<!–mep-nl–><h1>Nice to Meet you …!</h1><!–mep-nl–>You’re probably wondering how to get started with multi-unit property investing, or you want to take your investing ambitions to the next level. You may be frustrated or overwhelmed at the idea of buying a 10 unit, 50 unit or 100 unit. Maybe you don’t have experience or enough money to make that first step.<img class=”alignright wp-image-1222 size-medium” src=”http://ultimateapartmentinvestingguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/About-Michael-Thumbnail-300x224.jpg” alt=”About Michael” width=”300″ height=”224″ /><!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>I’d like to show you how to become an active apartment building investor, even if you don’t have money, good credit, or experience. I have a TON of free material to get you get you started. C<span style=”color: #353535;”>heck out all of my free articles on </span><a style=”color: #1d41b7;” href=”http://www.themichaelblank.com/blog/”>TheMichaelBlank.com/blog</a><span style=”color: #353535;”> as well </span><a style=”color: #1d41b7;” href=”http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/author/michaelblank/”>The Bigger Pockets.com</a><span style=”color: #353535;”>. When you run out of stuff to read, please </span><a style=”color: #1d41b7;” href=”https://www.youtube.com/user/ApartmentInvesting”>watch the videos on my Youtube channel</a><span style=”color: #353535;”> and listen to my </span><a style=”color: #1d41b7;” href=”http://www.themichaelblank.com/podcasts/”>podcasts</a><span style=”color: #353535;”>.</span><!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>I think apartment building investing is one of the best ways to achieve your financial goals. It’s easy to get loans for it, it’s repeatable, and teachable — more so than any other business in the world. I would like the opportunity to teach you to buy apartment buildings with a focus on raising money from others. Will it be hard? Yes. Will it be work? You betcha. Will it be worth it? Absolutely.<!–mep-nl–><h3>More About Me …</h3><!–mep-nl–>My passion is being an entrepreneur and helping others become (better) entrepreneurs. My focus is buying apartment buildings by raising money from private individuals. I’ve been investing in residential and multifamily real estate since 2005 and began syndicating deals in 2010.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>I helped start a software company that eventually went public. I flip houses, own commercial real estate and operate pizza restaurants. I enjoy starting and growing companies, I love making sense of chaos and taking calculated risks. I especially enjoy the “art of the deal”: raising private money and putting deals together.<!–mep-nl–>I enjoy in equal measure teaching. I have taught computer science courses, financial literacy classes to adults and children, and courses on how to buy apartment buildings. Because of my experiences as an entrepreneur in different businesses, I feel I can help others gain the knowledge and confidence to take the first steps as an entrepreneur, or to become better at what you’re already doing as an entrepreneur.<!–mep-nl–>If you care to read on, here is more about my story.<!–mep-nl–><h3>My Story</h3><!–mep-nl–>I’m an entrepreneur at heart, but it took me a while for me to figure that out.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>I have a computer science degree and after several years of working for larger companies (including AOL) I took the leap and joined a software startup called webMethods. We started by developing software products that sold for $100′s per license and later sold sophisticated business integration software that sold for millions. We went from a group of three out of our CEO’s basement to 1,300 employees worldwide. WebMethods had one of the most successful IPO’s in 2001.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>Because we were growing so quickly, I spent very little time programming software and most of my time interviewing and managing people. I had a development team in California as well as in Virginia. I spent six months in Germany developing a product with a partner.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>After about four years, I felt like I wanted to start and run my own software company one day, but I only had experience with software development. I wanted to learn marketing and sales. I convinced my CEO to support my experiment, and so I spent the next two years in marketing, dreaming up and executing innovative lead generation programs.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>I then convinced our President to let me try my hand at actually selling software. I read every sales book I could get my hands on and attended a high-tech sales boot camp. I then created a target list and started hitting the phones. By the time I left a year later, I had sold $50,000 of software and had a $400,000 pipeline. It was the hardest job I have ever had, but I learned stuff about selling I still use to this day.<!–mep-nl–>By this point, the culture of the company had changed radically from the good ol’ start up days, and I felt my excitement waning. After 8 awesome years, I parted ways with an experience I will never forget.<!–mep-nl–>I took some time off to travel with my wife, and when I came back, I networked with venture capitalists and software entrepreneurs, searching for that next software product to bring to market.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>Despite my best efforts, I just couldn’t find anything that excited me.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>As they say, when one door closes, another one opens.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>I read the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and I was like, “Man, where has this been all my life?! Passive income is what I need, not money in the bank!”<!–mep-nl–>So I abandoned my plans for the next software IPO and decided to pursue “passive income” through real estate and the restaurant business.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>On the real estate side, I decided to flip houses. I read books and signed up with a local mentor. From my first direct mail campaign, I purchased two properties that I rehabbed and sold for a $110,000 profit. After doing a few more deals, I took a couple years off because I was getting busy with the pizza restaurants. I things settled down a bit, I rehabbed 30 properties from 2010 to 2012, financed by loans from private individuals.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>At the same time I got started with the real estate, I also launched my restaurant venture. I signed up with a high-end pizza franchise and opened up our first location in Alexandria, VA in 2006. Within two years, we had 6 locations. We had bought two existing locations and improved the sales by 50%, but the recession hammered all locations, especially these two, and I was fortunate to sell them both for a hefty loss in 2009.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>In 2007 I launched my apartment investment career by attending an apartment building boot camp. This was OK to get me started but I didn’t love it. Regardless, I subsequently began searching for deals in Texas, and after evaluating nearly 60 deals, I nearly bought an 81-unit in College Station (home of Texas A&amp;M University) but decided against it because I was getting too busy with the restaurants. I also learned that investors really prefer something more local, something they could drive to if they wanted to.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>While I did have a financial leg up because of my IPO proceeds, my investing career didn’t really mature until I ran out of my own cash. It’s not too difficult to do stuff with your own money, and frequently you do things you probably shouldn’t do. It’s when you don’t have any more of your own cash when investing with other people’s money opens up new doors.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>In 2011 I bought my first commercial property with a group of investors. It was a 12-unit apartment building in an up-and-coming area of NE Washington, DC. After I got into the deal, it nearly nearly broke me, read more about it here. In 2012 I syndicated the purchase of two restaurants with another group of investors, bringing us back up to six units.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–><img class=”wp-image-1224 size-medium” src=”http://ultimateapartmentinvestingguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/IMG_0241-300x224.jpg” alt=”Family” width=”300″ height=”224″ /> The family at Patriots Point in Charleston SC<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>Aside from my entrepreneurial ventures, I enjoy teaching and motivating others to move beyond their comfort zones to live the lives they were meant to live.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>I developed and taught an adult education class for a couple of years that was loosely based on Rich Dad Poor Dad – we used the Cashflow 101 game as a learning tool, and people loved it. I spear headed the roll out of the Good Sense financial counseling program at our local church and continue to help people become better with their personal finances. I teach and coach others how to purchase their own apartment building with money raised from private individuals. Teaching others while doing my own deals allows me to constantly learn and improve myself also.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>Other things you may not know about me: I hold a Masters degree in Computer Science from the College of William and Mary. I’m fluent in German (I’m actually from there) and conversational in Spanish. I play tennis competitively, love to travel, and started bow hunting several years ago. I live in Northern Virginia with my wife and four children.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>&nbsp;<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>