The executive Real estate investing Show
Freedom to Do More: How a Doctor Used Real Estate To Become A Better Physician and Father with Vikram Raya
This week on the show, host Michael Holman talks with Vikram Raya. Vikram is a cardiologist with a real passion for heart health and personal fitness. But after spending more than a decade in practice, he found himself financially secure but with no time and no energy to spend with his growing family. If he wanted to escape his work life, a side hustle beckoned. He considered CBD oils and hemp farms. He tried options trading, and even started his own medical temp agency. But none of those things gave him what he really needed: time.
After a few Fix N Flips in Atlanta, Vikram hit it off with another doctor with the same passions for fitness and real estate. Viking Capital was born. Since 2015, by concentrating on multifamily syndication investments, Viking has raised over $100 million in private equity so far. No Vikram calls himself “a recovering cardiologist.” He’s still an MD, but has cut his office time down to only 25% of his week. The rest is spent with his family, and his new passion of making real estate deals.
Listen now to hear how Vikram uses his own “Five Freedoms” to gain and keep control of his life.
Don't Allow Yourself To Fall Into Analysis Paralysis
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Welcome to The Executive Real Estate Investing Show. This podcast is for you, the busy business owner or executive looking to create generational wealth. Here, we’re going to show you how to do that through real estate investing from multifamily to industrial and everything in between. You will become a real estate investing expert. And now, here’s your host, Michael Holman.
Michael Holman: Hello everyone. And welcome to another episode of The Executive Real Estate Investing Show as always, I’m your host, Michael Holman. And today is going to be a fantastic show. We have a very, very active real estate operator who actually started off, as a doctor, a cardiologist.
He went from cardiology to preventative cardiology to 75% of his time is now in real estate. And he’s going to walk us through that transition. He’s going to walk us through a lot of the steps, you know, he’s actually building this business. Um, and I think a lot of it is going to be very relatable to those of you who are currently working real estate or others at building a business and trying to scale and get to the next levels.
So this is going to be a fantastic show. Before we get into the executive tip. I want to encourage everyone, if you have not gone on and subscribed to this podcast now is your time to do it. Go in apple podcasts, go into Spotify, go to wherever you listen to your podcasts and hit subscribe. We are getting some of the most phenomenal real estate minds to come on this show. And guess what the cool part about this is, they’re not only giving you their real estate tips. They’re also helping you understand how they grew their business, right. We’re getting into their minds. And so even if real estate, you’re saying maybe. You know, something that’s not necessarily I can do right now.
I’m so focused on this business. You are going to get a lot of value from hearing how these people are working to grow their business. And it is very relatable to you. No matter where you’re at in business as a business owner or as a business executive. So, there’s been a lot of really great guests.
There continues to be more guests and we have a fantastic lineup coming forward. So highly recommend time to hit subscribe. We love ratings, we love reviews. Go on there leave us one. We’d love to hear from you, also go check out the website, www.ExecutiveREIShow.com. A lot of great resources there, you can sign up for the newsletter.
You can make sure that you get into where you go listen to the podcast. You can see all the episodes that we’ve had. You can access the YouTube videos. We’ve done some of the whiteboard stuff. So, if you, if you haven’t seen. Those, those are phenomenal. Right? I really love getting up there. There’s something that’s just about getting on the video, watching the video and writing out what’s happening in a transaction or what is happening that you’re trying to teach.
It’s a great way to do it. So go check it out www.ExecutiveREIShow.com. Today’s executive tip is we get into this don’t allow yourself to get analysis paralysis, right. And combined with that means you have to have a level of confidence in yourself and what you’re doing. And so, the idea is once you establish a baseline, once you establish a level to say, you know, I’ve learned all that I can learn through reading through podcasts or videos through mentorships.
At that point, don’t allow yourself to back out of a situation unnecessary. Right. I, I see it all the time. People just get this analysis paralysis. They do all this work. They spend, you know, hundreds of hours, they get right up to the edge of the cliff and then they back out. And what I’m telling you right now, don’t allow yourself to get the analysis paralysis.
Vikram actually is going to talk about that in this episode. And he gets very specific into all the things that he’s been doing to make the leap from being a doctor to getting into real estate. So this is going to get a great episode. We’re going to get right into. Right now. And we have a very, very exciting guest with us today.
He has been everywhere. I feel like, I feel like every time I turn around, I see him his deals that he keeps doing, just keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger. the last deal was, was really impressive. So today we have with us Vikram, right? we’ll just call him Vick for this show. So, he’s, he’s given me that permission, but Vic has done some amazing things.
So he’s actually the CEO for Viking Capital. He’s also the founder and CEO of a Limitless MD & Vitology, did I say that right? Vic?
Vikram Raya: Absolutely. Michael, good to see you buddy.
Michael Holman: Thank you for being on the show today, Vic, well us a little bit about.
Vikram Raya: Yeah, absolutely. you know, I’m what I call a recovering cardiologist.
It was a pasture mind to learn about health and wellness and that I got into medicine and. you know, it was exciting. And I had people in my own family who almost dropped dead in front of me. And that’s what, like, all right, I gotta figure this out. while I was in, fellowship training, I was like, yeah, I wanted to diversify.
Maybe, you know, I had rich dad, poor dad. I was like, how do I get on that right side of the quadrant talking about. All right, let me try options. Trading got my butt handed to me. All right. I sort of started like a medical temp agency. That was good. We got some little profit out of it, but I’m like, okay, you gotta retire me.
All right. Let’s do real estate. Okay. So how do I do real estate? Doctorate. Full-time cardiologist. I got two kids. I got my wife’s a physician and we’re running around crazy, got soccer practices. Right. So how do we do this? And then, um, you know, I just started like, sort of sneaking off from work early and going to the RIAs, you know, and bill up.
Played cashflow board game with everybody and trying to learn, but then I’m like, all right, let’s go wholesaling. Right? And then that last it’s the classic first step it’s always flip or wholesale is always the first step. You hear some from some, and I don’t know who came up with this thing to teach everybody wholesale, but I guarantee you, it only works for like 20% of the population.
I mean, it’s, it’s not, it’s too crazy. I was like, how can I in the middle of my lunch break, go fax like 20 offers to random brokers, you know? And hopefully I can win like a game of attrition, you know, and win one deal. So I was like, all right, something’s got to give, what do I do? Okay. Fix and flips.
But I can’t afford DC, Virginia, Maryland, too. Crazy expensive. Let me go out Atlanta. So my dad lived in Atlanta, so I did a remotely and we just started doing some fixing. My first home, oh, by the way, I bought a lot of dumb things. I shouldn’t have bought. I bought a course called filthy riches and it was like this guy teaching you how to buy these lights, you know, ugly homes that no one wants.
And this was in like 2012, so relatively good market, right. Our first one was $18,000. We put in like $20,000 renovation. That’s how bad it was the home. And we ended up selling for like 68,000. I was like, all right, this is good. Let’s go you know, and we built a whole workflow about 30 homes. but I was like, man, if I want to do something beyond medicine, I got to have scale.
And that’s when I thought about, I went to a lecture by this guy talking about a multifamily syndications and the light bulbs came on. But then, you know, as you know, Michael, you told me this, but, you know, real estate sort of a team sport, would you agree?
Michael Holman: Oh, absolutely. I mean, I talk about quite extensively.
Vikram Raya: In fact, I mean, I I’ve been recently, I was on a Whitney Sewell’s podcast. I was just on podcast and a lot of times the conversation that we have surrounds around those partnerships. Cause that’s, that’s how, you know, my personal real estate business. That’s how we built it. Right. I mean, we, we designed it specifically to be really good.
At a certain aspect that real estate, for example, and we go out and partner with other people. So we’re, we’re almost always a part of a bigger team, so absolutely. Exactly. So, you know, when you play the single-family game, it’s sort of like you sort of you versus the world, it’s like, all right, let’s play the bigger game.
And so I, I found a buddy of mine who, you know, like he was a buddy, he was like, sort of my wife sort of setting us up as like a first date. Like she kept on talking about this guy at work who’s a doctor also did also in real estate. I’m like, yeah, whatever. Yeah. He’s probably not as close to me. Right.
And then I then like, and then she goes like you got to beat this guy. I’m like, whatever. So then I get to hear that he does some things I’m interested in. So I have done tough Mudders and Spartan races, and then this guy’s done. I’m like, okay, he’s starting to annoy me. I don’t even know him. And then he’s like, oh man, this guy is like, he’s actually working with part-time.
Cause he’s probably his real estate income is covering some of the expenses. I’m like, all right, this is getting interesting. And so I go to pick up my kid at daycare and, and this guy walks out and it’s the same guy that she’s telling me about and we actually hit it off. And now. I’m like, Hey, you know, you’re doing a lot of things I’m doing, you know, would you be interested in talking about maybe growing something bigger?
He’s like, Like, I want to buy a hundred-unit complex and he was like drinking his coffee, almost spit it out. And he’s like, are you freaking crazy? A hundred? There’s no way. Like, what are you smoking, dude? And then I was like, look, there’s a way to do this. It’s called syndication. He goes, that’s illegal.
I’m like, no. And so, so we’ve, we figured it out. We started a company and we’re like, you know, we’re both Indian origin. And so we’re like, oh, what do we call the company? We’re like, oh, should we call it like cardamom, capital or TQL? Like, what do we call it? Saffron capital. He’s like, dude, those are, those are late.
I’m like, all right, let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go all masculine. Let’s go alpha Viking capital, man. I’m like, all right. So that was the launch of Viking capital. And, and what we realized was we were surrounded by high income professionals who don’t know what to do with them. And, you know, the joke goes, most physicians are horrible investors and it’s relatively true, right?
It’s not their fault, they’re very intellectual. And because they’re intellectual and they’re so focused on one thing, they either don’t have the skillset or the knowledge, or they, they think they’re too smart. And then they make mistakes. Cause their hubris. Our goal is to sort of help them and help ourselves in blue grow this company.
And so our first deal, we sort of JV with other groups. It just got, you know, got the feel for it. But after that, we are, our first deal was in 2016. Michael, it was a 118 unit, in Atlanta in the south side and we bought it for 5 million, and, you know, it was exciting. But we realized we made a mistake, the deal next to it was S a T entirely vacant.
It was a 62 unit, but it was a condo. Someone had converted from apartments and condos, but now it just, it was just what bad there was like prostitutes and there’s crime. And it’s like, we put so much energy and time into this one. It was ruining us and so we thought, all right, what do we do? We can’t even bring investors without one.
It’s like vacant Right? So we ended up essentially buying it from six different owners, condos, reconverting it to apartments and then figuring out what it is, zone them together as one unit. And then we ended up selling the whole thing and all tall, we had put in about 8 million to do the whole thing, and we sold it for 13 million within two years.
That was like, all right, there’s something to this. That’s what I started getting confidence. Hey, maybe I can start back up on my work. I went from five days a week because I know, Michael, you got, you have executives listening to this show. You got, you know, you’ve got business owners, you got real estate investors.
How do, how do they eventually let go of the W2 and go to the holy land and the one, right? How do you do that transition? And it’s like, it’s, it’s a slow week. You, you don’t want to risk your mortgage in your house and your marital stuff. Bye. Like, Hey, Hey wife, I’m going to, you know, become a full-time real estate investor.
Like how, how are you going to do that when you have a mortgage to pay? Right. So, we did it in a graduate. I went five days and four days. And the three days I’m like, you know what? I think I can do this, you know? And, um, it was cool, you know, 2018, I had just turned 40 and that was, that was my goal was like, by the age of 40, I don’t want to make clinical.
I don’t want to admit all my money comes from medicine. I wanted to come from someone, something else clinically retired. It was a label enabling me to do some things I love. So, I obviously 75% of my time, Michael I’m, I’m doing real estate, which is, you know, my favorite asset class is about that family obviously, but awesome.
You know, we’ve been before the, before the call, we’re chatting about the development and you’re going to be excited about that. And, you know, I like industrial, like all these other things, but you know, what, what I’ve learned is whatever I touch turns to the goal, but the caveat is I got to touch it long enough.
Earlier in the game, Michael, I made some dumb mistakes. I thought about CBD. I thought about hemp farm, but I thought about like self-storage and I was doing all sorts of things and it was not until I, I buckled down and just let me create a system. Let me create a rinse, rinse and repeat system, a scalable system, a system that eventually I could bring other people into and grow this thing.
And so once I did that, that’s when we really took off.
Michael Holman: That is, that is awesome. And there’s a lot of little things in there. The first question I have to ask, I’m going to go back to something you said right at the beginning, because, just because I’m interested to be honest at this point you had talked about use decided to go into medicine because you would watch people literally like collapse in front of you.
If I, if I, I mean, if you’re okay, I was like, That sounds like a big turning point in your life. Like what, what happened? I mean, that’s not something that normally happens in somebody’s life.
Vikram Raya: Yeah. I mean, um, you know, in my family, I had my, my grandfather, both my grandfathers, two uncles, some aunts, and then, you know, they were in India, which, you know, so it was still meaningful, but yeah, it was, it was tragic.
What really shook my core, was, and what actually allowed me to leave traditional cardiology and become more of a preventive cardiologist is actually trying to help people beyond just pills is, you know, it was my son’s first birthday. We were in, my dad flew up from Atlanta.
We’re in, at this restaurant, we’re all celebrating. We’re giving a total. you know, for, for the birthday and he was raising his glass and then he started shaking. His blasts are shaking. I thought he was just drunk or something. And he started waving back and forth. And then he just collapsed in front of us and we pulled the ambulance and then we rushed him to the hospital.
And then, you know, after a couple of days of testing, they found him to have a hundred percent blockage of two of his arteries. And I was like, oh my goodness, this is on my watch. I can’t let this happen. And so I’m like, look, he was taking the pills. He was taking the meds, he was doing everything that he was supposed to do.
I’m like, there’s got to be something more. And that’s when I learned something called functional and integrative medicine, Michael, this is, this is medicine. You’re essentially using lifestyle to turn genes on and off in your body, the epigenetics would be, they call it, you using cutting-edge biomarker. So when I, when I go now evaluate a person who wants to take their health to that next level, whether it’s an executive, a CEO, an athlete, I’m taking them through a different profile than their traditional doctors do their doctors do about 7, 10, 12, 15 tests.
I do about that. And on these, I’m able to predict cancer. Now I’m able to predict heart attack. I’m building to predict dementia. And for the people who have a dad bods, we’re able to take them through a program within 60 days, 90 days, and they have a six pack or they’re like phenomenal health. And so, this has been my new passion and I do this sort of on the side.
Michael Holman: Yeah. I, talking about those dad pods, I might be a, I might be signing up for your program here. Not too long. There’s a that’s well, that’s no, that’s an awesome story to awesome background, right? I mean, those, it’s kind of funny how you go through life and you have those aha moments. I think all of us, especially, um, those, you know, the high performers, the businesses I use the business owners, the people who aspire to be that one day oftentimes have sort of this moment, that might not be as dramatic as the one that you experienced, but a moment where they say, you know, this isn’t necessarily the life I want to live.
This is the life I want to live and I’m going to get there. Right. And it, and it almost is like a switch that just sort of turns on for people. And sometimes it’s a big extravagant moment. Sometimes it’s a little moment. That’s just a lot of little steps, but that flip, that switch gets flipped and they move forward.
So that’s awesome. One of the things I want to talk about is, I mean, you made this huge transition, right? I mean, you went. Probably I would.
Vikram Raya: Michael, can I add onto what you just said? It was just so amazing. I love it. I’m assuming the people who listen to your podcasts are the same people who may know about a guy named ed, he’s a very popular podcast, or he’s also a super successful, this has been net worth on a couple of hundred million dollars and sort of like the same, you know, grant Cardone, Tim Ferris, all these big guys.
Right. So, I was listening to Ed’s show. And what you’re saying exactly makes sense. These executive, what I, what I believe everyone’s looking for is, is energy. Energy is the new currency. If you want to be successful in business, you have to have the energy, stamina, and endurance. And, and what you know, on ed, my last podcast, he said something profound.
He goes, you know, I was, you know, I looked physically healthy, but I was not. And he goes, the moment that flipped that switch in his head was when his cardiologist told him, look, Yeah, I hope, I hope you have, alternative plans, alternative pens for what? Oh, well, um, for the woman that, for that, for the man, that’s going to take your daughter down the aisle because you’re not going to be around.
So essentially, he’s basically saying like, someone else is going to marry your wife and carry your daughter down the aisle and you basically called them out. Right. So these are the kinds of things that like turn, turn things on. So, but go back what you’re saying, but yeah, no, I mean, honestly, that, that is that’s fantastic.
And you’re talking about this energy, right? Just to kind of play off that even more. I remember just reading, Steve Schwarzman, the CEO and the founder of Blackstone. Right? One of the things that kind of, he didn’t really emphasize this, but one of the things that, that stuck out to me. Um, near the end of that book.
Cause he just talks about, he was a he’s extremely high energy, right? I mean, he’s, he just sets his personality and that’s what he has trained himself to just have a, an exorbitant amount of energy. All the time. And he credits a bunch of different people, right. Including his physical trainer, you know, and a bunch of other people.
And so it’s funny how all of that just kind of builds in that you say that, because that was, it was almost like a side note in the book, but for some reason, it just, it stuck with me to click to my head.
Michael Holman: So I like what you said there. one of the things I want to kind of get into a little bit though, I mean, you, you probably spent, I mean, I would guess hundreds of thousand dollars years of your life becoming a doctor.
And then you started making this transition not wholly and, and I think probably once the doctor always doctor. Right. And so, but, but there was this transition period that you, that you were kind of making on industry. How did you, how did you deal with that? How did you balance that between having a family and making a transition from full-time doctor to, you know, 75% of your time real estate?
That was probably a very busy time.
Vikram Raya: Yeah. Um, it wasn’t easy, but it was like, you know, it, it was sort of like, I didn’t, I didn’t think this was going to be my full-time thing. It was just sort of a side hustle when it got started. But, you know, you know, the saying goes, when your side hustle starts trumping your main house, slow, you gotta, you gotta consider, you gotta pop it a little bit.
You’re like, Hey, you know, and, but it all comes down to freedom. Michael. You know, what are we all craving? Yeah. We want money. Yeah. We want, you know, all that kinda stuff, but it’s really want flexibility. We want freedom. We want this kind of, we don’t want anyone to control us. We want to do what we want, how we want, who we want, when do we want, you know?
And so that’s what I was not getting in medicine. And it was also, I, I, the way I was practicing, wasn’t fulfilling. And so multiple things started stacking. So then it gave me the energy and the drive. And in fact, the discontent is really what you need to make a pivot in anything in life, otherwise you will never pivot.
So once you have that discontent, use it as your friend. And so I fueled it. So, what I did was look, I had an hour commute to and from that’s two hours, literally. It’s like, Hey, I’m going to talk to brokers on the way. And then I’m going to talk to investors on the way out. Right. And then, and then it was like, oh, okay.
How do I, how do I build a realistic company and have fun? Okay. Like, I’m a big fan of James Bond. I’m a big fan of like a little bit of splash. I liked Steve jobs. I like Elon Musk. I like, who are these people I want to emulate. Right. So, when we launched our company Viking capital, I’m like, I want to do it in a cool way.
So we partnered with Tesla because they were of, you know, there are still sort of new at that time. And we did a launch party in one of their showrooms and people got to drive the new model lessons, all our, in our new potential investors. Right. So that’s cool. Then we like, all right, um, we need to learn, right?
So we tried learning through partners like, hey, this partner is going to hopefully teach us everything. And then we’re like, you know what? They’re holding back. They’re getting, there’s sort of like, you know, they’re getting jealous, you know? So we’re like, you know what we need to, we need to just pay for it.
We just get, so we found for mentorship, we got coaches, we started reading about it. Then you know that it was about relationships. You know, I’m good at recreating relationships. I need to create relationships who controls deals. All right, let’s go down to Atlanta. And so one of my famous stories that I tell often is this, um, it’s like, you know, I was trying to break through, into the multifamily game and we were not getting that kind of traction.
And we had done a couple of deals, but, you know, we weren’t really well Atlanta, you got, and so I called my dad, Hey dad, you know, go to the liquor store. He goes don’t worry about it. Just get what I want. Okay. Got it. I flew in from DC land in Atlanta, at the airport. He picked me up he goes, did you get what I needed?
Yeah. I’m like, good. Okay. I’m going to drop you off if I didn’t you go. So I flew to the, I drove to the property. We did the, before the broker took us out for lunch. I’m like, great. Thank you. Awesome. Um, Hey, you know what? I got something for you. And I ran up to the car, got the package and I brought it to the table and I opened it up and I’m like, here you go.
He’s like, what is this? This is what this is uncalled for. And then so essentially, I, I took him a bottle of Don Perry. And I was like, look, when we, when we close our next deal in the next few weeks, you can, you can pop this. Right. And then six weeks later, I get the deal for 25 million. This was one of our, our, our, our amazing deals we’ve ever done.
It was, we bought in 20, 19, 20 5 million. We just cut the appraisal back 45 million. Oh, awesome. All it’s a one bottle of Dom.
Michael Holman: That’s excellent, so what back to what you’re saying, coaching, mentoring, um, nights and weekends using what I call net time. No extra time. Right? Like, you know, all this garbage time, maintaining my state, like working out, journaling, vision boarding, you know, just, just trying to make it happen, man.
Just hustling. Right? I love it at the beginning. That’s all you have. You got to hustle. And then later on, when we get the flow, we get the sophistication, you get the, you get the, you know, you don’t push so hard, you know, and let it come to you. At the beginning, you’ve just got hustle. So yeah, that’s no, that’s, I completely agree.
I’m kind of laughing to myself over here cause, um, right. Four years ago, we’ve been around for a long time. but, but four years ago we had 10 million in the development pipeline and right now we have 160 million in the development pipeline. And if all of our. that are under contract get past due diligence week, we will likely go to 300 million in the development pipeline.
And I was talking with someone today. It was actually, with CBR capital markets, um, just kind of having a conversation. There’s just a guy over there that I talked to on a regular basis. And he was kind of asking me like, how, how, how, how did you get there? And I was kind of laughing to myself. I was like, you know what, to be honest, We just hustled, like we’re just been super scrappy.
We get it, we just get it all done. We do what we have to, and that’s how we’ve gotten that exponential growth through the last four years. And, you know, and, and so it’s kind of funny that you say that cause that, that, that resonates very personally with me in our situation right now. So, yeah, I mean, you were talking about freedoms and Vic, I’d love to, I’d love to get in, you talk a little bit about something called the five freedoms.
Um, and I’ve heard you relate this in other arenas and other podcasts. I’d love to hear about these five, three items.
Vikram Raya: You know, a lot of people say, Hey, you know, I’m just chasing the dollar. You know, I really want to have that financial security. I’m like, I get it, you know, but, when you, when you do get it, but you don’t have the other freedoms, it’s sort of meaningless.
And I’ll give you an example, I know, I know a lot of people who have seven figure, you have net worth or seven figure incomes, but they’re like chained to either a location or a desk or a situation they’re not necessarily happy. Like, I have, I have friends that they own like multiple medical clinics all over the country.
You know, all of the region. And even when they’re on vacations, they’re like looking at their phone. They’re like, you know, oh, and then they’re like, I’m taking calls in the morning. They’re on there. Checking emails. They’re not disconnected. They cannot. So they’re not pretty, they’re not really owners. I would say they’re operators, man.
And so my goal is not only to have the financial freedom and, and let’s be clear. It’s financial abundance, right? We’re at the point where you should not have for a whole year or two years or whatever, and still be okay, that very few people can say they can do that. Right. A lot of people who are high income are also high expense.
And so they’re really that really luxury paycheck to paycheck. If you want to call it that next is really, it’s really that time freedom. If you can have time freedom plus financial freedom, I would say you’re 80% of the way there. Right. And I like to throw in geographical location freedom, like you’re in beautiful.
Like how amazing would be to like go live out there for six months, you know, do, and then go to Hawaii and then go to wherever Texas or wherever you want to go. Right? Imagine not having any restrictions and many of the people I coach and work with they’re executives, they’re doctors, they’re lawyers.
They have the golden handcuffs and they have the golden handcuffs, meaning they’re comfortable with the. Truly free. They’re not truly wealthy. They’re not truly doing what they’re passionate about. They’re sort of doing it because it’s a good paycheck. Yep. We don’t want that. That’s, that’s sort of a half-life and, and, and so I think people deserve more so time, freedom, location, freedom, financial freedom, and then the two others are the most important thing mindset. We don’t be completely unshakeable like Michael resilient. Like you you’re, you, you you’ve had people, business partners who screwed you. Like I’ve had them as well. Like, um, having the capabilities to just persevere through that, you know what, my children, like one of my kids had COVID we’re, you know, I was, I was there supporting them, making sure he’s good.
Going through all that, you know, um, if, if a family member has financial difficulties. Okay, good, I got you. Let’s go, we can help you out. Nothing can sort of shake you. That’s that unshakable nets is what I’m craving. And I call that mindset freedom. The final one is vitality freedom. That’s like, Hey, you either, you’re sick.
Then you got to get through the strong stability. And if you’re stable, you’re okay. According to your doctors, but you have low energy. Playing full out with your kids. You’re not playing full out with your faith or with your wife or with whoever that then you’re, you’re, you’re not, you’re not fully alive.
And so I want like, dude, I’m, I’m climbing mountain Kilimanjaro next year. I’ve done pike speak just now. Awesome. I’m doing, you know, I do more Thai kickboxing. I do yoga. I, I, I want to feel alive. I want to feel healthy. I want to live beyond the a hundred and because there’s so much to do on this earth.
And I feel like there’s so much impact. We want to have the charity. The family foundation. We want to start, you need energy, you need help. You need vitality. So those are my five freedoms. And once I realized that’s what I’m chasing, that’s my true north star. It’s really made life more fun. It’s more, more invigorating.
And I think it’s a good goal for people.
Michael Holman: I think, I think that’s awesome. Right. And I love how you’ve incorporated so many different. Aspects. And that’s honestly a theme that I, that I’ve been hearing. I mean, we’ve had a couple of different people. Who’ve been, doing some coaching, you know, coming on lately, you know, Trevor McGregor, Jerome Myers, right.
And, and these people, one of the common themes that, you know, including with what you’re saying right now is it’s not all about the money that’s really, really important. But one of the interesting things is if you get the money. And everything else in your life is a mess. You, you’re probably not going to end up very happy in life or fulfilled or feel like you were a success.
And so I love how you encompass all of those things. Now, from your experience, what for you was the hardest one of those freedoms to achieve or that you’re currently still working on? What do you feel like has been the most, difficult, the biggest mountain to climb.
Vikram Raya: I’d say, there’s two of them, I would say mindset and I would say location, right?
Those are the two big ones. And I think, you know, COVID, you know, always it has this, like it’s, it’s sort of the great reset. It sorts of give giving people an opportunity to really say, Hey, I don’t need to be chained to my desk to a cubicle or to a physical location. And so COVID has given people a reason, not, not to be, to be able to be free, look location.
Mindset. I think I’m always going to work on, I believe at times I feel like I have it, but other times, man, I don’t get it, so I’ll be honest. I’ll be honest with you. It’s like, it’s a labor of love. I mean, you know, you know, Trevor’s been a dear friend of mine and one of my business coaches or mentors, I have like six people who I sort of my inner circle that I lean upon and, and it’s, I’ve done a lot of work and there’s something, they call it head trash, Michael, and we all have it.
Yeah. And you think you can just empty out in one year and you’re done? No, it’s, it’s an annual process. It’s, it’s a quarterly, it’s a daily process. So your executives who want to take it to the next level, your real estate investors, the business owners, the people who listen to your podcast, guys, invest time, energy focused on taking care of that, your mental space and really prime to get for success.
And, you know, morning routines, you know, power routines, all of that helps to do this reading the right. Like, you want to keep dumping good stuff in there. And I almost crowding out the negativity because the negativity automatically seeps in.
Michael Holman: Yeah, no, I completely agree. And it’s going to come in. So I love what you’re saying.
That that mindset is an ongoing process. I think anybody who says they’ve reached the pinnacle of the perfect mindset, probably. Probably hasn’t to be honest is probably the person that, they shouldn’t be taking the advice from because it’s something that we all constantly have to work. I mean, we’re constantly getting bombarded with all sorts of stuff.
Right. And mindset is, is I think you’re continually working on it. So I think you’re exactly right. I know in my case, that’s how I feel. I mean, I, I, it doesn’t matter. I’ve had times of. Of honestly, insane success. And I’ve had times of what felt like insane failure and, and the mindset was never perfect.
At either of those points in my life. Right. It’s, it’s something that you’re continually working on. And so I love that, that you’d mentioned that, well kind of transitioning a little bit into some of the real estate. Right? Tell us a little bit about what you’ve been up to lately. What are some of the deals that you’ve been doing?
what are the things that you’re looking at right now?
Vikram Raya: Yeah, once we decided like really what is our core business model and, you know, we’ve, we’ve sort of stuck to it and. You know, as I transitioned to more of like, really, like, I want to become the true CEO of Viking capital, I really want to push our company to that next level.
one of the big biggest things we did was incorporate the business system operating system, which you may know as well, traction by Gino Wickman, and that we got to implement it in our company and we actually strategize it out. So we got a 10 year vision for our company. Now, now we really know how we want to grow Viking capital.
So we decided, Hey, what do we want to be known for? We want to be known for sort of, impact driven multifamily investment boutique firm, right? And, and we want to sort of, be known in these markets. We want to take care of it, this type of investors, or, you know, these group of investors, if you will.
And so now we’re starting to do big deals. We’re trying to get more frequency of deals. Also, we realize we need to grow. So we created a director of investor relations. We have an asset manager now in-house we have, you know, the whole invest, you know, marketing team. Um, we’re trying to get out there on social media.
We, you know, our podcasts are starting to get launched, um, where we did our first live event, Michael. So we did that in Atlanta. so multifamily immersion live. We had a shark tank; we had a bus tour. We had a, the top speakers come in, Whitney soul came in to speak. So, it was all, it was amazing. So, these are the kinds of things that we’re starting to do.
And it’s really about just growing our investor base. And once we grow our investor base is also growing our deal flow. So now we we’re really predominantly in Atlanta. Now we’re doing Northern, Northern Florida, Atlanta, um, the Carolinas, um, and it’s Dallas, Houston. Austin and San Antonio. And so, and then we we’d love to end the prenups.
We just, it’s been a tough market to break into, but those are some of the markets. Well, you and I can talk cause we, we like the Phoenix market over here.
Michael Holman: Well, that’s no, that’s, that’s awesome. So one of the things I want to, I’ve heard a lot about, and you’re talking about EOS, right? The entrepreneur operators.
Okay. I want to dig into that because I’ve heard so much about it. And yet, and I think probably a lot of our listeners have been exposed to it in some form or fashion. For anyone listening, we will put a little bit, little bio little information in here on EOS. So if this is the first time you’re hearing about it, you can link to it.
but tell us about EOS, and talk to me about implementing that and, and then I want to get into, was it worth it? So talk to us a little bit about what us was, you know, why’d you decide to do it and what you were trying to get it to accomplish for you.
Vikram Raya: Yes. You know, most people, when they start businesses, it’s sort of like, you know, mom and pop style, like you sort of, you know, back of the napkin kind of business plan.
And we just hope and pray that we’re going to do well. And we’re just given like the all sweat equity that’s cause that’s all the equity we have probably at the beginning of it. So, and that’s great. And that’s a good starting point. Like, um, I went to business mastery with Tony Robbins other day.
And, and it was cool when he talked about which of the 10 stages of life cycle of a business. And if I can share that with some of your listeners, it’s, you know, you start with birth right then it’s infancy, then it’s toddler and it’s like, teenager, I’ll give you an example of like a toddler, for example, it’s like management by crisis, right?
business sort of walks and talks on his own have begun to build a management team. Business still relies on you for all the core decisions. everything’s accelerated, but cashflow is still a concern. So that’s like a stage, right. And toddler. So and so when you can think of about like that, there’s all these different stages.
And I didn’t realize that that’s how businesses are. So it’s really these different stages. Where are you right now? And how did you get to that next stage? And what is the threats or the concerns on the stage? And what’s going to prevent you from making that shift. And so once I realized that it was like, it’s a no brainer, we need someone to sort of be a business, not just a business coach, you can get a business coach, but you need an operating system to run.
And there’s, there’s a couple of months there, Verne, Harnish scaling up. Um, there’s, E-Myth revisited with Michael Gerber, then there’s, you know, obviously Gino Wickman’s dos. It doesn’t matter what you use, stick to one thing and then use that system. Right. And, and, and that’s, that’s an, a critical.
It allowed us to go from four people in our company to almost 14, right. In a short amount of time. And it’s because we were able to grow revenue, have projects start delegating and elevating versus me doing everything or rugby, doing everything. And then the other thing was when we first started, we were both like buddies.
We’re both friends. We’re like, okay. We both sort of wanted to be the CEO, but we didn’t want to offend the other person. So we know it knows the CEO. And so I was like the chief growth officer and he was the chief like maintenance officer. I was like, all right, whatever those best. And, and it really did us a disservice.
You know, there’s really this concept of the visionary and integrator in business. And so a visionary is a person who thinks big relationships, charismatic. I mean, both people can be charismatic, but it’s really this, you know, that they, they, they sort of have an idea where they want to do and that they have more, a lot, a lot of energy, but they execution is our weakness.
The integrator has an amazing executer. They can really bring the teams together. They can run the, the systems that they can execute and get things. So either one is great, but together they’re amazing. And that’s exactly what we realized, what we were. We embraced our roles and since then we’ve really taken.
Michael Holman: That’s fantastic. And I, and I see that all the time and I’m trying to remember which book was the book that I first read this on. That that was kind of my aha moment on having, having those two parties joined together. I can’t remember if it was, start with why. Um, rocket fuel. I think it was the other one rocket fuel.
That was probably, and I remember reading it probably five or six years ago. No, but that’s, that’s awesome. So you were looking to take, to use EOS to help get you to the next level. Now here’s the question, when did you do this? Are you still going through it?
Vikram Raya: We did it last year. Um, and, and technically we’re quote unquote done with it, but we’re still using them because we want to keep growing.
Michael Holman: I want to hear, how do you feel? Do you feel like it was successful or it’s been successful thus far? was it worth it for you?
Vikram Raya: it was highly successful because, um, it not only for us, but it, it, it gave a structure for my. ’cause like, I, you know, we’ve been reading business books for years, right? So we always indulgent, but it also, it forces you because four times a year, you literally shut the company down.
I mean, you, the company still runs quote unquote, but literally everyone we go to, we, everyone flies into DC. We, we, we go to, we’d rent out a hotel conference room and we sit and we work on the business and we handle problems that are. You know, S you know, sort of simmering in the business that we don’t, we’ve just been putting under the cover or under the rug.
We actually flushed everything out. It was very honest, transparent. Like people call me out and it’s sort of gala credit. Anyone can call anyone else out. Anyone else can praise anyone? And there’s a facilitator, who’s third party who can run the whole thing. So it’s not like the CEO is running it or with the CEO, you know, and it’s a safe environment.
So people feel like they can, you know, grow. And if some emotional times it’s, there’s times. why we had an employee, they had, I want to go to it anymore, but now she’s like, oh man, I’m so glad I was able to work through this. And now, and she’s not elevating our company because of the transition and the edgy and the sort of the transformation she’s made as a leader now.
Michael Holman: So it’s, it’s highly recommended guys. You can do it on your own and maybe that’s a, that’s a good starting step. But if you’re of a reasonable side, it’s maybe, you know, you’re starting to make seven figures of revenue. It’s a, it’s a good investment, right? That that is phenomenal. So I’m for anybody listening.
If you’re trying to scale your business, whatever you’re trying to do, highly recommend, I’ve heard all about I’ve actually, you’re making me think that I might need to go, go look into some of this Vic. So I’m, you got me excited about that. We’re kind of going into the real estate more, you know, what are you, what are you?
Vikram Raya: There’s a lot of real estate operators out there. There’s a lot of people raising capital, you know, what do you feel like. You apart from the rest of the people out there, you know we know a lot of the same people, Michael, and I think we’re in such a good industry. there’s a lot of rec reputable people, raw credible people out there.
I think what sets us apart is. I think the service, the customer service we want to provide, it’s like, you know, we joke that we’re like sort of a luxury startup we want to provide, like, I mean, you know, we, we give investor gifts no matter what field they’ve ever done with us, we, we, we have, you know, thank you cards.
We could talk to them on the phone. We educate them on. And so they feel like even though we’re starting to get to the point where we’re more institutional level institutional level deals, I mean, we just took down that $76 million deal in Indiana. Um, you know, we’ve raised a hundred million with private equity so far.
Like people can call us directly and speak to us and it’s that intimate touch that people crave. And it’s also the caliber of our investors was quite high because. They’re attracted to w you know, what we’ve done. Like they, they know we’ve been in the grind as, as a W2 earner as a high end camera.
And so they know that they can sort of trust us because. You know, we’re going to treat their money like our money and, and, um, the other good thing is this, a lot of people, they live and die by what they’re earning under, under deals, you know, knock on wood. We’ve been successful in other categories and fields.
So I don’t need this money to do, to live and take care of my family, but I, you know, it’s enjoyable and I, I want to earn it because I I’ve provided value to my customers. This is my client. That’s sort of the difference. And so there’s no desperation. There’s no, none of that. It’s a Goodwill.
It’s high quality and it’s. What we do with our money, right? We are, we do wellness, Wednesdays on all our properties, where we literally improve the health of our tenants. we, we buy backpacks to, you know, kids who can’t afford it. A lot of the properties, we, we do green energy project.
We do solar. We’ve tried to do solar onto the roofs. We’ve done waters and water saving strategy. So it’s impact it’s income. It’s community. It’s cost it’s customer, client, client care, and customer service.
Michael Holman: That’s awesome. Well, and with you doing so much multifamily, I got to ask is one of the questions, that I get.
All of the time is related to two things and it’s really; it’s wrapped up in one thing. And that is where are we at in the market?
Vikram Raya: Right. I mean, what are everyone, you know, for the last two years almost everyone’s been saying we’re at the top, we’re at the top. Right. And some of the experts will say other things, right.
Hey, we’re not at the top. There’s still a lot of runway ahead of. you know, people are feeling like cap rates are compressed. What is, where give us your crystal ball for a second, just pull that out for me. And, and I think it would be really insightful for our listeners to hear, you know, what’s your opinion and your crystal ball on where we’re at the market and what’s going on right now.
Yeah. Michael, that’s a fantastic question. And. If I, if I really locked in on my answer, man, I’d be, I’d be, I’d be worth a lot more, but here’s, here’s, here’s my, my best, sort of hypothesis. I, you know, I’m going to be on a panel this Friday with the Bain capital head of real estate, as well as, um, gray star and, and two really big developers are Ratko as well as.
What’s the other one. There’s one more, but it, see Vera is hosting this panel. And so we had a, a dry run last week and we were talking about the same topic and that’s why, I’m glad you brought it up. And there was a discussion one on, in the room and here’s what the consensus was. And these are like, I mean, this is like probably $8 billion of investible equity from the top institutions and their best decision makers at the table and what, what they, what they sort of hinted at as they expect.
Obviously this can’t be sustainable, but they expect the sort of correction slowdown, a true shift in the market that happened at the end of 20. Awesome. And so that’s their, that’s what they’re sort of putting into underwriting. This is what they’re factoring in and, and this is, this is what they’re going with.
And so it gives me, it gives me, so what I’ve done, how I’ve adjusted my underwriting and have we adjusted our acquisitions processes. This we’re still buying deals. We’re factoring in something that’s going to happen in year two or year three. Um, and, and if we need to hold it longer, so be it, we’re protecting ourselves against, the interest rate hike that’s going to happen.
Right now agency debt. Does that make sense, Michael? Um, at least at least in the arm multifamily market. And so we are doing private debt or, or, or bridge debt. And what we’re doing is we’re buying the tightest cap possible on that. and we’re paying for it because it’s worth it. We, we don’t want to have that, that, that jump in interest rates.
And number two, what we’re doing is those cash reserves. And number three is we’re delaying our strategy and riding the surge of rent bumps for the first 12 months, maybe 18 months, and then earning the remaining premium through a value add that’s more of a staggered. I love it, well, and so there you have it, I mean, there’s some of the items, so I love to hear kind of what, you know, your anticipation end of 2022, obviously there’s I mean, with the names that you mentioned, there was a lot of firepower in, in that room, um, related to what the consensus that they came up with.
Michael Holman: So I, and I, and I completely agree. That’s kind of what I’m hearing is. Um, if everyone could take out their crystal ball, everyone’s looking like, Hey, we think we still have some runway for probably a year to two years. Um, then things are likely going to start tapering off and nobody knows, right. Hey, is this going to be a huge major dropdown?
You know, it’s, it’s hard to say. Um, a lot of people are still a little bit scarred from 2008, so everybody’s just waiting for everything dropped by 50%. You know, my personal opinion and I, and I’d love to hear what yours is. Isn’t that probably that we’re not going to have another great recession, right?
It’s probably not going to be like, everything’s just going to drop 50%. It’ll more be of a slowdown, you know, a regular irregular downturn that just happens in an economy that’s structured the way that ours is structured. What’s your thoughts on that? Are you anticipating a large drop in your underwriting?
Are you anticipating just kind of a slow day? Yeah, I think we’ve seen there’s different kinds of flavors of fed and the fed we have now as much more intervention area, in our, you know, more, much more aggressive. If the fed acts, the kind of fed we had now was in place in 2008, we wouldn’t have had such a severe slowdown.
We would have probably had more of a moderate or even a mild, you know, and so, um, because I, I believe that the federal intervene. Even if there is something it’s going to be more mitigated and I expect maybe a pullback or a correction, but in hot areas, you’ll still going to see three to 5%, three to 4% rent growth, you know, versus stagnation, which we saw for 18, like in the, from, from my understanding of what happened during 2008, because I was not, not a family then, but from what I I’ve told from brokers and, and, and, and, and institutional buyers.
They saw an 18 month stagnation and then things went, went, you know, on the upward trend. So, if that’s the worst case scenario, and this will probably be made it more of a six to eight, maybe 12 months, you know, slow down at most and it won’t be as severe. Maybe it will be like slower rent growth versus stagnation.
That’s what I’m factoring into my.
Michael Holman: That’s awesome. No, and I love, I love to hear that. Well, there you have it everyone, right? Here’s the, here’s the biggest crystal ball on what he thinks is going to happen. And honestly, I agree with a lot of what you’re saying and that’s, that’s what I’m hearing as well.
Every time I get asked this question, I always really well, you know, I’m no, I’m kind of like you, I, f I could answer that question and have a sure answer, you know, I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at. I’d probably be a. Out in Hawaii, just hanging out, cause I would make some, I could make so much money doing that.
I wouldn’t need to do anything else, you know, so, but yeah, I, I completely agree. And I think what you’re saying is, is absolutely spot on, especially in that multifamily space. I mean, it’s funny. I remember even two, three years ago, if you started, if you were underwriting things over three to 4%, It was kind of like, whoa, what are you doing?
That’s crazy. And now all of a sudden, it’s like, we’ve had an average of like, you know, in, especially in the markets that I’m in, you know, 10 to 20% increases on an annual basis. And it’s like, you’re right. 5% in Europe. I was like, man, this isn’t even realistic at 5% because we’ve been, you know, it’s like, obviously it’s not going to grow at 20% for forever.
But it’s like, man, should I put a 20% year one? And we don’t do this. I mean, we usually cap it off right around 5%, but it’s interesting how that has had that, shifted. Right. Um, and so, but I like what you’re doing, cause you’re on the back end, you’re saying, Hey, we know there’s going to be a correction.
And the more you factor that in, hopefully the more accurate your underwriting can be. Um, and the better your predictions are, Vic, it was, it was awesome. You were going to kind of wrap things up here. I got a couple of questions for you, that we ask every single guest that comes on this show. Number one, what is the best business advice you were ever given the best?
Vikram Raya: I’ve, I’ve actually seen this come, come to fruition. Is this, um, don’t take advice for someone who hasn’t been in, where you want to go. So, I have had so many folks who try to tell me, oh, real estate is scary. It’s a, it doesn’t make sense. Multifamily. Oh, you’re bar you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re raising capital from people.
What happens if you lose our money? I’m like, look like, you know, if, if you learn, get mentorship, do it the right way, figure out how to do it. You know, minimize your mistakes, asymmetrical risk reward. You’re going to be fine. And, and because I didn’t listen to those folks, I am where I am today.
Michael Holman: I love it.
That is, that is fantastic advice. Whether it’s, whether it’s getting into real estate investing or any business. Right. I love that approach. We’re going to do the best that we can, you know, get all the research, make all of the right decisions, but we’re not going to get analysis paralysis right there, there has to be a level of, of trust.
You know, this leap of faith, if you will, that says I’m going to, I, know everything that I’m going to figure out without actually doing it. And now I’m going to go and move into the next step. I listened to everybody who knew what they were talking about and, and it’s go time. So I love that. Excellent advice, whether it’s real estate investing or, or any other type of business.
Next question, what real estate investing advice would you give other business owners and business executives you should invest in real estate.
Vikram Raya: And I want them to fall in 20% hole. So, um, you know, that’s, some people have always done great, you know, seven, eight, 10%, but what they did is they picked SNP and they compared it to the SMS.
With people who did 20% in alternative asset classes, including multifamily. And then what they found is that they follow the 20% rule. There was a two X return for people who had that, you know, the index plus the 20% alternatives versus just straight up S and P. So just something to think about, diversify, you know, and, and, and get those returns.
Michael Holman: Vikram, how can people get in touch?
Vikram Raya: our website providing capital is Viking, multifamily.com. So please check us out there if you’re looking on our investor list, um, you know, um, get into our ecosystem, love to be part of it. If you want to get in touch with me personally, love to reach out to anybody who’s interested. You can get me on DM on LinkedIn. I have a website link with vic.com and sticks me straight to my LinkedIn. So www.linkwithvic.com. Love it.
Michael Holman: That is awesome. Well, Vikram thank you so much for being on the show. Appreciate your insights into multifamily and to business and it was all very insightful. Thank you.
Vikram Raya: Thanks Michael.
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