Just Start Real Estate with Mike Simmons

In this episode, I interviewed Will Brown, who is a 20-year-old real estate investor and tech entrepreneur who dropped out of college in May of 2018. Since then, he has run and built a team from scratch without any outside funds to go on and do over 90 deals and $900,000 in assignment fees in less than 2 years. He has since handed the reins of the wholesaling business off to a partner and is 100% focused on building his AI tech startup in Los Angeles. He is massively into personal development and supports others in carving their own path and creating themselves into who they want to be.

Will began by summarizing what brought him to real estate. He and his mom attended a mastermind event in the Fall of 2016, but they didn’t have the money to invest, so that left a little bit of a bad taste in his mouth. In January 2017 he was playing a video game that let you buy and cash flow real estate, and he thought that learning about it for real would be a lot more interesting than sitting on his couch! His first google search on the subject led him to a BiggerPockets podcast, and there was no stopping him from there.

Will started investing by cold-calling off of a probate list and putting himself in the proximity of other real estate investors. He offered his services, in the case of his first deals, by installing security systems in order to learn from other investors. We discussed how you can’t start any kind of relationship by asking for what you need first. Will talked about the need to know your skill-set, and the willingness to work hard for someone else without concern about the outcome in order to learn and grow.

Will gave a detailed description of his first solo deal, and he describes the challenges he faced. He talked about the importance of having a great lawyer and how he managed different aspects of the deal that were new to him. He feels like he learned so much from this first deal and the mistakes they made will never be repeated.

Will described how they find their deals, and talks extensively about building a team. He hired an assistant in the Fall of 2018 and was able to scale his business exponentially because he was able to spend his time more effectively. It helped him so much to have someone to help him do the things he wasn’t particularly strong at.

Will provided the list of technology he currently uses to find deals and the listeners can find these links further down in these show notes. He speaks in-depth about his sales funnel and what he has found to most effectively convert leads to deals.

I asked Will to explain what he is involved in now and how he found a partner in order to run his real estate business. He talked about paying his partner really well in order to keep him and put him on a tiered commission schedule in order to entice him to stay. His partner is now running the real estate completely on his own with minimal interaction with Will.

Will is now completely invested in launching an artificial intelligence company in Los Angeles, which he conceived in a Cabo San Lucas hot tub while at a business mastermind event. His concept is grown from the question of how to provide resourcefulness to humanity because if you solve one problem, another is created. In order to address this, Will is working on creating AI personal assistants for people to help people in problem-solving and life balance.

You have to check out this super energized interview with up-and-coming entrepreneur, Will Brown. He gives a ton of great advice based on a solid foundation of respectable values, along with being an extremely entertaining interviewee.

 

Notable Quotes:

 

“Not to say, do this: step, step, step. But it gave me the inspiration of ‘Hey, this guy has done this before,’ and it kept adding proof that yes, this is possible.”

  • Will Brown

 

“I had the drive of setting up the blueprint of my life and laying out the foundation now, not only in acquiring assets but also learning to be a leader, learning to delegate, learning to fail forward, how do you do this, how do you do this... ”

  • Will Brown

 

“You’ve got to love the process. You know, all the crap you have to go through to get it. If you are focused on the results, you are not going to get it.”

  • Will Brown

 

“So what Will did is he basically decided he wanted to be around people who were doing real estate. And you offered your services, you offered to be of value to them. You didn’t say, ‘Show me how to do it, help me start my business, me, me, me.’ Instead, it was like, ‘what can I do for you?’ and then oh, by the way, I get to be around you when you do this.”

  • Mike Simmons

 

“Number one, you are going to be uber-successful. Not because of whatever result you create there, but because of that mindset. That you are willing to give and give and give and give without any expectation in return, but knowing that it comes back.”

  • Will Brown

 

“You had a problem and you figured it out. It’s like chess. It’s like, ‘Check’ and then you move out of that position and you clear the board a little bit.”

  • Mike Simmons

 

“People that try to do it themselves because they are in a scarcity mindset - you are not going to scale if you are just doing it yourself.”

  • Will Brown

 

“Once that shift happens and you get it so viscerally, you can’t go back. Because if I just went back to real estate, I would always be wondering what could be.”

  • Will Brown



Links:

Level Jumping: How I Grew My Business to Over $1 Million in Profits in 12 Months

Will on Instagram

Will’s Website

Investor Fuse CRM

Spokeo Research Tool

Call Rail Automated VM

Lead Sherpa Auto Text

7FF Video Vault



Direct download: 900000_revenue_and_90_deals_by_the_age_of_20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing buy-and-hold real estate investor Henry Washington. I asked Henry to kick things off by sharing his background and what brought him to this type of investing. He said that getting married and the talk of starting a family really changed his mindset about his lifestyle and how he was going to support a family. Like so many others, his real estate journey began by reading Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

 

Living and working in NW Arkansas, Henry started by just telling everyone he knew that he was a real estate investor and came upon his first deal this way. He then started a marketing campaign by sending postcards and found three more deals. I was really curious about Henry’s first marketing strategy and he explained that he wanted to stay away from what everyone else was doing in order to find a niche market

 

Without having any background in construction, Henry talked about how he first started estimating rehab costs. He created a square-footage-based spreadsheet with costs for each discipline he found straight from Google searches. He eventually met and partnered with a guy who had a very strong construction background who proceeded to evaluate properties for him. This partnership allowed Henry to scale his business at a much faster rate.

 

I wanted to focus on the subject of partnerships with Henry for a bit and I asked him to talk about the elements that were contributing to the success of his partnership. He stressed the importance of shared values and vision and also attributes such as integrity, honesty, and the desire to help people. He also emphasized the importance of open communication in minimizing conflict and successfully working together.

 

Henry has his values listed on his website and I especially wanted him to define what he means by “servant leadership.” He talked about the importance of focusing on helping people and then success will follow. He believes the more you lead by serving, the more contagious that behavior will be. He recognizes the deals he is getting is because people have a situation and it is vital to him to meet them where they are and make the situation beneficial to both parties.

 

We then shifted gears to talk about lessons learned by dealing with contractors. Henry talked about the importance of having a detailed scope of work upfront so that he did not waste time talking with contractors that were never going to take the job anyway because of the state of housing market. He also worked extensively with his partner on honing his cost spreadsheet so that he could basically dictate the price of any construction work. Henry talked about the importance of keeping his valued contractors happy so he could establish long-term relationships.

 

I know that many real estate investors struggle with finding deals, so this was the next topic I asked Henry about. He said his most lucrative deals are currently coming from his lead generation website that he runs a Google ad words campaign on.

 

As far as Henry’s advice for people just starting in this business, he said after someone has done their due-diligence of self-educating, he advises them to focus their resources on figuring out their market and what a good deal looks like before deciding on a lead-generating strategy. The next step is learning how to properly evaluate properties once they have leads. Henry is convinced that focusing on these three things in order to buy a good deal, is the key to success in this business. Using these principles, Henry continues to grow his business while still having a full-time job in the IT industry. 

 

Henry is a great guy, with a ton of character and depth, so I hope you join us for this newest edition of Just Start Real Estate!

 

Notable Quotes

 

“I never saw real estate as something I couldn’t do - I just didn’t know what I didn’t know.”

  • Henry Washington

 

“Being a landlord is easy. I couldn’t fix it if I wanted to… I gotta call a guy.”

  • Henry Washington

 

“You heard what people were doing and decided to do something different.”

  • Mike Simmons

 

“The scale you can get when you have more people helping you - there is a multiplier there.”

  • Henry Washington

 

“You learn really quick in this business, it is not a real estate business, it is a people business.”

  • Henry Washington

 

“I need to be a solution to your problem.”

  • Henry Washington

 

“It is funny how it works out - the people that focus on helping folks end up having more financial success.”

  • Mike Simmons




Links:

7 Figure Flipping

Level Jumping: How I Grew My Business to Over $1 Million in Profits in 12 Months

Rich Dad Poor Dad

BiggerPockets Pro Member

Henry on Instagram

Henry’s Website

7FF Video Vault



Direct download: 40_doors_in_2_years_while_working_full_time.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, I interview buy-and-hold real estate investor Erin Helle. Erin begins by giving us her background and what brought her to this type of investing. She began her career in the military, first attending West Point Academy and then serving on active duty. Because her husband was also in the service, they knew that both of them being on active duty would be short-lived as they planned to start a family. She resigned her commission after about eight years of active duty to participate in the Army Reserves but was released when the Army discovered she had a heart condition. Upon leaving active duty, she began to explore real estate as a way to earn an income and be present for her family.

 

Since she did not have her own team at that point, Erin decided that any property requiring rehab wouldn’t work for the first go-around. Erin’s first deal, in May of 2018, was purchasing a newly constructed house, still in the process of being built. What she got was a completely rent-ready property, where she went directly from closing to meet her new tenant with keys.

 

Here I talked about how I had never heard of anyone getting into this industry by paying full-asking price for a newly constructed house, found on the MLS, but that is what is so great about real estate! There are so many ways to do it and be successful.

 

For her second deal, Erin pursued a flip property, which she and her dad did much of the work themselves. She talks about having learned so many lessons having to do with building relationships with contractors, budgeting, planning, and especially the selling process. The ability to close on the finished property proved to be a little difficult because of the demographics of the area that it was in. Erin knew she had so much to learn, felt like she had exhausted avenues for learning, and thought just getting in there was the best way to move forward.

 

Having a construction team upfront was one of the biggest lessons she learned from this project. When trying to contract certain aspects of this project out, she found that contractors would either not show up to bid the job, or would be awarded the job and still not show up. Erin also found that some portions of the job were way more costly than she anticipated and had budgeted for. Learning the timing and order of how the individual construction tasks were performed was also very enriching for her.

 

I then asked Erin what her primary investment strategy is and how she thought the current COVID-19 situation might affect that. She said she doesn’t plan to do any flips soon, but that she is always looking and open for new opportunities. She doesn’t think her rental market is going to be adversely affected by the quarantine situation and doesn’t think she will have to use any type of government assistance that may be available to her. I also shared my thoughts about this unusual situation and I talked about a video I saw that compared the real estate market now to the housing crisis in 2008 and how it was affected after 9/11.

 

I also wanted to find out how Erin finds her deals, so that is what we discussed next. She talked about the importance of KPIs (key performance indicators) and doing them consistently to see results. We discussed how her business model is more relationship-based than through paid marketing.

 

Erin then talked about the challenges of running her business remotely and how important it is to have a good team in place in each investment location. We talked about the necessity of a checks-and-balances system to keep everyone on task and doing good work. I commented that I could have an hours-long podcast on how to find, hire, train, and maintain a good team!

 

In regard to this, Erin talked about the systems she has in place to run her business. She said it is very simple, driven mostly by spreadsheets and contracts. This helps her to keep both herself and her teams on task and the expectations are very clear from the beginning.

 

I asked Erin what she would do differently if she could wipe the slate clean and use all the lessons learned to start her real estate business again, and she said she would not do anything differently. She believes strongly that any set-back she has experienced has contributed to the person she is and the business she is running.

 

Join Erin and me for a great interview featuring super actionable advice on both buy-and-hold and find-and-flip real estate investing!



Notable Quotes

 

“Sometimes the more you know, you can get in your own way.”

  • Mike Simmons

 

“I learned what a release of lien meant in that [first flip property], so that was huge.”

  • Mike Simmons

 

“It’s just resourcefulness, dealing with the situation and figuring out how to get through it.”

  • Mike Simmons

 

“If you have the will to get there, you will figure out a way.”

  • Mike Simmons

 

“Water finds a path.”

  • Mike Simmons

 

“[Flipping] is not what I’m supposed to be doing. It is a way to make money, but it's not contributing to my end state.”

  • Erin Helle

 

“I’m encouraging listeners to figure out what they want to do because that’s half the battle.”

  • Erin Helle

 

On systems: “I don’t think you need to have a fancy system or pay for a platform, I think you can do it in a notebook if you wanted to.”

  • Erin Helle

 

“I wouldn’t do anything differently. Everything that I have learned and every step I have taken backward has contributed to the person you see now and the business you see here.”

  • Erin Helle

 

Links:

7 Figure Flipping

Level Jumping: How I Grew My Business to Over $1 Million in Profits in 12 Months

Erin on Facebook

Erin on Instagram

Erin's Company Website

Erin's Email

7FF Video Vault



Direct download: building_a_legacy_through_buy-and-hold_rei.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, Coach Mike Venos joins me to talk about several life lessons he has learned through over 35 years of coaching kids of all ages. Mike has been the Head Swim Coach at Brother Rice High School for 22 years, Mercy High School for 4 years, and Beachwood Recreation summer club for 17 years. In the time that he has served as the head coach for these teams, they have captured a combined nine Class A / Division I State Championships and 24 Catholic League Championships. He has coached 14 individual and 15 relay-team State Champions, over 50 All-Americans, and two United States Olympic Trial qualifiers. 

 

Mike has received many local, state, and national accolades during his very successful career, is a member of the Catholic League Hall of Fame and will be inducted into the Brother Rice Hall of Fame this spring. In addition to coaching, he teaches Theology at Brother Rice.

 

Due to everything currently going on in the world concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, my goal with this show is to glean some wisdom for people in dealing with challenges. I started the interviewing by asking Mike why he thinks some people rise to challenges and some shrink from the same opportunities. Through interacting with his students and athletes he said you find out how much you can push them, the kids that are willing to go the extra mile, who is hungry to succeed, and who is born with innate ability take on difficulties. He said certainly these attributes can be innate to a person’s personality, or sometimes can be drawn out of them.

 

We discussed how sports are such a great forum for allowing people to make mistakes and learn from them. We also discussed the role of parenting in producing people who are more resilient human beings and how different parenting is today then it was when we were kids.

 

We backed up a bit to explore Mike’s background. He told me his dad was in sales and his mom was a Religious Education teacher, and how he got into swimming because his dad told him he wasn’t going to sit on the couch waiting to play his primary sport, which was baseball. Even though joining the swim team was not his first choice, he learned to love the sport for several reasons. He said it is a sport that you absolutely get out of it what you put into it, and because it is individual in nature, there is no hiding behind a talented teammate. With his love for the sport, he began coaching, which very naturally led him into teaching. He talked about how his upbringing helped develop creativity, which helps him find different ways of interacting with and reaching his athletes and students.

 

I then wanted to explore some of Mike’s coaching philosophies. He had given me several famous quotes he lives by and we proceeded to walk through those. First, he said that it is very important to have a philosophy and not just a plan based on Bear Bryant’s quote, “Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, then winning takes care of itself.” That led to a lengthy discussion about having your values as the foundation for everything you do and then formulating a plan from that core. A person’s ethics and morals don’t change based on circumstances, but if you make a plan before examining what you believe in, that could lead to dishonorable or damaging decision-making. We discussed how important a person’s character and integrity it is and how much easier it is dealing with people of virtue.

 

Coach John Wooden famously said, “Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” We discussed the importance of not trying to control the uncontrollables. Mike said that sometimes finding out what you can and cannot control can be difficult, but it vital to keeping your stress level low, enjoying life and succeeding. We discussed how appropriate this message to our current world situation and the wide range of people’s reactions to social distancing and quarantine mandates.

 

Coach Venos then talked about trusting the process and his own personal motto of “It’s not about winning but being the best” which is born out of Pat Summit’s famous quote of, “Our emphasis is on execution, not winning.” Regardless of your business, it is important to stick with your philosophy and goals, be flexible when required, but trust in your abilities, in the work you have put in, and that things are going to work out. We need to take the perspective that life is a journey, keeping the big picture in front of you, even when faced with obstacles. 

 

We talked about the New England Patriots system and how they built a dynasty on trusting the process, even while not having the most talented players and having to adapt to different strengths.

 

The quote of, “Get comfortable being uncomfortable” attributed to the Navy Seals led us into a conversation of the Seal officers we know and many of their admirable qualities, especially in times of challenge. The ability to rise to the current challenge and to look at obstacles as opportunities rather than some kind of punishment is essential at this time and as we approach an uncertain future. We pointed out how this time of forced isolation was actually a gift - a time to engage with our families, deepen relationships, and reevaluate our priorities. 

 

Coach Venos’ convictions may be born out of a lifetime of teaching and coaching, but they are applicable to all industries, age-groups, and walks of life.


Quotes:

“I like to surround myself with and hire people who have athletics in their background. People who have been on a team, because they typically know what it means to work hard to get something and to sacrifice for the betterment of others.”

  • Mike Simmons

 

“You don’t let the goal define who you are.”

  • Mike Simmons

 

“How people appear on paper is not as important as what they are made of.”

  • Mike Simmons

 

“You can make a good kid fast, but not necessarily a fast kid good.”

  • Coach Venos

 

“Most of my philosophies are not original… you have to look at successful people and emulate them.”

  • Coach Venos

 

“How many times do we ask for a reset button?”

  • Coach Venos

 

“If we keep dwelling on the negative aspects, we are going to miss these opportunities that are right in front of us.”

  • Coach Venos

 

“People are making decisions right now out of fear that are not in their best interest.”

  • Mike Simmons

 

“Good athletes don’t rise to the occasion, they fall back to their level of training.”

  • Coach Venos (a variation on Navy Seals quote)

 

“Every boo on the road is a cheer.” 

  • Scotty Bowman

 

“You have to reframe challenges as opportunities.” 

  • Coach Venos

 

“It is a time to re-form family bonds and reinforce all the relationship in our lives.”

  • Mike Simmons

 

Links:

Coach Mike Venos

Jocko Willink

7 Figure Flipping

Level Jumping: How I Grew My Business to Over $1 Million in Profits in 12 Months

Coach Bear Bryant

Coach John Wooden

Coach Pat Summitt

Coach Scotty Bowman

Navy Seals



Direct download: Highly_successful_coaching_and_leading_teams_to_greatness.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

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