This is going to be a very different episode than normal. We are Left Fielders. We do things differently. A lot of people recognize the episodes with zeros. We don’t do that. We are recognizing Episode 101 because it’s the first of our next 100 episodes. That’s what we’re excited about.
We are looking forward to the future, but we are also going to recognize the past. We are going to talk about where we have come from, what’s happened at Left Field Investors over the past few years and where we’re going. We are Left Field Investors. By definition, we are not conventional. We are not going to follow the crowd.
We have been five guys trying to figure stuff out. It wasn’t intentional that we set up Left Field Investors but every time we have had success or passed a monument of some kind, we would figure out what the next thing is. That’s what we mean when we say we five guys figuring stuff out. We’re trying to do the best for the community and now – we’re 1,200 people figuring stuff out together.
In this episode, we’re going to acknowledge the past with a keen focus on our future. Listen in as Jim Pfeifer and the Founders of Left Field Investors – Sean Donnelly, Steve Suh, Chad Ackerman and Ryan Stieg – share the beginnings of LFI, where we are now and most importantly where Left Field Investors is headed in 2023 and beyond!
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Left Field Investors – The Past and The Future!
This is going to be a very different episode than normal. If this was the ’70s, we would say, “On a very special episode of Left Field Investors.” This is a special episode. We had Episode 100. I’m sure you were all on the edge of your seats waiting for some special announcement or commemoration of that 100th episode. We’re left fielders. We do things differently. A lot of people recognize the episodes with zeros. We don’t do that. We’re recognizing Episode 101 because it’s the first of our next 100 episodes. That’s what we’re excited about.
We are looking forward to the future but we are also going to recognize the past. That’s what this episode is going to be about. There’s not going to be a guest. There might be some cameos but we are going to talk about where we have come from, what’s happened in Left Field Investors over the past few years and where we’re going, which is the most important part. We are Left Field Investors. By definition, we are not conventional. We are not going to follow the crowd.
We have been five guys trying to figure stuff out. That’s what we have been saying the whole time. We talk about this. It wasn’t intentional that we set up Left Field Investors and it grew to what it became but every time we take a corner or pass a monument of some kind, we try to figure out what the next thing is. That’s what we mean when we’re trying to figure stuff out. We’re trying to do the best for the community and so far, we’re 1,200 people figuring stuff out together. That’s what we love to do.
In this episode, we’re going to acknowledge the past with a keen focus on our future. Here’s a brief recap of the first couple of years of Left Field Investors. We started as a twelve-person dinner club. We were called Columbus Passive Investing Group. The abbreviation CPIG is not the best name but you could still watch those videos. Our first video is on our website. It was our first meeting. Our first meeting was supposed to be on March 18th, 2020.
Columbus Passive Investing Group
I’ve told many people and talked about this a lot. It was supposed to be a dinner club for twelve people or a little mastermind because I had set up an active group when I was an active investor and thought that I learned so much there. I had these great relationships there. I did business with people there. I thought, “I need to do this for passive investing but I can make it smaller. It’s a little mastermind.”
I got eleven people here in Columbus, Ohio. We are all set to go out to dinner and make it a monthly dinner club. The pandemic hit. We never had our first meeting. We had our first meeting in October 2022. We had the meetup but we never met in person. We went online. What that did is it enabled us to get some guests and grow our group initially. The first Zoom call that we had was on April 8th, 2020. I spent a little bit of time watching the first video.
It was funny. It took fifteen minutes to get everyone on the call because people hadn’t used Zoom much before. I hadn’t used it before. It was our free account. We had to get it over within 40 minutes or something but it was the beginning. The opening comments were interesting to me as well because the first thing I said is we didn’t have a grand vision for what this would but we did talk about what we hoped to get out of it, which is sharing information on operators and investment strategies, learning together and using our network to become better investors.
That was our vision. Even though we did say that, we didn’t know where we were going to be. We didn’t have any idea. We knew we wouldn’t be 1,200 people strong. If you asked me that, I would have said, “There is no chance of that,” but the start was, “Let’s get together and have like-minded people share information.” I’ve told this story many times but I remember the first time I talked to Steve Suh about passive investing. I was nervous, “I hear you do some passive investments.”
We both shared that we had both invested in this particular operator. It was the most comforting thing. Steve is a doctor and a smart guy. To find out that he was investing in some of the same things was so confirming. To find out that not only we were in the same operator but we were in a couple of the same deals was when it clicked for me. I thought, “This passive investing in real estate syndications is a real thing. Let’s go.”
In that initial meeting, we also talked about the possibility of investing together as a group using a company called Tribevest. At the time, I was in a couple of tribes. It was early in Tribevest’s journey. The platform wasn’t there. You couldn’t do banking online. It was very much a startup. I was in two tribes. Now, I’m in 10 or 11 depending on if I get a new one here coming up.
We had our first guest in May 2020. That was Travis Watts from Ashcroft. We were so thankful that he would come on to this group. I don’t know how many people we had, maybe 20 or 25. That was the entire group. I don’t know how many were on that call but if a couple of people don’t show, then your group is a lot smaller. Travis was gracious. He jumped right on. Soon we had other high-profile guests. We were off running.
One of the things that we tried to do was I tried to restrict the number of people because I wanted it to be this little mastermind but we had friends, family and former financial advising colleagues or clients. They heard about this and they wanted to get in but we were very restrictive at the beginning because we didn’t want to get it bigger than a mastermind. That turned out to be a mistake because as this group has grown, the relationships are growing as well. It’s remarkable how that is working out for us. I’m excited that we did allow that to grow.
We have had monthly meetings nearly every month since then. If you watch all of those old videos, you will get to see my quarantine beard turn into my quarantine hair. We are back to normal with that. That’s a good thing. We officially launched as Left Field Investors on October 26th, 2020. We had been CPIG or Columbus Passive Investing Group for six months but we soon realized that we needed a website and a brand. Soon we were going to need a show.
In our first year in existence, we had 56 members. That was more than we wanted. We changed our mindset. We thought, “Our passion is sharing the opportunities in passive investing. Regular people can invest in real estate syndications. They need to find out about it.” In 2021, we launched the website, the Infield and the show and ended the year with 551 members. We kept on growing. We’re going to end 2022 with over 1,200 members. We went from 56 to 550 to over 1,200.
That’s a lot of growth. As we go, our main focus is education and networking but we also are very keen to keep the culture of our community the same. That’s what we have been told from a lot of our community. The power of this group is the culture that we have built where the new person can jump right in, share something and teach something to the expert that has been in 100 deals. That expert then can turn around and share something else. Everybody has an equal voice. Everyone can talk about what they get out of the community. Everyone can help others.
Benefits Of Being A Left Fielder
I asked the other founders to say a few things to include in this episode. I asked Steve Suh, one of our founders, about some of the benefits of being a left fielder. This is what Steve said, “Left fielders, I was asked by Jim to talk about some other things that the LFI community provides that every investor should take advantage of. Anyone can browse our website and take in all of the free content. Our website is a goldmine of information on private syndication investing. We have about 50 original blog articles written by left fielders and syndicators that cover a wide range of topics in the passive investing world.”
“One of our most popular sections is a starter list of syndicators to help you on your passive investing journey. No more relying on random Google searches to find syndicators. At LFI, we are all about shortening your learning curve. We even have a two-page cheat sheet for beginners to use as a checklist for investing in their first deal. In conjunction with this, take a look at the masterclass video where Jim and Tribevest’s Julian McClurkin discuss the nuts and bolts of passive investing and syndications.”
[bctt tweet=”At Left Field Investors, we are all about shortening your learning curve. ” via=”no”]
“I believe the Lunch & Learns and monthly Zoom meetings are great for you visual learners to find out more about different asset classes and real estate markets. Some of our sponsors will also hold deal webinars to help you vet a specific sponsor and their current deal. Left fielders find these invaluable for feeling comfortable with a sponsor and getting more details about their latest acquisition.”
“For the Infielders, our inner circle membership group, there are numerous tools that they can have access to such as a sponsor screener and a deal analyzer. The two things that I feel are the most helpful for the Infielders are the Mound Visits and the private forum. The Mound Visits are weekly calls on the Clubhouse app where we talk freely about a variety of topics such as sponsors, asset classes, deals that have gone well and deals that have not gone so well.”
“These are conversations that you are probably not having with your next-door neighbor. The vast majority of Infielders will agree that the forum is the most valuable aspect of their membership. Someone may post a question about a sponsor. Within 24 hours, you will get the good, the bad and the ugly on that syndicator. This type of information can save hours of your time.”
“I have found several new sponsors and have subsequently invested with them because of recommendations from other Infielders. I have probably learned just as much as any other Infielder from this forum. Please take advantage of all that our website has to offer and participate in the networking opportunities. The Left Field Investors community would not be what it is now without you. Thank you so much for your support and participation.”
That was Steve talking mostly about Left Field Investor benefits. He’s right about so much of that. It is a powerful community. We’re pleased to be part of it. He mentioned a little bit of the Infield but I want to dig deeper into the Infield, the forum and the tools. I asked Founder Chad Ackerman to talk about the tools, “Left fielders, this is Chad Ackerman. Jim asked me to talk about the tools we have developed here at Left Field Investors. We look to create a few different things that would help the limited partner investor be more educated and comfortable about deciding to invest in a deal.”
“The tools that are available inside our Infielder section of the website were built to help you flow through the whole process step by step. First, we publish our LFI Sponsor Summary sheet. This is a list of over 50 general partner sponsors covering over a dozen asset classes with various levels of experience. Included are several categories to help you understand their business. For instance, the number of years they have been syndicating, geographic markets they invest in, the number of full-cycle deals completed, deal splits and many more.”
[bctt tweet=”The tools available inside our Infielder section of the website are built to help you flow through the whole process step by step. ” via=”no”]
“We ask that you do your due diligence to decide if you want to invest with them or not but this gets you started with several options to investigate. The next step will be to select the GP to interview and see if you’re comfortable investing with them. The LFI Sponsor Screener will help you do this. The Screener is a list of over 40 questions to ask the sponsor to get a better understanding of how they do business.”
“The list includes questions we have grouped in order of importance to help you focus on items that we feel should have answers and others that help round out your understanding of how they operate. We developed this list focused on discussions with multifamily operators but most of these questions will work with any asset class. After you’ve vetted a sponsor and feel comfortable investing with them, the next step would be to review a deal. The LFI Deal Analyzer was created to help you with this.”
“The analyzer includes close to 100 different metrics with suggested responses to help you understand if there are parts of the deal that seem to be outside of what is considered best practice. Included are definitions of each metric and the most likely place you will be able to find this data in the information the sponsor provides. The list not only helps you understand if the deal metrics make sense but if something does appear to be out of range, it gives you another reason to reach out to the sponsor and have further conversation with them.”
“We believe this is another important part of vetting the sponsor to see how well they respond and answer your questions. Now that you have reviewed different sponsors, found someone you feel you would like to invest with and analyzed the deal for them, your next step may be to jump into our forum and tap into our community of Infielders to see if you can get further information about the sponsor and the deal. We think this is probably our most powerful tool in the toolbox.”
“You will have a community of like-minded individuals to reach out to and give further opinions prior to wiring funds for a deal. Search the forum for the sponsor or the deal and see what others have said about them. If there are no search results, post your question and see if others reply. The form feedback can help you develop your level of know, like and trust of the sponsor before you get into a deal.”
“After you’ve decided to invest in a deal, you want to track your investment to see its progress. To assist with this, we built the LFI Portfolio Tracker. The tracker allows you to enter any deal you are invested in and see pro forma data along with distributions you received. We continue to look for improvements to this tool and have partnered with a company called Vyzer which created a more sophisticated tool to track your portfolio results. They provide a discount to Infielders when they sign up.”
“We hope that if you choose to join the LFI Infield, you will find all of these tools to be a useful part of your investment process. We will continue to enhance all these tools to keep them up-to-date and refreshed as well as look for new tools to add. For instance, the next thing we are looking to develop is the LFI Sponsor Reviews report. Consider this the Yelp for our community related to sponsors. There’s more to come on this soon. Hopefully, this summary gave you a good understanding of some of the instruments that are available to our community members. Thank you to all that are already members. We hope to meet many more of you as you are looking for a community to join.”
That was a great summary of the tools from Chad. He has built a lot of those tools. We’re going to do some updates in 2023. They do need a redo. We’re hoping to add the Sponsor Reviews. That’s going to be like a Yelp or an Amazon review. You can go in, give 4 or 5 stars to your sponsors and write some comments. We’re going to hopefully crowdsource that within our community and share that information with other Infielders. Not only will we have comments on the forum as Chad talked about but we will also have the ability to go in and rank the sponsors so everyone can see where you’re at.
Intelligent Investors Real Estate Conference
The next thing I want to talk about is some of the events that we have been to and are planning on going to. In 2022, we went to our first event, the Intelligent Investors Real Estate Conference in Los Angeles. That was eye-opening because we went there. Steve, Sean and I went. Three of the founders went. We thought we were going to meet a bunch of passive investors. We did but we also started building relationships with sponsors. That launched a lot of what happened.
In the second half of 2022, we started hosting Lunch & Learns and realized that people would be interested in that. We started deal webinars, our preferred partnership program, which is fantastic. We have some of the best partners in the business. Chad started the Infielder Spotlight podcast. We’re going to grow that. We have lots of ideas for that in 2023. We paused that for the second half of 2022 as we’re resetting and getting ready for the next big push.
We hosted our first meeting. It was supposed to be in March 2020. It was in October 2022. It was the Meetup in the Left Field. It was fantastic. We were pleased about the attendance. We had almost 100 people there. We got great reviews. People had a good time. The key to that was networking, meeting new people and growing relationships. The community has grown to 1,200 members, which includes 365 Infielders. I asked Founder Sean Donnelly how he feels about conferences and meetups and how they helped him as an investor.
“You know me well enough to know I spend a fair amount of time underwriting, researching, analyzing and probably overanalyzing different situations or at least that’s what you’ve accused me of in the past. You also know it’s my way of asking questions, getting knowledge and performing due diligence before I arrive at a decision. Sometimes it takes me a bit longer to get there. I fully admit it.”
“To me, investing, specifically passive real estate investing is no different. There are so many sponsors, asset classes and philosophies. Attending the various conferences has allowed me to seek the knowledge needed to move forward in this space but in a much more manageable way. There is still so much for me to learn and be intrigued with but one has to be inquisitive, keep an open mind and be extremely willing to put yourself out there.”
“These different meetups and conferences give us the platform but you have to be willing to take advantage of them. These conferences and even our meetup back in October were full of like-minded people seeking answers and sponsors who are there to give their time and educate. I believe a great deal can be gained through osmosis in these settings as well by listening to questions being asked by others and the conversations that then ensue and happen around you. We hear so often from so many different sources that your net worth is made-up of your network.”
“My time spent at these events is not only to gain the knowledge I need but it’s the relationship building with attendees and sponsors. This networking is invaluable and has made me a better, smarter and more efficient investor. It has been fun building the network through these events while doing something rewarding both financially and personally. The best part is I still get to underwrite, research and analyze. I do it differently with a wider group of friends than I did before. Hopefully, that means I don’t overanalyze as much as I used to but you know me. That means I probably still will on occasion.”
As Sean said, the conferences and the meetups are where you build these relationships. That was part of the meetup for me. We had seen all these people on Zooms. I’ve been in countless Zooms with people and on phone calls with people but to meet them face-to-face, what a difference. We had a great list of speakers. We had sponsors who came in and supported us by coming to the event, sponsoring the event financially and helping us put that together.
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We had Billy Keels come here from Spain for crying out loud. How awesome was that? He’s a great guy. To see that he would come all this way for our meetup was phenomenal. We had people coming from the West Coast. As this meetup was getting going, I discouraged people coming from that far away because I was nervous that the meetup wouldn’t live up to our expectations and that it might not be worth traveling that far but every single one of them said they were coming back next year. We hope to do it again That meetup was cool.
What it did was cement a lot of those relationships because you can get quality relationships online, through a Zoom call or a phone call but when you sit there and shake the person’s hand, you’re right in front of them talking to them and maybe you share a meal or a beverage, it makes a huge difference in not only the relationship but also your learning and the impact of the group.
I asked Founder Ryan Stieg what he has learned about the impact of Left Field Investors, “This is Ryan Stieg, one of the founders at Left Field Investors. When I look back over the last couple of years at the things that have been most impactful for me with Left Field Investors, the list is pretty long but one of the things that stand out to me is the education in general from when I compare to the very beginning of my investing journey to now.”
“What I’ve learned and what I’ve been able to have access to is incredible. Along with that are the relationships through the community that I’ve built over the last couple of years. The number of new relationships that I have over these last few years through the community is immeasurable and relationships that I never would have had otherwise without the community and the power of the community with Left Field Investors.”
“I’ve gotten better in my due diligence process and my analysis, both something as simple as terms and definitions but also how to do a better job of evaluating asset classes, operators, markets and things that I didn’t take the time to look at or understand how to look at from the very beginning. Information relationships and networking are probably at the core of what the impact has been over the last couple of years through Left Field Investors.”
“Anytime you do something with the power of community and the number of people bringing value to the community and sharing their lessons and experiences, it makes everybody better. Everybody brings a different skillset, background, knowledge and perspective of how they look at things and understand things and how they’ve bettered themselves as an investor. We’re all able to learn from each other, share and grow together.”
“If I were to narrow it down, it’s education and becoming a better investor at a personal level and a group level but a huge part of that is building relationships and getting to know new people. Both co-investors, other investors and operators and access to things that we never would have had as single individual retail investors. Long story short, the impact the LFI has had over the last couple of years is immeasurable. Those were a few things that come to mind as what stands out in the last couple of years and what LFI has helped me gain as an investor.”
Ryan makes some great points about the relationships that you’re building. That brings me up to our partners. The first partner I want to talk about is Tribevest because they have been such a huge benefit to us. I met Travis Smith, the Founder of Tribevest, years ago when I was running that active investment group in Columbus. He happened to show up. He was starting his company and looking to network with real estate investors. We hit it off right out of the gates.
I had ideas for how his business could work and he had ideas for how he could work with our active group. When I switched and changed to passive investing, we weren’t sure if there was a market for Tribevest and passive investing. Over the years, we figured out that one of their top focuses is our community and other communities like this because passive investing lends itself to group investment.
Tribevest is the reason we have this show. When we started and thought about a show, we didn’t have the money for anything. It was all coming out of our pockets. After we started the Infield, we had a small bit of revenue. Travis said, “You need a show.” He and Tribevest paid for a training education for me, the equipment and the engineer to put the show together so it sounded professional right out of the gates. That’s not because of me. That’s because of Tribevest. I’m super thankful there for all that they have done for us. We have monetized the group a little bit better. We do have some revenue.
Tribevest is still a huge part of that and a huge help. That’s why they are our premier partner but we have lots of other partners. I’m not going to take the time to name each one but we have partners that are our sponsors. They support us and our community financially. They send us the deal flow. They come and do Lunch & Learns. They come to our monthly meetings and our actual in-person meetings. They have offered to come and meet us wherever we are and buy dinner or have drinks to get to know people. Our partners are fantastic.
I encourage you to go to our Preferred Partners page for a list of our operator partners. We also have some service partners, tax financial advisors and Vyzer, which is the tool that Chad was talking about. We have this list of great partners. We’re going to keep building that. We do not want to dilute the partners we have by adding random partners to get that number to grow but we do want to keep adding quality partners. We’re going to add partners for different asset classes but we’re also going to build some asset classes so you have a little bit of choice.
Maybe there will be 2 or 3 partners per asset class but we’re not going to push that because we’re going to find the quality partners that want to work with us in the way that our community operates. We’re super happy about that. I couldn’t talk about partners without talking about our newest partner, which is the Family Office Club. To be honest, we still haven’t figured out all that we’re going to do with the Family Office Club but there’s so much there.
They are a resource. They’re going to help us with a few things. One is we’re able to go to all of their meetings for free. They do quarterly meetings that are great for investors where you can go and meet a ton of operators there. There are a bunch of presentations. They do it nicely where the presentations are quick. We modeled our meetup after that. Some people were saying, “15 to 20 minutes is too short for presentations.” Maybe it is but I can tell you one thing. An hour is too long, especially when what we’re trying to do is meet people and network in the community.
We modeled that after Family Office Club. Ryan Stieg and I went down to New York in September 2022 for the first one that we went to. We will already have been to the one in Fort Lauderdale in December 2022. We’re excited about that. When we go to these meetings, we’re not only talking to new passive investors because there’s a lot there. A lot of them are high-net-worth people. You can learn a lot from those people because they’re more experienced. They have more capital to allocate. Sometimes they’re more intentional or more focused.
It’s interesting to hear from those people but we also get some great access to operators. That’s why we need to have a deal flow. In 2023, we’re going to have a lot more deal flow. We’re going to try to do more deal webinars systematically. There are going to be different types of deal webinars depending on how we got to know the partner and how well we know them.
Some of the deal flow that is coming from the Family Office Club is quality stuff that you wouldn’t be able to get to or we wouldn’t have access to as regular investors. That’s where Tribevest is also going to come into play because some of these Family Office deals are used to getting $1 million checks or $5 million checks. They’re not going to take a $25,000 check. That’s not going to happen.
How do we get access to these institutional quality deals? The regular person is doing their 401(k), IRAs and all that. Left fielders are irregular. We get access to other deals but even people that get access to the type of deals that we’re used to aren’t getting access to these Family Office type of deals with these high minimums. We wouldn’t either if it weren’t for Family Office Club and Tribevest giving us a vehicle.
Tribevest has come up with these single-entity tribes or single-investment entities. Tribevest will put it together, manage the tribe, be the founder and do all the work. All we have to do is commit and invest. What this type of operation will do is it’s going to allow us to get into deals like the Family Office Club where the minimum might be $1 million but it will also allow us to get into some other regular types of deals where maybe the minimum is $50,000 or $100,000 but it’s an asset class you’re not comfortable with or you don’t know about but you would like to try out.
We can put a tribe together. Let’s say the tribe doesn’t get off the floor. It doesn’t have $500,000 in it but maybe each investor can be in for $25,000. The minimum on that deal might be $100,000 or $50,000 but left fielders can get into it for less. Those are some of the things that we’re thinking about with the Family Office Club and Tribevest. In 2023, what are we doing? What are we planning?
We are a real business in Left Field Investors. We are still five guys, plus many more as I’ll talk about. We’re figuring stuff out but we have 1,200 people. We have to start being professional. What have we done? We have hired a bookkeeper. We have a marketing team and a web developer team. We launched the new Infield in June 2022. It’s not working as well as we would like.
We’re going to do a full reboot on the website, both the Infield and the regular part of the website. It’s going to be much better. We’re going to use the resources that we have. We are out shopping for people that can help us with this. Hopefully, by the end of the first quarter, we will have a new website and it will work much better and be able to grow with us.
In other things we’re doing for 2023, we are building a great team. I am pleased to say that Ryan Stieg and Chad Ackerman, both founders, will be devoting one or more days per week to LFI. As it is now, I do this five days a week. That’s my full-time job. All the other founders and all the other people that help us out do it when they can, when they come home from their W-2 or when they have time away from their W-2. They’re donating their time to this effort. We’re going to change that.
Ryan and Chad are slowly making the W-2 optional. Steve and Sean are still in their day jobs but they do a lot of work for us. They spend nights and weekends in the service of LFI. They’re going to continue to help. We are so grateful for all of them, Ryan, Chad, Steve and Sean. Thank you. Pat Wills is another guy that’s coming on. If he can swing it, he’s going to do it one day a week. He has already been amazing for us. He’s doing website stuff and crypto stuff. Every time my computer crashes or I don’t know what I’m doing technically, he takes my call. He’s so good. I appreciate him.
We have Eric Ward and Tyson Miller. They continue to be our utility players, jumping in whenever and wherever they are needed. If we have a webinar scheduled and one of the founders can’t do it, Tyson jumps in. Eric is helping immensely with Tribevest and helping them develop how they’re going to run tribes. These guys are doing a great job. We have Kate Joyner and Katie Schiffer working on some projects for us as well. Brian Piana continues to make logos for us and help.
This is great. We have so many people that are stepping in and helping us. We are so appreciative of it because they aren’t getting paid for this. They’re doing it for the community and all of us. We appreciate that. Some other things are happening and coming up in 2023. We are starting a women’s group in LFI. I’m not sure what they’re going to call it. We are supporting it. Some ladies in the group have agreed to get this going because sometimes I get it.
Women’s Group In LFI
In a lot of these investment groups, you look around and they’re all men. I can understand how sometimes that can be intimidating for some women. We’re going to have a women’s group. They will meet and have their meetings. We will help women get more comfortable with everything. I’m pleased about that. I’m not going to have much to do with that other than LFI as a group is going to support this wholeheartedly. Women can take it where they want it to go.
We’re going to have more deal webinars. We’re going to have more meetups now with Family Office Club because we’re going to have those quarterly meetings that they have. We’re going to try to go to as many of those as we can. When we’re at one of those, we’re going to try to have a cocktail hour or something for left fielders. It’s the same. We’re going to the Best Ever Conference in 2022. We’re hoping to have some cocktail hour or something with left fielders out in Utah as well. Keep your eye on the LFI calendar because all that stuff will be in there.
We’re going to have upgraded Infielder tools as I and Chad mentioned. Hopefully, we’re going to have some new tools and improved tools because our deal analyzer, for example, hasn’t been updated in eighteen months. I’m sure you’ve noticed that things have changed. Cap rates and a lot of other things have changed. We need to update those. We’re working with Vyzer to optimize what they’re doing. They are so receptive to us. We’re very appreciative of that because we tried to develop our tool to manage the syndications. It’s a portfolio tracker.
I was doing Excel for the longest time. That wasn’t working for me. We had a guy develop a web-based tool for us. It wasn’t good enough. It was okay but we couldn’t keep making upgrades to it. That’s when we ran into Vyzer. Immediately, I was like, “That’s the tool.” Vyzer also offers a discount on their membership to Infielders. That’s awesome but for me, it is so much easier to enter the data in Vyzer. I love it. The only thing I’m waiting for and they promise me it’s coming, is the way to look back on your historical cashflow because they’re projecting cashflow.
They have a great tool for projecting it but what I’ve tried to tell them is, “I don’t have confidence in knowing that all that cashflow is going to come in as pro forma. What I want to know is what happened. Did it meet pro forma? How much cashflow did it get last month? How much did it get last year?” That’s what’s going to enable people to think, “Here’s what’s happened.” That is a better predictor of the future than pro forma from the operators.
There’s a lot to do there but I’ve sent Vyzer pages of suggestions. Almost all of them have gone in. When we said, “We do this group investing with Tribevest,” they didn’t understand it, “What was that?” You can go in and put your ownership percentage into the tool in Vyzer. You can enter the whole distribution, not your share. It will calculate it all out for you. It’s phenomenal. If you’re using Vyzer, they love hearing feedback. They are so good at putting it in there.
I already mentioned the upgraded website. We might have a couple of different tiers of Infield memberships because we’re continuing to add some benefits. We’re going to look at all of that. There is so much going on for 2023. I wanted to reflect on how we got here and then give you a little bit of an idea of where we’re going. What a journey. It is the beginning. We have been around for a few years.
We are so thankful to be part of this growing community of Infielders, our partners, the founders and the members who have stepped up to help. Most of all, I’m thankful to everyone in the Left Field community. I’m thankful for you being part of this community. Thank you very much. We look forward to the next 101 episodes. The next time you will hear me on a solo episode on this show will probably be Episode 202 but you never know because we’re not conventional. We’re left fielders. We do whatever we do. That’s it for me. We will see you next time in the left field.
- Intelligent Investors Real Estate Conference
- Meetup in the Left Field
- Billy Keels – LinkedIn
- Family Office Club
- Best Ever Conference
About Jim Pfeifer
Jim Pfeifer is one of the founders of Left Field Investors and the host of the Passive Investing from Left Field podcast. Left Field Investors is a group dedicated to educating and assisting like-minded investors negotiate the nuances of the passive investing landscape and world of syndications. Jim is a former financial advisor who became frustrated with the one-path-fits-all approach of the standard financial services industry. Jim now concentrates on investing in real assets that produce cash flow and is committed to sharing his knowledge with others who are interested in learning a different way to grow wealth. Jim not only advises and helps people get started in passive real estate syndications, he also invests alongside them in small groups to allow for diversification among multiple investments and syndication sponsors. Jim believes the most important factor in a successful syndication is finding a sponsor that he knows, likes and trusts. He has invested in over 95 passive syndications including apartments, mobile homes, self-storage, private lending and notes, ATM’s, Bitcoin mining, commercial and industrial triple net leases, assisted living facilities, resorts, and international coffee farms and cacao producers. Jim is constantly looking for new investment ideas that match his philosophy of real assets producing cash flow as well as looking for new sponsors with whom he can build quality, long-term relationships.
Jim earned a degree in Finance & Marketing from the University of Oregon and a Master’s in Business Education from The Ohio State University. He has worked as a reinsurance underwriter, high school finance teacher, financial advisor and now works exclusively as a full-time passive investor. Jim lives in Dublin, Ohio with his wife, three kids and two dogs. In his free time, he loves to ski, play Ultimate frisbee and cheer on the Buckeyes.
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