“So, how did you get started in real estate investing?” Hands down, this is the question
that I get the most from my clients.
It’s clear to everyone who works with me that real estate investing is my passion, but
they want to know: what did you do before investing? How did Southern States come
about? And what did you learn along the way?
The Road to Real Estate Investing
Since I’m so passionate about real estate, people are usually surprised to find out that
my first foray into business wasn’t in the real estate industry. I knew that I wanted to do
real estate, but I also knew I had a lot to learn about running a business; I needed to
learn how to win and lose small amounts of money instead of hundreds of thousands of
dollars. So I started a mobile car wash.
I started that business with only $3,000 and a truck. At first, I did the cleaning myself, but
then I hired a team of guys who did the cleaning for me and a manager to handle the
And you know what? I hated it. So, three years after launching my mobile car wash
business, I sold it.
I loved the recurring model, and I learned a lot about how to run a successful business,
but I don’t have a passion for getting cars cleaned. I have a passion for making beautiful
houses. So I moved onto flipping houses with a partner.
However, I realized pretty quickly that flipping houses wasn’t for me. I wasn’t meant to
be the guy with the saw and the paintbrush; I saw that wasn’t the way to build wealth. So
after flipping three houses, I took my $13,000 and bought my first rental property in
Then, in 2016, I bought five more properties. I raised over 1.7 million for new
construction. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Did I Picture Myself Here?
I knew from a pretty young age that real estate investment was where I wanted to be,
but I had no clue what that would look like.
In 2006, I went to a Rich Dad, Poor Dad seminar, which sparked a fire in me. I wasn’t
sure how I was going to get into the real estate investment business, but I knew I would.
It took me 10 years, but I got here.
What I’ve Learned… And What I Want to Share With You
And that’s why I’ve launched this blog. I don’t want it to take you 10 years to get to
where you want to be in real estate investment. I want to shorten your learning curve
and pack that 10 years of knowledge, trial, and experience into a few months.
Because once I figured all of this out, I bought and sold 25 properties this year alone.
And so can you.
Here’s some of my biggest takeaways that helped me get to where I am today:
Real Estate Is a Finance Game
I didn’t know this going in, but the real meat and potatoes of real estate investing is
financing. You can finance ANYTHING if you have the right strategies. I didn’t have the
cash to purchase 25 properties this year, but I was able to do it because I shifted my
understanding of and my approach to financing.
It’s not how much you have. It’s how much you can put together.
Find New Sources of Deals
Deals DO NOT come from realtors. If you purchase from a realtor, you’re putting 20%
down. So if you purchase a $100,000 house, that’s $20,000 down every time. That’s a
quick way to make money evaporate. And if your money evaporates, you’ve got no
Using new sources to find deals – or creating your own – is key. Two years ago, I bought
a house for $1,000. That would have NEVER happened with a realtor.
Connect With the Right People
Just like anything else, real estate investing is about knowing the right people and
building the right relationships. Getting yourself into the real estate investing culture and
connecting with interesting contacts is crucial. You’ll need to build relationships with
bankers, vendors, contractors, and mentors, and you’ll need to manage those
relationships in a way that helps to push your business forward.
Keep in mind, the network that you build is going to depend on your taste and the type of
people you want to work with. Always be networking, and be on the lookout for potential
contacts that align with who you are, how you do business, and what your long-term
financial goals are.
I took the long road to real estate investment success, but this blog is here so you don’t
have to. We’ll be covering all of my best tips, tricks, and strategies to make the most out
of your investments and find real estate success quickly, easily, and with as little stress