Attorneys are Human Too, a Podcast

Episode 15-From the Gridiron to the Closing Table Featuring Willie Smith

September 11, 2020 Steve Wallace Season 1 Episode 15
Attorneys are Human Too, a Podcast
Episode 15-From the Gridiron to the Closing Table Featuring Willie Smith
Chapters
Attorneys are Human Too, a Podcast
Episode 15-From the Gridiron to the Closing Table Featuring Willie Smith
Sep 11, 2020 Season 1 Episode 15
Steve Wallace

Join Host Steve Wallace, Esq. and Co-Host Celena Muzic both of The Wallace Law Group, PL as they have the privilege of having former NFL Player and Current Real Estate Broker Willie Smith as their guest.

Topics covered include:

High School and College Football Career
NFL Combine Experience
NFL Football Career
Favorite NFL Coach
Favorite NFL QB Played with
Should College Football Players Be Compensated?
Discussion of CTE in Football
Transition from Football to Business
Advice on How to Get Into Real Estate
Motivations on How to Assist Former Players
State of Eastern North Carolina Market
Real Estate Investment Career and Advice
Pop Culture Banter
Lightning Round

Show Notes Transcript

Join Host Steve Wallace, Esq. and Co-Host Celena Muzic both of The Wallace Law Group, PL as they have the privilege of having former NFL Player and Current Real Estate Broker Willie Smith as their guest.

Topics covered include:

High School and College Football Career
NFL Combine Experience
NFL Football Career
Favorite NFL Coach
Favorite NFL QB Played with
Should College Football Players Be Compensated?
Discussion of CTE in Football
Transition from Football to Business
Advice on How to Get Into Real Estate
Motivations on How to Assist Former Players
State of Eastern North Carolina Market
Real Estate Investment Career and Advice
Pop Culture Banter
Lightning Round

Steve Wallace:

we have a real treat today. We have former NFL player, Willie Smith, who is now a real estate broker in North Carolina. And hi Willie, how are you today?

Willie Smith:

I'm doing well. Thanks for having me on. And we also have

Steve Wallace:

Selena here. She's our cohost. We're both at the Wallace law group.

Celena Muzic:

Hi. Hi, Willie.

Willie Smith:

Hey, how you doing?

Steve Wallace:

He and I, we had the privilege of meeting through social media, which a lot of folks, today, especially in light of the pandemic that are working from home or from, you know, limited, office spaces. A lot of us have really stepped up our social media game and, you know, Willie, you have a great social media presence out there. And I also had the privilege of being on Willie's podcast as well. And what's the name of your podcast? Willie?

Willie Smith:

It's called generational wealth through commercial real estate.

Steve Wallace:

Excellent title. Okay. So where did you grow up? Willy?

Willie Smith:

I grew up in Kenley, North Carolina. We had one stoplight and it was by McDonald's. It didn't take long to get through Kelly. Excellent.

Steve Wallace:

Excellent. So for, for all our listeners out there, Willie, Willie played a few seasons in the NFL. And so, you know, we, one of the things on our podcast, we we've had, we've had a lot of former athletes in our podcast and, sports are something that are near and dear to both Selena and I's heart. And so we're wondering at what age did you start playing

Willie Smith:

football? Well, that's, that's a, that's a great question. No, I, I tried Peewee, but I started late and I was always big, so I could never make my weight. So I never got to play a game on doing Peewee ball. And then, you know, my focus went to basketball and believe it or not, man, I was a solid player. And. I had dreams of making it to the NBA and being the next, you know, Kobe or Jordan. but then, my, my coach football coach in high school, he came to me and he said, look, man, you know, you're, you're six, six, and you're playing power for center. You know, there's, there's a, you know, you're a point guard in the NBA and the odds of you making it about trying to say you can't, but the odds of you making it is going to be slim to none. But it says six, six, right. And don't make a D one scholarship athlete. And you know, when he said that it clicked and I said, what's up, somebody will give us a shot. And that was my 10th grade year in high school. And, you know, one thing led to another and, you know, became a great player.

Steve Wallace:

That's excellent. So we're in Florida and as you know, Florida and Texas, those are the two States that are hotbeds of high school football. How has, how has the high school football scene in North Carolina?

Willie Smith:

well, high school football is not we're near, Florida and, Texas. Well, we have some good competition here, but I was smaller school, man. I was a one double a, I think my graduating class, might've had a hundred people in 120 people in it. So yeah, we're a really small school. I was actually, that was actually the first, athlete, to make, to, to get the D one scholarship to, you know, a big school. So that was huge for our community.

Steve Wallace:

That's excellent. So because of your small school, did you have to play offense and defense or did you just play one side of the ball? okay. And so my understanding is you are you're, you were an offensive lineman. Did you also play defensive line as well?

Willie Smith:

Well, actually in high school, I was a, defensive van and I was a Titan. Oh, okay, great. Yeah. Yeah. So I was that's, that's how I got recruited actually as a den, out of a high school, you know, I was thinking I was going to be in as Julius peppers and, East Carolina university, gave me a full scholarship and, skip Holtz and Donny Thompson, you know, came to my house and sat on my couch and said, you know, Hey man, we want you, you know, we believe you can be great. And I think you're going to be a phenomenal athlete and you know, a kid in high school were hearing that from a D one coach, man, you know, you're like, all right, man. Yeah. Yeah, that sounds awesome. It sounds like a great opportunity. And that's why I ended up at East Carolina university.

Steve Wallace:

Did they also will your parents because I'm sure your parents had a big say in what, what school you went to.

Willie Smith:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, well, basically they just told my mom, look, we're going to take care of him. Like he's our own son. And that, that was the main thing with her. You know, your mom wants to protect you. you know, my dad wasn't in the picture, so it was just my mom that they had to convince him. That was pretty simple.

Steve Wallace:

Excellent. So you went to East Carolina university. And, and could you tell our listeners what part of w what city is East Carolina? North Carolina?

Willie Smith:

Yeah, it's in Greenville. We're in the Eastern part of the state.

Steve Wallace:

Okay, great. And so what was your experience? How did, did you enjoy playing college football?

Willie Smith:

Yeah. Yeah, it was also, you know, I came in and I, you know, thought I was going to be the big shot. You know, everybody thinks that until they get slapped in the face, man, it was, it was, it was a different story, man. I got flat. I think about my first play, coming in, we were scrimmaging and, and I'm coming across the edge thinking I'm about to make this tackle a bag at bad. And he picked me up and slammed me. And I was like, dang, like, yo, this is for real.

Steve Wallace:

Yeah.

Willie Smith:

Yeah. Yeah, man. It was crazy. but I came in at, at two 25, right. And by the end of my, and I registered it by the end of my freshmen on restaurant year, I was two 65 and that was all muscle.

Steve Wallace:

Holy cow.

Willie Smith:

Wow. So

Steve Wallace:

could you, could you just give cause cause because one thing, a lot of our listeners don't understand the commitment and the time that it takes for the college football spending and you all, in addition to that, you're balancing a course load. I don't think a lot of people really appreciate the hard work and the dedication and we're going to follow up with another question about, should you be compensated for all the time and work that you put in as well?

Willie Smith:

Yeah, no, that's, that's a great question, man. It's, it's a lot of hard work and some guys, you know, quite frankly, they just don't make it because they don't have the level of focus that's required to, To juggle all of that, you know, you've got to school. and that's why you see some guys, they choose an easier route and just do something like communications, because it doesn't require that much work load on them. But I decided I want to do mine in business management. So I, you know, I actually had some classes and papers and stuff that I really had to focus in. And right. So, you know, you just had the time I had to learn how to time block, you know, when I wasn't in school or football, You know, Hey, let me go ahead and block this time out the first part of the day or between classes, let's go ahead and knock some work out. So I was focused in that regards and that's, that's how I was able to, the joke where everything out on that. And then as far as the second question, you know, do I believe, college athletes should be compensated. I would say, yeah, you know, we, we, in a, in a one sentence you are compensated because they are paying for your schooling. But in another sense, if you think about how much money these programs bring in from, from collegiate athletes, specifically football, you know, they're making a hundred. millions of dollars, you know, they're making a lot of money. So yes, I, I think the players should be compensated some form, some fashion, you know, how does that look? I don't know, but I do believe that that should happen.

Steve Wallace:

Okay, great. Selena,

Celena Muzic:

I agree. I mean, and I've, I've said that every time we've interviewed a coach or anyone on the show, I've always asked like their opinion on, on how they should be compensated or. Or other ways that they should be allowed to make some money. I mean, like I said, you have major companies, you know, sporting goods companies giving these schools tons of money. And I don't see why they can't give a percentage to these students. I mean, yes, you're paying for their college. But at the same time, they still have to live. They still have to be, I mean, they're young, these football players look massive and an older, but they're young

Willie Smith:

they're kids. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, no, I agree with you 100%. I mean, it's, it's a lot of money to come into the schools, and not even talking about the, the money to come into the conference. And then from the, the, the TV contracts, all of this, I mean, there's a lot of money that gets circulated and, you know, players should get their cut because they put a lot of time, energy effort, blood, sweat, tears, into making those programs, what they are. Yeah.

Celena Muzic:

And I, and I, and I always wonder about the sacrifice these players make. And then, you know, not every player makes it to the NFL. So you make all that sacrifice and then you get your, you know, your bachelor's degree in something. And a lot of them end up having just regular jobs, you know, it's, it doesn't seem fair because it's still a career they had while they were in college. The way, the way that I see it, it's a career.

Willie Smith:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you talk about sacrifices. You know, football is a very physical sport. but with that being said, I, I injured myself and, and when the workouts, you know, when the workouts is it's really, if you really think about when the workouts, you can ask any coach this, you know, and I don't know if they will tell you that through, but it's all about saying how mentally tough your, your players are. So they're pushing you to your limit. I mean, you're. Out there about the dye and, they, they, they wanted to see how much they can get out of you. And, you know, going through winter workouts, I actually tore my Achilles tendon on the last day of winter workouts, the last drill with probably one minute left before it was done. And I tore my Achilles tendon and I had a battle back from that and, you know, get back on the starting roster and in play. But,

Steve Wallace:

this in college, you, you injured your Achilles.

Willie Smith:

Yeah, this was in college.

Steve Wallace:

Oh my gosh. So did you have, did you have an extra year off because did you get a medical red shirt because of that?

Willie Smith:

Nah, that's what was a blessing, man? I, I tore it in February and did the re the repair on it and did a rehab and made it back by account, in August and made it and started every game that year. Wow.

Steve Wallace:

Wow.

Celena Muzic:

Can I ask you, you know, we hear of all these cases of all these NFL players with

Willie Smith:

CTE,

Celena Muzic:

is that something that's going on in the universities as well? And then it's just not being talked

Willie Smith:

about. I would say anybody that's playing football and you know, they're in a high contact, position. Then that can happen to anybody. You know, you're hitting has every place. So it's getting talked about more in the NFL, just because this, this is the end FL and there's a lot of money that's been thrown around out there, but. Anybody that's playing sports at a high level and there's, there's high impact. And there's a chance that, you know, that individual could develop, you know, the CTE. Yeah.

Celena Muzic:

Do you think that the NFL could be doing more to help these players even after their career has ended with the NFL that have CTE.

Willie Smith:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, absolutely. I mean, down there, they're, they're making some money, you know, they, they really bring in some cash and yeah, I definitely believe that the NFL could do more for, you know, people that retire or they have to retire because of concussions or whatever it is. there's a lot more that could be done, you know, in those regards.

Steve Wallace:

So, so can I ask you a question, have you ever, during a game or during practice suffered a concussion that you're aware of?

Willie Smith:

I mean, I probably have, I mean, if you play on the old lie, you pretty much get your bell rung, you know, at some point, you know, and just keep going. I mean, you just shake it off and, you know, keep that plan. Okay. Good.

Steve Wallace:

Good, good, good. So during college, how, how successful was your team? Did you guys ever make it to a bowl game?

Willie Smith:

Yeah. Yeah. When I was there at East Carolina, we haven't, haven't been doing that great of late, but, you know, the program is handed in the right direction now. But when I was there, we, went back to back conference championships, conference USA, and we went into a bowl game every year. I was there. That's

Steve Wallace:

excellent. I'm sure. Because of your leadership, right.

Willie Smith:

That's right.

Steve Wallace:

Yeah. And then, yeah, cause you, I know East Carolina before Syracuse went to the ACC, they used to play them every year and you guys used to catch us. A bunch of times.

Willie Smith:

Yeah, yeah,

Steve Wallace:

yeah. Okay.

Celena Muzic:

Did you play for in the NFL?

Willie Smith:

well, I came out, the year I came out, it was, the lockout. I don't know if you guys remember that. but it was a lockout. I thought I was gonna get drafted. I wasn't. So I was sitting around, just trying to figure out what was next lockout ended. A lot of teams call me. I decided to go with the Redskins. I, but just to trial it though was not a guarantee. And I just went out there, bust my tail and hard work and made a 53 man roster play with them. And then the next year I was released and Oakland Raiders, they picked me up off waivers. I started eight games for them and the next count was having a great count. but then I, got waived injured because I partially told my tricep and, did a rehab on that. And then the charges picked me up later that year. And then I played another year with the chargers and then I did account with. The, what, what are Washington, Washington and the Panthers again? So, you know, all together, I did six years if you count the counts. Wow.

Steve Wallace:

So let's, let's take a step back. So I assume, because you were, you were a prospect, did you go through the draft combine?

Willie Smith:

Yeah, I went through the combine.

Steve Wallace:

Okay. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Just cause I see it on TV and it looks pretty like. Barbaric, some of the things that you guys do, they just care about like the numbers and everything like that. Like how high he can jump, how fast he can run. I mean, it's, it's, it's pretty inhumane

Willie Smith:

environment. Yeah. I mean, you just police the meat, like just going through the city line, like, you know, it's, like you said, and then they bring me in for interviews as you all kind of all kinds of questions to kind of see who you are, you know, will you be a fit for their organization? But yeah, I mean, that's, that's a Sally, what it is, man. You you're just a number. That's why you see the numbers on a test. Like really just a number. I mean,

Steve Wallace:

I like football, but I, I kinda don't like it also just the way that they treat you guys, you know, they're making a lot of money and you know, your, your career span is not that long. And I mean, you're losing, you know, your twenties and thirties, and then they're discarded because there's not. There's not a, you know, especially in your position, there's not a lot of guaranteed contracts.

Willie Smith:

Right. And here's the thing that people don't talk about a lot. but as you're playing and you're putting everything you have into the career, like, like you mentioned, you know, you're like you just said 20 in your twenties and thirties. So when you get out, there's your peers that you went to school with that, you know, received their degree. And now they're eight, 10 years in to day career. And you're essentially like, you know, you're, you're brand new, but you're a grown man and you're starting from the bottom when you're trying to enter the workforce. So that's what makes that something that's very challenging that nobody's talking about.

Steve Wallace:

We're here on this podcast. We want to talk about what nobody's talking about. So

Celena Muzic:

yeah, I mean, you sound like, have you ever watched the show ballers?

Willie Smith:

Nah. Oh my

Celena Muzic:

God, you sound, you sound like that show where he's an ex football player and he's trying to help all these, all these football players manage their finances. And he's basically starting a new career after his career ended. And, and he realized that. You know, he lost almost everything because I, and correct me if I'm wrong, but when you're in the NFL, you're living this, like HyLife people forget that that ends quickly and not every player and well, unless, you know, they, they took their education and career elsewhere,

Willie Smith:

right?

Celena Muzic:

Like Michael straight

Willie Smith:

hand.

Steve Wallace:

So along those lines, who is your favorite coach in the NFL and why?

Willie Smith:

Ah, man that's well, I guess if I got to say my favorite coach, you know, Mike Shanahan, because he gave me my first opportunity, you know, with the Washington Redskins, You know, if it wasn't for, for, you know, them deciding to sign me then who knows if I would ever get another opportunity in the NFL. So, you know, and the zone offense, I loved it. I was athletic tackle them. So just get it out and running was, it fit me. So that's, that's why I like that organization.

Steve Wallace:

And where were you? What, what tackle, where you left tackle or right tackle.

Willie Smith:

I was left taco. but then if you don't become a starter, you automatically are swinging toggles. So you play left and right. Gotcha.

Steve Wallace:

So Selena and for our listeners out there left tackle is one of the most valuable positions in football because they protect the quarterback's blind side. You ever see the movie, the blind side, that was the

Celena Muzic:

blind side.

Steve Wallace:

Right. And so

Celena Muzic:

he remembered that Titans,

Steve Wallace:

right? Red? No, but Willie, Willie played that, that, that interval position.

Celena Muzic:

Wow. Well, and for the Redskins, let me ask you, what do you think about people? And this is a little bit political, but what do you think about the request to change the name for the Redskins?

Willie Smith:

Well, yeah, I don't, I don't really get political. but I guess if, if it was offending people. Then, you know, maybe it was the time to change it, but at the same time, you know, I don't know, I really don't get political. So I don't really dig into that stuff too much.

Steve Wallace:

Better, better safe than sorry is what I said. Okay. So you were, you're the defender of the quarterback and when, when you're the starting left tackle and you play the right tackle also. So that being said, we know who your favorite coaches, who is your favorite quarterback that you protected on the old line.

Willie Smith:

man. That's, that's a great question. And you can ask any office alarm. It is, but you know, your, your favorite quarterback has the one that's mobile, because if you're getting beat, you want somebody that can be bored. But, you know, he was a good quarterback, you know, Phillip rivers and San Diego, he was a great quarterback. I play with some great quarterbacks, man. I really have,

Steve Wallace:

I have a question about Phillip rivers though, specifically. So when I see him on the sidelines, he's always like kind of grouchy and he's like yelling at people. How was your relationship with them? I mean, I'm sure he liked you cause you protected his butt.

Willie Smith:

Yeah. Yeah, no, Phil, Phil's a good guy, man. you know, it was passionate, you know, he, yeah, he approached it like a business day in and day out and that's why he's still playing now. But, Yeah, man. It feels a great guy. Very, very passionate about winning, you know, he wants to win. He wants to get that Superbowl. So, you know, you want to be intense when you're trying to get that done.

Steve Wallace:

Excellent. Okay. Last football question then we'll transition into, we want to learn about Onyx capital investments.

Willie Smith:

So

Steve Wallace:

at what point during your career, did you decide that. I, you know, I I've kind of utilized as much as I can and football and it's time for me to take that next step into the business world.

Willie Smith:

well, I would say man, that happened when I didn't get drafted. because once I didn't get drafted, I realized that, you know, nothing is guaranteed and this football isn't guaranteed. You need to have a plan B. And that's the one thing I tell the guys I talked to in college that, that want to make it to the league. Hey. It's a great goal, but Hey man, have a plan B, go ahead and get a degree. That makes sense. So you can make money when you're done with sports. So, you know, in other regards, man, I was always thinking about how can I make money outside? I had of football. So when I did get drafted, well, when I did make the 53 man roster, I, I just was always looking, you know, and yeah, I started buying duplexes and townhomes here in my local market, Greenville, North Carolina. And, it was, it was, it was powerful because I was out there hitting him. People and blocking and doing all that, but I'll look at my account and there's a check sitting there for something that I didn't do anything for. You know, the passive income side of real estate is what really attracted me to this industry. And, you know, obviously reading rich dad, poor dad, you know, having assets to pay for your liabilities is also critically important as well.

Steve Wallace:

Excellent. I'm sorry. I do have two more football related questions, but they're kind of funny one. So, so. when you got that first check from, from when you made your 53 man roster, what was the first thing you bought with that check,

Willie Smith:

man, I wouldn't have Vegas and I put it on black. And how'd you do when I hit all those aside, I'll do as a side, man, I, you know, went on a nice dinner with my wife and, took care of my mom may get, gave her some money. You know, that's what I do with that first

Steve Wallace:

touch. That's great. And then the last, last football related question is. Could you tell us a story? What was the most passionate halftime or pregame talk that your coaches or your, or your teammates gave to

Willie Smith:

you? Oh man. That's that's that's tough, man. Cause I was part of so many games, so many great players, so many great teammates. You know, a DJ Fluker man, you know, if you look him up, he's still playing. I think he's with, I think he's with Baltimore now, but DJ Fluker man, he, you know, pregame, he, and he was, he always used to always be like, man, somebody, the database, somebody's got a dotted big though. What that

Celena Muzic:

chain say? Wow.

Willie Smith:

Wow. Let's get everybody so hight, somebody ready to go out there, man. But I was like, man, nobody ain't died yet, man. Stop saying that I'm getting excited.

Steve Wallace:

Just hearing

Willie Smith:

that, you know? Yeah. But he, he, he be so hyped up, man. His energy just draws you in man. So yeah, I would say DJ Fluker man. That was my guy. You know, he helped every, everything he was on. Man. Everybody can tell you high energy man, high energy.

Celena Muzic:

Well, and I'm going to transition, but back to the real estate, being that you know, so many ex players in NFL and the NFL, is that something that you're going to try to roll into your real estate?

Willie Smith:

Yeah, well, one of my passions and the reason why I started my podcast, generational wealth to commercial real estate was because I wanted to have a platform where I can give back and help educate people on. You know how to visit a real estate, man, I bring on some of the best, you know, syndicators operators in the, in the U S and, that was the reason why I started the podcast, but I'm trying to find a way to, get in front of these guys, you know, whether they're rookies or, or God's just getting ready to exit. And they're trying to figure out what's next, putting the platform together, maybe it's a module or, you know, write a book. I don't know. I'm still trying to brainstorm it, but I want to find a way. To, to help these guys, learned that, man, you don't have to give all your money to the financial advisor and just hope and pray that he takes care of you. But you know, getting some financial literacy in front of these guys and showing them look, instead of buying that car, go buy this, this multifamily building that would pay for that car, your life, you know, forever. You know, so just trying to get that in front of these guys and, and figure it out best medium for that is what I'm focusing on right now.

Celena Muzic:

This is why you have to watch ballers.

Willie Smith:

Well,

Steve Wallace:

they're going to do a new series about Willie, you know, about focusing on real estate.

Celena Muzic:

Okay. Well, it's going to be the spinoff

Steve Wallace:

real estate is a lot, there's a major component of real estate is sales. So at what point did you, did you develop or hone your sales skills and then use that to transition into real estate?

Willie Smith:

Yeah. Well, if you think about it, man, You're you're always selling, you know, whether that's, trying to get somebody to date you, you're trying to sell them on why you're the best person for them or trying to get a job. you're selling that employer on why they should hire you. And it's the same thing every day in sports, man, you you're selling them on why you should still be the starter. So you're constantly selling all the time. Right? And, when I finished, playing college ball and I didn't get drafted, I, started at his company called Cutco because once again, wasn't getting all this money from the university. So I had to figure out a way to, you know, still put some money in my pocket and I'll cut coal was a company that sells kitchen cutlery. And I was going around knocking on doors with a bag full of nice saying, Hey man, you want to bottle your knife like that? And, you know, I reached out to some of the boosters and the people that supported ECU and, I learned how to sell and I became one of the top sales brokers, for the company while I was with bill, man. I learned a lot from that time on how to sell them. You know, I take that into what I do now.

Steve Wallace:

Listen, if you can sell knives to somebody, you can sell anything to anybody, especially if you're walking to somebody's store with a bag. Wow. That is, that is fascinating. Really? So then let's fast forward a little bit. After you, you were a top salesperson at Cutco. what was the next step and what made you decide to transition into real estate sales and real estate investment?

Willie Smith:

Yeah. Yeah. So I'm real estate. I, I got into that side of the business because, once again, career is over. I had a degree in business management, but if you look at the jobs that was available to entry level management, degrees, it was 30. Five, maybe 40, $45,000 here in Eastern North Carolina. And, you know, I, you know, I got a wife and three kids at the time. I got four now, but I have three kids at a time and you know, it's going to be hard to, to make it make a job like that work. So I said, man, we got to get into sales. And, you know, I purchased those properties while I was playing and I understood the transactional process of it. And I was like, well, that's, that's not that hard. So I went and studied in, you've got my real estate license and, you know, became one of the top sellers brokers here. And, In my local market and that was on the residential side, but then I got tired of dealing with emotions, buyers about not wanting to buy because they don't like the color of the room or they don't like why the carpet is looked like that. And, it was just too much emotion. So I switched over to the commercial side and really started focusing on investment sales where the apartment complex was still storage and mobile home parks.

Steve Wallace:

Excellent. Excellent. Okay. So can you give us a snapshot of the North Carolina Eastern North Carolina market? So, because we have investors that are looking to invest all over the world and, you know, obviously we would love, you know, I've known you before for a while and I enjoy being a guest on your podcast and you're very knowledgeable. So could you give us a little snapshot of that market?

Willie Smith:

Yeah. Yeah. well I focused on North Carolina in general because, you know, it's just, you know, it's hard to find good opportunities and that's the kind of deals I'm trying to put in front of my investors is, From the overturn pre-bill and, you know, I'm, I'm getting paid by going direct to seller and, finding somebody that wants to sell off market. So if you're looking at Greenville, you know, for a B class product, you're probably going to be somewhere around 70 adore. our market typically trays around six and a half. but it's, it's solid, solid rental community. and you got to East Carolina university here, you got the, the people that work at the hospital, a lot, a lot of blue, blue collar workers here. so you, you, you have, you know, Greenville and then you think about, you know, Raleigh is about our 30 minutes West of us. And Raleigh is a very, very hot market. Lot of population growth out of job growth. You've got diversity of jobs, but you're going to be looking at cap rates around five, five and a half. We look in the Raleigh market and, you know, the, depending on that asset that you're looking at, I mean, you can, depending on where from 110, a door to 180 a door, just, you know, depending on where you're at and in Charlotte is, is very similar. It's just a very hot market, you know, a lot, a lot of jobs over there as well. A lot of people moving to Charlotte. so it's the same kind of thought process, man. You you're going to be paying around at five and a half cap rate in, you know, you bought a one 20 to one 40 a door.

Celena Muzic:

What advice would you give someone looking to get into real estate? In your area, what advice? Because a lot of people go into real estate and they think automatically they're going to make tons of money right away.

Willie Smith:

Right, right, right. Well, you know, I got on his capital investment, so I have my, you know, investment arm that I'm trying to do myself. And, you know what I would tell anybody to do what I'm doing. get out there and network with people, you know, because you know, when you start trying to do bigger deals, You're going to need partners. You're going to need team members that have, have agency experience, because if you're trying to get Fannie and Freddie debt, they want to see that you have prior experience with them. And you're not going to have it yourself if you're just getting started. So yeah, we'll find some, some operators that, that are, You know, ready to do more deals and you go out there and find a deal, you know, bring them on. Now you want to need somebody. They help you raise capital. You know, if you're talking about it, a $10 million property, and you've got to put 30%, you got to put down $3 million and you know, most people are not gonna have through me at all, sit in a bank account. And even if they do, you still gotta have some posts, close liquidity and net worth of the loan. So, you know, it's a lot that goes into it. So I would just tell anybody that's looking to get started. Number one network network network. You have LinkedIn, you have Instagram, you have Facebook. You'll get on these platforms because there's a lot of people out there that's make a noise in the industry. And then number two, focus on building your team. Like you need a broker, you need an attorney, you need, inspectors, you need insurance guys. I mean, it's a lot that goes into putting a deal together. So don't think don't make the mistake of thinking. You can do everything yourself because you're going to be spinning your wheels for a long time. Correct.

Steve Wallace:

That's excellent. Okay. We're gonna start wrapping up. So what we're going to do is we're going to ask each, ask one question and then, Selena, you want to do the lightning round this time? Okay. So my question is, during the pandemic, what TV show or shows have you been binge-watching.

Willie Smith:

Well, great question. Bad. Cause because Netflix is there, it's readily available. but what's the show man kingdom, on Netflix, I've been binge watching it and a guy that's got out of prison and he's boxing and, you know, building his career back up. So I've been watching that. Yeah. Yeah. But I, I was trying to balance that with not bending too much because I still need to get a lot of work done. A lot of different stuff we're trying to work on right now. So yeah, that that's, that's the show them.

Celena Muzic:

Okay. Here's my question. If you were stuck on an Island, like Castaway, what celebrity would you like to come rescue you?

Willie Smith:

I gotta be careful here. Okay. Say the answer I want, my wife might hear me. Oh man. I guess I'm okay. Man, Denzel Washington a bad. So we can talk about his, his career and how he's successful, man. You believe it or not, man. Dinsdale is he's he's doing a lot of amazing things or shack. No, ma'am matter of fact, let me change that. My answer to shack shack, you know, he was one of the best in the NBA, Dunkin on people, but then he transitioned and became very, very successful in real estate and businesses. So yo Shaq

Celena Muzic:

insurance companies,

Willie Smith:

yeah. Companies.

Steve Wallace:

Papa John's board, you know, the only, the only African American to be on their board.

Celena Muzic:

Every time I see a, an insurance commercial with Chuck, I'm like he is doing it.

Willie Smith:

Yeah. Yeah. Kill them again.

Celena Muzic:

Okay. I'm going to ask you a few quick fire questions in the worry. They're going to be very simple. Okay. And you're just answer them without any thought in mind. Yup. Take coffee or tea,

Willie Smith:

coffee,

Celena Muzic:

sneakers, or dress shoes.

Willie Smith:

Dress shoes,

Celena Muzic:

shorts or

Willie Smith:

pants, shorts.

Celena Muzic:

He didn't have dressings with some shorts on like

Steve Wallace:

good

luck.

Celena Muzic:

Pie or cake dogs or

Willie Smith:

cats? Dogs.

Celena Muzic:

Okay. That concludes my quick fire question. I'm glad it's dogs.

Steve Wallace:

Thank you so much, Willie. Can you tell us how we can find you you're on a variety of different platforms and we would love our listeners to find you, and then also tell us a little bit more about your podcast and closing.

Willie Smith:

Yeah, well, I'm on LinkedIn as a will Smith. I'm there with my charges uniform on game mode. So I'm up there, LinkedIn. you can get me on Facebook will Smith as well. my, my website on its capital investments.com. You can contact me there. All my contact information is on that website as well. And then as far as my podcast, that's on YouTube. It's on iTunes anywhere. You can listen to a music ed or podcasts that, I'm up there.

Steve Wallace:

He is great. He has great guests,

Willie Smith:

generational wealth through commercial real estate.

Steve Wallace:

And he's a great interviewer. He's got amazing gas. And you really can learn a lot about the real estate industry by watching his podcast.

Willie Smith:

Thanks.

Steve Wallace:

And then in closing, I also, I, one last question, one of the things that I find fascinating about your social media presence are you have such nice, colorful and informative infographics. Can you, can you tell us your secret?

Willie Smith:

That's my secret sauce, man. I can't get you that. Okay. All right. Well

Steve Wallace:

look on his, on his, on his social media. Amazing informative infographics.

Celena Muzic:

That's how he keeps it spicy.

Steve Wallace:

That's right. Thank you so much, Willie. And we look forward to you having the utmost success and thank you so much and we wish you the best.

Willie Smith:

Appreciate it, man. Thanks.

Celena Muzic:

Thank you for being a part of this.

Willie Smith:

Absolutely.