Today we’d like to introduce you to Zach Haptonstall.
Zach, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story. I was born and raised here in Phoenix. I lived here my entire life, with the exception of living in Colorado for a bit. I had a football scholarship and I realized I wasn’t going to make it to the NFL so I came back. I wanted to be a sports reporter, so I got a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Broadcasting from Arizona State University. I was a live news anchor and sports reporter on Arizona PBS for about six months. I hosted a show on Fox Sports Network in Arizona. It was cool being on TV at first, but then you quickly realize that you don’t make any money doing that and work crazy hours.
I was delivering medical equipment nights and weekends to pay for school. My boss told me how much money you can make in healthcare sales. I had just got this fancy expensive degree with a ton of student debt, and I decided not to pursue journalism. I got a job as a Hospice Business Development Director. My job was to wake up in the morning, drive all around Phoenix and walk-in cold to hospitals, doctors’ offices, assisted livings and build relationships with physicians, social workers, nurses, etc. to find patient referrals and build up the company census.
A lot of people don’t realize that Hospice is an extremely competitive and lucrative private business industry. There’s a lot of money on it. Phoenix is the number one market in the country because it’s sunny and a lot of seniors come here to retire. Long story short, I was blessed to do very well in the Hospice industry. I came from a lower-middle-class family. We never had a lot money growing up. I was quickly rising up in this company and became a part-owner. I got my MBA, paid off all my school debt with cash, and bought a house. I was very blessed at a young age in my early twenties to be making $200,000-plus a year. I was doing well but I was getting burnt out. I was working 60-plus hours a week. I was getting taxed heavily on commissions. I was on-call seven days a week doing something I wasn’t passionate about. I didn’t even care about the money anymore, and I did not feel challenged or fulfilled anymore.
In January 2018, I decided I was done. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or have any time to even figure it out. I knew I wanted to create passive income somehow and gain control back of my time. I resigned and sold my equity in the company. I had no plan. I didn’t know anybody in real estate, I’d gotten my real estate license two years prior but I’d never used it. It was a backup plan type of deal. I had enough savings to live off of for the next twelve months while I tried to figure out how to make passive income off of real estate somehow. I wasn’t even thinking multifamily necessarily. I was thinking about passive income.
I read the book, Rich Dad Poor Dad. I shifted my mindset. I started consuming as much real estate content as I could. I was reading all the books and listening to all the podcasts. Three months into it, March of 2018, I was looking at mobile home parks. I cold-called over 90 mobile home park owners here in Phoenix. I found one that looked like a great deal but I was terrified. I had analysis paralysis. I waited four weeks until I finally called the broker. He said, “We got that under contract yesterday.” I got discouraged but I kept going. I learned about multifamily apartment investing and syndication. Because a lot of my network is made up of physicians and healthcare business owners from my days in hospice, it seemed like a much more attractive asset class that they would get into as opposed to the mobile home parks. I decided I was going to stay focused and dive straight into Multifamily.
I began cold calling property managers, brokers, lenders and attorneys, and build a team. I started learning the lingo and process that way. Six months go by at this point and I’ve made no money. I’m burning through my savings. I’ve lost all the confidence I had before. I’ve had an identity crisis. I wake up every morning like, “How can I move forward? What do I do to be productive to move the needle?” I was close to making some offers on some smaller Apartment Buildings, but I decided I needed to leverage myself and others to go bigger faster.
After spending a lot of time and money at networking events, vetting out a ton of people, I finally met my first business partner named Robert. He’s local here in Phoenix as well. We found a 36-unit apartment deal in Phoenix that penciled and we were shocked. We put in an offer and then the offer got accepted. It is a $3.4 million deal. We closed the deal with our other primary partner, Bikran and a few other investors.
Fortunately, for all of our deals, I was the point person for all the communication with the broker, lender and attorney. I learned a lot about those processes. What everybody says about doing the first deal is true. You’re now in the “club.” For me, it was like getting a monkey off my back. I’d spent a year going to all these events, listening to podcasts, and reading the books. You feel like you’re a real estate investor, but until you have a deal, you’re not a real estate investor. Since then, we’ve been super blessed. We started pounding the pavement, and we now own five apartment buildings, 420-units. $48 million dollars of assets under management all here in Phoenix.
My fiance, Grace is our director of marketing, and events. She’s a machine with all that stuff. We host a monthly networking and education event in Phoenix with 100+ people. I couldn’t have done this without Grace and more importantly, It’s crucial to have a supportive partner. I had people telling me, “Oh, you can’t do this, you’re too young” or “You’re crazy to leave a 200K job behind”, but Grace was always there to have my back. Keeping strong in my Christian faith in Jesus was the other main support system, I had to get my goals accomplished. I feel very blessed to have Grace and my other business partners on my team. We have huge goals that have only just begun. Although starting something new is scary and full of challenges, you have to remain relentless. I enjoy helping others who are trying to make that change and gain back control of their lives. I will continue using this vehicle to give back and help others have freedom.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I faced a ton of adversity while starting up my investment company. It was a complete mindset shift because when I quit my job, I went from getting fat checks every two weeks to burning through money so, Grace and I canceled our TV and many other subscriptions. We made a lot of social and financial sacrifices. The biggest thing that I had to adopt in order to be successful was to be more consistent and disciplined with my habits. I had to become more relentless and mentally tough more than ever before. It was hard going into something new blindly with no connections or guidance. It was also difficult to measure if I was making any progress or making the right decisions. Relying on my faith, habits, immersing myself with resources, and keeping a strong mindset is what helped me continue to move the needle each day.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with ZH Multifamily – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Thank you very much, I am humbled that our investors trust us to grow their capital. It is incredible to watch our investors become “financially free” and gain back control of their time. By providing a vehicle to create passive income, we are allowing people the opportunity to spend more time with their families and on their passions. One thing that sets our company apart is that we source and purchase deals local here in Phoenix, where we are based. We are heavily involved in the ongoing asset management and operations. Aside from the time spent, we also personally invest the same minimum amount as the investors do for each deal, so our interests are fully aligned. We are sure to over communicate every step of the way!
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Phoenix is one of the hottest markets in the world for Apartment Investing. With strong fundamentals such as massive job and population growth, Phoenix will be strongly insulated during a recession or slight correction. The value-add buildings we invest in are considered affordable housing, so our occupancy should also stay strong during these circumstances. There are no major indicators that the Industry will be slowing down in Phoenix any time soon. We will continue to look for great opportunities for our investors, and plan to quickly scale our hundreds of units into thousands. Most importantly, my fiance Grace and I want to continue educating others about financial education and providing resources to enhance their quality of living. That is where the passion and drive is fueled the most and we will continue to look for more spheres of positive influence.
- $50,000- $75,000 minimum investment depending on the property.