Best Ever Conference 2020

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:

BPcon2019

Podmax 2

Fincon2019

Fincon2018

Never leave home without my baby <3

Heading out

Best Ever Conference

 
Even though the conference wasn’t until Friday, I flew in to Denver on Tuesday, hoping to find some trouble to get in. 
 
Instead I found myself a bit bored and didn’t have many people to hang out with. Luckily Dan Mackin and Craig Curelop hooked me up with some company, a couch to crash on, and took me out for drinks. Thanks boys! 
 
Craig Curelop, Dan Mackin
 
That’s literally all I did on Tuesday #anticlamactic

Biggerpockets headquarters

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!

Biggerpockets Headquarters
BP Headquarters!
Biggerpockets values
I love that they put their values on the entrance wall here and more so than that it’s not a stuffy corporate copy, it’s REAL, and I always love what’s real.

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.

Everyone knows THE Mindy Jensen and I are BFF’s
So Alexandra, my best friend Mindy, and myself went out for coffee to discuss some very important business.
Alex, Alex, Not Alex
Like many startups, BP allows their employees to bring dogs to work and I can’t pass up an opportunity to snap such a lovely gal <3

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. 

“Hey mindy!”
“Oh it’s just Alex, I’d would rather work than talk to him”
We walked downtown Denver in the RiNo arts district for lunch. Fantastic for a photographer.
These two buildings were across the street from each other. The building is triangular sheet metal so you can only see the image from this point of view.

This guy made a sick brisket sandwich bro!!!
I spent the last 3 years in Las Vegas, so I just HAD to take a snow selfie!

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. 

He’s also a KILLER in real estate owning multiple apartment buildings, running a podcast, and he’s just getting started. 

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! 

Although Justin would never admit it, I totally SMOKED him on the table.
Anyone else really want that coffee mug???

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. 

Doesn’t’ this alley look inviting?

 

Front entrance, obviously

 

We crashed at a hotel in Denver and planned to head out to Keystone Ski Resort in the morning to start the conference.
 

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. 

Morning coffee and planning
My squad for the weekend. An incredible group of people that I’m thankful to call friends. Over the course of this blog you will get to know them all.

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. 

Denver is quite beautiful
If you have not read one of my previous blogs then you should properly prepare yourself now for lots of alcohol pics. What’s the point of all this traveling if I can’t get hammered with friends?? The tour came with beer tasters mid way through and 3 full beers at the end. We were quite toasty when we left (except our driver who stayed sober because drinking and driving is unacceptable.)
My drinking buddy!

As we were entering the tour, they took our picture.

So now this image exists…..

 

 

Finally in Keystone

Our airbnb was SO DOPE bro! big thanks to Justin for lining it up.
We finally arrived at the conference center!

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.

The opening day of the conference was just a quick meet and greet, we left and went to where all the bars were. #priorities
I love this shot! The little resort town was great looking, but in the background you can see the ski slopes! The color difference and the slope of the hill made for a very disorienting but unique view. Tried to capture it here.

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! 

GREAT PARTY!

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. 

They had some tricky imagery painted on the sidewalks with light. I think this is supposed to be a fun Santa, but to me it looked more like Santa had been murdered and this was his chalk outline.
Keystone is very inviting.
Bar hopped to another place, last drink of the night before going home.
I take back everything I said about Keystone thus far. Nothing is worth how cold it was outside when we drove home. Unacceptable!

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 

The conference center itself was surrounded my trees and snow. Beautiful

The author of Raising Private Capital, the one and only Matt Faircloth, got a great pic of him talking to some rando. 

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!). 

Full house!!!!

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. 

Joe and Scott Trench
Neil, Erik, and Levi

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. 

A bar!!! Now we are talking my language. Everyone at the conference got a free drink ticket but not everyone drinks and everyone knows I drink a lot so I was stocking drink tickets as if tomorrow was prohibition.
These are long and draining days, sometimes you just need a nappy nap by the fireplace. I don’t know who this person is but I’m sorta jealous of him right now.
George Arau and Matt Faircloth
We left the hotel party on a shuttle to the after party
My squad and I made great friends with the girls at Aloha Capital. They hosted this fantastic party for us and were big fun to hang out with.
I tried to take a picture of the Nachos but this gentleman was adamant about photo bombing me

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! 

Front entrance
The whole place is just ice walls formed into neat shapes with the occasional LED thrown inside. They did a great job with it though
This was a fountain with LED’s all around it. Caught a neat little shot from a hard to reach area

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.

My new friend Tamara, she was quite the handful!
THEY HAD AN ICE THRONE. What would you do with this opportunity?
She so fly!
A great shot of Lucas, the ICE KING, so glad I snapped this pic.

Yes, it had a slide too!
Pictures don’t do this place justice, and lots of people at the conference didn’t come to it, but they all missed out.

Back to the bar 

This is Blair with Aloha Capital, she has a definite “why are you pointing that camera at me” look.

Justin always makes this move, the goofy smile and the thumbs up. I love it. 

Inevitably at these things, someone asks to use my camera to take pictures. This almost always goes poorly because photography is less about the camera and more about composition and lighting. That said, many people hate their picture being taken so I always try to act super confident on camera to calm them, sort of a “monkey see, monkey do” sort of thing…or maybe I’m just being ridiculous and it’s clearly time to go to sleep.

Day Two

This 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?”
 
The universal hand signal for “That was an amazing night”
 
 
Life is #EASY baby
 
Old friends and new friends
Neil recently started doing more stories for his Instagram channel. Admirable effort but he says it’s awkward to get comfortable with, so this is me trying to add to the awkward.

Headshots

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:

Lucas and my new friend Alain. Not really a headshot I know

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

Caitlin Waldschmidt of Aloha Capital

Mark Monroe and I made friends because we both had perfect hair.

Live podcasting booth

Keith Kudlow

Stuart Grazier

I may not be the best at head shot photography but apparently I’m the BADDEST 90’s alt rock band album cover photographer.

Best ever drumline to end the conference.

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!

Last night out before we leave in the morning.
We found this tricky tunnel and had to take some pics. This is why they have a photographer in the group right?

Everyone got this awesome looking steak and stupid me ordered a burger. #regret
Live music
Last view from the hotel before leaving

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.

 

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Alex Felice

Alex Felice

My name is Alex, I live in Las Vegas and I’m a very high energy, loud, and eccentric guy. I like to talk about things that are high concept and important, no small talk! I like controversy, I speak with conviction, and I’m not a fan of rules. Oh, and I'm super into real estate investment.

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