Alex Babayev – From Young Novice to Over 100 Houses Flipped in Atlanta

Subscribe to our podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts:

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PODCAST:

0:36 – How Alex got started in real estate
4:00 – What prompted Alex to want to have a rental?
7:33 – How does Alex continue to educate himself?
8:48 – Progression of Alex’s investments throughout the years
10:44 – Trends in the past 5 years in Atlanta
20:21 – Best places to invest in Atlanta
22:56 – The Smyrna property breakdown

FULL TRANSCRIPT OF THE PODCAST AUDIO:

Alex Babayev:
The key, that networking key is unbelievable because the power that you get from connections, from just one reference that somebody introduced me to like a bank contact, completely changed my real estate investing career.

Spencer Sutton:
All right, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the Atlanta Real Estate Investor. I am excited to be here with you today, and I’ve got a special guest. I’ve got Alex Babayev here with us, and Alex, man, welcome to the show.

Alex Babayev:
Thank you. Great to be here.

Spencer Sutton:
Well, listen, Alex is the founder of Aral Properties in Atlanta, and I just want to dive straight in Alex because I think you’ve got a really interesting story. And so why don’t you give us a little bit of a backstory of how you got to Atlanta and why you decided to make Atlanta your home, specifically when we’re talking about real estate investing.

Alex Babayev:
Yeah, sure. So I moved to Atlanta my senior year of high school and my family basically came out here to visit one of their friends. And this was right before the recession, like 2005 timeframe. And they saw that they can get a brand new house out here in Atlanta for $300,000. So we sold our small like nasty shack in San Diego, California for like $650,000. And right after my father sold it, the market of that house went to $400,000, $350,000, $250,000. So multiple people foreclosed on it. He sold it at the perfect time. So basically I was only 17, so I ended up in Atlanta sort of forced, but it’s been the greatest thing that ever happened to me because it put me into the market where the past 15 years has been a complete upswing in Atlanta. And I couldn’t have accomplished what I have accomplished in Atlanta, in California or in one of these other more expensive markets. It’s just not feasible with starting off with the small capital.

Spencer Sutton:
Yeah. That’s so true. So you landed in Atlanta, did you say 2007?

Alex Babayev:
Yeah. 2006, 2007. Yeah.

Spencer Sutton:
2007. So then the recession hit 2008, 2009. So that was a great time, right? So you’re not investing in the market just yet, but Atlanta hits kind of bottom, gets rocked with the recession. So when did you start your investing career in Atlanta? What did that look like?

Alex Babayev:
My first investment that I actually made was when I was 21 years old in college. I bought my first property from hudstore.com. Some listeners may remember that. Over there, it was like a government portal where they gave preference to primary residence occupants, not for investors. So I found one bedroom, one-bathroom condo for $11,000. And it sounds like a joke right now, but back then, 2011, these were the prices. I mean, you could get single family homes in Atlanta for $45,000 $50,000 all day long. So I got my first condo for $11,000 and that’s sort of how it happened. Then I bought another one for $17,000, another one for $19,000. So those were just the prices back then.

Spencer Sutton:
When you bought that one and you said they gave preference to owner occupants, is that something that you moved into, the condo or did you just say, hey, I’m going to buy it?

Alex Babayev:
Correct. Yeah. I moved in there myself actually. So I didn’t want to pay rent. I was living with my parents and I wanted to be closer to Georgia State University. So this helped me eliminate my commute that was like, I had to go on the train and go to school. It took like an hour, hour and a half. So this put me basically 20 minutes away from school. So that’s why I did physically move into there. I lived there for like a year and then I turned it into a rental eventually.

Spencer Sutton:
And I get that. What prompted you to decide, I want to have a rental? What made that decision?

Alex Babayev:
Growing up here through my high school years and going to college, I would spend time, like I said, on the train back and forth and commuting to go to college. And I would always listen to Suze Orman, Clark Howard, Dave Ramsey, all these personalities on the radio. Back then, there were no such things really as podcasts. There wasn’t such thing as YouTube. So we literally had like, I think then we had like our iPods and basically FM, AM radio. So that’s who was on the channels back then. So that’s who I would listen to and pick up on and I would watch CNBC and I would read Forbes. And basically I just got an interest for real estate because literally when I read people’s biographies, you could see that the majority of the wealth came from the real estate side. Even if they had a business, they were still pumping money into real estate. My degree, that was accounting, finance and then I got my master’s in tax, so being in that field also, you could see the tax benefits right away. You could see all the depreciation benefits. So it was just sort of stuff started clicking as I was delving around that area.

Spencer Sutton:
I think that’s really interesting because a lot of people, a lot of successful investors… As a matter of fact, I just got done interviewing one not long ago. He’s further along than both of us are. He’s built a very, very successful business, but he talks about in the beginning, there were no podcasts. There were no audio books. I mean, he was just learning as best he could. And so a lot of it was things like you’re talking about, but then radio. But then he would also go and meet with people and he would ask to be mentored. He would ask them questions. He would spend his time trying to figure out and ask them, how are you doing what you’re doing?

Alex Babayev:
That’s key right there. So I was always like the youngest person on all the networking events when I was 20, 21, all the way up to like 25. I would go to every single event. Anything that had a tag, real estate on it, I was there. I was at that event. It is weird sometimes because you’re talking, I don’t know, to like a 40, 50-year-old men sometimes, but there are a lot of people who are willing to help. And to this day, right now, these people sort of remember me from when I used to meet them back in the day at all these events. So it’s funny, like when we meet and talk, but the key, that networking key is unbelievable because the power that you get from connections, from just one reference that somebody introduced me to like a bank contact, completely changed my real estate investing career because they got me lines of credits that I wouldn’t have been able to have if I didn’t meet the vice president of this bank. So it’s amazing. Basically, I always say, you’re one connection away. Just like you’re one deal away in real estate from hitting a home run, you’re one connection away also.

Spencer Sutton:
That’s so true. I mean, and all the successful investors I know when I started in 2003, it was just like, you’re talking about, Alex. I was going and meeting as many people as I could. I wanted to learn as much as I could because I knew they were much further along. And what you do find in this real estate community is that people are willing to help. If you come with a sincere attitude of, hey, I’m looking to grow, I love Atlanta, I want to invest in Atlanta, people will actually be generous. They may not give away all their trade secrets, but they’ll definitely help you out and get you further than you could go by yourself.

Alex Babayev:
Yep.

Spencer Sutton:
Because now we do have podcasts. Now we do have access to all of these great things. There’s a lot of people out teaching real estate. Are you still learning today? How are you still educating yourself?

Alex Babayev: 
Yeah. So it’s unbelievable. I mean, I’ve done over 100 flips. Literally, every month I’ll see something that I haven’t seen before. Now I’m delving into also the commercial real estate space, shopping centers and stuff like that. So that’s completely new to me. I’ve started doing multi-family, small multi-family units, flipping those buildings. That was new to me. So I feel like there is literally no way to know everything about real estate because the vast diversity of industry to industry, from senior assisted living to storage units to RV parks, it’s just unbelievable. There’s no way to know everything. So that’s why I’m constantly learning and delving into like a new podcast or something. I just bought a syndication book from Joe Fairless. He put it on like a textbook basically on how to do it. So it’s amazing and unbelievable what you can learn because it’s so diverse.

Spencer Sutton:
Yeah. That’s great. And so talk to me a little bit about the progression. So you started out with this one rental, this one bedroom, one bath condo, and then you said, hey, this real estate stuff, as I’m learning it in college, it’s making a lot of sense. This is how people build wealth. What was your progression from that point to, I mean, you just mentioned that you’ve done 100 flips? Talk to me about, did you continue building rentals? Did you just immediately go into flips, wholesaling? Talk to me a little bit about your progression.

Alex Babayev:
So the progression went, I started these small condos, I bought two of them with a partner. Then I continued going from condos to townhouses to single family houses to a duplex to a quadruplex. So it sort of transitioned like that on the rental side. But what you have to do is you have to generate the big pops of income, which I realized comes from the flipping side. So I basically would do these flips and pump all my money back into the rentals. And that’s basically been my progression. And as you develop, you realize that the flipping game is just a big tax liability for short-term capital gains. So you start to see that the true wealth in this business are owning rental properties.

Alex Babayev:
As you pick up on that and see the benefits that you get from owning these rentals, your goal becomes, I want to own rentals. And flipping is sort of just a means to buy more rentals because it’s not easy to do and not everybody does it well, and not everybody is profitable doing it. I see that a lot when people come to me and try to sell me a deal that they’re upside down on and some deals we’ve bought; you can see them on the MLS or wholesaler selling where they just are below their budget. The hard money lender has no more money to give them. So that’s been the progression, do some flips and keep buying rentals basically.

Spencer Sutton:
Yeah. That is so true. So talk to me about, as you built your rental portfolio and as you’ve used flips to fund that, what are the trends, what are you seeing in Atlanta maybe over the past five years? Because we all know that the market is incredibly competitive right now. Right. Probably more competitive than we’ve ever seen it. But you still have people, Alex, just like you were 15 years ago, you still have people who want to start in real estate. What kind of trends have you seen over the past five years in Atlanta?

Alex Babayev:
Yeah. So what we’re seeing is compression of margins, complete compression of margins. The material cost is out of control for us on our projects. We used to pay around $2.50 to $3.50 for a 2×4. Right now, today, a 2×4 at Home Depot is $5.07, plus tax, you’ve $5.50 for one 2×4. Everything has gotten a price increase. We had President Trump who had the China tariffs. So when we were importing stuff, for example, we were paying these tariffs also when we were buying in bulk different items. So the trends are a complete compression of margins. So we used to look at $100,000 spreads; $50,000 for innovation and $50,000 for gross profit. Now, there are people and I see it daily I’m hunting the deal basically.

Alex Babayev:
And they’re going after these margins where they think they can get away with buying something that has a $50,000 spread only. So at the end of the day, you can be upside down very fast because after the realtor commission, the short-term capital gains, all you need is one thing to go wrong that you didn’t budget for. And you thought you were going to make $10,000 to $15,000 on this deal, but you could be upside down. So for me, for those getting in, I would caution because if the margins are not there… Right now, I’m taking it easy on the flip. I only have one flip right now. Usually I have three to four flips and the reason is because I’m not chasing it. And that happens because I’m comfortable on my rental side. I don’t need the flips right now, basically.

Alex Babayev:
And just be careful if you do it. I say it right now, like people who I’m mentoring and consulting, if you don’t have your crews established, if you don’t have your material pricing established, you will get squashed. People always ask me, hey, what did it cost you to do that flip? And I always answer, it’s irrelevant what it costs me because you can’t buy cabinets at the kind of price I’m buying. You won’t buy granite at what I’m buying. Your labor costs won’t be what I’m paying. So you have to sort of look at these people who you see, who are showing you their numbers, even on HDTV, commonly gets picked on. And when you see they’re doing a flip and if they’re spending $50,000, when you get out in the field, doesn’t mean you’re going to be spending $50,000 because some of these people work directly for us. And I GC my own jobs as well. So if you are trying to do your first or second flip and on top of that, the margin compression, you’re hiring a GC to do everything, well, there goes another 10%, 15% you’re giving away right away to what the GC is going to mark up the materials and labor.

Spencer Sutton:
Yeah, 100%. And I would just say, Alex, you hit on something that we talk about a lot in our company at Evernest and also when we’re talking to other investors, and we see the most successful investors. You said, don’t go out hunting and chasing those deals that don’t make sense. And the temptation is to, like investors want to swing and hit home runs every single time. So what happens is you start talking yourself into buying something that may be in the back of your mind you know you probably shouldn’t, or it’s more risk than you want to take on, but you know what, I’ve just got to do it. I’ve got to have that property. I would say to Alex’s point, for all of our listeners out there, it’s all about hitting singles and just taking your time. It is a get rich slow business. And now is not the time to probably be taking risks when margins are so compressed.

Alex Babayev:
Yeah. I mean, I always say, the first, second, third, fourth deal, won’t make you rich in real estate. If you break even, make a small profit, you should be thankful. But as you become more experienced and more knowledgeable, like you said, I mean, we’ve had flips that make us $75,000. Our average flip in Atlanta is $45,000 to $50,000. The lowest profit we ever made was $17,500. So that’s just to give you a range. So that’s another thing. When you see these people putting out these numbers on HDTV, they’re making $120,000, $150,000 per flip, I have never seen that. I mean, I have seen that from my friends, they blow the top and add an addition, a second level, or they add a whole backside of a house, but doing a regular rehab, leaving the same footprint and just changing the cabinets, flooring painting, HVAC, never have I seen those types of crazy margins ever in Atlanta. And that’s why I tell people right away, my margins are lowest $17,500, highest was $75,000, but we’re always coming in that $45,000 to $50,000. So be careful what people tell you because I’ve never seen it myself.

Spencer Sutton:
Yeah. And if you’re just getting started out, this is a great point. So what Alex has been saying is, hey, I used to be doing three and four flips every single month or at a time. And now I’ve got one going. So what he’s done is he’s pulled back… Everything is compressed, profits compressed. He’s pulled back his buying. He’s taking his time. So if you’re a new investor, I just want to say, we always talk about don’t quit your day job. Right. Don’t just jump into the market, especially if you don’t have a lot of capital behind you. So don’t quit your day job because you can do one flip. You can afford to do one flip every quarter and still learn a ton and still make money and make a profit. I would rather do that, one a quarter or one every six months than to over leverage myself and get stuck in some deals that are going to be tough to get out of frankly.

Alex Babayev:
Let’s talk about that because I come from that background where I worked in corporate America for around eight years, right? So I always had a motto of, get to $10,000 a month in passive income and cash flow. So when I was able to achieve that, that’s when I left corporate America. I left like two or three years ago, but all of this is possible, building this real estate empire while working. And I say that, while you have that W-2 income, use that to its full advantage because once you give up that W-2 income, you become useless to these banks. They don’t care if you made $500,000 or $1 million. To them, it’s inconsistent income. First of all, these banks still have sour taste in their mouth about real estate. When you come into the bank and you ask them for a line of credit or anything related to real estate, they already hate real estate investors.

Alex Babayev:
And especially if you go to the big guys, Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo. You might as well not even walk in. They don’t want to see you or hear you over there when you’re trying to ask for money, especially for real estate. So I used my W-2 job to its full potential. When I achieved my goal, that’s when I left. But just like you said, it is possible. I was flipping on the side. I was working nine to five and I was able to create systems and use technology. I would have Home Depot deliver the products. I would email vendors. And it is possible to do flips while you’re working full time at a desk job.

Spencer Sutton:
Yeah, 100%. I mean, to me, that’s the key, is just like you’re saying, take your time, ease your way out of it. We had another guest on here, Michael Zuber, who has a book out, One Rental at a Time. And that’s how he did it. He kept his W-2 job until he built up the passive income to replace his income and replace his wifes. So Alex, you said you’ve been investing for about 15 years.

Alex Babayev:
11, yeah.

Spencer Sutton:
11 years. Okay. So 10, 11 years. And just over the past four years, you’ve been full-time?

Alex Babayev:
Last three years I’ve been full-time, yes.

Spencer Sutton:
Yeah. And Alex is extremely successful. Over 100 flips. To me, that’s the model. That’s the way to do it.

Alex Babayev:
Yeah. So again, the flips are all right, the true wealth in this business as the rental properties. Nothing beats the rental properties and all the benefits you get from that.

Spencer Sutton:
So another really important point from this podcast that Alex is pointing out is, before you get into it, know what you want to do. Have goals. So Alex had a goal. Once I get to $10,000 in passive income per month, that’s when I’m going to step out. I’ll just be honest. When I started in 2003, I didn’t have a goal. All I wanted to do was wholesale houses. I was looking for that quick buck and it took me two or three years to finally understand that, man, every time I get a bit of oxygen by wholesaling a house, I kind of stepped back and I breathe, I’m like, yeah, I’ve got some room, and then another 30 days and that money is gone. So that’s when I started thinking about rentals, the importance of buying rental houses. So really great points. So Alex, let’s drill down a little bit. You’ve got some great experience in Atlanta, specifically. I want you to talk to me about some of the best places that people should be looking for properties in Atlanta. Maybe there are some up-and-coming areas. Maybe there are some developments going on. What are you seeing in the Atlanta market today in 2021?

Alex Babayev:
Right now, we have huge development going on in Cobb County and I sort of jumped on this tread early. I started with Mableton, Georgia because what happened was, I was booming in Smyrna, Georgia, which for those not familiar, it’s 10 miles away from Mableton. But then the Braves stadium came there, right? So all of my prices went upside down. So houses that I was buying for $125,000 to $150,000 were going for basically $250,000, $300,000 even. So we identified the pocket. What is the nearest area to Smyrna for people who can’t afford Smyrna anymore? So we identified Mableton and I started doing the first flips there. And to this day, we’re still attacking Mableton, doing multiple deals out there and it’s been successful to us. But I don’t like anything personally by the airport, south side Atlanta, over there. I invest in Cobb County, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Norcross, Marietta, Woodstock. Those are basically my specialties.

Alex Babayev:
And literally in Atlanta, I’ve never had a vacancy. If something I have goes for rent, it’s rented within 14 days. So that’s the beauty. And I’ve had stuff all the way in the middle of nowhere in Cedartown, all the way down to Covington. So the beauty of our market is that if you can identify a good deal, you will not have a problem renting out the house. Now, some people may have a problem because I see some of these pictures that they post of their rental properties and how nasty they look. But I’m talking about, if you do a nice renovation, rental grade renovation. All of my rental properties have granite countertops have backsplash. We make them look nice. We don’t say, this is a C area, we’re not going to do that. I’m talking about, from my perspective, I’ve never had any vacancy more than 14 days. Everything rents in Atlanta. There’s crazy demand, both on the long-term side and on the short term rental side. So you should be safe anywhere you buy really in Atlanta.

Spencer Sutton:
Yeah. That’s great. That’s great advice. Great insight. So you mentioned Smyrna. And so what I’d like to do is we talked about this. We were texting last night about potentially kind of walking through some numbers. Now we’re going to talk about, this is a flip. This isn’t one of your rentals, but I’d love to maybe walk through this property that you sent me last night. One that you’ve recently done. And in the show notes for this podcast, I’m going to put the Zillow link to this property so you can actually see the work that Alex is doing. But this is a house in Smyrna, Georgia, 21 Valley Forest Lane, Southeast. Talk to us about this property, Alex. I’d like to know, maybe even kind of from the very beginning because everybody’s always interested. So when an investor gets into the game, into the market, the two biggest things that they’re thinking about is, how do I find houses? How do I found find properties to buy at discount? And then how do I find the funding? So talk to us even a little bit about how you found this property and walk us through what you did to it, the renovations. What your mindset was? Why you knew it was a good deal? And just kind of walk us through.

Alex Babayev:
Well, this particular area, I did five houses around this area within a mile, mile and a half previously, when I told you I used to do a lot in Smyrna. So this property, I paid $215,000 for it. It’s a single family ranch. And I used to buy, like I said, these houses for around $125,000, but the prices have just gone up in that area significantly. I was willing to pay $215,000 for it, even though I was a little uncomfortable doing that because previously looking at my history, I’ve seen what I paid within a mile there.

Spencer Sutton:
Yeah. Right.

Alex Babayev:
I got this from a realtor. He’s like an older guy and he is a realtor and he sold me several houses before. So I always buy, close quickly. I don’t do any renegotiation, nothing. So he’s been fair to me and I’ve been fair to him. So one of his friends contacted him and said they want to list this property. He contacted me and said, I’m going to list it. Do you want to see it before we list it? So I go out there, I see it. It was a rental property for like 10 years previously. And the owner is out of state in Florida. It wasn’t horrible, but it was just a rental property for 10 years. We bought it for $215,000. It was a three, two. So right away, I started to identify the value. I had a comp on the corner that was a little larger, that sold for $380,000. So my initial goal was to list this for $320,000. So I bought it for $215,000. My goal was to sell it for $320,000. Remember I said, I like those $100,000 spreads.

Alex Babayev:
So this property fit into that criteria. Basically, the way it was set up was it was choppy. It had three separate rooms. It had living room, wall, kitchen, wall, dining room, wall. So we completely modernized and opened the whole entire floor plan to giving it that modern open space. Previously the laundry room was in the garage, so we brought that inside and created a nice laundry space. We added a half bathroom to the house because previously you had the master bathroom sort of had another door to the living room. So the guests were basically sharing the master bathroom. So we utilized the exact same interior footprint. After doing this for so long, I can basically walk into a space and visualize what I’m going to do instantly, like within 15 minutes.

Alex Babayev:
So we turned it into three, two and a half, and basically we spent $53,000 on this project. Well, we bought it for $215,000. We spent $53,000. While we were renovating it, another comp sold right down the street. So instead of me listing it at $320,000, what I originally wanted to, I went and swung for the fences and put it up for $345,000. I felt confident what the market was doing. Now, I didn’t just go make up that number, right? I was monitoring what was going on around me and who’s selling, the demand, the days I’m marketing in Smyrna. That’s how you have to do it. And I put it for $345,000 and man, 30 days with nothing.

Spencer Sutton:
Nothing.

Alex Babayev:
Nothing. Right. And now, we listed it Thanksgiving week. So the 30 days put me in Thanksgiving week, then it put me in Christmas and then it put me in New Year.

Spencer Sutton:
The slowest time.

Alex Babayev:
Yeah. But it was COVID, so I was like, oh, people are probably sitting at home. Usually I would wait until January, February to push my inventory out. So what happened on day 30, when the listing was expiring, an agent contacted us and said my client is interested, we want to put it in our offer. So literally on the day of expiration, they put it in the offer and we ended up closing at $335,000. So my initial target was $320,000, we closed at $335,000. So we made, on that deal, like $48,000, I think. So again, puts me right in that thing where I say, I’m usually making $48,000 to $50,000 per flip.

Spencer Sutton:
Yeah. So much of that is just about knowing your market, right? So what could have scared you off before, which was saying, hey, I’ve never bought a house for more than $120,000, $125,000, $130,000, knowing your market, understanding what’s going on, the trends that are going on, and then taking advantage of that. I’ll also say, I asked you to tell us how you found that property. I can’t tell you how many investors I know who utilize real estate agents because sometimes they’re getting listings that they know will not sell on the retail market. If something’s been a rental house, we know, we manage a lot of properties in Atlanta, over 500 rental properties, we know what a house looks like after 10 years of having a tenant in it. That’s not necessarily going to sell on the retail market. So sometimes you’ll find agents who will say, hey, I’ve got an investor who can pay cash, pay it quickly. Somebody who’s owned a rental property for 10 years understands the value of that and not having to put money into it, to retail it. So I would say relationships with realtors are great ways to find properties.

Alex Babayev:
Like, looking at this guy, for example, he made double commission, right? So he made like $6,500 this deal. So if he would’ve went and listed it, maybe they would have got, let’s say $220,000, $225,000 a little bit more, but his commission still wouldn’t have looked like what he got. When I first started, how I used to motivate agents, I would literally cold call and go through emails of agents and tell them, this is who I am. If you bring me a deal, you’ll get the commission on the buy side. And then I’ll let you list the exact same property for me when I’m done flipping it. I mean, I still, to this day, have those relationships with these people, remember that. And they’ve made a lot of money off of me doing that. So nowadays, sometimes I don’t give them the list side. I keep it in house, but I’m saying when I got started, that’s how I used to motivate people. And it’s very powerful because money talks and when you can offer double commissions, it’s powerful,

Spencer Sutton:
That’s a great way. If you’re trying to buy houses in Atlanta, that is a great way to do it. Cold call realtors, get to know them, especially if you’re starting out, find some realtors who are starting out. They’re out there hungry. They’re looking for deals too. They may come across a distress property that you can both partner on. What happens is you start to build credibility if you’re doing really good work. So like, Alex is doing phenomenal work on the inside of this house, what does that mean to the realtor? That means when he goes to sell that house, it’s going to sell quickly. It’s not going to sit on the market for 90 days, 120 days. So realtors see that, they understand that and great way to find properties.

Alex Babayev:
At the end of the day, the real estate community is very small. It may seem like there’s a lot of people because we’re involved in it daily, but at the end of the day, everybody sort of knows each other or we see each other at these events. These houses, sort of become your reputation. And so agents, sort of pick up on that, especially like you said, for them, you’re an easy client.

Spencer Sutton:
That’s right.

Alex Babayev:
So we work with you.

Spencer Sutton:
So Alex kind of switching gears. I know you also mentor and consult with real estate investors. People who want to get into the Atlanta market. Tell me what kind of consulting do you do? What kind of advice are you giving your students when you’re walking them through this process of investing in Atlanta?

Alex Babayev:
Yeah, sure. So I have people contact me from various referral sources or they come across me on Instagram, social media, my website. So, my typical client, I can’t put them in one bucket because I have doctors who reach out to me. I have people who want to leave their W-2, people who want to build out a rental portfolio. So what that leads to is I have to specifically work with each person. So right now, recently, in January, I worked with a husband and wife who basically were buying their first rental property. And they hired me to analyze the properties with them that they were coming across and then go inspect the property with them. Even though they did an inspection, I still went with them to tell them what we could do because an inspector tells you what’s wrong. He doesn’t tell you the vision and what you could do with the property.

Spencer Sutton:
Right.

Alex Babayev:
So then after that, my company did the renovation for them. And after we did the renovation, I got their system set up. I’ve set them up on how to do the leasing, how to do the property management, what software to use, what clauses to put in their first lease because some of them can miss a lot of things. So that’s the type of thing. So then they were able to find their first tenant and he’s living there and they’re happy. Basically, I sell my time in six-hour buckets to people and they really use it how they want. Some people do a Zoom call. Because everyone’s at a different level, right? Somebody has $2 million and they’re asking me a completely different question than somebody who has, let’s say $50,000. So that’s why I sell sort of buckets of my time. And people sort of do what they want with it and get advice on how they need to.

Spencer Sutton:
That’s great. And Alex, this has been great. Listen, I appreciate you spending time with us on the podcast. We’ll probably come back to you and ask you to be on another show. We would love to break down even more deals. We would love to talk to you more about rental portfolios and how people build those out, to dig into that. So Alex really does appreciate you being on the show. And how can people get in touch with you if they wanted to reach out to you? What’s the best way for them to get in touch with you?

Alex Babayev:
Yeah. So if you’re interested in seeing my work, my before and after, and follow my real estate journey, I’m pretty active on Instagram. So my handle there is transformation_papi, transformation_papi. So my website is my name, alexbabayev.com. And my email is [email protected], aralproperties.com. And when these meetups and everything starts up again, I host my own local meetups once a month. It’s free. Like 40 to 50 people gather there in Norcross and they’re just different investors networking. And that’s on my website also. You can sign up to get the notifications when we meet in person. Come out for free and enjoy time with other investors.

Spencer Sutton:
Awesome. That’s the way, listen, if you’re in Atlanta and starting out, you got to start going to these meetings once they start back up again. So Alex we’ll have all this information, your contact information on our show notes. Listen, man, we appreciate your time. Thanks for being on the show.

Alex Babayev:
Thank you very much. See you on the real estate battlefield.

Spencer Sutton:
That’s all right. See you on the real estate battlefield. All right, everybody, if you have not already subscribed, go ahead and subscribe to our podcast and then share it with your friends. And if you enjoyed this episode, please go and leave us a five-star review. Talk about what you enjoyed on the show. It helps other people find our podcast. So we will be back in two weeks with another episode.