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Part 2 with Dawson Gant is coming in HOT! 🔥
In this week's episode, we finish up our conversation with the 23-year-old entrepreneur and real estate mogul making waves in the North Carolina market. The guys discuss topics like cryptocurrency, getting your GC license, and Dawson's favorite exotic cars.
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Brendan: Duggan, if I may really quick, then I'll kick it over to you, just to share with the listeners. So the way we found Dawson, originally Jon Andrews, who's our president of the lending company, I think he ended up reaching out to Dawson, or Dawson got in touch with Jon somehow.
I forget the true origin story, but Dawson, the way that he built a relationship with Fund That Flip without even doing a deal with us. He said, "Hey, I know these other investors that are doing 5-, 10-, 20-plus deals a month in this area that I've wholesaled to, that I see doing a lot of business."
See 'em at the REIs. Why don't I pull all of you guys together for a dinner no skin in the game. Just like, let's see what happens. Like, John, let me add value to you and Fund That Flip immediately in a market that you guys are trying to grow. And like, Dawson actually helped introduce us to some pretty key people, without us even doing a deal with them, right?
So there was, there was no money exchange between the two of us. Dawson's like, Hey, I wanna build a really long-lasting, healthy relationship with a lender because it's pivotal to my real estate business. Dawson helped us get something that we wanted without us, even us having to ask for it. So I think, just to put an example to what Dawson's talking about, like he, he practices what he preaches and that's the reason why we're sitting on this call, which I think is super cool.
David: kudos to you on that, Dawson, because I, Brendan, I think you can speak to this too, right? And our seats especially being on, on the sales side of the business for a number of years, we've seen a lot of partnerships fail, right? And we've seen a lot of people want to enter these partnerships or, latch onto certain individuals without adding any sort of value, right?
They, they just want to jump in and be part of what they're doing and be along for the ride and collect a paycheck and very few people actually approach it with a value add perspective of like, hey, look, I see what you're doing over there. I like what you're doing. I can't do that on my own, but here's one thing I can bring of value to you to help improve your business.
And that's all I've heard you say, Dawson, over the last, you know, several minutes here about, about, you know, the partnerships, maybe not direct partnerships in business, but like strategic partnerships in your businesses that. That have helped you succeed is like you're adding value to them, and they're doing the same for you, so it's kind of like a ying and yang effect. Does that sound about right?
Dawson: Yeah, I mean, I go into everything of saying like, Hey, I'm gonna do this for free with no expectation. Right. I didn't have an expectation from Fund That Flip, and I don't typically, but it's nice to have a favor, owed. Right? So, I mean, that's just how I go into it. I'm not expecting monetary compensation.
You know, down the line, I may need something and I may pick them, pick up the phone and say, Hey, I could really use this back scratch. Remember when I helped you out? And if they say no, that's fine. I just won't help 'em out anymore. But I continue to provide value where I can for that.
David: I was gonna ask you earlier. Kind of what, what you attributed to scaling so quickly. Cause I think that's where we see a lot of people struggle as well, is like they, they hit that wall and they wanna scale quickly and then for whatever reason they can't do it. Right. But if I'm attributing it to a few things and hearing you, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, risk appetite is there for sure. Leveraging relationships around you and then kind of finding. Value add relationships. Both you are adding value to them and they're adding value to you. I mean, would you say those are among the top things that have helped you get to kind of ground Florida where you're at now?
Dawson: Yeah, a hundred percent. I think that those are the big three or big four. Also being under, like, understanding, there's a saying, I think my dad said it to me originally is like, take it behind the bar and put a bullet. sometimes it's just, it's better to just stop something, right? Like there's a lot of people that, have really good ideas and they start one business and they're like, oh, I have to make this my billion dollar company.
It's just like not possible, right? Uh, yeah. There's just no real no way to do that. Right? and like, if you're not, you know, don't have the ability to like let the pride and ego go away and just take it to the back of the bar and put a bullet in it, you're gonna get stuck on that one business when you could. You know, owning several companies that, that do take you there. So that's another thing.
David: Love it. should, should we touch on the, the crypto stuff? I want to hear Dawson's view on that.
Brendan: Yeah, I think, I think it'd be interesting. So, Dawson, probably like, I mean, a year ago, maybe a year and a half even when you and I were talking about different deals that you were sending up Fund That Flip, we'd, we'd have little, you know, side conversations about crypto. And I know you were, you were super involved with it early on.
all the drama with, with FTX who's, a place that I parked a little bit of, of my crypto as of like two days ago, just went up belly up as well. So, curious, what, what do you think about the crypto space in general? Like, how, how are you positioning your money? Or have you already pulled it all out?
Dawson: I have never made any money in crypto. If the IRS is looking, I've always lost money. No, I think that, so it's really tough because like coming from a real estate background, you can always go touch your asset, right? I've got rentals that like, I could go live in, you know, like I kicked the tenant out.
If I really need a place to live, I could go live in that rental. Uh, there was an undeniable opportunity the last two years because when people, governments are printing money and these people like it, it's like legal gambling, right? Like that's what crypto was. and I think there's some really, really phenomenal use cases for cryptocurrency.
I don't think we're there yet as a, as a world, but for two and a half years it was just legal gambling. and it was gambling that you could, you know, not base off Patrick Mahomes throwing a good touchdown. It was like off just crap Twitter, you know, like I could go look at a crypto point and say, oh, this is getting a million impressions a minute.
I can go dump some money in this and it'll probably 10 x in a month. Right? so it was very easy to track. So yeah, we, we did some stuff and made some, some money lost at all, unfortunately. Sorry, FTX assured me, but you know, I was fortunate. Need to pull some money out, for some other projects or, like it was sitting there that wasn't really doing anything.
So I didn't have a ton in any of those exchanges. and you know, for me, there are a couple coins that, you know, I see just being like household coins that, you know, we've, I've still got some money in. because at this point it's like it's on sale. Even if it goes up to what it was 20% of a year ago.
I stand to make some money. I didn't pull it all out. I put some more into it. But you know, we are keeping, you know, I keep stuff in a hard wallet. I don't try to put it on any exchanges anymore because of that. But I think that it really does show that, hard assets trump, you know, like, and that goes for the stock market too.
I'm not a big stock market guy cuz I don't have any control over it. I like to have control. I would rather. 50% of the money by building a business that's like, you know, we, I got, I got license at GC and now we have a rehab company that does residential remodels and like that prints money. It doesn't print crypto crypto money. But I also have a hard asset with market share and people so I don’t know.
Brendan: Yeah. You hear about people that are like, you know, I could mostly real estate Ashville, I could put this a hundred grand in into the stock market. I could go up, down, sideways, go to zero. Who knows? I could put a hundred grand into my rental property. Like I know I'm gonna get higher rent. I know it's gonna appreciate, I know it's, you know, it's gonna ebb and flow as well, like we're going through a cycle right now.
But you know, real estate's super unique in the sense that like there's not many passive investments and real estate's not really that passive. I think that's been debunked plenty of times, but, you can immediately see the return on investment from the dollars that you put in, and that's, that's not always, a one-to-one relationship with a lot of the other investment avenues.
Dawson: and the cool thing, like what I tell people about rentals, flips are cool cuz it's quick cash, but you lose all of it to taxes anyways. But rentals are a really good place to safeguard your wealth, right? Like you're not, I don't know anyone that is doing things correctly. A billionaire using their own money and not creating a fund by buying rentals.
But you can already be a millionaire and buy a million dollars worth of real estate and I guarantee you, in two to three years it's worth more. Doesn't matter what market we're in, if you're buying deals, right? Like, you know, the cool thing about us is we buy, like, you know, I just bought six units. We have loaned out with you guys for 120 grand total.
I've got eight, I've got $80,000 into the remodel. Cause I do it all in house on all six units. And I just got my appraisal back in an app. Four of the six appraised at 300,000. What I pay 300 grand for? Hell no. But, it just, it happens and people need somewhere to live.
Brendan: Yeah. And that's, that's the advantage too, to you know, we talked about this a little bit before your GC company, there's so many different advantages and like the biggest one is, You can afford to pay a little bit more on a property that's on the market or that's off market. And maybe you won't, maybe you'd still negotiate it down, but you could because while like the investor, you know, rubbing elbows with, you might have to pay a hundred grand to renovate, your crew's gonna do it for 70, right?
So you have additional margin, you have additional room. And I think this especially plays into a part when you're doing like the Brrrr method if you were to, to back it out into a rental because your cost base so much lower that your ability to pull all the cash out is a little bit higher and now you're able to recycle that cash and it's all because you have that
Dawson: Yep. Yeah. And like a really good example is I bought one rental in 2020, maybe now, maybe it's been a year, maybe it's been two years. And as like a little, I want, I don't wanna call it a side mission cuz it sounds like stupid, but as a side mission, I made it its own LLC and I said, okay, I'm gonna use all this money from the refinance.
I'm gonna pay myself back. and I'm gonna use the refinance and see how many units I can build this company to solely doing, you know, refinance, buy another property, refinance, buy another property. And then I think it's two years, I'll, I'll give myself two years. That's up to 26 units.
Dawson: All right. You know, find good deal, refinance it, you know, and is it cash flow a lot right now? No, not really. Cause rates are up. Uh, but you know, I think those 26 units still bring in like seven to $8,000 net.
Brendan: And the equity too,
Dawson: Yeah, it's not bad and I have no vacancy. You know, I'm buying it in markets where like I'm not the most expensive. I'm not interested in renting a $300,000 house out. I'm renting $50,000 units for 750 to 950, and I don't
Brendan: sure. Yep.
David: So along the the lines of your construction company, Dawson, when we talked the other day, you were telling Brendan and I some of the stuff you're doing with that construction company just to, to kind of keep them busy, that's also driving revenue for you. Can you touch on that?
Dawson: Yeah, so a big thing for me, you know, I did a bunch of flips, then I got, you know, said, oh, I wanna be the guy that's building million dollar mansions. I regret that. do I wish I wouldn't have done it? Yes. you know what? Must still make money, but it's a lot of money to park. And, so I kind of got burned, you know, by my first contractor cuz it was three and a half hours away.
I trusted him, and he wasn't doing the work, so I had to bring in another contractor. And that contractor is really good, dude. Uh, and he was like, dude, you need to go get your GC license. He was like, you know, you could do this. You're, you're pretty much managing the project. You're just really using my license and my expertise in the.
Go get your GC license so you don't have to pay me 17% of the cost, which is still a good deal. but regardless, it sucked. So I did that and you know, we've been doing my own projects plus some, some new construction stuff around where I'm at now. But we get really, really good laborers, really good, really good scaled guys, H V A C trade guys.
And the good thing is if you can keep 'em busy, they'll stay. And they'll keep the prices low. So what we've started doing so my foreman can make some more money and everybody can make more money. As we started doing retail projects, we started doing that as like a, oh, we're just gonna do it to keep our guys busy.
But then I realized, you know what cost me $15,000 to do in a kitchen, I can charge 40 for, and I can make a $25,000 margin. Right. Uh, after everything's said and. You know, sometimes it's a little bit less than that. Sometimes it's a little bit more than that. But, you know, we're painting a couple houses a week right now and making three grand a pop.
You know, you, you paint five houses, you make 15 grand a week. That's not a bad little business. so that's how it started and that's where it's at now. And now we have like four, four, you know, dually is driving around with foremans, doing, doing client work and it's a good little side hustle and good for, you know, to keep all my guys busy, right?
So like that's a big thing for me right now. Once I started making a lot of money or, or money, I started, you know, changing my lifestyle and I started changing what I drove and where I lived and all that stuff. But then, I didn't really give enough opportunity the guys that have been with me from Ground zero.
So now they have opportunity to change their lifestyle and make more money. So, you know, my foreman, who's been with me for two years, he gets a profit share in that, you know, he takes 30% of everything we make, but I don't touch the business. I signed up the bank account. I got his credit cards. I got us a Lowe's account he says, Hey, Dawson, take 25 grand this month for the account.
You know, that's what we made. So, but now he has an opportunity to make way more money and he'll be around forever with me because I put him in that position.
Brendan: Very cool. Daws, I got a, I got a few more questions for you, then we'll get you out. But so I think, with you being so young and finding success so early, obviously like, you know, everyone thinks success happens overnight. It obviously doesn't, you've been grinding for five years. you had some, some fortunate timing, but also some very deliberate efforts strategy.
people don't see your losses. They see you, they see your wins, right? And that's, you know, everyone just thinks you know, everything you do, you're, you're making a million bucks on My, my first question is more geared towards the 18 to 25 year old that's looking to get into real estate investing and see someone like yourself kind of operating at this scale. Not everyone's gonna wanna operate the scale that, that you do, cuz it, you know, could be too intimidating to them. It might be too much for what they want to get into. Maybe they want it to be passive. What advice would you give to someone that's trying to get into your space, and maybe not even young people, but even people that are, all ages that are looking at to do what you're doing at scale at some level of scale.
Dawson: Yeah, I think, I think that's a very profound statement. Not everybody wants to be where I'm at and that's true. So I, I'll hit on that and then I'll go into what you, I think you should do. So like, you should make that decision, right? Like that's a, that's a conscious decision you have to make.
250 grand a year for some people is enough money to be cool. Like, I mean that, that I don't spend more than 250 grand a year on my personal lifestyle. so like. I know that that's enough money, to live a very, albeit inflation, you know, it's, it's comfortable, right? Maybe 500 grand a year is really where it gets comfortable.
but, you my personal bills are like less than 20 grand a month, and that includes some cool cars in the nice house. but once you make that conscious decision, I think you have to understand the sacrifices that come with either one of those. I've missed out on a lot of family events, a lot of personal relationships, you know, see me on social media and they're like, oh, this guy must have a ton of friends.
I can tell you that I don't have one friend that I don't make money with, and that's not to say that all my friends make money with. I have a very select few guys that I hang out with, because that's a sacrifice I have to make. I'm not interested in going to a bar with someone that provides no value and as, as terrible as that sounds like, I've had people ask me like, Hey, why do you answer my phone call?
and it's a very blunt answer like, you're, you. Seem like you're gonna value me someday, or I see immediate value with talking to you, and if I don't, I don't answer your phone call. Uh, and that's, that's a, you know, a difficult life to live at some points. but you know, if you make that decision to do that or, or even get into real estate investing at all, I think that people have to understand that like social media has really cursed all of us.
You can get on social media and look at a guy like me or go look at any other real estate. And be like, oh, they have a Lamborghini. Like, I need that next year. That's just not possible. Right.
David: I was gonna say, I, what I'm hearing is like, looks awesome. Might not be for everybody, right? Like I kind of am a true believer that there's really no true solution. There's only trade-offs, right? So like the lifestyle that you worked really, really hard for, there's, there's a lot of trade-offs that come with that. And it works for you and you love it. But like there's some sacrifices you.
Dawson: Yeah. and I think that understanding that like 99% of the stuff you see on social media is not overnight. And if they're saying it's overnight, they're trying to sell you a course or they don't own the things that they're taking in pictures in front of you'll understand that like your journey is your journey.
Right? and you know, you may get, you may say, Hey, yeah, I wanna make 500 grand a year. I wanna get into real estate investing. And then you get there and you want more, you, you're like, Hey, I'm happy here. I think that the number one advice I tell everybody is take action and take action. And if you fail, you fail.
Like all this shit cryptocurrency can show you, it's pretty much imaginary, and not to scare my lenders, but you know, you can go bankrupt and figure it out. So like I kind of look at all of that and I'm like, you know, it'd be super humbling and I would probably not show my face for a year, but I would come out the other end much, much more successful.
Wouldn't have learned through it. So, you know, it makes the story. So understanding that and understanding that you are gonna fail and that just is what it is. can be extremely beneficial. And I think that real estate is, is there's always, there's never a bad time to get into real estate. So taking action as quick as possible and figuring out, is, is been my motto.
And, you know, maybe the guy that plans for a year before buying his first rental will be better off, but we'll see. I don't know. You know, like for me, I'd rather own 12 rentals and it messed up on two in a time. It took the guy to do the first rental. Perfect.
Brendan: Yep. I think I know how you're gonna respond to this question, but I'm gonna ask it anyway. you've already achieved so much at such a young age. Like what, what's the goal? What's the vision? Like, what is, there's no finish line for, for guys like you, which I understand it, it's continuously, you're moving the goalpost out further and further as soon as you, you reach it.
what, what does that look like for you short term and, you know, Dawson at 60? Like, what, what do you, what do you imagine.
Dawson: Yeah. I, so short term, right. for me is, you know, I've established myself enough to where I'm pretty much good, right? I can maintain my lifestyle for the next 10 years and not make another dollar. so what I'm really working hard to do, which I think will return me a larger ROIs to build the guys around me, like similar to the contracting thing, right?
My, my foreman is now making 25 grand a month where he was making five grand a month with me just working for himself, but I'm making an extra 50 grand a month. So if I can continue to do that to the guys around me, it should ROI to me, as well. So I'm focused on that. we talk about, I talked about conscious decisions, right?
I have no interest in being the next Elon or Musk, Elon Musk or Bezo. Sorry. Uh, I have no interest in being that guy. I don't need trillions of dollars. my interest is. 12 to 15 million a year and me not having to lift a finger. So I'm not there yet. Uh, I'd like to be there in the next five years and then Dawson at 60, I couldn't tell you, you know, I, I know that I don't like to be bored. I took off Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving and well, I told everybody they could take off.
I was at my office on Friday, you know, like 6:00 AM I was at my office cuz I did family stuff on Thanksgiving and I thought it was, you know, terrible.
So, not, not terrible, but I just thought about all the things that I could have got. and you know, I wanted to, to focus on that stuff. So I think that for me, having the option to not work is gonna be cool, at all. But I'll still find things that I want to do and I think I'll make more money doing the things I'm passionate about.
Brendan: Yep. last question from me then Duge, and I'll kick it over to you. you, you work your ass off. What, what do you do for fun? What, what are the hobbies that you do? What do you like to spend your money on? What's in that 20 k budget a month? What, what do you like to do?
Dawson: Yeah. So big things for me, vices. Everybody has vices watches and cars. I spend my money on those two things and then travel. I don't try, I didn't take a trip for the first three years of my business. I mean, I was making 150, 200 grand a month and had never been to Mexico. so, you know, I've traveled now, I'm gonna go to Europe soon for my birthday in January.
Things like that, you know, but the big thing for me is cars. And I've benefited enough to have the relationships. I do. I'm able to make money when I buy these cars and have dealer relationships where I don't really lose money. , so, you know, I think last year or this year I've owned 13 or 14 cars. You know, my, my COO I was texting him and saying, Hey, like, I'm picking up this new McLaren at the end of the month.
It's brand new 2023, and he said, well, that's your number six for the year, and I totally forgot about that. Right. So I'm in and out of cars. I don't really keep that many. I have a few that I keep, but you know, I've been fortunate enough to make money on all the car deals I do, so it doesn't really cost me anything.
Uh, but yeah, I mean, that's only two things I really spend the money on. you know, I take care of my family. I take, I give some money to my family members and, you know, things like that. But other than that, I don't really spend my money. I'm dumping all my money into, to new businesses and new venture.
David: What's been your favorite car?
Dawson: That's tough. I've got, I've got a GT-3 right now, a Porsche. The new Porsche just came out. I think it's my favorite driving car. ego reasons. It's not that cool of a car. It's not flashy enough for me, which whatever you spend half a million dollars on a car, you want it to be flashy, right? So,
uh, and the 9-92 was not half a million dollars before someone in the comment says that, I lied about the price, but you spent any type of money, you wanted people to kind of know.
Uh, I had an, I've, got an invented or SV, I want an SV J. That's what I want for my birthday in a month. So I'm trying to figure out if I can complete a couple things. I'm gonna get that. But, yeah, Lamborghini and Porsche are my big things. I'm not a Ferrari guy. I had a G wagon, but my girlfriend drives it more than me, so that was a cool car, but I don't drive anymore, so I got a UUs, stuff like that.
But probably top three. I've been GT-3 SV and I had a twin-turbo Huon. It was like 2000 horsepower, which was cool.
David: Sounds fun. Well, listen, man, we've had you for almost an hour on here. I appreciate you carving out some time for us. We know you're busy. , I'll, I'll leave us with this. I think a lot of people look to their elders for, you know, advice and direction, whether it's in life, business, whatever. I think you're a great example of. looking at somebody that may be younger than you and seeing the successes that you've had and following in your footsteps. And I also think, you know, you've got a really heavy risk appetite and a lot of people, like, I look at myself, you know, I'm in my mid thirties, right? Got two kids, got a family. I don't have the risk appetite that, that you do, but I still think there's, for somebody like myself a lot that, that we can learn from you.
and, you know, watching you from a distance and you know, the mistakes and successes you've had. I think there's a ton that can be learned from that. So,
Dawson: I appreciate it.
David: yeah, man, appreciate you coming on. Appreciate uh, all the insights you've provided. Brendan Dawson, anything any parting words from you guys?
Brendan: Dawson, if you just want a quick opportunity to, to plug any business ventures, any, you know, ways for people to reach out to you. Floor is yours.
Dawson: Yeah, so I don't sell anything online, so there's no courses or anything like that. Please don't hit me up for that. but you can follow me on Instagram, Dawson Gant it's just my first and last name. I post about my cars and the occasional funny TikTok show. Uh, yeah, that's about it. I appreciate the time and I, you know, grateful for the opportunity.
I hope that, you know, something I said resonates with one person out there and that, you know, one day I meet you and you can tell me, Hey, like I built an empire off a sentence you told me. Uh, but yeah, I'm super grateful and I appreciate the Fund That Flip team. drop my name to all your loan originators.
Maybe they'll give me a dollar and fund my race cars. That's really all I have to say.
David: All right, man. Well listen great stuff. Appreciate you you coming on with us, for real estate investing unscripted. And for Dawson and Brendan, I'm David Duggan. you can find us at fundthatflip.com. You can find us across all the social platforms and uh, we'll look forward to having you next time.Thanks.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Real Estate Investing Unscripted. For more resources or to fund your next project, head on over to FundThatFlip.com.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed are the speaker’s own and do not represent the views, thoughts, and opinions of the Fund That Flip. The material and information presented here is for general information purposes only. The "Fund That Flip" name and all forms and abbreviations are the property of its owner and its use does not imply endorsement of or opposition to any specific organization, product, or service.
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