May 27, 2022

How Passive Income Can Give You Your Life Back with Aileen Prak

“What if I told you that the things in your life the goods the stuff in your life wasn't bought with money, it was bought with little bits of your time.” In the 43rd episode of Cash Flow Pro, we talk with Aileen Prak, one of the managing partners...

“What if I told you that the things in your life the goods the stuff in your life wasn't bought with money, it was bought with little bits of your time.”

In the 43rd episode of Cash Flow Pro, we talk with Aileen Prak, one of the managing partners at Bonavest Capital. Aileen began her career in aerospace industry finance managing projects with more than $900M budgets. It was in 2018, when she had her first child and only 3 months of maternity leave that she realized she needed to create a passive income source that would allow her to spend time with her family without sacrificing their finances.



Bonavest Capital focuses on properties that provide above average returns. Their mission is to help investors achieve financial freedom through passive investments. They do so with respect, transparency, and integrity.


In this episode, we discuss:

  • The benefits of passive income
  • Time management and how it affects your lifestyle
  • The importance of education and relationships
  • What to look for when investing in real estate


Tune in on this episode to find out more!

Find your flow,

Casey Brown


Resources mentioned in this podcast:


Casey Brown  0:00  
All right. Hey there and welcome to today's episode of cash flow Pro, your daily real estate investing podcast and YouTube channel. So I am here today with Eileen prac of bhana vest capital. And her and I were just talking pre show about where she invests in how she invests. And I cannot wait for us to jump in and hear her story and how she got to where she is today. And what led her to the real estate, syndication world and real estate investing world. So Eileen, how are you today? I'm doing. You're very welcome. We're so glad to have you, we're always glad to have guests on here that can share value and help our listeners in their real estate journey wherever they might be. So go ahead, tell us a little bit about you know, how you got started, where you started, where maybe this real estate thing kind of like, started sticking its head up so that you could, so that you can tell the listeners how you got started?

Unknown Speaker  1:11  
Sure. So I got started, well, I'll give a little bit background on myself a little bit further. So I went the traditional path, went to school good. went and got a corporate job in finance. And so that's where my specialty lies, I work in Finance in the aerospace industry. And, you know, education, from Brown from when we were younger has been an important part of our lives growing up, it's something that our parents had instilled in us growing up, and you know, even today, so education is huge. For us, it's the foundation of everything. And so whatever we do, they always, as long as you have your education, you have your solid foundation base, no matter what happens, anybody can take everything away from you, but they can never take away what's up in here. And so, for me, you know, that was a really important thing is to get that education, you know, work the W two job, you know, and then and then be successful in the career that we're working in. He does real estate also. And so we always knew that real estate was a great place to create cash flow, build up wealth, but it didn't really hit home without the concept of power, the power of passive investing and what it can do for your life for your families, until I became a mom myself. Back in 2018, when I had I was pregnant with my first son, and he was, you know, he after he was born, right, as a working w two job, work a W two employee, you get three months of maternity leave. And so I remember during that time, it was so excellent to be able to be at home with him every single day seeing all the different milestones that he's changing, that things that he's facing, experiencing every single moment. However, after those three months were up, you know, as all WT workers know, you have to go back to work, paid your time for money. And that was where that was a really hard decision for us. Because me and my husband, we work far from home, our commute time delivering the

Casey Brown  3:13  
most valuable time.

Unknown Speaker  3:14  
It is That's it, it is because the commute time is really about for me about three to four hours every single day that I was losing with my kid to be able to drive. And so I would take a vanpool everyday to get to work. So I didn't have like a, you know, my own vehicle to drive back and forth from home. And I needed to, just because you know, it was so far away. Yeah. And so I remember we had to make a decision when I had to go back to work to put him into daycare and to trust that these strangers are going to take care of him to be able to keep them safe and to treat him as well as they could and keep them safe to their best ability. I remember after a couple weeks, we got a phone call from the daycare and they say hey, your son is sick, you need to come pick him up, he has a high fever.

Casey Brown  3:58  
And you're two hours away.

Unknown Speaker  4:00  
Yes, yes. And as a first you feel so awful, not being able to get to your kid right away, you're not able to be there. You know, even though it's a little bit extra time to get there, you know, but you want to be there immediately. And so it was in that moment where the light bulb clicked. And I was thinking like, you know, there has to be a better way where you know, I don't have to trade my time for money I can be there whenever my kid wants me to be there, be there for those important parts and stuff like that I don't have to always trade my time for money. I have other sources of income coming in. And so that's when we really looked for different ways to create passive income for ourselves to create other streams of income so in case something were to you know, money is working hard for us and we don't necessarily have to put in those efforts and work hard for our money. So we looked at all different options and we came upon we always kept going back to real estate and it was always real estate real estate real estate. It was a fit our model the what we were looking to do fit our lifestyle. You know it's a The way we approached things is a little bit more conservative conservative. Real Estate allowed us to, you know, invest in something that was backed by a hard asset, something that you can touch that you can feel, and the value, the intrinsic value is always going to be there in the property that you own. So we really love that model. So we ended up

Casey Brown  5:19  
on the income I was just going to mention, you know, you just the whole benefit of everything that you've said, and especially from a from a person that was in the position you were in, did you say 2018? Is that right? Yes. So So yeah, I mean, and I mean, anything that you've given there that says, Hey, I've enjoyed working this w two job, I can't, you know, I'm just what I'm getting at is it's just, that's the way that so many people get started as they're like, hey, my kids are here. They're growing this is it. This is that note, that was a huge point, just in being self employed for myself, obviously, it was not in the syndication game at that time. But at the you know, it's just such a benefit. So go ahead.

Unknown Speaker  6:00  
Yes, no, absolutely. Because ultimately, when we looked at real estate, we saw it as a vehicle as a tool to be able to get us to a lifestyle, that diner lifestyle that we choose to be in. And so ultimately, what the real estate, the ultimate, the ultimate goal is to just have choices in life is to be able to choose whether or not you want to continue working your W two to be able to choose, you know, where you spend your time with your kids with your family with. So ultimately, that's the end goal. And we saw it as the best in probably the most, maybe not the fastest way, essentially, because, you know, real estate is a long term game. So you have to look at it as a long term vision long term goal, but over time, with the compounding of compounding that we're able to make our way there and in the long term, be able to live that lifestyle that we envisioned for ourselves for our family.

Casey Brown  6:50  
Yeah. And that's, again, that's where a lot of people are. And the thing is, though, is I try to get through when I'm talking to somebody who's wanting to come into the the real estate investment or well real estate syndication world, which is specifically where we're at. But when you start looking at it from anybody that wants to become self employed for the reasons you just stated, one of the biggest things, if not the biggest thing that I hear is just it's the word fear. Okay? What if this? What if that, what if I don't make enough money to support my family? What if I can't meet my goals? What and so I guess I want to kind of dive in right here, I want to stop right where we're at. And I want to dive in right here and hear your version of how you tackled the fear of self really the fear of self the fear of I can't What if I don't? Or what if, because I'm sure that was a real, right?

Unknown Speaker  7:51  
Absolutely. I think anybody who's starting something new, something a little bit outside your comfort zone, you're always going to have that fear, that limiting belief in the back of your mind all at all times, especially when you're getting started. And like you said, it's that fear of like, what if I take this step or you know, and I stumble, I fall, right? But what's worse than facing those fears and taking those actions is not taking those actions, and living a life of regret, and looking back 10 years down the road and thinking to yourself, I should have what if I did this and so that scares me much more than let's try this out and see how it works. Because what would happen, you know, maybe I just might not be as successful as I thought I was, you know, maybe might lose a little bit money but at the same time, money you can always regain it back I can always work towards it, you know, it's not something to be afraid of, but it's like the potential of missing out of what could be the possibilities out there that scares me even more, I wouldn't want to live a life old regret down the road,

Casey Brown  8:55  
the truck and you know, and you when you when you look at that you can't buy that time back, you know, you can buy the time forward, you know, by doing something to shorten a timeline or whatever, but once that time is gone, the dollar can be made again the time is gone and the dollar is just in my opinion, the dollar is just a a division of time period. anyway and so the the fact that I heard somebody one time that said I hate to just keep harping on this, this whole thing but but I know it's such a it's such a dividing factor between those of us that are successful in certain aspects of of self employed this and the people who are feel like they're stuck working the dead end, whatever. And so when when I say I saw a I guess a meme or whatever you want to call it online one time and it said, What if I told you that the things in your life the goods the the stuff in your life wasn't bought with money, it was bought with little bits of your time. And that was one of the things that like, I mean, if that doesn't hit you like a freight train, I don't know what does, or what would because, essentially. And that really probably hit me harder because of where I was in life at the time was, I had young kids that started at the age of like eight and went to three, I think, or whatever, I'd have to go back and do the math. But what I'm getting at is, is that was a point in life where, where I was really all you hear all the way around you is everybody says you better out you better, you better enjoy this, you better enjoy this, because you better enjoy this. Because of this, you better enjoy this because of there going to be grown, you better enjoy. And it really hit me because I was spending all of much like yourself. Of course, you were were already you had kind of you were still a younger parent. But by the time I got to where I was, I was like, Man, this is going by so fast. And this is an all I'm doing. And again, I was even self employed at the time. But I hadn't scaled to the spot where I want it to be where it meant, hey, this stuff will take care of itself. And some of that was a control issues with myself, because I needed to let it go and let it handle itself. Aside of me being in control. So I'll let you speak to everything I've just kind of dumped out there.

Unknown Speaker  11:26  
No, absolutely, I think especially come down pandemic, that it also spirit sped up every mindset about, you know how time is so important. It's the one currency that we don't, like everybody has the same amount of time, you know, you can never gain more more time, right, you can always gain more money, money, real estate, well, that's all just a tool to be able to share and to be you know, to gain that time freedom back because ultimately, what makes you happy in life, you can you can you know, that increment, let's say you make $100,000 One year, if you make that $200,000 Next year is that really going to give you happiness? Not really, it's not, but it's gonna give you the ability to do things to spend your time that, you know, use utilize it as a tool to be able to get you to that happiness with your family, you know, because you're not worrying about where the money is coming from, you're not worrying about the next check. You know, your health is more relaxed, you're, you're less stressed and everything like that. So if you're able to kind of not focus on that spot side of things, but focus on the things that matter in life, like your time and your health and your family. That's where your that's where your your your value comes from. That's where you know your happiness comes from is to be able to do those things. So when you look back on life, it's like well, I colors but Did I did I waste all my time with my kids, I miss all their games miss all the times where they their first walk or whatever like that, you know, it's all about those types in those moments that we need to cherish and we need to focus on. And so as we're taking this journey, there's this path, we have to sell, we can't forget why we're doing what we're doing.

Casey Brown  13:08  
Yep, that's exactly right. And, and it's so it's so anti the American way, when you say, Hey, I'm gonna chill here, and I'm gonna go to my kids ballgame. And I don't care how much money I'll make while I'm there. That's where I'm going to be. And that's, and that's, that's not the American way. And it's not the it's not the capitalist way. And it's not the so many different ways that that it's not. But again, that's that was why I wanted to stop right there. Because the I wanted you to define those fears and for the audience, and you most definitely hit the nail right on the head. And you did it in the first two or three sentences that you said when you said what's the what is more fearful, doing something and potentially failing, or continuing down the path you're, you're on and getting to the end of that path or the middle of that path or wherever and then looking back and saying Man, I wish I had done. I wish I had done this. I wish I had done that. And that's it. It's it's it's a it's a huge kind of hard topic or hard subject for people to define. Because everybody's everybody's spot is different. Okay, you know, everybody's and everybody's goals are different. You know, I I've got people I know people in my life whose goal is to just make it through the day and make it to the pillow at night. And you know, and and the fact of the matter is, is that if that's what makes them happy, and that's what they get enjoyment out of, then there's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with that. But it's the person who gets up every day and just makes it to the pillow at night. That then looks out the window at all these other people doing this, this this and this wishing that hey man, I wish I could get like that and You know, get up and do it, just take action, if that's what you want take action, if you don't then keep doing what you do. So I want to kind of move forward a little bit here. So So you, you had your your son. And of course, we talked a little bit about balance in those life, the, the even even if when you become self employed, the balance of life and business is super challenging, super challenging to the point where a lot of people can do it. I mean, it's just becomes so then you know, so So kind of walk us forward from there.

Unknown Speaker  15:39  
Yeah, like you mentioned, you know, what the time and everything like that we only have so many hours in the day. And so we have to be protective of where we spend our time, and putting it where we want to spend it, and making sure that we're utilizing the time that we do have to the best of our abilities to the highest and most productive use of our time. And so you look at your day, and you kind of break it up into different increments. And whatever is not important at that time to help you move forward or to fulfill your life, you know, you kind of have to block those time, block those things out and above what the time that you do have, and then really hone in and be present for all the actions that you're actually taking in those in those moments to you know, move forward with your goals, or anything like that, you know, and so it's just being very clear on what your end goal is, what your intentions are. And then breaking it down and trying to block out what's all the other noise that's happening on because there's so much out there, there's so much noise,

Casey Brown  16:39  
noise, noise noise, and I don't mean kids banging on a xylophone noise. We're talking about like the noise that you can't go to sleep and get away from. It's constantly banging in your head. And it's way worse. No, I know. I know. And then and then you have to, you have to set up those noise filters to be able to cognitively understand what is noise and what is something that you really need to take in and retain and figure out how to use. And so it's yeah, it's definitely challenging. So let's, let's go forward here and talk about mana vest, capital and tell us a little bit about maybe how that became a reality. And what, again, I'd like to maybe even put a foot back behind us and toe in there and say what were the fears that you had, as that became and that not because I think it was fearful or anything like that. But there had to be some type of of airy go, you know, because I know I had that when I first when I wired an attorney somewhere that I had only met via the Zoom call to set up my fund and get things going. And I was just like, here you go, you know, and here it went. So I'd like to hear a little bit about that.

Unknown Speaker  18:02  
So when we vote when we discovered multifamily syndications, and we decided, and we did our education, because like I mentioned, you know, education is so important to get that understanding and that foundation first before, you know taking that next step and taking that action. So after we did all of our due diligence, and got into multifamily syndication, we invest it first as a passive investor. And that first, you know, check that you're writing to somebody you might not have ever met in person, you just had like phone calls with them on the phone. That was very scary, because it's like, well, this is the first time we're doing something like this, it's not the norm. Nobody else in our circle has done something like this. But we've done enough due diligence, we fill enough confidence and we built up enough relationship with the sponsor, to feel comfortable that we are entrusting our money to somebody who's going to take care of it be good stewards of our capital. And so that's what we did. And so that that first that first check was very, very difficult. And it's getting that over that limiting belief in that what if kind of like, what if something goes south? What if they take my money and just run away with it, you know, all those my all those thoughts kind of go into running in your head. But if you're doing your proper due diligence, and you're taking those, you know, education, educational steps, moving forward and doing the right processes, and really, really honing in on who you are betting with and wanting to invest with. feel more comfortable about, you know, entrusting your money with somebody and then

Casey Brown  19:32  
sure, yeah, and it's and then once you realize and once you start getting those first passive income checks, like you said, it's, it's like, Hmm, maybe this really is a thing, maybe this is something I can I can begin to income replace with, you know what I'm saying? So now all of a sudden, you're like, you're like alright, I had this money in my account, and now I'm going to invest as a lot of people start with 25,000 or 50,000. And again, don't get me wrong, that's a lot of money. When you're looking at it as a working capital, it's it becomes a little, it becomes a little different when it becomes a tool, if you will, rather than then again. And you can sit back and there you go. And some people sit back and some people can continue to take the action and move into to a business model like yourself. So so the first investment was what year what year was the first passive investment as an LP?

Unknown Speaker  20:29  
It was the beginning of 2020,

Casey Brown  20:31  
beginning of 2020. Okay, so it's been a couple of years now. And how many LPS have you invested in cents?

Unknown Speaker  20:38  
So we've invested in about 13 deals so far as an LP,

Casey Brown  20:41  
how many deals have you made? Yeah, that's what I was going. That's what I meant phrase that how many deals have you invested in as an LP? And then now are your GP on how many?

Unknown Speaker  20:49  
Yes, and then we our GP, on four deals, and then we did one joint venture she'll five active deals.

Casey Brown  20:55  
Wow. And then how many doors does that not that? Or how many storage units? Or how many what what's the qualification there?

Unknown Speaker  21:02  
So on the limited partner side, it's a little over 1000 doors total. And then on the general partner side, multifamily, it's about 142 doors that we have under under our under assets under management, and then 452 door or 452 storage units.

Casey Brown  21:19  
Wow, isn't that something that's awesome. And then so so when you start looking at this, and this, this, this real estate syndication world really became a reality for you to plug into, I want to go back and just real quick, I want to so so what's what's been one of the biggest challenges, I guess, of educating people on what this what this whole world looks like, is that you know, you don't have to quit a W two job, you can, you can use w two income to plug into an LP side like you did. And that became like, like, if you have additional money that you can invest, or you get have a 401 K or an IRA or whatever, you can put that stuff into deals as an LP and grow your wealth, you don't have to necessarily be go through this story that her and I just just went through of being scared and starting your own this and starting your own that and walking out and doing this and that you can continue to work that but you can invest as an LP and get those and get those dividends that that I guess there were dividends to that's the technical term. But anyhow, so when so on your GP side. So your best is an LP, and then when did you decide that, hey, maybe this is something we want to pursue ourselves

Unknown Speaker  22:45  
at will we wanted to invest as first or as an LP first, because we wanted to really test out the model and, you know, have a proof of concept of it first and see how it worked out. And I said, we really liked, you know, the model itself. And it's not as if you're doing your due diligence, you know, it's not a scam, you trust the people that you're working with. After that, then as we did a couple more deals, and we're talking to more and more people in this space, it just kind of organically became, you know, we can do this on the active side as well. And so our whole model, our whole model is to work actively so that we can invest, that while we are working hard for our money, or while we're trading our time for money, and we're working hard for it, at the same time or money, we're investing it passively. So that our money is working hard for us too. And the combination of those two strategies for us has been able to propel us to get to where we are today that we were super grateful. And something that we focus on is that, you know, we're working on both sides.

Casey Brown  23:46  
Yeah, and that's there you go. I mean, it's exactly that just said, your work work. And it doesn't matter if even if it's a W doesn't matter if it's a W two job, whatever the job is, work, take that money and invest it passively. And then live off the passive income. And you're and you're always gonna have, I mean, it'll always be there. And then and then for some, in some respects, people have a built in a built in fund there that that you could time up for, you know, you could tie in one of the next investments for kids college or what, you know, whatever, if you if you wanted to use some of the principal or whatever it is. That's, that's at the end of the day. That's what it's there for. And, and so what a what a brilliant plan now. So bond, invest capital, you all invest. Do you all have like, you mentioned self storage, you mentioned some doors and some other things. Do you all have a specific geography that you're that you're looking at? I know we talked about we talked about pre show, but I'd like for you maybe to share that with the listeners.

Unknown Speaker  24:46  
Sure. So we like to focus on the sunbelt states so we like like Las Vegas, Phoenix, the Carolinas, Texas, Florida, places where we can we can gain some cash flow, but there's also the potential upside for appreciation on the back end. We're looking for those two things as we invest in different real estate opportunities.

Casey Brown  25:09  
Yeah, that's awesome. Now and then okay, now and and self storage multifamily. And what was it? Was there another asset class in there?

Unknown Speaker  25:18  
No, sorry, multifamily within real estate.

Casey Brown  25:22  
Awesome. And you do you use, like off market deals on? I know that's the big craze. Everybody talks about off market off market off market? What do you what's your big, your biggest kind of maybe supply of of deals.

Unknown Speaker  25:39  
So it really it has been a like what we see in the syndication space, it's all about the relations, that relationships that you built up. So the relationships that we've built up with the brokers, other sellers and everything like that, we've been getting like off market deals as well, so that you're not competing and bidding against other people, you know, you maybe get the first look at the potential opportunities, and then have the first opportunity to bid for those properties before it goes to the masses. So that that way, you're, you know, you're a little bit ahead of the curve in that sense, but it's just about the relationship. Relationships.

Casey Brown  26:17  
Sure, sure. Yeah. And that's and you're right, I mean, and that's really with any business, it's all about relationships, and, and everybody, you know, anybody that tries to shortcut that, or, or, or jump quickly from, Hey, how are you? Do you want to invest? That's where that's where a lot of times people, you know, newer syndicators, or new people who are in the business search are really kind of missing the boat there. So well, well, listen, we're kind of moving towards the end of the show here. And I'd like to ask a couple of just maybe, maybe, questions more along the personal side of things. And I know we've we've probably dove deeper in the personal life of, of somebody than we typically do here. But I felt like it's it feels like it's so relatable to the spot where we're so many people are in their life right now. Whether it whether they're looking at getting into the real estate world in general, whether that be sales, syndication, or just becoming self employed. So So I hope that the listeners gain some value from that now, I would like for you to kind of like them and ask you a couple questions here. And the first is, would you share with the listeners maybe what's your favorite book that you've read either lately is or even it doesn't even have to be real estate related? What's what's a what's a book that really kind of added rocket fuel to your life?

Unknown Speaker  27:36  
So I would say when we got first started within the real estate, I'll provide one of those examples is the Joe Fairless is best ever apartment syndication book, that one has a ton of great or not, you want to start as an active or limited partner. That has been one of the one of our guiding books from the very beginning.

Casey Brown  27:56  
Yeah, and it's so full and Joe, I was talking to Joe couple weeks ago and and it was it just his his demeanor follows through in person just as well as it does through the book. And, and you know, he he carries that book in, it's like a, it's like a playbook early, almost. Like, it's like, what do you do next? Okay, here it is. So you just kind of look at it. And it gives you the X's and O's of the syndication business. So and what is what is the best trip you've ever taken or hope to take in the near future?

Unknown Speaker  28:31  
So the best trip that me and my husband took together has been when we went to Singapore, we did it for a week trip. And that was fantastic. Primarily because the city or the and the food is amazing. We love food.

Casey Brown  28:49  
Why are you I guarantee you don't love food any more than I do. I would bet on that. So well Listen, why don't you share the best way for the listeners to reach out to you. Even if it's somebody that's that's maybe maybe a new mother that's looking at possibly saying, hey, I want to do what you did in that episode I want I'd like to like to talk to you about maybe how to replace or or even possibly even invest with you as an LP to get started. Once you tell folks how they can get in touch with you.

Unknown Speaker  29:20  
Sure, so they can Barnabas and they can fill in a contact sheet there. We also have a free resource, a video resource that my husband and I put together it's a series that you can just download for free. You know how to do a due diligence due diligence on passive investors on passive investments on how to you know that the sponsors look at deals and things that we looked for as we're investing as limited partners ourselves. And of course, I'm happy to talk to anybody who wants to just email me directly it's Eileen at Barnabas, and you know, feel free to email out I'm happy Get a chat and share with anybody interested.

Casey Brown  30:03  
Awesome. Now as my listeners are very well accustomed, I'm gonna go back and it is a i l e, n, i L, E and Eileen at Bonavista. That's BONAV s t We're also going to put that in the show notes for for the listeners to be able to possibly click on and just get with you that way. And Eileen, thank you so much. It's been such a pleasure to talk with you and and hear your story. And I know that as much as your story was relatable to me, I know it's going to be relatable to the get to the to the listeners as well. So thank you so much for your time.

Unknown Speaker  30:45  
Awesome. Thank you so much for having me, Casey. I really enjoyed it. Thank you

Transcribed by

Aileen PrakProfile Photo

Aileen Prak

Bonavest Capital