- Emil’s background, podcast and role with Roofstock.
- The journey to $100k cash flow and how you’re using Proptech to achieve your goals.
- The emergence of “Real Estate Twitter” and how people can engage and, ultimately, leverage it.
- Rapid fire round.
Roofstock – https://www.roofstock.com
The Remote Real Estate Investor podcast – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-remote-real-estate-investor/id1502473360
Blake Miller 0:01
Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the Future of Living podcast. I’m your host, Blake Miller. We’ve got an episode today that I think you’ll enjoy around $100,000 journey to free cash flow. Emil Shour is on the episode today. Check him out.
Neil, how are you, man? How you been?
Emil Shour 0:20
I’m great, man. I’m super glad we got to connect. And I’m excited to be on the other side of the mic today, actually, for once.
Blake Miller 0:27
It’s always good, right. You know, I’m excited to learn a little bit more about your podcast. I’ve been listening, catching up. You know, I came across you on Twitter recently. And I just reached out and said, Hey, I love what you’re doing. Welcome to the Future of Living podcast. This will actually be our first episode of season three. And I’m excited to come back to it, you know, everything is out of the studio and on video these days post-COVID. We were kind of just laughing about that. But why don’t you give everybody a little background on what you’re up to because not only what you’re doing on your on your own and your podcast, but you worked with a cool company too that’s doing a lot stuff in the real estate tech world. So we’d love to learn a little bit more.
Emil Shour 1:04
Yeah. And thank you for having me on for the first episode. I’ll try not to let your listeners down and live up to the moment.
Blake Miller 1:12
It’s a big task, right? Yeah.
Emil Shour 1:13
Yeah, my name is Emil Shour. I work at a company called Roofstock. We are a marketplace where people can come and buy and sell single family rental homes and, you know, we provide some technology and a lot of the upfront due diligence so that people can make easy investing decisions. A lot of our investors are based throughout the country. So we have a lot of remote investors who, you know, live on the coast live in an expensive city where it’s pretty tough to get into real estate, you know, the Bay Area, just really hard to invest in real estate. And so we go out and we find attractive properties in the Midwest in the southeast and other markets around the country that have a little bit lower barrier of entry and can have higher returns, do inspections on them do a full process form an underwriting on them and then present them to investors to invest. And so yeah, we’re a marketplace that people can come by and sell.
It’s common misconception people come to Roofstock and they’re like, oh, are these your homes? And it’s like no, we’re a marketplace we’re just connecting buyer and seller and our niche is single family. And so my role within the company I work in growth marketing, specifically on the buyer side I’m doing user acquisition is the main area I’m focusing in so working on different channels to help bring in new buyers to the site, educate them, help them figure out the right property for them. It’s kind of my wheelhouse.
Blake Miller 2:40
That’s awesome and you know, like always setting up for a perfect easy transition for me Thank you so much, but like that was one of the things that I’ve kind of obviously you what your job is and actually what it applies to what seems to be like your hobby and your you know, if you’re if you’re on the Twitter’s all the time, it’s everybody’s side hustle, right? But, you know, your journey to 100 k cash flow. And that’s what kind of saw that and I thought it was so intriguing somebody who is, you know, working in a company that helps other people do that. And you’re sitting here eating your own dog food, doing it and writing about it, I thought was so cool. So why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about that kind of hundred K or your path to 100 k, where you’re at? And how’s that going?
Emil Shour 3:18
Yes. So the funny thing is, is I started investing in 2017. And the first couple properties I bought was through Roofstock. So that’s how I found out about the company. So I was obviously a big fan had made a big impact in my life. I live in Los Angeles, again, another one of those people who lives in an expensive coastal city. My dad invest in real estate here. He got in a little bit earlier than me and later in his life, so he had some money built up and could get into the market. But for me, it just wasn’t really an option. So stumbled across Roofstock made that dream possible, became a big fan of the company and the stars aligned and now I get to kind of help other people learn about the company and hopefully begin or grow their real estate portfolio.
So yeah, the hundred K, you know, I have working in marketing, I like writing I like you know, kind of just documenting the journey. It’s kind of something like marketers do, it’s just talk about what’s going on just document the journey. This is a good way to, to not only like learn yourself, because you’re you’re writing it and you have to synthesize all these different thoughts. But it’s just good to give back. You know, like I listen to tons of podcasts, read tons of blogs, and it’s cool to just be like, okay, here’s, here’s what I’m doing as well.
So the hundred K, the reason I said 100 K is that would basically, it just sounds like a nice round number 100 K, right, we can all like, it’s funny. I think if you ask 10 real estate investors what their goal is when they started, it’s probably the same one will build 100 k in passive income. So part of it is like I don’t know, maybe I wasn’t creative enough to come up with my own unique one, but I think at 100 K, you know, gives me a lot of flexibility in terms of like, how do I spend my time right now I’m a full time employee and I enjoy that. But ultimately, I want to get to the point where I can just have a little bit more time flexibility, right, just kind of choose what I work on. Maybe I’m doing some small stuff on the side. And that amount kind of just helps pattern income pattern lifestyle. Also, you know, that certain point, it helps me my wife retired from her job. She’s, she’s a registered nurse, which is a super, super demanding job. So like…
Blake Miller 5:30
Right now, thank you for everything she’s doing. Yeah.
Emil Shour 5:33
I know, she’s, she’s my hero. And, you know, it’s it just gives us a lot of flexibility in terms of what does that allow us to in the future?
Blake Miller 5:41
Yeah. So how’s it going? Like, where are you at in this journey? How many at what’s your empire look like? And what are some of the things that you’re doing to kind of, you know, help you get on that path and kind of hack hack your way to it?
Emil Shour 5:55
Yes. So, one of the things I do on my site and documenting this is I do a yearly income report just to show like, here are all the numbers, here’s how much income we made. Here’s how many how much we paid in repairs every single detail. I’m documenting it and sharing with readers every year. So last year, we ended at around our cash flow number was around 7000. Across, I bought my fourth single family home last year. So seven, seven k across four properties. And there’s, there’s this funny thing about real estate. I think a lot of people assume it’s a very get rich quick, like, you buy a couple properties and now you’re a millionaire. And it’s so far from the truth. It’s, you can there’s no doubt about that. But it’s also you know, that there’s the long haul and it can take some time to kind of build that you know, what you’re banking on as a real estate investor is rent growth over time, hopefully some appreciation that lets you cash out, refine it, you know, do a cash out refinance, pull out that money, go buy more properties, it just gives you this this asset, that allows you so much flexibility to keep growing and building on top of it. So anyway, long winded answer of we ended at 7000, around 7000 in cash flow last year across four properties. And so I think you mentioned What are we doing together to grow in the future? So one thing I’ve done, you know, the main thing I’ve done to date, we started in 2017. I bought one or two properties every year since then about two in 2017. And then one in 18. One and 19. And when I’m starting to realize single family is such an awesome place to start. It’s just like easier. You know, you have one tenant, it’s just easier to understand it’s a home
Blake Miller 7:38
It feels like training wheels, almost like…
Emil Shour 7:40
Blake Miller 7:41
Emil Shour 7:42
So it started with single family and now I’m, you know, you start to kind of creep into the the multifamily space. So now I’m looking at four to six unit properties to just be able to cash flow faster, right? It’s the thing with multifamily is you’re you’re not it’s not like one unit on a single family scale. So the cost was like a four unit. It’s not like a single family homes 100,000 and a four unit is 400. So it’s like the the cost doesn’t rise with it with what you’re trying to get to them. And so it’s just an easier way to cash flow right gives you economies of scale just gives you I think, a better path to cash flow to the long run. So still, like single family and not not a what’s the word not gonna? I think there’ll be times to invest in single family, especially when there’s like housing bubbles and things like that. Right. And
Blake Miller 8:39
Definitely seems like a strange time right now, right? Like, I’ve got a lot of friends that are selling a lot of single family homes and even selling them to, you know, folks off of rootstock and stuff and it’s because there’s investors trying to throw in so you would think in the middle of the world going absolutely crazy. Like we’re all working through right now is the housing, there’d be something going on with housing, but it only is seems to go up just like the stock market.
Emil Shour 9:02
right yeah exactly like you know you’re hearing stories of people putting a home on the market and they’re getting above asking right now when we have double digit unemployment and like it just it reality and what’s happening in investment markets right like equities like you mentioned in real estate. They’re like so disconnected right now it’s it’s a weird time
Blake Miller 9:23
It is we were joking on Twitter The other day I was like, Don’t you remember stocks only go up right? They always just go up. Yeah.
Emil Shour 9:29
Blake Miller 9:30
But it is it’s kind of a strange time and so you do you think are you kind of personal strategy kind of hold them waiting out to see kind of what’s gonna happen over the next few months before you buy kind of your next property.
Emil Shour 9:42
I’m actually actively looking and making offers.
Blake Miller 9:45
Emil Shour 9:45
I’m just I’m being picky and I know the return I’m looking for and if I don’t get that I’m not really budging. I think I’m starting to realize your biggest competitor as a real estate investor when you’re you’re not institutional, whatever is other investors who are willing to take a lower return than you right? Because then they’re gonna, they’re gonna overbid you and like, you either allow yourself to find ways to find property otherwise, right? Maybe you go off market, maybe you do direct marketing, whatever it is, if you have a certain return you’re aiming for, or otherwise, it’s like, I don’t know. I’m trying to stick to my guns. I’m not in a rush right now. And just aiming for the return. I want to see.
Blake Miller 10:30
If anything, I think what I’ve what I’ve tried to learn on this side of the kind of building, you’re building your portfolio up, I’ve seen somebody go, you know, it’s the natural progressions one to two, two to four, four to 8, 16. And then building from there, but it definitely seems like you know, don’t get into that game where I’ve got to just go buy up as much as I can or do whatever. I can’t stick to your guns know what you can, what you can maintain and you can find the deals.
Emil Shour 10:56
Right. And a lot of times you’ll early on set an arbitrary goal, like
I’m going to buy one property every year for 10 years. And so you know, you’re coming up on September you’re like, Oh man, I haven’t bought my property for this year. And then that like forces you to do something silly instead of just being like, you know, I’m in a good spot. If anything, you’re just saving more money and you have more buying power for when that right deal comes along. I don’t think you should like rush into it.
Blake Miller 11:20
Totally. And it sounds like you’re the type of guy to that like kind of thinks of this a little bit like a game and it’s like a hobby as well. So if you’re that you’re it seems like like me like I’m a nerd where like other people go play video games. I’m like, I was looking at a spreadsheet last night and kind of checking these things out, you know, try to figure it all out.
Emil Shour 11:37
Yeah, yeah, I’m up to like, man, I sleep late these days because I’m just in spreadsheets and like, just underwriting homes all the time seeing like, looking back at homes that I was looking at when they get sold where they sell for why’d Why did this investor make
Blake Miller 11:52
Playing that same stock market game you were Yeah,
Emil Shour 11:54
Exactly, exactly. Yeah, man. It’s It’s so in marketing. A lot of what you’re doing, you know, yeah, we put out campaigns and blah, blah, blah, and like email and ads and stuff, but really what you’re, what you’re doing is, in a way playing this game, and it’s like, what, what? persuades and gets people to act? That’s really to me what marketing is, is like, how do you how do you attract people, right? Which is a lot of psychology, and then how do you actually move them to take action? How do you like, instill something in them that they’re like, I want to get out of my current state and do this other thing, or buy this thing or get on board with this service? That’s going to take me from where I am now to somewhere else. So yeah, definitely. There’s like this game x aspect of real estate investing that I really like as well.
Blake Miller 12:43
That’s cool. So you know, a lot of this, this podcast, obviously around future living, a lot of it’s around technology using, how it relates to our built world and everything. What sorts of technology obviously, you’re using a lot of property pricing technology and proptech, some of those things, do some of your underwriting what how does technology play into what you’re doing? And how how you’re trying to create this? Your portfolio?
Emil Shour 13:09
Yeah, so because I’m a, I invest remotely, so Midwest and southeast, I’m leaning on my property managers to, to like choose the right software like I’ve never I haven’t come across a property manager that doesn’t use something online where I can check everything, like most of them are either using property where or a system that they’ve built themselves. And it’s…
Blake Miller 13:32
That’s interesting actually, can I pause it like, how many do you come across that have their own systems and what are they like? Is it like a bunch of different types of systems like what’s going on?
Emil Shour 13:41
There’s only one so there’s this this property management company called Great Jones, and they are, I forget where they’re based they’re based are New York or Florida, and they actually their models like they go out and buy other property management companies and then just put them under like low property management companies and put them under Great Jones and use like their technology and software to really like streamline everything. So Great Jones, they have their own portal. I use them for my property in St. Louis, and my property in Indianapolis.
Blake Miller 14:18
Emil Shour 14:19
Blake Miller 14:21
Yeah, we’ve seen we’ve seen some of that, too. It’s just like, there’s so many different and there’s a lot of software out there. And it’s always interesting because none of them all talk to each other. No, a lot at some of the bigger ones as they start to scale. They’re, you know, I know some folks that have actually started to build some of their own. Basically a whole system on top of Salesforce, which I thought was interesting, like interesting application, but I could see I was very useful.
Emil Shour 14:45
That is interesting. I never would have thought you could use Salesforce for like managing your portfolio.
Blake Miller 14:50
Yeah, they were. It was a guy that was very x, like a sales very sales driven company. They started building up a whole property management system and he forced his leasing agents to start using it to track all their leads that they were trying to go get into. And they got really good at it and ended up just building everything on top. I was like, fascinating, hard to hard to compete with that one. That’s good.
Emil Shour 15:13
Yeah, that’s super smart. It’s a really good application for it.
Blake Miller 15:16
Yeah, but sorry, I kind of cut you off it. But what other sort of technology and it’s something you’re using beyond that?
Emil Shour 15:22
Yes. So I mean, the main one I I live in right now. I mean, like everyone. I have a spreadsheet. I feel like if you’re, there is no real estate investor who’s not using either like a Google Sheet or Excel. But I wouldn’t consider that like really, technology or whatever you want to call it. The other thing I’m using, I use this tool called deal check. That helps me analyze properties. It’s really cool and like it allows you to move properties. You can like analyze a deal as a BRRR investment, which is the buy rehab, rent refinance model. So like, Okay, what am I number is if I birthed this property versus if I just bought it as a rental, straight up, what are those look like? Those are like the main tools that I’m using personally like in my day to day right now. I actually got access to another thing called a prop stream. So I’ve just been lucky. Like
Blake Miller 16:21
I’ve heard of them recently. Yeah.
Emil Shour 16:22
Yeah. I mean, I just got, like someone on our team uses it for acquisitions. And so like, I just nerd it out on it and like, helps me I’m actually running, like direct mail campaign right now, because the listings are just, there’s nothing coming on the market for what I’m looking for. So I’m literally using Google Maps just scouring streets where I want to invest polling addresses and then like using this tool to figure out how many units are there How big is the lot size, like, Do I know bed and bath and just basically trying to write offers and letters and seeing if I get anything from that?
Blake Miller 16:55
It’s I mean, you know what, though, like those are that’s like, those are the hacks that people end up writing books. About right oh how did I grow this? Well I started actually just going really old school that’s funny you say that we we’ve been doing direct mail campaigns at Homebase just sending that directly out and it works like the funny thing The funny thing about our customer base is they actually answer their phones and they answer eat they look at their mail and we can find their addresses just by googling apartments comma city.
Emil Shour 17:23
Exactly. Yeah, it’s I didn’t realize how easy it is to go and find a property owners address like you can just go on the tax assessor’s website these tools mentioning prop stream they I think they pull from the tax assessor as well. And it’s all you know, this campaign I’m doing it’s like a lot of hours, but it’s kind of cool. And then I’m like learning it and I’m hopefully if it works, I can create a better system and like, I don’t know, hire VA to do all the painful stuff that I’ve been spending late, late hours in the night working on
Blake Miller 17:55
Figure out the jobs to be done, figure out how to do it and then find somebody go do it and go figure out next job. Right?
Emil Shour 18:01
Blake Miller 18:03
Well, you know, one of the ways that one of the way I found you and one of the things I wanted to touch on before we hit our lightning round questions, we run out of time, as you know, this kind of Twitter hustle or like the this, I kind of laugh, but it’s like the real estate, Twitter that’s shown up, right?
Emil Shour 18:17
Blake Miller 18:18
I don’t know if it’s just like I stumbled upon it in the last four, six months that COVID happened, but it seems like it’s exploding and there’s everyone out there. And they have their own like a gumroad. You know, you better sign up to or substack or something like that. But I am making a lot of jokes, but there’s a lot of like, really good knowledge out there. And a lot of folks that have actually it seems like kind of a quite a community that people are very engaged. They are sharing a lot of knowledge. And I mean, that’s how I found you and just reached out so, you know, talk to me about that cuz you seem very engaged in that kind of worlds as well.
Emil Shour 18:55
Yeah. What’s funny is I discovered it pretty recently as well. I’d probably discovered it. Yes. Like you mentioned, like you reached out to me and now we’re on a podcast like How cool is that? Right? Like real relationships and connections are being built. So I spent too much time on Twitter now because I love it and I’m just learning all the time. Like these people are super smart. I just my
Blake Miller 20:29
Total rabbit holes for myself as well. I spend way too much time but it’s just like, it’s just all knowledge like it really is. And it’s been enlightening for me.
Obviously, you’re on my podcast, you have a podcast as well. I’ve learned a lot from it. Talk about it.
Emil Shour 20:46
Thanks, man. Appreciate the shout out. So we host a podcast. I’m one of the co-hosts, myself, Michael Albaum and Tom Schneider and my other co hosts at Roofstock. It’s called the Remote Real Estate Investor and the reason we started it was there’s a lot of podcasts out there about real estate investing, rental properties, things like that. But no one was really talking about this growing segment, which we see firsthand at Roofstock is all these people buying out of state long distance, whatever you want to call it. So we’re like, you know what, let’s let’s sort of show or just talking about like, we’re all remote investors, and let’s just talk about what’s going on and how other you know, it’s a different approach. It’s not you just go around your city. And there’s a lot of other things you have to take into consideration. So that was the theme. And it’s like a cool little niche we’ve started and it’s been really fun. So we have like, you know, we’ll just have like these panel style episodes, where it’s the three of us chatting about a topic, we’ll bring on guests and just pick their brain and see how they’re doing it.
Blake Miller 21:45
I love it. It’s been very enjoyable. listening to it when I hit the sauna. Quite a bit. That’s been a it’s been a new hobby of mine. So
Emil Shour 21:54
Blake Miller 21:55
Yeah, so we’re running out of time, but every podcast we end with these like quick lightning fire and one of my first like, my favorite question that we came up with and I love to ask everybody is like what particular business or service is going to be completely obsolete in the next 10 years like in otherwise other words, like who is the next blockbuster?
Emil Shour 22:14
Do we talk about in real estate or just anybody?
Blake Miller 22:17
I mean, pick Anybody? Anybody in the world?
Emil Shour 22:20
Man. Um, the first one that’s popping into my head and I’m probably I don’t know, I don’t even know this is right. But my friend is a he’s a pharmacist and to me that just felt like something I’m like, Can we have computers just if you type in your allergies and all these things and what what medication you’re on that it could just figure out like what they’re kind of doing in their head? It seems like a very if then kind of logic stream. To me, the pharmacist seems like I don’t know.
Blake Miller 22:50
It makes a lot of sense. I’ve never gotten that one. That’s a good one. I think you see with with Walmart’s and Amazon’s and everybody in the world that’s probably not too far off. Maybe
Emil Shour 23:00
So not of business but I mean, I guess it’s a profession.
Blake Miller 23:04
A lot of them that could be going away. That’s That’s for sure. So I’m interested in this one because, you know, usually like these devices, what device Have you acquired in the last few months that have like, changed everything usually we’re all out and about in the world, but we’re all been locked in for a while. So how I was curious, is there a device and every one of your kids in the background a little bit ago, there’s something that maybe they got them that has helped save your life as you’ve been working from home?
Emil Shour 23:29
Oh, man, we’re so my daughter, Ella. She’s a little over a year. We’re pretty device. We don’t give her a lot of like, flashing or electronic stuff. That the thing that I actually got recently, I got an i watch, like a couple weeks ago. I’m, I don’t know, I felt like I was kind of bored. I’m like, let me just get something for myself. I watch sounds cool. You know, I go for a run a couple times a week. And there’s this app that works really well for surfing and so I wanted to get it for that and I love it man. It’s super nice that I can go on runs and not have to like have my phone you know in one of those arm straps. So I think Yeah, actually so that’s that’s been a good one good purchase
Blake Miller 24:13
Nice nice. So what what device do you think in the next 10 years like it’s gonna be the it device obviously the smartphone has changed everything you just you said the I watch like what do you think in the future is going to be that next thing?
Emil Shour 24:27
Oh man I am I’m like the wrong person I’m so like minimal technology. I honestly think these is the thing now that I have the watch. I used to think the wearables was kind of a silly fad that would go away quickly. I actually think they’re gonna be super prominent. I think a lot of people gonna like all the health stuff they have on them. I think they’re going to become even more popular and most people will have one.
Blake Miller 24:50
Nice that’s so talked a lot about technology and how it’s changing everything changed the world. What’s one thing that you think technology is not going to change in the future.
Emil Shour 25:00
Oh man, um especially with COVID going on, you know where a lot of us are doing online interaction. I think after this we’re going to be like we’re going to really miss in person connection and like being around each other and that yes, we can communicate and things over these devices but we, we miss and need in person connection and interaction so I don’t have that that can never be replaced.
Blake Miller 25:31
So agree. So agree well, so here’s where my last ones for you. And you know, it’s interesting because when we started this, you talking about like really trying to create a passive lifestyle where you everything’s taken care of right, you can come home. And so like, what do you think the future of living is going to be like? You see a lot of people taking this on. So you describe to me what the future of living is like, with people being able to do these sorts of sorts of sorts of lifestyles.
Emil Shour 26:03
Yeah, I think remote is going to get a giant jolt in the arm. I don’t think I don’t think like, all these companies are going to accept remote forever. But I think a lot of them are going to realize, wow, this is actually great. And we don’t have to pay for an office and all that. So I think offices, right, yeah, yeah, or less offices, smaller offices, maybe we’ll come in once or twice a week or so. It’s gonna it’s gonna change things. So I think I think people are gonna move around more, right? Like, I don’t think we’re gonna, I think we’re gonna be able to be like, more geographically dispersed.
I think people are like, like, want space, obviously, I don’t think space is going away anytime soon. That’s kind of one of the advantages of single family rentals. I think right now. And I, the the other thing is, is I think a lot of people right now have started these side hustles, right, like other ways to build income, and if you lose your job, I mean, it kind of forces your hand and maybe you figure out a way to make money for yourself. So I think it’s just like people becoming less reliant on one source of income, which is, which is great. And I love that. So I think it’s just, this is gonna really change the way people just live and look at finances and the way they earn.
Blake Miller 27:15
Man, I couldn’t agree more. And you know, just seeing people like somebody I’ve been on the internet by basically my whole life like, so I’ve always seen these ways of people making more money and seeing people recognize that they can, they can use the internet to do that. It’s been very, very cool. Well, I love that this has been such an awesome conversation. I think that you’ve knocked it out of the park for the first episode. So why don’t you let everybody know how they can find you online, get your podcasts, check you out online and everything. I’ll make sure it’s in the show notes too.
Emil Shour 27:43
Absolutely, so best way to kind of interact with me like you mentioned Twitter, I mean, pretty active there. So my handle is @emilshour, e m i l s h o u r
My website, which you mentioned, you can find on my Twitter and follow along the journey at I don’t don’t email too much just when there’s like something interesting to talk about, maybe once a month. And yeah, the podcast is the Remote Real Estate Investor. So you know, wherever you listen to podcast, just search for the remote real estate investor.
Blake Miller 28:14
Thanks so much.
Emil Shour 28:15
Thank you man. This was fun.
The Future of Living Podcast is produced by Media Club. Learn more at https://mediaclub.co.