03 June 2024

In today’s episode, Patrick Donley (@JPatrickDonley) sits down with former corporate lawyer turned real estate entrepreneur, Adrian Frederick, to talk about how to make a mid-career change and pursue your highest calling. You’ll also learn about what his first trip to the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting was like, how he his start in real estate, how to find the right mentors and mastermind groups, what his current real estate strategy is , how his faith influences everything he does, and so much more!

Adrian Frederick is a former corporate lawyer turned serial entrepreneur, real estate investor and general contractor. He left a successful law career to pursue his true passions in real estate and has gone on to build a $12M portfolio in just 3 years while also successfully launching his own general contracting business.



  • What inspired Adrian to pursue a law career.
  • What his experience of the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting was like.
  • How he got attracted to real estate as an asset class.
  • Why it’s important to find the right mentors.
  • What the exercise was that helped Adrian make the decision to leave law.
  • How he was able to scale and grow his portfolio.
  • How to find legitimate and useful mastermind groups.
  • What his portfolio looks like today and his plans for the future.
  • How his faith influences his life and career.
  • What his “Why” is for his life.


Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.

[00:00:00] Adrian Frederick: I was in a great place, professionally, in marriage and ministry. I’m also clergy. So I was by all accounts in a very good spot, but I was underneath it all. I felt like I was dying inside. I was depressed and I couldn’t figure out why everyone was impressed with me, except me. I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface.

[00:00:22] Adrian Frederick: Like I’m just going through the motions. Of what success looks like, but I don’t feel successful. And so we met for lunch and he said, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to make a love to hate list for the next 60 days. I want you just to journal what you love to do and what you hate to do, like what gives you energy and you’re passionate about and write down what just.

[00:00:52] Patrick Donley: Hey guys, in today’s episode, I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with my good friend and former corporate lawyer turned real estate entrepreneur, Adrian Frederick, to talk about how to make a career change and pursue your highest calling. You’ll also learn about what his first trip to the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting was like, how he got his start in real estate, how to find the right mentors and mastermind groups, what his current real estate strategy is, how his faith influences everything he does and so much more.

[00:01:19] Patrick Donley: Adrian is a former corporate lawyer turned serial entrepreneur, real estate investor and general contractor who left a successful law career to pursue his true passions in real estate. He’s gone on to build a 12 million portfolio in just three years while also successfully launching his own general contracting business.

[00:01:38] Patrick Donley: Without further delay, let’s dive into today’s episode with Adrian Frederick.

[00:01:47]  Intro: Celebrating 10 years. You are listening to Millennial Investing by The Investor’s Podcast Network. Since 2014, we interviewed successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, and investors to help educate and inspire the millennial generation. Now for your host, Patrick Donley.

[00:02:11] Patrick Donley: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Millennial Investing podcast. I’m your host today, Patrick Donley, and joining me in the studio today is my friend, Adrian Frederick. Adrian, welcome to the show. 

[00:02:20] Adrian Frederick: Thanks for having me, Pat. Glad to be here today. Looking forward to it. 

[00:02:25] Patrick Donley: We’ve been working on this for a while. I’m glad we’re making it happen.

[00:02:27] Patrick Donley: We’re going to talk about real estate, your background as a corporate lawyer. We’re going to get into your faith a little bit, a lot of different things. This is going to be a fun interview. I just wanted to hear a little bit. You’ve got a unique background growing up and I wanted to start off with that.

[00:02:41] Patrick Donley: Just touch on what it was like growing up for you. 

[00:02:44] Adrian Frederick: Growing up for me was very interesting. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, born and raised. My parents are from New York. my mom is at least, and my dad is from the Island of Barbados. So very diverse, rich upbringing in culture, holidays. The food was always very interesting, right?

[00:03:03] Adrian Frederick: You’d have the U S side, right? My mom, her family was from the South, so I’d have Macaroni and cheese and collard greens. And then my dad’s side would have oxtail and prairie goat. So it was a very interesting holiday, but it was a great upbringing because I had a lot of great values brought forward from my dad’s side and my mom’s side.

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[00:03:26] Patrick Donley: So I want to hear a little bit more. You ended up going to Norfolk state, right? And tell me a little bit about your career aspirations growing up. Cause your dad was what he was involved in some kind of government service. Is that right? 

[00:03:38] Adrian Frederick: So my dad worked for the United Nations for almost 40 years.

[00:03:42] Adrian Frederick: He retired from the UN. He started there as a young man and stayed, he worked his day job in personnel, but he did a lot of diplomatic related missions for the UN. And so all of those things are things that he doesn’t really talk about, but it’s stuff that he’s very proud of. And he served in that vein for the UN for several years.

[00:04:04] Patrick Donley: So I just was interested, like, when you were, as a young man, what were some of your career aspirations? What did you think you were going to be when you grew up? 

[00:04:12] Adrian Frederick: So I knew since I was eight, I wanted to be And attorney, I didn’t know what type of attorney, but I knew from young, I think I read too many encyclopedia Brown books and watched too much Matlock and my mom kept buying them and I was eating them like food.

[00:04:26] Adrian Frederick: I just, I kept reading those books and every new series. And so mysteries, Agatha Christie, anything that had to do with solving a crime or really advocating for someone was very instinctive. Natural thing for me. And so I just knew I wanted to practice law. Now over time, what that was would change because of my personality.

[00:04:48] Adrian Frederick: So the thought process of when to advocate for people and. I Love to learn and be in the know and to use that information to help people. That’s always been there. I don’t think that’ll ever change, but I think the type of law changed because of my personality. So I dreamed of being in the courtroom of having that Johnny Cochran moment of, the glove doesn’t fit.

[00:05:13] Adrian Frederick: You must’ve quit being aha moment. But my personality, I hate conflict. I just absolutely abhor conflict. So for me, I realized that I’m more conciliatory. I’m more about bringing people together, building bridges. How can we figure things out? Heck, how can we make some money? As opposed to focusing or majoring in the minor, how can we figure things out?

[00:05:37] Adrian Frederick: And It probably is the reason why I became a contracts and corporate lawyer. 

[00:05:42] Patrick Donley: So I know that you’ve done that strengthsfinder 2. 0 and some of your top strengths are like learning, strategy, intellection, all of that’s perfect for the law. I would imagine. 

[00:05:55] Adrian Frederick: It certainly has been helpful. It certainly has helped me.

[00:05:58] Adrian Frederick: And even as a lawyer, I evolved in realizing that I really was a business person. Moonlighting as a lawyer. And I really was a better business partner to you with a legal brain who could help you strategically think about what it is you’re trying to do. So I could help you strategically plan where you want to go and grow.

[00:06:21] Adrian Frederick: And I think that was the biggest asset. So even though I worked for a major law firm, eventually, I did the whole small firm. I was solo. I did the small firm that I went to a large mega firm, but probably where I feel like I added the most value was the transition to in-house corporate counsel.

[00:06:38] Patrick Donley: Did you, were you entrepreneurial as a kid or did you have some kind of modeling that, people around you that were entrepreneurial and business minded? 

[00:06:47] Adrian Frederick: Interestingly enough, no, when I think about it, I really didn’t identify anyone as an entrepreneur around me, even though in Brooklyn, everyone’s an entrepreneur, whether you know it or not.

[00:06:59] Adrian Frederick: So when you go around the corner to the supermarket, to the bodega, and there’s a whole family working in the supermarket down to the three year old is pressing the buttons on the cash register. You laugh at that family. Like, why are those kids working here? But they were a family of entrepreneurs. I just didn’t know what to call it.

[00:07:15] Adrian Frederick: I was entrepreneurial and didn’t even understand it. I had my first business when I was eight, I sold packs of bubble yum in class. So one day I was sitting in class and I blew a big bubble. And it was huge. It almost went all over my face and the kids laughed at first. And then the kid next to me said, Hey, can I get one?

[00:07:36] Adrian Frederick: And I don’t know what it was in me that made me say, yeah, for 50 cents. And he went in his pocket and gave me 50 cents. And I gave him a piece of gum. And then somebody next to me said, Hey. Can I get a piece of gum? And I said, 25 cents. And they gave me 25. So look, this is wow. I got 75 cents now.

[00:07:55] Adrian Frederick: So I blew another bubble with a teacher turned around. Didn’t know that was my marketing plan, right? See the product. Yeah. See the product. My marketing strategy blew the biggest bubbles. You can let that sucker splash on your face. But guess what? That day I went to my mom and said, Hey, we need to go to the supermarket.

[00:08:14] Adrian Frederick: They sold five packs of bubblegum, five in a pack for a dollar 25. And I made like 30 that week on gum. My mother was like, what are you doing? Where did this money come from? And I told her, so she helped me to keep my supply up. My first company was, I was. It was a straight arbitrage opportunity, right? I was the bubble young boy.

[00:08:37] Adrian Frederick: Yeah. So I did that all through second grade. 

[00:08:40] Patrick Donley: I love it. I think Warren Buffett did something similar and I know you were just out at the Berkshire event, I believe. I want to hear a bit about that. They call it Woodstock for capitalists. So I want to hear how it went. 

[00:08:52] Adrian Frederick: Woodstock for capitalists. It was fascinating.

[00:08:55] Adrian Frederick: The 50, 000 people or whatever filled this whole stadium and not an empty seat in there. And you’re all cramped in and the energy is palpable. And then they play this incredible video. That shares the story of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger for the last, however long they’ve been doing this, but really their relationship and all the sound bites of them at this event every year, the way they move is like Ernie and Bert, Lacey and Cagney, like Laverne and Shirley. they, when you see one, you see the other and the energy, it was just so great during the video. I think what was also apparent is the value of Charlie, right? Warren, he, Absolutely made it clear that Charlie was the big deal, right? Charlie was six years old, his senior in age that he learned so much from him, but their level of friendship and mutual respect was just so significant.

[00:09:58] Adrian Frederick: And I think they really captured that story. it also showed wow, this isn’t the same without Charlie. So as awesome as Warren is. It didn’t have the same energy when they had the successors up there. And then who the next person is, I think it’s Greg and Whoever his successor is.

[00:10:18] Adrian Frederick: And then a Jeep who was over their insurance line. Have you been before? Was this your first time there? This was my first time going. So this was like a whole, I was so excited and I was still excited. I got to see Warren Buffett and listen to his insights. And how he still perceives everything. And it’s so matter of fact, it’s so practical.

[00:10:40] Adrian Frederick: I feel like in today’s time, everybody has a new shtick and they feel like they’ve got this new thing, this new way of thinking about things that’s going to make them a gazillionaire, Warren Buffett. It is very practical and Berkshire has been successful, not because they chase the shiny, sexy coin.

[00:10:57] Adrian Frederick: there’s nothing sexy about dairy coins. There’s nothing sexy about Brooks walking shoes. But man, are those shoes comfortable? I’ve got five pairs, right? Literally. All right. So he’s not chasing the shiny coin. He’s chasing the fundamentals. 

[00:11:13] Patrick Donley: It’s interesting to me. We did an episode last week about Warren and Charlie, and I think Charlie originally called the decision to buy Berkshire dumb to Warren.

[00:11:22] Patrick Donley: He’s this is a dumb acquisition purchase, but since you’ve done it, why don’t you use this as a holding company and just buy wonderful businesses at, quality or, quality businesses at good prices. And he really changed how he thought about investing. He was like a pure cigar, but Benjamin Graham kind of investor.

[00:11:39] Patrick Donley: And I think Charlie really changed his mind about how to invest. 

[00:11:43] Adrian Frederick: He did, and he definitely acknowledges that. He started literally meeting with friends and a family telling them about what he did and what he was doing. And they said, Hey, we’ll give you a hundred grand. And he was so marveled at what the Millennial Investing by The Investor’s Podcast Network thought about him to trust him.

[00:12:04] Adrian Frederick: That’s really why he does this, right? He’s interested in hearing feedback. From shareholders directly from the person that owns one share, right? It is great that you own a thousand, but the person that owns five shares really made a conscious decision to buy those five shares. And he wants to know, do you believe in our company?

[00:12:24] Adrian Frederick: Do you believe in our brands? Do you believe in what we’re invested in? Am I making the right move here? Because it’s the everyday person that drives. 

[00:12:35] Patrick Donley: I wanted to hear a little bit about if those two guys, Warren and Charlie, have influenced you about how you think about your own investing in real estate and things like that?

[00:12:43] Patrick Donley: Have any of their principles weren’t off on you? 

[00:12:46] Adrian Frederick: No, not yet, because I didn’t know much about them other than the high level of Warren and Charlie. So I didn’t let them inform my decisions. Probably the most important ones. Influential person originally on real estate would be my mentor and partner, Steve Woffin.

[00:13:06] Adrian Frederick: He really, I think, played a huge part in shaping how I saw real estate, how I saw how money moves and the power of real estate to create multi generational wealth. Early on, I thought about the stock market, but the one thing that never really made sense to me was man, even if I make a fortune on this one stock and boy, but I love to.

[00:13:27] Adrian Frederick: If I sell it, it’s gone. The moment I sell it, it’s gone. And I was like, man, then what’s next? And so you’re always chasing that next thing. Oh, and by the way, a third of it’s gone or 40 percent is gone in capital gains. So how do I figure out something? That’s the gift that keeps on giving. And so Steve very simply said, there’s just so many ways to make money in real estate.

[00:13:52] Adrian Frederick: if the asset is tangible, you can collateralize it to go and do something else. You can. Do a cash out refi, which is a non-taxable event. And so literally you could pay yourself, you can make money off of that, right? You get, you can cash flow, you can get rent off of that asset, you get the asset depreciates.

[00:14:13] Adrian Frederick: So now you are reducing your taxable income. Oh, and by the way, I appreciate it. So you literally are making money while you sleep. So just so many different ways to make money in real estate that I, it really was a driver for me to bet on myself and to, actually cash out my 401k a number of times to say, Hey, I’m never going to get to where I want to get to from a retirement standpoint with 300 grand and a 401k, but what if I took that 300 grand and bought four duplexes?

[00:14:48] Adrian Frederick: What would that do for it? What if I then paid off those duplexes and put it into a trust and now into a retirement based trust where now all of that gain is just, it just continues to grow and grow. And that’s my retirement. Wouldn’t that look a whole lot different? It does look a whole lot different right now.

[00:15:05] Adrian Frederick: We’re talking about 300, 000 in a retirement, there’s four and a half million in a retirement in a seven year span. So literally. You can supercharge what your future looks like, as opposed to relying on the government to raise the age, to move the ball for money that you’ll never touch. And by the time they do, you’re like coughing and on your last breath.

[00:15:28] Adrian Frederick: So I love the government. 

[00:15:30] Patrick Donley: There’s a lot of directions I could go here, but I wanted to touch on the importance of your mentor, Steve. Like he’s been a game changer. It sounds like you totally changed the direction of your life. Talk to me a little bit about how you guys met and then any advice you have for younger people to meet people like this who are influential, who can really have a huge impact on your life.

[00:15:50] Patrick Donley: What kind of thoughts do you have for how you can foster those relationships? 

[00:15:55] Adrian Frederick: So I met Steve in 2003. It was a mentor protege program for the Fisher college of business. So I was doing a JD MBA program at Ohio State university. So I was in law school and business school, full time law school by day, business school by night, and then probably crying in between those periods.

[00:16:15] Adrian Frederick: And some in my mouth or something, I don’t know, but as people say, wow, that’s so great. And I said, no, I probably was just a blend for punishment, but yeah, I did law school by day, business school by night. And in this program, you’re paired with a local CEO for three months. And you’re supposed to just shadow them, go to some meetings, learn how they CEO stuff.

[00:16:37] Adrian Frederick: Okay, cool. But we actually hit it off, became friends and would eventually one day become business partners. And now we’re in 2024. So what I’d say is advice for people is keep an open mind about who you’re going to meet and be open to that. May not look like you may have a different background, may have a different belief system, but they absolutely can be a champion in your life.

[00:17:05] Adrian Frederick: So I believe that there are mentors, which really to me are guides, right? And then you have people who are sponsors, right? Those people are the ones that are willing to put your name. At the tape, they’re willing to bring your name up in a strategic way, but the champion is the one who’s wanting to sell it.

[00:17:28] Adrian Frederick: They’re willing to put their reputation on the line for you. And I feel like Steve in various spaces has been a mentor , a sponsor, a champion for me, but he’s also been a friend. And father figure for several years. So I really do feel like in many respects, I’ve been blessed to have him as a bonus dad.

[00:17:53] Adrian Frederick: He is incredible. He gives me, he’s tough, he’s kind and tough at the same time. He’s going to give you firm, straight conversations like he would his own sons. And sometimes those conversations aren’t touchy feely, especially when it comes to money. And investments. And, but it’s good because I didn’t grow up with that ecosystem, right?

[00:18:15] Adrian Frederick: I didn’t grow up knowing about how to treat your Millennial Investing by The Investor’s Podcast Network, how to treat your part, what are expectations when joint venture. And so I’ve learned all of that from him, but most importantly, we have shared values, right? What really made that connection for us was faith, right? We both absolutely love Jesus, right?

[00:18:35] Adrian Frederick: His family, his wife, they are brimming with love for Jesus Christ and have shaped. Their whole lifestyle. He didn’t grow up as a believer. So for him, he has a very authentic faith, much like you Pat, in the sense that it wasn’t his thing, right? It wasn’t always his thing. He didn’t grow up in a church where this was his belief system.

[00:18:57] Adrian Frederick: He really wrestled. With this whole faith thing. And once he got it, and so by the time I met him, he already had him. He had a real relationship with God. And so we connected to very different worlds, to very different people, to very different pockets. But we connected through our love of faith, family, and shared values.

[00:19:20] Adrian Frederick: And we use that to build bridges for everything else in our life. 

[00:19:25] Patrick Donley: Man, there’s so much I want to talk about here. You said. A while ago about the importance of betting on yourself. And I believe Steve helped you with that. You were a corporate attorney at a regional bank here in Columbus. Tell me, I think you told me a story about how he helped you think about making that transition.

[00:19:42] Patrick Donley: I know he had you write a business plan for what you wanted to do. But can you go into some of the advice he had for you as you left your stable corporate job for the life of a real estate investor? 

[00:19:54] Adrian Frederick: Yes. This is probably around 2019. This was in 2019, we’re approaching 2020. And yeah, I was in a great place, professionally, marriage and ministry.

[00:20:06] Adrian Frederick: I’m also clergy. So I was by all accounts in a very good spot, but I was underneath it all. I felt like I was dying inside. I was depressed and I couldn’t figure out why. And so I called Steve up and said, Hey, I’m really not in a good place. And I can’t figure out why everyone is impressed about me, except me.

[00:20:29] Adrian Frederick: I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface. Like I’m just going through the motions. Of what success looks like, but I don’t feel successful. And so we met for lunch and he said, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to make a love to hate list for the next 60 days. I want you just to journal what you love to do and what you hate to do, like what gives you energy and you’re passionate about and write down what just.

[00:20:52] Adrian Frederick: Drain you just, it feels like, Oh, why am I doing this? Why am I here? So I did, I wrote down the things that I like, the things I don’t like. I wrote down, Hey, I love designing things. I think I watched way too much HGTV admittedly. And so I love designing things. I can literally be in a space and see, Oh man, maybe we should put a bathroom here.

[00:21:15] Adrian Frederick: Maybe we should move a wall. Maybe we should paint it this color, man. I love that color palette. This furniture. Works in this style house. And so it really opened me up to seeing things that I hadn’t really seen before. And then I, and I said, man, I hate paperwork, which is very fascinating because I’m a contracts lawyer.

[00:21:34] Adrian Frederick: Obviously still, I hate arguing with people. I love to make people laugh. I love to bring people together. I love to see the light bulb go off for people who are in conflict, and figure out that we’re better together. And so all of those things started to shape. My comments and when we got back up, he circled things on the page and he said, this is really fascinating.

[00:21:59] Adrian Frederick: Do you know what’s not on your left two sides? And I said, what? And he said, practicing law and tears just started a stream down my face. I had not realized that wasn’t on the list. That he really wasn’t even on the list. It wasn’t on my list. It just wasn’t on the list. And so that’s when I knew it was time.

[00:22:21] Adrian Frederick: I needed to make a shift. What was at the top. Was design, construction, renovating ministry, building bridges, but practicing law was not on the list. So at that point I had to make some real choices and then talk to the people closest to me to see if I was crazy. And also because we built up so much pride in the role of being an attorney, where I’m the first in my family.

[00:22:49] Adrian Frederick: But for my father to come from very humble beginnings, It’s a source of pride to him too. It’s a source of pride for my whole family as an African American. And so I had to reconcile that and almost like a death, I had to grieve the idea of me being an attorney. I had to grieve for it. I had to work through.

[00:23:10] Adrian Frederick: All the pride I had built up in it in order to be able to say, I’m okay, I can do something else, right? And I’m ready to move on. And so I had to work through that for a couple of months. But once I did, I went to my wife and had the conversation and she was so supportive of me. That just gave me the energy to say, now I’m going to talk to my parents.

[00:23:31] Adrian Frederick: And that, now that was a hard discussion, right? My dad was like, Hey, why don’t you go back and pray about that? And you’re like, Oh, it’ll pass. And so I think it took my dad a bit to get over the idea. But once he did, he was sold out. And so I’m just grateful for the support to make the transition.

[00:23:51] Adrian Frederick: So at that point, I challenged myself and I set a fire there. 

[00:23:55] Patrick Donley: Tell me how your mentor Steve, he also had you write a business plan, like what are you going to do once you leave corporate law? So he had you come up with a business plan. 

[00:24:06] Adrian Frederick: Yeah. So he said to me, Hey, listen, what’s stopping you from doing what you dream?

[00:24:11] Adrian Frederick: And I was like bills, student loan debt, but I’ve got this super cool idea and I want to get it off the ground. And he said, I don’t lend people money. But I partner with people all the time. If you create a business plan that makes sense, then I might partner with you. I guess it made sense.

[00:24:30] Adrian Frederick: And we have been partners ever since. 

[00:24:33] Patrick Donley: What was the business plan? What did you come up with? What was the idea that he was like, I’ll invest in this. 

[00:24:40] Adrian Frederick: Sure. So I said to him, Hey, there’s a huge need in this market for quality short term rentals. I’ve seen a ton of them, but I haven’t seen a ton of quality short term rentals.

[00:24:51] Adrian Frederick: Everyone is springing up with the extra room inside their house, but what do you do for the corporate traveler that’s sending a construction crew or a team? And what I really envision is a diverse portfolio of residential assets, some long term and some short term and some midterm.

[00:25:09] Adrian Frederick: Okay. We have a huge hospital system here, several systems here. So we could take advantage of the midterm rental market as well. I’m not looking to buy flips. I’m looking for multi generational wealth, long term buying holds. Now we might transition different assets to upgrade the portfolio, but this is a long term hold situation.

[00:25:30] Adrian Frederick: Is there something that you. Would be supportive of what he’s a big time commercial real estate investor. So he saw this as a great opportunity to diversify his portfolio and quite frankly, work with somebody he loves. So he didn’t have to partner with me, but he did. And we’ve been very successful in this particular venture ever since.

[00:25:52] Patrick Donley: And what was the agreement? Was it, he was the financial guy, he was the money guy, and you were the one that was implementing the plan and making it happen, doing the acquisitions and that kind of thing. 

[00:26:02] Adrian Frederick: So at first, yes, I’m going to do all the sweat equity and he’s going, economically back, but it really was bigger than that.

[00:26:10] Adrian Frederick: It was, I’m going to provide the mentorship. I want to teach you what this looks like. How do you scale a company like this? I’m going to give you insight into the markets. I’m going to really give you the lay of the land to shorten your learning curve, but you’re going to have to work your tail off.

[00:26:29] Adrian Frederick: For me to stay interested and by the way, I have my own company. So this is your company. This is your company. You’re going to run it because it’s your company and I’m just an investor, but I’m here for whatever you need from a strategic standpoint so that you skip a lot of the pitfalls and potholes that people have along the way, because they just don’t have The institutional knowledge to avoid those things.

[00:26:58] Adrian Frederick: And the biggest investment he made was intellectual capital. It really was his intellectual capital. He had him really helping me see the landscape of real estate differently. What this opportunity could be like, it allowed me to have a vision for, Hey, we don’t, I’m looking just to buy. Two houses. My goal is a 30 to 50 million portfolio over the next five to eight years, right?

[00:27:27] Adrian Frederick: Like I could dream big, right? Because I knew that he knew how to get us there. I would learn along the way. But he would know how to get us there. 

[00:27:39] Patrick Donley: I’ve done about a hundred interviews so far, and that’s one of my biggest takeaways with the people that I interview is they think bigger. They just think bigger of what’s possible.

[00:27:50] Adrian Frederick: if you have somebody who is doing a hundred million dollar deals and constructing buildings for hospital systems and building major retail centers, and they’re the 11th largest healthcare developer in the country, they have over 200. Brokers on their team have a full scale property management company with millions of square feet.

[00:28:14] Adrian Frederick: under their control, they do full service 

[00:28:17] Patrick Donley: and he started it on his own. Correct. Did he start the company? He did. He, 

[00:28:21] Adrian Frederick: started super humble. He bought a house in the short North, I think. And he also had a house in old town East. He tells me stories all the time. And if I look at a house in an old town in the East, that’s 400, 000.

[00:28:38] Adrian Frederick: He’s I don’t believe it. Man, I could have bought that house for 5, 000 30 years ago. And you want to pay what? He has righteous indignation. Like I should have kept that house. Like he thinks about the houses he sold, but he worked up to over a hundred houses, most of them by campus, and then decided he wanted to move into commercial and started to sell off his portfolio to transition into commercial.

[00:29:04] Adrian Frederick: It really is natural. Progression, because at some point you realize. That it’s the same amount of work. So you’re working super hard for less return. And the one thing you have that is a finite resource is your time. So even in our company, we’ve reached a place where now I’m looking for development deals, 50 units and up.

[00:29:29] Adrian Frederick: I’m looking for a large multifamily. If it’s going to be any like a straight acquisition of a hundred units and up, because I don’t have the time to devote to a duplex. We’re a single family. I used to, that’s how we started, but we’ve built a healthy portfolio enough for now. And again, since I’m running the company, it’s not in the company’s long term best interest to buy onesie choosies.

[00:29:56] Adrian Frederick: It’s good to have them. They certainly appreciate it. Really? He has to learn. I learned construction on them right now. I have a full service construction company. I learned construction by renovating our assets by learning how to work with subs, the entire construction process permitting, right? I get to use my design skills in all of our renovations.

[00:30:18] Adrian Frederick: I curate our spaces for short term rentals. So all of that is a part of what we do and what I do, but we’ve reached a certain size. Where me wearing five hats no longer makes sense. And if we’re going to truly scale, I’ve got to be out of the business so I can work on the business. 

[00:30:36] Patrick Donley: I want to touch on that.

[00:30:36] Patrick Donley: There’s so many people that have, like you said, onesie, twosies, three, four, maybe five rentals, and it’s great, but how do you scale that to take it to the next level? A lot of people, and, it’s, some of it is a personal preference. They like where it’s at. They don’t want to necessarily provide enough cash flow, but for somebody that wants to grow to the next level, talk to us a little bit about just how you scale things and how you manage your time better and things like that.

[00:31:01] Patrick Donley: Like how you didn’t wear five hats and started being able to grow the portfolio. 

[00:31:06] Adrian Frederick: So I think a function of that too is also, if you really want to add value, even to your partners, you’ve got to show them that you’re not a one trick pony. So I invested in myself, right? So I would join certain investor groups, like I paid tens of thousands of dollars to be in certain groups like mastermind groups to expand my network.

[00:31:29] Adrian Frederick: The people in these groups are mainly accredited Millennial Investing by The Investor’s Podcast Network. So now when I’m looking for deals or they’re looking for deals, they’ll pitch deals inside the group. Or if I have a deal, I might pitch inside the group, but I have people who not only have resources, but they have access to resources, right?

[00:31:48] Adrian Frederick: They have networks. And so being able to raise private money is huge. If you’re trying to scale, really, the only way to scale strategically. Is to use other people’s money, right? It doesn’t really matter. unless you’re Bill Gates, right? Or Warren Buffett, you have a finite amount of cash, right? So it doesn’t make sense to tie up your cash all in 1 deal or 2 deals or 5 deals.

[00:32:12] Adrian Frederick: You want to raise private money. In a way that makes sense strategically to help you to scale. I watch Shark Tank and I smile, right? Because I say to myself for the greedy person who says, I can’t give up any equity. You want to own a hundred percent of nothing, but what if you own 30 percent of a hundred million dollar company?

[00:32:32] Adrian Frederick: And so there are lessons to be learned from that. That’s how I see raising private capital is that, yeah, I won’t own a hundred percent. But I’ll earn my own 30 to 40 to 50 percent of a very huge nugget. And so I think that is one way that I’ve been able to scale in addition to my relationship and partnership with Steve.

[00:32:57] Patrick Donley: So I just was thinking about, there’s so many kinds of like. Flim flam real estate mastermind groups in my mind that, the people are, they’re really like just making money from offering these courses. Maybe they, I don’t even know if they’ve done what they’re saying that they’ll do, but I think there’s just like a lot of scammy things in the real estate market.

[00:33:14] Patrick Donley: So how do you find something that’s legitimate and useful? 

[00:33:18] Adrian Frederick: Great question. It’s a lot of trial and error. Unfortunately, I think we all have, for those who go this route have lost money. I signed up for something. I went to this one course. It’s always free and we’ll do a two day teaching. And then five hours in there were like, so they give you basic information that you could find on your own.

[00:33:39] Adrian Frederick: And then while you’re there, they’re like, but if you want the secret sauce and for me to coach you, It’s 50, 000 and. For private, semi private is 35, 000 and for, and I was like, man, and then P watched people pull out their credit cards. And you’re like, wow. And you see the people in the room, most of them are not accredited Millennial Investing by The Investor’s Podcast Network.

[00:34:01] Adrian Frederick: These are people who are trying to climb out or climb up. And so you go, that doesn’t feel good to me, but I’ve been in some free groups. On Facebook that I track, let’s say, and I’ll be in the room for over a year and I look at the consistency, the quality of the information that’s just being dropped for free over and over again, just quality information.

[00:34:27] Adrian Frederick: Then when they say, Hey, if you want the next level, we have a course. And here’s what you’re going to get. And it’s a long list of information that now it’s not just me having to talk. It’s Hey, I have a weekly construction call to walk through projects and you can submit your project and we walk through your project.

[00:34:50] Adrian Frederick: We’ll do a live, we’ll do a Facebook live from your job site. I’ll come to you and we’ll have our official spreadsheet and we’re going to walk through your project. Every room, trim, door handles, lighting, drywall, baseboards, flooring, each component of every room, right? That’s a different level of value.

[00:35:10] Adrian Frederick: I’m going to show you how to wholesale a deal, but I’m going to, I’m going to give you the forms we use. Thanks. And then we’re going to do a dummy call because we just give you forms. You are still going to be lost. We’re going to do a dummy call and we’re going to call somebody together. Literally, it’s the next level of value.

[00:35:28] Adrian Frederick: you’re not just saying, I’m going to give you a bunch of stuff and then you figure it out. So what I would say is a mastermind that helps you literally. from nothing to getting a deal closed is the kind of mastermind that you want to be in anything where it’s just, we’re going to send you our book and anything that doesn’t provide a lot of value for free is something you shouldn’t be involved in.

[00:35:54] Patrick Donley: I want to hear a little bit more just what the portfolio looks like today. And then your thoughts on going forward. What were you envisioning? 

[00:36:03] Adrian Frederick: So in three years, our value is about 12 and a half million dollars. 

[00:36:08] Patrick Donley: And it’s all short term rentals or a mix of you’ve got a mixed strategy, right?

[00:36:13] Patrick Donley: It’s a mix. 

[00:36:14] Adrian Frederick: So we’ve got 17, 17 short term rentals, and then the rest are traditional. We’ve got about 30 or 40, 40 traditional. Those flux between midterm and long term I might do traveling nurses. I’ve signed, I currently have. A number of corporate clients and corporate tenants. So although they book for 12 months, they’re paying a corporate rate.

[00:36:41] Adrian Frederick: So let’s say a place where a traditional tenant might be 1, 500 to 1, 800 a month. I typically average on those spaces about 4, 500. Wow. 

[00:36:52] Patrick Donley: And how do you find those kinds of people that are willing to pay that? the corporate clients, like you said, so how do you, you’re obviously a great networker.

[00:37:00] Patrick Donley: So tell me what your magic is. 

[00:37:03] Adrian Frederick: That’ll be you buying my mastermind. I’ll tell you how I have one property. The average is 8, 000 a month and its corporate clients. I’ve built very good relationships. I’ve been able to convert customers from other platforms. I have a direct booking website. And so by working with various companies from insurance companies to other companies that are doing a ton of work in Columbus, I’ve been able to work with them.

[00:37:32] Adrian Frederick: What’s been very favorable is you have companies that have let’s say four or five consultants, and as opposed to them renting for four apartments or hotel rooms. Where they would spend 12 to 1500 a day. If they can rent a big house for me and spend 500 a day, that’s very favorable. Then you give ’em a corporate discount.

[00:37:51] Adrian Frederick: Your rate’s only three 50 or 400. But if you look at that for a month, we’re talking $12,000. So you can easily, like those numbers grow significantly, and you are providing a real solution to ’em. They don’t wanna stay in a hotel when the hotel is fine for a night, but when they gotta be here for three weeks, it’s uncomfortable.

[00:38:10] Adrian Frederick: You still feel like you’re living in a closet. You still feel like you’re living out of your luggage, right? People who travel for a longer time want to feel at home while they’re on the road. And so it’s a very real solution. 

[00:38:25] Patrick Donley: I wanted to touch a little on how your faith has impacted. Your business career and just your life in general.

[00:38:32] Patrick Donley: You mentioned you’re a pastor. Your faith obviously is clearly super important to you. Maybe probably the most important thing in your life. So talk to me a little bit about how that influences your day to day and how you run your business. 

[00:38:45] Adrian Frederick: Sure. So first my faith informs the character by which. I run everything I do.

[00:38:52] Adrian Frederick: So absolute integrity is, I think, the foundation for how I approach business, right? I will absolutely rather take the economic loss. If it puts you in a better spot, if there was something that didn’t work out, 

[00:39:09] Patrick Donley: which is really rare, I would say in, in real estate, in business in general. 

[00:39:14] Adrian Frederick: Yes.

[00:39:15] Adrian Frederick: It’s been very, at times painful, but it’s the right thing to do. My word is my bond. It really does matter to me. And so my faith informs the values by which I approach the things that I do, the character in which I bring to the table in dealing with people. My faith also gives me the courage and strength to deal with the volatility of markets and deal with the volatility of the ups and downs.

[00:39:40] Adrian Frederick: I don’t know how people make it without faith. I don’t know how they make it without God. I’m grateful to those who figured out how, but I don’t want to figure out how to make it without God. I really know. For me personally, that I need him in my life and it is that foundation that gives me the strength and courage to do the things I’ve done to at 40 years old, have an epiphany that even though I’ve been training since I was eight years old to be a lawyer, it was more important for me to follow what seemed to feel like uncertain steps.

[00:40:14] Adrian Frederick: It was God that gave me the introduction to Steve back in 2003 and orchestrated this 50 plus year old white guy and the six foot four, 250 pound black guy who didn’t play not one sport except bowling. Couldn’t be from two more, two different worlds and really formed a lifelong and multi generational bond.

[00:40:39] Adrian Frederick: I’m, his sons are like my brothers. That’s unusual, right? Normally there’d be this tension between his biological children. I’m like, who’s this other guy? But we have such a mutual respect and love and admiration for one another that we really are a family. And so my space and just in every area of my life, it was God who opened up doors that didn’t exist from law school to business school.

[00:41:06] Adrian Frederick: I’d say one business class. In undergrad, but I scored really well on the GMAT and was able to get into business school on my merit. But that merit came from God, right? Literally every door, every relationship was God orchestrating it. I don’t believe in coincidences. I do believe that time and chance happen to us all.

[00:41:30] Adrian Frederick: That’s what the Bible says, but I believe God orchestrates those moments for those connections. How I met you, Pat. It’s nothing but God, right? And now I’m sitting here on this wonderful podcast. There’s something I would have never done before, but, because of that divine connection, I’m sitting here with one of the most amazing men I’ve met.

[00:41:51] Patrick Donley: I am honored to hear you say that, but you’re very kind. And I feel the same way about you. it’s just. Just for context, we’re in a group together called prime movers. And before we wrap up, I just wanted to touch on your, why your holy ambition, like why you’re, why you do what you do, like your thoughts on that.

[00:42:10] Adrian Frederick: So my why is man, I’m gonna try to frame this and not be teary eyed, but about why, for everything I do. Or at least I hope my endeavor is to make God’s name famous. My why is to make Jesus famous and everything I do is just the method by which I’m approaching it. I love real estate. Real estate’s in the Bible.

[00:42:37] Adrian Frederick: Like we, the whole Old Testament is about real estate. It’s about people trying to get their piece of land. All right. I believe that the economic wealth that he’s allowing me to get is so that I’m able to distribute it on the earth in a way that meets the needs of people, but shows people that God loves them.

[00:42:58] Adrian Frederick: So even what I’m doing is for a holy ambition. I believe that part of the holy ambition and part of my why is I’m being put in spaces with people who don’t look like me so I can build bridges with people Who do look like me, I can build bridges between the people who look like me and the people who don’t, I believe that God created one amazing race of humans.

[00:43:23] Adrian Frederick: And although we have different shoes, different shades, we all have the same color blood. And we all matter and we all have significance and we all want to become the greatest form of God’s design for us. Now, for me, that drives me and my interactions with people. So the real estate stuff, the construction stuff I do there, it’s great, but even that doesn’t define me.

[00:43:58] Adrian Frederick: If anything, walking away from the law. Showed me that nothing I do defines me. It’s just, it’s what I do. It’s not who I am. So my reason on earth is simply to make his name famous, how I go about it. Is in all these cool spaces. He’s allowed me to play in construction, real estate, church, ministry, all of a marriage, being a father, being a son to a mom, Franklinton rising that, that teaches Christian principles while teaching trade skills to young men so that they learn that they have other opportunities they can see outside of their neighborhood, rebuild their own neighborhood and see what the possibilities for life could be.

[00:44:44] Adrian Frederick: Primary One Health, which is the largest federal health designated healthcare center for, uninsured, underinsured, homeless immigrants with culturally competent, quality healthcare. For me, it really is about building bridges to see people united on earth. And I think we can be, and I know it sounds pie in the sky, but I really don’t think it is.

[00:45:10] Adrian Frederick: I really think so. That as we learn and grow in our specific spheres of influence, we can really make a difference. Wherever it is, you don’t have to be in church to change lives. You, we are the church. We are the ecclesia of God. The church is us. That’s just the building. So anywhere we go, we can literally honor God in what we say and what we do, even in investing, even in making money.

[00:45:38] Adrian Frederick: You don’t have to be unscrupulous. You can make money and do good. Those two things are not mutually exclusive. You can make money and do good. And I plan on doing both by the way, I plan on making a lot of money and doing a lot of good. 

[00:45:54] Patrick Donley: I love it. Adrian, this has been a lot of fun for people that want to get in touch with you or learn more about what you’re up to.

[00:46:00] Patrick Donley: What’s a good way for them to reach out to you or get in touch? 

[00:46:04] Adrian Frederick: So you can reach me at my email adrian@storiedstays.net. That’s my email. You can certainly reach out to me. I’m also on LinkedIn as Adrian Frederick. I’m on Facebook.

[00:46:27] Adrian Frederick: I’m also on Instagram and you’ll have to search for me, but I’m definitely up there. 

[00:46:34] Patrick Donley: I’ll put all these links in the show notes, like all the contact info in the show notes. So if people do want to reach out to it, it’ll be in the show notes, but this has been an honor and a pleasure, Adrian. I’ve been really looking forward to this.

[00:46:45] Patrick Donley: I’m glad we made it happen so well. I could keep talking to you for hours and hours, the insights you had, and thank you for your time. Thank you so much

[00:44:44] Patrick Donley: Okay, folks, that’s all I had for today’s episode. I hope you enjoyed the show and I’ll see you back here real soon.

[00:47:00] Outro: Thank you for listening to TIP. Make sure to follow Millennial Investing on your favorite podcast app and never miss out on our episodes. To access our show notes, transcripts, or courses go to theinvestorspodcast.com. This show is for entertainment purposes only before making any decision, consult a professional.

[00:47:02] Outro: This show is copyrighted by The Investor’s Podcast Network. Written permission must be granted before syndication or rebroadcasting.


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