June 9, 2022

Starting Your Real Estate Journey with Bethany Finch

Starting Your Real Estate Journey with Bethany Finch

In this episode of Cash Flow Pro, we talk with Bethany Finch from American Made Home Solutions, LLC. As a seasoned entrepreneur, Bethany began her journey into real estate through single-family homes. She later began to shift into multi-family...


In this episode of Cash Flow Pro, we talk with Bethany Finch from American Made Home Solutions, LLC. As a seasoned entrepreneur, Bethany began her journey into real estate through single-family homes. She later began to shift into multi-family and is here to tell us why and how she did it.


American Made Home Solutions is a real estate company known for its one-on-one customer service and unique approach to each client’s needs. The company buys and sells properties with the mission to rejuvenate neighborhoods and increase the standard of living by improving the overall quality of housing for the residents.


In this episode, we discuss:

  • The advantages of multi-family vs. single-family
  • The benefits of a mastermind
  • Finding the right investors for you and why sometimes, your friends and family are NOT it.
  • Education and the role it plays in our lives


If you are interested in learning more,  tune in to this episode to find out more!


Find your flow,

Casey Brown


Resources mentioned in this podcast:


Casey Brown  0:08  
Hey there, and welcome to today's episode of cash flow Pro, your daily real estate investing podcast and YouTube channel. I hope everybody's having a wonderful day out there today. I know, Miss Bethany Finch is because she just told me she is in sunny California, or at least she's in California. And it's sunny there today. So Bethany is with American made home solutions. And we are certainly just absolutely ready to hear what you have to tell us because there's so many different ways that you've helped so many different people get started in the investment space, and then move along from LP to GP to KP, and so on and so forth. Now, for those listeners that wonder what that is, that's limited partner, general partner to key partner. So and that's obviously a ladder on the way up. So Bethany, how are you today?

Unknown Speaker  1:04  
I am great. Casey, thank you so much for having me.

Casey Brown  1:07  
Absolutely, we're certainly glad that you're here. And we're certainly glad that you're gonna get to spread whatever word you've got. So if you would tell us a little bit about your background, we always always like to get a kind of a an initial idea of where people came from, that got them to the doorstep of real estate, and then we'll go forward from there.

Unknown Speaker  1:31  
Okay, so I was born many, many moons ago. Just kidding. We, I have been actually I've been an entrepreneur for over 26 years, I was in and out of foster care. And I always had to figure out how to raise money for clothes. Boys hand me downs were terrible when he became a teenage girl, and you didn't want to look like that anymore. So I was always trying to find a way to make a buck and ways to I grew up in a very small town. So anything and everything to get me back out of that small town was kind of what I was doing. So I did sports, not because I was talented, but because it was a way out. love sports, loved working in a team. But thankfully, I had some coaches who saw that I didn't always have the skill set necessary. But they knew I was the hardest worker. So because of that they kind of came alongside me and really helped mentor and coach me through life and showed me, Bethany, you've got the hustle, you need to be your own business. And so started, you know, as young as 10 years old, running a business and building things up and trying to find ways. And then when I got married and started having kids, it was an opportunity to create income, but be flexible. So that I could still be there and take care of my kids and kind of work opposite shifts of my husband and things like that. And so one of the business loss just to offset his taxes. So that was another income strategy approach. Anything I could you know, and then as I got better in business, I realized some businesses are a lot more work than others, and figured that out and finally got to where this real estate thing is, is work. But it's not near as much work as some of the other ones I did. So I was happy to jump on that train and learn whatever I needed to do to move forward there.

Casey Brown  3:27  
Sure. Now what what, what segment of the real estate business did you initially start with?

Unknown Speaker  3:34  
Initially? Well, and that's, it's twofold. So my husband has always been in multifamily. He literally has worked his way from the ground up as a groundskeeper all the way to now owning apartments. I on the other hand, was always on the business side of things. So my I am the one that started the business. But my husband, although he partnered with me, he didn't have anything to do with the business. And it was all me and his thought process was, well, we can't own million dollar apartments. So you need to start with single family homes. That was his thought process. He didn't understand finance. He didn't understand anything. Being The Good Wife, I am. I said, sure. I'll try it. And I must have done a phenomenal job at showing him how much harder the work is for one single family home as it is for a 20 unit or a 40 unit or even 100 unit. And really I

Casey Brown  4:31  
mean for it is. I mean, it's Yeah, go ahead. I'm sorry. I just That's

Unknown Speaker  4:39  
it is the same work. That's exactly what I was trying to show him. Like you don't understand how hard it is to get contractors to show up to one house. If I had 20 of these they'd show up in a heartbeat. But I have I'm I remember firing eight contractors on one project alone, because again, I was female I'm in a predominantly male place back for me, and I just had to keep one after the other. So basically, if I learned a good coach taught me if you basically need to know 60%, so I can pretty much build a house from the ground up 60% of the time, I won't get everything right, I won't do any. But I'll know enough to kind of more or less be dangerous. So I always tell my guys, if I know 61% Someone's fired, because there's no longer a need for you.

Casey Brown  5:27  
That's exactly right. Because then you can go in there, and you can figure you can get enough on the job education to capture the other 39% real quick. So yep, that's the same. Yeah, absolutely. I hear that all the time and see it all the time, too. And, and that's a wonderful strategy. Because, again, the 61% is probably the that's the stuff that you can get for a book, the other 39 You're gonna have to have on the job anyway. So

Unknown Speaker  5:56  
100% Yeah. Yeah, so I started in that single family. But i When my husband finally came on board with us full time, he did one flip and some single family again.

Unknown Speaker  6:12  
Now, it was your turn to say, I told you so.

Unknown Speaker  6:15  
Uh, huh. And be able to go Okay, can we please go back to multifamily?

Casey Brown  6:20  
There you go. And then just press on from there. I mean, it just, it's yeah, it absolutely makes the most sense. And, you know, you have one roof, you have one, you have one of a lot of things in when you start talking about multifamily that, like you said, if you have, if you had 20 of them that you need the same thing done on, people are definitely gonna show up. Because especially in this day and time getting people to show up to, to do any type of work is just, you might as well be just I don't know, just grinding tea. I mean, it's just, it's terrible. So, alright, so let's talk a little bit about what, when you when you finally started when you finally made the move to multifamily? And you said Alright, it's time for us to scale this up, at least to the notch of the first multifamily complex and whatnot, what what did that entail? And then did you have to go out and find the key partner, which, for the listeners out there, when you've heard this term a couple of times, it's not one that gets used a ton in podcasts and on an in a, in a discussion level, because there's there's not as many key partners and around as there is GPS and LPs. But a key partner basically is their what I call a balance sheet, the balance sheet of the deal, where they're like, hey, yes, I'll go sign on this $20 million loan for you, you raise the capital, you do this, you do that all and then the key partner underwrites it. So anyway, so how did your first deal Look, when when you started kind of getting everything put together?

Unknown Speaker  7:59  
Well, I'm gonna have to step back just a little. Because Kurt, again, still had that what I, what I call broke mentality. And I say it's broke mentality, because all he did was basically tried to create another job for himself, and he wasn't building a business. So once he said multifamily, he still won't just create another job, right? He didn't look at it from so he wanted to do super tiny, you know, eight units or 10 units that we could run everything. And I'm like, I don't want to do that. That's work. That's craziness, I don't want to know, I'm trying to get out of a job. Right. So after kind of going through and going through, and kind of showing him the difference in numbers. And that's what it was, I really had to show him the difference, okay, if we're gonna do this property, and here's the numbers we're gonna get from that property, or we're gonna do this property, and it's, you know, 10 times the size of that. But here's our paycheck, suddenly was willing to do that. So I realized he wasn't there, visionary, wise where I was. So we decided to be an LP. And an LP is a limited. And we were already going through the Michael blanc program, and learning and getting the coaching and to be honest, Kurt really wasn't he felt he already knew at all because of his work. And, of course, what he knew was not the same. It's like a rougher than I know how to run a business. I'm a roofer. They don't know anything about business. They know everything about roofing. So what we did was I said, look, let's be let's do it. Let's basically have an opportunity where we are bringing some value to them, and then they teach us a little bit more. And that's what we did. We went down on some apartments. In Alabama, and it was great, great opportunity, great opportunity to learn, they did a great job. They're very good at reporting and keeping in touch, we even met with the operators did some on site property walks and different things. And so it was, it was great. It was a great opportunity for that. And through that, Kurt started going, Okay, well, we could do this. So he went from eight to 10 units, maybe 40 to 60 unit. So we at least got that farther. So then the first deal that we decided, he was like, Okay, let's pull the trigger on this was actually me just capital raising for a deal. And so alongside, I brought in a bunch some other investors and basically became on the GP side as a capital raiser and helping to market and, and options and whatnot with that particular group. And did some due diligence walks helped them out there, obviously, management background huge, that actually saved them, we came across something that none of them caught and saved hundreds of 1000s of dollars because of it. And so, you know, we brought value team that way. Then, when we finally said, Okay, let's be our own GPS. That was a 42 unit. And we teamed up with some other good friends of ours and a mastermind. And they had no real experience in the in the multifamily space. They have business experience, and real estate experience, but not like multifamily experience. Obviously, we have all the multifamily experience. And so we're like, Okay, well, we got those two parts covered. And then we brought in a third member from our mastermind, who was the key principle.

Casey Brown  11:50  
Okay. So you're raising cap, you've got a key principle now. You're a GP and you're raising capital. You said you were a co GP right. And I missed

Unknown Speaker  12:02  
that. Yeah. GPS, Ah,

Casey Brown  12:05  
okay. So and and, and the your mastermind was Michael blocks program.

Unknown Speaker  12:11  
Oh, no, no. So my training was Michael blocks program. I was, I'm part of Kingdom capitalists. It's key KR kingdom, real? Stir. mastermind. Now they changed the name on us. But it's a it's a Christian. A part of it and several of us teamed up to do this.

Casey Brown  12:32  
Gotcha. Okay, awesome. And what year is this? How many years ago is this?

Unknown Speaker  12:39  
That was finally 2020.

Casey Brown  12:46  
Okay, so 2020 You all kind of all agree to digest your first deal, raise some capital, and start kind of moving this boat forward, right?

Unknown Speaker  13:00  
Yeah, we had already done other things like other LPs and other syndications where we were helping to raise capital and whatnot. But this was our first like, we were the lead GP.

Casey Brown  13:10  
Awesome. And that's not a good feeling. I mean, you get kind of really get the get a little bit of wind in your sails. And how big of a deal was it?

Unknown Speaker  13:18  
That was only a 42 unit?

Unknown Speaker  13:21  
Well, I know. But so I guess that's

Unknown Speaker  13:25  
right. Kurt was like, panic stricken. And it's a lot more I laugh because you said, Man didn't was not a good feeling. No, I remember totally being stressed. Yep. And that's and you know, and that's someone else that's different.

Casey Brown  13:42  
And I guess everybody's on the spectrum of stress. Everybody's kind of kind of on their to different degrees, because ultimately, at the end of the day, yeah, I mean, so what did your first underwriting model look like? I mean, did you did you actually spreadsheet everything? I mean, did you notice spreadsheet everything? Did the kpd partner step in and say, Hey, this is these are the numbers I want to see before all? Oh, no.

Unknown Speaker  14:09  
No, no, I was. So I went through an earlier real estate training program five years ago with Fortune Builders, and theirs was geared toward single family, but it's a math teacher. So it didn't take me long to run numbers and go, Okay, single family is not the way to go. And there's a better model than this. And so they didn't have commercial training at that time. So I sought it elsewhere, but I had enough other kind of members of the group that were on the same path that I was, so we all had already been kind of working through our own underwriting and then when I got Michael Blanc, honestly, I've seen a ton of different underwriting programs out there. His is by far hands down the best out of all of them, and everybody that I show and talk to they 100% Agree. So I had all of that I can I have one We have the full package in the sense that I could already run the numbers, I knew it was a good deal. Here's where we tend to land. Obviously, with our asset management background, it was easy for us to do the due diligence and the capex, and, you know, put all that in there and still be conservative. And so for the key principle, it's he looks at those numbers all the time, right? He does. He has his own business and things so that it made complete sense to him. And he's like, Sure, I'll do this on a problem.

Casey Brown  15:27  
Yeah, yeah. All right. Well, that's great. And that See, and that's tends to be I think a bottleneck for a lot of people is, especially, especially because a lot of people think that they're going to start with Freddie and Fannie, and getting some type of loan like that, until they start researching the qualifications, then I think the bottleneck arises when they realize, Oh, I've got to have a net worth of this, in order to borrow that. And then they start trying to, I guess, shuffle their way through, and figure out who they need to talk to and where they need to go. And that's, again, so which brings up another point that I'm a huge proponent, I'm in a mastermind, you're in a mastermind. And I think virtually every guest that I have on the show that the one common thread that we all share is and I say all most share is is the fact that we're in masterminds, or we have a mentor, or we have somebody that stopped and said, Hey, I'm going to tug you along and show you the ropes and teach you as we go. And so although you kind of got the bonus out of the mentorship or the or the mastermind program by actually having a key partner in there with you, right, right. So again, and having somebody that has the ability to sign on $10 million Note, or, of course, 40, something units probably wasn't that high, but just somebody that has the ability to say yes, I'm in, we can go get the money here, all take care of all of the, you know, all of this, this, and this is huge, and it's a huge responsibility for them to do that. And it's not a lot of risk. But it's one of those benefits of I guess, having a balance sheet is and that's truly passive income, because they a lot of times can make money just simply by being on the sidelines and saying, Hey, yes, go use my go use my my purse, my, my credit or my balance sheet, if you will, to borrow money for your deal, and then pay me. And so, and again, along the way the the bottleneck arises when people start to try to figure out okay, where do I find one of these key partners? And that's what brings me back to saying the benefit of a mastermind is absolutely positively endless. The benefits, plural, of mass of a mastermind are endless, would you agree

Unknown Speaker  17:59  
100%. And the other part of that, too, is, remember, I was also part of a previous training program, that there was about 5000 of us and that other training program. Now, obviously, I didn't know all 5000. But it allowed me access to my directory. And in that directory, it wasn't uncommon for us and like minded people tend to flock together, right. So when we trainings, you know, who was running business while this training was going on, because they're 10 steps ahead and doing this and that, so then you start kind of congregating and talking. And when we did that, it we already figured out, okay, we could build three teams out of this, or we could build two teams out of this or, you know, you find those commonalities. And it was easy to find key principles in there as well, because again, we all have the same training. They don't want to do the work and effort or they don't have the experience, but they have the like you said the balance sheet. In most of those situations, people don't realize as a key principle, our key principles aren't necessarily bringing money to the table. They're literally just bringing their credit in their balance sheet. We still are doing full raises, right? I'm still working all of that out we're still signing on the notes with them and in partnerships and whatnot and so to literally all I have to do is sign on the dotted line and let you in you know, yeah, I'll take 10% equity for that. Okay,

Casey Brown  19:26  
that's That's right. And then they just that is truly truly truly pad that's more than passive. That's like that's like this while you're asleep money. I mean, yeah, that's doing nothing for money. Right. So the other let's let's let's kind of flip the side of this to the LP side, and I'm not talking about when you were an LP, but I want to talk about the LP side of your deal, your first deal. Where did you find investors and what was what did that landscape look like in But as far as like, obviously, did you do friends and family to start? Did you just start calling people the to use? I mean, where did you find investors?

Unknown Speaker  20:10  
So my earliest investors actually even still to this day, are not friends and family. Okay. I think what people forget is ideally, we always expect hope want our friends and family to be the those people. But the reality is, they're probably the most skeptical. Yeah, they they know us when we were snot nosed kids growing up and what we did wrong and every they remember that. So it for us was completely outside of that they might have been an acquaintance of ours. But a lot of our earlier investors were people that we knew at a meet up, we, I did several speaking events and things. So they had heard me before, or we met at one of our training courses, different things of this nature.

Casey Brown  21:02  
Sure, okay, good. And I actually, like you, I'm not a, I'm not a friends and family person, for one, whether a deal is going good or whether a deal is going bad. I heard very early on in my process, when I first started investigating this business and found that it was exactly the path I wanted and needed in life was Thanksgiving dinner is awkward when you owe somebody money, whether it's good money, and certainly if it's bad money, it just creates a layer and an element that a lot of people don't realize is there when they take the initial investment. Right. And again, the last thing that you want to do is go to a family gathering and feel like you're having to report to investors. That's my take on it. And I took that very, very, like I took that to the gut, I was like, that's exactly the way I feel. I don't want to go to Thanksgiving dinner. I don't want to be at Christmas and talking and having to talk to my aunts and uncles and have been feeling like I'm having to give them an investment report. Because it's just not. That's just not the dynamic that I enjoy. So with that being said, obviously you have you figured out your way and your speaking engagements, what types of speaking engagements had you done, where people have recognized you?

Unknown Speaker  22:33  
So I spoke at a lot of different local real estate meetups. I've done some local community financial literacy training, trying to I've also spoke spoken to high school groups. Obviously, as a teacher, I had a lot of opportunity for that. But after teaching, I just saw the lack of financial literacy training. So I spoke a lot of different like banks and places Chamber of Commerce's.

Casey Brown  23:03  
I wonder if we're ever as a as a country. And of course, I'm definitely not going to get political or any kind of a political discussion. But I wonder if we're ever as a country, or as an education system is as probably, in my opinion, one of one of the most educated countries on the planet, going to ever decide that it is equally as important to teach our kids financial look like like they don't need to be literate about like, big money, things. But I mean, but I mean, these kids are graduating school, and they like they don't even know how to balance a checkbook. Like they don't.

Unknown Speaker  23:41  
But that's because you're young Casey, you're young. I remember in school having home economics class. So you're too young, you don't remember that in home economics, we were required to learn how to balance a checkbook, we were required to learn how to set up a budget, we had a whole quarter like you had to go find a job and build a resume. And then you had to, you know, you had your pretend money to pay your bills for the whole month and get groceries and all of that that's what home it used to be. And then suddenly, somewhere along the line, they decided that was not important. And I'm like, that was like the best class.

Casey Brown  24:22  
And I guess as a population or as a as a, as a population, we, you know, times have changed. I remember one time, this is this is just one of those life stories. But I remember one time my dad had asked me to, I don't know, he had asked me to make some notes about something I was, I don't know, probably 19 or 20 years old. He said, I was doing something and he said, Hey, can you write a few things down about this or something like that? As Sure. So I did it and I'll never forget I handed it to him. I said, here's here's what I've watched. So I remember what it was exactly. And he looked at it and he threw it in the trashcan. I said what? I said wait a minute what he said I can't read That's it. I don't know why chicken scratch I think is what he called it, he said. And then I got the 30 Minute spiel about how when I was in school, we had penmanship. And if my opinion ship had looked like that, I guarantee you I remember and I was like, Alright, fine. Why did you ask me to do it that, you know, of course, that was my attitude towards it. But nevertheless, it's the same type scenario. And again, that's, that's, that's life. 101 for our episode today has that. Economics class, more checkbook balancing and more penmanship. So that's right. But so listen, you know, I really, it's intriguing to me, and I do want to give you accolades, or props or whatever, because you really, were kind of facing an uphill battle being a woman in a, in an almost in a very male dominated. Sport, I guess, if you will. And I really think that it shows a lot of about your character and how you handle situations. And how you you have taken, I guess, taken the reins on just forging ahead and saying, Hey, I don't I don't care what I don't care what this is, I don't care what they say, we're gonna do, you know, this is what we're going to do and, and then getting your husband to kind of follow along was was was a great part of your story. So definitely give you props for that.

Unknown Speaker  26:27  
Well, thank you. I think it probably helped. Like I said, growing up in and out of foster care and different things. I was basically I had older brothers, right. So that's where all the boys hand me downs and whatever came along. But I was, I learned very, very young how to wrestle. And when I got to middle school, they didn't have girls wrestling. And I went to the coach and I said, I'm here to wrestle. And he said, Well, your girl, you can't wrestle. And I said, Well, why not? And he said, because you're a girl. And I said, Show me where it says that. So he went to the rulebook, and it didn't say anything about girls couldn't wrestle. So he was forced to allow me to wrestle. He hated it. He hated it. But at that point, he realized, wait a minute, I have two daughters, I might need to step alongside this a little bit more. So by my second season, he actually helped me work. I was the second one in the whole state of Washington, and we were able to start setting up, and now we have women's wrestling in the state of Washington, because too many boys, what do they call when they, they forfeited, they wouldn't wrestle. And it was just because I was a girl. And the ones that did and didn't have a problem, both of us got better, right? We really became good partners.

Casey Brown  27:52  
Well, and that's, I've got two daughters as well. And that's, that's part of the reason why, why I, I say things like, I give you accolades for pushing forward, because there's nothing that makes me any more red faced and mad than when I've got three sons too. So. So then when one of them says, either the girl or either one of my girls says, Why can't do that, because I'm a girl, or the son, or one of my son says, You can't do that, because you're a girl. And and again, it, it didn't, it took a it took me having daughters to realize what it really is going to take for them to be dominant in whatever, whatever phase of at whatever phase of life and whatever activity they're doing. And that's what that's what I always say. So. But yes, definitely. Now he's saying that you were the first or second woman wrestler in all of the state of Washington. That's, that's pretty. That's pretty intriguing. And I think that's, that's a good message to lead with, for sure. So, so listen, we're getting towards the end of our time, I'd like to ask a couple of different questions. There's no right or wrong answer. But I'd like for you to, to just enter it honest as you can. What is the best book that you've ever read? Whether it be business, real estate, or whatever? What's the best book that you've ever read?

Unknown Speaker  29:13  
Well, the same one that I still read daily today, and that's my Bible, because I'm still a sinner. And that ain't changing anytime soon. So I need all the help I can get. But my second one, everything I think has, we have different seasons. So at different parts of my business or different parts of life, different books spoke to me in different ways. And Dan Sullivan's who not how has been phenomenal.

Unknown Speaker  29:44  
Go over there.

Unknown Speaker  29:47  
Because I know and have learned through business, the need for a better team, but I don't necessarily know how to communicate what's in my head to that team. Right now. I have to be able to do that in a way that's effective. And I've gone through multiple assistants and multiple team players, because I'm not the person I need to be. And believe it or not, who not have really addresses you, and you being the person you need to be so that you can pass that on to the right person, and who that person is and what that should look like. And so it literally is the tactical plan. Right that like, theorize, yeah, but it's the playbook of how to like, Okay, this. So that was the transformational one that really went Ding, ding, ding, ding.

Casey Brown  30:34  
Oh, awesome. That's great. All right, what's the best trip that you've ever taken or hoped to take?

Unknown Speaker  30:42  
Um, so far, I would have to say, when we took our daughter for her graduation trip, we took a Caribbean cruise. So we got to go to St. Thomas and the Bahamas and British Virgin Islands. Well, we didn't get to go to the Bahamas, the ship actually broke. We were stranded out at sea. Yes, it literally the rudder broke and they couldn't turn they could only go straight. So they couldn't go into the port. And oh, yeah. And, but it was, that was the first time my whole family we that we had been out of country. And obviously even with the shipbreaking and all that we experienced it got to experience it all together. And for my kids to get to see, you know, although St. Thomas isn't necessarily considered a Third World Island, I don't stick to the tourist areas. I literally got my family and we jump on the local Metro bus or walk or whatever. So for them to get to see life in a different place was very, very good.

Casey Brown  31:40  
Yes, absolutely. Wonderful. All right. Now, if the listeners heard something that resound with them, and they would like to reach out to you possibly talk to you about investing or possibly talk to you about speaking engagement or anything like that anything along the lines of anything they are, what is the best way for them to reach out to you?

Unknown Speaker  31:59  
Well, the best way for them to reach out to me is gonna be probably on my LinkedIn, and just under my name Bethany fit. But the best way that they can learn more about everything from multifamily and real estate investing, and our credit hacking business or short term rentals is on our YouTube channel. American made Home Solutions. I've got five years worth of free content on there, putting out videos help in any way that we can to help people get started.

Casey Brown  32:29  
Awesome. Awesome, wonderful. Well, I want to thank you, I know that you're living in a car and I'm just kidding. I know that you're here. And I do. I want to just tell you, thank you for taking the time out to be with us. I know. It probably is not ideal if you're out running and going and doing and, and making money and all that good stuff for helping investors make money rather. I just want to thank you for being for being with us today.

Unknown Speaker  32:55  
Absolutely. Thank you so much, Casey for having me. I appreciate it. I hope your listeners get some value out of it.

Casey Brown  33:00  
Awesome. I hope you have a good rest of the day and listeners. Thank you all for listening

Transcribed by

Bethany FinchProfile Photo

Bethany Finch

American Made Home Solutions, LLC