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FIRE by 27 Using the “Chick-Fil-A Rule” of Real Estate

The BiggerPockets Podcast
51 min read
FIRE by 27 Using the “Chick-Fil-A Rule” of Real Estate

Financial independence is something that people spend decades trying to achieve. For the average American worker, this can be a slow grind, saving a few hundred dollars a month, hoping to be financially free at sixty-five so they can finally enjoy retirement. The problem? You spent three or four decades at a job, waiting to do what you want. If you’re going to crack the code to financial freedom, retire early, and live and work on your terms, you might want to follow Greg Cullen’s strategy.

Greg has been hustling since he was a teenager. He was bringing in a full-time salary at age sixteen after building a sign-spinning business with over a dozen workers. He always knew the key to success was finding smart ways to make more money. So, when Greg was offered a full-time salary, he turned it down for a sales job with no cap on commissions, allowing him to save money at a far faster rate, and reach financial freedom well before the age of thirty.

But Greg didn’t need some colossal empire of cash-flowing rentals. Instead, he’s financially free with only ten units, all of which he bought in under a decade. So how did someone like Greg, without real estate experience, scale his income up so fast? In this episode, you’ll learn what Greg did to purchase properties at lightning speed, the Chick-fil-A rule of real estate you should adopt, and how failing is the only successful way to hit financial freedom early.

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Read the Transcript Here

David:
This is the BiggerPockets podcast show 716.

Greg:
I made plenty of mistakes with real estate too. It could be with contractors. It could be with partnerships. It could be with some properties too, but the way that I always thought about it was lean into the mistakes that you could potentially make, lean into the potential. If it doesn’t work out, you can probably also just sell things, and make it work, but it’s going to be okay. That’s honestly like what I’ve always told myself. If something happens, just keep moving forward.

David:
What’s up, everybody? This is David Greene. That is my partner, Rob Abasolo, spazzing out if you’re watching on YouTube as he tries to mimic my smooth movements of showing the show number.

Rob:
Smoothments.

David:
The smoothments. Man, that’s why we have you. You’re so good at that, and you’re so fast, which is great because you’re terrible at the rest of your job.

Rob:
I know. I know, but my puns are good though.

David:
You’re very punny. Today’s show is amazing as Rob and I interview Greg Colon, someone who is passionate about the fire movement, manages 10 rentals across the country, and shares how he built himself up from a guy who was spinning sides on the corner with painted-on abs, trying to look like Batman, into a real estate investor who has achieved financial freedom. You’re going to love it. In today’s show, we cover how Greg went from almost losing his job to naming his own terms at work, something that all of us would love to be able to do, and how Greg took a precarious position with a partner that went negative, and spun it into something positive as he worked through it.
All that and more on today’s show. Robert, what were some of your favorite parts?

Rob:
I’ve never aired my grievance here, but you always name the best parts of the show. Then you’re like, “What were your favorite parts?” I have this pressure. I can’t… I have to come up with other favorite parts. Those were all mine.

David:
No, you name that all the time, Rob. You constantly complain about it, and that’s why I do it. You showed me the thing that bugs you, and now I have to constantly put you in that position like Brandon used to this to me, right? We wouldn’t have a quick tip, and he’d be like, “And today’s quick tip is brought to you by David Greene. Go.” I’d have half a second to think about what I was going to say for the quick tip. So, now, this is what I do to you. I say every single fun relevant topic about the show, and I’m like, “Pick through the bones of the carcass that I’ve left you, and try to find something juicy to eat.”

Rob:
Exactly. Well, luckily, this was a very plump carcass, because there actually were a lot of very good nuggets in this particular episode. I think Greg has a really great story specifically because he’s a very disciplined investor. He’s very into the fire movement. He was able to achieve that independence very early on in his career, but what I like about his story specifically was he made okay money, but he wasn’t like, particularly… It’s not like he was making multiple six figures, and building his portfolio.
He was making a very average salary, and was able to use that to parlay into 10 plus units. It just shows that with the right discipline, if you’re willing to save, if you’re willing to sacrifice short-term comfort for long-term gain, really building a portfolio in a couple of years or in five years like he did is totally possible. How’d I do?

David:
That’s amazing. Great job. We’ll let you keep your job for another episode.

Rob:
Thank you.

David:
Yes. Yes, of course.

Rob:
My pits are sweating.

David:
Today’s episode is a great blueprint. We go really deep into the details of what you can do to actually improve the position you’re at in practical terms, so you don’t want to miss this episode. Before we bring in Greg, today’s quick tip is buy near a Chick-fil-A, and listen to today’s show to find out why.

Rob:
Hashtag quick fil-A because it’s a quick tip in a Chick-fil-A.

David:
Right. Now, let’s quickly get to Greg-

Rob:
It’s a quick-fil-A.

David:
… before we lose our entire audience.
Today’s guest is Greg Colon. Greg is a 29-year-old software sales representative who has cracked the code on leveraging his hustle to maximize his income, wealth, and relationships. Greg manages nine units, and partners on two short-term rentals across Orlando, Austin, and Maui, and was able to achieve FIRE, financial independence and retire early, at the age of 27 by keeping his expenses low, and maximizing his income opportunities by shifting from salaried consulting to a commission-based sales role. Greg, welcome to the podcast today. How are you?

Greg:
David, I’m doing well. Long time listener. First time caller. Excited to be here.

David:
Let’s start off by letting me ask you what was going through your head when you first decided, “I want to get out of this salaried role I’m in, and there’s got to be a different way to make money that I’ll enjoy more?”

Greg:
I would see everybody graduating college, and taking at the time good jobs, making 50, 60 grand a year coming out of Florida. At that point, you could see the life path from there. They’d be making 3% to 5% raises every single year. You might get your MBA, get a nice $10,000 pay bump on top of that. It just didn’t really sound very exciting for me, so I figured if I made the switch over to a sales career, specifically on the tech sales side, I could really control the outcome of all of the hours that I put into the job, and really leveraging the hustle that I put into it.
If I work 70 hours at, say, Lockheed Martin, I’m only going to be making that certain amount of money, versus if I do it at a tech startup, whatever it could be, the commissions are uncapped. The options are limitless at that point.

Rob:
Now, is that a bit of a risky endeavor, because you’re going from having a solid W-2 income where you’re guaranteed to make a good amount or your base rate, but then you move to sales that’s presumably at least mostly commission. Are you at that point just so excited that you really can control it, or was there any fear switching over? That’s a dramatic shift that you have. I feel like you have to have the right personality for that kind of thing.

Greg:
You do have to have a little bit more of a risky personality, I’d say. I’ll give you a few numbers. If I were to work at a job like a Lockheed Martin or Siemens, I may have made 70,000 out of college, maybe. I took a job at an IT consultant, where I made 42,000 base with an on-target earnings of 60 grand total. So if I hit my number, I’d make 60,000 in total, but I figured I could outwork everybody at the end of the day. I was reliable for my own successes and failure. So if I could outwork everybody, put the hours in, I can’t fail at that point. I did fail a couple times, but I still exceeded the number that I would make by going to some of these other corporate roles too.

David:
Right now, something I want to ask you about this jump, I’ve noticed there’s a lot of people that make it. They go from the W-2 to the 1099. That’s what I call it. It’s really a salaried position to a position that is unsalaried. Most people hate the ceiling of the W-2. I don’t have freedom. I have to be here. I can’t make more money. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. They don’t like all of the restrictions. Then they leave that world, and then they complain in the 1099 world about the fact there’s no floor.
You got rid of the ceiling, but you also got rid of the floor. “I have no guarantee. I have no safety. I have no paid benefits. I don’t have any money. I don’t have any leads. What am I going to do?” They go from seeing the negative about where they were to the negative about where they went, and they get the same result. What did you do to overcome that fear of, “Well, if I leave the security of the W-2 job for freedom, I’m also losing a guaranteed paycheck every two weeks?”

Greg:
That’s a good question. With most of the sales world, there are a lot of 1099 jobs, so think of insurance brokers. They’re only 1099 at the end of the day. I realized from graduating college that I could take a hybrid role where I had just a base salary, and 42,000 at the time wasn’t much, but it was enough to pay the bills as it stands. So, making that leap of faith for me was pretty easy in the sense where, “If I couldn’t do anything, if I straight up failed, I would have enough literally just to get by, and then I could take a different career path if needed.”
But really at the end of the day, since I was so accountable for my success and failure, I knew that that wasn’t an option, and I had to put all the time in. But most of the time in the W-2 world or the sales world, I should say, they have somewhat of a hybrid approach with how you get paid.

Rob:
I want to backtrack a little bit here, because we glazed over perhaps your most impressive accolade, I’d say, and that’s at the age of 16, you developed or you built a sign spinning company that was making $80,000 a year. Tell us a little bit about that. Is that your company? Were you the one that was actually spinning the sign? Could you do backflips while you were spinning the sign? I want some details here.

Greg:
You’ve done your research, so I appreciate that. I had a sign flipping business, and I called it a very simple name, the Sign Flipper. It started when I was in high school. I was working at Planet Smoothie. Every time I’d make some smoothies, there’s always be that little bit of smoothie left. I would always drink that little bit of smoothie, and I gained like 15, 20 pounds, and it was not a great time. So, I realized that one point, I could start flipping signs for Planet Smoothie. I wore this big smoothie outfit. I figured, “This is a lot more fun than just making smoothies for 40 hours a week,” and so I started venturing out.
I found there was a local AT&T store that had somebody that was standing on the side of the road with a sign just texting nonstop. I walked in the store. I said, “How much are you paying this guy?” I think it was 18 bucks an hour or something. I told them, “I’ll do this for you for $15 an hour. I will guarantee that I’ll get more people in the store than this person ever has.” Lo and behold, I actually did. What I wore was a big Batman mask. I had homemade Batman cape, and I drew on abs. I just was in the hot Florida sun for probably about six hours listening to Daft Punk and just crazy music nonstop, and just dancing on the side of the road, honestly a side of the highway.
Very dangerous looking back now, but it was very fun. Then I ended up having about 13 employees at one point. I’d have the smoothie shop, AT&T, pizza shop, a cigar shop, ice cream. This is all at a young age, and so I was able to learn leadership at that point, but really having that entrepreneurial journey led into my sales career too.

Rob:
That’s awesome, man. You’ve had a lot of success. You’ve taken some risks here switching over to a sales role, and a lot of success doing that. Why were you so driven? Is there a reason behind all of this?

Greg:
There is reason. I think for most people, it all comes down to their formative years when they’re growing up, really between the ages of seven to 12. At that point, I would see my family. We were a nice middle-income family coming from Boston to Florida. I would see my dad who would start up a few businesses, auto repair shops, transmission shops, cell phone shops, whatever, put in the work, and then seize some of the rewards that came with that. At that young age, I also saw that we lost our house at the point in time, and so it really had a profound impact on me.
So, going to school, knowing that we were losing the house, having free and reduced lunch at school, having to basically trade my way up to… If I want to play lacrosse or something, I’d have to buy somebody’s Oakley sunglasses, trade that for an iPod touch, then trade that for lacrosse gear. At the end of the day, I was truly accountable for everything that I wanted to do. It actually worked at the end of the day. For me, it came down to those formative years, and those shaped me to who I am today. I always think back without the pain and suffering that I had at that point and throughout my life that I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.

Rob:
Was there ever a moment in your childhood that you were like, “I am going to change this. I don’t want this situation?” Was that something that came early on, or is that something that happened just as you grew up incrementally?

Greg:
I think it happened incrementally. When I was born in Boston, I was always obsessed with making money in different ways. I would save and invest money along the way too, but I think during high school was when I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad for the first time. Reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad at that age just blew my mind completely. So, just understanding assets to generate money for you, figure out ways to get more of those assets along the way, that was a truly pivotal moment within my mind. I had to figure out new ways to capitalize on that.
I was working, like I said, Planet Smoothie, making 7.25 an hour with tips, and not really making too much money, or take a little bit more of a risk, and be a sign flipper on the side of the road, and try to find more lucrative ventures on the side as well.

David:
Did you find that that sign flipping job was synergistically beneficial, because not only did you earn money flipping a sign, but you burned off all that weight that you had put on drinking these smoothies?

Greg:
David, that’s actually a really good point. I end up losing 20, 25 pounds. I made a lot of money, but the main benefit of this was I was very tanned from being in the Florida sun. I lost all the weight that I put on. I hired a lot of people from my high school as well, so I had a great reputation for always making money and being prone to that too. It was overall a great experience. If I could do it again, I definitely would.

David:
From fat man to Batman in six short months.

Rob:
Have you considered creating a workout program that is revolved around spinning that you could then sell on VHS for 19.99? I mean, I think there’s a seven figure opportunity there.

Greg:
I think so. If I can include shipping and handling with that too, I think we can definitely get these off the shelves pretty easily, but I think people would be very interested in that. It’s either that or jazercise. Rob, you tell me what works better.

David:
No, I think you got a good niche there. You could partner with a fitness company, and create these weighted signs that were like Bowflex could make a resurgence. They come in with this really fancy, huge sign, but it’s cool looking. It’s carbon fiber. They put weights on the side to improve your… Maybe Shake Weight could make a resurgence. You could partner with them, and it could be like the shake sign or something. There’s lots of ways. Then the shake and the smoothie, you could probably work that in together, I think.
You’re a businessman, so there’s lots of ways you can go. Rob can do your marketing. He’s really good at that.

Rob:
Wheels are turning over here. Hey, you guys know that I love funnel marketing.

Greg:
I know. We’ll send this episode to Hormozi, and see if he’s interested. Maybe we can get a co-investor.

David:
All right, so you’ve got this really cool background in different maybe soft skills could be a way to say it. It’s funny because your story reminds me so much of Rob’s where he was doing copywriting for another company who’s working these W-2 jobs. He had a little bit of a background in theater. It was a hobby of his, so he’s really good with voices and talking and communicating. Then all of that accumulated for Rob when he got into real estate, because he had all these skills that would then help him in this new industry. He appears like he just took off right away, but it was actually years of going through the crucible setting him up.
You’re similar. There’s elements in the background that you’ve told us that I can absolutely see what would’ve just made you fearless and bold and creative, and all these skills that you need to be good in real estate. What did that first real estate deal look like, and how did it come to fruition?

Greg:
That’s a good question. My first real estate deal was probably around the age of 25 or so. At this point, I was listening to the BiggerPockets podcast for a few years. I was able to really digest all information, and I realized at that point in time, I had to just take the leap of faith. I found a very nicely-priced property for about $175,000 in Florida. It was a three, two. It needed minimal work, did a little bit of renovation in terms of the flooring, some appliance repair, things like that. I found the property, and realized that it was priced very well compared to the comps.
I had a realtor who helped me at the time, but honestly, I did a lot of the legwork myself. I went in there, repaired the house, ran the numbers. I walked away at the beginning thinking, “If I make $200 a month, I made it.” Over time, that process has evolved. So for me, making $200 was very good. Now, it’s looking for more places that are anywhere from 15% to 25% cash and cash return, but I was able to, at that point in time, just say, “If my bills are covered, I make a few hundred dollars on top, then this is worth it.”

Rob:
How exactly were you able to get into your first deal at this point? Because I think… I can’t remember off the top of my head, but you said basically $40,000 to $62,000. At what point in that financial journey were you career wise? I got to imagine getting into your first deal in general is probably a little bit alarming, right?

Greg:
Yeah. I was about three or four years within my career as it stood. I was following the FIRE principles probably since college itself, so I was always aggressively saving around 60% to 70% of my income, which sounds bonkers, but you find ways to have fun along the way. Around the age of 25, I realized it makes sense for me to take this leap of faith finally versus just staying on the sidelines. I found that $175,000 property with renovations, closing costs, everything. It was roughly about 40,000, 40, 45,000 all in.
I realized no matter what, “If I didn’t know what I was doing, or if I failed, I could very easily just list the property for sale, and still come out ahead.” I had that little bit of cushion of realizing I could make mistakes, and I made plenty of them, but I could take a leap of faith, and it wouldn’t hurt me too much.

Rob:
I remember when my wife and I first had our first W-2 jobs as well. I think I was making 40, and she was making 12 bucks an hour or something nannying. I can relate to that point in my career, where $200 was significant. It was everything to me. What was it like for you? You get into this $175,000 property. You’re like, “If I can make 200 bucks, hits the bank account.” Were you like, “Ah, I did it. I’ve arrived,” or were you just keep throwing it back into the investment pit?

Greg:
At first, I was taking it into my personal account, and getting pretty excited. I mean, that’s a couple nights out a month more or less. But overall, I was very excited, and I want to keep this momentum going. Every time I’d get these properties, I would save the money, and always reinvest it, whether it was back into the house to do some cash out refis or to plan to buy new properties at the end of the day. I’ve gotten to a point where I was buying properties in the past couple years, almost like once a quarter.
I was really trying to make sure I could keep things going at that pace, and reinvest it back into my future. I realized the short-term pain that I was feeling of delayed gratification would be worth it at the end of the day.

David:
It’s very unusual for someone especially your age to have an approach to finances this disciplined. You’re a bit of a free spirit, you could tell, and that served you in these business ventures. At the same time, you’re a very disciplined square bear when it comes to, “What I’m going to do with my money, I’m saving it. I’m buying these properties.” Was there an influencer or an influential person in your life that you looked to and watched them doing this and said, “I want to be like them?”
Alex Hormozi, I know you like him now. Of that time, was it all from Rich Dad, Poor Dad? Where do you think he got this vision of how to execute on what you’re starting to build?

Greg:
That’s a good question. In college, I got into Reddit a little bit, and there was a personal finance, subreddit. I really learned from there the flow chart of personal finance, and that set me off on my journey from that point. I was also very deep into the BiggerPockets podcast. I didn’t even realize there were books. I didn’t realize it was a forum. I just had the podcast. As I was driving an hour to work while I was in college, it was the best thing to burn some time. Even just passively listening to that, that helped me so much along the way.
I didn’t necessarily have a mentor. I didn’t have somebody to bounce ideas off along the way. It was mostly everything I learned from BiggerPockets. I internalized that. At one point, I realized I have so much information. I can’t fail. Even if I do, that’s okay. Mistakes get made. I’m at that right age where make this mistake now versus if I’m 50, 60.

David:
So, you’re pretty immersed into the BiggerPockets culture. You’re listening to other people on the podcast. You’re reading the forums, and you’re seeing these examples of what it can look like to put your money into real estate.

Greg:
That’s right. I mean, at this point, I went to BPCON earlier this year. I have quite a few BiggerPockets books, but the podcast earlier on, I remember it was always Brandon Turner and Josh Dorkin at that point in time. That was the guardrails for where I am today. I think back of those three to five years that I’ve listened to maybe an hour or two of that podcast every day. I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at today without BiggerPockets, so kudos to you, folks. I appreciate it.

Rob:
Thanks, man. I appreciate it. It’s been a great journey that… No, I’m very similar to you, man. I mean, my whole real estate career started on BiggerPockets and listening to David and Brandon in my early years when I was just a wee little Robuilt. I want to jump back into this first deal, because this is a such a big moment for people, especially getting it started as early as you did, and it’s significant. I know you’re investing in everything like that. Obviously, you had a good deal here.
You’re like, “Oh, if I sell it, I’ll still make some money.” But when you bought this house, was it in some particular Buybox? Did you already have that established? This is something that I think a lot of people get into, and they’re just like, “Oh, I’m just going to buy it, and see if it works,” but you seem pretty methodical, so I’m curious.

Greg:
It sounds like you’re asking about the structure and my internal qualification to figure out if this makes sense. Is that right?

Rob:
More so just like your criteria, the market. Does it fit some particular strategy?

Greg:
For me, at that point in time since I was starting out, I realized this $175,000 three, two, it was a nice standard cookie cutter house in the neighborhood. I realized that all of the other properties in the area were going for about 200, 225. So, I knew I was walking to immediate equity just by fixing the house a little bit. For me at that point in time, it was literally just, “Can I pay the bills, and walk away with $200 to $300 on top of that?” Another small inherent benefit that I saw was my Chick-fil-A rule. So, if there’s something by a Chick-fil-A, I will take advantage of their real estate team and all the research that they’ve done.
In this area, in the suburbs of Orlando, you had one Chick-fil-A originally. Over the years, there’s grown to be about three Chick-fil-As. It’s probably a dumb rule using my Chick-fil-A rule, but I realize I can leverage someone else’s expertise, and their real estate team probably has so much more time than what I do. So if I can latch onto that experience, and buy around those areas, it’s going to help me out in the long term.

Rob:
Love that. I have a similar rule. Chick-fil-A falls into it. The other side of it is the Whole Foods rule. If you see a whole Foods go in, it’s like, “Oh man.” Chick-fil-A is pretty good, but if Whole Foods goes in, it’s like that’s a home run. I remember my wife and I moved from our place in LA, and they opened up a Chick-fil-A and a Whole Foods and an Amazon Prime facility all within the same year. We’re like, “Dang it. Why did all this open up after we left?” But hey, this has been good for the neighborhood.

Greg:
No, definitely, the Chick-Fil-A rule works for some. The Whole Foods rule works for others. But I think for me, at that point in time, it was also just figuring out what area’s growing consistently, that there’s more population growth, there’s commercial growth. Then over the years, I’ve always compounded those learnings into my own Buybox itself.

David:
What you’re really getting at there, both Greg and Rob, is you’re trying to find a area that’s going to experience above average growth. A Whole Foods going in, a Chick-fil-A going in, that means that other companies with very smart people have done research that have determined you are more likely to have people moving into this area to support this business. They’re looking at construction, housing starts, demographic patterns. That’s all stuff real estate investors need to be looking into. I personally believe 10 years ago, 20 years ago, the strategy was just buy any real estate.
Anything that cash flows is going to make sense for you, just go do it. It’s become so competitive. The information is so easily accessible, like the people listening to this right now, that you have to do more than just buy a house. You need to get into real estate that’s in an area that, like you said, is going to grow faster. Can each of you, I’m going to ask both of you, speak to your experiences in buying real estate in an area that grew, and buying a real estate in an area that stayed stale, and give some of the lessons that you’ve learned from each of those different options? We’ll start with you, Greg.

Greg:
I’ve bought properties from Orlando, Austin, and Maui as well. In all of those areas, the population has increased. Maui’s more of a vacation rental itself, so you have more tourists coming in. But with Austin and Orlando, there was always high population influxes, especially during COVID. Everyone’s trying to leave California, Boston, New York, whatever it could be. I didn’t really see any of my growth flatten in the areas that I invest in. They were always continuously going up, and I would track the comps at that point in time to see what made the most sense.
In Maui itself, the tourists were coming in droves, so I bought this place about a year ago. At that point in time, COVID was still in high effect. A lot of people weren’t traveling from Asian countries, so I bought this as a hedge knowing that when COVID died down a little bit, we’d have so much more of an influx of people coming in. Using that hedge actually drove up my nightly rental rates quite a bit along the way.

Rob:
Nice. For me, I think most of the places that I’ve chosen have actually grown. I’ve invested in LA. I bought my place in 2017 that has seen, I wouldn’t say double, but it’s pretty close, probably stabilizing a bit now, if not correcting. But, well, I don’t know. I’d have to look into the comps, but LA has always been a good opportunity for me. I’ve bought in Arizona. It’s always growing there. I’ve bought in Tennessee. We’re always growing. Honestly, for me, my slowest growing property across the entire portfolio was my Austin property, which was a condo. It isn’t not grown. I think it’s gone up.
I think we bought it for 279 three or four years ago, and it’s probably worth 350 now, so not nothing, but it didn’t grow as fast as the rest of the portfolio. I don’t really know why I’d imagine more so just because it’s a condo versus a single-family home. But, I’ve always tried to invest in the touristy areas too, where people are going. I know that in Texas, Austin is somewhat of a destination for everybody to go to. No one’s usually itching to go to Houston from a tourist standpoint, but a lot of people are moving here.
I’m going to be investing a lot more in Houston, because I see a lot of people coming out of here from California, and the appreciation still seems to be relatively steady here.

Greg:
I would say even within Austin too. I mean, playing in this market, the duplex that I have, it’s a long-term rental here. I mean, this has seen tremendous value. Rob, to your point, I mean, over the past few years, Austin’s been a hotbed. I bought that property for about 420. Earlier this year, it was worth probably about 850 with driving up the rents, getting all the renovations done on it too. I am seeing in Austin itself now more of a pullback across the board. As I compare the house that I’m in now with some of my neighbors who are trying to sell, you can see the price per square foot going down in Austin, which for anybody listening right now, it’s a great buying opportunity, especially in the hotbed like Austin.
You still have people want to move here to avoid taxes, vacation here, do short-term rentals as it sits. I do believe Austin as a whole still has much more long-term potential, especially with the dropping the prices lately.

Rob:
Long-term for sure. I had such an interesting scenario, because a realtor sent me a property in North Austin by the domain area, and it was priced around 750. It had just undergone this crazy remodel. It looked nice, but every single comp in that area was 450 to 575. If we try to make the offer, and they just would not budge, and I was like, “Oh man, this place is…” That was Austin prices a year ago. So, now that I am actively looking at properties in Texas, Austin is part of my Buybox now. I am seeing those prices drop, but I’m like, “They’re going to drop a little bit more. I think I’ll… Should I wait? Should I wait a little bit?”

Greg:
I mean, I would figure probably the next three to six months, it’s going to drop more in Austin. I mean, with the rise in interest rates, inflation coming in full gear, people getting scared of buying houses in general, I think a place like Austin has seen a big dip lately just in terms of the home prices itself. But I do think for someone who’s going to be doing short-term rentals or even long-term rentals here, there’s so much opportunity that you have sellers who are desperate, and you can start making some deals at that point.

Rob:
Greg, let me ask you something, because you said something at the beginning of the podcast that was really interesting to me. You mentioned some of the hardships growing up, and how you were losing the house. Did any of this come into play for you from a barrier standpoint when you were getting started or ramping up your real estate career? Was there a moment where doubt started to creep in, or did that motivate you to really start scaling up your business?

Greg:
I don’t think I naturally had any doubt. I think it was more or less I knew that I was going to fail at some things. I was going to make mistakes, and that’s okay. I had to constantly tap myself on the back, and say, “If this does happen, it’s okay. Don’t stress out.” I used that constantly as a motivator. So, realizing the pain and suffering that I have at young age, middle school, high school, college, whatever it was, or even at the point where when I was post-grad working my job, instead of going out drinking every weekend, maybe going on exotic vacations, buying a brand new BMW, I always had a 10 -ear vision of where I wanted to be.
I knew at that point in time, that was my main driver. I’ve always been relentless on that, and just making sure that no matter what, keep your eye on the prize, hit your FIRE number. From there, keep growing. Although I hit my FIRE number at 27, now I’m going for my own personal theft FIRE number. I want to make sure I can keep growing it every single year from there, and have that compounding effect, because although I hit FIRE at 27, life changes. You get married. You might have kids. You have different life obligations. Your expenses will go up.
If you can prepare for that adequately, and think of, “Where am I going to be at the age of 35, 45, whatever?” Plan backwards from there. That’s what helped me. That was my constant driver every single day.

Rob:
That’s cool. You’re in sales, or you were in sales. It’s a very high stress job, and it’s really tough to do. I used to be in sales back in the day. One of my first high-paying job was knocking on doors, and selling alarm systems. It’s hard to do that, because it’s a presentation for 30 to 45 minutes at a time. You were very successful at this. So, was there a moment in your sales career where you’re starting to burn out, or were you always just like, “Oh, man, I can keep making money, and I’m going to keep pushing at this?”

Greg:
I burned out a lot early in my career. I mean, there’s only so many 70, 80-hour weeks that you can possibly work. Early on my career when I was 21, 22, I wanted to outwork all of my peers. I realized, “I might not be the smartest person in the room.” I’ll rephrase that. I’m definitely not the smartest person in most rooms, and that’s okay, but I would put the time in to make that work. What would happen would be that after several months, I would burn myself out. After burning myself out, it would take really a couple months to recover from where I was at, but then I’d go back to hitting the grind, and work 70, 80 hours a week nonstop.
I think after probably the third or fourth burnout, by the time I was 25, I just realized I couldn’t do this anymore. I realized that I had an expiration date on my sales career, and it might make sense to think about what the future could hold. So if I could start taking that money to invest it appropriately, so I could step away from this peacefully, that was the goal. I think I learned that at an earlier age than probably most in the sales career. Most of my peers when I was I always call it growing up in the sales world, would buy those brand new BMWs, have lunch out every single day, and have those immediate satisfaction goals versus myself.
I would bring lunch to work. I would have roommates. I would drive my old reliable car that sometimes didn’t work, but I knew that short-term pain was worth in long haul. So, at this point, when I was around 25, 26, I was able to have enough money coming in. Really, it was around $1,500, maybe 2,000 net monthly profit from all the rentals. That changed the way that I was approaching my sales. It was less of a commission breath and focusing on, “I need every single sale,” and just being a W-2 slave versus now saying, “I choose to work. I choose to work, because I want to get these additional loans. I want to get more properties.”
It’s funny when you have that change of mentality, that growth mentality, things just happen for you. When I had that switch, I started closing more deals. I had better relationships with friends, family. I bought more real estate on the side. That compounding effect of confidence just increased over the years. I looked back on all the times that I burnt myself out. I’m pretty happy I did that, because without that, I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at today as well.

Rob:
You mentioned you’re making $1,500, $2,000 a month. That seems significant to me. As someone that was making that previously in my career as well, that’s probably not too far off from what you were saving. At this point, I got to imagine, it’s compounding a little bit, and you’re able to actually use your career earnings and your real estate earnings to start investing more properties. Was there a moment where you’re just really pouring gas on the fire?

Greg:
Within my sales career, I was able to close a lot more deals from the confidence I was having and the lower stress. I’d have bigger commission checks coming in, and I would just every single time throw those commission checks into more properties. I got to the point where really around the age of 27, 28, I was having several thousand dollars coming in on a net monthly profit. I just wasn’t as stressed out anymore. I didn’t have to worry about clocking in, clocking out to work, or making X amount of cold calls, whatever it could be. I just kept putting that fuel on the fire.
I’m still doing that. I want to make sure that I can still acquire more properties, go from the single families, duplexes, multi-families that I have now to then getting into some of the smaller/medium multi-families. If I can keep pouring more gas on the fire, that gives me the ability to peacefully step away and do what I want when the time comes.

Rob:
What’s that turning point for you? What moment do you think… I mean, I don’t know if your bosses are listening, so you can tread lightly on how you answer this. But when do you think… Personally, are you going to just be like, “All right, I’m ready to leave the job.” Is there a number that you’re looking for, because you said you have your FIRE number, and then I think you said you have your fat FIRE number? Is that correct? Did I mishear that?

Greg:
I do.

Rob:
Is that the number that you’re waiting to hit before you leave your job, or is that just a separate thing?

Greg:
It’s a separate thing. It’s just a nice goal to have. I hit my FIRE number when I was 27, but Fat FIRE is about five times that, so I want to make sure I can keep growing from there. In terms of when I think I’ll actually step away and do this full-time, it’s coming near and near, honestly. I think realistically by 2025, I will be fully committed to that point. I do tell my bosses pretty often, “I don’t need this job. I choose to be here because I want to.” Just by having that dynamic at work, it changes the power dynamic overall.
They know that I’m doing this, because I want to get more mortgages, that I don’t need to have every single paycheck. It’s a nice feeling knowing that you’re not stressed out. For me personally, though, I want to make sure I can make that swap over, that transition by January 2025. But with the way that I’m pouring gasoline on this fire, it’ll probably happen sooner than that.

David:
It’s a good position to be in where you can tell your boss, “Hey, I don’t need this job. I want this job.” The implication there is they’re going to make sure they treat you good, because they don’t want to lose you, but there’s also a perspective that would say, “Not everyone can do that.” You actually got to be good at your job if you’re going to play that card. There’s a lot of people that could go to other job, “I don’t need you. I want you in the box,” and be like, “Well, I don’t really want or need you. You’re gone.”
What is it that you do at that job to actually be good enough at it that you could have the ability to approach it that way? I think a lot of people listening think, “I want to be able to tell my boss that,” but if they did, it might work out like I just said. So, what did you do differently at your job so that you had enough power, sway, influence that you could pull that off?

Greg:
I think for this job that I’m in specifically, it was the first six months just completely working my ass off, putting in more hours than everybody else, but not to the point of burning out, but making sure I put the right amount of time in to get some quick wins. From there, it was also understanding the politics side of it. I think in any job, 70% of it is just understanding politics, and at the end of the day, politics is just relationships. I made so many mistakes early on by not understanding politics. I shot myself in the foot, almost got myself fired multiple times despite hitting my sales numbers versus now, I still hit my sales numbers and exceed them, but I have a great relationship with everybody internally.
So, I’m able to operate in a little bit more of a risky sense and more transparent perspective. I think, long story short, David, it’s making sure that you understand the internal politics. You treat people well. You make sure you service others, and be, honestly at that point in the day, indispensable. Make sure that they can’t leave without you. They need you for everything within the business.

Rob:
I mean, I had the same thing. I mean, when I quit my boss, I had this vision of like, “I’m going to swipe everything off their desk, and be like, “Listen here, bub, I’m out of here. You suck. You suck.” Then I was just like, “I’m quitting,” and I cried. But, I think another piece of this is being likable and being a team player. This is something that’s going to translate no matter where you are in life, but I will say that I had the real estate chip always. I always had that bargaining chip with me.
They knew that I was making money from real estate. They knew that I had short-term rentals, and when I quit, my bosses were actually confused as to why I stuck around so long. They were like, “I don’t even know why you’ve been working here so long. You obviously could have quit a long time ago.” It didn’t help that I talked about my financial status on YouTube, but nonetheless. I remember that the reason they kept me around so long, and the reason I didn’t get fired, because I was genuinely not really the greatest employee probably the last year of my career.
I was just nice to everybody. I helped everybody. I always chipped in. I was never mad. When someone gave me work, I did it. Maybe it was a little late, but I always did it, so relatively reliable. I think that’s another piece that people… You can get away with saying that kind of stuff to your boss like, “Hey, I don’t really need to be here. I want to be here,” so long as you are a likable person. I think a lot of people forget that. That’s a really key piece of any career you’re in.

Greg:
I think earlier on, I completely… To be honest, I realized that I wasn’t treating people the right way. I was pinning them against each other in a very unfavorable way, just trying to make sure I could get ahead. It just turned people off every step of the way. Despite hitting numbers, people just did not like that. I think for me, a pivotal moment was there’s a book called The 48 Laws of Power. I don’t know if anybody has read that book, but-

David:
We’ve interviewed the author.

Greg:
Oh, you did?

David:
We’ve had Robert Green on.

Greg:
Oh, man, I got to watch that episode.

Rob:
Oh, your cousin, right? Yes.

David:
One of my cousins, yes. Well, he claims me as his cousin. I don’t always tell people about it. He’s a bit of a black sheep, not quite as successful as the rest of us. Greg, give us some examples of details of what you took out of that book, and how you applied them in the workplace. That’s exactly what I want to know.

Greg:
One of the rules is never outshine the master. I view this in the way of if you do something great, I mean, don’t be a lone wolf. Don’t just say that you did this alone. Highlight those that you won this with. For me, in the sales game that I’m in now, it’s highlighting potentially my manager. It might be my sales engineer. It could be anybody who’s involved with me. Bring up the tide with you. Don’t just take the full success for yourself.
Another one is really at the end of the day, making sure that you court attention at all points in time. This can be a positive or a negative thing. For me, it was making sure that I always added value in every situation, that they would look back to me, and say, “Man, Greg really knows his stuff. Let’s bring him into this idea. Let’s see what he thinks from this.” There were just some small things along the way. I read the abridged version of that book, and it’s helped me so much in my career, where things just don’t naturally come to me when it comes to politics.
No one really knows it until you mess it up. I read this when I was probably 25, and it had massively profound impact on my career. It’s something that I think should be a required reading within college. I think it’s almost a dark art. Some people view it that way of potentially manipulation, but I think more so, it’s a book of relationships, how to treat people well, how to make sure it’s a win-win situation for everybody, and how to get what you want in a very friendly way.

David:
I’ve said many times manipulation has a native connotation, but it doesn’t have to. We like being manipulated when it’s in a positive way. If I said, “Greg, your beard is looking great, and have you lost weight?” In a sense, that’s still manipulating you, but you’re not going to be mad about it, or, “Hey, that was a brilliant business idea that you had.” That’s manipulation. It’s the same as if I said, “That was a stupid move.” They’re just in different directions, things like the 48 Laws of Power, How to Make Friends and Influence People, a lot of the books that are, like you said, relationship oriented.
The book I’m writing for BiggerPockets’ pillars, I’m in the part right now where it specifically talks about how to make more money at work, and this is a big, big part of it, the relationship component. You’re doing this stuff, you just don’t know it. It’s the dark arts when you become aware of them, but there are some people that are naturally good at this, and some people that are terrible. Books are written for the people that are bad at something. When I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it did not profoundly change my life, because I was like, “This is common sense. Why did they put this in a book? Why is everyone excited about this?”
I just thought everyone looked at the world the way that Robert Kiyosaki was talking about it, but you hear so many people that are like, “That book changed my life.” The book was meant for them. It wasn’t meant for me. I didn’t need to read that. I already understood it, but How to Make Friends and Influence People, that was written for me. That does not come natural to me like it might to somebody like Rob or Brandon Turner. I’m really glad you shared it. The examples that you gave are also very powerful, because there are so many of us that are trying to figure out, “How do I make more money? How do I get into a sales job? How do I sell more something to get money, because I really want to buy real estate?”
We’re looking at real estate to be the way around the obstacle when really what we need is to make our way through the obstacle, that there’s a personal development. There’s a lesson that you could be learning in life. If you can grab ahold of that, embrace it and get better, then you’ll have the money to invest in real estate. You’ll move into the FIRE movement, like what you were saying, and you’ll get all the perks of what we’re talking about today. Too often on these podcasts, we share the carrot like, “You can have X amount of money every month, and you can get out of the rat race, but we don’t show you the path.”
The path is not going to be easy. Just like if I show you the guy with the six pack and the big muscles, you can have this body. The path to that body is not going to be easy. If you sell it like it’s easy, then people get discouraged. So, looking back on your journey, I love that you shared just now, “This is some of the mistakes I made.” What were some of the other areas in your life that you may have been failing at, things that were not going well, and what changes did you have to make to get the result you wanted to lead to the path you’re on now, which you really love?

Greg:
I’ve made a lot of mistakes. When I say a lot, I’ve a lot. Some of it was, like within work, how I treated people, and trying to make sure that I could get ahead no matter what. That was not a good way of doing things. Another one, David, we talked about getting that point where you have abs and all this. I don’t have abs. I’ve never had abs, but I realized at one point, I was probably about 20, 30 pounds overweight, and that type of mistake. I classified it as mistake. I just didn’t really care about my temple if we want to get a little hippie about it.
This temple theoretically had homeless people sleeping in it. It was getting spray painted. It was just burning alive, and it just made everything else in life not great. So, really focusing on nutrition, for me, was very pivotal. Starting it back into exercising after not doing it for several years was very important for me. I made plenty of mistakes with real estate too. It could be with contractors. It could be with partnerships. It could be with some properties too, but the way that I always thought about it was, “Lean into the mistakes that you could potentially make. Lean into the potential.”
If it doesn’t work out, you can probably also just sell things, and make it work, but it’s going to be okay. That’s honestly what I’ve always told myself. If something happens, just keep moving forward.

Rob:
It seems like you’ve been having relatively good success with what you’re doing. I know you’ve talked about the market that you’re in, and it checked those boxes for you, but I feel like we… I do want to ask about your Chick-fil-A method a little bit here before we wrap up, because I am wanting to know, “Is this something you actually…” Is that a joke, or do you actually go to Google Maps, and then you’re like, “What’s the closest Chick-fil-A to this property?” What does that analysis actually look like when you’re penciling out a deal?

Greg:
It could potentially be the smartest or the dumbest rule of all time depending on who you ask.

Rob:
I think it’s great.

Greg:
Well, there’s different rules. I mean, you have the Whole Foods rule. I have the Chick-fil-A rule, but really at the end of the day, like I mentioned before, they have their own dedicated real estate team for all of this. So, if I can leverage some of the expertise that they have, and buy around there, that’s the goal. That’s what I’ve done in Austin. I’ve done this in Orlando as well. You could say I’ve done this in Maui, because they have a brand-new Chick-fil-A opening up, probably about 15 minutes away from the condo that we have there.
But for me, it’s literally just driving around the area. Figure out what works, figure out what’s close by from a commercial standpoint, and who’s building. If it makes sense, where you have population growth, commercial growth, and a very desirable area, it doesn’t matter if it’s the Chick-fil-A rule for me, or it could be the Whole Foods rule for you, Rob. Either one works for where you envision those properties to be.

Rob:
I asked because I jokingly… It makes me laugh. I do joke about having a Chipotle close to your Airbnbs. In my YouTube videos, I’m always like, “How far is it from a Chipotle?” I had someone reach out, and they were analyzing a deal. They were like, “Hey, Rob, hit pencils out. It’s really good, but it’s not near a Chipotle, and I don’t know. Should I not buy it?” I was like, “Oh, I’m so sorry. It was a joke. It doesn’t have to be by a Chipotle.”

Greg:
For an Airbnb, I would say that’s pivotal. I spent many nights in Airbnb’s eating Chipotle, but depends on the market, I guess.

David:
This is a good segue into the next segment of our show. It is the deal deep dive. In this segment of the show, we’re going to dive deep into a particular deal you’ve done, and learn what went well, what didn’t go well, and how did you put it together. Rob and I are going to take turns firing questions at you. I will go first. Question number one, what kind of property is it?

Greg:
This is a duplex located in the burbs of Orlando.

Rob:
Question number two, how did you find it?

Greg:
This is going to be a longer answer. This was originally a partner deal that I had, a partner deal that went absolutely wrong. I found it, this specific deal, because I bought my partner out of it, and I had to run my own deal analysis on the second go around, and the number still made sense. This was two separate deals that I worked through.

David:
Question number three, how much did you pay for this property?

Greg:
The purchase price of this house was around 390,000. With a duplex in Florida, you have to put down 25% for this house, unless you’re going to live in it yourself. So, I put down as a down payment about $98,000, and with total cash to close is right around $110,000 with closing cost.

Rob:
How did you negotiate it?

Greg:
This was a fun negotiation, buying it from my partner where I already had some skin in the game, and this was, I would say, a creative financing deal that I originally did with my partner, but he was very eager to list us on the market for an inflated price. It was sitting on the market for a few months, and we were just getting nonstop low ball offers. So, I figured at one point, I could call them up, and make a deal with them on the side, and say, “We’re getting all these deals as they sit today. Let’s figure out a joint number that could work out for the both of us.”
It took a long time to get through this just through some of the pains of a failed partnership. But ultimately, I was able to come across a win-win deal that he would walk away with $30,000 net after everything, and I still walked into a deal with massive amounts of upside, both from a cashflow perspective and an equity perspective as well.

David:
Well, you mentioned that it was a partnership gone bad. What went wrong with this partnership? It’s just funny you say that, because the handful of times I’ve ever tried to partner with somebody, it’s just been a disaster. I’ve had terrible… Other than with Rob here who spends money like my rich wife of Orange County, just can’t keep that wallet closed. But other than him, every other deal’s gotten terrible. Tell me, what happened with yours?

Greg:
I originally found this deal. I’ll call it deal number one, where I found an amazing deal where the house is being listed at 320, and the comp for this house, the duplex next door sold for 480. I listed on Facebook. I asked if anybody was interested in partnering on a deal with me. I was low on cash, and I was able to structure it in a really fun way, where I took a 10% management fee off the top and 25% off the bottom, and then 25% on the back end from an equity standpoint. So, I put no money into this deal whatsoever.
I found an old college buddy who had some extra money who turned about $200,000 into 2.5 million in the stock market. So, we went on a buying spree specifically on this house. The problem was when you come across somebody who gets a lot of money very quickly, they might not know the principles that come with it, and to be very safe with how you grow it. He truly went on a buying spree. He bought properties in a few different states. I tried helping him out with some due diligence. I couldn’t keep up with him. Then probably about six, seven months later, he came to me, and said, “Hey, would you be interested in selling this property?”
We talked about not doing that as part of our long-term deal. Then I found out that he owed $400,000 to the IRS, because he didn’t understand the difference between short-term capital gains tax versus long-term capital gains tax. He was in a pinch to sell this property quick, because it was one of his only properties that he had positive equity in. Everything else, he was underwater, and he was going to take a loss on. There was some motivation on both sides to make sure this deal worked.

Rob:
Wow.

Greg:
Pay attention, folks, because these are the freaky tales that you do not hear about partnerships. You only hear the survivor bias when it went great, but God, so many of them go this direction. Here’s the sad thing so far, because we haven’t even got through your deal. It doesn’t sound like the deal was the problem. It sounds like the partner was the problem. The deal didn’t forget to pay its income taxes. The deal didn’t go on a buying spree. The deal couldn’t manage its own finance as well. That was a human being that was completely independent of you that you cannot control, that put you in this position that now they’re putting pressure on you to go sell it.
That is the danger in partnering. You also brought up a very deep philosophical point, which is the easy come, easy go. When somebody makes money too quickly, it isn’t healthy. Someone that shoots themselves up with steroids, and gets huge super fast, their joints can’t keep up with what they’re doing to their body when they’re trying to lift the weight that they’re now able to lift. You tear things and break things. There’s always a negative consequence when you grow too quickly.
I appreciate you sharing that, because we always like to get on a podcast like this, and share our wiz, and brush our shoulder, and let everybody know how great it went. But in this case, the thing’s pretty much outside of your control. It went bad. Jumping back into where we are here in the process, how did you end up funding this particular deal?
I funded this just 25% down truly on my own pocket. I was hitting some great sales numbers myself, so I was able to come to the table with $110,000. It was definitely a little bit of a stressful time depleting the bank account for most of your money, but I funded it all myself personally in my name.

Rob:
You did it the right way though. If you’re investing in real estate consistently, you should feel broke. I don’t fault you for that. What’d you end up doing with that? Was it a flip, rental, BRRRR?

Greg:
I would say this was a typical buy and hold. For this, I put an extra call it $23,000, $25,000 into the house, had to do some new floors, new painting on the inside and the outside, new appliances. At the same point in time in the middle of the transaction, I actually had to do an eviction on one of the tenants too. So, that was an unforeseen cost that I had to incur, but at the end of the day, I put around $25,000 in the property. With the numbers itself, my PITI was roughly around $2,100 with total monthly rents of around $3,800. So, I was netting.
At this current time, I net around $1,700 a month. With an annual net profit of around $20,000, my cash on cash is roughly around 16% each year. I think it’s a win for everybody. The tenants have a good place to live. It’s an inexpensive home. It’s fully redone left and right. It’s a great deal for me, and it was a great deal for the partner who we shook hands with and walked away too.

David:
It was not a great deal for the IRS who was not going to get their income taxes unless you got rid of the property, and so your partner could go pay for it. There’s always another angle in this.

Greg:
Correct.

David:
You mentioned the outcome. You also mentioned how you turned this from a negative into a positive, but my last question for you is what lessons did you learn from the deal that you can share?

Greg:
I would say the biggest lesson that I learned is I could talk about the deal, and I could also talk about the partner too. The deal itself, I knew heart of hearts, is a great deal. The house next door was still having a comp price of 480. So, although the list price of this was 390, and I had to put 25 grand into it, I was still ahead of it. Lesson learned, when you are working with tenants that you inherit, and you need to increase the rent on them, and they get a little bit hostile, just make sure you do everything by the book. Especially when it comes to evictions, do everything by the book.
I did this eviction 100% by myself for everything. I didn’t enlist a lawyer, but I went to the local clerk of courts to take care of things. I also worked with the local sheriff’s department, and just realized that tenants aren’t your best friends. They might be your friend, but it’s a business transaction at the end of the day. You need to make sure that you stick to the standards that you have such as with like a three-day notice. You have a lease for a reason, and you need to stick with the contractual terms that both parties have agreed to. That’s the biggest lesson I learned and I had from the property.
From the partner, I would just say really understand from a long-term goal’s perspective. Think of five, 10 years where they’re at. It would’ve been nice if I learned that he owed $400,000 to the IRS, but it would probably be better for me to understand how fast he was trying to move if he had any other debt obligations to follow. Although that was my first partner deal, I’m not opposed to partner deals at this point. I actually did my second partner deal in Maui, and that is a partner deal gone right in every way.
I applied all the lessons learned from working with a bad partner who would criticize the amount of money something costs, my contractors and me doing work on the side, whatever it could be to working with a partner who we both mutually trust each other with everything we’re doing.

David:
All right, well, thank you for sharing that information, the good, the bad, and the ugly. That’s awesome. All right, we’re going to move on to the last segment of the show. It is the world famous-

Speaker 4:
Famous four.

David:
In this segment of the show, Rob and I will take turns asking you the same four questions we ask every guest every episode. My first question for you, “What is your favorite real estate book?”

Greg:
Man, I feel like every show, people have said Rich Dad, Poor Dad. That was probably the most pivotal book that I read earlier on in my career. I want to say even high school, I read that book. BiggerPockets has a ton of great books that I’ve read as well. Currently reading Crushing It, and they all bounce off each other, and tell a good story. But if I had to give just one answer, it has to be Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

Rob:
RDPD, so that’s a classic. What about your favorite business book?

Greg:
Favorite business book? I alluded to this earlier. I would say 48 Laws of Power. It’s a book that I don’t think a lot of people have read. I would say there’s two variations of the book. There’s the actual book, and then there’s the abridged version, which is 100 something pages. The abridged ver book has helped me tremendously in my career, and I can’t say enough good things about it.

Rob:
Awesome. When you’re not out there crushing the sales role, and expanding your empire, buying places by Chick-fil-A, what are some of your hobbies?

Greg:
I would say the biggest hobby I have is just real estate. I talk about real estate to every single person I come into contact with, even in the sales world, family, friends, whoever it could be. I have a lot of people that can vouch for that. Real estate is my go-to. I do travel a lot for work, so I’m always in Denver, Salt Lake City. So if I can find out good hotels to stay at, good place to travel to, good food, I’m always game for that too.

David:
All right. In your opinion, what sets apart successful investors from those who give up, fail, or never get started?

Greg:
I would say confidence. I think there were many times that I was starting out where I may have not felt truly confident in what I was doing, or I may have had some setbacks or reservations, but the effects of compounding even for confidence is truly mind blowing. I think there’s a lot of people that I know that have dabbled into real estate. They may have been good landlords or bad landlords, but they weren’t truly confident in themselves or their long-term plans. I think the difference between a good investor and a great investor is the confidence that comes with it, and that confidence just compounds over time for everything you’re doing.

Rob:
Great. Well, lastly, Greg, where can people find out more about you?

Greg:
You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok. I actually figured out the power of social media recently. My channel is Leveragedhustle, one word. I’m slowly dabbling into it, but if somebody wants to give me a follow, interaction, whatever it could be, that’d be great. It’s a long process, but I’ve seen the power that I can do for the folks in BiggerPockets. I hope to replicate that myself.

Rob:
Awesome. What about you, David?

David:
People can find me on the socials as well as YouTube at DavidGreene24. There’s an E at the end of Greene. I’m on pretty much all of them, LinkedIn. Instagram is probably the one I post the most in, Facebook, Twitter. YouTube now allows handles, so you can actually put in youtube.com/@davidgreene24 or your favorite influencer’s handle, and that may take you right to their YouTube page. Pretty cool. I’m learning a lot about YouTube from you, Rob. You’re a bit of the YouTube guru, so to speak. It’s pretty impressive. It’s been influential on me to say the least.
I finally hit 10,000 subscribers. It’s probably one-20th of where you are right now. I was thinking the other day like, “I spend so much of my time on YouTube way more than even watching TV.” It’s completely taken over almost everything. BiggerPockets has an amazing YouTube channel too. If you get done listening to this, you want to listen to another video. There’s tons not just podcasts, but tons of content that Rob and I both make for YouTube as well as other BP personalities. You could look at BiggerPockets’ YouTube channel as well, and just be listening to something all the time.

Rob:
That’s true, or if you just want to watch this episode, and see Greg’s fluffy beard, you can just go to the BiggerPockets’ YouTube channel.

David:
That’s a great point. If you want to… I would rather recommend people actually watch this on YouTube. You’re going to see Greg’s fluffy beard. You’re going to see the very cool background he has. You’re going to see Rob in a hoodie, which is very rare, and also, I have to say, strikingly handsome, right?

Rob:
Thank you.

David:
You’re going to see me making hand gestures every once in a while. If you want to get a little more context, some contour, some flavor behind what you’re watching, if you want to feel like [inaudible 01:01:00] conversation-

Rob:
Ornamentation.

David:
Oh, that’s even better. Go to YouTube, and you can watch Rob and I giving each other signals as the guest is talking frequently. We look like third base coaches telling each other, “Steal third, hit and run, bunt, all kinds of stuff,” and jazz hands.

Rob:
That’s right. Well, before you go… Jazz hands. Before you go and subscribe to me on YouTube at Robuilt, go and leave us a five-star review on Apple Podcast or wherever you listen and download your podcast. It does help us. It helps us get served out to all the masses out there, and it helps us get our word out there to create your own version of financial independence, whether it’s through real estate or… I don’t know. We have so many podcasts that cover so many genres that can help people. Go and leave us a five-star review. Then once you do that, consider going and following me on Instagram at Robuilt.

David:
It’s one of the French benefits that bigger pockets has to offer.

Rob:
Deep cut. Deep cut.

David:
All right, well, thank you, Greg. We want to thank you for being here, for sharing your story ,and showing some of the warts, but not just the warts and the frogs, but, hey, you kissed the frog, and you turned it into the princess that you have today, also for giving a opposing viewpoint to my side that many partnerships go bad. Sometimes they go good. I thought you gave some really good supporting points there, and lastly, painting the picture for how you can transition from a W-2 job you don’t love into being a real estate investor.
It doesn’t have to be a cold jump from one where you go in and quit and jump out of the airplane, and say, “I hope I like where I land.” There’s actually a way to build a path to get where you’re going, and it does start with prudently, wisely, and successfully managing your finances. If you can’t manage your finances, that means you can’t manage yourself, and you’re probably not ready to manage a real estate portfolio yet. It’s like throwing 500 pounds on that bench press bar at your first day in the gym or your second day. It’s not going to go well for you. You need to take it slow as you build and build these skills.
Thank you for sharing the parts of your story. Rob, thank you for being credible and strikingly handsome as always. I always like Rob having me around as my co-host. He’s like the really good backup dancer that makes me the not great dancer look better, because of how sexy he does his thing. That’s exactly right. All right, I’m going to let you guys get out of here.

Rob:
People, watch this on YouTube.

David:
You got to go watch on YouTube if you want to see Rob’s crazy gyrations right now. This is David Greene for Rob, the Whole Food swole dude, Abasolo signing off.

 

 

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Why choosing a commission-based job, with uncapped earnings, beats a salary almost always
  • Sign spinning and creative ways Greg made big money as a teenager
  • The Chick-fil-A real estate rule that all investors should follow when picking a rental property market
  • Common investing hurdles and how to deal with massive burnout when trying to make more money
  • The laws of power that every entrepreneur, investor, or employee must know to level up
  • What to do when real estate partnerships go wrong and turning a stressful situation into a killer deal
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Episode

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.