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Today, David Dodge bring Mike Hambright to the show and talk about building a real business. Mike started investing in real estate in 2008 and flipped several hundred houses. Real estate is a hard business and you will start with your first deal. Listen to this episode if you are new to real estate and just starting out doing a few deals.
Things that will cover in this episode:
- Building A Real Business
- What not to do
- Don’t stop Marketing
- Don’t set unrealistic goals
- #1 Goal – Replacing your income
- Getting out of the E-Box
- Bringing in Virtual Assistant
- Getting out of the S-Box
- Investor Fuel Mastermind
- CashFlow Groups
- 10-50 deals a year
- The Investor Machine
Welcome back to the Discount Property Investor podcast. Our mission is to share what we have learned from our experience and the experience of others to help you make more money investing like a pro. We want to teach you how to create wealth by investing in real estate, the discount property investor way. To jumpstart your real estate investing career, visit freewholesalecourse.com, the most complete free course on wholesaling real estate ever. Thanks for tuning in.
David: Alright guys, welcome back to the discount property investor podcast. I am your host David Dodge and today I am privileged to bring a guest on the show that I have heard his name over and over and over again for years and I finally get a chance to meet with him and network with him and share some value with all the listeners and all the viewers. So please help me welcome Mike Hambright. Mike, welcome to the show. How the hell are you man?
Mike: I’m great, I’m great. Happy to be here David. Honestly, I feel the same. I’ve known you- of you for a long time, we’ve never met so it’s a privilege for me as well my friend.
David: Man likewise. Very cool, very cool. Mike, you have been doing so many things. I’ve seen your name come across my social media accounts and other places with different things attached to it. You are a man of many trades, you are like a Swiss army knife. Holy cow. Holy cool. Very cool. So recently you work on InvestorFuse which is- is that a- so that’s not the mastermind, I’m sorry Investor-
Mike: Investor Fuel is the mastermind, yeah.
David: Investor Fuel, mastermind. Okay, awesome.
David: So that’s really, that’s really really awesome but today, I also want to talk about building a real business with you because again, you’ve- I’ve seen your name on a lot of things, you’re part of a lot of businesses and I think that would be really, really helpful to the listeners and the viewers to learn about that.
David: So welcome to the show.
Mike: Yeah. Glad to be here man. Yeah, I talk a lot about, you know, what I say you know, in a lot of different places that I- my goal is to help people achieve financial freedom and you know, I’ve been able to do that but we all started with one deal, right? Or we all started, we all have a backstory, right? For me that included like you know, getting a bunch of formal education because I thought that’s what you’re supposed to do to get ahead and then getting fired from my dream job and then go into another company and flying high then they filed for bankruptcy and it’s just like this series of-
Mike: Series of like, you know, hey I can’t do this anymore. I need to take my- control my family’s future into my own hands, and that’s really when I started real estate investing in 2008. But at the time, it was like you know, it was we were- we were living off of savings and burning through it fast and trying to get going and I know those struggles early on. We grew our business very fast in the real estate space but I can tell you that I’ve coached a lot of people, you have too, I’ve seen it. I’ve been around a lot of people that never get out of that job mode, right? It becomes like there’s this kind of badge of honor that’s called hustle which I don’t think it’s so much of a badge of honor, you do what you have to do to get ahead but that can’t be the goal to work that hard forever so I talk a lot about putting the right systems and processes and people in place to help you ultimately work your way out of a job and that’s ultimately what I think freedom is.
David: Man, I think this is going to be an amazing podcast. Thanks for coming on because I agree 100% with what you just said, and I have systems and processes and people in place in my business but I know there is always room to tweak it to make it even better. Mike, when most people come to me for coaching, they have a job and they want to quit that job and I warn a lot of them that if they do it the right way, they can go from 40 hours to 40 hours, maybe even from 40 hours to 30 hours and eventually, from 40 hours to 4 hours but what’s going to probably happen is they’re going to go from 40 hours to 70 hours.
Mike: Most likely yeah.
David: Cuz they’re not doing it right.
David: So yeah, I love it. This is great. So, what kind of things are you typically you know, doing and put in place to help prevent that from happening?
Mike: So I think the biggest thing is mindset, right? Like a lot of people, you kind of use that same- that same person you just talked about that’s thinking about leaving a job. So there’s really two people, they’re thinking about it and they’re going to do it, right? And so in my experience, and I don’t- I’m always hesitant to tell people, like I don’t think I’ve ever told anybody ‘I think you should leave your job’ because that’s scary for me like I don’t want that burden on my shoulders, right? But the truth is a lot of people have that job as like a safety net and unfortunately, you know I can’t tell you how many students I’ve had or people I’ve been with over the years that they’re thinking about leaving and then they’re starting getting some stuff going and they get a promotion at work or something happens and it’s just like that JOB that just- just over broke, right? They just like keep- like let me just raise it up a little bit to keep you here. And so I think the mindset stuff of people really being they want it but they’re afraid to go after it and so they kind of keep that safety net, and then unfortunately that safety net a lot of times doesn’t allow them to run their business like a business. They can’t answer the phone while they’re at work. It’s like well if you’ve got leads coming in, somebody’s got to answer that phone, right? And I’mma try to go on appointment, I set it for a couple days from now on Saturday when I’m off and that’s just- that’s not how- that’s not how you buy houses in this climate. Like seller- distressed sellers are not going to wait for you to get off work, right? They’re ready, they need their problem solved, they don’t care about your problems, right?
Mike: And so that’s what I’ve seen, a lot of people just don’t treat it like a business, they don’t and sometimes because they can’t go on appointments like at the drop of a hat if they need to, then they pull back on lead generation because like well what if I get an a- they’re almost like the proverbial dog that catches the bus like what am I gonna do if I catch it, you know? And so there’s a bunch of issues, really it’s around mindset, right? Of not treating it like a real business from the very beginning and that’s really the kiss of death from kind of from day one.
David: I agree completely. Awesome, that was awesome man. So we have students that come in and do the same thing and you know, I just encourage people, you know, don’t stop the marketing, figure out what you can do to solve the problem without being there. Maybe take a partner on, maybe joint venture with other investors and there’s so many things you can do of course, so many different things.
David: Love that, very very cool. What else you got for us today?
Mike: So, we could talk about, you know, how to kind of make that transition. Why don’t we continue on that same conversation?
David: Yeah, let’s continue on this. Absolutely.
Mike: Right. So I think there’s a- there’s a bunch of people that I’ve heard that will say- and they also a lot of times set- I’m kind of creating an avatar here of like what not to be, right? So there’s people that will say- because we’re very big on goal planning like what is it that you want to accomplish, right? And there’ll be people that let’s just say we got a guy that makes like $80,000 a year in his job and he’s getting started in real estate and you ask them what their goal is, they’ll say you know what? I’m not gonna be happy unless I make a quarter million dollars in my first year and it’s like-
Mike: And you know, on social media, you see all these people like they’re doing amazing things, of course you never see the negative side, you often don’t see the negative side of people’s lives and businesses on social media because that’s just not what they share.
David: It’s the highlight reel. It’s definitely the highlight reel.
Mike: Yeah exactly, exactly.
David: Oh yeah.
Mike: But what I tell people is like set a realistic goal. The first goal really should be replacing your income, right? Because like you said, then you can go from 40 hours to 40 hours if you’re used to working 40 hours. You can treat it like a job initially but the goal is not to have a job, right? But you kind of have to go through that. A lot of times I refer to Robert Kiyosaki’s cashflow quadrant.
David: I love all his books.
Mike: And for those that are familiar, it’s like a 2 by 2 matrix and the upper left basically is you’re an employee, that’s the E box and you work for somebody else like you trade your time for dollars, that’s as simple as that. Then the next box is S which is self-employed and a lot of people in this industry, I mean I wouldn’t hesitate to say 80 to 90% are self-employed. They’re not really business owners, like the business owns them. Like they can’t get out of what they do because if they do, the money stops, the music stops, the whole thing shuts down if you’re not available. If you get sick, your family gets sick, you want to take a vacation, any of those things, everything stops and so what happens? People don’t take vacations, they just crank and hustle and work all weekend and all this stuff and you’re just, you know, you still have a job, it’s just you also happen to be the employer, right? And that’s not the goal but that’s where a lot of people get stuck. And so a minute ago, we talked about getting out of that employee box, that’s hard initially and then people get stuck in the self-employed box. So then the upper right is the business owner box and that’s where you still are involved but you have systems, you have people, you have processes in place. You could, you know, you could get things going, leave on vacation for a week or two probably at least at a minimum and the business will still run without you because you’ve brought people and you’ve bought your time back, right? You took some of your earnings and you plowed it into investing in people or systems or processes or whatever might be that can allow the business to run without you having to be there that day or that week, right?
David: Yeah, love that.
David: And then you got the I box.
Mike: That’s right, yeah. The lower right is the I box. That’s where your money makes money whether you sleep 24 hours a day or travel 365 days a year, that’s where you’re at and that’s where everybody- like I talk about that because it’s like for me, it’s like a- it’s like a road map, right? It’s like, how do I get from E to S to B to I? And everybody has different goals. I mean I think that’s another thing that I’ve seen in all my time coaching, advising people. I primarily advise like professional investors now not newbies, but there’s still a lot of people that are stuck in that self-employed and that- even the business owner box and so I think a lot of folks- for me, and I have multiple businesses and so I have businesses in each of those stages like I have some startup type stuff that’s in that S box where I’m doing more than I really ultimately want to but I know it’s temporary. And then I have some multifamily stuff that I do that’s in the I box that properties I’ve never even stepped foot on or maybe one time, right? And a lot of my stuff tends to be in that B box but I think rather than kind of educate people on where you should be, I think people just need to be aware that that exists, right? Like I feel like a lot of people jump into real estate and some do- some do very well but they still get stuck and they’re just not aware of kind of where they are on that road map and so they just continue doing what they’re doing and hustling thinking that if I if I work more, if I work harder, I’m going to get ahead but if you’re not aware of where you are on that path, a lot of times you’re not moving forward, you’re just spinning your wheels.
David: Holy cow, I want to repeat what you just said. If you are not aware of where you are on that path, you’re not going to get ahead, you’re just spinning your wheels. Yes, I love that. That is exactly right. Man, so let’s recap. What not to do? Don’t stop marketing right?
David: You should keep running the appointments, that was the first topic that we talked about. Next, don’t set those unrealistic expectations guys, you know, your number one goal should be to replace your income. That was Mike’s words not mine and I agree 100%, that should be your number one goal. And if you don’t know where you’re at, sometimes just being busy isn’t going to be productive. Man you’re just dropping some nuggets on us today. I love it. This is awesome man, very cool. So, what do you tell your students in terms of you know, bringing on virtual assistants or even local assistance and/or even partners in an effort to get from the E box to the S box or really even more so the B box, right?
Mike: Right, right. Yeah I think from the getting out of the employee- like so first off, when you’re- when you’re early in your career whether you’re self-employed or whether you’re still an employee, somebody had- there’s a ton of administrative tasks in this business, right?
David: There is, there’s a ton. I just got off of a call with one of my students before this and we were setting up systems, it’s a lot, right.
Mike: And there’s a lot you can do with systems. I mean, obviously they’ve come a long way. I’m old enough in this business, 13 years so I remember there were no real estate CRM’s, like no real estate technology, it was like caveman days and that was just 13 years ago so it’s evolved a lot in that time. Of course, there was just this you know, 4, 5 years ago, maybe 6 years ago, just a whole bunch of stuff started rolling out because of a lot of people that are real estate investors and they’re like, they also were a software guy or like hey I can build this which is amazing but a lot of those tasks are- there’s- they’re never going to go away completely like you can make them easier and so how do you make it easier for you? Sometimes it’s not a system that you need, it’s a person that you need-
David: It’s a person.
Mike: -to handle it instead of you and you know, that could be a virtual assistant, that could be somebody in your office. You have to decide those things. I mean, we- I have both and we’re big on virtual assistants across our companies between me and my partner and our few businesses, we probably have about 70 virtual assistants that work for us and what we do. So they’re- you know, I’ve had VA’s for the last 10 years. There’s a lot of people that struggle with virtual assistants but it’s because they think that I can just hire somebody for 4, 5, 6 bucks an hour and they’ll just figure it all out as if they’re superhuman. So just know whether it’s virtual or somebody in your office, you still have to train them, you still have to coach them, you still have to monitor them, you have to pay them on time.
David: That’s right.
Mike: You have to do all the same things you would do with somebody in your office, probably even more so because why would somebody halfway around the world understand our culture and our business unless they’ve been exposed to that, right? And so, but I think virtual assistants are a great way to ease into having an admin that is probably more cost-effective than somebody, you know, in your office, but there’s also many- some things that virtual assistants have a hard time doing or that’s just way easier if you have someone in your office that you can hand something to and say hey can you do this for me?
David: Yeah hey can you go down and file this with the county, you know, and/or drop this off to the bank? It’s very difficult for the virtual assistant to do all those things. Absolutely.
Mike: Right right, yup yup.
David: I love that man, that’s a-
Mike: But I think that the key is like find administrative help to get the administrative tasks off of your plate. At the end of the day, like those are generally entry level tasks, right? So your time is worth more than that and if you want to start buying your time back, you know, think about the task you’re having somebody do like this is a $10 an hour thing and it’s like well, is your time worth 10 dollars an hour? And if it’s worth more than that, then you shouldn’t be doing a $10 an hour task as much as possible.
David: Yeah agreed, and there are some tasks that you can even have done for 4, 5, 6 dollars an hour like you had said earlier.
Mike: Yeah. Oh no doubt, no doubt.
David: Yeah, absolutely. I love that man. So that is a great way to get out of the E box. How do you get out of the S box?
Mike: So what happens is a lot of real estate investors struggle initially and they hustle hard and they might be making more money than they made when they had a- the J-O-B, right? But what happens is you get to a point to where you think you have to do it your way. And so sometimes, you don’t advertise more, you don’t raise your advertising up, your leadgen up because you don’t have time to go on appointments when ultimately you don’t want to be going on appointments anyway, right? I mean, if you- unless you love it, you might love it. I actually love the acquisition side but I just value my time more than that. I know that I can’t scale my own time, right? And so you might love it but eventually you got to get out of that role if you want to have a business and not a job. And so, one of the challenges that I’ve seen is a lot of people are perfectionists or they have done it so hard for so long that they just don’t think anybody else can do it as good as them and that actually might be the case. Sometimes there’s people that could do it way better than you and you just don’t want to admit it or you just not aware yet.
Mike: But ultimately, if you want to scale your business, like you could be a solopreneur taking your calls, going on appointments, doing all that up to maybe 2 or 3 deals a month, but you’re working hard, you’re on call 24/7.
David: Agreed. We talked about this on 2 or 3 podcasts ago, my partner Mike and I. Yeah, you kind of hit- you kind of hit a ceiling of about 3 deals a month.
David: When you’re doing all the acquisitions, all the marketing, all the appointments, all the offer making, all the follow-up, all the closing coordination, the signing, higher marketing. Oh man, the list goes on and on.
Mike: Everything, everything.
Mike: Inevitably you got to know, inevitably you’re making- you’re making decisions if you’re running your business that way that are costing you money. For example, you don’t raise up your advertising because you can’t go on appointments. You stop your advertising because your going on vacation in a couple weeks and you don’t want to have to deal with leads, your dispo-ing and you’re selling it to the same 5 people that you sold everything to last year and they’re paying you less because they’re getting the good friend discount and the easy discount for you, but you’re not out trying to build that dispo list where you can sell your properties for 5 or 10 thousand dollars more and just on and on, right? There’s a bunch of stuff that you’re doing that’s sabotaging your business and you don’t even know it because you think the easy route is just to stay in it. Now, the truth is that’s not easy because you’re still working harder than you should, harder than you want to be probably and also you’re doing your family a disservice. I mean, what happens if something happens to you? What happens if you get sick? What happens if someone in your family gets sick? You know, they need you, you need you so you got to find a way to get- to get out of the way more.
David: Man, I love it. That is such great advice guys. How to get out of the E box? How to get out of the S box? Ultimately you want to land in that B box. And the B box, if you are unaware of what we were talking about, we were talking about the cashflow quadrant and it is such a great tool to see the big picture and understand you know, what these roles are and how they exist and how you can move into the B one and the B box is the business owner box, and it means that you are in control and you have people and systems and processes that run the business for you. And then like Mike said, you can go on vacation for a week at a minimum. I mean I know some people that go on vacation for like 4 and 6 months at a time and they come back and their business is doing better than when they left because there’s people that are invested in it, right? And it’s just such an awesome, awesome, awesome approach. Mike, tell us about Investor Fuel.
Mike: So Investor Fuel’s a professional mastermind for professional real estate investors not new investors. We have over 110 members, we actually just are about to hit our 4 year anniversary and so it’s really an association of professional real estate investors, and we have for the past like I guess for the first 3 and a half years, we had multi- mostly a single family focus where we or all of our members were single-family investors. Recently, because I’ve been doing a lot of multifamily investing myself, we added in two more groups for multifamily investors. We actually call them the cashflow groups but in the single family side, we have a group for people that are doing 10 to 50 deals a year and we have a group for people that are doing 50 and above, and we have several members that are doing 400 almost 500 deals a year in our group. And then on the multifamily side, it’s from brand-new up to thousands of doors under control or under management and so but really, we’re just a family. I mean we’re a group of people that get together to share what’s working? What’s not working? There’s no ego allowed in our rooms and we have some amazing 7 and 8 figure businesses in there and you wouldn’t know it unless you know that person or unless it came up. I mean they’re not bragging about that, right? And so, it’s a place for people to kind of come and learn and grow and build relationships with people that are like them because as we all know, this is a lonely business for the most part. If you’re not out socializing with your peers and true peers like people that are operating at your level or above, then you’re probably, you know, from a moving forward standpoint, you’re probably moving backward. And so it’s just an amazing community of big givers and people with big hearts that are kind of sharing what’s working and trying to put our heads together to look around the corner and figure out how to grow even faster.
David: Man, I love it. Your ego is not your amigo.
Mike: That’s right.
David: And what you said that really rang with me Mike was the, we are a family, a group of people that that share you know, what’s working and no ego is a lot. I think that such an amazing message and I like how you have these different tiers, you know, to kind of focus on different things for different people, you know.
Mike: Yeah, that’s right.
David: I think that that’s really, really cool. So man, holy cow, over a hundred members and only been around for 4 years, you guys are crushing it, growing fast. Helping a lot of people.
Mike: We’ve got a good group, yeah.
Mike: Yeah, no doubt, no doubt, no doubt. We have a guy, I won’t say his name but a guy that’s in our group that when he joined about 2 years ago, he was doing about 3 deals a month, they’ve never done more than that and he just hit his 30th deal of the month yesterday which is day before the end of the month so maybe they’ll squeak out doing more than 30 deals. A pretty amazing growth and you know, it’s my group, I won’t take any credit for that. He would give credit to the group because he learned it from just being- sitting at the table with the right people asking the right questions and being a huge giver too, sharing tons of knowledge, always showing up early, showing up to help anybody out that needs help and in the process, they grew substantially in just a couple of years.
David: Man, that is phenomenal. Mike, what else are you working on right now? You’ve got a huge group.
David: But again, I see your name all over the place and you’re like you have some stuff going on with FlipNerd I think.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah so I founded FlipNerd about 8 years ago which is really just a podcast. There’s not much of a business to it other than the podcast itself. My real business is I really- I really have 4 companies. One is single family- single family investing company, multifamily investing company, Investor Fuel which is my mastermind that we just talked about and then The Investor Machine is our leadgen. We kind of call it a leadgen agency which really turned into a lot more of a tech company but we use some very unique ways to get to data that’s very, very hard to get to the average person that’s not willing to get to it, and then we have kind of done for you lead generation from direct mail, skip-tracing, a lot of other things that just literally you just pay your invoice every month and we make the phone ring and so it’s a pretty unique approach that you know, nobody else is doing, would be hard to replicate the way that we do it for sure. And that, we also work with just professional real estate investors and typically some higher volume guys that value back to what we said of outsourcing the things that they’re just not good at or never going to be as good at as someone else.
David: Mmm-hmm. Man, I love it. You are a Swiss army knife my friend.
Mike: Nobody’s ever said that but I get it a little bit. You know, I will say this and I’ll say this about myself.
David: Very impressive.
Mike: In the spirit of learning that we just talked about like mindset and stuff is I probably used to have more pride in having a lot of shit going on but now I know that it could be a huge distraction as well, but I will tell you that in all of the businesses that I just mentioned, I have a team. One of them we have 70 employees like we have a massive organization that is helping me do all that. I used to just try to do it all myself with a couple of people and there are definitely times where I was just spinning my wheels and everything was getting diluted. We’re at a point now where I have really good people in all the spots that we need them in and allows me to focus on what I like to do which is do podcast, educate, network, you know, sales and marketing type activities that I really love the most and there’s a lot of other activities happening, you know, in all those businesses and fortunately, I mean I get pulled in more than I’m saying here for sure but I have a good team that protects me from you know, myself as much as possible.
David: No, I get that man, I get it and I love it. But that’s how you’re able to do the things that you’re doing. That’s very, very cool, man. Mike, do you have anything that you want to share you know, with the audience? We have a lot of individuals that are new to real estate investing that listen to the show and we basically- the name of the show is the discount property investor podcast and we focus on buying properties at a discount.
David: Reason is you know, wholesaling is a great way to get started in this business. It’s a great way to get your feet wet, especially if you don’t have a ton of money or maybe not any at all but ultimately, you know, if you want to do, you know, wholesaling, if you want to be a landlord which is my passion and use the BRRRR method or even if you want to be a fix and flipper, you make your money when you buy, you get paid when you sell, so you always got to start with the discount, right? So that’s really what we love to preach and I try to say that on every episode: you make your money when you buy, you get paid when you sell. So if you are new and you’re just starting out and you’re learning some of these basic concepts and you, you know, maybe ran a few appointments or maybe even done a few deals, you know, what would be some advice that you would give somebody to get, you know, from that E or S, wherever they’re at, into the next box regardless of what that may be.
Mike: I think kind of going back to the mindset thing. I think that we’re at a place in America where people want to pop a pill and lose 50 pounds, we want to- I want to push a button and order something while I’m laying in bed at night and it’s there the next day on Amazon. It’s like this effect where everybody wants immediate gratification, right? And this business, you’ll hear- there’s a lot of podcasts out there, there’s a lot of people that talk about this on social media, they tend to make it sound easier than it is. It’s a hard business, it’s a great business. It’s changed my life. That’s where I started, for you know, 10 years, the majority of my money was made off of wholesaling, rehabbing and my rental portfolio that I built up, but it started with one deal, right? And even when I started, honestly, we got an office from the very beginning, we started advertising from the very beginning and generating leads. I had an admin from the very beginning because I was- I had a mentor that was showing me some things so I was kind of modeling and it still took me 4 months to get my first deal and then I actually got 2 deals in the first day, not the first day. Like when I got my first deal, I got 2 the same day and then it just started happening and there’s ups and downs and I kind of say it’s an emotional financial roller coaster, but you just have to have the fortitude to just never ever give up because when you feel like you’re failing, I promise you, you’re learning and those things are going to just keep pushing you forward. Too many people quit way too early and just never quit. You don’t- you don’t fail when you quit. I mean, you- when you quit- I messed this up now. When you- you don’t fail until you quit.
David: Until you quit, right.
Mike: Until you quit, so just don’t quit. Now you might have bumps along the road, you might have failures, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop, right? So just don’t stop and then you’re never going to fail.
David: Guys, you heard it from the man, the myth, the legend, Mike Hambright himself. One of my favorite quotes I think aligns very, very closely with what he just said is consistent persistent action equals success.
David: You can’t quit, you got to be consistent, you got to be persistent, got to constantly be taking action. I love it. Mike, thanks for coming on the show today. I will be forever- I am forever grateful for this hour of time that we had together.
Mike: Thanks man, glad to be here.
David: And I’m looking forward to connecting with you in person in a couple of weeks in Tampa too.
Mike: That’s right, that’s right. Looking forward to that.
David: Awesome. Guys don’t forget, you make your money when you buy, you get paid when you sell. Thanks for listening guys. Signing off.
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