, a great foundational book and gives a great picture about, you know, how real estate should be approached, you know, and that's, we're buying hold investors. So that is like, just right up our alley. Yeah, like, he also worked on the one thing book, which I like, because it helps us kind of helps me really focusing on what's important and not be distracted, and really get the important things done first, so that, you know, I can move forward with all the goals that I have. So those two are my favorite books, and I read them often, like I just go back to them as I do other books. So yeah,

Casey Brown  27:23  
well, I think if you can understand the basis of just what he what he gets across in the first book that you mentioned there. I mean, just the very basics, even if you don't get into I mean, just anyway, I'm in agreement with you. So next question is what is a dream vacation that you have either taken or hoped to take? Oh,

Unknown Speaker  27:46  
okay. Well, I guess our dream vacation, we went to Aruba for our honeymoon. I loved it. It was great. years ago. And so that was you know, I hope to go back soon. We're we've been we traveled through the Caribbean. And I'm getting ready to get our kids going. Hopefully, we'll be heading to someplace like Costa Rica soon. That's my we

Casey Brown  28:03  
were we were getting ready to go to Aruba several years ago, and I remember looking at the weather. And there was, I don't know, 80% chance of rain every day, every day. And I was like, gosh, dang it this This sucks. This thinks it's gonna rain every day. Well, I didn't know that it rains every day. Basically, every day it rains no matter whether, whatever, but it rains for like eight minutes. And then it's over and it's gone. And then eight or 10 hours later, it might rain for another eight minutes. little breeze 70 degree weather it is the most perfect place on earth. As far as I'm beautiful.

Unknown Speaker  28:40  
It's beautiful. Yeah.

Casey Brown  28:43  
How can the listeners reach out to to hook up with you if you know, again, for the listeners, I want to highly recommend her as as a point of reference for education and coming back. So how can the listeners reach out to you and get in touch if they heard something they want to learn about or or, or talk further with you about something like that?

Unknown Speaker  29:06  
Sure. So um, two places, you can go to our website, web, www arrowhead cap that COMM And that's where we have, you know, all the information about us our business, and the webinars are listed there as well. You can also find me on LinkedIn, I like to post here and there and, you know, connect with people and inspire. And so I use that as a means as well of communicating with people.

Casey Brown  29:27  
Awesome. Awesome. We'll see you thank you so much. And we appreciate you taking the time to to be on here with us. And I know your husband's probably ready to for you to call him back and see what he's doing and tell him that we appreciate everything that you all do up there and all the education that you're given for the industry. So thank you so much again, and I hope everybody has a wonderful rest of the day. See you. Thank you.

Unknown Speaker  29:50  
Thank you appreciate it. Yes, ma'am.

Transcribed by

Sia SeniorProfile Photo

Sia Senior

Arrowhead Capital