Building Resilience – Ep.70

Building Self-eSTEM – Ep.69
November 23, 2022
Community Policing and Rebuilding Relationships – Ep.71
December 7, 2022

Jacob Davenport shares his journey embarking on a career in real estate to owning his business and mentoring the next generation of realtors.

Melyssa Barrett:  Welcome to the Jali Podcast. I’m your host, Melyssa Barrett. This podcast is for those who are interested in the conversation around diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Each week I’ll be interviewing a guest who has something special to share or is actively part of building solutions in this space. Let’s get started.

Jacob Davenport, a dynamic real estate professional who prioritizes client success, five star care, and satisfaction over agency commissions. As a dual county agent, Jacob serves the greater Sacramento area and San Joaquin County. Jacob has earned a reputation for exceeding his client needs and expectations, and he possesses the ability to translate the complex journey of real estate into a simplistic and easy to comprehend language. His clients walk away informed with a clear understanding of the progress of their real estate journey. These teachable experiences are empowering and allow his clients to make their decisions with confidence, having gained useful insights to the finer points of each stage of a given transaction. In tandem with helping buyers and sellers, Jacob also possesses his own small portfolio of residential real estate. Growing and managing this portfolio has given him the necessary experiences to master the remodeling and valuation umbrellas of real estate. Jacob’s ability to guide you through the assessment of any needed repairs or a client’s desire to understand high level real estate math, like cash on cash return, and ROI are just a few niches that separate Jacob from other agents.

Awesome. Well, this week I’m excited to have Jacob Davenport, the Realtor on the podcast. I met Jacob at a Central Valley Realtist board event where he was on a panel talking about flipping houses. And so shout out to the Central Valley Realtist board. They’re doing their work out there in Stockton, in the Central Valley, I should say. And so I’m just excited to have you here, Jacob, and talking a little bit about, I mean, literally there were three panelists up there, all African American men, which you don’t often see when you think about real estate and flipping houses. I mean, there’s a lot of Realtors, but it’s another thing when you start taking on properties and flipping them. And really what was nice is there were differences between the three of you in terms of your experience, your age, and how you are going about the business, which was pretty awesome.

But I really kind of wanted to just start with maybe having you tell us a little bit about how you even got here and maybe talk a little bit about your journey and how you made the plunge and to start acquiring your own inventory.

Jacob Davenport:  Absolutely, absolutely. Well, Melyssa, when I first start by saying thank you so much for having me.

Melyssa Barrett:  My pleasure.

Jacob Davenport:  I think it’s fair to say that since we met, we met it definitely has been like, okay, this is working out, these energies are working out. So I just really want to thank you for that.

And again, my name is Jacob Davenport. Been in real estate about seven years. And my journey in real estate began seven years ago. I’m originally from Sacramento was attending school, studying business, and one of my student mates or one of my partners in class, she came up to me one day and said, “Hey, you would really do great in real estate.” In fact, I really didn’t know the young lady. She said, “You’d do great in real estate, you should call my dad. He lives in Stockton.” I’m from Sacramento, I’ve never been to Stockton. And in my head I said, “I’m not going to Stockton, I don’t even know this guy.” And as fate shall have it, I end up taking an interview with her dad and just kind of in … I didn’t drag my feet actually once I met this gentleman, very much like yourself, Melyssa. Our energy’s matched. He said, come on out, come study. I studied and it’s been on ever since.

Melyssa Barrett:  Awesome.

Jacob Davenport:  So Sacramento, Stockton and are very different markets in regards to the real estate space.

Melyssa Barrett:  And you work in dual counties as I understand.

Jacob Davenport:  I work in dual counties. I do. I work in dual county, Sacramento, very big market, Central Valley, very big market. And I will drive anywhere to help a client. So it kind of works out for me. And then I still have a lot of family back in Sacramento and I frequently, I’m probably in Sacramento four times a week I’ll be there tonight showing some property, grabbing some dinner at a local small business. So I’m a Sacramentan at heart, but then I do a lot of work in San Joaquin County as well in the Central Valley. So that definitely works out.

Melyssa Barrett:  So then how did you get to the point where, I mean, being a realtor is one thing, but when you start acquiring your own properties and flipping houses, I mean that’s almost like a different skill set in some ways. I mean, you’re actually managing the project of repairing, rehabilitating a home. And typically, I know you have to try to do it in a reasonable timeframe if you’re going to make any return on it. So what was that like and how did you take that extra step?

Jacob Davenport:  Well, first you’re starting to sound like a realtor, so I just want to let you know that you would be a great real estate agent, but if you decide not to-

Melyssa Barrett:  That’s maybe in the next career, I don’t know.

Jacob Davenport:  Okay. Okay. Okay. I’ll see you out there. You’re right. And you have multiple parts of real estate. A lot of times when people speak about real estate, most people think about residential property. So single family property that a single family purchases and lives there with their kids and kind of pretty straightforward. And then you get into, there’s a commercial side of real estate, but you don’t hear about that conversation a ton unless that’s really the space you’re in. But outside of your standard presentation of real estate that we see, commonly you get into what we call income property. And that could be a single family property, but also that could be a duplex, triplex, fourplex, fiveplex, apartment buildings, condominiums and so on and so forth. And so I think that it’s definitely, that is the division in which you kind of see residential standard property right here and the income property.

And so very big differences when somebody’s looking for a primary residential property, they’re looking for something just turnkey that’ll satisfy their family. Whether it be they have kids and they’re trying to access a certain school district, whether you see in my experience, just culturally, people use primary homes even differently in different culture. What I’ve seen is the house is the domain. It is the place that we are here for peace, that we leave everything out home, everything outside of our house away. We pray here, we eat here, family becomes here during the holiday season and it’s a pretty serious thing. And then some people do just a little less formal approach, but outside of that, that’s what you’ll see in a residential property.

But when you get into income property, you are not looking for a neighborhood, you’re not looking for a swimming pool, you’re not looking for a condition. You’re looking at things like return on investment and you are for depreciation, right? You’re looking for tax shelters. And so you’re looking for how our property performs. And so that is the larger approach is when you see somebody pursuing property like, “Hey, are we going to live here? Do we need a pool? Do we want to live by the freeway because we commute two hours away and traffic’s an issue?” Or “Am I buying this property, which is a property I’ll probably never live in, but I have these goals that will become lucrative and increase my financial position now and in the future.”

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. So that’s interesting because I think there’s a lot of people that would be interested in going into that field, especially those that maybe haven’t been in it before. Maybe they haven’t even seen someone that looks like me go in it before. I mean, I know when I was coming up, I had a lot of folks that would tell me that they never even thought about buying a house because their family always rented. So how do you make the … What’s the first thing you do? I mean, how do you decide, “Okay, maybe I have a house, maybe I don’t, how do I even get into flipping houses and the business?”

Jacob Davenport:  That’s a good question.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. How did you make that leap

Jacob Davenport:  You and I, we’ve been communicating for some time now or working together and to explain that I would have to take a few steps back because my introduction to real estate came moving to Stockton. And one of the important things to not just roll over is when I was about 20, I had a brief run in with law. And coming from Sacramento, a lot of people are from Sacramento. I grew up the midtown and southern part of Sacramento, neighborhood of Oak Park to be exact. And a lot of people look like you and I live in this neighborhood. Single mom, five brothers, five sisters, so 11 of us. And I have no room for excuses in my life, but they were just challenges growing up. And some of those challenges and some of those things that an individual like myself was exposed to early on allowed the opportunity for me to make some poor decisions.

And those poor decisions had me have some encounters with the law. And so part of the reason why I was attending the junior college where I was at that led me and do tell me into real estate is because I was on parole. And so parole gives you two options. Either go to a GED program all day or job training pro program or you can go to college. And so academics has always been something that came very easy to me. And so of course I chose academics. And so it was in this philosophy course, this advanced philosophy course that I met this young lady.

And so when given the opportunity, that’s kind of how I was looking at it at the time, even though I didn’t know what was in store for me in Stockton and I consulted media of my friends, “Should I move to Stockton? Should I try this or should I stay in school?” One of the big things you see for those that previous incarcerated individuals, you see a society that’s not very forgiving and within this is you get in trouble once, they won’t even employ you at McDonald’s. So this my approach at school and I share this because I mentor probably seven young men right now directly. And then I’m a part of a Esquire program in Stockton. I’m a part of a program called Seize the Moment, Sacramento and Oak Park to be exact. I do a lot of volunteering with the local Panthers football team in Sacramento as well. So this is all amongst the space of young men and guiding them so they don’t go through what I went through. Because sometimes you don’t get as fortunate, right?

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah.

Jacob Davenport:  So to stay on track, what I’m getting at is that part of my decision to uproot myself from Sacramento to Stockton largely wasn’t even about real estate. What I know, I know statistics. Statistically speaking, 80% of people that are released from incarceration end up back incarceration within one year. And I definitely didn’t want to be part of that statistic or that recidivism or that school to prison pipeline anymore. So by me making a decision to move to Stockton, what I knew is that I minimize, if the statistics are right, I minimize my exposure for repeating an offense, right? And I want a second chance. So when I moved to Stockton, I don’t know anybody, I would go to work, I go home, I go to work, I go home. I can’t even accidentally get in trouble because I’m never outside. So that this was never about real estate. This never was. If real estate didn’t work, that would’ve been fine. I just no longer would be in Sacramento.

And so I was all ahead and I was studying my material. I entered real estate October of ’16 and I was taking my test by February of ;17. But what I realized is after getting A on the test, it was like 150 questions. I got about 146 right, passed the test, went through all the proper application processes, I met a brick wall. At one point I had to meet with the, because the department of real estate government entity that gives issues the license, I met with their investigators and they denied me a license. I said, “Hey listen, I passed the test, I’m out of trouble.” And they said, “Yep, nope, we’re not ready for you.” So they denied me. That was a blow because at the time I was ready to sell real estate ready to go, I studied up, I had been in this space as an intern making almost crumbs, and that was a blow.

But I really give a shout out to my broker, a guy named Randy Thomas out of San Joaquin County. And when I got out of that interview, he drove to the interview with me in Sacramento. And when I came, they didn’t let him in. When I came out I said, “They said no.” He said, “Look, I don’t care. I don’t care. We’re coming back to them. We’re going to come back to them.” Because I was at that point, swear to you. And now I’m always transparent, especially because it goes back to the youth. I was ready to move back to Sacramento. He said, “Nope, we’re not doing that. We’re not doing that. We’re going to stay the course.” So at that point, and he and I sat together one on one, he said, “Look, how about we do this? How about we just start investing?”

My broker, he’s been in real estate well over 30 years. He said, “Listen, me and my wife talked about your scenario and what we want to do. We want to come alongside you. We have a little bit of money, you have a little bit of money, you have some experience. Let’s start investing together.” I was like, “Oh, okay. I don’t know where to start.” He said, “Well you’ve been doing this whole time, let’s go.” And so that’s where my investing came from when I got denied. So I bought a house in Lohi, improved the floors, did the kitchen, we sold it, we split the money. I was like, “Oh, okay. I got the check.” I said, “Okay, okay, we can work with this. I don’t have to go back to Sacramento if they can keep looking like this.” And that was the beginning. That’s why mentorship is important, because Randy Thomas was my mentor. So it’s a space that’s very near and near to me.

And then that had to be like ’17, ;18. I went back for my license in ’19. You had to study the material, apply again, take the test, be transparent. Which I didn’t study one time. At this time I had been doing assistant work for Randy for a long time. And then I had probably been into my third or fourth flip at this time as well. So the exposure to real estate, and I’m a heavy scholar. I’m always reading books. I mean, but here right now I’m real estate, you never stop learning. I applied again and in that application process, took the test, went in, got 140 our of 150 or something like that, right? Pass it again. And so I was already prepared for what was to come. And the basis of my first denial was because I was still in supervision. What at this point, I’ve been off supervision.

I got a letter from my parole officer, I got a letter from the Department of Corrections. These are all people that encountered me while I had these commitment, my parole officer wrote a phenomenal letter to me. For me, on my behalf of testimonial, my broker, Randy Thomas, wrote a letter for me. And then I know some professionals in the space of real estate now because I’ve been doing it for some time. A gal named Sherry Curley from a title company, she wrote a testimonial that was, I mean these letters will make you cry when you read them because they made sound like a golden child. I was like, “Who is this guy? Who is this guy?” Went back, presented those, they denied me again.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow.

Jacob Davenport:  All right. And that was another blow. I was like, man, this is freaking crazy. I’ve done everything for you guys. You guys said here finish, you’ll be fine. And if there’s any term I’ll always share with those I mentor is, you have to stay encouraged. And if you don’t have anybody else to encourage you, you don’t find any encouragement from anywhere, the best place to get it from yourself. Encourage yourself. And so that’s where I had to dig deep again. So to because my story is that complex, but there’s many pieces to it. What to really round up third base and bring it home is, what did I end up doing is I filed a motion in court that allowed me to apply for what’s called a certificate of rehabilitation. And many people don’t apply for these because recidivism’s so high, you get a whole lot of nos. And when you get these nos, you start to tell yourself things like “Man, forget about it. There’s an easier path to just not do it.”

And so I got the certificate of rehabilitation, a good attorney here in Stockton. Guy named named Steven. He volunteered his time for me. Goes back to mentorship. Steven heard a little bit about me by way of Randy. He showed up in court. Randy showed up in court, my best friend showed up in court and we sat in front of the judge and the judge told the DA, they said, “Listen, do you have a reason why you don’t think that this guy is being worthy of certificate of rehabilitation?” And when you look at my profile for the things I’ve done, which we haven’t got into, I was the executive director of Habitat for Humanity. Done large amounts of work in the city of Stockton with really getting food into the hands of those that needed, back to mentorship with the youth. They didn’t have anything to challenge that. And I was fortunate enough and blessed enough to get that approval.

So with that approval back to my second license, I was able to present that to the Department of Real Estate. And I’ll call it technicality, they couldn’t deny me on that. And so that’s for a lot of people that don’t know what certificate of rehabilitations are, they specifically is, it’s a court procedure that acknowledges your ability to stay out of trouble during a specific window and show that you have rehabilitated yourself, you have improved yourself and you’ve done the things that many will see as somebody that is prepared to be an active member of society. And once you get that document, what happens is licensing boards can’t deny you solely on the time you’ve had a ran in with law. And so that’s very important. Because a lot of people don’t know that. And all of us that have had siblings that probably had a challenging youth. I was 20 years old when this happened, right? But I’m accountable. That’s not poor me, I didn’t do it. I’m accountable. But I’m also somebody that believes in second chances and opportunities, which goes right back to mentorship.

Melyssa Barrett:   I hope that people are inspired and encouraged by it because there was so much in that story not only about mentorship, but about your own mindset and resilience. Because a lot of people would’ve told Randy, “Nope, I’m out.” But clearly you had enough respect for Randy, for him to tell you no.

Jacob Davenport:  Like I say, it is big shout out to Randy and his wife Kathleen. They weren’t going for that.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah, that’s great.

Jacob Davenport:  They weren’t going for it.

Melyssa Barrett:  That’s great.

Jacob Davenport:  They weren’t going for it. And again, I can’t stress it enough. When I say the importance of mentorship, I mean I listen, I sell real estate. I would like to think I do. Well, real estate’s fun to help a lot of people. But before real estate, it’s always going to be mentorship. Be mentorship.

Melyssa Barrett:  That’s awesome.

Jacob Davenport:  Real estate, you can acquire a house, make a commission, increase your reputation. But with mentorship, you can change a generation, you can change a household. And I don’t say that lightly, but anybody from Sacramento would agree with this or from any inner city neighborhood would agree with this. Nobody makes it out. If you don’t have a jump shot, you can’t throw football or in this area if you can’t rap or do something along. And those are all careers that are respectable careers. 

Melyssa Barrett:  Everybody can’t get there.

Jacob Davenport:  No, no. And so it’s not nothing to be taken lightly and so on our journey, and that I just got to give kudos to you too because some of the things you and I have discussed and some of the things you shared with me of we never know how we touch a person, but when we talk about encouragement, I got that back from you. For you to open up your platform, allow me to communicate and voice myself. That’s nothing but encouragement. That’s nothing but mentorship. And so that’s why I know you and I were aligned in that space. And so I just want to tell you, thank you once again.

Melyssa Barrett:  No, it’s a pleasure. I am always looking to amplify people in the space. And what’s interesting to me is the podcast has really allowed me to meet people that I might not ever meet. Just because every time I do something for the podcast, I typically am stepping outside of my own comfort zone. So I may have met you at a panel discussion and we may have exchanged cards, but for me to actually make the call like okay, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone. But it’s all you do.

Jacob Davenport:  No, you do a good job though. I remember when we first met, it was yesterday, you were like, “Hey, what’s your name? Hey, where you from? Hey, what’s your number? Hey, where you going to be at 5”? I said, “Okay listen, you seem very nice, but I just met you.”

Melyssa Barrett:  I’m not stalking or I’m not a stalker.

Jacob Davenport:  You said “Hey man, I have this podcast.”

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes, well.

Jacob Davenport:  You’re doing great.

Melyssa Barrett:  People want to hear, I honestly do believe that people are encouraged by stories like yours where your life could have completely made a left turn, but you have the resilience that you had to really put things together, team up with somebody. And again, kudos to Randy for saying, “Hey, let’s do this.” To really mentor you in that space. And now you have your own company flipping houses.

Jacob Davenport:  Definitely, definitely. No, that’s definitely accurate. It’s definitely a blessing. And I know that, and I know that there’s preparation and then there’s fortune or luck and they have an intersection. And I, again, I’ll say it until somebody tells me to stop. That’s why for me it goes back to mentorship. Because I can’t say that people will have a Randy or be as prepared and then have luck. Those three. It’s not always that easy. And so I think prevention is the best cure. And so by sharing and it’s important that, and our audience, I’ve never even shared this story, but like I said, you and I spoke because sometimes scenarios like this don’t resonate with everybody probably.

Melyssa Barrett:  No, for sure. Yeah. Well and again, I mean shout out and gratitude to you for sharing. Because I know it’s a very personal thing, but I know for a fact it will inspire somebody because there are so many people that get caught up into the system for whatever reason, lots of reasons. And they are looking for that second chance. And so you talking about your pathway and your road to success, now you’re doing great things in Stockton, you know, learned, it’s all of that. And you took the route that allowed you to. Working with Habitat for Humanity, it’s like you got to know all of the things you needed to know when you’re talking about building houses and all of those things, which is awesome.

Jacob Davenport:  And in fairness, I was recruited by Habitat and a lot of it came because I was already doing a lot of building in the San Joaquin chapter, they were, how can I say, they were struggling to get the houses into the hands of the homeowners. And they were struggling to understand how an escrow works and how impound counts work and how deed of trust work. And they can be considered high level if you’re not in the space of real estate. And these are all things that while not having my real estate license, I never stopped learning. It couldn’t happen. I still was learning these things. I was still taking this material, my binder.  When I get information, I’ll print it out and I read, I keep some articles on the side of my beds when I wake up 3:00 in the morning, go use the bathroom. If I can’t go to sleep, I’ll just start reading. And so I want to be very clear, this is not easy. You do have to show up, you do have to show up, you do have to work. But many things are possible if you apply yourself. So that’s important.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah, no doubt. That’s awesome. So then when you’re working with your mentees, what are some of those conversations like, in terms of, I mean as you’re guiding them, I’m assuming some of them may want to go into real estate.

Jacob Davenport:  I have four mentees in real estate right now. Four, I don’t know if I shared it with you on Instagram, Real Estate Jake. I always share the stories of my mentees. I have two mentees that … I like Chick-fil-A. Nuggets over there, those chicken nuggets. I met a young man, at Chick-fil-A over a year ago and I would always speak to him when I went into Chick-fil-A and then that was organic when I would go in, I would go and looking for him plus the chicken nuggets. And we talked about a lot of things. And it was then I knew that there was some questions he had. He was 19 and he said, “Look, I have a best friend. You have to meet him.” And his friend, I started mentoring both of them as well. And so this is Kobe and Alex. And then I do a lot on social media and I’ve had some individuals from social media say, “Hey listen, can I meet with you?”

So I always tell everybody, parents, friends, family, at a minimum, if you have a, I typically work with young men, but if you have a son at a minimum, I have an hour in coffee, an hour in Jamba Juice for him minimum, because I am in the space of real estate and I do, I have a busy schedule so I do have to protect my time, but I always make time. And so you’re never going hear that Jake didn’t meet with somebody. I drive to Sacramento, I met a guy last month at Gunther’s Ice Cream. And there’s this spectrum in which typically the kids I’m working with, they’re probably between 13 and 21 right now. They all need different things. And so it’s not all real estate even I have three of them are directly studying for the real estate license. We meet on Saturdays and we study at my office.

The conversation we have have almost this much to do with real estate. Although we have our textbooks, we have flashcards, we have key terms, our strategies that I share with them. I just acquired a triplex. I closed two days ago. And so when I was doing inspections on it, I had some of my mentees meet me over there and we walked through inspection from roof pass home. We talked about foundations, we talk about landlord tenant law. These are things that you don’t learn getting your real estate license. And honestly 60% of real estate agents is don’t know this stuff. And that there’s no shade. Most real estate agents like to do buy and still transactions. At least 75% don’t own more than one home. So when you get into the space of investing, it’s a niche, right? And understanding how to evaluate it, understanding risk, understanding how to be profitable, that that’s a very small market in which people truly understand if we’re being frank.

And so mine was a very school of the hard knocks approach. When I showed up, Randy said he was going to an investment seven, eight years ago. I said, “Let me roll with y’all. I’ll buy you sandwich.” True story. I had another guy that worked with us before, he was heavy into investments. Every time he would leave the office, I’d say, where you going? He said, “Aw man, I’m about to go to one of my flips.” I said, “Let’s go grab some tacos.” This guy loves tacos Gus Ben Wells was his name. He’ll validate this story, what we would do. I said, “Let’s go get tacos over here.” I wasn’t from Stockton. So he would show me where all the good taco places were, right? Indirectly we would grab some great food. So I knew where some good places to eat, we would swing by properties we were working on.

And I used to show up pretty sharp, well I thought it was sharp. But once I really started to be able to stay on Gus’s coattail, I ordered myself some boots. So I would show up to work boots. Because I knew we were going underneath the crawlspace. So that education cost me, I don’t know, tacos between two people and a Coke. That’s 14 bucks. I did that for 100 days. So you math, right? Yeah. And I think my philosophy course was probably 10 times that amount.

Melyssa Barrett:  Oh for sure.

Jacob Davenport:  Look at the return, right?

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes.

Jacob Davenport:  So going back to working with the youth, they need different things. And one thing I add that, I mean I just is very near and dear to me. I think that growing up without my father in the household, young men need their fathers, young men need their fathers. And I can’t say, and I typically, I can go specifically say Black boys need their father. But no, they all do. They all do. And I don’t just mentor African American kids, I don’t close the door to any of them, but they need their fathers.

And then one of the things that maybe you can share on with me on this, I would always ask myself growing up, I didn’t have my father in my household, but I had friends and shout out to all my friends that had fathers in their household. And I remember this guy named Spencer Saunders, I went to school with, I remember one time his dad was jamming me up really, really hard. And I thought this guy, I thought he was bullying me, jamming me up like, “Hey man, you need to do this, you need to do that.” I said, “Man, his dad is mean.” And then I became an adult man.

Melyssa Barrett:  Then you realized.

Jacob Davenport:  I said, “Oh, okay.” And I had another friend’s dad, he would give me $10 to wash his car and his son said, “Dad, how come you never paid me?” And his dad would never respond, he wouldn’t answer. Now looking back, he was trying to put some change in my pocket.

Melyssa Barrett:  Right. Absolutely. Takes a village. Takes a village.

Jacob Davenport:  So I always looked at this dichotomy of growing up without a father or growing up with an absent father in and out. Or even a father that passed away when we were young, which is worse to try. To compare the three we’re doing no disservice. What this is about is that young men need their fathers and they need father figures. And even if a father is relatively present in the household, but always at work, you see young men still missing out on a lot of things. And that’s a concept I understand very, very well.

And so that’s what goes back to the conversation about my mentees.,Very little of it is about real estate. I have three that are three mentees that are between 19, 20. They’re dating, they need to be work on time. We call it gear in the urban community. They’re attire. They need to get their gear together. And so we go shopping, we go shopping and we make sure that they have these essentials. And so that’s important. Making sure we have two and three white shirts and making sure that the grooming and the conversation, those are key things because if you can get those, you can take Jacob out of it. They’ll do well.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes. Yes.

Jacob Davenport:  And so to have a father inside the house doesn’t mean that you’re grooming yourself. It doesn’t mean that you’re being punctual, it doesn’t mean that you’re communicating. Communication nowadays, this is one-on-one verbal communication. And then you have your digital footprint, which is communication. And then you have your resume, you have your reputation and you know, take 30 years to grow a reputation. 30 seconds to ruin it.

Melyssa Barrett:  Absolutely.

Jacob Davenport:  And so absolutely grooming those types of concepts that costs me this. How much money that costs me to do that? But what’s worth there? There’s price and there’s value. So I think that we’re definitely just like we evaluate real estate property, I’m valuing these and I think they’re worth it. I think they’re worth my time. Every minute of it.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. That’s fantastic.

Jacob Davenport:  My opinion.

Melyssa Barrett:  That’s awesome. That’s awesome. And kudos to you for doing that because I think in our community there a lot of people, that’s how they came up. If I look at my generation, they always had somebody down the street. If you were in trouble, you were in trouble several times because everybody knew and you were going to be talked to. But now it’s more difficult. You don’t necessarily have kids playing outside. Everybody’s inside. You can’t got to figure out how to connect.

And so kudos to you for connecting with these young men. And because we know we need it, especially those that don’t have fathers in the house, there’s such a gap. Not only for that, but the wealth gap itself. And a lot of us don’t understand the wealth gap until we’re much later in life. And trying to catch up can be challenging. So it’s awesome when people can take somebody under their wing. Lord knows my mentor back in when I was 19, Ida B. Jones, shout out to her. She was awesome. Because I’ll never forget, I worked at Citibank at the time and I ended up, I think managing 100 employees and I was 19. I had no idea what I was doing.

Jacob Davenport:  She was going to make sure you got through it.

Melyssa Barrett:  She took me under her wing. She was like, we got this. So I learned so much from her. But we, when we talk about mentors and the thing that I learned having come up through the corporate side is mentors are phenomenal. Sponsors, once you get somewhere you want to be and you’re maybe not in the room, those sponsors, those advocates for you when you’re not there. That’s what you need, depending on which route you’re going. So make sure, I just want to make sure that everybody, mentors are phenomenal, but we also want to make sure we’ve got a sponsor. So target and sometimes you have to approach the sponsor, make sure they know who you are and who you’re what you’re about. So that’s awesome.

Jacob Davenport:  Let me give, I want to do … Since you say that there is, at the event you and I met at, it’s just a couple weeks ago. Shortly after that event, I posted a picture. I don’t know if you recall, one of my mentees, Alex was there, he left work at 5:00, Chick-fil-A, 5 or 6. And he drove straight there because he didn’t want to miss the event. I mean, this guy had fricking chicken strips and chipotle sauce and barbecue sauce all over his work clothes. But he showed up to the event. And that was resilience for me. Because it’s not what you’re wearing, it’s not-

Melyssa Barrett:  That’s it.

Jacob Davenport:  … who you’re with it. It’s what trying to get to get accomplished. And so he showed up and what I did is the next day I posted a picture of him and I told all my followers, “Hey listen, Alex is getting in real estate. We got to get him some gear, get him some clothes. You guys want to drop a dollar in the bucket? Let me know. It’s not his charity, it’s just, let’s hook Alex up.” And now we made about 1500 bucks. He earned. Oh my goodness. Grossed about 1500 bucks. So shout out to the folks over at Nordstrom’s in Roseville, gal named Maya Moreno. She’s a stylist over there, a good friend of mine, known her for some years. Maya is going to, in connection with her manager, see if they can discount us and see how far we can make this $1500 go. And so some of that content would be on Instagram just for encouragement.

Melyssa Barrett:  Right. That’s awesome.

Jacob Davenport:  We already get that done. And so shout out to all the people, some that know me, some that don’t know me. They were sending $25 cash app, $50 cash apps, $100. And so that goes back to community. And every story doesn’t end like that, right? Every story doesn’t end like that. But as we spoke, many times I don’t, I’m not a man of many excuses. And I don’t too frequently get into things in the past, but I will because I’m not ashamed of it in least bit, is those experience that got me to where I am now. But I don’t mind putting my neck to the hoop or sacrificing anything about me if it’s going to add encouragement or perspective for anybody.

The four years I spent in prison was very difficult. And when now we have this thing called social media, Facebook, and you see people you spend time with in prison and you see the traumas and the effects, what happens in prisons and how families fall apart. No excuses, but nobody cares either. But I’m just so thankful looking left and looking right at some of, I know many people that went back to prison. I mean, many, many people that are never getting out of prison. And a lot of it goes back to the community, how they were raised. Substance abuse, mental health. Misdirection. Gangs that have traumatized. I mean, you name the city, Chicago, New York, California, you have those things that are culture and those are our kids sometimes. So on one side we say kids aren’t coming outside anymore. They’re still getting this bad information from somewhere. Right? And so some of the things that I saw while I was formerly incarcerated, they were very inappropriate. And they were very unfortunate. And I see it starts, I see kids that are 10 and 12 that in my humble opinion, they’re headed to prison. They’re headed to prison.

And it’s like a tree or a plant. If when you first plant a tree, if you give it the appropriate water and the foundation, maybe some small sticks so you can groom it to grow upwards, you’ll be fine. But if you ever seen an overgrown tree, it leans to the left and it’s very, very difficult. Even when you put those sticks on it to try to straighten it out, it takes time to straighten it out. And with young men, I focus with kids, minorities from low income communities. That’s where I focus my time, it’s near and dear to me. The older they get that straightening almost comes impossible. Some trees, you can go get a arborist. You go get arborist, arborist’s going to tell you there’s nothing we can do. Arborist. And it was just sad.

When I got to prison, I arrived on the bus with six young men. There were some older people too, but six young men. We were all 20 to 23 max with different times. I had a seven year sentence. This young man had five year, five year, and then 10 and 12, I remember like it was yesterday. On the chain gang is what they call it. Leaving that Sacramento straight to Folsom. And you quickly realize that everybody doesn’t, everybody’s scared. Everybody’s scared. And it’s getting really, you start to mute people, “Hey, how you doing? How much time do you have? Oh, two life sentences, huh?”

Melyssa Barrett:  What?

Jacob Davenport:  Right. And they said like a roll just rolls off their tongue. But one of the things that I found unfortunate was that some of the guys, one of the guys that was on that bus, he never made it off. Another gentleman, and I won’t say his name, I know him well though, we became friends. He [inaudible 00:46:56]. After our event somebody posted it on Facebook and he called me from Facebook. He said, “Yeah man, I just got out a month ago.” I’ve been out since 2014, been released since 2014. So I’m not the best at math, but I’m like, listen, that the five years, I don’t know, it’s not adding up. I said, “You went back?” He said, “No, no, I just caught time.” And I remember when he got there, he was trying to get accepted. So he joined a gang and he did some things based off this gang that they were his mentors. I didn’t join the gang and I was considered a loser. I’m okay with that. I’m okay with that. But this guy did well over 12 years.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow.

Jacob Davenport:  A five year sentence. It goes back to mentorship because I knew who his mentor was when I got to that prison yard.

Melyssa Barrett:  Right, right.

Jacob Davenport:  It’s like I’m over here. I’m like, you sure? Okay. Right. So we’re all, I don’t think there’s this term lack of mentors. We all have mentors. We all have mentors. But see, that’s the tricky part we don’t look at is who’s mentoring you.

Melyssa Barrett:  Right.

Jacob Davenport:  Whether it be individual, whether it be a culture, whether it be YouTube, whether it be music videos, whether it be your siblings, somebody … We’re all getting mentored because you don’t come in this world with all this information. You’re getting some source.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes.

Jacob Davenport:  And so I digress and I go back to the tree and trying to fix the tree. And I don’t know. All I’m doing is I’m saying that, “Hey, as long as I’m in the space of real estate, I’m always going to keep growing.” I have some pretty aggressive goals for myself, but I love real estate, but I don’t care about real estate more than mentorship.

Melyssa Barrett: Yeah.

Jacob Davenport:  Real estate’s just giving affording me the time and maybe finances to do the things in spaces of mentorship that I always want to do anyways. And that I think are important.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes. Well that’s what life is about. I mean, real estate is just allowing you a means to get there.

Jacob Davenport:  It’s a vehicle.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes, absolutely.

Jacob Davenport:  It’s a vehicle. It’s a vehicle. And I guess I’ll add as well is for all of those watching and that will watch, this is definitely a phenomenal podcast. I mean you know a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff. But you can, if anybody checks out my Instagram, I’m always teaching about real estate too though. I’m always teaching things like cap rate. I’m teaching things like evaluating property, sharing off market deals that I have access to. So I’m a full time real estate agent. I probably put 60 hours a week in in real estate. I do. So if you want to learn something about real estate, you don’t have to pay me. I’m a mentor. Follow me on Instagram.

Melyssa Barrett:  Awesome. I love it. I love it. Well, and why don’t you give you your Instagram? Are you Jacob Davenport? Or what did you say it was?

Jacob Davenport:  My name is Jacob Davenport or Real_Estate_Jake100. And that’s on Instagram Real_Estate_Jake100 on Instagram. And why the 100, you may ask because 100% of the time, I’m going to tell you the truth about a real estate deal. If you shouldn’t buy, I want to tell you.

Melyssa Barrett:  Okay.

Jacob Davenport:  Right. I’m definitely not just pushing property. I love real estate. But again, I love our people too. And our people is anybody that’s trying to buy real estate, anybody that’s trying to grab theirself by the boots and say, listen, if Jake can do it, I know I can do it. Right. Now if I can do it for sure, you can do it. Right, right.

Melyssa Barrett:  Exactly. Awesome. Well thank you so much for being here. I have enjoyed the conversation and it totally went in a different direction than I was thinking, but it was a great conversation. So that’s what we’re about. Everybody has a story to tell. And the Jolly that’s all we’re about storytelling.

Jacob Davenport:  I hope I didn’t take us too far left.

Melyssa Barrett:  No, no, never left. We’re always on the path. So it was meant for you to talk about this and educate others and inspire them to follow because it’s possible.

Jacob Davenport:  It’s possible.

Melyssa Barrett:  So thank you so much for being here.

Jacob Davenport:  Thank you for having me. I hope I can get invited on again next time. Whatever the agenda is, I’ll follow it too.

Melyssa Barrett:  No need. It’s all good. All good.

Jacob Davenport:  Okay. Okay. Well have you back on. Let’s talk again.

Melyssa Barrett:  I’ll have you back.

Jacob Davenport:  Thank you so much.

Melyssa Barrett:  Thank you.

Jacob Davenport:  Thank you so much.

Melyssa Barrett:  Thanks for joining me on the Jali Podcast. Please subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. See you next week.