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BiggerPockets Podcast 522: From “No Comma Paychecks” to 7-Figures Using These 5 Skills w/ Nasar El Arabi

BiggerPockets Podcast 522: From “No Comma Paychecks” to 7-Figures Using These 5 Skills w/ Nasar El Arabi

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Nasar El-Arabi is a self-proclaimed “failure” when it comes to being employed. He wasn’t cut out for the banking industry, the call center, or the classroom. Some people aren’t meant to be employed, and Nasar was one of them. As soon as he was able to get his start in real estate investing, he realized that this was a path that could help him succeed, all while challenging him in ways the W2 world didn’t.

Nasar has been wholesaling, flipping, and landlording for over a decade. He has amassed a seven-figure net worth, due to his sweat, grind, and problem-solving. Nasar has put together his list of the five most important traits of any successful real estate investor. These traits aren’t what you’d hear at corporate, and they require those who are interested in investing to put in the time, energy, and creativity to thrive.

If you’re interested not only in real estate investing, but becoming a full-time investor doing what you love, make sure you pay careful attention to Nasar’s advice. While these aren’t traits you can simply switch on or off overnight, they are things that you can develop over the years you are investing, which can help you build wealth, reach financial freedom, and give you the life you’ve dreamed of.

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David:
This is the BiggerPockets podcast, show 522.

Nasar:
I have no comma in my paycheck, bro. No comma in my checks, bro. Ain’t nothing motivating than not having a comma in your paycheck. So anyway, I had no comma in my joint and they want to fight me. They’re calling. However, I had to sit there and listen. I had to listen to what their problem was, so I could put them in touch in the right department. So, went from no comma to no limits because of my mindset.

Intro:
You’re listening to BiggerPockets Radio, simplifying real estate for investors large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype, you’re in the right place. Stay tuned and be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from BiggerPockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

David:
What’s going on everybody? It is me, David Greene, your host of today’s BiggerPockets podcast.

David:
I’ve got some news to share. I think I may have officially worn out my co-host, Brandon Turner. He hasn’t been able to keep up with me and he needs a little bit of time off. So, while Brandon is recovering from the strain that I’ve put him through, we’re going to be trying out some different co-hosts here on the show, who bring a different perspective and a lot of wisdom along with them.

David:
Today, I’ll be sharing the ball with Nasar El Arabi. We get into a very good conversation about just what he did to leave the W2 world and go full-time into real estate investing. I know this is a question on many peoples’ hearts, who are trying to figure out if that is for them. So, there should be a ton of really good content in there, as well as, if you just want to be better at the job that you have, Nasar gives some really good information from that front, too.

David:
Nasar, what is going on, my man?

Nasar:
Hey. I’m doing okay. First things first, I just want to say thank you for having me on this show. I’m excited and I think the people will love this show.

David:
Yeah. We’re going to get into the five skills that you had to develop to pursue your dream of being a full-time real estate investing. We’re going to talk about how you got fired from your job. You’re very transparent about how that went down and how that felt. I thought that was really cool. What skills you brought from that job into the world of full-time real estate investing, and two concepts that people need to understand when it comes to marketing and to finding deals.

David:
All that and more in today’s show, but before we get into that, let’s get into today’s quick tip. Here’s what I want to say for today’s quick tip. If you, yourself, are in a position where you don’t feel on fire about your job. You don’t like where you’re working. You don’t like what you do for work. You don’t like who you work for. You don’t like your commute. There’s a lot of reasons that people are unhappy.

David:
Sometimes, that’s something inside of you that you need to fix. There’s some people that are just bitter or it colors their perspective. They’re not grateful for what they have. But other times, it’s like Nasar says in this episode. You may be a fish who’s trying to climb a wall and no fish is ever going to be happy if they’re trying to climb a wall.

David:
So, what we want to help you do is find out where you can get in that water and where you can swim, using the skills you have, the knowledge you have, and maybe even the vision you have to further the company you work for, which may be yourself. So, I would like for everybody here to ask themselves, where could you be working where your natural skills, and attributes, and passions would be working for you instead of going to waste.

David:
Nasar, is there anything that you’d like to say before we get into this thing?

Nasar:
Listen. When you stay ready, you don’t got to get ready. Now, let’s get into the show.

David:
Nasar, my man. Welcome to the BiggerPockets podcast. How are you today?

Nasar:
Man, thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

David:
So, for those who don’t remember, we actually had you on the podcast long before I was the host of it. It was show 116, 1-1-6. Can you give us a little recap about your story, what you talked about on the show, and then maybe what you’ve been up to since then?

Nasar:
Yes, absolutely. From 116, I was basically telling my story of how I was a corporate failure, worked in the banking industry for four years. For those who don’t know, Charlotte, North Carolina had the number two biggest, is the number two biggest banking hub in the country.

Nasar:
So, I worked in banking for four years. Definitely got fired. It wasn’t no surprise, fired. Don’t feel bad for me. I knew that was coming. I was a terrible employee. I apologize to those good people who tried to give me an opportunity to work for them, but that didn’t work, so I got fired. I’ve been wholesaling houses full-time since September of 2012.

Nasar:
That’s my background, but actually, I bought my first house in 2007. Me and my man, we bought the house. We ended up losing $7,000 apiece. We figured flipping houses was easy because we were watching the shows on TV at the time. All you had to do was buy an ugly house, yell at some contractors, and make a bunch of money.

Nasar:
Man, then we had to deal with the reality of the situation. When I bought that house, I actually already had my money spent. I was about to go get me a Bentley GT Coupe. But unfortunately, fortunately, we lost because I definitely didn’t need no Bentley at that age and living at home.

Nasar:
But we lost money, $7,000 apiece. I end up packing up, leaving New Jersey. I’m from North Jersey. We flipped that house in East Stearns, and from Elizabeth. I ended up moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, and been pursuing real estate since.

David:
So, tell me what your pursuit of real estate looks like right now. What kind of a business are you involved in? What kind of properties are you buying?

Nasar:
Yeah. My highest paying job, the one I got fired from was $38,000 a year. Again, I done told those people that I can work Microsoft Excel, and do all that stuff, because I found this nice resume on the internet. You know the Microsoft Suite joint that you find on the internet? So, I figured, “Man, this sounds good. Let me put it on my resume.” So, I did that, copy and paste. Those people fired me.

Nasar:
My highest job was $38,000. The most I’ve ever done in this business per year is 1.8 mil. But basically, we have a team of cold callers, some VAs doing follow up, and I have about three acquisition managers. Right now, we’re mainly focused on wholesaling houses in Charlotte Metro area.

David:
How many deal would you say you’re doing in a year right now?

Nasar:
Oh. Last year, we did about 66. But normally, at our highest, we probably did about 80, 80 a year. We definitely don’t have the biggest wholesale operation in the country, but we do enough whereas we make it work. One year, we did 100.

Nasar:
But our whole thing now is lifestyle and work towards the goals properly. That’s where we’re at right now.

David:
That’s impressive. That’s a lot of properties you’re putting under contract. As far as your main means of getting them locked up in contract, and then obviously later, you figure out if you’re going to wholesale it, if you’re going to keep it, if you’re going to flip it. What methods are you using to contact these sellers?

Nasar:
As far as the methods, right now, believe it or not, we’ve got two main focus, which is cold calling and texting. We’re killing it, just doing those. For those who don’t know, texting is SMS marketing and cold calling.

David:
Yup.

Nasar:
That’s our main source.

David:
But you know what? If that’s, really, a lot of businesses, I feel like, start off doing everything, and then they whittle down to what actually works. I feel like that’s a healthy business model is, you get into something, and you do all of it. Then you learn, and then you start cutting out the stuff that doesn’t work, and then you narrow it down to what’s most efficient.

David:
So, I feel like that’s a good stage that you’re at in your business right now. What are your goals for what you want this thing to look like in the future. Are you trying to scale bigger, or are you trying to get time back and enjoy life more?

Nasar:
Right now, my most important thing is time. Since I was 19 years old, I wanted to be a real estate investor, since I was 19. 19 years later, most importantly, I’ve got the freedom. So, the time, and just moving up with the asset classes. That’s all this is.

Nasar:
That’s all it is. I just want to move up. I do own a commercial building. It’s not moving as fast as I want. Slow motion is better than no motion. But I just always wanted to be a real estate investor. So for me, the end goals is apartment complex, commercial real estate, getting a passive income, maybe doing some bigger developments.

Nasar:
I’ve built, from the ground up, in the infield lots. But it would be cool if I could develop a corner in a major city somewhere. That’s where I see my future going.

David:
How many hours a week would you say you’re working on this business right now?

Nasar:
Right now, I probably put in 30 hours a week. I pretty much work on it. I do have some rehabs I manage, but I’m at 30 hours a week. At one point, I was 50, 60, but I was able to, when you hire a team, you don’t have to do that as much.

David:
That’s a very good segue for us to get into what we’re going to talk about today. Would you mind sharing what you’re going to be sharing with our listeners?

Nasar:
Yeah, man. I’m going to be sharing the five skills I had to develop to become a full-time real estate investor, that you need so you can take off.

David:
Before we get into what those five things are, can you tell me a little bit about your story? What your life was like when you were working for someone else, what made you realize you wanted to run your own business, and maybe a little bit about what that transition looked like?

Nasar:
Basically, I was in a call center. I started out, my first job after college, bachelor’s degree, I was making $10 an hour. Now, I don’t know if any of your listeners ever worked in a call center. For those who have not worked in a call center, be extremely grateful. For those who worked in a call center, I get it. I was there.

Nasar:
Listen. This is going to sound crazy to some people, but when you work in a call center, man! People are literally getting rolled out in stretchers. Y’all think I’m exaggerating. It was people that was coming in with doctors notes saying, “My doctor said I can’t work at this job no more.”

Nasar:
I’m from a low income area in New Jersey, so I’ve seen some wild stuff. I’m like, “What? That’s crazy.” So, I just knew. I looked at people five and 10 years my senior, and I just realized, “Yo, not me, man. I can’t go out like that. This can’t be my life.”

David:
So, a lot of people, I find, look to real estate to be this magic pill to save them from a job they don’t like or a life they don’t like. So, there’s this idea that, “If I get a couple rental properties, I could go tell my boss to shove it. I could quit. I could be my own boss. In a year or two, I’ll be on that yacht with the girls in bikinis, drinking champagne and living the good life.”

David:
I wanted to hear, because you didn’t like your job, and now you’re in real estate full-time. Was that what your experience was like? You learned how to buy rental properties and it just developed into this? Or did you find that you were trading one set of challenges for another?

Nasar:
Okay, that’s really interesting. The reason why people think like that is because that’s the way it’s framed.

Nasar:
So, fast forward. If you was coming up when I was coming up, you seen the infomercials. What you see? The yacht, the guy, the real estate. This is what inspired me, and I talked about this on episode 116.

Nasar:
This is what inspired me to get into real estate. I was 19 years old. I overheard my father talking to his friend about how the neighbor sold his house to the investor for $150,000. The investor put $20,000 into it and sold it for $270,000. I’m 19, so I’m like, “Man, I’ve got to do real estate.” But me being 19, I asked somebody how to get into real estate, who didn’t do real estate, which was my father. He told me, “Just go over here and get your credit fixed.”

Nasar:
One day, I’m sitting on the porch. This guy rolls up. Whatever year it was, he had that year Range Rover, and the model girlfriend hopped out. So, I’m really sold. “Yo, this is it.” I knew the $100,000. That’s all I needed to hear. This is before I knew anything about real estate. Real estate comes with taxes. They come with commissions, closing costs, et cetera. But I was just calculating that money, man. So, that’s the way it’s framed.

Nasar:
As far as my journey in real estate, I thought that I was going to be able to accumulate rental properties and walk away from my job. It did not happen like that. I didn’t walk away. They put me out. So, with that being said, I had some rental properties. I bought a rental property in ’08 the traditional way. I bought another one in ’09 because I realized Charlotte’s cheap.

Nasar:
Then when I went to go buy one in 2010, what happened was, they said that the income was too high. So, I thought my real estate investing career was over. I was reading the book, Rich Dad Poor Dad. From reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, it pointed me to REA, and I joined my local REA. That’s when I found out, that’s a problem only if I want it to be a problem, and I learned about wholesaling.

Nasar:
Eventually, did my first wholesale deal in 2011. Got fired from my job in 2012. Dave, I had asked them could I go to my grandfather’s funeral. I was already on final write up. They used to call me in the office every Friday like it was the principal’s office when you’re a kid. So, I was a grown man getting called in the office every Friday; terrible experience, felt very small.

Nasar:
So anyway, I used to play along with it. They’d say, “Let me look at your progress this week. All right, we’re going to extend this for another week and we’ll see you next Friday.” So eventually, they cut the puppet strings.

David:
That sounds like an incredibly painful experience. No man ever wants to be fired. It’s like getting cut from a team. It’s one of the worst feelings you could ever have.

Nasar:
I’m not going to say that. I’ve been getting fired since I was 16.

David:
Okay. So maybe you’ve got some thick skin when it comes to that. But I think for a lot of people, there’s some pain associated with being told, “Hey, I don’t want you.” At minimum, there was some pain associated with, every Friday, you’ve got to go in there and sit in front of people that are like, “Maybe we’ll let you stick around another week.” So you don’t have security. You’re not appreciated. It sounds like you were just a bad fit for that job.

David:
I think what I like about your story is that rather than drowning yourself in self-pity, feeling sorry for yourself, blaming the employers, you took that pain and said, “I’m going to put this towards where I want to go. I’m going to let this fuel me to get into the new thing I want to do,” instead of just getting drunk, or getting high, or eating bad food, or all the things that we do to feel better.

David:
You didn’t waste that pain. That’s what I want to highlight because you went on to build an incredible company. I wonder if you’d have been able to without some of that frustration and pain to motivate you.

Nasar:
No, I wouldn’t have been able to do it, bro. Because they used to talk to me terribly, and not just that job. I get it. I wasn’t the best person. I was in my 20s. I was a little wild. I don’t blame all of them. Everybody had to do what they had to do. They had to go separate and I had to go separate. I didn’t dislike anybody.

Nasar:
Now, were there times when I was at my job and I realized I was going to be fired? I had some stress on my face. Absolutely, I had some stress in my face, but when that actually happened, it was a relief. Because I knew it was coming. It happened. I tried to do right. It just didn’t work for me.

Nasar:
But with that being said, absolutely. That played a major part. One thing about it. This is where a lot of adults go wrong. You’ve got to live in your reality. I lived in my reality and my reality sucked. That’s not the life I envisioned. That’s not the life I went to college for and that’s not the life I wanted.

Nasar:
I didn’t go to work and say, “Oh, I’m happy! Look at me! I’m happy! Oh, I like driving my ’01 Taurus that, I don’t know if it’s going to work tomorrow! I love it! Oh, I got a flat tire? Oh, how wonderful!” No. I wanted a car where at least I get in, I know I can make it to work, bro. Is that too much to ask for?

Nasar:
No, I’m not happy being poor. That just wasn’t my thing. I didn’t grow up around well to do poor people. The poor people I grew up around, they wanted to kill you, bro! I had to dress up like a cop just to go to my house when I was growing up. So yeah, it was crazy.

Nasar:
I just dealt with reality because I grew up in an environment where you had to deal with reality of your situation, or you can find yourself in a traumatic situation. So, I just applied that, kept that with me. I always was a hustler. I always made things shake, but I had to make this real estate work. That was it.

David:
Now, one thing I love about your story is that you actually, you’re going to share five things, five skills you had to develop that helped you become a full-time investor. But each of these skills, you were not able to apply when you were working for somebody else.

David:
At different situations in life, you knew you had a skill, or a vision, or you could see something that needed to be done, and you had no control over getting that thing done because you were working in somebody else’s company. Now that you’re running the company, there’s nothing that stops you from executing on some of these things, especially because you consider yourself the “Doru.” You get out there and get stuff done. There’s no obstacles in your way.

David:
When you’re working at a call center, you have a script that you’re going to say. You’re going to make that same call a million times. There’s one thing that they want you to do. So what I love about what you’re saying is that you believed in yourself enough that you said, “This is not working out for me in these situations, but I’m not going to quit. I’m just going to find the situation where these skills do work.”

David:
It reminds me of an athlete on a team, where they know they have skill, but they just don’t get playing time on that team. Or that offense or defense, if they run, is not conducive to what this player is good at. But you put them on another team and boom, all the sudden they look great.

David:
So, that’s one of the reasons I would encourage people, “Don’t quit.” Because it might not be you. It might be the situation that you’re in. Do you have any insight you want to offer on that before we get into these five skills?

Nasar:
Yeah. I just want to say, if you judge a fish on its ability to crawl a wall, that fish will go through life thinking it’s stupid. Okay? But if you put that fish in water, that fish is going to thrive.

Nasar:
So, like you said, sometimes we’re just in the wrong environments. Unfortunately, some people are not successful because they’re in the wrong environments. They have the wrong friends. I hate to say this. They’re in the wrong marriage or the wrong relationships. So, they’re not successful.

Nasar:
You put those people in the right situation, bow! They’re going to start shining. I don’t know if you watch sports, but the Carolina Panthers, shout out to the Panthers. They play here in Charlotte. The Carolina Panthers just picked up Sam Darnold, who played for the Jets. So, the Jets, he never made it to the post-season. He couldn’t do much. Now he’s with us, two days in, this guy looks like a straight star because we have the right pieces for him.

Nasar:
Sometimes that’s what you guys need, a change of environment. At the age of 24, I moved 10 hours away from home. I had no contacts. I had no friends in my new place. I just knew I had to get out of that environment.

Nasar:
I moved away in ’08, moved to Charlotte. I would say about the following year or two, my associates that were from my neighborhood, they got wrapped up in a big investigation and ended up going to jail. But I seen that coming. That’s the type of environment I grew in. I just knew I wanted more in life and I had to get away.

Nasar:
So, if y’all listening, just apply that to your life. Sometimes it’s the environment.

David:
That’s a great point. That applies to anybody in any environment. Those principles exist for all people. Don’t stay there, banging your head against the wall, wishing that the world around you would change, when you could just leave the world that you’re in. You can go start somewhere else.

David:
All right. What I want to hear about now are the skills that you had being fostered in you when you were in the wrong environment, that then helped you to flourish when you got into the right one. What is the first skill that you believe that you had to develop to become a full-time real estate investor?

Nasar:
People skills. People skills. Listen, I talk bad about my job. I make jokes about my job. But in reality, those terrible jobs made who I am, made who I am to the person I am today.

Nasar:
I worked in a call center from ’08 to 2011. What those roles prepared me for in real estate, I had to talk to people. You’ve got one mouth and two ears. You had to listen. When I was in the call center, I’m taking 100 calls a day in the call center.

Nasar:
So, I’m taking 100 calls a day. People, this is when I was at the bank. People up there cursing me out because they’ve got $4 in their account. They want to know where’d the other $15 go. So, they’ve got $4 in their account. They’re mad at me. The ones who were in love, and they put their girlfriend or boyfriend name on the account, and didn’t realize that, that person could call in, or go to the branch, and take out all the money and close the account. That happens more often than you think, believe it or not.

Nasar:
So, they didn’t realize that, so now they want to fight me. Why you going to fight me? I’m already making $12 an hour. You want to just beat me up. Look, bro, I have no comma in my paycheck, bro. No comma in my joint. Ain’t nothing motivating than not having a comma in your paycheck.

Nasar:
So anyway, I had no comma in my joint and they want to fight me. They’re calling. However, I had to sit there and listen. I had to listen to what their problem was so I can put them in touch with the right department.

Nasar:
It went from no comma to no limits because of my mindset. But I took those skills. When I was making calls, beating up that phone, I knew I had to listen. I had to have good phone etiquette. I had to put them at ease. If they had concerns, I had to address those concerns. I learned that in the call center, taking them hundred plus calls. I got paid to learn for this business.

Nasar:
I’m glad I went through that because if you would have gave me some money at 24, 25, Dave, I would have bought a car, and I would have pulled up in front of the club, got the Bentley, the Benz, whatever, Beamer, Benz, Bentley; the vibes. Drove in front of the clubs, VIP, all drinks on me, while my gas tank was on E. I was all messed up in the head, but God didn’t give me no money then because God is all knowing. So, thank you for not giving me no money at 24.

David:
That’s such a beautiful perspective, too. Because I think about this all the time, that many times in life, if I got what I wanted at the time, it would have been the worst thing that could have happened.

Nasar:
Worst thing.

David:
A lot of times, we pray that, or we ask for money because we think we need it. But if we got money, we would lose it the second we got it. What we really need is discipline, a work ethic, humility.

David:
I’ve seen this so many times, that when you get what you need, but you didn’t want, then the money will follow. Sometimes you have a mentality where you’ve got this bucket with holes in it. The money’s going to drain out. The universe, God, whatever you’re looking at, is waiting for those holes to get plugged. As soon as they are, the money comes.

Nasar:
Yeah, I was saying it. They’re waiting for you to fill those holes, man.

David:
That’s what I love about your mindset. Have you seen the movie Karate Kid, the original one?

Nasar:
Absolutely! Whoa! Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi.

David:
Mr. Miyagi was teaching Daniel karate, but Daniel didn’t know it. He thought he was just learning how to clean his car. But really, he was being humbled. He was being disciplined. If he just knew karate right off the bat, he’d have went out there and got himself into fights, and created a bigger mess for himself. He had to learn how to develop some of his own character.

David:
But he was learning karate while he was doing other things. When you talk about being in that call center, and taking these calls, and dealing with angry people. If you had taken a negative attitude and said, “This is not my problem. This is stupid. I’m not going to deal with it.” You would have been robbing yourself.

David:
But it was the skills that you built with this person coming and yelling at you because their girlfriend stole their money, and you learned how to absorb their anger, calm them down, get them to think about it from another perspective that now make you money when you’re actually trying to put a seller under contract.

David:
There’s a lot of people going through life that say, “I want to quit this job. I don’t like it. It’s hard.” But they don’t realize that the skills they could be building in that job is exactly the karate that’s going to get them into the next level.

David:
Can you give us a couple, maybe examples of ways that you have developed people skills, or ways that you’ve learned to talk to human beings; as specific as you’re able to share; that investors would want to copy in their own business?

Nasar:
Yes, absolutely. First things first, let me say, shout out to Coach Carson. I knew him as Chad Carson. I would see him speak at the local REA here in Charlotte. He recommended Toastmasters. Again, people skills. If you’re at any Fortune 500 companies, you guys are still going in. They normally have Toastmasters meetings there.

Nasar:
But just knowing how to present yourself because you’re going to go, sometimes you’re going to be face to face with sellers. So, your people skills come in top. I don’t go in a house, Dave, and beat up the house, “Oh, my God! This house is terrible. Oh, my God! Do you see that wall?” I don’t go beat up the house. I don’t do that.

Nasar:
Instead, I talk to them. I don’t want them to feel ashamed. I don’t want them to feel embarrassed, no. I want you to do business with me, “Hey, man, this is all right. I’ve seen worse. Don’t even worry about it.” The house could be the worst house ever I’ve been in and I, “Hey, man, don’t worry about it. I’ve seen worse. I’m used to this. It’s all right.”

Nasar:
I might stare at an issue. I might stare at it, and rub it, and [inaudible 00:26:34] until they say, “That crack came from the water was coming in the room, so then it got wet. We believe the foundation cracked.” So, I just use the skills, just being a people person; talking to them and not talking at them, if that makes sense.

Nasar:
You want to be the expert, but you want them to trust you to be the expert. You want them to address their concerns. Because even if you dictate the situation after they sign the contract, yeah. They can change their mind because they had a bad feeling about you, but I don’t want them to change their mind. I want to put their concerns at ease up front.

Nasar:
That’s how I use it, by just dealing with sellers directly, and going belly to belly, and being able to talk to them, and communicate effectively.

David:
Sounds like you’re aware of how your words would impact them.

Nasar:
Absolutely.

David:
The people that go in and beat up a house, they don’t realize that the seller is sitting there thinking, “Oh, man. I better give it to you for a great deal because I’ve got a crack in it,” but the opposite happens. The seller now doesn’t like you and looks for problems with you to blame.

David:
Similar to that person that comes in yelling at you because their girlfriend cleared out their account and they want to blame you, that you almost learn that ability to absorb somebody else’s negative emotions. Many times, it’s a seller. It’s embarrassment or shame because they know this house is not in good shape.

David:
You’re building a connection where they feel safe. Now they’re safe to tell you, “Oh, yeah. The foundation’s cracked and there’s a big hole in the roof that let water in.” Which everyone knows means that it’s going to affect the price of the home, but you didn’t have to force that on them. They willingly provided that information to you. So, I think that, that’s brilliant, the ability to be aware of how what we say affects other people; that emotional intelligence that you developed in these other areas.

David:
What would you say would be the second skill that you had to develop in order to become a full-time investor?

Nasar:
Vision for how to improve processes and the ability to foresee problems.

Nasar:
When I foresee a problem, I can address it. Let me give you an example of that-

David:
Yeah, I was about to ask. What are some examples of things in your business, that you were able to foresee and change that made you more successful?

Nasar:
Absolutely. We all work from, my operation, we all work from home right now.

Nasar:
So, we always work from home, but if I’ve got, during team meetings, somebody who’s always negative, in the WhatsApp group chat, somebody’s always negative. That, I know we’ve just got to get rid of them, “Oh, there’s just no leads.”

Nasar:
No. I foresee that. If I see a contractor, he’s cutting corners, “Listen, this foundation is not done right. If we do this house and the buyer gets his inspection, it’s not done right. If we do this house, and the buyer gets his inspection, and that foundation is messed up, I’m going to have to spend a lot of money getting this fixed, to make this person feel comfortable.”

Nasar:
But if we do it right the first time, I put that buyer’s mind at ease. So, let’s do the right thing. We’re going to do the right thing like Spike Lee. So, if they’re not doing, now I can cut it short if they’re doing the wrong thing. When I was at the job, it was like, “Look, man. You’re employee number 88. So, you shut up and take calls.”

David:
That’s a great example. What I hear you saying is that when you see small red flags like, “No one’s paying attention to the contractor, so he’s cutting corners.” I make this mistake all the time. I want to say, “Hey, don’t do that again,” and tell myself I resolved it. But human nature says when I’m not looking, they’re going to go right back to doing that same thing. That could cost you, your reputation, the buyer’s peace of mind, some negative impact because they cut corners in the beginning.

David:
So now when you see that, you address it right away, and put a new contractor in there, and explain what your standards are?

Nasar:
Absolutely, man. Absolutely. That’s exactly what we do. If we can catch it early, let’s catch it early. Let’s not wait until we’re in front of the Supreme Court.

David:
What about when you mentioned in WhatsApp, when you have an employee in the company that’s speaking negatively or complaining all the time? Can you share me a little bit about why that is something that’s important, that has to be addressed right away?

Nasar:
Oh, man. That spreads. That spreads over.

Nasar:
If I go outside right now, said, “Man, Charlotte’s a beautiful city. We got the stadium in the middle of downtown. I don’t have to pay $90 to park. Parking is pretty affordable. I can park in this neighborhood over here and walk to the stadium. Man, this is great.” I’ll have more people tripping out, “Yeah, Charlotte’s a beautiful city. Charlotte’s a great city.”

Nasar:
If I come outside and say, “Man, Charlotte’s terrible. You know what the mayor should be doing? The mayor should be over here doing this, adding this. Yeah, man! It is terrible. They should widen these sidewalks up. They should plant more trees. What’s up? This oxygen is corrupted. Being that this oxygen is corrupted, it’s messing up my senses and I can’t breathe properly through my nostrils.”

Nasar:
With you, it spreads. If you go out there and be positive, it’s going to spread. You go out there and be negative, it’s going to spread. So, you don’t want people that are going to be consistently negative. Now, of course you want team to be honest. As long as once they’re honest with you, you properly address that concern, if it continues to go on like [inaudible 00:32:00], because more people are picking up on this.

Nasar:
Just to give you a clearer example. I’m talking to my hardware guy. The plumber was there. My hardware guy was saying it’s too hot to work inside, “I can’t work. It’s too hot. I’ll come back in the evenings or early in the mornings,” because I had no air at this place they’re working at. Guess what? The plumber started using the same excuse because that spread like that.

Nasar:
So, you’ve just got to address those things up front. Because if you don’t, others will use the same excuse not to get things done.

David:
That is such a good point. I just had a talk with two of my main employees about, if one person asks for a special privilege that others don’t have, you may be tempted to say yes. Maybe you really like that one person, and you believe they can handle that.

David:
But what happens is, everybody around you sees they got it, and then they want to come ask for it. Even if you tell them all no, and you successfully argue and explain why they can’t have that same perk, you just burned a ton of energy to get yourself back to where you were in the beginning. Which was not energy that you spent improving revenue, improving processes, making people money.

David:
It hit me very clearly that when we give that one person, “Yeah, you can work from home and get paid.” But then everybody else says, “I want to work from home and get paid.” A lot of those jobs, they can’t be successful if they’re at home. There’s no accountability. They’re not learning what they need to learn. Now I’m spending hours and hours of time and energy to get them to be okay with where we were when we started.

David:
So, I do love that idea, that sometimes when you give in a little bit, you’re not just giving in a little bit. You’re allowing that to become the standard that everybody can expect and you spend a lot of energy not moving the business forward.

Nasar:
Absolutely.

David:
So, thank you for sharing that.

David:
What is the third skill that you had to develop in order to go full-time into real estate investing?

Nasar:
You have to learn marketing, whether you like it or not. I’m not saying you have to deep dive into it and study great marketers, but you do have to lean marketing. It’s extremely important.

Nasar:
At my job, I don’t know if I ever said this on the podcast before, so let this be the first, shout out to BiggerPockets. Shout out to the founder, Josh Dorkin. Shout out to my man, [inaudible 00:34:19] Brandon. And definitely you, Dave. I appreciate you giving me this opportunity to sit next to you. I’m not exactly breathing your air because I’m in Charlotte and you’re where you are, but you know what I mean. Just appreciative to be here.

Nasar:
So anyway, marketing. Let me tell you something. I never passed a business class at a collegiate level. I failed everything, business class, at collegiate level. I was failing. Never passed a business collegiate class. But fast forward, have a seven figure net worth. My business does seven figures.

Nasar:
So, to the person listening, don’t quit. Don’t let society tell you that you’re less than because you did not pass a standardized test. Do not let them do that to you, bro. If you believe it, you can achieve it.

Nasar:
So, back to this marketing thing. Marketing was something I wanted to get in. I wanted to get into the marketing department for one of these companies, but none of these companies took me serious. So, I learned it on my own. I did it for myself.

Nasar:
I started out collecting my own data, Driving for Dollars. It took me eight months to get my first deal. But then, once I learned that’s how you stay in business, by having sellers. No matter what the market be, if you’ve got sellers in any market, or any class of real estate, if you’ve got good dealers, you’re going to make money.

Nasar:
That’s why I love wholesale. I know some people knock it. But I make more than some of the flippers that knock it, so whatever. But anyway, some people knock wholesaling, but this is why I love it. Because that skill of wholesaling, you can apply to any asset class in real estate.

Nasar:
But anyway, just basically finding a good deal. So, I had to learn marketing. At one point, direct mail, I was spending between $15,000 and $20,000 a month. That’s in two counties in Charlotte. I was hitting every absentee owner. We was killing it. That’s probably back when I did the 100 deal year.

Nasar:
So, that stopped working. If the market’s not working, what do you do? Do you quit? Do you give up? We don’t quit over here. So, with that being said, I had to adapt what’s new. I had to go be the coach. So what I’m doing is, I had to adapt. Now I’m doing cold calling, SMS, word of mouth, which is people just bringing me deals, and things of that nature.

Nasar:
That’s what I had to do. I had to learn marketing. When something’s not working, you’ve got to change up the product or the service, and just make it happen.

David:
So you mentioned three things that you look for with marketing. They’re tracking, consistency, and adaptability. Can you share how those concepts apply to the business that you’re running now?

Nasar:
Absolutely. You have to track. If you don’t track, you don’t know what’s working and who’s coming from where. So, that’s important. You want to know that where you’re spending your dollars is actually going to the right place.

Nasar:
Consistency. You have to stay consistent. Sometimes people spend money marketing for two months, nothing happens, and they give up. That’s really normal for that to happen. You’re paying your dues, is what I tell them. It’s all part of your story. So, you have to have that consistency. Keep banging down.

Nasar:
If you do marketing in October, this is October. You do marketing in October and they say, “Well, no. Not right now.” That type of no, “Not right now. I don’t want to sell.” Hey, can I follow up with you in 30 days? “Yeah, sure. Go ahead.” Put them on a follow up schedule. Follow up. Follow up. Follow up. Follow up. You’ve got to have that consistency with the lead, not just the marketing, as well. Sometimes I talk to somebody for, I’ve had deals that took us two, three years before we got the deal.

Nasar:
Adaptability. You’ve got to know how to adapt. Direct mail stopped working? Do you go home and cry? No, you don’t go home and cry. You’ve got to adapt to what’s new, what’s working. So, that’s what I had to do. That’s how I applied it to my business, by adapting the cold calling, the texting, and the RVM, ring-less voicemail. The service I used got shut down, but you’ve just got to know how to adapt.

David:
So what you’re saying is that when you were originally in this, you were doing direct mail to absentee owners. You did great. That changed. It stopped working. Other people started doing it. For whatever reason, it wasn’t effective.

David:
So, instead of just saying, “Well, I guess I can’t wholesale anymore,” you moved into an SMS, cold calling, word of mouth, and then ring-less voicemail. But then ring-less voicemail stopped working, so you had to come up with another thing. I’m sure your mind’s already thinking about what the next step is going to be when these things get shut down. Right?

Nasar:
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.

David:
That’s really good.

Nasar:
You have to stay ahead of the curve. You just have to solve problems. That’s basically it.

David:
So, solving problems is what you’re describing. That’s the thing is, when you’re in a W2 job, you often don’t have to solve problems. You can make it somebody else’s problem to solve that problem. Right? This air isn’t good enough, like you were saying. Somebody needs to fix this. As opposed to when you’re the business owner, you’re the one that’s got to fix the air. So, I think that’s why adaptability is so important.

David:
And then to the point of consistency, I’ve always said, “You can’t chop a tree down with one swing, at least any tree that you would want.” If you can chop a tree down with one swing, it’s usually not that great of a tree. It’s not going to give you good wood.

David:
So, when you first talk to a prospect, a seller, a lead, whatever it is, not many people in the first phone call are going to say, “Here’s a listing agreement. It’s signed. You sell my house. I don’t want to ask you anything again.”

David:
There are several attempts that have to be made to get any good progress. If we approach problems like that, we won’t be discouraged by the fact consistency is needed. I think a lot of people, their expectation is that, in the first call, yes or no, they’ll get an answer. When that doesn’t happen, then they give up.

Nasar:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

David:
Now, we touched on number four when you were answering number three, but why don’t we dive into it a little bit deeper. What’s the fourth thing that somebody needs to learn if they want to be a full-time investor.

Nasar:
Man, problem solving. You’ve got to know how to solve problems. See, at the job, if there was an issue with my paycheck, I could escalate that to my manager. I ain’t got to deal with that. My manager do all the leg work with HR and all that.

Nasar:
But if there’s a problem with your paycheck, you’ve got to handle that. There ain’t no escalation. I can’t get David Greene on the phone and say, “Hey, Dave. This seller’s not showing up to closing.” You have to handle that problem. Dave’s, “What does that have to do with me,” just calling Dave.

Nasar:
Problem solving. You will have to use problem solving a lot in real estate investing. Keep in mind, we go after a minority of the market. What I mean by that is, the majority of the market can go list their house with a realtor and get top dollar. We’re dealing with that segment of the market which, they want to sell fast. They have some type of problem there. I’ve had this before. A realtor tried to list the house. A realtor couldn’t sell it. A realtor said, “You’ve got to fix this, that, and the third for me to list it and I’ll list it.” Those happen. That stuff happens.

Nasar:
We have a deal right now. It’s about $50,000 spread on it. The situation is, tenant’s not paying rent, and the owner can’t get him out. So, what did I do? I went to the tenant and said, “Look, I’m not on nobody’s side. I want to buy this house. I need you to leave. So, how much is it going to take for this to happen?” We came up with a figure. With that particular figure we came up with I said, “You know what? If it’s going to save me time, this $50,000 spread, let’s just do it.” I had to buy it lined up. This is just a wholesale deal.

Nasar:
So then, the person wasn’t out. Then the excuses just kept going. So, I thought I solved the problem, but another problem happened. The guy’s still not gone out. He’s still not leaving. So, what do I do? I hired an attorney. I hired an attorney. We did the eviction. We got awarded, evictions in North Carolina work pretty fast, but we got awarded the property. Now we’re just in the midst of waiting the 10 days, the 10 day period before we can do the sheriff lock out, where they have a chance to appeal.

Nasar:
So, I say that to say, tenant not leaving, that’s not something you walk away from in this business; COVID or no COVID. I’ve been dealing with that situation since I’ve been dealing with real estate investors where I had to go to the tenant, I’ve got to grease their palm, I have to go pay an attorney. I have to do something. I have to solve that seller’s problem to get that property.

Nasar:
That’s what I have to do. But you always have to be thinking creatively to get things done. Sometimes, you’re going to come across sellers whereas getting a bunch of cash doesn’t help them with their situation. So, what do you do? You have to offer terms. Say, “What if I can, are you open to taking your equity in monthly installments? You are? So, look. What if I can pay you $300 a month for this long? You still get the cash flow. You don’t have the heavy hit in the capital gains. I can cash you out this period, or we can run it for 30 years and your estate gets the payment.” But we can get creative with it.

Nasar:
You just want to be able to solve problems. You have to think outside the box with this business.

David:
I can’t tell you how many clients we’ve had on my real estate team where we find them a great deal way under market value, and the reason we got it is because it has problems. It has a tenant that doesn’t want to leave. It has a foundation that has to be repaired. It has extensive rehab work. It has a roof that’s needed.

David:
The buyer gets cold feet because they focus on the problem. They lose the perspective that the problem and the equity, or the up side, are related. You don’t get one with the other. It’s a yin and a yang that is happening. So I’m always reminding myself that the more money I make is attached to the bigger, and the harder, and the amount of problems that I solve.

David:
In fact, that’s all money is. It’s the return that you get for solving problems. If you’re like Elon Musk and you solve really difficult problems, you’re going to make a whole bunch of money. If you’re the person that just wants to show up, and do the bare minimum work, and solve no problems of value, then you can’t expect to make very good money.

David:
So, in real estate, this is very clear. You can’t get away from it. The whole reason the seller is willing to sell it at that price that you liked was, it has a tenant in there that they don’t want to deal with. So, walking away from the problem is also walking away from the value. I just love that attitude that you have that, no, I’m here to solve seller’s problems, and I have to be creative, but at my job, I didn’t have the opportunity to do that.

Nasar:
Let me just tap on that one more. I had a lender, really wanted to do business with me. So, I “brung” him a deal. I said, “Man, this is a home run deal. I’m getting in. This particular zip code is a hot zip code.” I said, “There’s a shortage of houses under $300,000 in this zip code. Busy street, but the big issue, it has a tenant that’s not leaving, so I’ve got to take this on.” He ended up, he’s like, “Nah, I don’t want to [inaudible 00:45:44] tenant.” The price was $99,000.

Nasar:
So I said, “Okay,” and called another lender. He did it. I end up making, this is my biggest deal to date. I end up making $246,000 on that deal because I dealt with the problem. I didn’t focus on the problem. Getting a tenant out, it’s either, “I’ve got to go there and grease his,” now, you do have to understand your tenant/landlord law. Every state is different. Some states, I’ve heard, were extremely difficult to get people out.

Nasar:
The state that I am in is not that difficult. I know either, I’m going to pay this person to leave, they’re going to leave willingly, or I’m going to hire an attorney and get them out. So, I know I have some options there. This person just needed some time to leave. They kept their word. Not the first date they told me, but they eventually left. So, they eventually just left and that was that.

Nasar:
You can’t focus on the problem. You have to focus on the solution to the problem.

David:
That’s such a great story. This is why we’re highlighting the danger in thinking that real estate helps you avoid solving problems. I don’t want to work at this job because my boss doesn’t like me, or I don’t like to have to wake up on time, or I don’t want to deal with stuff. I just want to deal with real estate so I don’t have to deal with anything.

David:
No, you’re going to make money in real estate because of what you’re willing to deal with. So, the better attitude was exactly what you took, Nasar, where you are embracing that I have to go solve this problem.

David:
So, that’s one of the things at my loan brokers that we’re doing different is, we’re looking at what are the problems that investors have getting financing. How do we go find loans that we can give to people that don’t qualify for mortgages, like me? I couldn’t buy real estate for a long time because I had 10 financed properties. You can let that become, like you said earlier, it’s a problem if you let it become a problem, or if you decide to allow it to be a problem.

David:
But now we just look for this loan program that we’re using now, and it doesn’t matter what the person’s debt to income ratio or credit score is. They’re just looking at the property. Most people are getting qualified with that loan. There’s probably 10 to 15 deals a month are coming through, just with that one loan program because it solves everyone’s problems.

David:
So, if there’s one thing that I would want everything to take away from the episode with you, it’s that embrace the problem solving. Make it your responsibility to do that. Then you will find yourself not being broke, like you were saying earlier.

David:
So, that moves us on to number five, which is where a lot of people get stuck. I feel like this is your go-to move when it comes to real estate, just like you’ve got a basketball jersey on right now. This is your Hakeem Olajuwon dream shake. Tell us, what is the fifth skill people need to develop to become a full-time investor?

Nasar:
I know we said this is the fifth thing, but this is the most important thing. You’ve got to have that no “quitness” to you. You can’t quit. Some people, every time life throws a curve ball, they tap out. This is not the business for that mentality.

Nasar:
The most important thing is to fix your mentality and prepare yourself for the process, whenever you’re trying to achieve any big goals. Some of you come from families whereas, your parents didn’t own that house. Your parents never made $100,000. Nobody you know ever made $100,000. That type of situation, this is going to be new to you. This is new. You don’t know no home flippers. You don’t know no wholesalers. This is new so it’s going to be difficult. You need to embrace the process.

Nasar:
I just had that in me since a child. I was blessed to have some really great parents. One thing they instilled to me, never quit. They would never let me quit anything. One time, I was a kid in grade school, playing for the football team at the park. I broke my arm, dislocated my elbow. Broke my arm, dislocated my elbow. I had to get surgery and everything. My elbow was up here. It was crazy. I glanced at it. I couldn’t even move. I’m laid out. I didn’t know what the hell was going on. I was a kid.

Nasar:
So, I wanted to quit. I said, “Yo, I’m not playing.” I had to get surgeries, and the cast, and all that. I was like, “Yo, I’m not playing football.” They said, “What? You’re going to play.” They made me, I’m in a cast, regular clothes. They made me go to practice every day. They made me to go, I had to put my jersey on and went to the games with my cast. But the coach used to make a reference like, “Man! Nasar can’t even play and he’s at practice more than the guys who do play.”

Nasar:
My parents made me. After the season was over, I went to the banquet and everything. My parents would not let me quit. I’m like, “Look, season’s over. I’m just not going to bring up when football tryouts, football camp starts because I’m not going to play.” Man! They made me go out there and play, made me. Father would always say, “If I let you quit this, every time something gets hard in life, you’re going to quit that, too.”

Nasar:
When I became a full adult man living on my own, I seen exactly what he was talking about. People claim to want something but they quit so easy. Listen, bro. Before you get to the rainbow, you’ve got to go through the storm. That’s just the way it is.

Nasar:
You have to realize that’s just part of the process. It’s not going to come easy. You can try to aim low, because I get that. Sometimes people try to aim, “I don’t want to make $50,000 or $100,000. I don’t want to make that. I just need $5,000 a month.” That puts you at $60,000 part-time, outside of your full-time job.

Nasar:
Do you know how many people would like to make, I know people with master’s degrees. I’m [inaudible 00:51:40] say I know people with master’s degrees that don’t make $40,000. Here it is, you’re trying to have your full-time job and make $60,000 because you think aiming low is going to get you to a deal quicker. No! You’ve still got to go through the process.

Nasar:
This is not a get rich quick scheme. Real estate is get rich slow, if you do it right. When I say doing right, meaning holding properties, and collecting cash flow, and building equity, et cetera. But this is a long-term play. This is not a fly by night. Sometimes you’ve got to turn social media off and turn on your life.

Nasar:
But this is the most important thing. When I was first getting started, it took me eight months to get my first deal. I couldn’t quit month three. I couldn’t quit month five because I had to deal with my reality. My reality was, my life sucked. I got tired of going to the club and coming home to nothing. I got tired of everybody else getting a promotion, and here it is, I’m going to the principal office of my job, and they’re sitting down to tell me how bad I suck. I got tired of, “Okay, I’m employee of the month.”

Nasar:
However, I never actually got employee of the month, but they did recognize me [inaudible 00:52:57] for a bit. They gave me a key chain. I’m a grown man. What I’m going to do with a key chain? I need a check! A check! I need money. I’m broke. I’ve got to eat.

Nasar:
So listen, don’t quit. You’ve got to visualize your goal. You have to go after it. It’s a very important thing.

David:
I don’t think there’s anything I could say to make that any better. That was awesome. You need to record that, set it to some epic music, and put it on a YouTube channel as an inspirational video for everyone to listen to when they first wake up in the morning. Because you just couldn’t say that any better than what you said.

David:
I think that really encapsulates a lot of the advice you’ve given us on today’s show, is that you had to develop these skills. In order to develop them, you had to take responsibility for what you didn’t like, which you call embracing reality. Then you had to not quit. You had to stick with it so that those skills had time to be developed, just like how real estate works.

David:
So, I think your dad gave you a great gift in that sense of, “If I let you quit this, you’ll quit everything.” Because that’s so true. Those habits that we form will determine the quality of life that we end up with. You’ve obviously got a great business. You did it coming from places where people around you were not doing this. You didn’t have examples that you could follow.

David:
You’ve had an uphill battle, from what you’ve described here, at almost every turn. You’ve done it with what looks like ease, compared to a lot of other people. So, that’s just a great story, a great message.

David:
Before we move on to our furious four here, is there any last words that you want to say, regarding how other people can follow you up that hill?

Nasar:
Don’t focus on the goal. Focus on the process.

Nasar:
Listen, you complain about your life now, but if you do nothing, in four years, you’ll still be complaining about your life. So, just keep that in mind.

David:
Very nice.

David:
All right. We’re going to put a bow on that because that was very well said. We’re going to move on to the next segment of our show, which is the Furious Four. We’ve got four questions that we are going to ask each other for the audience to benefit from. So, I will go first.

David:
What is one real estate or business book someone should read to succeed as a full-time real estate investor?

Nasar:
You heard this amen [inaudible 00:55:16], so I’m going to jut go ahead and say it again. I said it on 116. Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad, I feel is a must read. That pretty much put my life on track for this situation that I’m in today.

Nasar:
So, the reason being, he mentioned something extremely important in that book. I’m one of those people, I just jumped off the building, said, “I’ll grow wings on the way down.” So, I failed. That’s what happened to me.

Nasar:
But one thing he said in the book that changed my whole outlook was, before you invest in real estate investing, you have to learn about real estate investing. Before you invest in stocks, you have to learn about stock investing. I realized I never learned about real estate investing. So then I educated myself on real estate investing and the journey has been a blessing, even with all the ups and downs. And I had my ups and downs.

Nasar:
Everything I’ve been through, let me tell you this, it was worth it. I’d rather do this than be at a job hating my life, not being able to take a vacation.

Nasar:
Now, Dave. Let me ask you, bro. What’s your number one real estate or business book?

David:
If it comes down to somebody who wants to go into real estate investing full-time, it’s So Good They Can’t Ignore You, by Cal Newport. Cal paints this really good picture about the romantic mindset people have, where they believe it’s their right to earn money in a way that they’re passionate about. A lot of people grow up hearing, “You should do something that you love and the money will follow.”

David:
So, you get someone that’s into underwater basket weaving, or they really love blogging. So, they try to force other people to fund their life because they want to provide a value through a blog. But human beings are all narcissists. We care about how something affects us. That’s why you want to solve problems and provide value, because it makes you valuable to other people.

David:
You often end up frustrated, trying to force life to work according to what’s easiest for you. What Cal states in that book is that you’re much better off to develop a skill, the ability to solve problems, to do something at a very high level so you are now of value to other humans. The better you get at that, you get to the point that you can write your own check. You can tell people, “If you want my help, if you want to be a part of what I’m doing,” whatever it is, “you give me this much. This is my terms of what I’m going to do.”

David:
So, imagine you at the call center and you’re so good on the phone that you blow everybody away in sales, and you go renegotiate the commission that you want, or the hours that you want to work. It’s just a different mindset. If you want to be a full-time investor, you’re going to be doing nothing but solving problems that are, frankly, unique and kind of difficult to solve. There’s no college course you can take on how to solve real estate problems.

David:
There’s no one to show you how to do that. In most cases, you’re going to figure that out. So adopting that attitude of, I’m just going to be so damn good that nobody can tell me no, that no one could ever say, “I don’t want you.” Is my advice for how people can get themselves out of situations in life they don’t like.

Nasar:
Absolutely. I like that. That sounds like a good book. I remember when I was in the call center for Wachovia. With Wachovia, they actually have sales guys who, they were so good at sales. There was two or three of them. I think it was two. Two guys that were so good at sales that they got, not only did they negotiate their commission, they were able to work from home. Their reason to work from home is, “If I come in, it takes me 40 minutes to go, 40 minutes to come back. That’s two hours I could have been making sales. So, I’d rather just sit at home and sell.”

Nasar:
That actually happens. The people that think they’re just talking, no. You become that good, people will cater to you.

David:
I have a picture of Stephen Curry that I keep on the wall in my office, just to remind myself-

Nasar:
Yeah, he’s from Charlotte, too.

David:
He’s from North Carolina. There you go.

David:
If you become the Stephen Curry of whatever you do, you write your own check. It’s a constant reminder to work like he worked, to focus like he focused, to look at life like he looked at basketball, and to become the Stephen Curry of real estate because there’s no way you can be denied if that’s what you do.

David:
All right. Question number three. We talked about five of them, but what’s one more habit or skill that a full-time investor needs to develop?

Nasar:
Let’s see. You will have to learn time management. Again, this is new to you. You’ve never done it. You’re probably working a job. You have to learn time management, time blocking. You have to know, between these hours, I’m working. I’m on the phone. I’m putting into this business. Between these hours, I’m out collecting data, buying leads, et cetera. Between these hours, I’ll do that to look at e-mails.

Nasar:
But you will have to learn time management. It’s a very good skill to have. Because if you don’t have time management in this business, you’ll be all over the place.

David:
Great advice.

Nasar:
All right. Look, man. Dave, got a question for you. What’s the one thing that separates successful real estate investors from those who give up, fail, or never get started at all?

David:
Listening to the BiggerPockets real estate podcast. If you’re listening to something else, there’s no hope for you. This is the only place you’re going to, nah, I’m just kidding.

David:
I think that there’s a lot of things that contribute to somebody who is successful within real estate. It’s under rated, but having capital is huge. I just see the people who come into this thing with some money that they can put into the deal, or into their business, are less afraid of taking action. Because they don’t feel like, “This is the only $8,000 I have to my name.” You’re never going to want to move forward if that’s all that you have.

David:
They are able to make mistakes and learn from them, which is what you really need to do. Imagine going into a basketball game and you’re not allowed to make a turnover. You’re not going to get better. You have to be able to go in there and in practice, make mistakes and try new things, and improve yourself.

David:
So, if you’re someone who just doesn’t have capital, the first thing I’d like to say is, “Why don’t you?” What is it about your mindset? What is it about your approach? Are you the person going to the club every night and coming home to nothing, like what you just said, Nasar? That’s something, the first thing you’ve got to change, because you’ve got some holes in your own bucket that you need to fill.

David:
The next piece is, can you partner with someone who does have that capital? It doesn’t have to be yours. If the answer is no, why not? Why don’t people trust me? Why don’t people believe in me? Why don’t people want to partner? Is there some holes in my character that I need to fill so that people would be comfortable investing with me?

David:
I think if you take that approach, it’ll put the spotlight back on yourself. You’ll have to step up your game and improve the ways you need to, to get to the next level.

Nasar:
Hey, Dave. I think that’s a great answer. Let me tell the people a story, because you just reminded me of something.

Nasar:
Failure’s a part of the process. You’re going to fail. You’re going to make a fool out of yourself. Just get comfortable with it. It’s not the end of the world. Always keep this in mind. When Netflix came out with the idea, which was, and Dave probably remembers this. When Netflix came out with the idea, they had an idea to let you rent DVDs with no late fees. It wasn’t always a streaming service. They actually got, they wanted to take out Blockbuster. That was the intention, to take out Blockbuster, so they were laughed at a lot. But look at them today and look at what they did.

Nasar:
I remember, I was at the bank. I used to go to these, I was part of all these committees and meetings, so you get some time off the phone and all that. The Fortune 500 companies normally offer that. I was in this meeting. The speaker was a motivational speaker. She said, “Does anyone know their purpose in life?” I was 24, 25 at the time, so I was eager.

Nasar:
I raised my hand like, “Yeah, I know my purpose in life! Pick me.” They said, “So, what’s your purpose in life?” I said, “To be rich.” Everybody laughed at me. Everybody laughed at me, everybody. They thought I was joking, but everybody laughed at me. The whole room just busted out laughing. I’m thinking to myself, “I wasn’t joking. Be financially free.”

Nasar:
But fast forward today, becoming financially free was something that happened to me because I believed it to happen. Nobody in that room believed that could happen for me. They all laughed at me. One guy in that room came up to me after and gave me his business card for a network marketing thing, I’m sure. Everybody who tried to get me in their network marketing still has a job today. Take that.

Nasar:
But anyway, I chose correctly, which was the real estate thing, staying on that path. So, fast forward, any of those people Google me, Nasar El Arabi, they can see my success, see what I have going on. Because I had a vision and I did not let them laugh me out of my vision.

Nasar:
Go ahead, Dave.

David:
That’s awesome. I think that’s a great place to end this thing. One last question. Where can people find out more about you?

Nasar:
First things first, you can find me on Instagram, realestatedoru. Doru is D-O-R-U, because I actually do this business. So, realestatedoru on Instagram. YouTube, it’s YouTube.com/realestatedoru. Those are my tow most active platforms. I have a blog at realestatedoru.com.

Nasar:
If you want to talk directly with me and you want to text me, you can text me at 704-285-1600. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you guys for having me today.

David:
Thank you very much, Nasar, for sharing your wisdom, your insight, the struggle you’ve been through, and just your story. You’re a great storyteller and I had a great time listening to you today.

David:
I know you’re going to be doing a BiggerPockets wholesale episode with Max Maxwell. So everybody listening, be sure to tune in and catch Nasar’s sequel to his interview with me today, where he and Max Maxwell are going to take on the process of wholesaling and you’ll get even more value than you got today.

David:
That being said, this is David Greene for Nasar from No Commas to No Limits, El Arabi. Signing off.

Outro:
You’re listening to BiggerPockets radio, simplifying real estate for investors large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype, you’re in the right place. Be sure to join the millions of other who have benefited from BiggerPockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

 

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • How to invest in real estate while making a median income 
  • Diversifying your portfolio so you have multiple exit strategies and streams of income
  • Why every investor needs to “become a rookie all over again
  • Using creative financing to structure deals that benefit the buyer and seller
  • Leveraging partnerships to find cash, divvy up responsibilities, and purchase more real estate
  • Owning a business and learning the skills that every leader needs to succeed
  • And So Much More!

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