The Real Estate Law Podcast

Breaking into Your Imprisoned Retirement Funds For Your Real Estate Investments with Tony Unkel

December 13, 2022 Jason Muth + Rory Gill Season 1 Episode 80
The Real Estate Law Podcast
Breaking into Your Imprisoned Retirement Funds For Your Real Estate Investments with Tony Unkel
Show Notes Transcript

Did you know that you can purchase real estate using your Self-Directed IRA?

For a lot of the people interested in financial independence and retiring early, having money locked away into an IRA or 401k can feel relatively daunting.

Self-directed IRAs empower investors to grow their retirement accounts with alternative assets such as private equity, private placements, precious metals, and - our favorite asset class - real estate.

Meet our guest Tony Unkel, Business Development Manager for The Entrust Group.

Tony works with investors throughout the US, helping them understand the possibilities of self-directing their retirement plans and purchasing rental properties with their Self-Directed IRAs and tax-advantaged plans.

The Entrust Group has worked with investors for over 40 years, assisting them by purchasing alternative investments with retirement funds and administer the buying and selling of assets that are typically unavailable through banks and brokerage firms.

Self-Directed IRAs provide investors with the freedom to invest in almost anything. With that said, each investment strategy has a set of rules that you’ll need to abide to keep your Self-Directed IRA in good standing, and Tony walks us through all of that.

In this episode, we discussed:
- How real estate professionals can help their clients invest in property tax-free.
- Breaking into your imprisoned retirement funds and using them for real estate and other investments
- What can and can't you invest in with your Self-Directed IRA?
- Who should consider making a portion of their retirement funds self directed?
- What level of due diligence will a custodian record keeper administrator do for any individual investments within Self-Directed IRAs?
- Who are disqualified persons and why is it prohibited to enter into a transaction with these individuals?
- Not being able to perform any degree of sweat equity on real estate purchased through a Self-Directed IRA.
- Purchasing property in retirement destinations (Florida, Mexico, Costa Rica), using Self-Directed IRAs.
- The difference between a Direct Purchase and a Checkbook IRA

Where you can find Tony:
Website - https://www.theentrustgroup.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/EntrustGroup/
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonyunkel/

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!

#realestatepodcast #nexthome #humansoverhouses #realestate #realestatelaw #realestateinvesting #realestateinvestor #realestateagent #selfdirectedira #retirementplanning #retirementinvesting #401k #irainvesting

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Tony Unkel:

And you know, our good saying that we always say is invest in what you know. So for a network of real estate investors that have been doing it for a while they own multiple properties or they're in multiple syndications, personally, they understand how the real estate and investment world operates. So the transition from a personal investment to an IRA investment is really going to be the same. It's just the source of money is different. But for a new investor, that's not up to date. They don't understand what

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Rory Gill:

Welcome to another episode of The Real Estate Law Podcast. My name is Rory Gill. And today we're going to be jumping into a topic that I'm only familiar with tangentially and that is breaking into your imprisoned retirement funds and using them for real estate and other investments. So I'm really happy to have Tony Unkel here on the podcast to walk us through some of the options that you might have for that self directed IRAs and other ways that you can unlock your retirement accounts for your own personal investments. So Thanks, Tony. Thanks for being here.

Tony Unkel:

Thank you. Alright, thanks for having us very excited to talk about this topic that not many people utilize.

Rory Gill:

Yeah, before I break into the technicalities, and the details of this, tell me a little about yourself who you are your company in what you do on a daily basis.

Unknown:

Sure. My name is Tony Unkel, I am the Business Development Manager for the Northeast territory for The Entrust Group. The Entrust Group is a self directed IRA, record keeper, custodian and administrator, we're based out of Oakland, California. We have about 23,000 individual clients a little over 4 billion under administration. We provide the retirement accounts in the vehicles that allow individuals to completely diversify their retirement savings. Your typical retirement plans are your company sponsored 401k's or your brokerage IRAs. With our IRAs, we take it a step further and allow you to go into the alternative asset space. Something that we don't provide is any type of advice, whether that's legal investment or tax advice. So you really are in full control of your retirement investments, with the main asset, you know, held in these accounts happens to be real estate in any form.

Rory Gill:

Okay, so when I opened up the podcast and introduced you, I talked about having your retirement funds kind of locked into these arrangements. And that's the way that I've come to think of it, whether that's the right way to think of it or not, I don't know. But for a lot of the people who are listening who might be interested in you know, financial independence, retiring early, kind of taking control of their assets, having money locked away into an IRA or 401k can feel relatively daunting, there certainly are tax advantages. And everybody should take a look at those closely. You know, I'm huge proponent of other things like HSAs. But keeping the money in there really limits what you can do with it or so I thought. So tell me about a little bit, you know, before we jump into the technicalities, and how to do it and everything, if somebody were to engage a company like yours to have a self directed investment portfolio, what are some of the other investment opportunities that that opens up for them?

Unknown:

Absolutely. There's too many. So what we like to talk about a lot of times, it's not what you can invest in, we like to simplify it down to what you're not allowed to invest in. And if it doesn't fall into one of these categories, it's investable. So the IRS does not allow you to invest in any S-corporation. They do not allow you to invest in collectibles, liquor, artwork, and coins. There is an expansion on that. So you can't hold a bottle of wine in your self directed IRA. But you can invest in a vineyard. You can't hold a painting in your IRA, but you can invest in an art gallery. And the last thing you're not allowed to invest in is insurance policies, specifically life insurance. So with your IRA, if it doesn't fall into that category, you can do it. Some of the common investments or private placement investments, real estate in all forms, whether that's buying the property directly and holding a rental property or fix-and-flip or going into a syndication. You can invest in real estate notes. You can lend money, you can do tax liens. Really, if you name it, you can do it.

Rory Gill:

Alright, so that's interesting. So it can't do S-Corps. You can't use your IRA to turn around and fund your small business, the business that gives you active income, and you can't break open your retirement to Max's collectibles and you know, fun things for yourself and kind of that sort of thing. I know we're kind of real estate centric podcasts, a lot of our investments seem to go there. Can you invest - let me ask you a couple questions about that. Can you invest in real estate abroad or does it need to be in the United States

Unknown:

You can invest in real estate anywhere in the world? Obviously, if there's common trade between the two countries you can make that investment.

Rory Gill:

Oh, wow. Okay, so that's taking a lot of the 1031 exchange rules and kind of putting them in my head. But this is a little bit broader than that. So you really can just break open the piggy bank and do it there. Alright, so that's a great thing. Now, when we break into these other investment classes, who should be considering this? And really, who shouldn't be considering, you know, making a portion of their retirement funds self directed?

Unknown:

That comes along a little bit on the advice, so I have to be careful how I answer that question. But you know, self directed IRAs, theoretically are for anybody. With the multiple different crowdfunding platforms out there, you know, for example, I'll just throw one out there like a Start Engine, you know, you can have a minimum of a $50 investment, $500 investment. And you know, if one of those companies takes off, and it's a nice return, why not have it in a tax advantaged retirement account. A lot of our limited partnerships, you know, private equity deals, you have to be an accredited investor. So that's going to be geared to I don't want to say the older generation, because there are a lot of younger accredited investors. But you need that, that net worth, and you need that significant type of retirement account. So Julie, something that's a little more seasoned through life through their employment. They've left a couple of jobs, they have amassed a nice retirement savings through 401ks over the year, which they were able to roll into an IRA to make these investments. So anybody can open one. Regulations, it's gonna be the same as your Traditional or your Roth IRAs at a brokerage account, same rules, same regulations, so they are available to everybody. Your specific investments is going to fit your specific need.

Rory Gill:

Okay, and I guess without putting thresholds in there, kind of what I hear hinted at from the edges is that if you have a really small retirement account, maybe this isn't right for you when your factor in administration costs, the other things and the lack of materiality, and somebody who may have a bigger nest egg might be a better fit for a self directed portion of their IRA.

Unknown:

Correct. You know, you always want to run your investment, you know, investment amounts in your possible returns and balance that off with the fees you're going to be paying. So for fees, every custodian is different, some have an asset based fee, some have an account value based fee. So when you're working out your fees, and you see it's taking up a majority of your investment, it's probably not the best thing for you to do.

Rory Gill:

And, you know, similarly, I hear, you know, over and over that, you know, you don't, your company doesn't give advice to people. And kind of what I extrapolate from that is something like this might be a better fit for somebody who either has a good network of support and advisors or somebody who really is willing to do the work and the research to understand what they're doing. Because by making self directed, you're taking some of the guardrails away that a Traditional IRA might have for you.

Unknown:

Correct. And, you know, our good thing that we always say is invest in what you know. So for our network of real estate investors that have been doing it for a while, they own multiple properties, or they're in multiple syndications, personally they understand how the real estate investment world operates. So the transition from a personal investment to an IRA investment is really going to be the same as just the source of money is different. But for a new investor that's not up to date, they don't understand what they're doing, we always strongly suggest they consult with either their tax advisor, their financial advisor, or an attorney before entering into any alternative investment. Because they also have risks. As a custodian record keeper administrator, we also don't do due diligence on the investments. So that falls down to the investor as well. So you you want that network of professionals, if you're not comfortable doing it yourself.

Rory Gill:

You know, I kind of have been saying, for shorthand, we're talking about self directed IRAs. Am I right to think of that? Are we talking kind of only about the IRA vehicle or do the other investment plans work for self directed portions too?

Unknown:

All retirement accounts can do it as well, we offer obviously, the IRA, so your Traditional and Roth IRA, your Sep Simple IRAs, Health Savings Account, and Educational Savings accounts as well. If you're an owner of a company, and you sponsor a company wide 401k plan, and you want to put that 401k plan into the alternative space as well, we do have the capability to record keep that asset within your company wide 401k also. And then on the 401k space, we also offer the individual 401k, some may call it a solo 401k. Okay. You're not stopped here, traditional Roth IRAs.

Rory Gill:

Okay. So it's a little bit more expansive than there but I wouldn't say the vast majority of what you do is probably the the IRAs. Is that right? Yes. Okay. You know, backing up a little bit and talking about, you know, IRAs more generally, as it laid it out. We're talking about money that's kind of locked into a certain kind of account until your retirement. What are the advantages? Why do people want to put these funds into a restricted controlled account instead of just using making this an investment on the side?

Unknown:

For a company 401k's, the benefits is the employer match. So if you're doing this on your side, you're not getting that employer match, which if you look at the grand scheme of things, could be free money, one way to look at it, and they're supposed to be grown over 30 years. So you're gonna lose out on, you know, that match over 30 years to really grow your retirement nest egg.

Rory Gill:

Okay, so there's the, you know, the employer match. And then the, you know, for a small business owner like myself, there are tax advantages to taking that money and, you know, reducing the taxable liability now, as opposed to Roth, which I love for a lot of people, so long as you're eligible for it. And so why would somebody want to do us a Roth vehicle? And then why would they want to turn that into self directed Roth IRA, your

Tony Unkel:

Roth IRAs are great, because you don't pay taxes, under distributions, you're paying your taxes on the contribution to the IRA. So all of your gains over those years when you disperse that at retirement age will be tax free. So there's a potential to grow significant wealth within a Roth IRA, Roth 401k Roth HSA, anything like that.

Rory Gill:

And then, you know, with these investments, they're, they're controlled. So you talked about some of the things that you can't do with it. The other thing I found kind of noteworthy from your materials are that there are certain people that the the account is prohibited from transacting with. Who are those people, and why is that a rule?

Tony Unkel:

Sure, those are called disqualified persons. And those disqualified persons will be yourself and your lineal descendants. So yourself, your parents, your grandparents, your children, your grandchildren, and all spouses associated with those individuals. You are not allowed to enter a transaction with any of those within your IRA. Why it's prohibited? Most of those could be the beneficiary of the IRA or directly benefit from that investment today. And that's these retirement accounts are for retirement age. And take a little step further. One of the prime examples of a disqualified person, especially in the rental market, is if you have children in college, or you want that vacation home and your IRA purchases that you are disqualified, we're prohibited from renting that to a family member. So if it's at a college university, you can't buy a off campus housing and rent it out to your child while they're there. If it's a vacation home and on the tropical location, you can't have that to your IRA rented out for, you know, 50 weeks and then go spend two weeks yourself there. That's a direct benefit today.

Rory Gill:

So actually, tell me about that. So if you use this to purchase a second home, or have an Airbnb, short term, rental operation, you are prohibited from staying there,

Tony Unkel:

Correct. Not only you're prohibited from staying there, you're prohibited from providing any what they call sweat equity. So you can't paint walls, you can't change light bulbs, you can't cut the grass, you would have to hire a third party non disqualified party to do that, and pay for with either your IRA funds or the income you've generated from that asset. So it's best any IRA on property, keep an arm's length distance from that at all times.

Rory Gill:

So actually, that's news to me. So even, you know, you know, as a short term rental investor, I've kind of used to going into a space and hiring out the big things but going out there and, you know, arranging things for myself the first time certainly painting in that kind of transaction is not a good fit for this.

Tony Unkel:

According to the IRS code. That is correct. That's a violation.

Rory Gill:

All right. And so you're also I guess, I answered the other question I had pre-written for you is, you know, in, I'm used to for tax purposes, thinking about maintenance days and you go to a short term rental. If you go up there for the purpose of maintaining the property, then it doesn't count as a personal Fair Use day. But you're saying here that all of that is prohibited?

Tony Unkel:

All that - any sweat equity, or any direct involvement in that property is a prohibited transaction.

Rory Gill:

What does enforcement look like for for things like that? And how it what would be the consequences, somebody made a mistake, used it, use the property the wrong way, or engage in an improper transaction?

Tony Unkel:

Sure, any prohibited transaction is going to have a penalty. It's a distribution of your retirement account, and the whole account becomes taxable. Usually when there is a prohibited transaction disqualified party, there could be a fine levied. Every case is different, we really have to sort exact IRS cases where this has happened. Are people violating it? I'm sure they are. Is the risk worth the reward? Absolutely not.

Rory Gill:

Okay. So, you know, so I'm kind of picturing a different thing here. So this is certainly not, you know, you have an opportunity to buy a family property and turn it into a rental property. That is improper, it's not a good fit for really active investors who want to get out there and put in sweat equity. So you know, a lot of the people that I work with, but I'm picturing kind of the interstate investments where you live in the northeast and might buy a property in the south, where, from the very beginning, you're in the habit of hiring a property manager to manage.

Tony Unkel:

Correct. That works perfectly fine. And you know, it's not saying you can never take possession of the property, you can own that, you know, I'm in northeast as well. So South Florida is the go to retirement destination. So theoretically speaking, if I were to purchase a home in South Florida in my IRA today, I would keep that as a rental property until my retirement age, and then at that time, I take the property as my distribution, where we retitle the property from the IRA to myself personally. If it's a traditional IRA, I'll pay tax on that distribution, which is the property value. And then at that time, I'm free to move into that property.

Rory Gill:

in more than just one way. So if you have the opportunity to buy that condo in South Florida. We've kind of talked about now a little bit of the specifics, can you, you know, share, you know, without disclosing client information, but some ways that you've seen this, you know, seeing clients use a self directed IRA.

Tony Unkel:

Sure. Kind of the example I just gave, we've have had multiple my clients buy that either South Florida, Costa Rica, Mexico property. And those are like the three big vacation spots that we see they've either Airbnb'ed it, fix it and flipped it, or held it on for the rental. And then they took they took that distribution, when they turned 59 and a half, or they started taking partial distributions over the years, so they don't have the big tax burden all at once. And then they were able to successfully retire in that resort location without having to go out and buy a property that day. So they were able to earn some income off of that over X amount of years and then retire with that income and the property.

Rory Gill:

to indirectly control. But this opens up the using a self directed IRA opens things up to a wider range of people kind of always wondered where some people get the money to make relatively big contributions to syndicated deals to lend money out as small scale lenders. I've always been curious where people pull this money from.

Tony Unkel:

Where is the money coming from?

Rory Gill:

Where's the money coming from?

Tony Unkel:

Yeah, so let's set a little contribution rules real quick. So if you're starting from scratch in your first IRA is going to be a self directed IRA for alternative investments, you're under the age of 50, you can only contribute $6,000 to that account this year. Next year, that bumps up to $6,500. If you're over 50 years old, the IRS is nice enough to give you an additional $1,000. So you can contribute $7,000. You're not buying a whole lot, but $7,000. So where did the six figure self directed IRAs come from? Well, they come from your 401k's, which is why I mentioned earlier that most of our clients would towards the older generation where you've built up that six figure 401k from your old jobs. And then you can actually access that money, you roll it out of the old company plan into a self directed IRA. No taxes, no penalties with that roll over. And now you have your six figure self directed IRA to go out and deploy as you wish. Or you have IRAs from when you were younger at your brokerage account that's been in the market and they were significantly able to grow over years where you've amassed a nice sized IRA, we'll just say Charles Schwab or something. From there, you can liquidate that account, transfer the cash over to the self directed IRA, no tax, no penalty, and then deploy that into the alternative space.

Rory Gill:

Okay, so you're not going to you know, as a W-2 employee, open up an IRA throw in $6,000, and wait 100 years for you to get enough money to really

Tony Unkel:

It will take you some time to amass that. Yes.

Rory Gill:

Okay. So the bulk of its coming from, you know, 401k rollovers.

Tony Unkel:

401k rollovers, or significant IRA transfers. Now, we're how those IRA transfers originated, at one point somebody did at a certain age, open an account and make the minimum contribution, and they invest it and compound interest over years, was able to have them grow. So if you're listening and you're 18,19,20 years old, and a retirement account, there's nothing stopping you from opening an IRA, or whether it's Traditional or Roth and make those contributions and start growing it. So when you get to a certain age, you'll have that nice lump sum to be able to deploy into other assets.

Rory Gill:

And then, you know, for for business owners, there are some other ways to get some money into the account at a faster pace than $6,000 a years is that right?

Tony Unkel:

Depending on what type of retirement account you have, you know, each one has different contribution limits.

Rory Gill:

And then, you know, kind of the other thing that struck me about using these self directed IRAs is there appears to be an administrative burden every time you want to use money or in the case of an investment property, just pay the bills for the property or in some ways, it's like going to your parents and asking for allowance money to pay the electric bill. It's kind of like the worst combination of being a child and being an adult. But is that right? Is it administratively a little bit difficult to choose the money

Tony Unkel:

Depends on your custodian or what your custodian offers. That's why it's always best to do due diligence and really understand the company that you're going to choose to work with and what options they have available to you. So there are two ways for an IRA to purchase a property. One is the direct purchase, and the other is what's called a checkbook IRA. I'll touch on the direct purchase to start. And that will cover the checkbook. A direct purchase means you go out and you find whatever your property or investing in comes to a verbal agreement on the purchase price, you would send your custodian the purchase contract, we sign as the buyer on behalf of you. And then we release the funds for your earnest money deposit at closing, and anything else that needs to be paid for that property. If it's a rental, and your IRA is collecting rents, your tenants will pay your IRA, meaning they're mailing a check to us, every month, we're gonna deposit that. You got to pay your property taxes, HOAs, utilities, any repairs, yes, you have to upload an invoice to our portal, and then we will cut a check out to that appropriate party. Could be burdensome, couldn't take a little bit of time, you don't have direct access to your funds. We solve that issue by what we have is called a My Direction debit card, it's a debit card that we provide to you that's pre filled with your retirement funds. So if there's an expense that you need to pay for immediately, you can just use that debit card. And then you would go to our portal, upload the invoice and certify the transaction. So we kind of give you the ability to pay for things without having us involved. Certain things that don't take debit cards, and you know, it's checks only wires only then yes, you need to get the custodian involved. Good part about that is you're out of the out of the process, we're doing the record keeping and the administration of their property. So there's not much for you to fall back on. And I think, you know, it gives you a lot more access as what's called the Checkbook IRA, Checkbook IRA, also known as an IRA LLC, is you'll go out and you'll form a single member manager manage LLC. Your IRA is that sole member, you personally are the manager, you then go to a local bank and you open a bank account in the name of the LLC. You will make a private placement investment from your IRA into that LLC, meaning you provide us the operating agreement, we'll sign off on it, we will wire the funds to your LLC bank account. Now your LLC is funded. You as the manager of that LLC have full capabilities to go out and write your own checks. You are completely in charge of all Investments, LLC pays all the expenses, LLC collects all the income. There would be no interaction between you and your custodian when using the IRA LLC.

Rory Gill:

That sounds wonderful. But it sounds a little risky for certain people, because then it sounds like the onus to comply with all the rules then falls on the individual you know, and if they don't keep their books the right way, if they use the funds inappropriately, they're jeopardizing the tax advantaged status of the whole thing,

Tony Unkel:

Which is our big statement is invest in what you know, invest in what you're comfortable with. So if you're gonna go out there, and you're not sure what to do, or how to handle these things, then it's definitely not for you. And again, there's not gonna be any oversight from us within that LLC. We're here to educate and answer any questions we have. But there'll be no advice or telling you how you should or shouldn't do something. So the risk is all on you, and you're in full control.

Rory Gill:

Okay, so it sounds like it's a good opportunity for for some. But, you know, maybe a lot of the people that, that we speak with who are deeply involved in real estate might know this space well enough to do it correctly. But beware of the rule that you can't go out there and put in your own sweat equity, you can't be as active as you might be with some of your other investments.

Tony Unkel:

And you definitely can't use your funds personally within that LLC. That's a higher risk as well. So now you have a bank account with X amount of dollars at your disposal, you have to follow IRS rules around IRA investing

Rory Gill:

As somebody who kind of came into the short term rental space relatively informally first and then a lot more structured later on, I can look back and see how a lot of the funds early on were sloshing through the personal checking account back and forth in a way that's completely legal, totally fine. But it opens you up to kind of a set of bad habits where you maybe can't even capture or fully understand how an investment is performing. So if this is something that you see in your future, I'd imagine you want to maybe start having good accounting and discipline with the investments you have in your own name.

Tony Unkel:

And it's having that trusted team around you as well. If you can rely on accountants and advisers, you you're going to benefit a lot more if you're not capable of doing it yourself.

Rory Gill:

Just kind of breaking the real estate mold just a little bit. If you wanted to take some of this money vested in a friend's company or something like that. That's also perfectly could you then take an active role in that company if your friend runs an ice cream shop and you also want to help them with a you know as a manager, the ice cream shop. Are you allowed to do that? Or is that a prohibited transaction?

Tony Unkel:

Technically yes? Possibly No. So the IRS also defines that disqualified person is any business owner who has 50%, or more controlling interest in a company, has 50%, or more voting power on a board, or is considered a highly compensated employee. So it all depends on the structure within that firm. But again, number one statement, always seek legal or tax advice before entering into any type of transaction, especially a transaction which you could potentially benefit from directly.

Rory Gill:

All right. Oh, I love that answer. The the it depends, and you should definitely seek skilled counsel. That's how he could cap off any podcast. Before it kind of shift over to you know, wrapping things up and asking the final questions. How did you come to discover this space and this as a career path?

Tony Unkel:

Sure. I started in the 401k. World, I worked for a 401k insurance company for many years. I did a lot of traveling a lot of conferences, a lot of networking. I never thought that I coming out of college, I'd wind up in retirement plans off the bat. Could be boring, does a lot, a lot of excitement around it. But it blew me away when I was traveling. And I was going out and seeing the thousands and thousands of people that work in this industry with all one common goal is to making sure American retirement dollars are safe, secure, so we have that money to survive when we're no longer work. 90, maybe I don't wanna throw a percentage out there. But a majority of people, that's going to be their only source of income when they stop working. So to have an organization's and individuals around that, that their main goal is to make sure that we have that money. So I have that was something that I really, really fell in love with and wanting to pursue. I made the switch over to Entrust about five years ago. I was looking just for to do a little more a little more expansive role working with different types of retirement accounts, different types of investors. This is a completely different world than the vanilla 401k world. Every conversation I have, every client that I have, everybody is different, different backgrounds, different walks of life, different financial status, different investment type. And you really, really learn a lot about the investing world and you're still be able to help people knowing that they're growing their future, not only for themselves, but their future generations, because a lot of these retirement accounts do get inherited. So the conversations you have is about my child is x years old, what happens to them when I pass and you know, they're difficult conversations to have with a client we're talking about, and they're no longer going to be here. But you can see all the different families that are really setting up generations of success, and it's rewarding.

Rory Gill:

So I mean, I imagine your clients do you end up having to collaborate then with, you know, estate attorneys, other financial advisors, business advisors, and kind of working as a pretty comprehensive team to make this strong reality.

Tony Unkel:

Correct. So depending on the individual we're talking to, some may have a team around them. Some may have family offices that run their finances, mostly all have some sort of advisor that we do talk to. We talk to a lot of individuals by themselves without those teams. And as long as we're giving the proper education answering their questions properly, they've been pretty successful. In terms of who we work with, or who we engage with. It's anybody from any financial part of the financial world. So there's investment sponsors, real estate agents, brokers, financial advisors, new startup company business owners, we really do speak with almost every aspect of, of the working force.

Rory Gill:

Okay, great. Alright, so before I, before we let everybody know how they can reach out and contact you, I do want to ask you the final questions that we ask of all of our guests, starting with, you know, a bit of your expertise. So if you had to give a presentation for 30 minutes on any topic, but with zero preparation, what would that topic be?

Tony Unkel:

Good question. So outside of retirement plans, my passion is sports. I'm a diehard Yankee fan. Diehard Jets fan. So with no preparation, and nothing, I could probably go 30 minutes on how the Yankees can get back to their winning ways from 20 years ago, and everything that's gone wrong in the past 20 years. That's just something that I'm really, really passionate about. I spend a lot of time and energy in that organization and with that sport in general. So I think I would do a stellar presentation on anything revolving, properly managing and running the New York Yankees.

Rory Gill:

All right, well, I hope you're not successful with that. But what's something that happened you know earlier on in your life that affects the way you do business or live today?

Tony Unkel:

Sure. I started in the hospitality industry, working in restaurants, both front of house back a house when I was younger, and I really think that experience from working in your small mom and pop shops to working in high end high end steakhouse is where I finished before I made the jump to the retirement world. I want to say I learned a lot in that space. How to deal with people how to agree with people how to communicate, how to be responsible, how to multitask. I really think that set the groundwork for me to be successful in what in what I do now. I also think it's an industry that everybody at some point in their life should cross over. Because it really gives you the skills you need to succeed not only in a sales role, but I think in the real world.

Rory Gill:

And I think you know, as a broader thing to a lot of people kind of find this because they are aspiring real estate investors or you know, want to work independently as a real estate agent. That work that you've done from your, your first part time job up to your W-2 work. I mean, all of that is incredibly valuable. You've learned real skills and don't underappreciate that. And then finally, what's something that you're watching reading or listening to these days,

Tony Unkel:

A lot of true crime podcasts. Nothing really specific off the top of top of my head that I dive into. I listen to a lot of Rogan. I know that the Yankees season ended miserably I could probably get back into into TV on the bad habit of rewatching shows, obviously, my one of my favorite shows is the Sopranos. So I think I just started that again, probably for the 50th time. I learned that you know, my Jets are 5-2. So I spend a lot of time in front of a football. Not much book reading, not a lot of time I have a two year old so he keeps us up and running around and busy a lot of the times around eight, nine o'clock. I'm absolutely shot for the day. But you know, like a lot of sports, a lot of true crime podcasts.

Rory Gill:

A lot of our three year old, you know, keeps me from being able to get into anything too much. In fact, you know, and it's just I watch it been done for seasons and seasons.

Tony Unkel:

I'm working through Succession to come back so we got some time next year. Big into that show. But I found that I'm watching a lot more TV on my phone with a little one has the monster television to watch. We retired Cocomelon, and we're on to Curious George. Now constantly that something's constantly going on in the house.

Rory Gill:

Yeah, we we moved past Cocomelon and a little bit ago, but it's a lot of like Mickey Mouse.

Tony Unkel:

Yeah, he was on Mickey around one but you know, he's very smart. He can scroll YouTube himself. So if he gets access to the TV with computer, he knows how to find where he wants to find. So luckily it's the Cocomelon theme song. I just it was embedded in my head for way too long. And I'm just so happy we're past that.

Rory Gill:

All right, well, congratulations on getting past that. You know, so if people listening or watching, want to connect with you and discuss what you know whether this is a good fit for them, how can they reach out to you?

Tony Unkel:

Sure I'm on LinkedIn, you can search under either the interest group or my name Tony Unkel. You can visit our website, theentrustgroup.com. Feel free to call or email or contact information is on the website. Again, I'm located on the east coast. I'm in New Jersey, available Monday to Fridays give me a call shoot me an email. I'm happy to connect.

Rory Gill:

Alright, thanks. So that was Tony Unkel with the interest group, theentrustgroup.com I was trying to clarify it but I'm making it worse for everybody. My name is Rory Gill. You can find me through my real estate brokerage NextHome Titletown nexthometitletown.com. Or my law practice UrbanVillage Legal urbanvillagelegal.com Thanks, Tony. Thanks for everybody listening, listening. Do the whole like subscribe and everything. We look forward to seeing you next time.

Tony Unkel:

Thanks, Rory. Pleasure. Take care.

Rory Gill:

Thanks, Tony.

Announcer:

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, Boston's progressive real estate brokerage. More at nexthometitletown.com. And UrbanVillage Legal, Massachusetts real estate counsel serving savvy property owners, lenders and investors for at urbanvillagelegal.com. Today's conversation was not legal advice, but we hope you found it entertaining and informative. Discover more at realestatelawpodcast.com Thank you for listening