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Josh: What is going on everybody? This is Josh Dorkin, host, the official host.
Brandon: The ex-host.
Josh: I’m sorry, excuse you.
Brandon: The ex-host of the BiggerPockets podcast.
Josh: Host of the BiggerPockets podcast.
Brandon: The old host of the BiggerPockets podcast.
Josh: Here with my co-host, undeserving, Brandon Turner. I have come back everybody to take over my show.
Brandon: Back from the dead, look at this.
Josh: Brandon has grown a disgusting beard, his brain is getting too large.
Brandon: Handsome beard. Handsome is the word you’re looking for.
Josh: I don’t know man. Hi.
Brandon: What’s up? You’re back! You’re back from the dead. Weird.
Josh: Hi. What’s up!
Brandon: I think we hinted a few weeks ago that you were coming back for episode 301 and here you are today back for 301.
Josh: Is it 301 or 300? Yes this was going to be a two part show. We’ve decided to crunch it together into one epic.
Brandon: Monster show.
Josh: Really, really long and quite entertaining and helpful show.
Brandon: It is. Now I would encourage you guys, this is going to be a longest show we’ve ever done, but listen to it in two parts if you have to, on your drive to work and home. But make sure you listen to the whole thing. Everything we talk about today, every interview we do in a minute is solid. So speaking of guests, yes guests, plural.
Josh: I’m back. Let’s talk about me.
Brandon: Let’s not talk about you, let’s talk about our guests today. We actually have 11 guests today.
Josh: We have 11, 12 including me.
Brandon: 12, including you, we can call you a guest today.
Josh: I’m kind of a guest.
Brandon: You’re kind of a guest host.
Josh: I am not here permanent guys, unfortunately. I am back for today. I just want to see Brandon’s grandma. I want to make it a little bit uncomfortable.
Brandon: Thanks. That’s weird. Today we’re going to interview 11 of our past guests and we’re going to ask them, we have a few questions, but mainly what is your best advice for new real estate investors. And these are some of our fan favorites, people are in love with these guys and girls.
Brandon: What? Are you doing a Yoda impression?
Brandon: I don’t even know what you’re doing.
Josh: Anyone who’s over 50 who watch late night television knows what’s happening.
Brandon: Are you over 50?
Josh: Don’t worry about it.
Brandon: I don’t think you’re 50 yet. Anyway, they will also share book recommendations.
Josh: They do.
Brandon: Speaking of books, let’s get to today’s quick tip.
Josh: That’s so much better with me.
Brandon: I don’t know. Ok. Today’s quick tip.
Josh: Alright, the quick tip today is, well, why are we doing this show?
Brandon: Why are we doing this weird show? Why are you back? Why? It’s because.
Josh: Why are we doing this show? We are super excited about something, Brandon, and I don’t know quite how we made this happen given the fact that you can’t stand me.
Brandon: Yeah. I was going to say, you can’t stand me. But you like me, I just can’t stand you. So.
Josh: I like you. I think you’re awesome.
Brandon: Yeah. You like my beard, especially. Well anyway.
Josh: It’s horrible. But here’s today’s quick tip. Brandon and I have spent some time doing what I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time and that is…
Brandon: Massages. Oh, oh.
Josh: To write a full…
Brandon: This is awkward. Keep going, keep going, you were on a roll.
Josh: So we have written, collaboratively,
Brandon: A book.
Josh: My first book, which is really exciting. I know this is like your 732nd work.
Brandon: Welcome to being a published author, Josh. The air is a little better up here.
Josh: Well, I am a publisher but now I’m the author as well. I’m very excited about this. Brandon and I have a book coming out entitled…
Brandon: Today. It comes out today.
Josh: How to, can you just let me finish?
Brandon: Go on.
Josh: It’s entitled, How To Invest In Real Estate The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Getting Started.
Brandon: Not to be confused with The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide which we wrote five and a half years ago, the free e-book on the site.
Josh: Correct. And that book has been downloaded by well over a million people. I think millions and millions of downloads. I don’t know exactly but that book served as an inspiration for this book. That was the guide, it was on the website, we gave it away, it’s a free e-book. And what happened, we have countless people over the years reaching out to us, telling us how awesome the EBG was and how they were just hoping that we turned into something a little more comprehensive.
And so since Brandon fired me from the podcast, I had a little more time and decided to do this. No, we’ve been hoping to do this for a while and collaborated on this book which is absolutely fantastic.
Brandon: It’s fantastic not because you know you helped write it which, you know, makes it more fantastic, no. What’s cool is that we took kind of an approach that’s like let’s take a bunch of stories of BiggerPockets podcast guests, people you’ve listened to for years on the show here. And we have over 40 stories throughout the book. So everytime, we’re talking about different types of investing.
Because here’s the idea of the book, the big picture and then we’ll move on in just a second. But the big picture is this. When somebody says I want to invest in real estate, what does that even mean? What type of real estate, right? So we want to make one book that, like, we actually tentatively called it “Start Here”. The title of this was called “Start Here” because we want to be able to hand people a book and say, start here.
So if you’re new, if you’ve done less than five deals, if you know people who have done less than five deals, get them this book. Even if you have a hundred deals, you’ll probably learn something. But really, the idea is we wanted to make a book to rule them all. One book to find them, I don’t know the rest of that.
Josh: Is that a Lord of the Rings reference?
Brandon: Lord of the Rings reference, yes.
Josh: Look at you, you’re so nerdy.
Brandon: I know.
Josh: That explains the beard. You’re that troll. You’re that short guy.
Brandon: What’s his name?
Josh: Gimli. Not Gandalf.
Brandon: I’m Gimli except for I’m very tall. So more like Gandalf.
Josh: You look just like him. That’s funny.
Brandon: Anyway, ok. We’re going to move on.
Josh: Where’s your ax?
Brandon: Actually, I did ax throwing in Austin a few weeks ago, that was amazing. Anyway, How To Invest In Real Estate The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide. You can get it now on BiggerPockets.com/HowToInvest. Or if it’s easier just to go BiggerPockets.com/Store. But BiggerPockets.com/HowToInvest, you can get the book now. There are a bunch of launch only stuff, a bunch of bonuses you can get, including, if you buy in the first couple of weeks, you’re going to get an invite to a special live Q&A webinar with Josh and I.
Josh: And he’s going to dance for you.
Brandon: I might dance at the Q&A webinar. You’d have to ask.
Josh: Oh I thought we were giving that as a bonus.
Brandon: No, no, no, no, no. I will dance for free. You don’t need to pay for that. I will dance for anybody, anytime. No but you’ll come to the Q&A webinar with me and Josh. We’ll hang out with you for a while and answer your questions. But you’ve got to buy the book in the first two weeks to get that.
Check it out. There’s digital packages, there’s ultimate packages where you get digital, audio, physical, everything shipped to your house. So check it out, BiggerPockets.com/HowToInvest
Josh: But you don’t ship the digital and the audio.
Brandon: No, we ship it via email.
Josh: Oh, fancy.
Josh: Super fancy. BiggerPockets.com/HowToInvest. Get the book, yay! Help us make it the best selling real estate book in the world.
Brandon: That’s the goal.
Josh: That is. Alright. Should we get to this thing?
Brandon: Let’s get to the interviews. You guys are going to love this. 11 interviews with some of the best real estate investors that I know. A lot of really fun interviews, a lot of laughs today. You guys are going to love this.
Josh: Yes. No chit-chat really in between. You get all your chit-chat up front.
Brandon: We’re just going to dive right into this thing.
Josh: The advice is gold, Jerry, gold.
Josh: Yes. So also guys, next week check out the show. It was going to be a two-parter, but it’s not going to be a two-parter. Check out the show, it’s going to be great.
Brandon: You won’t be back next week.
Josh: I won’t be, so life will be better for you and your ears.
Brandon: Is that from something?
Josh: I don’t know, I just made it up.
Brandon: Moving on. Let’s get to the interview right now.
Josh: Alright, Tim, welcome to the show man. So we, I have not had the pleasure of chatting with you at a podcast of course Mindy was subbing in for me that day. Unfortunate for the world. But you know, it’s nice to meet you, it’s nice to chat with you in today’s show. We’re doing something very special, we’re going to focus on newbies. But before we do, let’s give everybody a 60-second brief on who you are, what do you do, what’s your kind of real estate strategy.
Tim: Sure. Thanks for having me on guys. I appreciate it. I’m excited to be on this greatest hits album. 301. My original podcast was 221 with the substitute teacher Mindy Jensen and Brandon. And Brandon was in Hawaii so now it looks like he’s not in Hawaii, so.
Brandon: I will be next week.
Tim: You were sunburnt and there were birds chirping on the background on that one. 221.
Josh: Keeping it professional, as always.
Tim: He was. So my background is I’m like the anti-Christ on BiggerPockets because I buy for appreciation which is like river boat gambling, bitcoin. I’m the bitcoin of real estate. So what my thing is, my wife and I, you know I got some silver hair, when you’re young, you’re trying to scrap a deal together, I get it, and you got to do what you got to do.
But I’m in a different phase in my life so all I buy is quality real estate in fantastic school districts. Literally where I buy is in the number 1 school district out of the 963 in Texas. There’s a cool little website called School Digger, like you’re digging schools to see what your town ranks. What school districts. So I’m totally focused on school districts and appreciation.
Brandon: I love it. Actually when I did your show, I changed a little bit. My entire world changed a little bit. My entire perfected world changed a little bit. I thought Tim was actually doing something right.
Tim: You’ve actually grown a little beard.
Brandon: That too. I started growing a beard after that show.
Josh: And it does not stop. It’s disgusting.
Brandon: Beautiful is the word you’re looking for.
Tim: I just see unicorns and rainbows when I look at it.
Brandon: That’s what I’m going for.
Josh: That’s LSD.
Tim: Ok. Sorry.
Brandon: Ok, other than the advice of like growing a beard, what do you suggest for newbie investors for getting started?
Tim: Ok so there’s a couple of things. One is I’m always worried about couples having a conflict. The guy wants to be an investor, the girl doesn’t. And you know, happy wife, happy life, we got to focus on that. So one thing I would say is you’re living on your launch pad. And what I mean by that is if you’re living in a $200,000 house, you’re probably going to go buy a $100,000 rental. But if you turned your current house, your launch pad, into a rental, a couple things happen. One is you’re going to be guaranteed that your next personal residence, might be 250 or 300 and you just started out with 50% better rental.
The other thing is you made your wife happy because now you’re moving into a new house and you know the good and the bad and the ugly of your current house. And the most important thing I think we’d all agree from listening to all the BiggerPockets, but owner-occupied houses, you can get in for 3 to 5%, investment properties are 20%. So you could have bought a $100,000 house, took your 20 grand out of savings, or you can turn your $200,000 house, go buy a $300,000 house at 3% and put 9 grand down, make mama happy, and everyone’s happy and you know what’s good and bad about your current place you’re living in instead of buying your first house, having a foundation issue, having a hidden problem and then you never buy your second house.
Josh: So you’re talking about just doing basically live and flip kind of strategy. Yeah?
Brandon: Or live in rental.
Tim: Not live. Just live in rent. Turn your first house into your rental because when you think about it.
Josh: Oh ok. I got it, I got it.
Tim: We’ve all had all these people go, man I don’t know where to get started. Well, you’re already living in your first rent house, go buy another personal residence and you’ll be good to go. So my thing are in school districts and just get going with your first house because you know, I hear it all the time where people just you know the wife doesn’t want to do it or the husband doesn’t want to do it. It’s an easy way to get started with your first one by buying a better house and turning your current house into a rental. So that’s one of my big tips.
Brandon: That’s a fantastic tip. I actually think not anybody on our 300 episodes of this show has actually said, as a strategy, take, I mean people do it accidentally all the time.
Josh: Just move.
Tim: I can see a Nike Swoosh with that. Just move.
Josh: Ok. What do you say to the guys who are living in a property where, you know, they might be a little cash load negative if they were to rent that house?
Tim: You know on my episode 221, I basically, because I have other businesses and revenue streams, I really don’t care that much if I’m negative or positive, the bigger thing is appreciation. Have a $300,000 house that goes up 10%, I made 30 grand. Let’s say I was negative 200 a month. 2 x 12 is 24 so your delta on that is you know like $27,000.
So I look at it a little different but I’m in a different situation currently and I’m 52 years old. But if you’re 22 years old or you’re 30 years old and you start obtaining all this negative cash flow, it could sink you. But if you got other things going on, and you know I always say, when you pick the house, you pick the problem. You pick the property, you pick the problem. I hate the word problem but you know, you got different things on the lower end. And with the higher end stuff, now that we’ve talked about it, Brandon, there’s strategy we do at the higher end that we couldn’t do on the lower end. If you have lower end properties, those people are probably never going to be homeowners.
But what we do with my wife is to buy it from me so you can lease it from me. So one of our homeowners in one of our high-end properties with 750 or 800 beacon score, we allow them to tear up the lease if they buy a different property, not our rent house. But a different property from my wife. So now when that renter leaves, my wife makes a 3% pop.
So I mean, and it works, I mean I’m not always high in the sky guys. Last year, my wife made $71,000 in commission selling properties to our renters because we have high-end rent houses.
Josh: That’s awesome.
Tim: Because people shouldn’t be renters.
Brandon: And on that note, when I look at my most expensive properties that I own right now, the tenants are also the highest quality tenants that I have. I get the least amount of phone calls and those house has appreciated, like in the last few years, an incredible amount. More than my crappy little dumpy thing that did cash flow really well. Right?
And now actually the good ones are now cash flowing because rent went up so much because it’s in such a high demand area.
Tim: In fact, you just got to wait it out in a couple of years, you know. All my stuff wasn’t positive day one, but you know as long as they keep printing more money, rent’s going to go up and eventually you’re going to be alright on that. One other thing, you ask me for like one tip and I give you like seven.
Josh: Keep going.
Tim: Sorry. So wind me up, here we go. The other thing we do is we write the first hundred dollars worth of repairs are on the tenant. And the reason being is it avoids all the calls you were talking about, Brandon. So when someone calls hey you got a garbage disposal, well you got to re-hit the reset and that’s now a hundred dollars. Or I got a loose doorknob. Well thank you for telling me, I’ll put in on your record that we need to get that fixed.
So you kind of flip the script on in because once you start obtaining more properties, it’s going to be more challenging to man this. So we put the first hundred bucks is on them. We explain that these houses are our retirement. We’ll take care of you. It’s just that we can’t have a zillion different calls on little door knobs and things like that.
Brandon: That’s a great idea.
Josh: What’s the response to that?
Tim: It’s great. Once you explain it to them and just going, see it from our side but also to realize there’s no one that cares more about this house than me. This is not oh we have one rent house. You know we’ve got 19 quality, high-end rentals. Before we had some low-end apartments when we had a podcast a year a half ago, we cleared up all of the low end rental stuff and now it’s just quality stuff, portfolios worth about 8 million. It’s just quality stuff.
Josh: That’s great. That’s great. Also man. Anything else, Brandon?
Brandon: I’m up for anything. Any other final tips to leave us before we get out of here. Tim why don’t we get started?
Tim: Well yeah. I’m going to leave a couple of things here. A shameless plug, if I’m not allowed to plug something then we’re in trouble. I’ll send to you guys a copy of this book. What’s funny is, it’s made in…
Brandon: What’s it called?
Tim: My Wife Loves / Hates Rental Properties. It is what it is. I said it.
Josh: What is it, make a decision.
Tim: Exactly. But it’s 16 chapters. I’ve thought about it when I saw Scott, Trench and Mindy… in Denver. And I thought I’m going to write a book in a guy’s perspective on a chapter and a girl’s perspective. Guy, girl, guy girl. I’ve made my wife look like a Jetson lady. Not Mindy Jetson, but.
Josh: A little animated cartoon wife, yeah.
Tim: Exactly. But the reason why, all the money goes to a women’s shelter safe haven in Fort Worth, Texas. I’m not trying to make money off it. But what it’s for is when the guy’s into this and the girl’s not and vice versa. You got this book back and forth explaining the guy’s perspective and the girl’s perspective.
And what got me thinking about that is the book everyone recommends on your show, that guy wrote a lot of books and then Kim Kiyasaki wrote a lot of books and I read her book and it make me understand the female perspective. So the book is combined male and female perspective all in one.
And then the other thing that Mindy has is this is the coolest book I read in the last five years.
Josh: This is a radio show. You do realize you keep showing pictures. This is a radio show, man.
Brandon: Youtube also. Youtube also.
Tim: This beard is like a distractor beam.
Josh: It’s a distraction. It’s disgusting. But yeah.
Brandon: Attractive is the word you’re looking for.
Tim: It’s something. I think I see a cheetoh in it.
Brandon: I’m saving it for later, alright.
Tim: It’s Entrepreneurial Reflections. I just met the author about a month ago. He’s a 78-year old guy. His name is Bay Rodgers. And what’s great about it, like he did a deal where he bought a condo in the omni in downtown Forth Worth and he was worried that they were going to discount out the final units and it would hurt his value. And so he ended up writing in the contract that if you discount out any units, then I get the difference. So say it’s 40 bucks a square foot, he’s going to get it. So sure enough they tried to blow out a unit for 300 grand and his was a multi-million dollar unit. So he put a contract on the $300,000 unit and got it for like $23,000 because of the discount.
So anyway, his stuff is just super, a lot of real estate, a lot of higher end. It’s like a book for an older entrepreneur. It’s not a block in and tackling like Scott Trench’s life, which is a great book to get started with. This is kind of algebra and calculus. Cool little book.
Josh: Awesome. And obviously that would be your book recommendation.
Tim: There you go.
Josh: Well Tim, thank you for coming on and sharing your energy and your wisdom and we really appreciate it.
Tim: I appreciate it. And thank you all for doing this greatest hits podcast. It’s much appreciated.
Brandon: Where can people connect with you at? You got a website? Any of that?
Tim: Yeah. TimShiner, like a black guy, remember that, TimShiner.com and I’ve got a poster there that’s free. 25 Habits of a Future Millionaire. It’s got the podcast 221 before that I was on with you all. And I also want to recommend 242. Josh Randall’s. You and Josh are so freaking hilarious. And Brandon you are too but they just had to figure out which Josh was talking. Josh that dated her sister. That thing was crazy. That one made me cry. That’s my favorite one so far.
Brandon: That’s awesome. Alright, thank you for joining us today.
Tim: Thanks guys.
Brandon: Darren Sager, what’s up man? It’s been a while. We’ve been chatting recently. Remind the audience who you are. You’ve been in the show before. You’re all around BiggerPockets. But very briefly, let people know what your story is.
Darren: I’ve been a real estate investor since 1998 primarily investing in duplexes, small family homes near train stations with the easy commutes in and out of New York, New Jersey into Manhattan.
Brandon: That’s right. And the train station thing was I thought was very smart.
Darren: It was cool.
Brandon: And you’re also an agent, right?
Darren: I am an agent. I primarily work with investors. I got my license really because there were no agents that really understood what I was trying to do and it seems that a lot of agents are that way still to this day. And that could be another whole different conversation as it is, but yes.
Josh: That’s great. That’s great. So cool man. So you’ve been doing this for a long time. You’ve got a specific strategy that works well for you. And what was the show you were you previously?
Brandon: 48th right? That been a long time.
Josh: That was a long time ago. So if you guys have not listened to Darren’s entire show go to BiggerPockets.com/Episode48.
Darren: Last time I think Josh, you were down in the basement. And Brandon was in some closet in Washington state.
Josh: He’s usually in a closet somewhere.
Brandon: It has been too long.
Darren: Actually in some rural area right?
Brandon: Rural. Alright. Enough making fun of Brandon today.
Josh: So this is great. I miss this. I’m coming back, baby.
Brandon: I want to get to the topic of today’s show which is new investors, the best advice for getting started. So Dan, what is your best advice that you would give to a new investor when they get into real estate?
Darren: Simply put, focus. The biggest problem that a new investor has when they come in is that they get inundated with so much information. They sort of come out and try to get a shot gun approach just trying to make something happen. And real estate investing is a rather large area. So they actually try to learn too much too soon and they get overwhelmed by it. And if you’re doing too much in a very short period of time, you aren’t going to get anything done.
It’s kind of like use the analogy of building a house. If you’re a general contractor, you don’t build the entire house yourself. You know you go out and sub different aspects of it out to different people who are specializing in it. So I think it’s really important for an investor to come in and really just focus on one area that they can get into and work on that consistently on a daily basis. Just do a little bit every day towards that. Because otherwise, you’re just going to go in a thousand different directions and not actually get anything to happen.
Josh: So how does somebody, I mean we’re talking about newbies here, so how does a newbie even know what strategy to start with? How do they know what to focus on? What would you recommend?
Darren: I think probably the easiest thing for a newer person to invest in is probably some type of owner-occupied situation and a small multi-family house. Now I always consider it dipping your feet in the pool, I call landlord light, because by you owner-occupying a home, you don’t have like basically standard landlord-tenant relationships. In many states, again it depends on the state you’re in, but they’re more seen as a guest in your house per se and it’s a little bit easier to deal with situations should they come up.
So the very first thing I would do is get, if you’re starting off and want to get into this, is try to find, you know, two or three that you can possibly buy but it’s really work with the lenders, talk to a lender, find out exactly what you can do. I get people call me up all the time, you know, where should I be going or where should I invest, and the big question is what can you actually do?
You know? And if you’re not sitting on a lot of capital, you know, maybe an FHA loan is the way to go to get into a small multi-family, only put 3 and ½ percent down. But that’s probably the most sound advice to get involved into real estate investing. Get a small multi-family, see if you like it. Try to get into the absolute best place that you can, you know people would try to go into more challenging neighborhoods because they feel that the rate of return that they’re going to have is going to be greater than other places.
However, the experience that they’re going to have is not going to be one that could lead to actually having a very long term relationship with real estate investing. Like Josh, like yourself. I mean, look at you.
Josh: Oh, wow you’re dirty man. I mean I come back from a break and you’re just slugging, man. Ouch. No, it’s true. It’s true. Absolutely.
Darren: Josh, your bad experience in the end, we all have to be greatful for because if it wasn’t for you having a bad experience, we wouldn’t be talking at this very moment. So.
Brandon: Good point.
Josh: This is true. This is true. You talk about treating them like guests and I think that’s great. But do keep in mind you know obviously and you know this obviously, just that I want the listeners to know, you still got to make sure you’ve got proper paperwork. You do everything. You do it at a business-like level.
Darren: I don’t mean that you should be treating them like a house guest on a cordial level. That’s not what I mean. What I mean is that, I’m not an attorney and I only played one in a highschool drama, so you definitely should talk to your attorney about this. But it’s my understanding that the law perceives the tenants being in your residence different since they are underneath your roof versus a standard landlord-tenant relationship when you don’t occupy the unit on a small multi-family. There’s a lot more leeway that they give you and your ability to say yes and no to a tenant because again, it’s your home.
Brandon: Yeah that whole idea of house hacking, I like focusing on that because it’s such a good first step. I mean that’s how I started. You house hacked too right, in the beginning?
Brandon: Yeah. Like it’s such a good just intro thing. Now what about if you just like cannot do that for whatever reason. Let’s say their spouse will not live in a multi-family no matter what. Like how can somebody then go well should I just not invest in real estate, what is your back up plan for those people?
Darren: Well, obviously, I think it’s best that if you have a spouse that you’re both working towards the same goal. So Josh, when you came out a couple of years ago and did our meet up in New York, you literally did not talk about real estate investing. I don’t think at all.
Darren: So, but here’s the thing…
Josh: But people seem to like me, though. I think.
Darren: Absolutely. Now it was a great meet up. What you spoke about during that entire time was your “why”.
Josh: The purpose, yeah.
Darren: Right. Exactly. So if you’re not working towards that similar purpose then you’re not going to be on the same page no matter what it is that you try to do. You both have to have these similar goals on what it is you are trying to achieve. So you got to get your wife straight no matter what. It doesn’t matter what you can possible get into.
So if your spouse doesn’t want to go into a small multi-family and kind of take that step, then obviously you have to look at other prospective ways to getting in. If you don’t want a small multi-family, you’re going to have to put some more money down and you’re going to have to choose a market that hopefully your spouse will be comfortable going to in the middle of the night. You know you don’t want to get in those rough neighborhoods or it can be a little bit more challenging just to chase higher returns. Because again, you’re chasing higher returns but you’re also chasing what’s going to be an impact upon your time.
Alright? And it’s something that we really don’t talk about all that much. Everyone loves to talk about what’s the cap rate, what’s it going to be, what’s my internal rate of return. But what’s your time worth, right? Is it worth to get that double-digit return if it means that you’re getting texts in the middle of the night, you know, with issue after issue? For me, it’s not. I’m much more conservative in that way. I’d rather make less and have much more peace in my life.
Brandon: I couldn’t agree more, yeah. I think people have overlooked that a lot too. I mean Josh you started out at that level. I started out at that level. Like buy the dumpiest, cheapest house you can buy even if it’s in a little bit of a warzone or a little bit of a, yeah. I regret those. I mean I learned a lot but man, they’re not my good properties today.
Darren: Absolutely. And I think a lot of newer investors sometimes, if they’re working with an agent who is really driven upon making a sale, to making their living, then I don’t think that’s probably the best agent they should be working with. I don’t think that in our reality that when it comes to working with a real estate agent that you should be working with an agent who doesn’t walk the walk. If they don’t have income-producing properties and they’re just out there providing new things saying you should buy this or because they’re not going to add value I think to the day after the sale. Anyone can really go out and make a sale as a real estate agent. And it’s kind of funny, Michelle, my girlfriend, she just took the real estate exam. She said they covered real estate investing, she said, for one paragraph in the 75-hour class here in New Jersey. But that was it.
So now suddenly with the real estate license, we can go out as real estate agents and sell someone a billion dollar property, a million dollar investment, and they only covered it for literally, she said, five minutes.
Brandon: Yeah that’s crazy. It’s so true though, most agents out there have little training. So I think I would actually have it as a good second tip from you right? Is to find an investor-friendly agent that can help you focus. To get your focus, find an agent who can help you do that.
Josh: When I got my license, it was the same thing. I don’t think I spent three minutes on investing as an agent. So Darren, listen, great advice. We really do appreciate it. Before we let you go, we’d love a book recommendation from you.
Darren: Let’s see. I think this was the last recommendation I had. It’s Hamburger America. But I think it got thrown out. Actually I’d probably say, my most prized book that I have in my collection is actually this one.
Brandon: Hey that’s my book!
Darren: So I don’t know if you are aware but this is actually the very first printed copy.
Josh: What is the book the way?
Darren: The Book on No Money Down by Brandon Turner. So yeah, the very first printing that was ever done and you actually sent it to my house.
Brandon: Yup, I sent it to you.
Darren: You sent two of these and I absolutely, really, this is my prized collection. But if I have to say a book right now that’s been a huge impact is probably Kris Boss’ Never Split the Difference. This is a fantastic book.
Josh: Oh yeah. Amazing book.
Darren: Everywhere you can apply it. And also, what I’ve really been getting into recently is Phil M. Joan’s Exactly What To Say.
Brandon: I’ve seen that but I haven’t gotten it yet.
Darren: It is a fantastic book. Go check it out.
Brandon: Sweet. I will. Alright well where can people find out more about you? Where can they connect with you at?
Darren: Josh do you believe I don’t even have a website?
Josh: I believe it. I know you.
Brandon: You’re on BiggerPockets and you’re on the amazing meet up.
Darren: I’m on BiggerPockets. Absolutely, yes. We do a good meet up. You’ve been a guest. Now that you’re going to Hawaii I don’t know how we’re going to be able to lure you back halfway around the world.
Brandon: Just do the meet up in Maui, it will be much better.
Josh: Peter Luger’s fancy steak.
Darren: You can me at BiggerPockets or you can email me at [email protected]. That’s the best way to get a hold of me.
Brandon: Perfect. Well, thank you.
Josh: Thanks Darren. eyheyhh
Brandon: Alright Ben Leybovich, welcome to the show. And let me first say congratulations on the recent closing. You just bought an apartment complex.
Ben: I sure did. As Burk says, welcome to the club. I’m in the club now. And for you guys, I know that one of you came out of a closet. I want you to know that for you, I don’t just look good, I also smell good. This is sex panther, as you can see. This is my go-to cologne for the sexy meetings.
Brandon: It’s made of real panther so you know it’s good.
Ben: There you go.
Josh: Oh man, it’s so musky in here.
Brandon: Wow. That’s really funny you have that cologne. That’s hilarious.
Josh: The fact that he has it next to him.
Brandon: He probably carries it with him all day long.
Ben: You just walked right into it and I just kicked the door wide open for you. There you go. Sex Panther, baby.
Brandon: That’s hilarious. Alright, for those people who don’t know you, and like who the heck is this guy. Ben, tell us your life story and…
Ben: Who those people be?
Brandon: Yeah, I don’t know who they are. You’ve been on this show now this is your 4th time on BiggerPockets podcast.
Josh: You do realize that everytime he comes to this show he cries to us, please I want to beat out all these other guys.
Ben: No, not the other guys. Just Burk. It’s important for me to beat out Burk. I mean this is the one thing I can actually beat him out of and so I want to make sure and do that with you. Can you walk with me.
Josh: Tone it down a little bit. We’ll get there man. Come on.
Brandon: I like the beating Burk. That’s ok. By the way Burk, he has a place in Maui so me and Burk are going to hang out next week? I’m going to go see him, do you know that? We’re going to talk about you.
Anyway, we got to do this. So Ben, who are you, what do you do in real estate? One minute.
Ben: I’m Ben Leybovich. I was…
Brandon: Moving on…I’m just kidding.
Ben: I was a professionally-trained violinist, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I needed to figure out what to do to myself because punching the clock wasn’t going to be the wisest thing to do according to docs and will all the things I had intellectual, well you know real estate turned out to be the most optimal decision, I thought. And so I got in.
The other reason I got in is I was plain stupid just like everybody else. Who does real estate unless you’re stupid? You got to be stupid.
Josh: this is a newbie show, Ben. Stop it. Stop it.
Brandon: By the way, you were episode number 14, number 61 and number 152. I encourage people to go out and go listen to those. It has his full story.
Ben: Yes. And throughout all of them, I am Sex Panther. Just say it, just say it.
Brandon: That’s going to be your new nickname. Alright. So Ben “Sex Panther” Leybovich. You got into real estate. You’re a multi-family guy, you just bought a 98-unit.
Ben: 98 units. It’s a 10-million dollar deal. It’s going to be 15 when I’m done with it in 3 years from now.
Brandon: That’s fantastic. But let’s go back to the beginning. I mean, what is your tip? What is the number one tip you have for people who are just getting started today?
Ben: Well my number one tip, I think, has nothing to do with real estate. it has to do with self. You have to know who you are and you have to know cycles. Like everybody always talks about the real estate side cycle and every kind of market cycle. Well the people don’t understand usually is that we as humans, as people, go through cycles. And doing something that is akin to trying to shove a square peg into a round hole with regard to where you are in you know, your like intellectual wealth state is a big, huge mistake I think.
People don’t give that enough credit. You can’t do something before you are ready to do it. Both spiritually and logically, you kind of have the worth up here.
Brandon: So what do you mean by cycle, a personal cycle? Josh is like in 3rd grade level.
Josh: Ben, I mean I’ve interviewed you for probably like 4 to 5 hours now on this podcast. And I got to tell you, I don’t know what the hell you are talking about.
Ben: Well, the reason you can’t relate is because you’ve been stuck in the 5-year old cycle ever since you were 5. So you don’t have a hurdle to relate to, right?
Josh: This is true. I take pride in these things.
Brandon: Alright. Tell us what it means. Cycle. What is that?
Ben: So when you are listening to this podcast, and you started listening to Ben Leybovich you started buying duplexes, and then sixplexes, and then tenplexes, and then a hundred unit sindicated and all that. You are like, I want to do that. The thing you don’t understand is that it took me five years, took me five years, like I heard talk about sindication, and I said this makes sense kinda-sorta, but it took me five years to grow into understanding what that process, what that generally is about.
I need people to kind of be cognizant on the fact that you are not ready until you are ready to do something. And we’re all about hurrays. We all about, you know, high-fives and all that stuff. That’s not real life. You need to know what your highest and best use in this moment will be. If it’s a duplex, that’s what it is. Don’t push it. You will make a mistake. If you have enough intellectual worth to understand how to do a hundred unit and raise 3.5 million dollars from partners and all that stuff, if you have it, great. Do that.
But that’s the biggest mistake I see people make. Is trying to jump into the pants of somebody that they haven’t grown into. And that’s where you make the mistakes and you got to be careful. And the other piece of it is that we change. There was a time that I was a duplex guy. And there was a time I was a cash flow guy. I’m not a cash flow guy anymore. Because sindication is not a cashflow play and that’s a whole ‘nother conversation. But I’m not that guy anymore. But it took time to develop the intellectual worth to be able to see things from a different focal point.
Brandon: How do you balance between this idea of, I want to grow, I want to push myself to the next level, but I want to know myself and what I’m capable of. So how how would you balance that, between pushing to the next level, you weren’t a 98-unit kind of guy before, right? You were a smaller multi-family. So how do you know how to push yourself to the next level without getting in over your head?
Ben: That’s a really good question. I don’t know the answer to that question really. You just know internally. What I’m saying is pay attention to self and pay attention to your cycles. Because this is not something that you can necessarily rationalize. This is something you know internally where you are. Intellectually and spiritually and emotionally. Where you are.
You know I am not big on high-fives and hurrays and if I can do it, you can do it. Maybe you can, maybe you can’t. And that’s fine. We need both. We need you and we need me. You know? That’s ok. You sure as hell can’t be a sex panther. But that’s ok too.
Josh: Ben, how do you know you’re ready? You know you just skip from jumping to a duplex to you know to a big old 90, what was it 91 units? I don’t know what it was.
Ben: Josh, Josh, 98.
Josh: Well, it’s not a hundred. It’s what it’s not. So the question I have, this is a beginners show right? So you’re jumping on a sub hundred units here, obviously. And how does somebody know that they’re even ready to start? How about that?
Ben: I knew when to start because my back was to the wall. That’s a very interesting conversation. My partner Sam Grooms left a big six-figure job, a publicly-traded company, has a CPA, worked directly with SEC, to go into real estate. Ok? He left something. There was a lot he could have lost by leaving. I didn’t. I go on these podcasts and everybody tells me, oh man you’re a struggle, you’re a mess, how much you had to overcome.
No. I did not have anything that I was losing. My back was to the wall. It was this or what? So how do you know that you are ready? You know that you are ready. That’s all I can tell you. You know that you are ready. And you’re never ready. When you put $200,000 cash on the line without a finance contingency, not knowing if you’re going to raise the money to be able to close on the deal, you only do that if you are ready to do that. But that’s how you know that you are ready to do that because you do it.
Brandon: That’s deep.
Josh: Alright, Ben. Well listen, man, you got to stop inhaling that perfume. It’s doing something to your head. But thank you for your time. Before we let you go, give us a book recommendation. What are you enjoying these days?
Ben: Not these days but the book that started everything for me was actually by Nickerson. William Nickerson. I think it was How I spent my 5,000 into 5 million or something like that it’s called. You can find it on. It’s an old book. I don’t know if it’s been re-published or what. I remember I got it at a library. I know everybody’s talking about Rich Dad and all that. All that is good. And this is not an apartment book. This is just a book on how you start with very little and how you bridge into a little more, into a little more, into. That mindset, starting with a little and bridging things, finding a way to bridge, the equity bridge or experience bridge and that worth. That book started me looking for the answers basically.
Josh: That’s great. Awesome man.
Brandon: Where can people connect with you at or find out more about you?
Ben: Besides BiggerPockets, they can email me through my website JustAskBenWhy.com and they can find me on Facebook or Twitter or something like that.
Josh: Or at your local perfume store.
Ben: Listen, I get it online. It’s black market. You can’t buy this stuff.
Josh: Ben, good chatting. Good luck to you. Go for a hundred next time, man. A little short this time.
Ben: That’s funny. Great to be with you guys.
Brandon: Take it easy.
Brandon: Alright, Zeona, welcome back to the BiggerPockets podcast. How are you?
Zeona: Great! Thanks for having me.
Brandon: So Josh wasn’t on the last episode with you, is he?
Zeona: No. So Josh knows nothing.
Brandon: Josh knows nothing.
Josh: Wow. That’s what my kids think but now that it’s public, I’m screwed. We did meet at one of our BiggerPockets meet up, so. And I remembered that, shockingly.
Zeona: I know. It’s because I’m strikingly beautiful.
Josh: You’ve got like glitter shimmering down your hair.
Zeona: Burning man.
Brandon: I was going to ask if you were at Burning Man because I thought I remember you saying that so that was cool. When does that start?
Josh: Have fun.
Josh: Glad we’re doing the interview now and not next week.
Zeona: Yeah. A lot less glitter.
Brandon: That’s right. A lot less glitter. So tell us who you are and what’s your real estate kind of story in the next 60 seconds. Go.
Zeona: I’m Zeona McIntyre. And I do real estate through AirBNB. So I now own six properties but I started with nothing. I just started renting out a room in a house that I was renting. And then it kind of grew into renting a few different apartments and then I’ve also segued into managing properties for other people. So now, we manage, on top of my six properties, we manage another 20 all over the world.
So it’s definitely something that’s super doable to people that don’t have any properties on their own and they can use other people’s properties to get into it and build a whole bunch of savings and wealth through that and then segue into buying their own properties. Sometimes you can actually do an AirBNB through a spare room in your house or your basement. So I really think it’s an accessible tool for people wanting to get started.
Josh: So what would you, what would be your tip then? I mean your tip might be in the lines of what you did, maybe not. What would your tip be for somebody just starting out?
Zeona: Yeah. I think it’s important to really just get started. That’s why airbnb is such a great tool is that you don’t need to own anything. You generally live somewhere. If you’re on a trip or you go camping or whatever. If you have a spare room, you can make money off of that so start renting that out, fix up your basement, rent out the RV that’s parked on your driveway. Get creative. I even know people that rent a tent in their backyard and they pay for like half their mortgage with that.
Josh: So tents.
Zeona: That’s what it is, yeah. Glamping.
Josh: Get out.
Zeona: A tent and a fire pit baby.
Josh: Hold on, hold on. The rest of it all you know I can get around so basically, they’ve got a property. They’ve got a yard. They’ve got a tent set up on the property. Are you in San Franciso?
Zeona: No. Why San Francisco? Is it like that expensive?
Josh: That’s a homeless guy.
Zeona: No but this was in Colorado Springs and in Colorado Springs, the camping, you know the camp grounds just fill up. They’re so popular. And these people were like well let’s see what the camp grounds charge and they found out that it was 50 bucks a night and they were like sweet. We’re opent o open space. Let’s just put them here and say there are hiking trails. They didn’t even provide a tent. They made them bring their own. But they had a little fire pit and they provided some s’mores fixings and that was it.
Josh: That’s hysterical.
Brandon: What I like about this idea is that even if you can’t afford to buy a property as you were saying, you probably have an extra bedroom. Even if you’re renting, you probably have an extra bedroom in your rental, right? It’s just doing something. Because doing something is better than doing nothing, right?
Actually my very first rental, I had a 4 bedroom apartment I rented out in college. I rented out all 4 rooms eventually and I slept in the couch. And I was living for free. Making money to live on the couch, which you know I wouldn’t do today but it was something, right? Taking control of your finances instead of just being dragged around.
Josh: So that works. I mean, I think that works pretty well when you’re I think in your 20’s or younger. You know. I wouldn’t know how many folks in their 50’s or 70’s would want to necessarily rent out a room in their house to somebody. What would you say to somebody in that position? Would it be a similar advice, or?
Zeona: Well it depends. Because I found out that a lot of empty nesters sort of miss having younger people around and so they do like renting out their spare room. But a lot of people have like a separate entrance basement. And that’s the way to do it as like a grown up. Ok, sweet. You know, you just rent it out and you don’t even have to interact with the people. You just provide them a really thorough house manual and they know how to get in and yeah. You just do the cleaning yourself if you want to go, you know, super basic.
Brandon: So that’s exactly what I just did. So we just bought a triplex in Maui. I’m going to live in one unit for a while. The back unit, I’m going to rent out traditionally because I’m not really in love with vacation rentals. But the basement, we’ll just rent out on AirBNB. You know when people aren’t coming to visit you know like friends and family but like
Josh: I haven’t been invited yet.
Zeona: Me either.
Brandon: No, I have been in talks with Josh’s wife and you are on my calendar for coming out. So you may not know that but Josh, you are actually booked. You are my first booking.
Brandon: And you know how much I’m going to charge you?
Josh: That’s what I’m talking about. That’s family right there.
Brandon: I’m going to charge you a lot for that.
Josh: Oh you son of a.
Brandon: Anyway, Zeona you’re invited anytime. And anyone listening to the show, you’re not invited.
Josh: That’s such a bad idea.
Brandon: I just said you’re not invited. No, I mean the way I looked at that is that going to help live in a cool area or even if you live in a not cool area. I was surprised. I did a vacation rental for a short time and that was in Grey’s Harbor, Washington. Not a tourist area at all and I still had it booked like almost every single night because people do naturally travel whether or not it’s in a vacation place or not. Have you found out the same thing?
Brandon: Like have you found areas that are best or worst for vacation rentals?
Zeona: Well I think if you’re in a city, you just have more traffic like in general. And I like areas near college towns because there’s just a lot happening with that. There’s a lot of events and there’s a lot of students and parents, traveling professors. So that’s usually what I’m looking for. Hospitals also have a lot of travelling nurses so there’s also a lot going on there. And basically yeah.
Recently I was in St. Louise and I did a little meet up and they were some people in Illinois, just over the river and I thought well oh this is a bustling little town. It was nowhere. It was the middle of nowhere and I went out there and they’re booked all summer. They have this attic space that they converted and I was amazed that people were totally into boonies but they loved it. So I just think it’s so popular now that you can do it almost anywhere.
Josh: So you’re saying you can take pretty much any kind of property and any kind of room, and this is true, Brandon, look at the guy who works for us that has a trailer. He bought a trailer. He lives in a condo and bought a trailer. Moved into the trailer and AirBNBs his house. It’s amazing. I guess there’s a demand to travel and some people don’t care where they are, right?
Zeona: Yeah. The coolest part about AirBNB is that I know people who just have one unit and live off of that. And with a traditional long-term, you can’t, I mean I don’t know, I feel like no one can do that. You know? If you’re making on 3 to 500 extra a month off your mortgage, you need like tons of properties. You need 15 properties to replace your income. But a lot of people can do 4 to 5,000 a month on AirBNB plus they can go live in a van or just travel full time. So it is like, I don’t know, a game changer for real estate. I think.
Brandon: Awesome. So do you have any tips? I mean you’ve been managing your own and other people’s, now do you have any simple tips about managing? You know like things that people just get wrong? Just real quick. Like this would make your experience just a whole lot better?
Zeona: Pricing software. I’ve switched to that. For the longest time I was like I know better than anyone, I’m just going to do all my prices. And then I got too many listings you know and then finally I’ll pay for it. And pricing software, I swear, gave me like 70% more. I mean they are just dates that I never expected or prices that I thought was way too high that would never book for and it does. And so that’s been a really good game changer so if you even have one listing, just pay for it.
Brandon: How much does that cost?
Zeona: It’s like 1% but if you think of all the different softwares you’re like oh, everybody takes a percentage what am I going to have at the end. So I was a little hesitant at first but man, it really made a difference.
Josh: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Cool. And last question here is how much work is it actually to manage these properties? So you know, I’m excited I want to rent a room, I want to rent my garage, my basement, whatever it is, but how much time are you actually spending doing that? And obviously you’re doing more than just one but you know, for somebody getting started, what would that be?
Zeona: If it’s just in your house, I don’t think it’s going to be that time consuming. But you’re kind of taking on a side hustle, there’s a part-time job associated with it because there is guest communication. When you have as many as I do, there’s less work because there is so many automations that you can do. But yeah, I think around 3 to 5 it becomes a part-time job and you really have to think about like this is hospitality, it’s not long term. I’ve got to be like turning it all the time.
But then it also really depends if you’re cleaning it or not. Because cleaning obviously can be a lot of work. Even if it’s one bedroom in your house, yeah maybe it’s half an hour but like are you available in the middle of the day to like leave your stuff at work and then come and clean the house. So you know, because people generally check out at like 11 or 12.
So just kind of things like that you really have to think do you really have the flexibility to do this?
Josh: Yeah. That’s great.
Brandon: The one vacation rental I had for a while out here in Greys Harbor I ended up not doing it after a while. I sold the property. It just ended up being, like you said, just one property, I did not have the efficiency to handle numerous ones. So all that work for one, I probably could have had 10 of no more work if not less work because of that.
And so I said I’d probably not get back into it unless I have a large enough volume to make it worthwhile. But I am at a different point in my investing right? I have a hundred other properties to take care of so that like one took up so much of my time. But if I was getting started all over again, or if a bought a place in Hawaii, I mean of course. Like you do what you got to do to get started, right? So that’s fantastic.
Zeona: Totally. If you can live for free in Hawaii, nobody can do that. So that’s amazing. Do it.
Brandon: I’m going to do it. So cool. You want to ask it Josh? You look like you were going to ask it. I don’t want to steal your thunder.
Josh: Well I’m not the host anymore so you know I don’t get to boss you around or at least on the show. But yeah. I’ll take this one. What book recommendations do you have?
Zeona: Oh you said recommendations, does that mean I get two.
Josh: You only get one.
Brandon: You can have one for Josh and one for me. I’ll give you two. I’m a nicer guy than Josh.
Zeona: Ok. The one I want to say is Never Split The Difference because I think negotiation in life is huge and I found out about that book through listening to your podcast. So Kris Boss was on there and it was incredible. So that’s one of the books that like by the time I was done reading it I wanted to start reading it again because it was just so meaty. And I wanted to really ingrain those skills so I will have to revisit it.
Josh: By the way, that’s the second time that’s has been mentioned on this podcast. I mean that’s good.
Zeona: Ok. I wanted to also talk about The Way Of The Peaceful Warrior. So I know everybody wants to talk about business books but in business, if you want to have your own spiritual awakening, start your own business because it’s really all about you. It’s about your limits, your beliefs, and like you getting your stuff straight. And so if you don’t have yourself in check about what is possible, then you’re not going to grow. And so that book is all about the magic of what you can create, you know, and believing in yourself. So anyway, it’s a really good book but it’s more spiritual.
Brandon: Cool. I’ve not read it.
Josh: Excellent. Where can people find you?
Zeona: ZeonaMcIntyre.com Just my first and last name.
Brandon: Spell it.
Zeona: Z-E-O-N-A, McIntyre, M-C-I-N-T-Y-R-E. And I have a blog and other podcasts, lots of recommendations for software. Good spot.
Brandon: Alright. Good deal. Well, thank you Zeona, we’ll talk to you again soon.
Josh: Appreciate it.
Josh: Alright, Anson, welcome to the show man. It’s good to have you.
Anson: Good to have you guys. This is a real treat to have both of you here in my life again.
Brandon: Yeah that’s usually what they say when they get me and Josh. They get a treat. We’re a treat.
Josh: We’re not going anywhere.
Anson: No I know you’re not going anywhere, but.
Josh: We’re like a virus.
Brandon: Alright so Anson has been on the BiggerPockets podcast not once, not twice, but three times. He was on episodes 34, 96 and 235. He also wrote a book for BiggerPockets called Finding and Funding Great Deals. Did I get it right?
Josh: He had this look of fear.
Brandon: I know. What if it was Finding and Funding Decent Deals.
Anson: Decent thing. We can do that.
Brandon: Alright. So for those who have not heard you though, tell us who you are and what are you in real estate. You have one minute, go.
Anson: Alright. So I live in Denver. I am a Fix and Flipper. A wholesaler, whole-tailer. I’m also licensed so I do occasional license stuff. Right now, I’m working on expanding and refining systems here. I am expanding out into other markets and getting into long-term cash flow which Brandon has been kicking my butt about for years now. So that’s my focus for the next year but I’m still doing Fix and Flips, I’m still doing that thing.
Brandon: Cool. Alright.
Josh: Excellent. Alright. So this show, you know, we’re talking to people about their best tips and so we’d love to hear what is your number one tip for newbies other than don’t let your wife cut your hair.
Anson: That’s number one.
Brandon: My wife cuts my hair. My wife does a good job, I just don’t style it very well alright? Geeze, these guys. Everyone’s a comedian.
Anson: You got a good foundation, you’re just not doing enough with it. We got it. Alright. So my number one, I’m going to cheat a little. I’m going to say is to be specific and persistent. And so inside of there, I want to instill in the the newbies that you have to stick with it and you have to have this consistency thing that people talk about.
And the persistent piece, the specific piece would be laser focus. I know I’ve talked about this before a little bit but when I started out I did not have laser focus. It’s like a shiny object everywhere. And of course when you’re starting out, you can read you know ten different BiggerPockets books and twenty different forum things and then you have forty different things that you are trying to go pursue. But if you laser focus on just one thing, let’s say wholesaling, and you run after it with consistency, you’re going to be successful.
You can go after those shiny objects once you kind of mastered and made some money in that laser-focused niche.
Josh: Got it. So pick a niche, pick a strategy.
Brandon: Niche. Josh, Niche.
Josh: I could bust you. And then focus on that and go, just go all out and learn everything you can. Is that what you’re trying to say?
Anson: Yes, exactly. It’s that laser focus and be consistent. You can’t just try it out for a month and see if it’s for you. And then quit because it didn’t work out that month. You got to devote some time and effort and energy over a long run for that to work out.
Brandon: You know I heard this really good analogy one time. It was like, this guy was saying there are two islands. You live on this one island and they call it paradise island, you know, whatever. There’s the reality island and the dream island, we’ll call it that. And he’s like everything you do, wholesaling, or you’re going to start an Amazon business or you’re going to whatever, it doesn’t matter, anything that you do for financial freedom is like building a bridge. And it takes a long time to build that bridge one island to the other and what people do is they build half the bridge, man this is taking a long time, so they go back to the beginning and they start building another bridge, and then another.
Some people have dozens of bridges started across this thing but they never do it. That instead they could have just focused on building that one bridge, they would get there. And then they could go play with many bridges that they wan to because they’ve got that one done. That really made a big impact when I heard that.
Anson: Right. No that’s huge. And then you can branch off from that one island.
Anson: And that new island might be financial security or making more in a month than some people do in a year. And that gives you so many options at that point, you could build that bridge for long-term wealth or cash flow or more Amazon businesses or whatever you want.
Josh: I think far too many people in entrepreneurship, you know make no mistake, being a real estate investor is being an entrepreneur. I think far too many people fail because they quit. And you know that seems pretty obvious but they quit before they had a chance to get anywhere. And you know it’s this instant gratification thing that we have that hey if I don’t get there in five minutes or my first try then I’m going to give up.
Well guess what, the people who are the most successful in this world, in real estate, and everything else, are the people who struggled and got there and were willing to fight it out. Right?
Brandon: Well I actually tell people about Josh all the time. I mean, look at Josh. He’s not a very good looking guy. You know his intelligence is a little lower.
Josh: I have nothing going for m.
Brandon: He’s got really nothing going for him, but the fact that Josh worked at his basement for ten years before I have even emerged to somewhat helping Josh. Josh, your persistence on that one thing is what made you successful. That’s why 90% of the businesses fail. They wouldn’t have done what you did.
Anson, the same thing about you. You’ve been flipping like forever now and most people wouldn’t have gotten through those tough first years.
Anson: Yeah, exactly. And even you know that’s kind of like the long-term strategy. But even the tiny thing on the day-to-day business like someone will say hey I tried direct mail and it didn’t work. Well how many did you send, how often did you send, and who did you send it to. Well I sent 500 out one time and then they quit.
And of course you’re not going to see results there. You’re not pushing the snowball down the hill to gain that momentum. And so, and it’s one of that, oh I tried networking and it didn’t work. Well, did you spend that whole year networking?
Josh: I smiled at that one guy and he walked away.
Brandon: I went to the gym one time and I didn’t get a six pack and thought this sucks and I quit. They lied.
Anson: Aww, man. You went to Great Cuts once and they were like I can’t do this anymore.
Josh: I’m doing it myself.
Anson: I’m cutting it myself.
Brandon: I didn’t cut my own hair.
Josh: You got to flow, B. It’s all good.
Brandon: Alright, Anson, so my question to you then, to take this off of my hair, when do you grit and when do you quit? I like that phrase, right, when to grit, when to quit. I didn’t create that, I heard that in a book. But like how do you know? Let’s say you’ve been working on wholesaling for two years and you’ve not made any money. Or you’ve been flipping for two years, three, years, at what point, how do you know it’s not enough and that it’s just not going to work out for you? You don’t have the personality or the luck or whatever?
Anson: That’s a great question. And I love that grit concept. I think the Angela Duckworth Grit book is one of my favorites from last year. That whole concept, and that’s important right? When to throw the towel. And I think if you’re doing the right things, if you’re taking the right actions with the right consistency, I don’t see a way that you can honestly fail. There must be something in your process, or something that you’re doing that is not creating the results that you want.
But before throwing in the towel, I would definitely get with somebody who’s more successful than you. BiggerPockets is a good platform, not just to keep plugging, but this concept of a nationwide network is something that I’ve been formulating in my head. Where I kind of saw a turn in my business is this nationwide network of investors wherein I can call somebody in Portland and talk business about Fix and Flip.
It’s different than sitting down and talking to someone, you know, across the coffee table here in Denver because I’m not a threat to the guy in Portland. I mean technically. I mean I’m not technically a threat to the guy in Denver either. There’s enough business to go around. But when you can see down and have a phone conversation with somebody who can open up their entire books and say this is exactly what I’m doing, this is exactly who I’m mailing, this is what I’m sending, it’s huge.
I would recommend that before throwing in your towel, try and get help inside your processes. Because it could be as simple as, oh you’re mailing to the wrong list or you’re talking to the wrong kind of people.
Josh: Yeah. So that’s really, really great advise. And I would say I concur. You know. I have had some of the smartest people on the planet supposedly tell me to quit early in on the business and I knew that I would be successful despite what they thought. And so you know that’s not always true but as long as you continue to make headway and progress, I just can’t see failure as an option. But that’s just me, right? I mean.
Brandon: I think that a lot of people, you mentioned the word process and that’s one of my favorite words, my favorite concepts. Like everything comes down to the process that we do right? Everything in our life is like a process. I mean, you don’t have a six pack because you’re not doing the right process, right? I mean not you. You have an amazing six pack not that I’ve seen it.
Brandon: But I mean, you don’t have a six pack because you’re not doing the right process. You’re not a successful wholesaler or a flipper or a rental owner because you’re not doing the right process. Get that process nailed down and then figure out why are you not doing the process correctly. How many deals are you offering on? Oh none, well weird you didn’t get any accepted because you did not offer on any. How many did you analyze? Oh you did not analyze on any, well you did not offer any, you know, it’s like processes.
So anyway I think that’s perfect to get somebody else who can expose what you’re doing wrong in your process.
Anson: Yeah. I mean this isn’t rocket science, I mean, this formula is out there of how to create a successful you know, whatever, wholesaler in business, fix and flip, whatever you want to do. If you’re not having success, there’s something wrong with what you’re doing first of all. And then people, I think they’re throwing the towel too early.
I mean if they’re going with two years with no results, you should have, you know a year and a half ago, got help. Honestly.
Josh: That’s great. Awesome, awesome. Anson, thank you so much for the insight. Before we let you go, what would you say, besides Grit, would be your new book recommendation?
Anson: Alright. So this is thanks to Brandon. I think Brandon Burchard’s Hgh Performance Habits was my favorite book this year.
Brandon: I love that book.
Anson: And I’ve been trying to dig really deep into that book and into him as an author and speaker and all the things that he does, I feel like he gets that kind of process. And his process is how to become a high performer. And a lot of concepts in that book are stuff I haven’t read, regurgitated in a bunch of other books which by now there’s a lot of regurgitation going on but it’s a fresh look at kind of that whole concept. And so thanks for that recommendation, Brandon. I think I saw it on your instagram or something. It’s an amazing book.
Brandon: Yeah, I do like it a lot.
Josh: Excellent. Well, before we let you go, where can people get in touch, how can they reach out to you?
Anson: Usually I just point people towards my BiggerPockets profile. So just look up Anson Young. I’m at BiggerPockets, find me there somewhere. And you can just reach out and send me a message and we’ll link up from there.
Josh: Perfect. Excellent. Alright man well thank you so much for coming on, we really appreciate it.
Anson: Thank you guys. Again, it’s a treat having you both.
Josh: Always a treat. Alright, Anson.
Brandon: Alright, Dr. Meadows, how are you doing? Good to have you back on the show.
Kenyon: Well, I really appreciate the opportunity. Thanks for having me back.
Brandon: Yeah, so what have you been up to? I mean it’s been a while, I remember, you were a while ago. So what have you been up to since you were last on the show?
Kenyon: Well continuing to, number one, work full time position oncologist but I certainly continue to invest. I think a little over a year ago, I was on on this show and at that time I had seven single-family rentals which has since grown to ten. So still acquiring some properties on the main Jacksonville market. continue to do a lot of private lending both online and off. So flipping some houses, got lots of crowd funding projects going on. Most are doing ok. Some have not. And they’re working themselves out. So that’s been it. And of course doing occasional podcast promotion of my book. You know? That’s enough, man.
Brandon: What’s the book called?
Kenyon: The book’s called Alternative Financial Medicine. And it basically chronicles my path into investing in alternative assets in which real estate is a big portion of it. Also some other stuff you know like peer-to-peer lending and that kind of stuff. I’ve tried out a bunch of different things.
Brandon: Typical. Typical. Alright. Let’s get to the topic of today’s show to of course is advice to new investors. To people who are just starting out they want to buy their first deal, what do you got? What are you going to tell those people?
Kenyon: Well for me when it comes down to it finding an in person mentor. Okay you know I’m an academic at heart so I know how to really study a topic and so I read all the classic books, Rich Dad Poor Dad and everything, but when it’s time to pull the trigger I really felt like I needed an in person mentor. You know much like medicine right? No matter how much schooling you get in the classroom you got to do a residency working underneath a doctor so I was like let me find somebody who’s out there doing this rental thing, doing this house flipping thing that I can talk to, see how it actually works and talk to people who have invested in them so that was the main confident step from me.
Brandon: That’s cool. It’s almost like a law school like back in the day, everybody was, apprentice was how you do it right? Blacksmith apprentice or whatever and that kind of went I away for I don’t know the last couple of whatever 50 years.
Kenyon: Exactly you know we’re in such this information age right where I think people, and it’s great, but I think sometimes people can delude themselves into thinking like I’ll just talk an online course or just watch youtube videos and that but you cannot replace that one-on-one mentoring.
Brandon: So why personal mentoring? Why not just pay $50,000 to some guy you know on TV and, why somebody in person?
Kenyon: Well to be honest with you part of my education was discovering you guys podcast and while you guys always are, you wouldn’t totally slam gurus out there selling courses
Brandon: Some of us would.
Kenyon: I guess got the sense that was an unnecessary step to go. It seemed like most of the comments in that regard we’re kind of like you don’t certainly have to go that route because I certainly considered it, I had the financial mean to do it but I’m like hey let me find somebody local who’s not a guru and is just maybe interested in educating an investor that might wind up partnering with them and stuff like that so you guys had something to do with that.
Brandon: Awesome that’s awesome. Yeah I do know people who have paid very expensive, paid mentors and stuff
Brandon: Some have worked out just fine. Some people spent a lot of money and are not in real estate right now.
Kenyon: Well right and for some people, some people, right? Some people need to spend over a certain threshold where they like got so much invested and they’re going to take action because they outlaid that much amount of money.
Kenyon: So for some people, and I know people like that too but I didn’t feel like I kind of overpay but I certainly thought that just getting around somebody and it wasn’t so much of a monetary thing, I demonstrated that I had studied a lot on my own that was willing to do deals as long as I could get some comfort level and they were more than willing to sit down with me and walk me through things so yeah.
Brandon: Yeah that’s so true. Why would a mentor like from their standpoint want to work with somebody like, if somebody would like listen to this well I got to go and work with somebody I got nothing, I’m not bringing anything to the table, I’ll waste their time. Why would a mentor work with someone who’s new?
Kenyon: Well I will say this right, if you come up to them, you haven’t demonstrated that you have any value to bring, meaning like after a few minutes of talking with these prospective mentors it was obvious to them what I have studied about what it meant to be a landlord, what it meant to be a private lender. I knew at least the lingo and all that kind of stuff so that gave them comfort and ease to say well ok the guys actually really motivated, he’s a physician for God sake, and had to learn about this so they took me very seriously. If you don’t have money or expertise but demonstrate that hey I’m willing to do those kind of like grunt work kind of thing that you have of mailing out letters or just calling people, all that kind of unglamorous kind of stuff, I think if you tell somebody upfront that you’re willing to do that, that’s tremendous value too. So you know you got to have something though because people can get hit up all the time for people that want some of their time and expertise and let’s just be honest it’s valuable so you know they want something to reciprocate.
Brandon: Yup sure that’s true even if you think you don’t have value you probably have something some grunt work you can do if nothing else. And just what you said, just having the education, showing that you’ve at least done something, you’ve researched and you’ve learned, you’re not just relying on them for a free ride trying to let them do everything. A lot of people make that mistake looking for a mentor to teach them versus guide them.
Kenyon: And then ironically too kind of like the highest level these people like really awesome real estate entrepreneurs like when it comes to folks like me a money partner, like the highest level they don’t even want uneducated money partners, they want people to know like what could go wrong in the deal and that kind of thing and so they won’t even work with you unless you have some degree of education because they don’t want to have to explain if things go wrong like what happened to that degree you know what I mean so yeah.
Brandon: That’s true. Alright a bit of a question, where do you find a mentor at? Where does somebody who’s new find experienced real estate investors?
Kenyon: Well you know asking around anybody in my social circle and believe it or not things got started with a pastor of mine who actually knew a real estate investor, that was kind of a surprising route, but of course I went to my first real estate investor association meeting that I’ve never gone to before and asked around about you know who were the kind of serious players in there because we know most people at Aria’s are not doing a lot of deals but find out who the real serious folks are there and that’s where it kind of branched off from.
Brandon: Yeah that’s awesome.
Kenyon: Just a lot of asking around.
Brandon: That’s really what it is right? Just asking around, being open to it.
Brandon: I have a personal mentor named Kyle, my best friend’s landlord and so I like painted houses for him for a summer and did a few houses really cheap, I was painting houses for 300 a pop because like I just wanted his friendship and that actually brought like one of the best pieces of advice I got from mentors is stop thinking about mentors in terms of mentor, think friend. How do you build a friendship with someone who’s experienced?
Kenyon: That’s right. Yeah and that pastor thing you know how it came about, it was key his connections, he kind of mentioned in passing that he didn’t take salary from the church and so I asked him afterwards well how do you support yourself? Oh I got some rentals, this and that, I do some private lending, oh ok tell me about that. Oh you know and you just never know.
Brandon: Yeah that’s so true. One more thing I’ve noticed with mentors is people sometimes will look and the first thing they say is do they need a mentor and I find that sometimes people use that almost as an excuse not to take action. They don’t want to read the book or they don’t want to do anything. They keep saying I don’t have a mentor so they don’t do anything. What do you say about those people?
Kenyon: That just like you said that’s a cop out. I mean come on if you’re really motivated and everything you’re going to find a way and again you’re going to do prep work and have an approach I think that’s no excuse, absolutely not, they are out all over the place.
Brandon: Well this is fantastic! The mentorship is super, super important, very important I think it needs to be brought up. Before I let you go let’s jump in to kind of the last question I’m asking everybody – what book recommendation do you have, maybe it’s one you recommended before the show, maybe something brand new you’ve read, do you have any good book to throw to our audience?
Kenyon: Well Rich Dad, Poor Dad has been said to death but there was honestly from a mindset stand point thinking about your relationship to money and capital and time and everything, it’s great, the Building Wealth One House at a Time, I forget the author’s name.
Brandon: John Suave, right?
Kenyon: Suave! Yes, yes.
Brandon: It’s been fantastic like again I wish we had more time but thank you so much for joining us and if people want to get in touch where can they reach out to you?
Kenyon: Well the book is available on Amazon, Alternative Financial Medicine, and blog site of the same thing, financialmedicine.com
Brandon: Perfect alright dude we’ll talk to you later!
Kenyon: Alright thanks!
Brandon: Mr. David Green!
Josh: Whoa whoa whoa stop, hold on.
Josh: I’m going to do this.
Brandon: Alright you take it!
Josh: David Green! You come in and take over my show like you’re some hot stuff guy, I’m going to turn the tables on you buddy.
David: Actually, I mean Josh you made it so easy for me, basically warmed up the seat, all I had to do was step in to something that was already working. You set it really nicely.
Josh: I did, I did. And it wasn’t hard to make it any better so well done, well done.
David: Thank you for that!
Josh: I set the bar really low.
Brandon: So we are flipping the script again today David, he is no longer a host, he’s a guest today.
Josh: Am I a host? I think I’m going to host today.
Brandon: You can be host today, I can be co-host today. That’s fine whatever if you need that. today. That’s fine whatever if you need that.
Josh: Yeah makes me feel better today.
Brandon: You don’t have the facial hair or the height or the good looks so you might as well take host that’s ok. Alright!
Josh: There’s nothing going for me.
David: Josh sits on the iron throne and Brandon is just basically playing Tyrion right now.
Josh: He’s a jester.
Brandon: Alright! David Green who are you? For those who have not listened to this show which would be weird if you listen to this episode and have not listened maybe not maybe this is your first episode. Who are you David Green? And besides being the regular host or assistant to the host of this podcast, who are you? Assistant to the regional manager?
David: Assistant to the podcast, right. I am David Green I play Brandon’s sidekick on TV. I’m here for a commentary the Al Gore to his Tim Allen. Every once in a while I say something stupid or intelligent or at least I try to. Former police officer now I’m a real estate agent, I have a podcast real estate investor. Pretty much love all things real estate. I’m excited to talk to you guys today.
Brandon: That was like the shortest of all this ever recorded
Josh: He’s practiced, yeah. Alright David so, what is your best tip for real estate investors?
David: So if you read the book the One Thing in chapter 2 they talk about the domino effect which is a theory based on geometric progression and the theory is that a domino
Brandon: Whoa, whoa, whoa this is getting too many 3 syllable words. Let’s keep this to like 3rd grade level, come on. Ok geometric progression, explain.
David: The theory is that a one inch domino can knock down another domino that’s one and half size bigger than itself so a two inch domino can know a two and a half inch domino which can knock down a 3.75 inch domino, 5 inch domino, so on and so forth.
Josh: David what’s the next one?
David: Oh 3.75. I’ve always practiced up to 3 I didn’t expect that or saw that coming. So anyway the dominoes can be the size of the leaning tower of Pisa and the 31st domino is about the size of Mt. Everest so what it would be, you can typically knock down anything 50% bigger than what you did the last time you did something but we never assume, we never think that by the 31st domino is so big that it could be bigger than Mt. Everest right? And newbies get stuck trying to plan out every step of their journey to do this, and do this, and this, and you need bigger pockets to spell this out perfectly exactly where I’m going at and will never make a mistake and the reality is life never works that way. You don’t know what your next domino will look like until you knock down the ones in front of you, you don’t know how bid it will be, you may never think I can knock down something that big, you’re looking at yourself on domino number 2 and you’re on domino 30, Everest is something you can totally take down so don’t get in your own way by thinking too much about how am I going to do this, it’s like 10 steps down the road, you just got to get step 1, crush it in that and start looking into your next step and crush it at that.
You really simplify this whole process by saying I need to excel where I am and look for next step and then excel where that is before the next one.
Brandon: That’s really good.
Josh: I have nothing to say. I made the right move. Listeners I’m out of here.
Brandon: Alright. Let’s have some questions asked on this. So
Josh: We really got questions and that’s great and you really got to read that book. The One Thing if you haven’t read it in any form of entrepreneurial venture you got to know, anything in life, you’ve got to
Brandon: So me and David Green here actually like weeks ago got to like a, Josh you’ve hung out with him before, but I have not, got to hang out with Jay Papazan like co-author of The One Thing in person down in Austin and had to hold in my inner fan girl the entire time, fantastic so fully check that book out.
So ok, talking about when people get started, overwhelmed, everyone is like how am I going to do it – Brandon, Josh, David Green or any other people they hear on the podcast or read their books because they get overwhelmed but really the thing they got to do deal. How important is that first deal David? I mean like do they need to get a homerun the first deal and inspire them to do more? Or do they do anything? What’s your opinion on that?
Josh: Hey really quick before you answer that question
Brandon: What? What?
Josh: Are you because I interpreted what you’re saying as not being the first deal, I interpreted it as step towards the first deal and so obviously I was right, right?
Brandon: I was just going to say obviously your interpretation was incorrect.
David: How could I politician my way out of this.
Josh: Check the question and answer it.
Brandon: The real issue here is freedom and love, that’s what we’re talking about today
David: And that’s big pockets for you. Alright the first deal might be the 4th domino, you don’t know exactly where in that chain it is right? Your first might just be getting over your fear of like agoraphobia, and going to a meet up where you hear other talk right or it might be conquering this idea that you think I’m not worthy of wealth, I don’t want to be wealthy because that’s, I don’t deserve that, and you have to tackle that right? The point is once you overcome that issue your next issue which will well I don’t know if I have my finances under control so it becomes easier because you’ve already determined that you’re worthy of wealth the motivation you need to take the next step. Once your finances are under control you feel this desire that man I really want to invest something that I got all this cash makes it easy to go buy your first deal.
Brandon: I actually want to jump in to that, yeah you should write a book for bigger pockets someday David, you should actually write a book on long distance real estate investing and you can publish it at biggerpockets.com/store and order today. But I’m actually wondering about the not being worthy of success? I don’t think we’ve ever talked about that on the show before but that’s a legitimate fear or I don’t know about fear but a feeling that people have. Can you expound on that for a minute?
David: Yeah that’s huge I mean most of us, everybody wants the tactical advice, like show me the step by step process to buy a house, the problem is its never the same for everybody so you’re asking for something you can’t have. And even if you had it, it wouldn’t do you any good because you probably wouldn’t follow it, if you had what it takes to follow that you would have already been on that journey without waiting for it, right? Most of the problems is between our two ears and the demons that we struggle with regarding our own worthiness, what we are, preconceived ideas we have about wealth being bad or a fear of risk. Like we just interviewed Annie Duke who wrote the book Thinking in Bets and she was all about you have to change your relationship with risk from risk is bad, avoid it to risk is everywhere, how do I mitigate it, how do I ride it like a wave rather than just avoid it because that wave might knock me off.
That I think for most people, the first step is understanding that you are your own biggest enemy not that property manager, it’s not that agent that didn’t return your call, it’s the mindset you’re bringing into this the you don’t have the eye of the tiger, you don’t have whatever it takes I’m going to do this, you’re not willing to do the steps you would need to take and that’s domino right? Maybe 7 steps in you get your first rental property and then 3 dominos later you’re buying a 100 unit complex. It happens all the time for people who take this journey.
My advice to the newbies would be stop thinking that what you need is someone to hold your hand while walking through this. You need to start looking at how you can tap you own potential that makes you special and use that for the purposes of real estate investing.
Josh: I love that man. I really, really love that. I just read this awesome book by Jesse Itzler called 30 Days with a Seal, probably the funniest book I’ve ever read and I’m trying to link up with that guy so if you know Jesse please put me in touch. You know Jesse is this successful businessman and he does endurance racing. And he comes across this specimen who just blew his mind and invites the guy to come live with him for 30 days, a Navy Seal.
Brandon: That’s not weird.
Josh: And the book’s hysterical but it’s also motivating. The interesting thing is the Navy Seal that he invited has this fascinating story where he, I’m going to butcher the story a little bit, but he was in the military, the guy was like 300 pounds, he was a hot mess, have lived this really, really hard life and he decided one day that he wasn’t going to live this life anymore, he made the decision and that’s what people who are listening to the show need to do. They have to make that decision, the decision is the first step. This guy went from being this overweight guy who just you know, low self-esteem, all these issues to becoming a, he’s the Guinness World Record holder on pull ups, I mean he’s a ultra endurance racer, literally I think they named him the fittest man on Earth. And it was a decision that he said, “I’m not going to let anything stop me. I’m going to be successful, no man gets in my way no matter what happens”, and that’s it, that’s what it takes. That is really all that it takes, a decision, and once you’ve done that, you just go.
David: Well once he decided “I’m going to do this no matter what it takes”, I guarantee you he started surrounding himself by people like that Navy Seal who also have that same mentality and started bleeding into him. So for a lot of people that’s your domino. Go find other people that are not making excuses that are holding themselves so high standard. Josh did you ever read Extreme Ownership the Jacko Willink book by another Navy Seal?
Josh: Not yet, not yet.
David: It’s a good one, that’s just all theories, everything is my fault. If something happens and someone screws it up it’s my fault because I didn’t train them better or didn’t monitor them more closely. What happens is you started proving yourself when you look at everything like its your fault and you get the benefit of all that for self-improvement and putting yourself around people who think the same way is guaranteed to bleed into the way you think, act, and believe.
Josh: Absolutely, absolutely. Awesome man so domino 1 is get yourself together, figure out what you’re going to do, get motivated, make a decision and do it.
David: There you go and then you don’t know where that domino path is going to take you but you know if you can push yourself 50% bigger every single next step that you take or crush it at the step you’re at, see what doors are open and focusing on crushing it there.
Josh: I love it awesome man.
Brandon: Well Mr. David Green do you have any recent book recommendation you want to throw out the audience today?
David: Yes, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, awesome book I love everything about it. The author details the difference between people who have, I don’t remember what he calls it but this mind set that the world owes them, this is my dream and everybody else should word to fund it, I want to quit my job because I don’t like it, real estate owes it to me to make me wealthy so I can retire early versus the crowd surf mindset I’m going to get so good at what I am doing that I can name my price and I can do whatever I want because I’m bringing so much value everywhere I go nobody would ever tell me no and you can create the life that you want, right? That’s what I would tell people to go read especially struggling with getting started. The problem might be you’re looking to buy a house before you have the million other things in your life but a lot of other things in your life gets in the way and that book can put you in the path of the right mindset.
Josh: I love it.
Brandon: Yeah that’s one of my favourite also.
Josh: So cool. Where can people find you besides the bigger pockets podcast?
David: You can check me out at greenincome.com it’s a blog where I post some of the deal I am doing and articles I’ve written, stuff like that. I’m on instagram @davidgreen24 it’s a good place to add me.
Josh: Awesome. Well David thank you for letting me chime in and host today. I appreciate it for doing an amazing job man, seriously, you are absolutely amazing so keep it up.
David: Thank you Josh I appreciate that. Brandon thanks too man.
Brandon: Thank you. Alright bye! Alright Arianne, welcome back to the bigger pockets podcast man, how are you?
Arianne: Hey thanks for having me back!
Brandon: Yes so you are I believe, you’re actually the very first, possibly second, I can’t remember, interview in our new book that comes out of the case study we put in the book so
Josh: Yes exciting
Arianne: Yes I’m excited
Brandon: So I love your story that’s why I put it there because I love hearing your story of what you did, how you built your empire. So that we’re going to talk about a little today and get newbie tips. So why don’t we start there, in the next like minute or so, who are you, what do you do, what’s your real estate thing?
Arianne: Cool. I’m Arianne Lemire, my husband and I, Chris his name is, we have a flipping and wholesaling business in Dusitn, Florida and we also own a 24 unit rental control area here.
Brandon: Excellent that’s very cool.
Josh: That’s super cool. Alright so
Brandon: Josh do you want me to ask or do you want me to ask? I’m being nice and give you the floor.
Josh: No, no I’ll ask. It’s not true what I say about you. Alright Arianne, as a very experienced real estate investor who’s done lots of different things, obviously you know what its like to get started so tell us what is your top tip for newbies looking to start in real estate investing?
Arianne: My top tip? I think for people starting out they need to remember that this business is a marathon and not a sprint so block time daily to take one action and then this could be as small as 5 minutes each day just make sure it’s everyday. You could look at a property and then just analyse one property, you can do a quick analysis in 5 minutes and if you do that consistenly everyday soon enough that’ll become a habit and then use that habit as your foundation to build on and that’s really where I think success in this business comes from. Like daily, consistent action will lead great results but you have to build on it.
Josh: I love it. And that goes for any business. Brandon and I had to write this book this early today, I was like, “Brandon we should write that other book we’ve been talking about for a long time”. And I’ve been thinking about it, well how is it to write a book? You sit down, you block time and write every single day. It doesn’t matter, you know, if its good or bad, you just got to do it, right? The results of what you get done is semi relevant as long as you’re doing it and making progress.
Brandon: That’s really good. Yup. I actually just read an article in Times, it was an older one but it was John Grisham who’s published, you know,4 million books? And he has a rule I think it’s one page a day, if you can consistently write 1 page a day, he’s averaged like 1.3 books per year for the past 30 years, something like that, it’s crazy. He’s like I just had to publish at least one page or write one page per day. It’s the same concept huh?
Josh: Yeah cool.
Arianne: I think you know if you’re out there and thinking when am I going to get my first deal well we should ask you what have you done everyday to get to your first deal right? So really results happen when you do the actions.
Josh: Yeah and you know Brandon gives these webinars that we talk about actions that you can take. You know we’re not interviewing him or interviewing you, you know, you talked about analysing deals, but what could be the actions today a newbie investor take every single day in addition to already what you have mentioned to get them on that path on getting their first deal?
Arianne: Yeah another one is for introverts its kind of hard for me to pick up the phone and talk to people so I think like if that’s you do that one that might be the hardest thing first thing in the morning like call 1 broker or like 1 wholesaler or another investor and talk to them about what properties might be coming into their pipeline that maybe they can’t handle or that as an agent they’d think would fit your investment criteria. Just do that everyday and you’ll be amazed at like how many deals start coming into your pipeline if you do just that one small action that really might just take 2-3 minutes.
Josh: Yeah but Arianne I don’t know any agents or brokers or wholesalers, what do I do then?
Arianne: I suggest using bigger pockets or google and you’ll find some people who are in your area that are active. You can also go to your local real estate investment club and just find the active agents and wholesalers there.
Brandon: Yeah. And if you go to biggerpockets.com/events they can see local meet-ups happening all over the country all the time. And don’t you do some events?
Arianne: Yeah we have one coming up next week but in this little area after that it’s once a month.
Josh: Nice so you put on an event because?
Arianne: Just so we can network with more people and I think bigger pockets is great but having that physical interaction with people just solidifies the connection we make. Online too.
Josh: There you go so that’s another thing you can do guys. If there’s no networking events in your area, you don’t know folks or can’t find anything whether beyond bigger pockets or elsewhere start you own.
Arianne: Yeah I started our first networking on bigger pockets like when we just did 1 or 2 deals so it’s not like you have to be a guru. Just put people together and make things happen.
Brandon: So do you have tips for people who maybe want to do that? Maybe they don’t have a good meet up in their area and want to start their own. What has worked for you, what hasn’t worked for you?
Arianne: So I just pick a local café and hang out there for a couple of hours after work hours during the week. We do it every Tuesday 6 to 8 then I log in to bigger pockets on the events page and other networking page. Usually we have about 20 plus people.
Josh: That’s awesome and the beauty is you’re in the middle of the network now, right? You’re the host and so you get to kind of grow your brand so to speak and you can become that connector.
Arianne: Yes. It just develops some brand recognition especially we flip and wholesaling, sometimes the wholesaling has a bad rep but if they can know that you’re a reputable person, you’re somewhat in a position where you’re actually hosting these meet ups then you can talk to people more, they can see that you’re a trustworthy person
Brandon: That’s fantastic
Josh: Awesome yeah so do you have any other daily actions that people can jump on right now to help them get to their first deal?
Arianne: So I talked about analysing deals, calling brokers, wholesalers, other developers. One thing I started doing actually is setting up a daily task list for myself so I write down everything I want to do because we all like have a hundred things to do and then I prioritize the most, the one that’s the hardest that gives us most bank for the buck in terms of the act. So I start doing that and then, like before I would start with the easy task first, easier actions right, and now when I start on the harder one it gives us the most return on time then it just takes my business so much further.
Brandon: Yeah that is an incredible tip I mean so many people do that right, you pull out your check list, writing down things, you want to do the easy things first because it’s easy right? Do you guys like ever do this thing where I add an item on my check list and I already did just so I could check it out?
Arianne: I have not done that
Josh: That’s pretty weak dude
Brandon: No, I’ll go ok things that I’ll do today, make check list, ok good I got that one done. I don’t know I, and by the way, I have the tendency to do the easiest things first like make a check list and you know brush my teeth but no if you consistently work on the hard problems that are actually important for moving your business forward, yeah, its huge, I love it.
Arianne: You might have a newbie check list where you are like make business cards, make a logo, call broker, you know, write an offer, like with those 4 things you should probably write an offer first before calling a broker and making your business cards and logo.
Josh: Oh yeah business cards and logos are way down the food chain in terms of importance. Get that deal, right? I mean I’m not a business ,don’t worry about not being a business, get that deal then you can worry about you know getting that business going.
Arianne: Yes income producing actions first.
Josh: Yup awesome
Brandon: There’s a thing called the Seinfeld strategy, have you heard of that before? It’s kind of cool.
Josh: I have not but this sounds amazing I’m super excited.
Brandon: You just like Jerry Seinfeld. Alright so Jerry Seinfeld once told somebody, this is a myth anyway, he told this guy who was an up and coming comedian and asked him how do I get famous like you? And he said he has a very simple strategy for doing that. Josh is showing his dog licking his face on the camera and now licking his mouth. Josh is literally tongue licking the dog.
Josh: You got to watch the video guys.
Brandon: So Jerry says, “look the life led of the comedians if to have the best jokes but most of their jokes fall flat so the only way to consistent good career is that you have to have a lot of jokes.” So he said “what I do is I take out a big board, poster board, and I put a bunch of boxes all over it and then a big red marker and everyday that I write at least 1 joke I put a big red X on that day right, and if I miss it I just leave that box blank. So over time you start building these if you start writing jokes every day your goal is everyday, once you have 4, 5, 6, 10, 20 Xs in a row, you’re only job is don’t break the chain. So you like you just got to keep seeing that big visual, red Xs on you page or on your board or whatever, you don’t want to break that. So it goes out to like do something daily. It’s far more important than going to the gym everyday for 20 minutes than going to the gym once a month for like 3 hours. Same concept.
Arianne: Right I like that visual then you get to see.
Brandon: Yeah I’m actually, it’s actually I think the first I’ve mentioned it, we’re working on a journal that’s going to come out, a real estate investor success journal, it’s coming out here later this year. Anyway in there I specifically put in a bunch of those pages of just blank check boxes because I love that concept of don’t break the chain so.
Josh: Just like the apple watch. It’s rings in the apple watch like you know you want to make your daily rings complete. Last night I was literally, I had like 13, 14 thousand steps but apple make it even harder because you have like you have to do all these things to get rings closed and I had only exercised 8 minutes so I hit my watch and say I am now exercising, doing an inside walk, and I started walking around the house just to get my extra 2 minutes. Of course the apple is smarter than that, after 6 minutes of walking around the house, it said I didn’t go anywhere or do anything. I accomplished nothing because I was going to slow instead of actually doing this work out so good for apple on that. Same thing it’s like this motivation to knock it out so yeah get out there make it happen, start analysing deals, start calling people, start networking, go out look at properties. I mean there’s so many things you can do every single day, if its 5 minutes a day and then within a few days you’ll be well on your way to making moves.
Brandon: Look at that Josh summed it up.
Josh: That’s awesome.
Brandon: And do you have a book recommendation for our audience that you’ve read recently? Something that impacted your life?
Arianne: Yes I think this one’s really good for starting out, Set for Life, by Scott Trench.
Brandon: Nice. Scott Trench, I’ve heard of that guy before. He’s kind of you know, whatever, running the show.
Arianne: I just really love how Scott explains the whole process. He goes to zero to financial freedom. There it breaks it down to like 3 parts also. So what I really like the most is , I feel like this topic doesn’t get heard a lot, from zero going to your first 25k, that’s where people struggle, and I actually started from negative, I had like student loan debt, and nobody covers it because it’s not a sexy topic, like you don’t hear it in podcasts or books or wherever because who want to talk about that. I think he has some great actionable steps because that’s really your foundation to build this financial freedom. If you don’t have that I feel like sometimes people might get like a big deal and they never started from actually building their financial foundation , it’s like it just goes away, so I think that’s a very important part.
Brandon: Set for Life
Josh: Good, good, yeah. Scott Trench, president of bigger pockets.
Brandon: Yeah he’s a big deal now.
Josh: Cool well thank you so much for coming to the show. Where can people reach out and get in touch with you?
Arianne: I’m always on my bigger pockets profile so I think will put a link on the show notes. You could also email me at [email protected]. I think that’s it.
Brandon: Perfect. Alright well thank you very much, thanks for being here today.
Arianne: Alright thanks Brandon, thanks Josh!
Josh: Alright now Andrew, welcome to the show man. Good to have you back!
Andrew: It’s good to be back! It’s nice to see you here too. I was disappointed Brandon didn’t wear his handsome shirt for you
Josh: Is that where he wears an extra shirt on because that’s gross.
Brandon: I have a handsome shirt you know.
Andrew: All individualization let’s not do that.
Brandon: Alright, alright. Today’s whole show is trip on Brandon, this is great. Alright, I want to discuss who you are. I mean people don’t know who you are, some people, he’s been on the show like 40 times now. For those who have not heard you, who are you, what do you do?
Andrew: Andrew Kushman I basically do apartment syndication. I took the standard path on real estate and got a chemical engineering degree and like yeah like everybody does. Did that for 7 and a half years, discovered flipping houses in Southern California, flipped one, quit my job to go full board into flipping houses, did that for 4-5 years and then said well this isn’t going to last forever. Where are these people going to live, they’re going to have to go to apartments buy a house for 7 or 10 years now because they have bankruptcies and foreclosure and my wife and I whose my business partner, you know we said apartments are probably a start of a big cycle that fortunately turned out to be true. We bought our first apartment complex in 2011, 92 units, in Georgia, since then we’ve done about 1800 units. I’m doing apartments full time for coming up on 7 years now.
Brandon: That’s awesome. And are you the one who like maid 400 million in calls before making your first deal?
Andrew: Yes 4,576 that is correct. I also knocked on about 3,000 doors too.
Josh: That’s amazing.
Brandon: Yeah that’s persistence right there.
Josh: Speaking of persistence, what does it take man, obviously coming from the guy that did that, what is your number one tip for new real estate investors to start. What do they need to actually become successful in real estate?
Andrew: The good news is most people are going to be better at it and won’t be persistent as I was but that really is the mindset, is to expect it to be hard and be relentlessly persistent. You know most, if you go into it thinking it’s going to be easy, you’re going to get quickly disillusioned and end up binge watching Netflix with a quart of ice cream. You know most true real estate successes takes time and you’re going to be an overnight success in 5 to 10 years. Approach it with that mindset.
Brandon: There you go
Josh: Well that completely violates what the infomercials tell me. I’m out of here.
Andrew: Yes sorry unfortunately I don’t stay enough and watch those, I don’t get that message.
Brandon: Alright let’s talk about persistence. I asked somebody else today on the same kind of interview circuit we’re doing but I want to know your answer. When do you, how do you know when to be persistent and when to move on to something else?
Andrew: That is key so for me that answer is rip off, duplicate which was mentioned before so I find somebody else is already doing successfully has already proven that I know that that system works. And then so I just learn that and then go out and be persistent in executing that which is different that “hey I got this great new business idea, create an app and all”, ok maybe you shouldn’t be persistent on that, there’s no way of knowing until the market tells you. If you find somebody that has already perfected your real estate investing model and its really working well, all you have to do is copy it and be persistent and that’s how you know that if there’s something you should not be persistent at.
Brandon: You know that’s actually why I like the franchise model of like businesses more than just like “I got an idea” you know like I’m going to make an ice cream shop and I’m going to sell this ice cream like yeah you might be fine, I love the idea of saying “I’m going to buy a Dairy Queen” because you’re ripping off the exact model somebody else has proven thousands of times and I’m just going to do what they’ve already done and that’s why franchises has a way higher success rate.
With real estate it’s the same thing. Pretty much no matter what real estate avenue you want to go into you can find a hundred different people who are doing the exact same thing somewhere in the country.
Andrew: Right and I mean it can be really hard to be persistent like I said it took me 6 months and a thousand phone calls so sometimes people would ask, “how do you do that” or “how do you persist that long?”. I mean lots of people you know have your why and all that but in addition to that I would say I would tell people three things- find an accountability partner right so it can be a friend, it can be a cousin, mailman, somebody that a week later could say, “hey did you call the 10 brokers you say you were going to call?”. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that. The other thing is track your activities. Track how many broker phone calls you made, not that there’s any true value in knowing that you made that many phone calls, but again expect the accountability and knowing that you made progress. Because if you make 20 phone calls and no deal to show for it, you’re going to feel you accomplished nothing but in reality you’ve got 20 relationships, you looked at maybe 20 bad deals which means you’ll get better in finding good ones, and you know so you did still accomplish something. Tracking it helps you be accountable to your partner, accountable to yourself and you know that if you actually did accomplish something and get a deal and then the final thing is , again it is really hard to get a good deal, or to make a good deal in this market so focus on the process and not the outcome. Reality is no matter how good we think we are, we don’t have full control over whether or not we get a deal. I can say I’m going to get a deal in weeks, I can’t do that, but I can say I’m going to call 40 brokers in the next two weeks. I’m going to focus on making certain that I do that and if I do that successfully will a deal come out it? Hopefully but it may not, that actually doesn’t matter because we’re focusing on the process.
Brandon: I love that. There’s quote from Hal Elrod which you and I, all 3 of us know. He says in one of his morning books he said, “Every result you desire is preceded by a process. When you define your process and commit to it to an extended period of time the results take care of itself.” Took me time to memorize that quote but I memorize it now.
Andrew: See yeah Hal of course says it better and more concisely but yeah exactly.
Brandon: Yeah you just have to find that process and then commit to it, be persistent, I love it when you said be persistent about the process. So let’s talk to newbies, what are some processes that they, and we actually have talked to a couple of people today, similar themes, but what are some processes people can work in their business that they should be focusing on?
Andrew: Well if you’re trying to get deals then number 1 the highest value thing you could be doing is building relationships. And that’s the thing if you’re from a single family world that’s with sellers, reaching out, cold calling, direct mail, knocking on doors. If you’re on the multi-family world there might be some of that but it’s probably going to be you know calling brokers and lenders, and managers, and your team. That is a process, like I said, what I do is I block off time. I say I’m going to call brokers for, like what I actually did this morning, for 2 and a half hours Thursday morning, calling brokers, that is what I’m doing. So that is something you can make very tactical, very specific and you can hold yourself accountable for. So that’s the kind of process that I want to focus on. It’s something that’s simple and it’s doable and attainable.
Josh: You know what, what you guys have been talking about and some of the themes of these other conversations we’ve had, what really is sticking to me is we’re talking about the journey and not the destination. You know I think a lot of folks are like I got to get to the destination already and what the experienced folks were talking to are really saying is you’ll get there but focus on the journey, you know open your eyes, breathe in the fresh air as you walk down the street, look at the trees. That when you go back and examine your life that’s the stuff that matters it’s not “hey that I got, right?” And then so for real estate investors if you figured out the journey, figured out the calls and the tools and the process, you know the destination, you’ll get to that first one but if you kind of skip that and get to the destination you’re not really ready for the next destination but you’ve kind of figured out all this other stuff, you get to the first one, the next one is going to soon follow and so is the next, and the next one. Is that a fair assessment?
Andrew: Yeah I would say particularly in real estate, success seems to take like a hockey stick curve right? Flat, flat, flat, flat, flat and all of a sudden you get to a inflection point where you just start to ramp up dramatically, where you have the systems and the people who really do really big deals or you could do high volume of houses. I mean think about bigger pockets Josh, I mean, you’re at a point now where bigger pockets just rules real estate education and you know you can hire a CEO and all this when whereas the first 3 to 5 years you weren’t rolling in cash right?
Josh: 12-14 years
Andrew: Exactly so a 12 year overnight success so to me real estate is really similar, where you’re building a business, I mean you might get a flip and get a big chunk of money right off the bat and that does happen. Just don’t expect to you know retire in 6 months.
Josh: Right that’s great
Brandon: There’s that quote, I can’t remember but it’s probably not really him but it says “success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm”. I don’t know who said that but
Andrew: Something like that but you know I, if you don’t know who it is just say Abe Linclon
Brandon: Abe Lincoln, yeah, Abe Lincoln said it. No but I always feel like that’s almost my journey just like a lot of things did not work out the way I thought they would. I feel like I tried to flip out houses, the market crashed, rentals I got irritated with that but as long as you keep going and keep going persistent on the things you know or working like collecting cash flow and units over time that worked for me and now I look back I’m like oh wow I’m glad I went through all those failure after failure after failure. I think a lot of success is that.
Andrew: Yeah failure is not a failure if you learn from it and then build a system not repeat it.
Josh: Love that.
Brandon: That’s awesome. That’s tweetable right there, I just might tweet that.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. That’s the first I might ever been tweeted I don’t know.
Josh: Alright Andrew. Good for you, you know, there’s a point in all of our lives where we get tweeted hopefully. What are we talking about here?
Brandon: That just sounds weird.
Josh: Alright Andrew before we let you go man. Do you have any book recommendations for the newbies out there and anything you think would be really helpful?
Andrew: I do and I really like, not surprisingly it’s a bigger pockets book, David Green’s Real Estate Investing because not only, number 1 it gets over people’s biggest hurdles investing, oh I live in California it’s expensive, I can’t do it, etc. which ok maybe so but go find a different market and David in detail goes through how to get over that, not only do it but do it successfully but I also like the book because the principles apply whether you do single family or a 150 units. I mean you know some of the technical stuff is a little bit different but same principles apply so if you want to go flip houses or buy single family read that book, if you want to apartments get that book, plus David and Doll’s Multi Million Markets and Emerging Markets those 3 are a good start.
Josh: Fantastic. Hey man where can people reach you and get in touch with you?
Andrew: LinkedIn and bigger pockets of course, also just our website Vantage Point Acquisitions, it’s actually best to google it but vpacq.com and there’s a contact us form there and that goes straight to my emails.
Josh: Perfect alright thanks so much for coming out we appreciate it.
Andrew: Good talking to you guys, take care!
Brandon: Mr. Ryan Murdoc welcome back to the bigger pockets podcast. How are you doing?
Ryan: Hey guys, it’s nice to be back and be on your platform. Monitize it not only for yourselves, it’s remarkable that in doing so the other people you’ve affected gained great success in their financial and personal lives. So it is remarkable and I’d like to congratulate you and thank you because it’s a wonderful
Josh: Thank you keep going, yeah continue
Ryan: It’s all I got man
Josh: Alright hey so today we’re talking about newbie tips and we’ll get into yours. Can you remind folks who you are in about a minute, give them a quick background on who you are and what you do.
Ryan: Sure I’m a primarily a buy and hold investor. I started about 10 years ago, house axing my first duplex and built my portfolio to about 20 units, I think now I’m up to 50 of my own units and partnership on the mobile home park. During that time I managed anywhere between 200 and 1500 units for obviously my own units plus running a management company, managing units for other people and then I went to work for an even larger management company for four years up until a year ago when I left that and just went back to just self-managing my own portfolio because it was at a point that it could sustain me.
Josh: That’s awesome, nice
Brandon: Today, people might not know this but Ryan is actually my partner, well no we’re not officially partners, we are tenants in common.
Ryan: Or TICs. It’s a good thing we did a podcast because it’s the only time that we actually speak, if we could podcast via text we would both take that option.
Brandon: I know I think I have talked to you more in the last 3 minutes than I’ve talked to you in the last 3 months
Ryan: Yeah so there’s nothing wrong with that
Josh: Can you guys take this offline. Mr. Murdoc let’s answer the question at hand here. Shut up. Alright Ryan, as an experienced real estate investor, obviously you know what its like as an experienced manager you also know what it’s like for a new real estate investor. So what advice would you give to somebody who’s just getting started on a, what’s your best tip?
Ryan: My best tip I think would be same thing that I preached last year when I was doing the podcast and that’s to make sure you have adequate reserves for whatever property, whatever scope of work is for that property, you know if you’re going to be one of these guys that goes in and wants to buy with no money down and need the cash flow to perform from day 1, that’s fine, that’s doable but you better be confident in what you’re buying and that goes for not only physical inspection of properties, you’ve done general buildings, you’ve sent the camera down the sewer line, you’ve made sure that the thing is physically sound but also the makeup of the tenant’s the economic vacancy, who’s paying, who’s not paying, who are you going to be able to salvage, who’s going to be evicted and what are your turnover cost and everything that’s associated with that. I’ve seen so many people, especially new investors, even experienced investors get bit by buying something they didn’t anticipate was going to be involved with it and you know they were hit by a bunch of financial surprises. So the more risk that you take, the more unknowns for a property, the better equipped you better be to deal with it from a reserve stand point. And ideally that’s cash in your own bank account. Second would be access to reasonable priced borrowed money, credit or personal loan but if you have a major system failure, furnace that goes down, a sewer line that hacks off, you’ve got to come up for a solution for that immediately. There’s no putting that off. If you don’t have the ability to do that, whether it’s a $5,000 repair on a duplex or a $500,000 repair on a hundred unit complex, that could get you out of business instantly. And I’ve seen too many people get bit so.
Josh: What does a newbie do, you know ok so I need to have reserves, got it, how do I even start to figure out what that number is?
Ryan: You know if there’s an exact formula I wouldn’t know it but then I’d take it again back to whatever you did for inspection. If you’re going to buy let’s say a duplex, if you had a failure at a duplex, let’s say $10,000, if it’s a life and death situation, pretty much anybody can scrape together $10,000 if you can’t you’re seriously in trouble but if it’s a bigger complex, a bigger property, you have to scrape together, let’s say a $100,000 to $200,000 by tomorrow, most people can’t make that out of their day job income so you’ve got a real problem. Base your reserve estimate just on the overall condition of the property and what are your knowns and your unknowns. The more unknowns you have the more money you’re going to have to set aside to spend.
Brandon: Yeah that’s really good. I know like, I mean I wrote the book right? Low and No Money Down, but I always tell people it doesn’t mean you should invest when you’re flat broke. I mean if you can’t afford to put money on the table, it just means you’re using other people’s money so what I tend to advise people is that, if you are flat broke it doesn’t mean you can’t invest but maybe find a partner whose got some financial resources and they’re your back up you know, like they know that they’re your back up. You know again it’s better to have half of the deal secure than to do an entire thing by yourself.
Josh: And the pressure and stress that comes when you have to tap into reserves is really frustrating and stressful if you’re on edge right? I mean if you can barely afford to finance the floor or I don’t know what it is, the broken toilet, you know all these things happen. If you don’t have that cash and also by the way, I mean you know if you’re working with a manager and you’re manager isn’t even talking that language, isn’t even talking about reserves, making sure that you got them and set up and says you don’t have to worry about reserves just $500, time to find a new one.
Ryan: Yeah because those problems are real, they happen and you have to deal with them when they happen.
Brandon: So the same thing can be said if you’re buying a turn key property or you’re buying just a deal an agent sends you saying it’s a good deal because like expenses are real, like if you’re not analysing, I don’t know how many turn key deals I’ve seen across my desk that “oh yeah we’re going to fix the property up, you don’t even have to worry about repairs”. Yes you do just because you fixed your property doesn’t mean the tenant wouldn’t bust a whole in the door because they got mad and drunk like that thing happens.
Josh: Vacancy happens
Brandon: Yup vacancy happens, doesn’t matter how good it is.
Ryan: I don’t go into any property now, even single family home or a duplex so they think its fine, you always seem to spend 10 grand just on stuff you didn’t expect.
Brandon: Yeah, always
Ryan: You just always do, you walk through the door it’s going to cost $10,000 whether it’s an eviction or turn over, there’s always some sort of surprise, I don’t care how diligent you’ve been, you always end up spending money that you didn’t think you were going to have to spend and you got to account for that.
Brandon: I had a, my 24th unit I bought in Ohio, everything was perfectly fine, I didn’t have the $10,000 thing right up front, everything was just fine and then flood hits and the neighbour moves some trees and it changed the way the water flows and it hit my property and destroyed like 2 units, yup, there goes my more than $10,000. Like that kind of stuff happens.
Ryan: Even if you’ve done perfect due diligence on that it never would have come up, you never would have predicted it.
Brandon: I never would have known.
Ryan: Yup great example.
Josh: So in essence be prepared, be aware, be ready, have either cash, credit line, credit cards, whatever it is but have money available don’t go in broke. Or at least don’t max out everything that you have in order to get into the property and not have cash.
Ryan: Yeah if credit cards are your back up plan be careful with that too because it’s a slippery slope. If you don’t have a property that’s cash flowing positive but not doing great and you put 10, 15 or 20 grand on credit cards to fix something, now you’ve got additional debt with big percentage interest which you may not be able to dig out of from the cash on that property. If that is your back up plan beware that you don’t dig yourself a bigger hole. I mean I’ve been there I’ve done that, it’s not a good place to be so make sure whatever your borrowed money contingency plan that you have the ability to repay that without making the situation worse.
Josh: Awesome man, perfect, great advice.
Brandon: And by the way people want to listen to your whole episode. Ryan was 234 right?
Ryan: Yup 234
Brandon: For the bigger pockets podcast so check it out. Really good story on there and you kind of hear your downs and ups so it’s really powerful so good stuff. So alright, before we get out of here, do you have any recent book recommendations? Anything that you’ve been reading, consuming that’s changed your life?
Ryan: Probably the book that had the biggest impact to me and I think a lot of books that have an impact on people is timing as to when you read them to what’s going on in your life and where you are and where your mind is at a given point. I was fortunate enough, I know this has been mentioned before, but 4-hour Work Week, I love that book, like I said I was fortunate enough to read it when I was close to a lot of the ideas in that book but I really needed to read that book and just shift my mindset a little further to kind of push me over the edge and that book really hit home. It was about a year ago right now that I read it and I think it was after a month of reading that book that I left my day job and went to Thailand for a month and lived a 4-hour work week lifestyle and never looked back, it was fantastic so you know I’m surely not down to it every week to a 4 Hour Work Week but the principles in that book and the mindset in getting there has really stuck with me and even my work week, I like what I do now, the property management stuff, the consulting, I like what I do so even you know I guess 4-hour Work Week I would equate that to the stuff maybe that you don’t like to do, the rest of the week is still working but working on things that you enjoy then you’ve fulfilled that as well so it was a great book.
Brandon: You say real estate consulting, but in reality what you’re saying is real estate mercenary?
Ryan: Mercenary, real estate mercenary, mercenary assassin, yeah allegiance to nobody but the almighty dollars. Yeah I’ll go anywhere
Brandon: I’ll legitimately hire Ryan to fly out to Ohio to like check out my property and see what we make work better or can optimize better because I don’t want to go to Ohio that’s going to mess me up
Ryan: I flew over the apartments in a helicopter dropped down on a rope swinging and swung in through the windows man, it was awesome.
Josh: That’s awesome
Brandon: The real estate mercenary, yeah it’s going to be a new show on HBO.
Josh: Before we kick you out of here man, how do they get in touch, how do they find you, what’s the story?
Ryan: I’m on bigger pockets all the time so you can leave me a message there, on facebook, you can check out my website lighthouseam, lighthouseassetmanagement.com, I have an instagram but I couldn’t even tell you what it is I’m still trying to figure it out how to post there but yeah bigger pockets or facebook is the easiest way to get me.
Josh: Perfect, awesome man. Alright Mindy Henson, wow, look at this, this is cool.
Mindy: This is cool. I’m excited to talk to you guys.
Brandon: It’s been a while since you’ve been on a podcast, oh wait, you have your own podcast now. That’s pretty exciting.
Mindy: I have my own podcast. Yes I have a fancy new podcast, I don’t need your podcast anymore.
Josh: Wow you’re too cool for school now. Mindy for those people who have no idea who you are now or who haven’t listened to the bigger pockets money podcast, and by the way if you haven’t listened to bigger pockets money podcast please tune in today listen to Mindy Scott talk about cool money topics to get you nice and financially sound. Tell people who you are and what your real estate background is.
Mindy: So my name is Mindy Jensen, I’m the community manager for biggerpockets.com if you’re with bigger pockets I’m your first colleague, I am all over the website. I am the podcast host for bigger pockets money podcast and I have been investing in real estate pretty much since before Brandon was born so like the last 20 years. I do
Brandon: So 17 years
Mindy: Oh your 17 years I was going to say no I’ve been investing for over 20 years don’t tell me my story Brandon I know it
Josh: Oh wow
Mindy: So my method of investing is live and flip. That is where I buy an incredibly unattractive house, move into it, and I rip it apart while I’m living in it. I live through the dry wall dust and the new roof and all of that, it’s super fun.
Josh: It explains some things
Mindy: Yes shush. And in 2 years I sell it, the government tells me thank you for making the world a more beautiful place. You can keep all your profits right in your pocket, we’ll take none because I lived in it as my primary residence
Brandon: Do you love the government? I love the government.
Mindy: You know what I’m going to go with, for this instance, I love the government.
Josh: Good for you. That’s awesome.
Mindy: Love the IRS. Gives me up to $500,000 tax free.
Josh: I love it, I love it. Alright Mindy Jensen, thank you, thank you. Alright so with that in mind I think I know where we’re going with this but what advice do you have for new real estate investors? For somebody thinking of doing it for the first time, what would you tell them?
Mindy: So since I started so long ago I was really young and I knew everything, it didn’t occur to me to be nervous but people tend to really get nervous when they think about investing in real estate so if you are nervous, start small, you don’t have to jump in and buy a 100 unit complex. Use your own residence as your investment, you’ve got the live and flip, which I do, I know we’ve already talked about house hacking where you use part of your property to rent out to other people, they help you pay out your mortgage, you’re bringing money in, you can then go and invest in real estate in another way. So if you’re really nervous about it look at your own house, see what ways you can use your house as an investment.
Brandon: What I love about that especially the live and flip, I want to zone in on that a little bit and talk about that today is like you can really live in a really, really nice house, you can potentially live in a really great neighbourhood in a really great house, I mean granted you had to fix it up so you do that right away, hopefully, or you and I probably do it and wait until we move out to finish it
Brandon: But either way I’m legitimately moving this week, I’m packing all my stuff right now, we’re finally finishing a list of stuff but still
Josh: Everybody does that
Brandon: Everybody does that but we live in a great house in a great neighbourhood and we’re going to see like a $100,000 in profit tax free because of the whole 2 year exclusion. I love that. But do you have some other tips for people to do that, what do they look for when they’re going to do a live and flip? Like should they plan that ahead of time or do you just kind of just stumble into it like ok this will work out well, how does somebody approach that?
Mindy: Well I stumbled into it because all I could afford was really run down and unattractive but there are a couple of tips to making a live and flip more successful. First of all you don’t want the nicest house in a crappy neighbourhood, you want the crappiest house in a nice neighbourhood because when people are looking for a $100,000 house, they’re looking in a $100,000 neighborhood and if they’re looking for a $200,000 house they’re not looking in that same $100,000 neighborhood. So you want a house that you can buy low and bring up to the value that everyone else in the neighbourhood have.
Josh: I love that. You know my first house here in Colorado we went to a neighbourhood and it was decent, we found this house that blew our mind, it was this super eco house, gorgeous and amazing but it was like $50,000-$100,000 more than everything else in the neighbourhood. We were all ready to pull the trigger and then rationality hit us and we’re like, wait a second, we’re doing this completely backwards. Thank goodness that we decided not to buy it so yeah.
Mindy: Yeah because you can lose all the potential profit just by having the house located in the wrong neighbourhood. They wrong neighbourhood doesn’t necessarily mean a bad neighbourhood it just means, you know it’s not the right neighbourhood for that particular house.
Mindy: If you are going to live and flip, look for things that are really important to the stability of the property. It doesn’t matter that there is no dishwasher or that the past owners took the refrigerator. It matters that the foundation is working or that they smoked meth in the back bathroom or you know whatever. You don’t want to live in a meth house.
Josh: Is that a benefit or a deteriment to the deal? The meth in the bathroom? So do we look for that?
Mindy: Maybe Brandon has been living in a meth house.
Josh: He does live in Oklahoma or wherever he is these days.
Brandon: You know I’m in Montesano, Monte-say-no, Washington for now.
Mindy: Why do you always pronounce that differently? You say Montesano then Monte-say-no.
Brandon: I say Monte-say-no but if people don’t know what I’m talking about I say Montesano because then they can spell it easier the people get it but that’s why, literally that’s why, if I’m trying to spell it monte-sa-no oh a-n-o.
Josh: Wow I know why I retired from the podcast. Ok let’s get back.
Brandon: Alright Mindy I want to know what is too bad to buy a fixer-upper if you’re going to live in it, you know live in the house and it’s a fixer-upper, how bad do you recommend it too bad?
Mindy: Talking for first timers you have to be comfortable with every little thing that needs to be done. Are you comfortable having the rood half off? Probably ok in Colorado if it just happened. Definitely not ok over Monte-whatever Washington where it rains more frequently
Josh: Suddenly you went from the Pacific North West to the beautiful California Coast
Mindy: It is Montecito, yeah well, Brandon can’t be constrained to location. Back to me Brandon, I
Josh: He’s like Chuck Norris
Josh: Not the first time people have compared me to Chuck Norris
Mindy: Look outside, wow I’m really sorry this is the one time you’ll be compared to Chuck Norris so
Brandon: I need this moment, I need this moment
Josh: What does Brandon and Chuck Norris have in common?
Mindy: They’re both men, they both have legs
Brandon: Facial hair? Beautiful beards? Strength like a lion?
Josh: Can we get back to the, oh my gosh
Mindy: Did you just say strength like a lion? Like with a straight face? Ok strength like a lion, look at these guns.
Brandon: You haven’t seen me lift things, I can lift things, boxes
Mindy: You are 100% correct, the only thing I’ve seen you lift is Rosie.
Josh: You do realize we’re down to 2 listeners now so I’m sorry to both of you mom and grandma
Mindy: Yeah those are the 2 people who can’t figure out how to turn off the podcast
Brandon: How do I turn this thing off? I’m Tasha’s mom.
Mindy: So anyway what makes a property too bad, bringing this back in, Josh now let’s just have this conversation, let’s just mute Brandon.
Josh: Yeah mute him
Mindy: So you know if you look at the outside or any of the elements getting in, there are just houses that are just too bad, you know is it stable, will it fall down, that’s not a good property to try to rehab. The house that I’m currently in was horrifically unattractive when I bought it but it was a very solid house. As I walked through it my feet didn’t bounce, you know bounce all over the house as I was walking, it was very solidly built. There were no appliances, well I don’t care, I can go buy appliances, that’s not a big deal. But there was no mold which is good. All the water worked. Copper left can be a big problem in foreclosed houses, this was a foreclosure. So all the copper was still available was still in place, the electrical worked so it was
Josh: Look for something whole, that’s not going to collapse on you for your first house
Mindy: Yeah and if it’s your first house buying something where absolutely everything needs to be fixed can really drain your spirit so get something with ugly carpeting, horrible paint, get something with really ugly fixtures but all the pipes work. Get you know, it’s nothing to change out a light fixture. Turn off the electricity first, my DIY tip for the day, same with the water, but you know electricity isn’t that hard, plumbing isn’t that hard and there are tons of books, and tons of classes, and tons of youtube videos that will show you how to do absolutely everything. And if you’re not wanting to do electricity just hire an electrician and they’re not that expensive. Pro tip have all your things ready so if you want an electrician to switch out your electrical fixtures have them all ready for him to go so you only have one call charge.
Josh: Good tip, good tip. Alright before we let you do Mindy, last question along this live and flip thing. You know obviously it can get very overwhelming like you said if you’ve got everything wrong but presumably my assumption would be you want to knock one thing down like so start with one room, get that one room done, go to the next, the next room and kind of work that way. Is this an effective strategy at least since I haven’t done one I’m assuming that would be the way one would do it.
Mindy: That is an effective strategy with an asterisk because there are some things that you want to get done all at the same time, you want the dry wall guys, yeah you want the dry wall guys to come and dry wall everything in one swoop. That is a huge mess and you don’t want to deal with it more than once but you can do everything but the dry wall and then move on to the next room and do everything but the dry wall so for the most part doing room by room is great, there are some jobs that you want to batch together but have one space that you don’t touch so we did that with our bedroom. We had a bedroom we closed the door, dust got in, we put towels underneath the cracks of the doors so that nothing would get in, so this was one area, sometimes you come in and you’re like I am done, I can’t do this today, I need a break and you go to your bedroom, you watch TV, this is the space that isn’t all ripped up and it makes it worthwhile again.
Josh: Let me do a DFSin you, the kids room had dust every where
Mindy: No the kids had their own space at the foot of our bed.
Josh: Oh ok.
Brandon: Very good, very good. Alright live and flip, I love that idea. I love that you don’t need to start huge, you don’t get overwhelmed, just do what you got to do where you can do it and if that’s live and flip that is a great way to get there.
Josh: Good advice.
Brandon: So before we get out of here Mindy. Do you have recommendations, anything you have read lately that’s changed your life or improved your life or just a cool book?
Mindy: So the book that I always recommend is The Richest Man in Babylon because it is a money book. They were rich in the 1920a I think, it was published in the 1920s and it just shows that money is not different, a hundred years ago versus now, don’t spend everything you make, invest with people who know what they’re doing and it was written in King James Bible version English which is my favourite like Shakespearean English.
Brandon: Is is pretty fun to read.
Mindy: It is fun to read.
Brandon: Josh loves that book too
Josh: Yeah The Richest Man in Babylon it’s one of my favourite books its fantastic. Everybody should read that book if they want to get into real estate investing so great recommendation. Cool well Mindy thank you so much for coming on the show, we appreciate it and we will talk to you soon.
Mindy: It’s always fun to talk to you guys thanks a lot. Have a good day!
Brandon: Thanks Mindy, bye! Alright that was our show
Josh: Actually I’m supposed to say that. You guys that was show 301 on the bigger pockets podcast. I am your host, the only host, the original host Joshua Dorkin.
Brandon: You’re like a substitute teacher today
Josh: The greatest, I’m like Ali, I’m the Ali of hosting.
Brandon: I don’t know if that’s true. You’re the substitute teacher of hosting.
Josh: You’re flashbacking me man to my former career
Brandon: Yeah that is a former career of yours
Josh: You’re making me, whoa, whoa
Brandon: Anyway for those people who are still here, there’s like 6 people and one of them is my mom, hi mom! I hope you guys enjoyed today’s show. Yeah what’s up mom.
Josh: There’s way more than 6 people. We do hope you enjoyed the show because it’s awesome those interviews were fantastic.
Brandon: Yeah really, really good advice today on starting, if you’re just getting started I hope you walk away from this motivated and educated and crush it because now is the time to take advantage of all these cool resources and knowledge in building your own financial plan for freedom so do it.
Josh: Yes, yes and leave us some feedbacks guys. Jump on the blog biggerpockets.com show 301 and leave us feedback on what you thought about the show, any questions you’ve got for our guests and hopefully they can jump in other wise of course do leave us ratings and reviews on places like itunes and soundcloud and stitcher. I don’t know if sound cloud’s still around.
Brandon: I don’t know either I think it’s there.
Josh: Yeah stitcher, itunes, you name it, wherever you’re listening to this thing.
Brandon: And you know we launched a book today. If you buy the book, it’s not on Amazon today but it will be at some point in the future. When it is you guys leave us a review there. Just let us know if you like the book, if you like the book it helps us.
Josh: And if you buy any other of the retailers at Barnes and Nobles leave us ratings and reviews, they do help us tremendously. Biggerpockets.com/howtoinvest get it today make me a best selling author. I mean this about me at this point. Brandon he’s sold enough.
Brandon: Yeah you need to become a best selling author.
Josh: Now he just piggy backs.
Brandon: There you go.
Josh: Hey guys thank you so much really appreciate it, it’s been fun coming back and thank you for having me on your show Brandon.
Brandon: Thank you Josh for being a substitute host, it’s been great today.
Josh: Until next time I’m your host, Joshua Dorkin. Signing off!
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