Kyara Gray and Khalil Uqdah are the co-founders of Charm City Buyers, a multi-seven figure real estate development firm specializing in rebuilding properties and revitalizing neighborhoods in Baltimore.
Charm City Buyers – Are you ready to build wealth through real estate? Attend Kyara and Khalil’s FREE class!
3 Value Bombs
1) Focus on your why. Understand your purpose. Know what drives you and wakes you up in the morning.
2) Just chasing the money is not going to fulfill you. Being purposeful with your actions and your time is more rewarding
3) Everyone has their role. If we all play in our position and have that aligned vision for where we’re trying to go, we can make things happen.
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: Building A Seven-Figure Real Estate Business Using Other People’s Money
[1:09] – Khalil shares something that he believes about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
- When it comes to real estate and entrepreneurship, people believe that you have to work hard to accomplish your goals and dreams. Reality is, you have to work smart and be efficient
[2:07] – Let’s talk about building a 7-figure business before you’re 30
- Get focused and intentional about building a portfolio for long-term cashflow, building appreciation, and create impact within the community and neighborhood where you are investing.
- Work smart and build relationships.
[3:51] – Ways to leverage other people’s money on your road to financial success.
- Look at different financing structures as tools in a tool belt, and use the appropriate tool for the appropriate situation.
- Have the audacity to ask, and identify what large developers are using to create their own capital stack.
- Build relationships with key folks to gain access to grants, and understand what funds and things are available and flowing. Money is being printed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
[5:49] – An example of using “other people’s money” in the real estate business.
- Khalil had the audacity to ask how they could get two houses under construction to be part of the program. The response? “It’s done.”
- Make those connections and build relationships.
[7:42] – How do we form meaningful relationships and build real ties within the community?
- Share your story, your mission, and your vision.
- Be proactive in seeing what opportunities exist in the neighborhood rather than waiting for something to happen.
- It has to be about more than just money.
- There’s still a lot to learn. Take 1 step back so you can take 10 steps forward.
[13:18] – Helping others while achieving success in real estate: the Next Gen accelerator program.
- Think about how you can add value to the community first
- Next Gen helped move the city forward – they were building wealth for themselves, and also building up Baltimore
[15:43] – Collaboration over competition — what does this mean, and how does it work in the real world?
- Recognize that there are so many vacant houses/properties out there. We can’t do them all. Instead, collaborate and identify what pieces you can bring to the table.
- Everyone has their role. If we all play in our position and have that aligned vision for where we’re trying to go, we can make things happen.
[17:45] – What is the bigger vision?
- Know and understand that there are similar cities in the country that are now completely different because they’ve gone through gentrification.
- They want to make sure that the folks from Baltimore are able to enjoy the progress that comes with development.
- You’re not only transforming the neighborhood, but also changing the mindset of everyone who’s there
- Just chasing the money is not going to fulfill you. Being purposeful with your actions and your time is more rewarding
[20:29] – Khalil’s key takeaway and call to action for Fire Nation!
- Focus on your why. Understand your purpose. Know what drives you and wakes you up in the morning.
- Charm City Buyers – Are you ready to build wealth through real estate? Attend Kyara and Khalil’s FREE class!
Lights that spark Fire Nation. JLD here and welcome to Entrepreneurs On Fire brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network with great shows like my first million today, we'll be focusing on building a seven figure real estate business using other people's money with charm city buyers to drop these value bombs. I brought Kyara Gray and Khalil Uqdah into EOFire studios. Kyara and Khalil are co-founders of Charm City Buyers, a multi seven figure real estate development firms specializing in rebuilding properties and revitalizing neighborhoods in Baltimore in today. Fire Nation. We'll talk about leveraging other people's money.
We'll talk about building strong ties and forming meaningful relationships. How you do that. We'll also talk about collaboration over competition and so much more. When we get back from thanking our sponsors ever wish you had a mentor to help improve your customer experience and scale your business. HubSpot's new podcast, the shakeup with Alexis Gay and Brianne Kimmel has you covered. I love it because it shares how real people are building real businesses in very unique ways. Listen, learn, and grow with the HubSpot Podcast Network at hubspot.com/podcastnetwork. Ready to finally have repeatable, predictable and scalable operations for your business train. You all can help. Pre-order a free copy of the business playbook, how to document and delegate what you do.
0 (1m 26s):
So your company can grow beyond you today at trainual.com/fire. Kyara, Khalil say what's up to Fire Nation and Khalil, I know you have something to share that you believe about becoming successful that most people disagree with. Yes,
1 (1m 46s):
What's up Fire Nation. So when it comes to real estate and entrepreneurship, people think that you always have to work hard to accomplish your goals and your dreams. The reality is you gotta work smart. You gotta be able to delegate and, and make sure that you are sharpening the saw and just be very efficient with your, with your work habits.
0 (2m 6s):
Yeah. What was that? Abraham Lincoln quote, that if he had an hour to cut down a tree, he'd spend the first 55 minutes sharpening the blade. So think about that Fire Nation when you're going through your process. And as I mentioned in the introduction, we have both Kyara and Khalil on the mic today. We're going to be talking all about building a seven figure real estate business using other people's money. So before you turned 30, you had a seven figure business. You owned an entire city block and Baltimore. I mean, how the heck does this even happen? I barely have my driver's license at 30.
2 (2m 46s):
Yeah. I mean, it was really when we were about a year out of college, we were really trying to figure out what this whole thing was going to look like. It was around the time period when we were talking about there not being enough funds for social security and people thinking about their pensions. And we're starting to put money in retirement funds and our full-time jobs. And we realized that this was not probably going to be it for us, and that we really needed to figure out how to take the reins on what our future was going to look like. And real estate became that space. Or we decided to get really focused and intentional about building our portfolio there for that longterm cashflow, being able to build that appreciation, but also be able to impact the community and the neighborhoods in which we were investing.
2 (3m 29s):
And so, you know, we didn't have a trust fund. We weren't legacy, you know, real estate developers, but really decided to work smart and be intentional about how we spend our time to be able to build that portfolio and build those relationships, which are key to be able to do so using OPM, using other people's money along the journey.
0 (3m 49s):
1 (4m 30s):
So we've been able to leverage lots of different forms of other people's money from nonprofit financing to private money, to seller financing, to hard money lending. We, we look at the different financing structures as tools in a tool belt, and you got to use the appropriate tool for the appropriate situation,
2 (4m 47s):
Right? So in, for example, right, you're not going to use a hammer to tighten a screw. And so sometimes it's not going to make sense to use a hard money lender for a turnkey rental property or, you know, so on and so forth. And so one of the things that's been really big for us is to have the audacity to ask and to really lean into some of the approaches that a lot of, even the larger developers when we were first getting started with, they were using to be able to create their own capital stacks, how they were able to pull different sources and funding, funding sources into deals. And so, you know, being able to use historic tax credits or, you know, build those relationships with key folks, to be able to get access to grants and understand what funds and things were out there all is considered to us other people's money.
2 (5m 36s):
How do we not have to reach into our own pockets and be able to leverage the fact that, you know, money is printed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's really up to you to make those connections, to get access to the funds that are flowing out there in the ether, whether you're you're grabbing a few dollars or not.
0 (5m 53s):
Fire Nation money is abundant. It is out there. It is being printed at record rate right now, it is on you to get out there and grab yours. And I love that phrase. You used the audacity to ask Fire Nation. Do you have the audacity to ask now, before we move on, I want to talk about the historic tax credits or the grants or the funds, maybe just pick one that you really think back, or like, yes, we had the audacity to ask, or at least the audacity audacity to look into one of these things that are a quote unquote, other people's money to make it happen. Give us a specific example.
0 (6m 34s):
1 (6m 35s):
I remember specifically we were developing two houses and we were in a presentation regarding new market tax credits. And after the presentation, I walk up to the presenter who I've known for awhile, and we chit chatting a little bit about how great this is, and it's the first time in the state of Maryland that it can be used for housing. And I turned to, when I say, I've got two houses under construction right now, how do I get these two houses? A part of this pro program had the audacity to ask and she looked at me and she said, it's done. It was great.
2 (7m 5s):
Wow. Yeah. And that became like one of the themes of, of what we've been able to do in Baltimore. And probably one of the reasons why we've been able to scale is making those connections and building those relationships, but being able to make those connections to our projects, what we're doing and being, being able to articulate what our mission and our purpose was, you know, making sure that folks were, you know, not only looking at the areas and neighborhoods and communities in Baltimore that are further along the development cycle and have, you know, tons of, of really great developments already underway, but also looking at some of those spaces that have been historically disinvested that could really, really benefit from having some additional funds helping to make the numbers work.
2 (7m 47s):
And so close, always been really, really great about not only building those relationships, but finding those connection points to make sure that we can throw out a couple of our properties in that mix as well, and expand even the foresight of some of the folks who are writing the checks and signing the checks and say coming and following us into some of the neighborhoods in Baltimore that tend to get overlooked now
0 (8m 6s):
To have the kind of success that the two of you have had. You've really been having to form meaningful relationships in your community, building real ties. How have you done this? Like share with Fire Nation, some tactics, some strategies, some genuine authenticity that you sprinkled in there to make these relationships and ties happen?
2 (8m 27s):
I think one of the things that's been really big is sharing our story and our vision and our mission in Baltimore. So for us, we know that a lot of cities similar to Baltimore have changed and developed over time. And so we really wanna make sure that we're being proactive and seeing the opportunity in, in our neighborhoods first, rather than kind of waiting and seeing what happens, waiting for someone else to come in and cash out. And so that's one is just really having a clear vision purpose for what it is that you're looking to do and accomplish, because it has to be about more than money, right? Especially when you're looking to get other people's money. There has to be a connection that you're making with these folks on why it makes sense for them to, you know, allocate their funds into your projects and into your Deere deals and essentially invest in your vision.
2 (9m 15s):
But the other thing that a lot of people don't talk about that, that cultural and, and I did a really clear was, you know, when we look, when we sat down and thought about where we saw ourselves going in five to 10 years, we knew that there was a lot still to learn. Sure. We had the seven figure portfolio and we had great projects going on and all these great things, but there was so much more to learn. And so after we had both been working full time in real estate in our own business, we actually made that decision to kind of take a step back, take one step back to take 10 steps forward where Khalil was asked by a national developer to work with them and help them really transition from commercial, into residential in Baltimore.
2 (10m 1s):
And so for most people, that's like, you know, I'm not going back to work. I'm not doing a nine to five again, but we decided to make that sacrifice for ourselves and our business to give him the opportunity to learn, see how, you know, a larger developers are doing these things, how they're putting these projects together, makes them even, you know, bigger and long lasting relationships, and then be able to leverage that knowledge for what we were looking to do as we continue to grow our own business and our own portfolio. And so that's something that a lot of people shy away from to be able to, to have the foresight and the patients really to take that step back, to be able to, to sky rocket and take, you know, 20 steps forward,
0 (10m 41s):
Share your story, Fire Nation, share your vision, get people on board with what the future can hold, because guess what it has to be about more than money. I mean, Kyara shared that multiple times because people can spend, they can invest their money in a million different ways. Why yours? Well, if you share your story, they can get on board with that. They get excited with the vision and then they take that next step. And we have so much amazing stuff to talk about when we get back from thanking our sponsors, every entrepreneur knows what it feels like to be wearing too many hats. You're a creator, a visionary and administrator, a finance person, and that can feel overwhelming and get old really fast. That's why I'm excited to tell you about a train, you all, a software that makes it easy to document and delegate the things you do to someone else and be completely sure that the handoff is successful and can scale consistently without you.
0 (11m 32s):
It's like creating a playbook for repeatable, predictable, scalable operations that all live in one place for your entire team to use. Whether you're a small team of less than 10, starting to document processes for the first time as you prepare for a few new hires or you're getting ready to onboard and train a hundred people in repeatable roles, train, you all can help create everything from your employee handbook to your new orientation process, to roll in department specific training and even test to keep people accountable, Trainual's founder and CEO, Chris Ronzio is releasing a new book that impacts everything you need to know about documenting your business. And you get a copy for free visit trainual.com/fire to pre-order a free copy of the business playbook, how to document and delegate what you do.
0 (12m 16s):
So your company can grow beyond you today. That's trainual.com/fire. Customer expectations are at an all time high. So when a prospect or a customer reaches out, it's important that everyone across your organization has the context. They need to deliver a personalized and helpful experience. And because conversations with prospects and customers are going to happen across all sorts of channels and teams, it becomes increasingly important to be able to manage all of those conversations in one place. That means giving your sales team visibility into marketing emails that are sent in customer service teams, having visibility into conversations that happen during the sales process. We both know that when messaging isn't aligned, it can create a frustrating experience for customers who might feel like they're constantly repeating themselves or that your business just isn't a fit for them.
0 (12m 60s):
Lucky for us. How's what has a tool to help us manage everything under one central CRM platform, HubSpot integrates with your inbox to automatically save and store email conversations, allow reps to record calls, right from within HubSpot, gives your teams a universal inbox to tackle live chat, inquiries, emails, Facebook messages in more, learn more about how you can scale your company without scaling complexity at hubspot.com. Now, one thing that I really respect about the two of you is you've been able to really help others along the way, achieve similar and very close to success that you've had in real estate. Talk about that with the next gen accelerator program and everything that you have going on
2 (13m 39s):
Next gen is that's our baby. That's how we're able to really expand and exponentially impact this city. You know, making sure that folks know exactly what to do and how to invest in a city like Baltimore. That is a lot different than other markets. We're very blocked of block. There's a lot of complexity with the vacant properties that have been vacant for 20, 30 years. You know, there's a lot of challenges when it comes to just coming into a city in a market like Baltimore. And so for Colona, we said, you know, we can do some really great things on our own, but what does it look like when we're able to make sure that folks have the resources, the guidance and the tools to not only invest themselves and build wealth themselves and invest in real estate themselves, but also follow in our footsteps when it comes to impact and thinking about how you add value in the communities first, so that we're developing these neighborhoods without causing displacement and all of the negative impacts that come with gentrification, right?
2 (14m 38s):
We want to move the city forward, but we want to do it in the right way. And so through next gen, we have such a beautiful community, a family of folks who have been doing exactly that they're building wealth for themselves and their family wealth at that, and also building Baltimore. So, you know, leveraging those relationships that we spent so long to take, create, and you know, all of the resources and the team and all the things that we've put together for ourselves. We're able to share that with our next gen accelerator family so that their time and their money is focused on building those portfolios and making that impact rather than spending that time, learning things the hard way and hitting your head and losing money and doing all of those things that we had to do as we invested, you know, going through the school of hard knocks.
2 (15m 23s):
So next gen streamlined that process and make sure that our folks are investing in Baltimore and better, faster and smarter than we ever did.
0 (15m 29s):
Again, Fire Nation, this world is abundance. And if you have a scarcity mindset, that means that when someone takes a piece of the pie, there's less power for you. But when you have the mindset of abundance, which is what you need to have in this world, you realize that when you bring others up, all ships rise in a high tide and everybody wins. So let's talk about collaboration over competition. I mean, why did the two of you focus on collaboration over competition when it comes to real estate? I mean, what does that even mean specifically and how does it work in the real world? Yeah, so
1 (16m 2s):
Collaboration over competition is a mantra that we pride ourselves in. And we share that throughout our next gen accelerator folks, as well as anybody else who will listen, Fire Nation included. So when it comes to collaboration, we, we always pride ourselves in, in recognizing that there are so many vacant properties out there. So many houses and so many communities that need to be positively impacted. We can't do them all nor do we want to do them all. So instead like let's collaborate, let's work together. What pieces of the puzzle do we bring to the table and can other people bring to the table, even if that's time being able to run down to the permit office and, and get things done or finances or knowledge, we all need to work together.
1 (16m 44s):
And we do. We love working together with individuals and, and other organizations to leverage those strengths so that we can all win.
2 (16m 52s):
There's so much work they need done. And so for us, we're really big on everyone has their role. And if we all play our position and have that, that aligned vision for where we're trying to go, we can make that happen. And so as many, as often as we can, you know, throw our hat in the ring to add value to what other people are doing in this city and vice versa, you know, together, we're able to accomplish so much more.
1 (17m 17s):
I'll give you a specific example here. So we are for profit, but when it comes to acquiring dollars from, from grants, we love partnering with nonprofits. They may not necessarily know the development world or the con construction stuff. And we can bring that to the table to make sure that the
0 (17m 35s):
Houses get built Fire Nation. I really hope you're understanding what's going on here in the process. It is about being more than just money focused, being more than just process focused, but really just being overall adding value focus. And this is perfect example because the two of you could have just gotten rich rested on your laurels, but you are truly dedicated to changing your community for the better why and what is your bigger vision? One
2 (18m 1s):
Thing for me that was ingrained in me really young was just that, that concept of building community, that concept of being able to have the power and ownership in and curating this space and environment in which you wanted to live. And I think that's really kind of followed us in some Baltimore, right? Knowing and understanding that there's similar cities all over the country that are completely different now that they have progressed and developed and gone and underwent gentrification. You know, if we want to have a different experience with that in Baltimore, we want as legacy residents, you know, close, born and raised in Baltimore as his, you know, his parents, his mother, you know, we want to make sure that the folks of, and from Baltimore able to enjoy the progress that comes with development.
2 (18m 50s):
And so we've really dedicated ourselves, our time, our treasure, you know, money, all of those things that help making sure that we're part of creating that space and that environment. And so when it comes to how we develop our own projects, or if we're doing affordable housing projects with nonprofits, or even working with our next gen accelerator mentees, making sure that, you know, we're pulling the community in and thinking about what their strategic initiatives of either the neighborhoods or the city, or even the state are, and that we're aligning with the overall vision for, for that community is just really, really important. And when everyone has that, buy-in, you have a situation where you're really not only transforming this community and the neighborhood, but also changing the makeup and the mindset of everyone who is there and has been there.
2 (19m 42s):
And so that's just, you know, it, it didn't take long when we left our jobs full time and we're working on real estate full time. And, you know, it kind of hit the goalpost that a lot of people have that we realized that just chasing the money wasn't going to fulfill us. We were still really young. You know, we were still under, under 30 at that point. And so there was a lot of, of leeway to be able to be more impactful with how we spend our time and what we chose to do. And so through that journey of understanding that, you know, just setting number goals, wasn't going to be fulfilling. You know, we've found that being purposeful with our actions and our time, you know, really has been more rewarding and more has had a better result for ourselves individually and collectively when we thought more about how other people were impacted than just what was going on in our own buckets, Khalil,
0 (20m 34s):
Let's start with you, give us the one key takeaway that you really want to make sure Fire Nation gets from everything that we talked about here today, and any call to action that you have for us to connect more with you and everything you have going on in your business. And then we'll say goodbye.
1 (20m 53s):
The one key takeaway that I would say is to focus on your, why understand your purpose? What drives you? What wakes you up in the morning? What pushes you to go through the more, the difficult times that, that you, you see now in difficult times that you'll see well into the future? What's that? Why and how can you continue to focus on that? Why? Because that's what drives us. When I think about a child walking by vacant properties for a decade, for, for years, it's, it's, it's painful to even think about it. And, and the amount of distrust that creates between the family and the local government. I mean, it's, it's a negative spiraling impact. And focusing on things like that gets me up, and it makes me realize it doesn't matter what the bank account says.
1 (21m 36s):
It doesn't matter what dinners, I'm a part of. It's, it's all about making sure that the community continues to innovate.
2 (21m 45s):
So when it comes to connecting with us further, we have a really, really amazing free class on understanding what's happening in Baltimore. Why Baltimore is an amazing place to invest and be able to support what we're looking to do in the community. And so, for those of you who are looking to learn more about us and Baltimore, we have a free email@example.com, where you can learn more about us and take that class.
0 (22m 13s):
Wow. Fire Nation. You know, this, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with KU, KG and JLD today. So keep up that heat head over to EOFire.com, just type Kyara in the search bar. That's K Y A R A. And guess what? The show notes page will pop up with everything we talked about here today. So much value charmcitybuyers.com, get over there and take that free class, learn more about Baltimore and how you can get involved and maybe how you can model what they're doing for your city. That I know that you love Fire Nation somewhere around the world. So Kyara, Khalil, thank you for sharing your truth, your knowledge, your value with Fire Nation today, for that, we salute you and we'll catch you on the flip side.
0 (23m 0s):
Hey, Fire Nation today's value bomb content was brought to you by Kyara and Khalil and foundation. If you've ever thought about creating a podcast of your own, the podcast journal is for you. It is gorgeous. It is full leather, and it will guide you. Step-by-step in both the creation and the launch of your podcast and 50 days visit the podcast. journal.com use promo code podcast for a $15 discount. And thank you for listening to my podcast and I'll catch you there, or I'll catch you on the flip side ever wish you had a mentor to help improve your customer experience and scale your business. HubSpot's new podcast, the shakeup with Alexis Gay and Brianne Kimmel has you covered. I love it because it shares how real people are building real businesses in very unique ways.
0 (23m 41s):
Listen, learn, and grow with the HubSpot podcast network at hubspot.com/podcastnetwork. Ready to finally have repeatable, predictable and scalable operations for your business train. You all can help. Pre-order a free copy of the business playbook, how to document and delegate what you do. So your company can grow beyond you today at trainual.com/fire.
1) The Common Path to Uncommon Success: JLD’s 1st traditionally published book! Over 3000 interviews with the world’s most successful Entrepreneurs compiled into a 17-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment!
2) Free Podcast Course: Learn from JLD how to create and launch your podcast!
3) Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 podcasting community in the world!