We're excited to welcome Logan Rankin to the podcast for a spirited discussion about financial freedom and the true value of working at a W-2 job and why "quiet quitting" is one of the worst things that an employee an do.
Logan spent the first decade of his career working with a Fortune 50 corporation, leading retail operations. There, he formed a reputation for building high-performing teams, managing large P&Ls, and implementing strategic operational changes at the enterprise level.
Once Logan realized that he wanted to retire early, learn why he did the opposite of what many preach, in that he worked harder and for longer hours toward the end of his time at his W-2 job rather than phoning it in and spending all of his time on real estate.
Hear why Logan understood the importance of a good work ethic and how that helped him accelerate his career at Target into and through the executive ranks, and how his W-2 job catalyzed his real estate career and entrepreneurship.
What we discussed during this episode:
- The true value of Logan's experience at Target, learning how to develop his colleagues and direct reports who ran the business.
- What’s holding back the average person from gaining Financial Freedom?
- What does it mean to make your money work for you?
- The importance of organizing your personal finances first.
- Taking control of your own finances and not just relying on a 401k for retirement
- How W-2 companies encourage employees to continue working by encouraging high performers to put their earnings into buckets that hold them hostage.
- How Logan and his wife amassed a $275 million portfolio with no partners or syndications.
Logan has a profoundly interesting journey toward financial freedom, having worked as an executive with Target for many years until relatively recently all while scaling his real estate business. At Target, Logan learned how to operate a complicated multi-disciplinary organization that involves logistics, human resources, and customer service, and he applied all of that to his own investments.
Logan is the author of Find Your Financial Freedom: Let Go of Fear, Gain Control, & Achieve Lifelong Wealth
Where you can find Logan:
Website - https://loganrankin.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/loganjrankin
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/loganjrankin/
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/loganrankin/
Link to Logan's Book - Find Your Financial Freedom
Join Jason Muth and Attorney / Broker Rory Gill of NextHome Titletown and UrbanVillage Legal in Boston, Massachusetts for another episode of The Real Estate Law Podcast!
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And I knew that at the end of the month that you know that $7 would rise and it would be able to cover our expenses for the next 30 days. So I think that's just a secret right there, by the way is, you know, a lot of people want to scale. But if you can't organize your own personal finances, then it's really, really hard to scale as quick as like, maybe I have done so you always got to stay organized. And that certainly helped us. But you know, I remember telling my wife I read a book, I underwrote the deal, it shouldAnnouncer:
You found The Real Estate Law Podcast, because real estate is more than just pretty pictures. And law goes well beyond the paperwork and courtroom argument. If you're a real estate professional, looking to build real estate expertise, then welcome to the conversation and discover more at realestatelawpodcast.com.Jason Muth:
Welcome to The Real Estate Law Podcast. Thanks again for listening to us. This is a really cool episode that we have, Rory. We are going all the way to the Midwest. We are speaking with one of the premier authors and speakers and folks that has really put together at a massive, massive portfolio of holdings. Has found financial freedom many many times over and has influenced the lives of many people. And we actually reached out to this guest Rory, like you know, this is a dirty little secret about this podcast, The Real Estate Law Podcast. We have a lot of people to come to us who want to be on the podcast. We're really grateful about this. But I went right to Logan Rankin, because I found him online. And I'm like, Who is this guy? Like, how did he build up everything so quickly. And you know, I saw some of your speeches that you posted online, we followed you on social media. You have such an interesting journey toward financial freedom and some of the coaching you've done now that I actually solicited you. So we want to welcome you to the podcast Logan, and we really appreciate all of your time. Thank you so much for being here as a guest.Logan Rankin:
Yeah, appreciate it. Thanks for having me, guys.Jason Muth:
Yeah, you know, Rory and I were chatting before you dialed in, and we hit record. And you know, we've spoken to a lot of people lately who all want to quit their jobs. They all want financial freedom, you know, I mean, don't we all right, we're listening to this all looking for ideas, resources from people. But you know, you've done it, and you did it many times over. And I'm going to let you kind of explain how you got to where you are today, Logan. But you know, one thing I found fascinating about your journey, especially when I was really digging into your LinkedIn, is that you worked for a major company, you worked for Target as an executive there for the better part of the past decade. And you were there till 2019, building your business building your separate business, and then you know, you must have pivoted into what you're doing right now. And I'm sure it scaled massively in the past past three years at this point, because we're recording this in 2022. Tell us your story. How did you get to where you are right now? And you know, why did you stay in that career so long when the path was right there in front of you?Unknown:
Yeah, for sure. Well, let's just start with that. So when I went to college, I had a business management major and business marketing major. So I knew I wanted to do something with management. And I fell in with Target and I loved it from day one, you know, even as an intern, before an assistant store manager, and so on and so forth. But what I really loved is the leadership aspect, the the responsibility that you get for not just running a business, but right developing the people that running business. And at a young age, that was a lot of responsibility, even, you know, getting part of managing team of, you know, 50 right off the bat. And that just like inspired me, because I got to learn about business. But I got to learn. I think a lot of people learn about business, but I don't think they take as much time to learn about how to develop the people that run the business, right. So I started doing that. And, you know, there was part of me, just like everybody that you just mentioned that like I always knew I wanted financial freedom. When I started at Target and, and working in this leadership position. I just knew that I had to work really hard, because like most people, you know, that's what I was taught. I grew up but you know, I'm from Wisconsin. So you know, around big farming communities. And my parents always taught me to work hard. They just didn't teach me how to make my money work hard for me. So as I started promoting at my company, I realized that while I was working hard, my company certainly wasn't making sure that my money was working hard. So I had to, right? And I only did what I was taught, I just threw all my money into a 401k. And I just it was so frustrating because I felt like with as much control that I had at my job. I had like no control over my 401k or any other investment that I was trying and usually making mistakes with. So my journey starts like there and figuring out that I want to do both right. I want to work hard for my money, but I want my money to work hard for me. I started reading a lot of books and you read enough personal finance books, you fall into real estate. So as I was growing in my positions in my career, I started making more and more money and my wife and I finally took a chance I convinced her to buy a single family house in 2013. I left $7 in our bank account still working at Target at this time a little risky, right? It's something that Yeah, I had a really, really good routine around tracking how much we're spending and how much we're making every single month. So it didn't scare me as much as it would scare most people because I knew when that next paycheck would come, I knew how much we needed to spend. And I knew that at the end of the month that you know that $7 would rise, and it would be able to cover our expenses for the next 30 days. So I think that's just a secret right there, by the way, is, you know, a lot of people want to scale. But if they're not, if you can't organize your own personal finances, then it's really, really hard to scale as quick as like, maybe I have done so you always gotta stay organized. And that certainly helped us I remember telling my wife, I read a book, if I underwrote the deal, it should cashflow this amount, and a year goes by and I was like within $100. And that really changed our trajectory, because we found an investment that we could control that we could predict. So we just kept doubling down. And back to the Target story. I liked my job I and I think a lot of people that want to retire early, they do something that I don't advise, and they start spending an enormous amount of time on the real estate, which I could have done. And they start actually spending less and less time at their W-2 job and performing poorly. I did just the opposite guys. So I it's retail, right. So I work 70 to 80 hours a week, nights and weekends for 10 years, okay. And I, I made it my mission to be the very best at every single job, every single promotion that I had. And when I was the best, I call up my boss and said, Give me stuff that you're doing. Because now I'm gonna start doing your job. Don't pay me more. But just like, I want to take on that responsibility. Let me show you, I could do your job. And then I would expect you to promote me after that. I just did that over and over and over again. Because in real estate or if you want financial freedom, guys, like it doesn't matter, you got to be the very best at what you do. And I think a lot of it takes money too. So I think a lot of people really want to jump into financial freedom, or maybe leave a little too early. For me, I knew I needed capital. So I just was I just was like, I'm going to be the very best I could possibly be at my W-2 job so I can make more money. And then when I'm not working, and my W-2 job, that's when I still have more hours in the day, I still have more hours in the week, that's where I'm going to use this, I'm going to build a side hustle to it's not a side hustle anymore. So essentially, that's, that's what I did over and over. And again, you know, I got to be a vice president, I got to, I got to, I got to work on some really cool operating procedures that like affect the way all Target employees do their jobs across the United States. It's, it's a really, really cool opportunities that just would be hard to get at a fortune 50 company. So I appreciate what that company has taught me from a leadership aspect from an operations aspect from managing large P&Ls. Anyway, to speed up to to your point 2019, you know, making a lot of money. And one day, on a Saturday, I'm doing a normal routine, which normally I would like map out my week. And instead of just mapping out my week, I mapped out my time and how much I was making. And, you know, I was making a lot at this point at Target high six figures. And it was interesting, because I added up the 70 to 80 hours, and then added up to 10 hours a week I was spending in my real estate business. And after taxes, right, because taxes important. I was making about the same amount at about 180-190 units. Because over from 2013 to 2019. My wife and I just lived off 10% of my salary. And so we lived very, very, very frugal, but and we went broke over and over and over again putting all of our money into real estate, we were able to amass 180-190 units, I had a third party management company. So it only took 10 hours to manage each week was pretty easy. My wife helped me with it too. But I did the math, I then I presented it on a Sunday to make sure it was all right to my wife. And she's like, Yeah, like, this is awesome. And then on Monday, I put in my notice. That's how quick it went, literally did the analysis on a Saturday and put it in on a Monday. And again, it wasn't because I didn't love my job. It's just like I am - my per hour is so much more profitable than Target could ever pay me. And it's time that I take my skills around with people and operations and building businesses in for myself. So I literally did that on Monday and yeah, and moved on and started building my other companies.Jason Muth:
Yeah, I hope you'll at least give two weeks though.Logan Rankin:
Oh yeah, yeah, a little longer than two weeks they I did whatever I need to do to make sure I didn't burn any bridges. Like I said, I have a lot of respect for what that company has done for me along the way and I can sit here right now and know that every single day I worked at their company I gave it 110% and never let my real estate business affect my work. And that's my message like right like, if you want financial freedom, that's fantastic, but it doesn't mean that you need to quit your W-2 job tomorrow, and you definitely shouldn't, you know not work to your fullest capacity at the at the company that you're currently working at. In fact, if you work even harder, sometimes you can earn more money. And that can help you achieve financial freedom faster.Rory Gill:
I mean, it's been a common thread for lots of the people that we've talked to about leaving their W-2 job and kind of in those conversations, I think the implication is that the W-2 job is an impediment or a burden. But what I like about your story there is it really gave you the opportunity it was your leg up, it was something that you enjoyed, you're passionate what your job you worked it, and you used, that was the that opened the door for you for your, you know, financial independence in the real estate business that followed. But there's kind of a key separation point where a lot of the traditional W-2 employees will just kind of keep money in their 401k and kind of just keep going with the passive investments while they're giving it all to the W-2 job. But you know, you hinted at it earlier. But tell me about that point of departure where you decided not to just kind of keep to the 401k's but also take take control of your own finances.Logan Rankin:
Yeah, this is the part that like, this is what I disagree with with W-2. So I'm glad that you brought this up. Because I strongly feel you can get a lot, especially if you work for a successful company or a bigger company or Fortune 50 company, you can learn so much and do that. But I don't think very many Fortune 50 companies, and mine included, do a really good job of educating people on how to make their wealth work for you. In fact, they usually do an incredible job of encouraging you to put your wealth into buckets that keep you hostage and make you think twice about leaving, right. And I think now that you know that makes sense, right? You don't want high performers to be able to leave. So you do things like ensuring that they understand what the next promotion is ahead, because that's like dangling a carrot of what's next. You give stock options. Like when I left, I mean, I left hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table with stock options because they don't vest for three to five years, right? And then they match they give you a free match in your 401k. Guys, I hate to say it, but any company that tells you that give you a free match, putting money in a 401k is not free, it's actually the opposite. It's jail, because your money is stuck until you're 59 and a half years old. And I think there's a lot of high performers out there that there's no way in hell with what they're going to make that they're going to retire at 59 and a half, even if they stay with the company. So the fact that we're encouraging people to put money into a 401k, where your money is in jail until you're 60 that you have no access or protection against things like inflation, and you don't have any idea the fees associated with that, or the control over what the companies may be is, is honestly crazy. And what led me to in the first place, you know, write a book this last year, because I didn't know any of those things. So I just blindly put money into it, because that's what they encouraged me to do. And if I would have continued to do that, guys, I wouldn't have amassed a $275 million real estate portfolio, right? I wouldn't have, I wouldn't have been able to retire at 30. But I'd have to wait till 59 and a half, even though it's making almost $500,000 a year like so you have to you cannot let the W-2 company tell you how to build your own wealth. And you should let the W-2 company teach you skills and abilities and things that you can use outside of that company. Sorry to get a little excited about that question. It just I think to your point, just to sum it up is there's things you should learn from a Fortune 50 company, and there's things that you need to learn on your own. They are not your personal financial advisor, you are your own personal financial advisor, that is something you should never outsource certainly to the company that's employing you.Jason Muth:
Yeah, you know, we kind of buried the lead there a little bit and you threw it in there, you threw the number in there. And I should have led with that. And I apologize, but your website actually has your assets or the real estate assets to $275 million dollars. 2-7-5 million. Let me just repeat that - $275 million assets in assets and number of units are over 2,500. And that I think is important to underscore because it kind of shows who we're speaking with right here. You know, like Logan has really built this up. If you're listening to this, and you're in that same W-2 job or you're somewhere along that journey and you're an executive in the job or you're working retail on the sales floor. One thing you said Logan, that was very interesting. It's very different from a lot of what we're hearing in the news right now. Because quiet quitting is what everyone's talking about. Right? That's the term that has somehow come out this year and variants of quiet quitting have happened for decades. Right? This is not a new concept. But you know, now it's been branded in, it probably started on Tik Tok. But what you described was the opposite of that, right? You didn't quite quit your job, you accelerated and performed really well. And you still came to the conclusion of you know, I can invest the time in myself and make more money and be financially free and take all the learnings that I found from this job and go do this elsewhere for myself. So what do you think about this quiet quitting phenomenon? And and how does that factor into what people should be thinking about today?Logan Rankin:
Obviously, I think just the opposite. I think it's one of the worst things that you can do in any scenario around quiet quitting. It just, it's not effective. I don't think it's effective for you. I think it shows your character and your integrity. And I almost think to the point is unethical. If you really feel like your company is that poor, and you want to do something like not working hard at your job until you get fired, then you should leave the company. You're you're completely wasting your time and your skills and your abilities. While you still might be getting paid, you could be getting paid a lot more at maybe a different company, right? Yeah, I did, I took the complete opposite route. And I doubled down and worked as hard as I possibly could at my job. And I made sure that I learned as much as I could as well, too. And if you ever get to the point where you're not learning anymore, you don't like your boss, you don't like your company. Like it's not about quiet quitting then quit. Like then just just you. So yeah, it is really popular right now. And honestly, like, it's just, it makes me super sad for not for the company, honestly, for the individual.Rory Gill:
I mean, if the labor market is such that it's so easy to keep your job because it's hard to hire somebody. And it's also a good time to climb the ranks and demonstrate your value and go for the promotion. So it's an opportunity to just sit in your butt and play on the computer, while you're at work, or it's a good opportunity to climb the ranks. It's a maybe a once in a generation opportunity for that.Logan Rankin:
The people, very few, I don't believe that anybody that quiet quits, it's hard for me to believe they'll ever be financially free, or at least financially free early. That that decision that they're making, right there is like if you can't do a really good job at your at your job, or a job that you love, or find a job that you love, and or it's same, same situation with scaling, right? If you can't manage your own personal finances, adding more streams of income and building and buying more rentals or whatever, like it's the same concept, right? So sad that I just read a statistic that 74% of employees are not actually engaged at work. Now that I strongly believe is a lot of the owners of companies, the CEOs of companies with bad systems and, and bad setups, that they should be thinking more about how to motivate their employees. I think I don't think that and if that's the case, like, again, I'm going to say this, but like, I think the employee should just quit just leave that company, if they're treating you like shit, or if they're underpaying you or they're not doing good. There is so many jobs out there, you're not going to tell me you can't find one of the equal pay. So why would you quiet quit, just quit get out of there and do something productive with your time now. And I like that, because businesses that don't care about employee engagement, I hope they go out of out of business right? There, you know, you should care about your employee engagement. And you should have systems and processes in place to encourage them to grow their compensation, but also encouraged them to grow their wealth in the right right way. Honestly, it's one of the biggest things that we focus in on my property management company. We want to make sure that everybody, every employee in that company has the opportunities to be able to grow their own wealth on the side. So we can retire them early. The company is only three years old. And we've retired three people for a combined 30 years ahead of their schedule when they joined us, which feels incredible. And we hope we can build up more of our employees' wealth, and we hope they love their jobs so much that maybe they won't want to retire as soon, maybe they'll continue to do it. But they sure as heck are going to train their replacement really, really well out of respect for what we've done for them. And I think if you if you just think about different things like that with your with your company that you're scaling, I think it can really help.Jason Muth:
Yeah, I want to piggyback off that a second because I think you probably took some learnings from you know, corporate America and a major major corporation also, like I worked for corporate America, for some pretty big companies, but not quite as big as Target. And you said a couple things along the way, like one they they try to keep you as long as they can with things like golden handcuffs and options. They don't encourage you to invest in anything else besides 401k, employee stock, purchase all that stuff. And that does lock your money up until you're 60. And then with the company that you're building, right now, you're actively encouraging people to get to that point that they actually can leave if they want to leave if you want to stay, you know, but that shows a lot about the type of company you're working for. Because if people are financially free, and they still want to work for you, well, that says it's a good organization to work for or the people are good. But again, I'm thinking back to the people who are listening right now who are still listening this podcast and they're saying somewhere along the way, you know, you work with people, Logan, that were probably hourly employees, you know, 10-15 bucks an hour all the way to, you know, high six figures on your teams. They saw what you were doing, or maybe they didn't. Like they saw what you're doing outside of work. What type of questions were you getting from those folks like the people that were saying I'm doing my job working my way up putting my money in the 401k like I'm told to Do it putting in my savings account like I'm told to do it. But Logan, or Mr. Rankin, or however you call it, where you're doing something else, like, what were those interactions like, while you were still employed?Logan Rankin:
Yeah. So I would tell you, I think some people, most people above me, or working for me knew I was investing in real estate. I think they had no clue how big my portfolio was and how profitable real estate is. In fact, to this day, there's a lot of very high, I think, at most companies, not just Target very high, senior directors at companies that are amazing at their job, just amazing, phenomenal leaders super smart. I just don't think they're very smart with their personal finances. Or they love their job so much that they don't want to focus on it. So they have somebody else focus on it. And that's okay with them, because they want to work at that company until they're 60 plus years old, which by the way is okay, obviously, anyway, you should, as long as people are thinking about what they ultimately want, like, I looked at some of the people above me, for example, at my company, and I knew that was not what I wanted, I did not want to work that long, I did not want that position. Not to sound arrogant, I thought I thought in my head, I can make a lot more money, if I did it on my own. So I guess to answer your question, like I think, I don't think they had any idea just how profitable and how many units I had, up until the day I left at the age that have so then it did, and I'm sure they do now, but prides me a lot, Jason that I never really got asked a ton of questions about well, how many rentals do you have? Or, you know, like, how much are you making per month? Or there's no questions around that. And if there was, I think maybe there would have been, you know, I'm sure there was some retention concerns. But up into the year that I left, I've never achieved anything less than the highest performance rank and my reviews. So I think there's part of like, well, this guy is performing really, really well at his job. So, you know, he likes it. And all that is true, like I did like my job. And so I think they didn't worry as much.Jason Muth:
You know, coming from the world that just came from, again, I worked in the media for a long time for a number of major media companies across the country. And, you know, I was I tried to be a little subtle with what we were doing on the side. And you know, what we've done is nowhere near what you've amassed, but like, that's fine. Like we're all at different points in our real estate investing journeys. But I was always cognizant, because I always felt uncomfortable if other people that I knew weren't making as much would look at me and say, Whoa, they're paying this guy way too much money, he has all this money to go invest in this and this and this. So I did try to keep it a little under wraps. But I started getting asked a lot of questions about real estate, like toward the end of my time there. And, you know, I was Digital Sales Director, right, like, nothing to do with real estate, like in my actual W-2 job. But I took that as a bit of a sign. Like once I realized that I was becoming an expert in a certain niche in the field, I was getting a lot of questions that were asked for it. They knew that Rory was my spouse, and they knew that he was a real estate attorney and a real estate broker and still is. So they kind of knew that was the space. And that might have been the direction that I might have headed after I decided to leave W-2 world, which I did a couple of months ago.Logan Rankin:
Congrats, by the way.Jason Muth:
But there's always just nervous Thank you. Thank you I was I was just nervous about it. Like I nervous not leaving but nervous of what people thought about all the stuff I was doing on the just like what I did. And then you have to find that point that you decide, Okay, it's time to go all in on this next chapter.Logan Rankin:
Because you had that thought Jason, did it make you work even harder at your W-2 job to show them or to prove to them that you might be amassing this, but it has nothing to do with your performance and fact that you're going to perform better than ever?Jason Muth:
I started to make people cognizant that I was amassing stuff separate from my W-2 job. And when I left, we actually were at you know, we were killing it the first two quarters of the year, this year I left. We were billing more than we'd ever billed before for my specific you know, product that I was responsible for selling. So performance was there and I just have a feeling that you know, like whether or not I was you know putting in 80 hours a week or you know 150% effort or not. I think that the the numbers were in the performance basically. And I feel like I left on a top note. I have no idea how things are going for them. It's been a couple months and I just haven't even looked back. Like I just said why focus on the past I focus on what's going forward.Logan Rankin:
just I tried to focus on like performing at the best I could possibly be when you know I was working my W-2 job and then when I left like I still have some connections I still get asked to actually get asked maybe more about real estate after leaving Target from a lot of people that still work there than I did when I was actually there. But I have I, the only thing I probably do is still watch the stock ticker a little bit. So and I want, I wish them I want them to be super successful. Like I love a lot of the stuff that Target does so. But I mean, I agree like I had those questions in the back of my head, too.Jason Muth:
I mean, who doesn't love Target? Everyone loves Target? Right?Rory Gill:
You know, we've covered kind of, I think that the toughest part for anybody that's kind of getting started. And that's kind of, you know, taking the first couple of steps off the traditional path of Employment and Retirement investing in everything. But you've obviously done way more than just that. You haven't just amassed a kind of a personal-sized real estate portfolio, you've really shifted it into a different gear. I kinda want to start to some questions about that, because a lot of us and a lot of our people that listen to us also kind of need to know like, what's ahead? What's beyond that, that third or fourth property that you have? How do you scale up? How do you take the first steps to really shift it up so that it's possible to get to the numbers that you have?Logan Rankin:
I think one of the biggest things that you can do is if you're very organized with your personal finances, and you can live frugally for a while and make sacrifices. Because if you want to scale and you really want to achieve bigger things like after your three, four or five properties, you really, really need to make sacrifices to be able to put as much money back into that as possible. And I wasn't joking. Like I was making, you know, very high six figures and I'd be broke. Like I'd literally be using all my money other than reserves, of course, because you got to be safe, or a catbacks account. But I'd be we'd be putting everything back in we we would we lived in a you know, $100,000 house for eight years, while making substantial amount of money while our friends or other people that we knew were upgrading, we stayed in the same one. And we just so if you really want to scale, I guess from like three to 10 units, because that's what you said, Rory, like after three, then you got to really understand like the sacrifices you got to make and make sure that you're saving enough money to be able to put into those. And then at 10, you should have learned enough because you should be educating yourself like I'm an I'm an avid believer and evolving and growing. It's why I read steal a book a week. And you really want to start leveraging your 10+ properties now with the banks to be able to understand better strategies like creative financing, maybe, or you know how to get bigger deals. And I think just as a caveat, one thing that a lot of people think to do to scale is you have to, you know use syndications or have a lot of partners. My wife and I amassed you know, $275 million portfolio just us we have no partners, and we don't have any syndications. And that is just ours. Now, since then, I've done I do stuff separate from that with with other people. But you don't necessarily need to scale by having a ton of partners or doing syndications. And I think it keeps things a lot simpler, I think I get a lot more off market deals. Because when I talk to a seller, they know I'm the decision maker, and there's nobody else that I gotta get on board, right? It's a lot easier legally, as well, too, and really, really helped us scale because instead of just buying I think so many people are fascinated with like, how many doors do you have? I hear this all the time, you know, I got 50 doors, but then they had like 17 partners, like do you really own those 50 doors, or I hear a lot of like gurus like say I have three 4,000 doors, but they own 10% of those three or 4,000. My net worth and my cash flow from owning 100% of 25 2,549 to be exact as of today is significantly more than somebody's with maybe 4,000 to 6,000 that only own 10%. And here's the deal, if you bet on yourself, if you learn how to treat these properties well how to how to treat them like a business, how to raise the NOI, from 10 to 50 units from 50 to 100 units, you start cycling that profit because you get to the point where this the NOI the net operating income is significantly more than when you bought it. And when it comes refi time, because that's when you really make your money, you're not splitting it with a whole bunch of different people. You're getting all that refi which that you know what I mean? So like the way I scaled in the middle was I retained all equity. I did a really good job managing operating and repositioning my properties to make them not properties, businesses, they should be called businesses better, and then I would have the opportunity to refi it and all that money came when I started refi-ing all that money 100% of it come back to me that really really helped scale. And then the final thing that helped scale is has nothing to do with creative financing or saving money and investing it right. It has everything to do with leadership. So I think anybody can amass like a $10 million portfolio and have very little to no employees or team members. But if you want to go from like 10 to 100 100 to 200 I think I'm gonna hit a billion in the next four years, you have to be really good at building a team, because you can't do it on your own. So the and I think there's a lot of entrepreneurs, and a lot of real estate investors in particular, that do not focus on how to lead, like I know a lot of real estate professionals. And I don't know why it's written in real estate, because it's not in all of business that have no leadership skills, no people skills, and you know, they're only focused on acquiring the deal, like getting the deal under contract. That's, that's exciting, guys. But if you're not excited about developing your team and building systems that people can follow those repeatable processes, that that people can operate for you that are engaged in what they're doing is everything and how to take a business from 10 to a billion. So like, I think, like, that's my biggest advice for people, if you really want to build a significant real estate portfolio, or a significant business, I promise it promise you is not in like, your ability to find a really good deal, like find a really good deal off market that that will only help you to a certain extent. So that's the last plug in, I'm a big advocate of of understanding, reading and continually evolving when it comes to your own personal leadershipRory Gill:
And just to connect the full story, I'm sure a lot of that leadership experience came from your role at Target. And that was immediately transferable to this.Logan Rankin:
That's exactly right. And that's a good example of like, how do you leverage the skills or abilities that your W-2 job is paying you so that you could use that, you know, in the future. I still read one leadership book a month, like I have really tried to get to know people that are great leaders, I just don't think we put enough focus on leadership in general when it comes to business. And yeah, full circle, you're right, I think you're exactly right. Rory.Jason Muth:
Sometimes it's hard to get from the tactical to the We'll get to the follow up questions in just a big picture. Because, you know, we've talked about a lot of that second. I do want to throw a law question out there since we have here, you know, reading a leadership book every month. And you know, having a great pedigree from a company is very high level, and a lot of people aren't quite there just yet. They're looking at the how do I get this deal financed? How do I get this place furnished? How do I find tenants? How do I, you know, like, do the refinance? But you know, there's a bit of a roadmap for every little section along the journey, right? A lot of people are in that first section, that zero to five property or that first property right? A lot of people are like, how do I get my first one, and it starts at one started with one for you 10 years ago, I looked at your timeline. And that was 2013. And, you know, stop for a second, if you're listening, think about where you were in 2013, it was nine years ago, right now, 10 years ago, you know, once you know, we turn the page on this, on this year, you probably remember where you were you remember the songs that were on the radio, remember what you're watching on TV, right? You know, like Logan built all this in 10 years? Like he did it with hard work, right. But it's plausible that people can do this in the next decade as well. I mean, but it always starts with that first property. And then you get to that zero to five, and you kind of said, you know, at that point of five, that's when you either decide to scale up or sit tight, right, you know, if you're gonna scale up, you know, five to 10 is probably easier than zero to five. Yeah, seems that way. Right. Once you're at 10, my guess is it's even easier to get to like 50, than it was to get to 10. Like I said, this, you know, the jobs that I've done recently, like my job was to, you know, bring digital media sales into cultures where they sold traditional media. And I always said it was it was the was the hardest to get from 5% of your revenue to 10% of your revenue, when you're dealing with a TV or radio sales organization, then it was to get from 10% to 20%. And then 20 to 30 was even easier, because it changed the culture at the organization. You know, when you were zero to five, five to 10%, we were like barely a blip at the table. You know, we were in the corner of the room trying to get somebody's attention. But like, once you got from 10 to 20 and 20 to 30, then it was integral. So I think it's the that in our title, you know, so, Rory, what are you thinking here same thing with properties. It feels the same way. Like once you build your systems up and realize that you have a company. Well, the scaling part of it is tough, nothing is easy. But it's just a different way to think and getting those first couple properties. like somebody that is listening, saying, you know, Geez, how do you do this without a team? And what kind of legal questions should be asked along the way? Like, what what are you thinking would be a great kind of overarching question for Logan?Rory Gill:
Before we started the podcast. And he made a good point in saying that if you do everything kind of by yourself with no partners, it really simplifies any legal issues that come with it. And that is certainly true, because you're not worrying about partnership agreements, operating agreements with really anybody. But you will, you are building kind of this this empire and you're adding staff to your work. So tell me a little bit about how you're structuring this. Are you coming up with my hunch is a limited liability company for maybe every property and then you have an operating group that is where your team there they are the W-2 employees of your team?Logan Rankin:
That's exactly right. Yeah, mostly my largest company is just a collection of holdings LLCs that add up to a certain amount of volume before I switch it into another deal. My main, my second largest business is my property management company. That's an S-corp. main operating manages everything, which by the way, that one I, I set up in a way where I've net for all the time that I put into the company, which is a lot. I have a president that runs it, I am lowering and limiting the amount of time I certainly wear a lot less hats, but I've never paid myself. And I've never taken $1, which is kind of unique, it is all went back to the employees or the CapEx and it will continue to do so. So that's how I started that one. And then I have a few other smaller businesses that are LLCs as well to like a coaching business I have with my wife and I just started a nonprofit. I would just say like in general Rory, like I think to your point it, it is very important that you talk to and I get this question all the time is, especially from beginning real estate investors, they just don't put a lot of time thinking about the legal ramifications of like just putting things in your name, or like whether that business is going to have a lot of active income versus passive and what the differences between something as simple as an S corp and an LLC, and you know, how that can help you not only from a liability standpoint, but you know, accountant would say that'd be very smart too.Rory Gill:
For the person who's listening to this, who's considering their first or the second property. This is kind of a secondary question as you grow. So I've I've seen this more than once used as an excuse for somebody not to get into it, because they're not sure about what business entity to create up. And that that's really kind of a secondary question. And my advice for those people is really to worry about that when you get to like three or four properties. But to get started, treat it like a business. So even if it's in your name, create a separate checking account, and run it like it's a business so that when it comes time to add this layer of formality, you're ready for it and you've treated it the right way.Logan Rankin:
That's exactly right. That I love, love, love that advice. Like, and if you buy a property, it's not a property, it's a business, treat it like one like whether it's in your name or not. And I do like the advice of just get freaking started, like, we're gonna work, we can set you all up at three or four properties. So many people are like, what should my name be for my LLC? And like, how do I set this up? And like that's why they don't have a property? It's because they're so focused on like, how to set it up?Rory Gill:
Yep, we just did an LLC about an hour ago, it took about five minutes to do it. It costs 100 bucks. It's not a really, it's not a really big complicated process.Jason Muth:
Rory, are you proud that I gave you two names very quickly, because you asked for it?Rory Gill:
You took a couple days, that wasn't all that fast. I was expecting a little faster.Jason Muth:
But anyway, we got a good name and looked it up it was available. So let's get to our final questions. And Logan's got a lot going on. And we want to talk about your book as well at the very end. But you know, we ask the same three questions of all of our guests on the podcast just to get to know you a little bit more, and wrap up the interview, the first question that we have for you, you get on stage for half an hour, which I know that you do a lot and talk about any subject in the world, oh with zero preparation, what would have been?Logan Rankin:
It would be I'd love I'm gonna give you two. But I'd say the number one thing probably would be is how to utilize leadership to scale a business. I'm very, very passionate, but I can talk about leadership for days. And I just think people need to understand that if you focus on helping everybody else went a little bit more than you that is going to be huge, especially in business. But the second would be anything personal finance related and how not to use traditional investments that everybody has told you and everybody being maybe your parents or a financial advisor or school and instead, look to other investments that are not traditional, and educate yourself on that so that you stop outsourcing that financial literacy, because I think traditional investments, and if you're very passionate about this are not the way to be able to achieve lifelong wealth, and we just don't talk about it enough. So sorry, I had to giveJason Muth:
I'm gonna piggyback two things there. I mean, two. basically, if you give more than you get, you'll be successful. And that's kind of what you just said right there. I've heard many people say that I believe it as well. It floors me as to how much people in the real estate world want to give. Because I don't think that locally, everyone's competing, right? But a lot of times like we'll listen to podcasts read, you know, read books, listen, audiobooks, go to conventions, whatever. No one there's competing with each other. So they're always so warm, and welcome to give their time to give their energy to give their influence. And I don't think everyone's looking to sell a course. And it's no problem. I mean, you have a mastermind yourself, you have courses. And I'm in one right now, and it's worth every penny that I've spent so far. But I think that if you give more than you get in any of these situations, it's probably good business advice for whatever, you're gonna get whatever you're going to do, and there was something else I was going to mention there, but I completely forgot what it was. So why don't we go to the second question. Second question we have for you tell us something that happened early on in your life or career that impacts the way you're working today.Logan Rankin:
Yeah, I've always been somebody that's been pretty driven and wanted to achieve or become the best at whatever I was, I guess you could just say my competitive nature is very, very high. And I think one of the things that I learned at early in my career, also like in sports, it's very, very important that you are the end results can be much bigger if you develop all the people around you, versus just focusing on doing everything yourself. I think that was a skill I had to learn in leadership. I think that's a skill that helped me be successful in sports, I think it helped me be very successful at Target, and I think it's helped me be successful today is instead of figuring out like, I'm the like, I think a lot of entrepreneurs struggle at this. And I think if they understand that, while you might think it's a good thing that you can do this activity the best, but your inability to train somebody to do and to develop them to be able to do that task, as well as you, is actually one of your biggest weaknesses and opportunities. So I think that's something I had to learn. I think that's something that I continue to educate myself on. And now I actually feel like it's one of my greatest strengths is figuring out how to develop people to be really good at certain situations so that I can move away from that and focus on the next thing.Jason Muth:
I'm really glad you've been talking about that throughout the course of this this episode, because you know, we don't hear it enough from our podcast guests. We don't ask the questions enough, we are asking the tactical, the why. What are you doing? How do you do that? But I mean, like, you know, leadership is a very big broad, kind of esoteric topic for a lot of people. But it's important and leadership means you're developing your people, you're developing yourself. And I think that's very clear in, in your words today. So I want to underscore that, that is very important if you want to grow a business, because you can't grow it alone.Logan Rankin:
Right. And I think you're right. I think a lot of people like I love systems like if you want to talk about like half the 17 step standard operating procedure that we have for doing something as simple as a service request. That's, that is important too. But like if some of those steps aren't great, or most often, even if you nailed the process, if the person doing the process is not engaged and not developed, the process itself doesn't really matter. Right. So I think you have to do both.Jason Muth:
And our final question for you tell us something you're watching listening to or reading these days, and we'll talk about your book after this. Maybe that's your answer, but maybe not.Logan Rankin:
No, we can talk about the book afterwards, I just, like I said, I read a book a week, and they're always on leadership, real estate, or personal finance, my wife says I am very boring business as my hobby. But I've just wrapped up I didn't just read it was about a month ago. But I've been like rereading it and implementing so much. I'm gonna have to reach out to the owner of this company too. But it's how to build an elite organization. And and this is perfect for this episode, because in this episode, based on the questions that you guys have asked me today, I don't get a chance to talk about leadership that much. It most people just talked about how I scale and how much cash flow and how to reposition property. So this has actually been very refreshing. And I have appreciated your questions, because I really enjoy talking about the other aspects of how I scaled, which is the very people aspect. But anyway, this book is on that like, it really talks a lot about how to scale your organization rather quick, and how to build an elite organization. I think it's Dan Wellner is his name. And he is quite a few different companies. And he's scaled pretty quick, too. But he has a very similar mindset to me. And I think he's been very successful because of his ability to focus on leadership. So I enjoyed that a lot. And personally, I believe there's very few good business books that combined systems and leadership. Like I think a lot of people talk about Traction. If you guys have ever heard of Traction before, which is good. I just think this one's better.Jason Muth:
A sponge for info and you're rereading this info, you're putting all of us to shame like we barely read a book a month and you're rereading these books. So kudos to you. I'm not sure how you do it all or find the time maybe your week has about 240 hours in it. There'll be a whole another episode if you're like a time traveler too. So the book is Find Your Financial Freedom that came out earlier this year. IsLogan Rankin:
Yeah, it came out earlier this year, I think two that right? or three months ago, it was an Amazon bestseller maybe still is for the for two full months, it's been selling a lot of copies. And I think it's because it was geared towards someone like me that's working a W-2 job that maybe feels a little bit stuck and feels that you know, school, maybe their parents, family, friends, financial advisor is not helping them take control of your finances. And if you are working really, really hard, but you don't know or don't feel that your money is working hard for you, that's why I wrote this book because I feel that there's a huge gap around financial literacy. So the book is kind of cool because it kind of goes into that mindset shift that you should have to be able to think about topics that are very taboo like debts and maybe why you should like some of the debt or how some of the debts productive maybe not all debt is bad debt and you know why some traditional investments aren't free, or they're in jail, like we talked about earlier this episode. But I think the thing that I liked the most in this book is there's a lot of mindset books around, you know, shifting your financial literacy. My book in the middle of it actually has a three step framework, three actual actionable actionable, excuse me steps that you can use after reading the book. And they're the same steps that I use every single month I've been using for over a decade, to really get your personal finance, in order to set your vision, even updates your net worth and treat it more like a scoreboard, because you shouldn't be updating your net worth once a month and 99% of people don't you know, the 1% that does is the 1%, that's wealthy, well, maybe they don't update it, they probably have a financial accountant, update it for them. But you should be updating you should be tracking it, you should be looking at how to grow your wealth. And there's a few fun other chapters in there like, hey, as you're learning, there's a legacy chapter of how to teach it to your kids, or your family, and even a bonus real estate chapter in there, too. So thanks for letting me plug that and it's on amazon.com. And any other website and I made it as cheap as possible. I'm not trying to make any money off this any money that I do, we actually put into our nonprofit, I just want to help as many people as I can. And for the amount of DMS and emails and stuff I get, I don't always get the chance to answer each one. So I think this book is a good gateway to share what I know,Jason Muth:
It's great stuff, we're gonna put a link to the book, the Amazon link will go into the show notes for this. So you know, if you've made it this far in the podcast, I hope that you download it and learn a lot from Logan and his teachings. It's great. I mean, this is stuff that is not taught to us in school. It's not taught to us by our employers, the beauty of podcasts like this, and the world that we live in today is there's a lot of information out there. And that's probably why people feel confident that they could retire early because it used to be a secret society of people that knew all this stuff. Now the information is out there. It's just a matter of two things, dissecting the good from the bad info and who do you trust, and actually implementing it. So you know, I think you've given a really good roadmap here and thank you for saying that about, you know, the direction of how the conversation, I felt as though we all felt as though you know, leadership and kind of the journey was a little more important than kind of the tactics of what you've done because you have talked about that in other podcasts I encourage people to go find those. But you know, really kind of getting into you know, your how and your why I think was you know, was was a great conversation. I really enjoyed listening to this. So, so Logan, how can people learn more about you?Logan Rankin:
I have a website, loganrankin.com. Otherwise, you can follow me on social media. I'm trying to get as much free content as possible Instagram, probably the most, but I'm on Instagram, Facebook and most of the other major ones except for Tik Tok.Jason Muth:
Yep. Okay, well, we'll put all the links in the show notes and once you get on Tik Tok, we'll put that link out there to Rory, where can people find out about you?Rory Gill:
They could find me through either my businesses through my real estate brokerage NextHome Titletown nexthometitletown.com. Or my law practice UrbanVillage Legal, urbanvillagelegal.com.Logan Rankin:
You said Titletown?Rory Gill:
Oh, I know. Sorry.Rory Gill:
I know. I know. I know.Logan Rankin:
I respect any business that throws Titletown in there guys for just that. I mean, I'm 30 minutes away from the real Titletown. I love it, Rory.Jason Muth:
We stole it. We thought so. Alright, I'll give you a little history. Like we took the name back when the Patriots and the Bruins - Everyone's killing it right last decade here in Boston. And we're like going through a bunch of different names. The brokerage is NextHome Titletown. Well, there's this Titletown out in Green Bay or somewhere out there, but they're not winning that much these days. So screw it, we're just gonna call ourselves Titletown.Logan Rankin:
I love it.Jason Muth:
I should have brought that up early on.Rory Gill:
We put a ton of pressure on Boston sports. I don't know if they've kept up the past couple years, we've put a ton of pressure on them to keep our name our name going, but.Jason Muth:
So my apologies to you and everyone that's following along to the Green Bay Packers and everyone in Wisconsin. But yeah, we're we borrowed the name, so.Logan Rankin:
I love it.Jason Muth:
If you want to reach me, you can email via firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you. If you want to be a guest the podcast, give us a shout. And if you've enjoyed this episode, we'd appreciate it if you'd give us a great review. Five star reviews are always really helpful because then more people can hear it and hear the teachings of us and Logan. So thank you so much for listening to the podcast. Logan, this has been a pleasure. We really appreciate all your time today. Thank you for appearing, and we look forward to continuing your journey to a billion in assets and watching watching that explode and hoping that we'll share it in some more titles in Green Bay and in Boston.Logan Rankin:
This has been The Real Estate Law Podcast because real estate is more than just pretty pictures and law goes well beyond the paperwork and courtroom. arguments were powered by NextHome Titletown Real Estate Boston's progressive real estate brokerage. More at nexthometitletown.com and UrbanVillage Legal, Massachusetts real estate Council serving savvy property owners, lenders and investors. More at urbanvillagelegal.com. Today's conversation was not legal advice, but we hope you found it entertaining and informative. Discover more at the realestatelawpodcast.com Thank you for listening