BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast

BiggerPockets Podcast 228: Partnerships, Landlording, and Getting Started in Real Estate with Meghan McCallum

358 Articles Written

A lot of newbies get stuck when trying to get their first few deals. After all, figuring out how to find properties, how to get the money needed to buy them, and how to not mismanage the property are all big tasks. That’s why we’re excited to bring you this powerful interview with Meghan McCallum, a real estate investor who’s passionate about helping new investors discover their best plan for real estate success. Today, Meghan shares her story of a terrible first deal that led to an unbelievable second deal (you won’t believe the appreciation she’s seen!) and more. Meghan also shares on the first steps newbies need to do before jumping in, as well as the power of using partnerships to gain experience and financing for your deals!

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Meghan’s journey to her first deal from being a firefighter in Kuwait
  • How she bought a $280k property that now is worth $875k
  • Her thoughts about house hacking 
  • Tips on handling an inherited tenant
  • How to build the systems and team you need to scale
  • Why you should figure out who you are as an investor first
  • Why you should seek out a partner and not a mentor
  • Thoughts on “speed dating” for real estate investors
  • Their next deal (the story of knee-high poop)
  • What exactly an “escalation clause” is
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “We forget in real estate investing that people are people. So like in all relationships, you set ground rules.” (Tweet This!)
  • “We all gravitate to what we’re great at, and what we’re great at makes us happy.” (Tweet This!)
  • “You need to know who you are first as an investor before you even consider what type of investment to get into.” (Tweet This!)
  • “I build my business around good people.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Meghan

Show Preview

Real strategies that work for real people seeking to build wealth through real estate investments. Co-hosted by Brandon Turner and David Greene, this podcast provides actionable advice from investors and other real estate professionals, who chat about failures, successes, motivations, and lessons learned.

    Meghan McCallum Specialist from CHICAGO
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has listened to this podcast. I’m always open to any critiques, questions, and even criticism. Let me know what you think!
    Carlos Garcia from Tampa, Florida
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Just finished listening to your interview, I wrote down some great ideas, I enjoyed it. I’m dark green to RE. I’m in the self education phase, it all started somewhere near and “dear” to your heart … here in KUWAIT. Deployed AF Reservist, I was introduced to BP while being out here on base and can’t wait to get back home to see what my move is going to be. I’m thinking of kicking off with a 2-4 unit multi-family. Do you have an properties in South Florida?
    Meghan McCallum Specialist from CHICAGO
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Carlos, I currently do not. But, I have a friend I met here on BP who I have speaking with and we are considering properties in Tampa.
    Kim Stofan Realtor from Sacramento, CA
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks Meghan! Loved the podcast and I loved your unapologetic stance and directness. It’s so awesome to see a successful woman out there killing it. Super inspiring for me! And I l thought Scott Trench was a fantastic co-host!
    Meghan McCallum Specialist from CHICAGO
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Kim, Scott was great wasn’t he! He really did a great job driving Brandon and I right back on track when we’d start having too much fun talking about some off topic things. Thanks for taking the time to listen!
    Don Spafford Investor from Idaho Falls, ID
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Enjoyed it as I do every podcast. I’m curious to know what “systems” you are using. I’m just starting my journey and if there are good systems to put in place from the start that would be great to know.
    Meghan McCallum Specialist from CHICAGO
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Don, We initiated systems for everything. But, the best tool we found for us was Google Drive. It allowed all our team members to gain access to whatever they needed from our office because we uploaded ALL of our documents right onto the drive. All appraisals, signed leases, documents, leads…all are kept on the drive.
    Nkiruka Okeke Investor from Manassas, Virginia
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I love the jokes!!!!!
    Mike H. Investor from Nashville, Tennessee
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Enjoyed the podcast! Got several ideas. Love your ramping up and nothing to fear. Thanks Meghan
    Brian Murray Rental Property Investor from Watertown, NY
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Hey Meghan! Absolutely loved your podcast, and found I could relate with your experience. Thank you so much for the shoutout too!! It means a lot to me whenever I hear that my book has helped make a difference. So glad you enjoyed it!! Good luck on your apartment project – hope you will drop me a note and let me know how it turns out. Thank you again and best regards, Brian
    Anthony Cosgrove Investor from Omaha, NE
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Awesome podcast Meghan! So cool that you love Belize! My wife and I are hopefully going to be traveling there next year and possibly looking at a vacation rental in the near future with another investor couple from our church. Where in Belize do you like to stay?
    Meghan McCallum Specialist from CHICAGO
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Anthony, PLACENCIA. I love it there. Harder to get to, but far less touristy. Let me know if you’d like a third partner in on a place. I have connections with local realtors, investors, and contractors down there.
    Cassio De almeida Real Estate Agent from Astoria, New York
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Hi Meghan, I’m curious as to how your renting and managing these properties as you’ve been scaling…? Are you now using agents to represent you and/or a property management company?? Thanks for the great podcast!
    Meghan McCallum Specialist from CHICAGO
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Hi Cassio! So, to answer your question: “How are you renting and managing these properties as you’ve been scaling…?” First I self managed (not well to be honest, I have made the mistake of working IN my business longer than I should have, I should have been working ON my business). Then I started hiring full time employees (I’m apparently not great at that either, I fired two employees in one year…now thats a time suck!) But, I have found one smart young go getter who I have been able to start training to not just be an investor, but to replace me. His name is Joey, Joey latched on to everything real estate (I stole him out of the kitchen at the local wine bar…from head chef to my foreman/Me in my absence). Why him? He was honest, smart, loyal, hardworking, and VERY detail oriented (a trait I don’t posses so I so value it in others). I had the fortune to express the loyalty I expect from others to Joey when he went through a tough time. That has allowed me to rely on that loyalty as it now goes both ways. I cannot wait to help him become a millionaire. Joey has now since taken on a young man right out of HS who is following his ladder of progress and Joey manages him and the projects he works on. The new guys is likely to develop into a maintenance guy for us (painting, dealing with lock outs etc…) But, I have now determined that we are able to grow exponentially by adding to our team an investor who is a CPA and has started his own PM/Tax business for investors. I am also talking to him about taking on a full time bookkeeper to manage my whole portfolio. This will include tax strategy preparation and even a segregation survey to appropriately depreciate the Cap Ex on my new 20 unit. So, the short answer is…build a great team and find great people to build with!
    Cassio De almeida Real Estate Agent from Astoria, New York
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Hi Meghan, Thanks for being blunt on your flaws, goes to show that even the successful aren’t perfect. I have many flaws as well that I hate to admit but knowing what they are helps you find people that don’t have them. I also admire your willingness to help others. I think it’s great. I love how real estate can drastically change peoples lives. I loved the green roof idea btw.
    Jadan Duffin from Los Angeles, California
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Great episode as always, but the constant typing into your laptop is terrible to listen to. All I hear pounding bass coming through my headset every time you hit a key! You might want to invest in a real mic that’s not attached to your computer, or raise it off the table 😉
    Meghan McCallum Specialist from CHICAGO
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Jadan, You got me. I had a case of the nervous leg and it was bouncing all around. The guys caught it and I stopped. But, I learned something that day! I hope everyone who listened learned it from me too! Worst part is I have started a podcast for my locality and I have caught a number of my guests doing the same thing. My mother always said I had to learn my lessons the hard way. Thanks for calling me out! I truly do appreciate it.
    Matthew Hipp from Columbia, South Carolina
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Enjoyed the podcast, Meghan! There are some really great pointers & tips here. Also, much congrats on your success!
    Tracey Geary Rental Property Investor from Ocean, NJ
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Great podcast, Meghan. Listened at work today while I dreamed of my own early retirement. I believe you said you bought a house in College Park, MD. If that’s right, was it a college rental? Were there students/lease in place when you bought it? I’m closing on a college rental near in Delaware (about two hours away) in a few weeks and looking for advice on anything I should do when I take over the existing student tenants. My son will live there next year, but I’ve got to manage through this first year. Thanks!
    Michael Rafales
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Thank you for a great episode. Could someone explain the partnership deal discussed at 29:30? Seemed like a neat win win, but I wasn’t quite sure on how it was structured. Thanks!