Buying Apartments as a Kid
An Exclusive Interview with David Toupin, CEO of REL
David is a serial entrepreneur and real estate investor. In only 6 years, he acquired over $100M in multifamily real estate assets and made a name for himself for being one of the leading experts in the analysis and acquisition of large multifamily assets at such a young age. David created one of the most widely used multifamily analysis tools using Microsoft Excel, gaining thousands of downloads with zero marketing dollars. David utilizes his analysis and financial skills to streamline the multifamily acquisitions process to ensure investment into safe assets with strong returns. David has a background in investment banking and a degree in Finance from the University of Detroit Mercy.
What made you interested in buying apartments?
I always wanted to get into real estate. I found out about podcasts about 6 years ago and began researching the best way to get involved. I started with single family, but quickly switched my focus to apartments. Multifamily is the best asset class. It’s resilient in all times during the ups and downs in the market and people always need a place to live. You don’t need a degree to get into commercial real estate investing or prior experience, and you can start your business at any time and age. I was young, but knew it was what I wanted to do, so I went all in.
What led you to your first deal?
I started learning that there are multiple ways to find deals: brokers, cold calling, mailers, etc. I found a few local brokers and we developed a great relationship. I understood the numbers really well (at least the basics) from the start. It took a while to get really good at underwriting, but it was definitively the main skillset that gave me confidence jumping into the business. After one of my brokers brought me a 12 unit, we negotiated a price, and my offer was accepted.
Who mentored or inspired you in your process of navigating through multifamily at such a young age?
I had a few inspirations. A relative of mine invested in real estate and although I wasn’t very privy to the details of their business, I knew they were in real estate and saw the success that they had. It was the first eye opener for me on real estate being a great way to become wealthy. Along the way, I networked like crazy and have had several key mentors that have pushed me or educated me towards my success. I still have mentors today in many areas of life.
What advice would you give someone who is on the fence about taking the next step to invest in multifamily?
Study up, educate yourself, and learn about the business. Understand that you’re not going to know everything before you get into your first deal. Once you have a good base of knowledge, start making offers. Until you get a property under contract and purchase it, you will not be able to know all of the ins and outs, regardless of how many books you read or podcasts you may listen to. You’ll make mistakes and that’s ok. Learn to love the process of hunting deals. It’s addicting and lot of fun. It has a lot of stress that comes along with it, but that’s any business. So just dive in and go for it.