108. Todd Dexheimer Presents Senior Housing and Multi-Family as Pillars of Wealth Creation

PILF 109 | Senior Housing


Todd Dexheimer, Principal of Endurus Capital and VitaCare Living, joins Jim Pfeifer to share how he found success in passive investing through multi-family deals as well as senior housing. He discusses the important differences between the two and the necessary market analysis in ensuring you have enough employees and target clients in running a senior housing property. He also talks about the one time he fixed and flipped a ski resort by figuring out all possible exits. “Make every day a Saturday” is one of Todd’s favorite taglines encompassing his philosophy of doing what he loves.

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Todd Dexheimer Presents Senior Housing and Multi-Family as Pillars of Wealth Creation

I’m excited to have Todd Dexheimer with us. He is the Principal of Endurus Capital and VitaCare Living He start investing in real estate in 2008. His companies own $500 million of multifamily, senior housing, and commercial real estate. He is also the host of Pillars of Wealth Creation, a great podcast that I recommend you listen to. As Todd would say on his show, “Now, Let’s get to it.” Todd, welcome to the show.

Thank you for having me on. I appreciate it.

I thought your little signature line there would make you feel more comfortable here. The way we start out with our show is just your financial journey. How did you get into real estate? How did you become a syndicator and operator? How did you get into the asset classes you’re in? If you could give us the overall overview, that’d be fantastic.

Speaking of signature lines, my ending line on my show is, “Make every day a Saturday.” I say that because every day feels like a Saturday because I absolutely love what I do every single day. It doesn’t feel like I’m working half the time. Sometimes I got to like stop myself because I’m like, “I’ve been working all day.” That’s what I’ve been doing.

I started out as a high school industrial tech teacher. I was teaching woodshop, metals, welding, and that type of stuff at a high school and middle school level. Honestly, it was day 1 or 2 after going to college that I got my full-time job. I said to my wife, “I got to figure out what I’m going to do when I grow up.” It wasn’t that. It didn’t feel good. It didn’t feel like it was the right fit.

I taught for about 5 years but 2 years into it, I started this real deep dive of, “What is my next step?” It got me into reading books and learning, growing, and figuring out, “I could do some of this real estate stuff.” I didn’t know exactly what it looked like, but I saw the benefit of creating passive income. I did it in a very active way so it wasn’t very passive. I started my real estate journey in 2007 and bought my first property in 2008. I started the process by buying single-family homes, duplexes, and stuff I could wrap my head around.

Frankly, as I was a teacher so I didn’t have money. We spent all of our life savings on the properties that we’ve purchased. It continued to snowball. We were able to do some refinancing and bring on passive partners and continue to grow. Through the course of my first seven years, I flipped over 100 houses, bought about 100 rental properties, and grew and scaled like that. Eventually, I went to larger-scale multifamily. We’re buying 100-plus unit buildings and senior housing. We have a little bit of commercial, but not a ton to diversify a little bit into some of those other asset classes. That’s the journey.

I was a teacher too and I had the same feeling. On the first day of school, I was like, “This isn’t what I thought it was.” I barely lasted for seven years but I’d had a career before that. I’m on career number five. It’s great to know that you found something that you’re passionate about and that you love what you’re doing. That’s such a huge help because it’s not work as people say.

Can you go back to when you were a teacher and you’re thinking, “This isn’t it for me. I need to find something else?” What was the decision-making process or how did you find real estate? When I was a teacher, I was looking for other jobs. I was thinking, “I got to get back to the jobs I was doing before,” but I didn’t like that. I didn’t want to work in the business so I didn’t know what I was doing. It took me a long time to find real estate and I found out about it in an accident. How did you figure out, “Real estate is what I’m going to take a swing at?”

Part of it goes back to my background. Ever since I was young, I always love to tinker with stuff. When I was in high school, my dad worked for a manufacturing company and they needed shipping crates so we would make these wood shipping crates. In high school, I was working remodeling construction. I was always in houses, buildings, and things like that so it fell natural to me. When I started reading these different business books and I’m like, “This is cool. I love the idea of being an entrepreneur doing that stuff,” and then all of a sudden, I’m stumbling into these real estate investing books.

I read the ABCs of Real Estate by Ken McElroy. That’s the book that started to turn the screws and it’s like, “This is possible. I can do this.” I’m a numbers type of person and so I was like, “This is cool. I can do this. I could replace my teaching income from this.” It was through discovery. As I said, I read a lot of different books. It wasn’t just real estate books, but once they started stumbling on the real estate books, it was like, “This is it.” I don’t know if there’s anything like crazy special about it. It caught my attention and it felt good. It felt like it was the place that I needed to be, and that’s it.

That makes sense to me. The thing that I’d like to ask you about because I am an avid skier and in fact, I’m heading out to go skiing. Did you flip a ski resort?

I flipped a ski resort. It sounds way cooler probably than what it is, but it was still pretty cool. We ended up stumbling upon this property. My business partner at that time was deer hunting on the property nearby and walking and trying to figure out where was this deer all moving around. It was on this property and then he saw the ski lifts and the big lodge. He is like, “What’s going on here?” He found and talked to the owner and he’s like, “I want to buy this place.” The guy was like, “This is like God’s speaking to me because my mom and I were talking about getting rid of this place. The timing couldn’t be better because we’re ready.”

We ended up buying it for $450,000 and I stuck a little bit of money into it, but not much, and sold it. I hung onto it for about a year, which was longer than what we needed, but we ended up selling it for $950,000. I did pretty well on the property. The only reason why we hung on it so long is because we were fantasizing about doing something. We thought, “We could turn it into this great wedding and event center. We could turn it into a snowboarding mecca.” This is a place in Minnesota and it’s a beautiful property, but it’s a small ski resort.

The guy that’s running it is doing weddings and events out of it. He’s got a big snow tubing hill. He did open it up this 2023 for skiing as well. It was quite a journey. I had tons of skis and snowboards. I give them away to people. We had the chair lifts so we had a couple that we got operating. It was a fun little deal, but it was more of a distraction than it probably should be. I was like, “Let’s just sell this to somebody who wants to do something.”

I know you’re not going to go into the ski resort flipping business, but there’s this opportunity. I assume you didn’t have any experience buying a ski resort, but you have the confidence or the guts to go and do something so different. Can you talk about your mindset at that time and what made you think, “I have 100 single-family homes, so why don’t I add a ski resort?”

I’ve done maybe not quite similar stuff but different things like that as well. We took some raw land and developed it. We’ve done a lot of different things. It’s all about opportunity and what I see as an opportunity. That’s what I saw. I looked at this property and it’s undervalued. It’s a gorgeous piece of real estate. It’s got a high potential for profitability for somebody.

For the purchase price we’re buying it, we’re not going to lose money. “What are the comps in the area?” We’re buying it undervalue and it’s got some assets like an 8,000-square-foot building on it and the chair lifts that we could have parted out and sold. Also, if we wanted to have timber on it, we could have done some tree removal. It had a lot of potential. It has a beautiful river running through it.

We looked at it and said, “This is a great property. We’re getting it for a price that makes so much sense. We can sell this at any time and make money.” Maybe, it doesn’t sell for $950,000, but maybe it sells for $650,000, $600,000, or $500,000 but we’re still making money. Anytime I look at something I look at, “What’s my downside? What’s the biggest risk? What’s the probability of that downside happening? Does that make sense? Is it worth that risk?” That’s how I look at every deal. Does it make sense to do and what’s the probability of failure on it?

I didn’t come on this show and just talk ski resorts the whole time, but you saw an opportunity and multiple different ways that you could accomplish your goal of making some money on it. Is it timber? Is it taking the lifts and selling them for parts? Is it doing a wedding venue? You could make it a hunting retreat and there are all kinds of things. It’s the mindset that we’re going after. When you see an opportunity, you have to envision what it could do for you. You did that and that’s cool.

I do want to get back to the real estate that you’re doing now. In some of the research, I’ve been doing, you are recommending or maybe looking at things like, “Why should someone not go in and buy 100 singles or a bunch of duplexes and quads? I’m not going to be a landlord instead I’m going to be a passive investor.” That’s where you’re going with that. Can you talk a little bit about that? Why should somebody not be an active investor in singles, quads, or duplexes?

I’m not going to tell anybody to not do it because you can go ahead and do it, but what you have to realize is what you’re doing. That’s the important part. You have to understand what your goals are. The vast majority of people that purchase real estate, they want to do it to create passive income. They think of it as an alternative to stocks, bonds, and stuff like that. They want passive income.

How many people go into the stock market thinking they’re creating a full-time job? You’re not going to the stock market to go buy Walmart. You’re buying stocks of Walmart and you’re watching Walmart do its thing. You’re not going to say, “I want to buy your company.” No, that’s not what you’re doing, but for some reason, in real estate, that’s what everybody decides to do. They’re like, “How do I get into real estate? I’m going to buy a duplex.” You’re buying a business. You have to understand that.

You got all these busy professionals that are making a lot of money and a lot of them love what they do. They have a busy family with husband, wife, or kids, and they’re looking to retire. They think the only way into real estate is to go buy a duplex or a single-family house. That’s the best way because they’ve got to have control. How much control do you have over Amazon stocks? Nothing. You don’t have any control, so why do you have to have control over your real estate?

You create this job and now you got your busy life, busy job, busy family, and got this freaking duplex that you hate because you got to go do showings, unclog the toilet, or stupid crap like that. That’s where you hear the people, “Tenant’s toilet is trash. I hate that business. Real estate sucks.” It’s because you did it wrong. You created a new job and you didn’t want a job. Instead, why don’t you passively invest in real estate?

There are a number of ways to do that. There are REITs, syndications, and hard money lending, which is a little more active. There are other ways to do it and you don’t have to bang your head against the wall with these stupid little duplexes, single-family houses, and all that stuff that frankly is probably going to not make you at nearly as much money. We can talk about details of why that’s not going to happen, but that’s my whole mindset behind that. There are so many people that are like, “I want to get into real estate. I want to get passive income,” so they go buy a bunch of single families and duplexes and then they wonder why it’s not passive.

If someone reading this and is considering buying a single-family home and they have a job, read that a couple of times. Had I known that before I got into buying my single-families and my small multis, I would’ve fast forward and gone right to passive which I didn’t know existed at the time. In fact, I thought buying a single-family home and having someone else manage it was passive. It is not passive.

What you said there is key. A lot of people don’t know that something else exists. That’s why they go and do it. The only reason they don’t know exists is because they’re naive and don’t read shows like this. There’s no reason in today’s day and age you can’t figure it out, but people don’t.

If you go on BiggerPockets, people there are going to tell you, “You got to be an active investor. You got to buy that single-family. You got to keep doing that, plugging away, do the BRRRR, and do all that.” There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not knocking on that but you said it, people don’t think you’re going to make as much money doing the passive as the pseudo-active or whatever. I can tell you from my experience that I make a lot more money now than I did managing my single-families. Can you tell me why you think people are going to make more money by hiring an asset manager rather than being their own asset manager, and buying all these single families?

The potential to make greater income with your own single-family or duplex is certainly there, but the potential for the higher probability is that you make the same or less with a lot more work. Most people aren’t projecting the true expenses the way they are. Let’s take a real scenario. A single-family home that I purchased that I got for a great price. I am making money on it because I got it in 2008 at the depths of the recession. I bought it for $65,000 and stuck a little bit of money into it. I’m cashflowing and I’m doing awesome on this property.

All of a sudden, I got to leak in the roof and I got to replace the entire roof. That cost me $6,000 roughly. Now, the price is going to be like $8,000 to $10,000. I don’t remember the exact timeline, but within 6 to 8 months, my water heater went out and I had to replace the water heater. Again, within 3 to 5 months, my furnace went out and I had to replace the furnace on that freaking property. Now, I got a roof, water heater, and furnace that I had to replace within just over a year. Closer to two years later, I had to replace the stove and refrigerator. Both went out pretty much on the same day. I’ve got all these expenses that snowballed and kicked my butt.

Happily, I’ve got nice reserves and other properties that I was able to move cash over to pay for this, but that property lost me money all these years in a row. When we add that up, I probably lost money for at least a decade on that property with zero cashflow. The only reason that property is still a good property is because I bought it for $65,000, but if I take a look at it now, my cash-on-cash return and IRR when I sell, it’s not that great. It’s a lot of freaking work to get there. That’s a real case scenario and that’s not going to happen to every property, but it can.

If you hold it long enough, you’re going to have to replace all those things. When you say it doesn’t happen to every property, you’re right, it doesn’t in the hold period, but it will if you hold it long enough. That’s part of the issue, right?

Hundred percent. I’ll give you another quick example. I had a single-family house where every time a tenant moved out, they would cause $8,000 to $15,000 worth of damage. This happened to me four times. Finally, I sold a property. I was making about $1,000 a month on the property, but when you count that, I’m making zero.

I’m convinced I’m going to be a passive investor, and so is the rest of my readers. We talk a lot about multifamily and you do senior housing as well. I’d like to concentrate on senior housing. Is it an operating business? Is it real estate? Is it both? Why are you in senior housing?

It’s certainly both. In my opinion, multifamily is both. A lot of people say it’s real estate but it doesn’t make money if you don’t operate it properly.

That’s a good point.

When we’re talking multifamily versus senior housing, it’s heavier on the operations. If I have a 100-unit building multifamily, I’ve got 2 or 3 staff on site depending on what I’m doing. They’re working 40 hours a week. With my senior housing, I have 60 to 80 employees. There are a lot of part-timers. It’s 24/7 staff for every 10 to 12 may be up to 15 people depending on the level of care. For every 10 to 15 people, I have to have one staff per person. You can see how it adds up. If I get 100 units, I got a lot of staff. You can see how that’s a big operation. There’s medical care, but our properties aren’t high medical care. We do have a couple of memory care. That’s a decent amount of higher medical care and a little bit different services, but it’s operations and a real estate business.

PILF 109 | Senior Housing
Senior Housing: Senior housing is heavier on operations than multifamily, and it usually requires more than 60 employees.


What’s the debt like on these properties? I know that’s the big scary thing. In all of the real estate now, everything’s uncertain. Debt is becoming an issue, at least in multifamily.

You can get a lot of similar products that you can in the multifamily world. There are three very common types of debts. First, you’ve got the SBA loans. Next, you’ve got local bank loans, and then last, you’ve got HUD loans. HUD is similar to multifamily HUD, with a couple of little different nuances but very similar. SBA as most people know is a Small Business Administration loan. Your local banks are your typical 25-year amortization, locked in for 5 to 10 years, recourse debt or partial recourse, that type of thing. Those are your three buckets pretty much.

Are these like the large 100-bed facilities or the 6 to 12-bed single-family home in the middle of a neighborhood type of thing?

Neither. I’m buying right in between there, but most of my properties are right around that. We have some 10 beds all the way up to 30 beds. It looks and feels like a home, but it’s a little bit bigger for some efficiencies.

When you’re talking about passive investing, I don’t know very much about senior housing other than I visited my grandma years ago in it. When you syndicated a deal, how do you know if it’s a good deal? Usually, we start with a sponsor, but let’s start with a deal. How do I analyze it? Are there some metrics that I should look for? In multifamily, I’m looking at breakeven occupancy, economic vacancy, and rent increases. What am I looking at for senior housing?

One of the bigger metrics is going to be your margin. You want to make sure you’ve got healthy margins because the tighter the margins are, the quicker it is to lose money. If I’ve got 10% margins, a couple of things go wrong, and I’ve got zero or negative margins. That’s not a good thing. If I’ve got 18% or 20%, which is a healthy margin in senior. It’s not like multifamily where you’re at 50%. We’ve got some room to have some weird things happen and we’re still, at least, breaking even hopefully ahead of the game. That’s number one.

Number two is demographics. We want to make sure we’ve got a good senior population right now and a good senior population that’s going to continue to come. Population growth is important, but it’s not nearly as important as understanding who’s already in that town and who’s coming into your buildings because population growth is good and we have to look at what population growth is. If we’re in Florida, we’ve probably got senior population growth. That’s awesome, but if we’re in Minnesota or Wisconsin where I am, we have a senior population leaving. What is that looking like? I’m not worried as much about the growth of these markets. I do pay attention to that, but the people that are typically coming into my markets are going to be younger people.

[bctt tweet=”You must have a good grasp of the population growth in a particular area if you want senior housing to succeed.” via=”no”]

What percentage of the elderly population is leaving my market? That’s important. I’m looking at the demographics, looking how that’s shifting, the percentage of people that are at the age to come into the senior housing, or getting towards that age. It’s a little harder to analyze, but you want to make sure that there’s enough staff. We’re looking at what’s the demand for nurses and anyone in the medical industry. Are the hospitals short? Are the clinics short? If there are not enough people to work there, you’re going to have problems keeping it full. It doesn’t matter what the demand is in the market if you can’t have people working there. You can’t keep the buildings full because legally you have to have enough people working.

Those are probably the three big main buckets, especially since it’s different than multifamily. As I’m analyzing the deal with numbers, multifamily and senior housing, a lot of the same things we’re looking at. It sells and buys at cap rate. It also buys on EBITDA. It goes back and forth about who’s selling and buying. We’re looking at NOI, growth, rental income growth, occupancy rates, and a lot of those same metrics.

Do you buy already existing properties or are you developing these?

I do.

It’s already existing. Is there a value-add component? Are you taking over in multifamily or mobile home parks where it’s a mom-and-pop that doesn’t know what they’re doing maybe or you’re making it more of a commercial operation rather than a mom-and-pop?

That’s typically our biggest value ad. A lot of the rents are controlled by the market. Although rents do get behind, it isn’t like multifamily where all of a sudden, you can do some renovations and raise the rents by 20% or 30%. It’s 10% or 15% at the most. We do some renovations and make it a little nicer.  That allows us to get more residents in and raise the rents a little bit.

[bctt tweet=”A lot of the rents are controlled by the market. Although they get behind, you cannot simply renovate and raise rents by 20% to 30%.” via=”no”]

For the most part, it’s just the operations side of it like implementing systems and processes, the right people in place, and that type of thing. It’s funny, we took over a property and they were using carbon copy for everything. They didn’t have computers. It’s implementing silly things like that and then changing the reputation. A lot of these places have poor reputations because they’re being operated poorly. Changing that reputation allows you to drive that occupancy up.

We’re talking about vetting the sponsor. A lot of this seems like you can compare to a multifamily but as you said, in a multifamily of a similar size, you might have 2 employees versus 80 employees. There are some different questions we need to ask sponsors. They have to be able to manage 80 employees. It’s a lot easier to manage two employees.

What are some of the questions or the things passive investors should look for when they’re vetting a sponsor? Left Field Investors strongly believe that the sponsor is the most important thing and then the deal or the market is probably a distant second. They’re similar, but you need a quality sponsor. How do I know you or whoever is the sponsor that I want to put my money into this senior housing asset class?

I agree with you. If they’re truly quality, they’re going to bring you deals that are solid and in good markets that are solid. If they check all the quality sponsor boxes, everything else probably falls into place. Not that you shouldn’t check on that other stuff, but as you’re thinking about it, “This is quality. Everything should align up.”

How do they manage? That’s important. Who’s managing this property? Is it third-party property management? Is it in-house property management? Either way, we want to vet that management. We want to understand what experience they have, what results they’ve had, and do they have in place to manage this new location because we need some regionals and there are a lot of people to be in place. What’s already in place with the current properties? What are the problems? It’s understanding what’s going on.

In some properties we buy, everything is pretty much in place. We’re almost buying on cap rate. We’re able to get some pretty good cap rate deals now. Some of it, we’ve got great operations already in place and we don’t have to do too much. We just have to put them into our system. Understanding the systems and processes that are in place and who’s driving the employee bus, and what leadership experience they have. It’s feeling comfortable and confident around that is something investors should be asking.

I do want to talk briefly about multifamily. Can you tell us what are you seeing as far as deal flow, quality deals, distress deals, or opportunities? I know you’re not in the hottest markets and I don’t mean that as a negative. I look at that as a good thing. You’re not in Dallas, Phoenix, and Atlanta. It seems like you’re in some of the Midwest, a few Southeasts like Tennessee, and some of the other stuff. Can you talk a little bit about the state of the multifamily market from your perspective?

The state of the market is different in every single market. You mentioned a couple of the hot places. Although those markets are very attractive in the future, I would be very nervous if I was a sponsor in Phoenix, Austin, you name it. Think about those that have 30% rent growth and now they’re seeing rent declines. Phoenix has 40,000 new units coming online and the absorption rate is about 11,000. When I think about markets like that and question, “What’s happening in those markets?” Those are long-term great markets. They might not be short-term great markets.

We are in markets that we feel short-term are going to be at least okay and long-term are going to be good. Maybe not quite as good as in Austin, Texas, or Phoenix where they’re going to see big population growth, but we feel like we’re very well-positioned. We’re in Columbus, Lexington, Louisville, and as you said Tennessee. We’re in markets like that. Deal flow is picking back up. It was dry there for a while. There’s still this margin between the sellers and the buyers. The sellers have expectations. They want to sell their properties for what they did in 2021 and the beginning of 2022. Buyers want to buy the properties for a discount because we’ve got high-interest rates and things are different. Anybody that’s projecting 6% or 8% rent growth is crazy. You got to be realistic.

I saw a deal that went out in Phoenix and they closed on it. They were projecting 8% rent growth. They told their investors 3%, but if you dove into the numbers, it’s 8%, and that’s crazy. You can’t be doing that now. You got to be more realistic. Stuff doesn’t go to the moon. There’s a reality that eventually things are going to settle back down and maybe don’t crash.

As far as distress goes, we haven’t seen any distress yet or very little. I do expect to potentially be some deals. We’ll see what happens though with interest rates and all that stuff. I do expect there to be some opportunities out there for smart money to come in and maybe infuse new equity, take over some deals, and some receiverships out there as well. We’ll see what happens with the market. It’s still TBD, but for the long-term, I’m excited about multifamily and for the short-term. I’m excited about potential opportunities that might come with some volatility in the market.

PILF 109 | Senior Housing
Senior Housing: There has been any or very little market distress right now. There has to be some opportunities out there for smart money to come in, maybe infusing new equity and taking over some deals.


Thank you for that. The last question I usually ask on the show is what is a great podcast that you’ll listen to? We cannot use Pillars of Wealth Creation. That’s a recommendation for our readers, so check that one out. It’s a great podcast. If you’re a podcast listener, what do you listen to?

There are a lot of them that I like. It depends on what you’re looking for like mindset, real estate, or whatever, but since we’re on a real estate show, I’ll keep it real estate. The one I like is America’s Commercial Real Estate Show. There’s no fluff. It’s a lot of data. It’s going to tell you what’s going on. It’s not just multifamily, it also talks about the office sector and the retail sector. They’re bringing in experts from all kinds of professional organizations to talk about statistics and what’s happening. It keeps you up to date. I like that because I love staying up to date. I love hearing what other people’s opinions are. Half of the people are wrong and half the people are wrong, but at least they’ve got an understanding of what’s happening around the market so we can analyze and think.

I have not heard of that one and I listened to a ton of podcasts. I’m going to check that one out. Thank you for that recommendation. How can readers get in touch with you if they want to connect? What’s the best way to do that?

I appreciate that. EndurusCapital.com is a great place to go. My email is Todd@EndurusCapital.com so they can reach me there. Otherwise, the Pillars of Wealth Creation. I’m on Facebook and LinkedIn, but if you’re going to connect with me on Facebook and LinkedIn, shoot me a DM as well and say, “I read you on Passive Investing from left Field,” and that way to connect with you. Otherwise, I’m bad at accepting friend requests.

This has been fantastic. I learned a lot. Thank you for allowing us to focus on senior housing. It’s an area of interest in our community. We’re always looking for more knowledge in those spaces. I appreciate your time. Thanks for being on. It was a pleasure.

Thanks for having me.

I enjoyed the conversation there with Todd. I love his line, “Make every day a Saturday,” and he talked a little bit about that because he loves what he does. That’s an advantage when you’re looking for a quality operator. You want someone who enjoys it. You don’t want necessarily a workaholic or someone that’s going to do it all the time, but if they enjoy doing it and end up spending a lot of their time there, they’re going to be a better operator than others because they love it.

The ski resort stuff, I had to jump in on that because I am an avid skier and I wanted to know what it’s like to buy a ski resort. I probably never would’ve sold it had I bought one, but the mindset around that was he saw an opportunity and went for it carefully. The key was he knew there were lots of exits. He looked at the property and said, “We could take the timber if we wanted to. We could take all the ski lifts and sell them for parts. We could turn the lodge into a wedding venue.”

There are so many different options for an exit, even though he had never run a ski resort or experience in that asset class, he figured out all of the exits or ways that make revenue from that gave him the confidence to go ahead and do it. That’s an interesting case study for a different asset class and none of us are familiar with it, but what can you do with it? There are so many different options. When you have lots of options, that sometimes can provide multiple exits and that’s the way that you make some money. That was cool.

I loved how we talked about stock investing. You’re not creating a job if you’re investing in the stock market. The comparison is that a lot of people decide, “I want to get into real estate,” and they have a W-2 or are busy with family and all this stuff. They go active in real estate maybe because they don’t know passive is an option. What they end up doing is they are buying a business and created themselves another job.

As we discussed, it’s a job that you probably won’t make as much money in as if you had done the passive route and found an asset manager because you have a W-2, a family, and all these things. You’re going to add one more thing on top of it. You’re not going to be awesome at that one thing as you are at the other thing. What I try to do now is use the expertise that I know I have and let other people use the expertise that I know they have. One of my expertise is not property management or asset management, which is why I hire others to do it. That’s what Todd was talking about.

I loved all the stuff he was talking about senior living, but one thing I wouldn’t have ever thought of is when you are doing a market study or market analysis, one thing you need to make sure of is there are enough medical professionals, assistance, and helpers in these facilities. You need to make sure that you have enough employees in your market to be able to handle that. It’s something that if you think about it, “Yes, of course,” but if you’re going, “It’s similar to multifamily,” you’re maybe not thinking of that. That was a powerful thing to know as well. I’m not going to use Todd’s signature exit, “Make every day a Saturday,” though I love that. I’m going to use the normal exit which is, I enjoyed the show. We’ll see you next time in the left field.


Important Links


About Todd Dexheimer

PILF 109 | Senior HousingTodd Dexheimer, Principal of Endurus Capital and VitaCare Living started investing in Real Estate in 2008. Today his companies own $500 million of Multifamily, senior housing and commercial real estate. Todd has completed over 150 flips, including a 20-unit mobile home park and a ski resort, while using those profits to build his rental portfolio. Today his focus is on syndicating value-add commercial real estate in emerging markets.

Todd is also the host of the podcast Pillars of Wealth Creation and is passionate about teaching others how to create a business and how to take control of their finances. Todd was a high school industrial tech teacher prior to investing.



Our sponsor, Tribevest provides the easiest way to form, fund, and manage your Investor Tribe with people you know, like, and trust. Tribevest is the Investor Tribe management platform of choice for Jim Pfeifer and the Left Field Investors’ Community.

Tribevest is a strategic partner and sponsor of Passive Investing from Left Field.

Chris Franckhauser

Vice President of Strategy & Growth, Advisory Partner

Chris Franckhauser, Vice President of Strategy & Growth, Advisory Partner for Left Field Investors, has been involved in real estate since 2008. He started with one single-family fix and flip, and he was hooked. He then scaled, completing five more over a brief period. While he enjoyed the journey and the financial tailwinds that came with each completed project, being an active investor with a W2 at the time, became too much to manage with a young and growing family. Seeing this was not easily scalable or sustainable long term, he searched for alternative ideas on where to invest. He explored other passive income streams but kept coming back to his two passions; real estate and time with his family. He discovered syndications after reconnecting with a former colleague and LFI Founder. He joined Left Field Investors in 2023 and has quickly immersed himself into the community and as a key member of our team.  

Chris earned a B.S. from The Ohio State University. After years in healthcare technology and medical devices, from startups to Fortune 15 companies, Chris shifted his efforts to consulting and owning a small apparel business when he is not working with LFI (Left Field Investors) or on his personal passive investments. A few years ago, Chris and his family left the cold life in Ohio for lake life in the Carolinas. Chris lives in Tega Cay, South Carolina with his wife and two kids. In his free time, he enjoys exploring all the things the Carolinas offer, from the beaches to the mountains and everywhere in between, volunteering at the school, coaching his kids’ sports teams and cheering on the Buckeyes from afar.  

Chris knows investing is a team sport. Being a strategic thinker and analytical by nature, the ability to collaborate with like-minded individuals in the Left Field Community and other communities is invaluable.  

Jim Pfeifer

President, Chief Executive Officer, Founder

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 100 passive syndications including apartments, mobile homes, self-storage, private lending and notes, ATM’s, commercial and industrial triple net leases, assisted living facilities 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.

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.

Chad Ackerman

Chief Operating Officer, Founder

Chad is the Founder & Chief Operating Officer of Left Field Investors and the host of the LFI Spotlight podcast. Chad was in banking most of his career with a focus on data analytics, but in March of 2023 he left his W2 to become LFI’s second full time employee.

Chad always had a passion for real estate, so his analytics skills translated well into the deal analyzer side of the business. Through his training, education and networking Chad was able to align his passive investing to compliment his involvement with LFI while allowing him to grow his wealth and take steps towards financial freedom. He has appreciated the help he’s received from others along his journey which is why he is excited to host the LFI Spotlight podcast and share the experience of other investors and industry experts to assist those that are looking for education for their own journey.

Chad has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a Minor in Real Estate from the University of Cincinnati. He is working to educate his two teenagers in the passive investing world. In his spare time he likes to golf, kayak, and check out the local brewery scene.

Ryan Steig

Chief Financial Officer, Founder

Ryan Stieg started down the path of passive investing like many of us did, after he picked up a little purple book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The problem was that he did that in college and didn’t take action to start investing passively until many years later when that itch to invest passively crept back up.

Ryan became an accidental landlord after moving from Phoenix back to Montana in 2007, a rental he kept until 2016 when he started investing more intentionally. Since 2016, Ryan has focused (or should we say lack thereof) on all different kinds of investing, always returning to real estate and business as his mainstay. Ryan has a small portfolio of one-to-three-unit rentals across four different markets in the US. He has also invested in over fifty real estate syndication investments individually or with an investment group or tribe. Working to diversify in multiple asset classes, Ryan invests in multi-family, note funds, NNN industrial, retail, office, self-storage, online businesses, start-ups, and several other asset classes that further cement his self-diagnosis of “shiny object syndrome”.

However, with all of those reaches over the years, Ryan still believes in the long-term success and tenets of passive, cash-flow-focused investing with proven syndicators and shared knowledge in investing.

When he’s not working with LFI or on his personal passive investments, he recently opened a new Club Pilates franchise studio after an insurance career. Outside of that, he can be found with his wife watching whatever sport one of their two boys is involved in during that particular season.

Steve Suh

Chief Content Officer, Founder

Steve Suh, one of the founders of Left Field Investors and its Chief Content Officer, has been involved with real estate and alternative assets since 2005. Like many, he saw his net worth plummet during the two major stock market crashes in the early 2000s. Since then, he vowed to find other ways to invest his money. Reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad gave Steve the impetus to learn about real estate investing. He first became a landlord after purchasing his office condo. He then invested passively as a limited partner in oil and gas drilling syndications but quickly learned the importance of scrutinizing sponsors when he stopped getting returns after only a few months. Steve came back to real estate by buying a few small residential rentals. Seeing that this was not easily scalable, he searched for alternative ideas. After listening to hundreds of podcasts and attending numerous real estate investing meetings, he determined that passively investing in real estate syndications was the best avenue to get great, risk-adjusted returns. He has invested in dozens of syndications involving apartment buildings, self-storage facilities, resort properties, ATMs, Bitcoin mining funds, car washes, a coffee farm, and even a Broadway show.

When Steve is not vetting commercial real estate syndications in the evenings, he is stomping out eye diseases and improving vision during the day as an ophthalmologist. He enjoys playing in his tennis and pickleball leagues and rooting for his Buckeyes and Steelers football teams. In the past several years, he took up running and has completed three full marathons, including the New York City Marathon. He is always on a quest to find great pizza, BBQ brisket, and bourbon. He enjoys traveling with his wife and their three adult kids. They usually go on a medical mission trip once a year to southern Mexico to provide eye surgeries and glasses to the residents. Steve has enjoyed being a part of Left Field Investors to help others learn about the merits of passive, real asset investments.

Sean Donnelly

Chief Culture Officer, Founder

Sean holds a W2 job in the finance sector and began his real estate investing journey shortly after earning his MBA. Unfortunately, it could not have begun at a worse time … anyone remember 2007 … but even the recession provided worthy lessons. Sean stayed in the game continuing to find his place, progressing from flipping to owning single and multi-family rentals to now funding opportunities through syndications. While Sean is still heavily invested in the equities market and holds a small portfolio of rentals, he strongly believes passive investing is the best way to offset the cyclical nature of traditional investment vehicles as well as avoid the headaches of direct property ownership. Through consistent cash flow, long term yield and available tax benefits, the diversification offered with passive investing brings a welcomed balance to an otherwise turbulent investing scheme. What Sean likes most about the syndication space is that the investment opportunities are not “one size fits all” and the community of investors genuinely want to help.

He earned a B.S. in Finance from Iowa State University in 1995 and a MBA from Otterbein University in 2007. Sean has lived in eight states but has called Ohio home for the last 20+.  When not attending his children’s various school/sporting events, Sean can be found running, golfing, shooting or fly-fishing.

Patrick Wills

Chief Information Officer, Advisory Partner

An active real estate investor since 2017, Patrick Wills’ investing journey began like many others – after reading the “purple book” by Robert Kiyosaki. Patrick started with single family rentals, and while they performed well, he quickly realized their inability to scale efficiently while remaining passive. He discovered syndications via podcasts and local meetups and never looked back. He joined Left Field Investors in 2022 as a member and has quickly become an integral part of the team as Vice President of Technology.

An I.T. Systems Engineer by trade, he experienced the limitations of traditional Wall Street investing firsthand in his career and knew there had to be a better way to truly have financial freedom.

Unfortunately, that better way is inaccessible to those who need it most. His mission is to make alternative investments accessible to everyone who seeks to take control of their financial future and to pursue their passions in life.

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