What is the "Best Ever Conference"
The Best Ever conference is an annual event for multifamily real estate investors to network, educate, and grow their business.
I came because In July 2019 I bought my first multifamily apartment and I want to continue to get better in that space. I know that surrounding myself with people who are succeeding at the same thing I want to succeed at is the best way to propel myself forward. I also really enjoy the Best Ever community, here is my appearance on the Best Ever podcast.
I brought my camera because I've been doing photography as a hobby for about ~5 years now, and I'm just sort of used to bringing it whenever I go out of town. This is a fun outlet for me that I find to be a rewarding and difficult challenge, to spend the weekend taking pictures and telling this story while still doing what everyone else is doing: networking, learning, and drinking.
No one else on earth can produce what you're about to see.
If you were at the event you probably saw me with my giant camera but contrary how it may seem I was not there in any official capacity. I'm not even sure they could afford me anyway.
What I try to provide here is something unique, I tell honest stories of the people I meet at the event and I try to match it with high quality imagery.
A hired photographer can't tell the stories of the people at the event like I can tell because they are strangers to the community, I am an insider to this and other real estate communities and I just so happen to like photography and writing. This makes what I've made here rare because it's an overlap of very rare talents, storytelling, proficient photography, and real estate investing.
These photoblogs are actually pretty difficult to create and I make them way too long, but I don't think there is anything else like it. So get ready!
To see some of my others:
Never leave home without my baby <3
One of the ways I try to maximize my experience at these conferences is to make sure I have some other opportunities lined up around the same time.
It happened that this conference was outside Denver and Biggerpockets headquarters is in Denver. So I go to stop by and meet some people, do some content, and we agreed on some upcoming business (that I can't share yet) but overall very productive!
Last year I had a blast with the incredible Alexandra Hughes at BPcon2019. Like so many people I know, Her and I have a love/hate relationship: she loves me, but I'm constantly doing things to make her hate me.
BP is lucky to have this rockstar and I'm lucky to call her a friend.
Zach Gwin and I became friends at BPcon last year when we had a ~3 hours bonding session over whiskey while sitting at the bar. I don't care what anyone tells you, real networking happens when the aura of purpose is removed from the atmosphere and all is left is two people getting to know each other unscripted and without motive.
I finally met up with my squad! Justin Fraser and I have becoming friends over the last few months as we attend events together. The guy spends his days putting up with me and Matt Faircloth, two extremely high maintenance diva's and he's a saint for doing so. He is the reliable one in our group, the voice of reason, and he has a knack for staying calm in the face of chaos. He's too nice for his own good and I love him for it.
We all went back to the BP office where Matt Faircloth and I did a Facebook live content on location that you can check out right here:
Once all the work was done, we got to the important part....ping pong!
After we left BP we went to a local meetup, of which I have no pictures, then we went to a super secret speakeasy in Downtown Denver with the one and only Josh Dorkin, which was actually more awesome than you're imagining.
Traveling to Keystone Lodge
The event wasn't in Denver it was about 2 hours away at a ski resort. Sounds simple enough but like Homer's Odyssey it became an adventure with obstacles and detours which ultimately took us the entire day.
This is Dave Acosta. We met for the first time this weekend but we had talked many times before. A real estate investor and all around nice dude, we had a lot of fun together (mostly making fun of Justin).
Neil Henderson and I lived in Las Vegas together. We met at a random meetup about ~4 years ago and we have done lots together since.
He runs a podcast called The Road to Family Freedom where him and his wife Brittany interviews real estate investors who are financially and geographically free.
Neil is also known for raising money for apartment syndication and has been a reliable partner.
Erik and Levi Hemmingway. An unstoppable father and son investor duo, they know their stuff they put together huge projects in self storage and they have a great social media presence (although it's mostly just Levi's face lol).
Their investing experience would be really intimidating if they weren't such personable people. When I first met Erik he gave me a ton of his time and asked nothing from me, I'm constantly learning from Erik and I'm lucky to have spent the weekend with these two.
We didn't make it even 30 minutes on our trip before getting distracted. We decided it was imperative we take the Coors beer factory tour on the way.
As we were entering the tour, they took our picture.
So now this image exists.....
Finally in Keystone
Check out this beautiful pain in the ass I'm friends with
Sunitha Roa is a real estate investor in Indianapolis and one of the easiest people in the world to make angry. So I do it at every chance I get, including busting her chops here where she has no chance to defend herself.
Suni wants to be me so bad she can't stand it. Any conference I go to she attends, any podcast I'm on she tries to get on next, and when she saw my website she designed hers to be alike. This is not a criticism of her at all, it's a compliment that she recognizes how amazing I am and tries her hardest to emulate it.
Here is David Gutierrez and Stu Grazier focusing diligently on the speakers. We are part of a mastermind group for veterans called The War Room which I highly recommend you check out if you want to surround yourself with like minded achievers.
This event was hosted by Ryan Daigle of Flywheel Equity and he went above and beyond. He was adamant about not letting me take his picture but that comes with the nature of photography and I'm used to it.
Regardless, he's a good dude and this was a great time. Thank Ryan!
I met this guy named Tait and to be honest I didn't like hanging out with him that much.
He wasn't a bad person at all, but he was too handsome, he was way taller than me, well dressed, and too accomplished. He's just devastating for my ego.
Still with me? Despite how much we have gone through so far, TOMORROW is the first official day of the event! This has all be foreplay.
BEC Day one
I haven't introduced Matt to the blog yet, but I'll take this time to do so now. Matt is an accomplished investor, author, and Biggerpockets contributor. We have become pretty close friends over the last year or so and while we OFTEN butt heads I think that makes for a healthy friendship. I personally thrive on conflict anyway and what good is a friendship between two people who always agree. Matt and I don't get hung up on our differences, we use them to propel each other forwards.
Chris Salerno of QC capital and I had been chatting on Facebook for months so it was good to finally shake his hand in person.
Usually I like to post links to people's websites when I can on these blogs. I think of it as going the extra mile to help out friend in a small way.
Chris however didn't think it was important to have his website prepped before the conference. Rookie mistake! Get it together Chris! (if you want to use the guy who designed mine, contact me!).
I took a few moments outside to snap the landscape around the conference center.
This smiling goofball is Joe Prillaman
Joe and I met a few years back when he wanted to start in real estate and I helped him buy a few houses. Since then he has acquired quite a few units, started a successful meetup, and quit his day job. I like to make the joke "I MADE Joe Pirllaman" when I'm around him, and while it's obviously not true, I always find Joe leaning into the joke himself and playing along.
The reality is I have a talent for helping people get out of their own way. I didn't do anything for Joe that he couldn't have done himself but it created a bond between us that I hope lasts for the rest of our lives.
If you're in the Wilmingon NC area, look this guy up, he's one of my favorite people.
Jaren Barnes is a future YouTube super star. Best Ever Conference was not full of creative social media types, I think Jaren was the only guy running around doing large volumes of video work but I also think that gives him a massive advantage. One of my 2020 goals is to lean much harder on YouTube and I'm hoping Jaren and I can share our progress through the year.
I was nervous to meet Stuart Grazier because his online persona is a bit intimidating. Not sure why! Once I met him I felt very differently, guy is super nice and very down to earth in fact it was quite difficult to get him to be serious for every a few seconds.
Suni talking to this guy like he's a hot piece of meat.
Did you know Suni was on the Biggerpockets money podcast? It was a hit too!
I'm definitely not using my space to provide her free social exposure, I'm just saying this to remind her that I was the one who got her on that show because I have deep community connections and she would be nothing without me.
The one and only Scott Trench!
I'm very happy with this shot I got of him actually, so he better like it. Scott and I met a few years back at Fincon 2018 and have had a few meetings since then, some of them awkward to be honest, but I think that's the nature of our interactions. We meet in a crowded conference environment and see each other once or twice a year, but over time we have gotten to have better talks and this year I think we became friends. One night at the bar we had a few drinks and he called me a FRAUD! He said "You try to be such a jerk online, but in person you're a really nice guy?". I guess that's a compliment but he can go fuck himself.
If you're a real estate investor, you know Lucas Hall.
Lucas started Landlordology.com, he started Cozy.co and now he works for Costar. He's always been super nice to me, he appears in almost every one of my photo blogs, and I'm always impressed with him.
As I'm writing this I want to make sure none of these stories are coming across as sycophancy (brown-nosing, fan boy-ing) because I am never one to sing praises of those who don't deserve it and I'm not a yes-man, the people who I'm telling you about are genuinely just great to be around.
This is the power of conferences, it allows you to surround yourself with the committed, the ambitious, and those with great attitudes. This is why I attend them, to be around a concentration of super humans.
Katie is a complete photo snob.
She is a fellow photographer, although much better than me she would not stop criticizing my work. I usually thrive on critical reviews, but something about getting relentlessly shit on by a 4'10" woman really humbled me.
The Ice Castle
An Ice Castle? What is that Alex?
I have no idea, Lucas picked us up and drove us over to it, but I found it to be incredible when we got there. One of the highlights of my trip for sure. Thanks Lucas!
One of my first pictures ever was of the LOVE sign in Philadelphia, so I'm partial to it. I had to take this picture.
Back to the bar
Justin always makes this move, the goofy smile and the thumbs up. I love it.
Day TwoThis blog allows me to tell stories with a combination of images and text. Like a video but.....outdated. Sometimes I do get an image that says a lot, this is one of them. After a night of drinking I asked Dave "hey buddy, you alive?"
I am not a headshot photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but I love people and I love trying to capture a shot of them that they can love. Sometimes I get good ones, sometimes not, but I always try. If you're ever at an event with me and you want a headshot, find me!
Here are some from this weekend:
Alain's name is pronounced ALIGN, and I only bring that up because I had to hear the poor guy explain to about 50 people this weekend and it's burned into my brain. I could have told a better story about him, and he probably deserves it, but I don't like complimenting people that are so good looking.
Blair works at Aloha Capital, she was good people and super nice to our group.
Whitney Hutten and I have been emailing back and forth randomly for ~3 years. She was at the top of my list of people I had to meet while here and we hit it off great, I love turning internet friends into real life friends.
Fellow house flipper, Mario Brown
Mark Monroe and I made friends because we both had perfect hair.
I may not be the best at head shot photography but apparently I'm the BADDEST 90's alt rock band album cover photographer.
As soon as I got to Keystone I knew I had to get this shot. It came out better than I hoped. Thanks for Justin for helping me put it together!
I'm normally an autophotographer so I couldn't help myself when I saw this shot.
See you at the next one!
Thanks for reading our story!
This was a fun event to shoot but I always look back and wish I did more. I think I need to add more shots of the event scenes, more micro shots of the environments like signage, production, and food, and I need to start adding videos to these as well.
I'll be at a few other real estate conferences this year, come out and see me if you want to be part of one of these blogs.