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How David Leong Scaled His Real Estate Operations to Acquire 240 Properties in 2021

How David Leong Scaled His Real Estate Operations to Acquire 240 Properties in 2021

Please introduce yourself.

My name is David Leong. Together with my wife, Maureen Leong, we have founded our Real Estate investment firm, Results Only LLC. Since 2012, we have been in this field through the utilization of traditional strategies and methods.  In order to scale our firm, I completed a 2-year internship with a very seasoned investor.  During those 2 years, I had to locate 15 to 20 investable properties for my mentor. Towards the end, I was advised that I couldn’t earn any amount from them. As a result, this was the cost of studying and mentoring under him.  

Our firm primarily invests in the state of New Jersey.  We specialize in the small multifamily space with two-to-four-unit buildings. Michelina Piroino is our major partner in New Jersey. Through our partners, Thomas Mosera and John Kim, we expanded into Central Florida in 2020. Every year, we generate about $50,000,000 in volume between wholesaling, flipping and rental of properties. At our peak, our skilled acquisition team secured about 240 properties for our portfolio in 2021. Our professional team comprises of 4 primary partners, 2 transaction coordinators, team manager, property manager, rental managing agent, as well as a marketing coordinator.

How did you get started in the real estate business?

In 2002, my wife and I began our careers as real estate agents. My wife worked for Marriott, and I was a regional manager for a car part firm. Our mortgage officer, who assisted us in purchasing our 2nd home, connected us to her husband, who was an agent for Keller Williams Realty. We were looking to start a business, but with the high costs and risks, becoming a real estate agent seemed to be a wonderful alternative for us. By our 4th year, my wife and I were selling $45,000,000 in real estate volume. In 2008, we were able to purchase the Keller Williams Realty brokerage franchise in Clifton, New Jersey.

We attended a major training event for real estate brokers in 2011. One of the breakout sessions was titled ‘Real Estate Investing’. My wife and I agreed to attend to look for additional investment clients. We were quite taken aback by what we heard in the breakout session. According to the speaker, 90 percent of all real estate agents will never invest in real estate, and 85 percent of the whole US population will never invest in real estate! I glanced at my wife, and she looked back at me, as we both sensed that the speaker was speaking directly to us. He went on to feedback that most agents will market the finest investment packages but will not buy them for themselves! That’s when my wife and I decided to invest in real estate and generate wealth by purchasing rental properties and holding them for the long term.

What are some hot markets for real estate that you are excited about?

I look forward to the Atlantic City, in the state of New Jersey. The following factors are what I have noticed about this market:

  • Casinos are moving towards the Resort/Entertainment model vs. Casino model
  • Situated with Atlantic City, is one of the largest historic boardwalks in the world
  • Major universities are moving to the city
  • International airport
  • Affordable prices with a huge migration of primary owners
  • Properties are only blocks away from the beachfront

How do you source your real estate deals?

The key is relationships. I’m doing everything I can to build new relationships with our major realtors, wholesalers, and vendors while also strengthening existing ones. The majority of those who encounter distressed deals are real estate agents. They had previously completed the marketing, lead generation, and seller connections. I like to deal with agents that have previously completed the work and are eager to collaborate with us.

What are some checks and balances you’ve put in place to protect your real estate transactions?

We remain committed to our primary approach. For any agreement, consider the long term as the primary approach first. For instance, we will purchase the building if we are able to make a profit of $600 to $800 or more. We stick to 2-to-4-unit buildings that are in rentable condition when we purchase them. The limit for building renovations is roughly $30,000.00 or less. In addition, all mechanicals should be in good operating order. One essential consideration is that we do not use any of the cash flow generated by our assets. Instead, we let the net rentals build up. As a result, our buildings are exceptionally financially secure and resistant to market swings and costly repairs.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone starting their real estate career?

Work for free in an internship for somebody with extensive expertise and a proven track record. I did that for around two to three years. During that period, I learnt lead generation for deals, the ultimate two-level model of end buyers, mail and phone marketing, seller lead conversion, sub-strategies of the three major tactics, deal structuring, how to employ an investment team, job descriptions, partnerships, and much more.

What is one software you use for your business and recommend to others?

Excel is sufficient to get the job done. There are many investors who make it complicated by looking out for the best CRM, tracking software, etc. I keep track of everything in Excel using Google Docs.

What is your superpower in life?

Mathematics. Up until 4th grade, I was a terrible student for the mathematics subject. As a matter of fact, the highest score I have achieved for my first 6 tests in 4th grade, was only 20 out of 100. Subsequently, I was moved to the C group math class, which is considered amongst the students as the class for students who were slower at learning math. While this may seem shocking, I do believe that it was the best incident that has happened to me. The math teacher for the C group was Miss Gaynor. Not only was she excellent at teaching math, she was also an extremely patient teacher who puts in great effort to explain how and why the solutions were derived. With her patient approach for every student in the class, I was able to score all 100’s and one 90 for my subsequent 8 tests! I was provided with the foundation to grasp the mathematical concepts at a level I would never have imagined, was achievable. I would go on to take on multiple mathematical disciplines consecutively, such as Geometry and Algebra. Several decades later, I am still able to solve 90% of algebraic equations today by simply looking at the questions. Excelling in math has served me well in many fields such as financials, accounting and investment transactions.

What is a failure you’ve had in life that set you up for eventual success?

A failure I consider would be not choosing to hire a coach, intern or expert sooner. In my early days of investing, I was learning through trial and error. It was only until someone questioned me, “Why am I learning by my own mistakes?”, that I came to realize I could also learn from the mistakes and successes from the experts who have come before me. Furthermore, constantly being in high-level coaching and internships allowed me to scale greater in shorter time frames, which I otherwise would not have been able to do.

What is one book that has influenced your life the most? Why?

Retire Young, Retire Rich by Robert Kiyosaki. This book has helped me greatly in understanding why real estate investing for the average American income earner is the ultimate low risk method of wealth building.  Real estate can never go out of business, and only companies can. Most Americans who own a primary residence, retire with this as their most valuable asset and not much more. Should a real estate agent show them about the wealth they could build by owning just 3 to 5 more properties for the long-term, would this have affected their retirement plans financially?

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  • June 20, 2022
  • 7 min read
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