Why Good Relationship Matters In Real Estate With Bill Hamel

Why Good Relationship Matters In Real Estate With Bill Hamel

Bill Hamel has been in multifamily residential real estate for about 27 years. He had been investing in a lot of small properties. As he learned the business and property management and very well through that process, he recently pivoted to focus on scaling into much larger apartment communities.

He currently focuses on commercial multifamily real estate in New York’s Capital Region and the Tampa Bay Area of Florida. He has been actively investing in small to medium size multifamily properties since the 1990s. Over that time, he accumulated and managed a portfolio of 40 properties consisting of 200+ apartments in the Albany, NY market.

 

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Why Good Relationship Matters In Real Estate With Bill Hamel

 

Brett:

Our next guest is an expert when it comes to multifamily and brokerage, as well as ownership and management. He has a vast background. He’s out of the great state of New York, he’s up in Albany that is, and he’s going to share with us really, why good relationships matter in real estate. So please, welcome to the show with me, Bill Hamel, Bill, how are you doing?

Bill:

Very well. Thanks, Brett for having me on.

Brett:

I appreciate it. Excited to get to know you a little bit better. For our listeners to get to know you for the first time, would you please tell us a little bit more about your story and your current focus?

Bill:

Sure, I have been in multifamily residential real estate for about 27 years. So I had been investing a lot of small properties as I learned the business and, you know, learn the property management and very well through that process and recently pivoted to focus on scaling into much larger apartment communities.

Brett:

Excellent. And you know, I believe we’ve all been given certain gifts, Bill in this life. And these gifts are given to us to be a blessing to others. Some people call them a superpower, some people call them strengths. I want you to go back to that high school days, college days, and I’m curious, what are the maybe one or two gifts that you believe you were given and how did those gifts help how you help and bless other people today?

Bill:

Well, my biggest gap going back was a very strong work ethic. So, you know, that allowed me to, you know, get through some of the trials and tribulations in the early days, considering I bought my first property at 21 years old, you know, I have limited knowledge in the business other than, you know, reading a book and off, I went investing in small rental properties. So those first few years were, you know, learning by mistakes and making sure that I would continue working hard to get past any of those mistakes, until, you know, I was able to develop that expertise. 

Brett:

Awesome, love it. So let’s dive right into the show of why good relationships matter, in real estate. And so what’s the best secret you have, our number one tip, guidance, or wisdom that you can share with us with building good relationships?

Bill:

Well, being in property management and an attendant business, I learned clearly to provide as good of a service as we possibly could to our residents, which are also our customers. So just like any business, the better service you provide, you know, you get your comeback customers in this case, you know, high tenant retention and high tenant referrals, which creates higher profitability and multifamily space, when you aren’t turning over apartments and getting people to refer you to their friends and family affect your bottom line.

Brett:

Yeah, 100%, you know, and you have to make sure you’re looking out for the long term and the best interest. And so, what have you found to be some of the challenges with you know, COVID-19, and different things, changing with the way relationships are built, in some ways, right, are maintained, and social distancing? So what’s been what how have you guys kind of pivoted and tried to continue to build good relationships with, with your clients, and with your customers?

Bill:

Well, and COVID was interesting, we originally, you know, had major concerns of COVID with, you know, tenants having difficulty paying rent. So, you know, that initial challenge which we handled proactively just reaching out to tenants, and letting them know we understand the challenge that is in front of all of us, and we’ll do what we can to work with everybody based on you know, their every individual challenge. So, you know, that tied in with the relationship that we created with our tenants initially starting at least signing when we’re trying to provide as good of a service as possible and also respecting their most personal space, which is where they live. So, once all of this happened, you know, that type of attention it was was probably expected from our tenants and appreciated and fortunately, which we found out, you know, the rent collection didn’t turn into as big of a challenge as we thought it might. So, you know, we just had to work with a small handful of people. And ultimately, you know, real estate got hotter. You know, during COVID, um, you know, which at this point, I think, in 27 years, I’ve never seen real estate, as hot as it is.

Brett:

Yeah, likewise, we’re seeing the same thing here in California. It’s I think, most major, you know, metros, it’s the sky, high and low inventory, and record prices and multiple offers, which leads into the next question. You’re going to be focusing on purchasing, you know, multifamily properties and syndicating deals. So, tell us a little bit about that vision. By the way, we’re sticking with Bill Hamel here with hamelrealestate.com. So tell us a little bit about that, Bill.

Bill:

Well, yeah, we had normally been doing joint ventures along the way, which on smaller properties, that’s, you know, very routine, especially when, you know, you’ve made, you know, in my case, you know, probably over 80 purchases over the years from small to medium. And, you know, I guess you could say some larger properties. So, joint ventures had become easy for us. And we’ve recently, you know, purchasing a 39 unit in about a week, which we’re handling the same way we have, and I continue to do the joint venture. You know, that’s what we’ve gotten good at. But as we scale into much larger multifamily, we’re certainly going to be investigating and utilizing syndication where, you know, we get some passive investors involved so we’re able to, you know, make much larger deals possible.

Brett:

Beautiful. Yeah, I love that. I love multi-family mobile home parks, senior housing assisted living syndications, and I invest in raise funds and buy deals with partners and clients. So I love that you’re getting into that. Are you going to be focusing in the Albany, New York low, Metro, or where are you going to be buying it? 

Bill:

Well, I’m going to continue to, you know, invest in this Albany, Saratoga, New York area, I’ve lived here my entire life. So I’m, you know, I’m very well known in the area. And, you know, I know, the markets that I’m willing to invest in. So that familiarity, you know, is super valuable. But we’re also looking in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, particularly cannabis County, where we did make a, you know, investment in the summer, utilizing a 1031 exchange on some properties that we had sold in our market looking to get into multifamily, even, you know, here or Pinellas County, so I’m anxious to continue a portfolio in that area.

Brett:

Excellent. Yeah, I recently visited Tampa, a cool city place, before everything hit the fan, with COVID. But yeah, really neat and have a one-on-one, the deferred sales trust that we did, we invested in a deal in Tampa as well, which is pretty sweet. Okay, cool. So let’s pivot a little bit here. And let’s focus on some curious about your wisdom on a capital gains tax deferral and maybe the biggest frustration your clients have faced when it comes to selling highly appreciated assets, and capital gains tax deferral options. So what’s the biggest frustration that you faced with that for yourself? 

Bill:

Well, my original thought back was in 2019, um, you know, managing at the time was probably about 45 properties consisting of over 200 apartments. And, you know, I had that fantasy over the years and looked at it much more seriously. You know, how can I sell these smaller properties and exchange them into, you know, one large 150 apartment complex. So, I chose to, you know, sell a lot of our smaller stuff and, you know, had that challenge of okay, let’s find that large property. So that was a huge challenge in a very competitive market. So, you know, we had very good luck selling a lot of our properties because the market was so hot. But then finding the large property was that big challenge in this environment. So, you know, I was left, you know, looking in the Albany Saratoga market, look in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida. So, um, you know, if anyone’s not familiar with the 1031 exchange, you know, you have that 45 day identification period, which goes by very quickly. So, when we had sold large chunks of small properties within a certain time frame, you know, it was an added challenge, you know, in relation to just selling one and exchanging into another, you know, we’re laughing, taking an RK six or seven or eight properties that we had sold, you know, within a couple of weeks from each other, where we had to thread that needle, so to speak, and work with those time constraints and identify that next larger purchase. So that had been our largest challenge in dealing with that time constraint, specifically in such a hot market. 

Brett:

Yeah, we call it the shotgun wedding, right, where you’re going to get engaged in 45 days there will when you’re getting married in 180. And it becomes complicated when you got multiple small properties, you’re not just trading one property for another, but you’re trading all these small deals, trying to put it all to the Qualified Intermediary to gather up enough cash for the down payment for the one larger deal. And we call it the blockbuster way of doing things. And you might not know this bill, but here capital gains tax solutions, we have an amazing solution called the deferred sales trust, which solves that, and what you can do now is sell each property, move it into one trust, and you can still sell these properties slowly, you know, we like to say go find that ideal primary home family buyer and get that FHA financing, right, who can maximize and get a 30 year fixed loans and pay a price versus selling them in bulk to investors, which different typically want lower, you know, a lower price, right. And then as you gather all this cash, Now, the next cool thing is you can wait on the sidelines, and you can purchase the real estate when you find the deal, and you might find the deal tomorrow day, 46. They want anyone or even five years from now, in fact, we just did a deal, we sold a deal in Georgia as 126 unit, we saved a failed 1031 exchange, he paid off all this debt, parked the funds in the trust, and he’s still waiting. He’s still waiting. I mean, he put some of it into some passive deals, which is pretty cool. That one in Tampa, he put some of them on passively on Texas. But his thought was I’m in California, I’m an expert, for some areas of California, some areas of Georgia. But if I can’t find a deal, if I can just wait on the sidelines and buy at a different time, all tax-deferred, that changes everything. And so that’s what the deferred sales trust can do. By the way, you can learn more about that at capital gains, tax solutions, comm capital gains tax solutions.com. That being said, Any thoughts on that, Bill? Have you heard of that before?

 

Why Good Relationship Matters In Real Estate With Bill Hamel

Why Good Relationship Matters In Real Estate: “Don’t beat yourself up. Some transactions will naturally go smoothly, and others are a month of challenges. Learn what you can from each transaction, move on, and start the next one.” – Kurt Uhlir

 

Bill:

I have not heard of that before? You know, I feel naive stating that. But I appreciate that insight because can solve that time constraint issue.

Brett:

Yeah, 100% it is transformational once you understand it. And that’s part of my story. Actually, in 2006. It was the height of the market, I met Marcus and Millichap helping clients buy and sell multifamily properties. And we learned about the 1031 exchange about day three, we also learned about ti C’s and Delaware statutory trust, which is just another form of 1031. And so we were helping people but then the market crashed and we went from you know, making a little bit of money to none for brokers. And then our clients you know, fighting with the banks holding on and we kept identifying 1031 was a part of the challenge because people knew it was not a good time to buy-in. ‘05, ‘06 but they felt trapped by that huge 30 to 50% and capital gains tax and so they use the 1031 exchange and then they weren’t diversified and they had too much debt and then the rest is kind of history with a deferred sales trust you don’t have to do that ever again. And it’s not a 1031 so it’s why we started our company honestly because of what I saw the pain for friends and family and clients in the great financial crash and so here we are, and it kind of feels similar I don’t know what you think in the marketplace. You know, not that I think it’s always with the debt, but it just feels like things are very, very high and it feels like it’s a great time to sell. Not a good time to buy but what’s kind of your take on the marketplace here, Bill.

Bill:

Well, I’ve been through a few market cycles. So, you know, as we all know, it’s impossible to predict precise timing on market shifts, but, you know, I do focus in on, you know, that 10 or 12 years period of market cycles. And, you know, I’m looking back at around 2010, when things were recovering, and here we are 11 years later. And, and the hottest market I’ve ever seen. It does make it, you know, more dynamic, being through COVID, you know, watching something like that happen, and make the market hotter. So, I’m in the same camp, I believe that you should be, you know, careful with the aggressive purchasing. So, we all have to be in the game, you know, all the time. But, you know, I’m looking at things a little bit more conservatively. You know, stress testing, my underwriting, making sure that you know, I’m able to weather any storm that might come about.

Brett:

Very well said. Yeah, and likewise, couldn’t agree with you more. And that’s why diversification, liquidity, being out of debt and having timing on your side, we believe are the pillars to creating and preserving more wealth in this marketplace, and buy marketplace, but especially when it’s highly appreciated. so be cautious folks out there with your purchases. That being said, Bill, are you ready for the lightning round? 

Bill:

Sure. 

Brett:

All right, knowing what you know, now, if you go back to your 25-year-old self, what’s the one Golden Nugget that you would make sure you would tell yourself to do?

Bill:

I would say to focus on first of all, what you love doing, you know, which in my case was buying property portfolio showing property and building that portfolio and not focus, you know, focusing on the needle mover items and not getting caught up in you know, the minutiae.

Why Good Relationship Matters In Real Estate With Bill Hamel

Brett:

Very well said, Thank you for that focus on what you love doing. Question number two, what’s the number one book you’ve recommended or give the most in the past year?

Bill:

I would say Tony Robbins. Awaken The Giant Within is a book that has meant a lot to me, it covers so much about personal development.

 

 

Brett:

Beautiful, I’m going to see Tony Robbins in August. I’m excited to be first live. I think one of his first live stuff since COVID in Dallas. By the way, it’s gonna be fun. Cool. Question number three. What are you curious about?

Bill:

I know what I’m curious about right now is scaling up in the real estate. I feel like being in you know, small investments for so many years. It became you know, pretty routine for us it was become expertise after doing it so long but I’m anxious to enter that. That unknown that uncertainty of scaling into multifamily and I’m anxious to see what’s on that other side. 

Brett:

Beautiful. Favorite leadership quote or theme that you strive to live by?

Bill:

Favorite leadership quote or theme? Mmm, good question. I’m trying to think of it could be I would say, make it happen. You know, I recently joined a real estate community called Jake and Gino which specializes in multifamily investments. And you know that’s their tagline, “Make It Happen” 

Brett:

Beautiful. I just had Gino on the show. It was phenomenal like the threshold to go check that episode out. Awesome. The last question is this, after all your success, Bill, over you know your track record of decades in the business of real estate property management. Now launching the multifamily, focus a little bit more here. How do you stay centered in your values and how do you stay encouraged to charge forward to reach new goals? 

Bill:

Well, I’m like many others and you know, the personal development world. You know, I had learned over the past 10-12 years to you know, have a good morning routine. You know, being grateful for everything that you have, and focusing on your critical path items for the day. Ultimately focusing on what makes a difference every day and reset for the next.

Brett:

Beautiful, Bill. I want to thank you for being on the show, sharing a bit about your story. And given us some good wisdom here today. For our listeners who want to get in touch with you, we remind them one last time what’s the best place to find you?

Bill:

You can find me at bill@hameltonrealestate.com or feel free to give me a call at any time, 518-857-9251.

Brett:

Beautiful. Bill Hamel, thanks for being on the show, and also want to thank our listeners for listening to another episode of the Capital Gains Tax Solutions Podcast. As always, we believe most high net worth individuals and those who help them struggle with clarifying their capital gains tax deferral options. Not having a clear plan is the enemy and using a proven tax brochure. It says the deferred sales trust is the best way for you to exit your business or real estate. We’re also streaming on expert CRE secrets. So, if you’re listening to this, they’re focused on helping realtors and commercial brokers, and syndicators. Level up their business with the deferred sales trust as well as a line strategically with a model which builds teams at a rapid pace and helps more people. That being said, we appreciate you listening to the show, being a part of it, please Rate, Review, and Subscribe. Bye

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About Bill Hamel

Why Good Relationship Matters In Real Estate With Bill HamelBill Hamel is an expert at deal selection, apartment rehab and value add opportunities.

They have been successfully investing in real estate in Albany and surrounding areas since 1993. They started by purchasing a two-family property with his childhood friend, Greg as a partner in the City of Albany and slowly accumulated around 50 units by the year 2000. They were also successful in buying and selling a handful of residential and commercial properties during that time.

After the year 2000; They began purchasing larger apartment buildings. He created another partnership with my brother Mike and continued building a portfolio with both partnerships. By 2007; they accumulated over 200 apartments. They eventually had approximately 240 units in our portfolio.

He have personally been the operations manager of the Hamel Real Estate management company until the end of 2019; focusing on optimal customer service and tenant retention. At this point; they naturally transitioned into larger apartment communities. We successfully sold many of our smaller properties utilizing the 1031 tax-deferred exchange and began acquiring larger multifamily properties.

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