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  • Chris & John

Ep 62: Helping People Buy Apartments the Right Way with Charles Dobens

As the world of multifamily continues to become an increasingly enticing investment opportunity, it’s important to know how to buy apartments the right way. Brokers may get you, as an operator, to believe that you have no choice but to overpay for apartments. Our guest today, Charles Dobens, highlights, they probably weren’t in the business during the last crash, so they're likely misinformed. Known as the Multifamily Attorney, Charles teaches people how to buy multifamily apartments and complexes. Along with speaking across the country, he also has over 10 years of experience in the game. We kick off the episode by discussing his background, along with the book, Big Shifts Ahead. This seminal work moves past conventional generational classifications to a more granular approach, and its intersection with the multifamily world is remarkable. From there, we move onto COVID talk and some of the enduring shifts that are likely to stick, particularly with the younger, tech-savvy generation. Along with this, we discuss how Charles’s owner-operator background has given him unique insights as a developer, why he’s not syndicating deals, and the importance of a slow and steady approach. Be sure to tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Learn more Charles, where he’s based, and what he’s involved in.

  • Why multifamily will withstand difficult times this time as opposed to 2008.

  • Big Shifts Ahead: The main takeaways from this captivating book.

  • The three classifications from Big Shifts Ahead that are applicable to apartment owners.

  • Ways that COVID-19 and disease awareness could influence long-term lifestyle choices.

  • What Charles has learned moving from being an owner-operator to development.

  • How Charles’s legal background has helped him be more careful and make fewer mistakes.

  • Be the quarterback: Why operators need to understand deals fully and lead from the front.

  • Find out how Charles finances his deals and why he uses joint ventures, not syndications.

  • Quelling joint venture partner fears and structuring this type of deal.

  • Education is key, and teaching potential investors goes a long way in building trust.


“In actuality, all markets are growing, even if they’re losing congressional seats, they’re just not growing as fast as these other places.”— @cdobenslaw [0:09:35]

“The younger generations of people that use computers all day long and can take their laptop anywhere, this could change everything for them.”— @cdobenslaw [0:17:18]

“You have to know your business better than your lawyer because your lawyer, in most cases, is just reactionary.”— @cdobenslaw [0:28:58]

“You’re building a business. This isn’t a one-off. You’re not going to make all your money by doing one deal. You’re doing this over the next 10-20 years, so do it slowly and systematically, and in the right way.”— @cdobenslaw [0:39:51]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Charles Dobens Twitter

Charles Dobens on LinkedIn

Multifamily Investing Academy

Multifamily Investing with Multifamily Attorney

Big Shifts Ahead

The Big Short

Chris Porter

John Burns Real Estate Consulting

Marcus & Millichap

Jillian Sidoti

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