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How to Scale Commercial Real Estate

Jun 22, 2022

There’s no quick way to success in real estate. It takes patience and consistency to create wealth and leave a lasting legacy.


In this episode, we share an inspiring conversation with Marcus Long as he talks about his journey to multifamily. Marcus is a husband, father of a seven and four-year-old, and an active duty Naval Officer with 21 years of service. As he transitions out of the military to focus on family, charity, and real estate full time, he is excited to serve others in new ways. He is passionate about positively impacting the communities he chose to invest in and finding financial freedom.



[00:01 - 05:51] There Is Value in Slow Growth

  • Marcus talks about how he got into multifamily
  • How he’s able to do deals remotely while living in England
  • Trusting the process and being patient


[05:52 - 11:24] Lessons Learned Going Into Multifamily

  • Raising capital overseas and establishing trust with his investors
  • Networking and letting people know what you’re doing
  • Don’t take rejection personally
  • A failure Marcus experienced and how he overcame it
  • The importance of systems and processes


[11:25 - 16:10] Living Life in Your Own Terms

  • Marcus’ definition of success
  • Being present in his family’s life
  • It’s not just about the money, it’s about giving back to the community
  • Setting goals as a couple
  • Encouraging conversations about real estate and investing opportunities


[16:11 - 19:32] Closing Segment

  • The best piece of advice Marcus received
  • Reach out to Marcus! 
    • Links Below
  • Final Words

Tweetable Quotes


“People can't come to invest with you if they don't know what you're doing.” - Marcus Long


“Something's only a failure really if we label it as a failure.” - Marcus Long

“Trust that process and be consistent with it. And the results will come.“ - Marcus Long



Connect with Marcus! Visit their website and find their socials here.


Resource mentioned

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Want to read the full show notes of the episode? Check it out below:


[00:00:00] Marcus Long: That's one of the first things I really did, was kind of turn around and like, make sure everyone knows what I'm doing, right? People can't come to invest with you if they don't know what you're doing. And so just kind of going back through, you know, social media, Facebook, LinkedIn, and everything else, just kind of reaching out to contacts and just letting people know like, Hey, this is the transition that I'm making in my business. There might be some opportunities available in the future if you're interested in, in having that conversation.

[00:00:34] Sam Wilson: Marcus Long is a husband, father of a seven and four-year-old, and an active duty Naval officer with 21 years of service. As he transitions out of the military to focus on family charity and real estate full time, he is excited to serve others in new ways. Marcus, welcome to the show. 

[00:00:49] Marcus Long: Thanks, Sam. Appreciate it. 

[00:00:50] Sam Wilson: Hey man, pleasure's mine. There's three questions I ask every guest who comes to the show: in 90 seconds or less, can you tell me, where did you start? Where are you now? And how did you get there? 

[00:00:59] Marcus Long: Yeah, so, you know, I grew up in rural Missouri. I enlisted in the Navy right out of high school. And a few years later I got selected for a commissioning program, was going to the University of Missouri when I bought my first real estate condo there. I did some house hacking, kept it as a rental when I left and I still own it today.

[00:01:15] Marcus Long: And, after that I was doing a lot of deploying. And so I wasn't necessarily super intentional, but opportunistically, you know, picked up a dozen or so single-family multi-use buildings and stuff back in Missouri through my career. And about three or four years ago. You know, I went home from work early one day and my daughter was pretty young at the time, asked what I was doing home.

[00:01:34] Marcus Long: Cause it was still light outside. So she was surprised to see me. And it was kind of a, a bit of a gut punch and, you know, kind of confirmed my desire to start my transition and off-ramp out of the military and preferably in a way to do so without having to have a W2. But, I realized the cash flow from the properties I had wasn't enough to do that. And so I kind of had to, to dig in, look at the numbers and figure out a path to do so. And that's kind of where I decided to start transitioning over to the, the multifamily side. And after investing in a few limited, as a limited partner, a few syndications, I transitioned to be a GP.

[00:02:08] Marcus Long: And, by the time this airs will have, you know, Co-GP about 400 doors in the past 12 months. So that's where I am now. 

[00:02:15] Sam Wilson: That is really cool. So I guess the, the long-term plan is to go long in multifamily. Do you think you'll stay as a Co-GP or do you see yourself going out and taking down deals on your own?

[00:02:26] Marcus Long: Yeah, I think that's a combination there, you know, I've already kind of, you know, been analyzing deals and putting in some offers on my own. And just the way timings and stuff, some of my partners have ended up getting offers, accepted and stuff, and pulling me in on, on some of those deals with them.

[00:02:41] Marcus Long: So certainly I'll, I'll do some on my own if those opportunities, present themselves. But, you know, I think, being a Co-GP and partnering has also been a big part of, you know, what has allowed me to scale at the pace that I have, you know, over the past year or. 

[00:02:55] Sam Wilson: How did, I mean, you live, and we didn't talk about this yet here in the show, but we did off air. You live in England right now. You're stationed, I think, in England. 

[00:03:02] Marcus Long: That's correct. 

[00:03:03] Sam Wilson: How, how did you find partners? How have you vetted deals? I mean, there's a lot of these things that are kind of boots on the ground task. How did, how did you tackle that side of this business? 

[00:03:12] Marcus Long: Yeah. So interestingly enough you know, some of my other partners are actually here in England and, and stuff as well.

[00:03:17] Marcus Long: Although some of them are back in the states. And so, I think, you know, just between the, the group of us, like some of us have other connections, one of my partners has a mentor and a, a college roommate and a college classmate and stuff that was boots on the ground there. And so, really just by network And things and finding other partners that maybe already had some of those boots on the ground.

[00:03:36] Marcus Long: You know, I have a couple of partners that are in, in Texas. A couple of our properties are in Texas and stuff as well. And so really a lot of that, you know, meeting people was really just getting networking a lot, whether, you know, that be meetups and other things and met some of them through partnerships and, and deals.

[00:03:51] Marcus Long: And a lot of my initial partners were other military guys and girls, and that we, some of us were in similar masterminds together. So we spent a lot of time together in, you know, weekend calls or accountability groups and things like that. Really getting to know each other and then I've met other people through them.

[00:04:05] Sam Wilson: What do you think someone should take time-wise from, you know, where you started? I mean, you kind had a, a base in real estate. But what, what would you say is an estimated time someone should budget in for all right, this is when I'm going to start digging in, doing what you did, joining masterminds, talking to people, figuring out what markets to be in, how to, how to grow and scale. How much time do you think that should take someone? 

[00:04:29] Marcus Long: Yeah. You know, I think that's a difficult question because we're all in, in a different phase of life. Some of us still have a W2. Some don't have a W2, some have a family, some don't have a family. And so I think it's difficult to like compare to other people in, in their journey and we're all on our own journey to do that.

[00:04:43] Marcus Long: But one thing I would say is, I think we, we do need to be patient with ourselves, you know, and stuff. I'm in some of these masterminds and, sometimes, you know, someone's just starting out and, you know, they start taking these actions and they don't have results in three, four, maybe even six months or something, right. And, and, you know, they, they want, we have that, want that instant gratification of something. And I think it's important for people to realize like, you know, once in a while, someone may get lucky or may have that, you know, deal come through early on, but you know, we have to be patient and trust the process and give it the time, you know, to, to take effect.

[00:05:15] Marcus Long: 'Cause I mean, even if you have people that, you know, want to invest with you or brokers that want to work with you, you know, it doesn't happen based on one conversation, you know, it's a repeated follow up and stuff. And so, you know, I hate to put a time on it, but you know, I think a, you know, a good year, you know, for people to even really kind of expect results and stuff is probably.

[00:05:34] Sam Wilson: Probably a fair number.

[00:05:35] Marcus Long: Non-conservative approach, maybe. 

[00:05:36] Sam Wilson: Yeah, no, I, I absolutely agree. Absolutely agree 'cause that's, I mean, that's what we see a lot of times is, you know, people are like, Hey, you know, they come out expecting two to three months. They're going to get through and that happens it. Sure, it could happen.

[00:05:47] Sam Wilson: But it also, this is a, this is a slow growth, a slow growth game. Tell me, are you raising capital right now as well for your deals? 

[00:05:54] Marcus Long: I am. Yes. So I've reached for every, every one of them. 

[00:05:57] Sam Wilson: How do you do that living overseas? Are you raising capital in the states? Are you raising capital all for military members? How, how have you found your investor base? 

[00:06:04] Sam Wilson: It has been significantly, in my first few deals, a lot of that has come from other military members or, you know, people that I was, it might be civilians or contractors or stuff that I was stationed or worked with at different locations over the course of my career.

[00:06:15] Sam Wilson: And that's kinda where it started. And really, you know, I think it was useful that I had some single-family experience and stuff in the past, because as I transitioned into multifamily, many of them knew that I had been in real estate and stuff or had real estate properties throughout the years.

[00:06:30] Sam Wilson: And so that already gives them a little bit of a, a level of trust or my familiarization with real estate there. And then of course, just working with them, you know, closely in the military environment and stuff. There's a level of trust there. So it wasn't, you know, a huge leap to maybe be ready to invest there.

[00:06:46] Sam Wilson: Whereas if, you know, someone's just getting into real estate starting, or, you know, you've moved around or haven't had those connections and stuff that could be more challenging. So yeah, that was, you know, how did I get started there whenever I, you know, I first approached one of my partners basically said like, Hey, you know, how can I bring value to you?

[00:07:00] Sam Wilson: You know, I'm a, I'm a finance major so I can help underwriting stuff. I've had this single-family experience, we've managed our, some of our own properties and, you know, the, the capital raising aspect as well. And so when he gave me some criteria. That's one of the first things I really did was kind of turn around and like, make sure everyone knows what I'm doing, right? People can't come to invest with you if they don't know what you're doing. And so just kind of go going back through, you know, social media, Facebook, LinkedIn, and everything else, just kind of reaching out to contacts and just letting people know like, Hey, this is the transition that I'm making in my business, there might be some opportunities available in the future if we're interested in, in having that conversation. 

[00:07:33] Sam Wilson: That, that's awesome. I like that. And I think that's an important step that people I think are afraid to make early on is that, Hey, this is what I'm doing, even though you may, you may, like you said, you had some experience in single family, but you hadn't closed any multifamily deals yet.

[00:07:48] Sam Wilson: I mean, you need a lead with that. It's just, it's hard. I think at times to go, oh, Hey, by the way, I've got no track record in this, but cool. This is where I'm going. 

[00:07:54] Marcus Long: Yeah. So, and there are certainly, there are certainly some, you know, when I, I first raised that conversation. They said, Hey, you know, thanks. But not right now. And you know, now that there's two, three deals, they've been kind of watching, you know, as go along and, and now they're reaching out to me and, and they're ready and stuff, you know? So I think that's the other thing people have to think about too, is, you know, Hey, it's, it's not necessarily personal.

[00:08:14] Marcus Long: You know, it's just their hard, earned, hard-earned money. The timing might not be right. Maybe they're investing other stuff. Maybe they have some goals where that money's not ready. Maybe they want to see you, you know, get a little bit of a track record and a few deals. And so just to, to keep that in mind, but be consistent because maybe later down the road, They'll be one of your investors.

[00:08:29] Sam Wilson: Absolutely. Tell me about a time that you maybe, maybe you define something as a failure in your life and what you did to either write that or overcome it. 

[00:08:38] Marcus Long: Yeah. You know, I think something's only a failure really if we label it as a failure. And so I try not to like label things as a, as a failure, from a mentality perspective and try more of a, you know, them being, lessons learned, you know, and, and proof from them, I guess, but to answer along with your question there, I think that we, you know, bought some single-family houses, you know, back in Missouri and stuff. And initially, a few that we had bought were kind of, you know, small rehab type things and, you know, a few thousand dollars and they were ready to go and, and we kind of jumped in and bought a few that needed significantly more rehab, you know, than we were prepared to, you know, whether we had the capital or didn't even have the contractors lined up to do them.

[00:09:17] Marcus Long: And it was just a different, you know, kind of a shift of transition that we hadn't really properly, you know, prepared for and stuff. And so I think it was and we're still kind of, you know, on the tail end of fixing some of those steps that, that we took and stuff, but I think it was an opportunity for us to realize, you know, not to, just to, jump into something new or chase a tiny object or whatever. And we kind of needed to really understand the fundamentals of whatever the strategy was that we were doing. Unfortunately, there were, you know, rural Missouri, not significantly valued property, so it wasn't a hard hit to the wallet necessarily, but it was a good learning lesson, certainly.

[00:09:50] Sam Wilson: Right, right. Were there, are there any things any lessons you learned in that, that kind of color the way you review and look at multifamily deals? 

[00:09:59] Marcus Long: I think, I think one of the things was kind of just systems and processes and stuff, right? And like, even if, even if you're looking at like wholesaling and flipping and, and things like that, that I don't do as much those that are really good at it have systems and processes and know, you know, the timing and all that kind of stuff.

[00:10:16] Marcus Long: And I think that that was one of the things I found during that I wasn't really flipping properties. And so it was a realization that I need to include, you know, these systems and processes and things. And so in, in multifamily, you know, things like, you know, we use like Asana, you know, to communicate with our property manager and things like that.

[00:10:34] Marcus Long: And so we don't have to dig back through emails all the time to see where they said something or sent a picture. And, and so trying to use those tools to be more efficient and effective in things I think. 

[00:10:44] Sam Wilson: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I've incorporated both Asana and Slack this year and it's a game-changer.

[00:10:51] Sam Wilson: I mean, for, I, I posted this on social media here. I don't know, six to eight months ago, something like, what are people doing as an alternative to email? 'Cause I hate email. I mean, I hate it. It's like it's onboarded a new employee. Oh, maybe four months ago. And I'm like, look, we are not communicating via email.

[00:11:08] Sam Wilson: We're just not like we are, we are going to use slack and we are going to set up channels and that's the way we talk. And our conversations are about each of those items. And I can always just go back and look back through. It's very easy to find like, oh, this is beautiful. 

[00:11:20] Marcus Long: Yeah. It makes a lot more effective in my opinion.

[00:11:23] Sam Wilson: Oh my gosh. Absolutely. Absolutely. Tell me a little bit about your definition of success and how that ties into your why. 

[00:11:33] Marcus Long: Yeah. So I think, you know, for me, success is, is really like, you know, when I can spend my time where I want with who I want doing what I want and, you know, kind of create those options and freedom for my family. When I'm in a position to do that and we are living life on our own terms and not tied to, you know, W2 or, you know, there's not something holding us down, you know, I, I consider that to be successful. And so, you know, how does that tie into my why? You know, for me those things, I mean, there's a lot of things now I have a seven and four-year-old, as you mentioned.

[00:12:04] Marcus Long: And so I want to be, have the freedom and the flexibility to be present with them, to be at their sporting events. I want to be able to take them on, you know, international vacations or on mission trips in Africa or whatever, right? Like I want them to have those experiences and I don't want to have to ask off work, you know, to, to be able to go do those.

[00:12:22] Marcus Long: I want to choose when we get to go to do them. And, you know, I want us to, I want them to kind of see, you know, how we pour into the residents and the communities that we invest in, you know, we're actually trying to like make that a home for them. It's not just all about the money necessarily. You know, I want them to see about how we use our profits and stuff to, to give back to charities and, and things of that nature.

[00:12:45] Marcus Long: So yeah, I think the, the definition of success there really just gives options for my family to live lives on our terms. 

[00:12:52] Sam Wilson: Have you built a kind of a goal spreadsheet or, or set out some targets that say, Hey, when we hit X, then we are able to do Y? 

[00:13:01] Marcus Long: Well, I don't know if I've set it out in quite such a pretty spreadsheet, you know, like, like you mentioned there, I think that my, my wife and I do sit down every year and kind of do couples, like, goal-setting retreat, if you will.

[00:13:13] Marcus Long: And in some of those questions and stuff that we talk about, you know, I think that those are some of the things that we discussed, you know, kind of ranges through life stuff, like where, you know, monetary goals, like, new hobbies that we have or vacations that we want to take with the family, or, you know, what's a goal this year, as far as like our, our giving, whether that be time or money. We do talk through a lot of those things. I'm not sure if it's lined up in a spreadsheet format, but that's something that's certainly worth looking at. 

[00:13:43] Sam Wilson: I think goal setting annually and reviewing that, it's a very good habit and practice to get into. Is there a guide you guys use or is this something you guys just kind of do on your own?

[00:13:52] Marcus Long: We use the guide from The One Thing in there. I don't know if you've seen that. I think it's like, I don't remember, it's like the badass in couple's goal-setting retreat or something. And I think it's the name of it. We've used it for about two or three years and it's, it's pretty, pretty thorough.

[00:14:07] Marcus Long: Like I said, it goes through quite a few different areas of your life. And we sat down, you know, as a couple and do it and kind of, we do it individually. You know, my spouse and I then like come together and talk, talk about those and then try to come back every, you know, quarter or so. And try to kind of follow up and look like, Hey, this is what we talked about at the beginning of the year. Kind of how are we doing on that? Are we on pace? You know, do we want to shift some things, but that's a, that's a pretty good guide if anyone wants to use it. 

[00:14:33] Sam Wilson: Absolutely. No, we'll certainly note to that as a tool and a resource there in the show notes. What about as you guys set examples to, or as you and your wife set examples to other military members and people around you?

[00:14:46] Sam Wilson: I mean, this is a demographic, I think, that probably doesn't have a lot of the, hey, we're going to go and be deployed a lot. And then also, by the way, we're going to be investing in multifamily and kind of building our own, you know, ticket out of here. Like, how do you guys interact with the people around you and engage with them on this front and really kind of build, I guess, a community around what you guys are doing.

[00:15:07] Marcus Long: Yeah. So I think it's a big like education and awareness piece, you know, and that's true for everyone. I think, you know, there's a lot of people that love their W2 S or work really hard on their W2 S and don't have the time to, to look or be aware. Self-educate and stuff, or don't make the time to, to do that.

[00:15:22] Marcus Long: And so the military is just like one sector, you know, like I said, there were, there were a few years there after I got out of college where I was deploying a lot and stuff, you know? And so it wasn't necessarily my focus at that time too. And so I think talking about it, sharing what we're doing and, and making people aware, and it kind of encourages conversations about it, right?

[00:15:40] Marcus Long: Like, a lot of people just don't know that they have the opportunity to invest in a multifamily property, right? They think it's super wealthy people that are buying these, these complexes instead of you and I, you know, working together with partners to do that. And so I think, you know, by talking about it, sharing, you know, it encourages like, Hey, what are you doing?

[00:15:57] Marcus Long: You know, can we have a conversation about that? And the more you have a conversation about that, and then they can make educated decisions and it's one more tool in their toolbox, 

[00:16:07] Sam Wilson: Right. No, I think that's absolutely great. I love that. Marcus, tell me, you know, what is a best piece of advice, maybe a mentor or a peer in the industry has given you that you feel like other people should hear?

[00:16:19] Marcus Long: Yeah, I think we kind of hit on this earlier, actually, when you kind of asked about like the timeline and stuff and, well, I didn't necessarily want to give like a hard number, but I think that was, you know, some of my mentors and coaches and whether it directly to me, or seeing them say it to other people and stuff, kind of remind us that, you know, it's a marathon, not a sprint type of thing, right? And so, you know, we hear that term all the time, but in these masterminds, like I said, people sometimes see this level of success, you know, and it could be on a podcast like this and they think it happened overnight or they, they just get the story of what happened in the last 12 months.

[00:16:51] Marcus Long: And don't really realize the amount of work that went in before that, or even during that time. And so they want that same level of success in this, in, you know, in the time period that they saw the glimpse that they saw, and that might be, you know, three, six months, whatever it is. And so I think it's just important to remember that those people might have been working on stuff for years and years and years, or, you know, I'm over here in England.

[00:17:16] Marcus Long: Like, if you look at my calendar, there's calls in the morning before I go to work. I go do my W2, there's calls at night, you know, late at night because it's six hours, 5, 6, 7 hours ahead of the states. And so it's, it's a pretty packed time sometimes. And so I think it's important for people to remember that and they just have to trust that process and be consistent with it. And the results will come. 

[00:17:36] Sam Wilson: Yeah, no, that, that's absolutely true. I've got some meetings that we have on a fairly consistent basis after the kids go to bed. It's like, okay, guys, like everybody's got their kids to bed. Now let's all get together and put our heads together and see if we can actually get something done today.

[00:17:49] Sam Wilson: So, I absolutely get it. Marcus, thank you for taking the time to come on the show today and share with us your journey thus far, I'd loved hearing about it, loved hearing about your why and what success means for you and how you know, really developing time options is one of your main goals there. And I love that.

[00:18:06] Sam Wilson: I love how you and your wife plan, you know, for your year in advance. I think that's something that, if you learn anything from today, that's a, that's an excellent exercise to do especially if you're able to review it as the year goes on and revise your goals and look at, 'em go, okay, well, where are we, what do we adjust? What was a little ambitious? What was right? Love your way of thinking through that. And also that's really cool that you've built a multifamily syndication company, you know, living overseas. I mean, if you can do that, anybody can do it here stateside. So certainly appreciate that. Marcus, if our listeners want to get in touch with you or learn more about you, what is the best way to do that?

[00:18:36] Marcus Long: Thanks Sam. I really appreciate that. The best way to, to get in touch with me, just go to And if you do /connect, it's kind of a one-stop-shop. You can send me an email there. You can set up a time to have a call. If you like to communicate through social media, our LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, all the links are on there. So 

[00:18:55] Sam Wilson: And just to clarify, if you are listening, that is a long, A L O N G legacy or Marcus, thank you again, certainly appreciate it. 

[00:19:05] Marcus Long: Thank you.