Show Summary

This is episode #328, and my guest today is Martin Boonzaayer. Martin is a fantastic person with a lot of great information to share today….he’s also a 7 time National Champion and competed in Judo in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.
You can bet that being a world class athlete can help you how to compete in real estate investing, and today Martin shares some of his lessons that can help you become a better and more successful investor.
There are some powerful lessons we’ll discuss on today’s show – so get ready!
Please help me welcome Martin Boonzaayer to the show.

Highlights of this show

  • Meet Martin Boonzaayer, real estate investor and olympic athlete.
  • Learn as Martin shares his lessons from being an olympic athlete, and how he applies those lessons to real estate investing.
  • Join our conversation on the importance of being professional in your investing business.
  • Listen as Martin shares tips on how to create a brand in your real estate business, centered around your personal and company values.

Resources and Links from this show:

Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode

FlipNerd Show Transcript:

Mike: This is the Expert Real Estate Investing show, the show for real estate investors whether you’re a veteran or brand new. I’m your host Mike Hambright and each week I bring you a new expert guest that will share their knowledge and lessons with you. If you’re excited about real estate investing, believe in personal responsibility, and taking control of your life and financial destiny, you’re in the right place.

This is episode number 328 and my guest today is Martin Boonzaayer. Martin is a fantastic person, just a great guy with a lot of great information that he’s going to share today. He’s also a seven-time National Champion and competed in judo in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. You can bet that being a world class athlete can help you learn a few things about how to compete in real estate investing.

Today, Martin shares some of his lessons that can help you become a better and more successful real estate investor. There are some really powerful lessons that we’re going to discuss today, so get ready and listen up. Please help me welcome Martin Boonzaayer to the show.

Martin, welcome to the show my friend.

Martin: Thanks, Mike. It’s great to be here.

Mike: Yeah, yeah, great. Good to see you. I’m excited to talk about everything we’re going to talk about today because it’s such an important thing that I teach a lot about. This is a tough business sometimes and I think it’s important to talk about never giving up and some of the other things we’re talking about building the brand and things like that.

But before we jump into it, you have really an incredible resume background. Why don’t you share a little bit more with us about your background and your experience.

Martin: Okay, sure. Well, academically, my background is actually engineering which is kind of a little different in this space. Then athletically that’s what most people seem to be more interested in. I had the opportunity to compete in the Olympic games in 2000 and 2004 in the sport of judo and so that’s definitely one of the highlights of my life.

I worked as an engineer for a number of years but I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and it took me a while to find real estate which I was always interested. Looking back I don’t know why I didn’t get into it sooner. I wish I had, but I’ve done a number of things from insurance to raising money for oil and gas and I even did some network marketing for a while. But I love real estate. I found real estate as my full time passion about eight years ago.

Mike: Yeah. I think that’s a common theme. Having done, this is episode number 328, all these shows and just all the people in my network, it’s a common theme that people wish they had started earlier.

Martin: Yeah.

Mike: So I’ve had a few people on the show even recently that are in their early 20s that are already like killing it and you just kind of wish . . . like I think I started about nine years ago, I guess in my early 30s. It’s like, man, if I could just have another 10 years I’d be [inaudible 00:03:04] right now, knowing what you know now, of course, which we never knew then, right?

Martin: Yeah, woulda, shoulda, coulda.

Mike: Yeah. I know we talked a little bit about the show and you were making the analogy of your athletic background and how it applies to real estate investing. Do you want to share about some of the persistence and things that you think are important in this business?

Martin: Sure. As you pointed out, I mean this is a business where you can be very successful and still be rejected 95% of the time or more. You could still make a great living serving and helping that small percentage, but you have to be persistent. You have to be willing to keep going when the going is tough. I think that’s really where athletics and business kind of coincide.

I look at my athletic history and I’ll be candid with you, I was never a particularly great judo player. A lot of kids who make it to the Olympic level, they start when they’re small children, and I didn’t. I didn’t really get serious until my early 20s. I did have experience in the sport before that but it wasn’t competitive, and there are a lot of people that are a lot better than me.

But I look back and try to figure out, well, what did I do maybe that other people weren’t willing to do. Really what it came down to I believe, is just persistence. I think of this one time, I was just starting to get better, and I made the National team for the first time. I went to Europe for a training camp and I was just getting beat badly. The head coach of the judo team, his name is Steve, and I said, “Steve, what am I doing wrong?” He says, “Marty, you suck. You need to go back and learn the basics.” That was really hard to hear.

I think a lot of people may have said, “Who does he think he is? I made the National team, I don’t suck.” And just keep doing what you’re doing. Instead I packed my bags, I quit everything I was doing, I moved across the country so I could train [inaudible 00:05:09]. Two years later I made my [inaudible 00:05:10] team. That was the best thing I ever did is I had to humble myself, hear that criticism and basically relearn a lot of the basics as he said. It made it all the difference.

I think we have to have that same teachable mentality in business, especially in real estate. It’s changing all the time. You have to be willing to sit back and realize, “You know what? I might be doing this wrong. I have to look it up how I could better serve my marketplace,” because if you’re not getting results, you’re not serving your marketplace.

Mike: Yeah, I’ve taught this for years. I think we as real estate investors have a tendency to pick up bad habits because you’re always trying to get creative or what can I do differently and then you kind of get away from the fundamentals, right?

So I’ve kind of always advised people like, “Hey, just set a time in your calendar like once a quarter to just go sit down somewhere and just analyze how far you’ve strayed from the fundamentals of your business” because it’ll probably surprise you if you sit down and you think about it, are you still doing this, are you still doing that?

There’s just little things, you’re like, “Oh, why did we stop doing that? I don’t know why we stopped doing that?” Or “Why are we doing this?” So I think it’s an easy business to pick up bad habits in.

Martin: It definitely is. I think that’s true in life in general. It’s easy to kind of get set in your ways and you kind of get blind to your own weaknesses or where you may have strayed from the path.

Mike: Yeah. Well, let’s talk a little bit about the same topic because this has come up a lot in terms, I don’t want to talk about politics here because this show could take a turn for the worst, but just the idea that everybody gets a trophy. I know when you were growing up, again, let’s try to surf away politics a little bit, but when you were growing up and when I was growing up like we lost.

The earliest levels of any sports that I was in there was a winner and there was a loser. So I have a son that’s nine now and he competes in karate, and does some other things. But everybody gets a medal, everybody gets a ribbon. There’s like three bronze winners, I’m just like, “What?” just weird stuff.

I understand why they want to make kids feel good but people also have kind of become coddled to think that “I can win, and if I don’t then I just flat out quit instead of persistence.” So where do you see this country going? What advice can you give to people right now that might help them give them some fortitude to stick with whatever they’re trying to do?

Martin: Wow. Well that’s a loaded question.

Mike: That’s deep, I’m going deep today.

Martin: Yeah. Well, I think you hit it on the head. We have a whole generation of people that haven’t grown up, period. When you have universities having safe rooms with teddy bears and playdough, seriously. I mean I was listening to the radio the other day and that some big university, I forget which one, law students have this safe room with playdough and teddy bears and beanbags. Are you serious?

But I think it goes back to what you’re describing. These are kids that grew up where everybody, as you said, got a trophy, everybody is made to feel good and nobody learned to realize your self-worth isn’t attached to whether you get a trophy or not. That’s whether you win or lost. But there’s value to that. But if you give everybody a trophy you also take away the value of winning. So you take away the value of working hard and persistence, exactly what we’re talking about.

So it’s not that somebody is less of a person if they don’t win, but if they want to win it can light a fire and stir that passion to do what it takes to win. But if there’s no acknowledgement for winning and there’s no acknowledgment for losing, I think you really do yourself and our society as a whole, a disservice because there’s different people that are going to shine in different areas. Not everybody is going to win an Olympic medal. We don’t need that as a society.

But some people are going to step up and be awesome teachers. Other people are going to step up and be incredible leaders in their communities. Other people are going to step up in other ways, but one of our fundamental needs I believe as humans is acknowledgement and recognition for what we do, and we do go above and beyond. That’s the big problem in my opinion with the, everybody gets a trophy mentality is they’re trying to level this playing field which sounds great.

But the problem is people want to have a mountain top. If you take away the valleys you’re also taking away the mountain top. Who wants to live on the flat their whole life. I want mountain tops, I’m willing to go through the valley if I can get to a mountain top and I believe that people have to be real with themselves and be willing to be real with each other. So I don’t know if that answers your questions.

Mike: Yeah, that’s great, man. Truthfully, I think if you feel like, “Well, I didn’t do that. They said I didn’t do that bad.” Then, versus like you said, the guy said you suck. Like he just flat out told you, you suck, and that forced you. That’s how evolution works, right?

Martin: Yeah.

Mike: You could quit or you could use that as fire in your belly to take it to the next level and say, “I don’t want to be a quitter,” instead of saying, “Well, you kind of lost.” It’s like, “No, you lost.” Either you won or you lost.

Martin: Right.

Mike: I can’t think of a good analogy right now but sometimes they do like, they basically just burn fields because it makes the grass grow back that much stronger. It’s the same thing. Destruction and loss and stuff like that forces you to either get out of the game completely or have to step it up to be successful.

Martin: That’s right.

Mike: Yeah, and I think on top of that especially in the real estate space, the gurus and the late night TV folks and stuff that have taught that real estate investing is easy, you and I both know, on those shows, Flip this House, and all those shows, they never talk about even finding the deal. It’s just kind of a given, “Oh, we found a deal and then this is what we did with it.” But the hardest part of this business is finding a deal, right?

Martin: That’s right.

Mike: So I think a lot of people jump in and they’re just assuming, “Well, yeah, there’s deals everywhere. I just go find one.” It’s like, “Okay, well, it’s not quite that easy.” So therefore, people give up faster because they were led to believe it was easy and they probably couldn’t fail, but it’s really easy to get wiped out in this business as you know.

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It’s really easy to get wiped out in this business as you know.

Martin: It is, and it’s kind of a part of that same mentality you were talking about earlier, people are already set up to think that things are easy and that everybody wins and etc. Well, that’s not a great stepping stone to get into this business because in this business not everybody wins. You’ve got to work hard and as you pointed out you have to develop a skill set to find those deals.

I mean that’s kind of one of oldest adages in real estate, right? You make your money when you buy. If you pay too much for a property, I don’t care how smart you are and how nice you fix it up, it’s going to be hard to make a profit. You’ve got to buy it right and finding that deal is a very important part of this business.

Mike: Yeah.

Martin: That’s where that 5/95 or whatever percentage you want to apply, fits in is, you’re going to look at a lot of houses. I’m not necessarily a big follower of Rich Dad Poor Dad, but I love that book and I think he talked about going out and looking at a hundred houses before he made offers. I maybe have gotten it slightly wrong but I’m pretty sure about the hundred houses. I think that’s consistent with our business. You’ve got to go out and look at a hundred houses to get a feel for what you’re doing.

Mike: Yeah, especially if you’re new, you might need to make a hundred offers to get one deal.

Martin: Yeah, exactly.

Mike: I think some people they’re like, “Well, I made like five offers,” and they’re just waiting to see what happens and it’s like, you can’t wait. You’ve always got to be plugging forward.

Martin: You just keep going, right?

Mike: Yeah. Well, let’s talk a little bit about, I know there’s something that you espouse in your company is professionalism and it’s something that I’ve always . . . I think that that’s back to the, we’re taking the next step from persistence, is, don’t set yourself up for failure by just walking into a house with flip flops on and not having any recognizable brand and things like that. But let’s talk about professionalism and what your thoughts are there.

Martin: Yeah, it might take a new investor awhile to build a brand. It took me awhile as well and I don’t want somebody to think you’ve got to sit around for an extended period of time, visualize your brand, create a cool logo. All that stuff will come. But what you could do from day one when you’re out there hustling and working hard and finding deals make the effort, A, show up on time, B, treat people with respect. I mean these are fundamentals.

Don’t denigrate the property. It doesn’t matter if it needs a lot of work. Treat them with respect. You can acknowledge that it needs a lot of work without . . . I’m literally seeing people come into a property and say, “Oh, man, this place is just a wreck.” Or use other stronger language.

Mike: Yeah, how do you live like this?

Martin: Yeah.

Mike: But you’re thinking it, but you don’t have to say it.

Martin: Exactly, and even when people know this, and they generally do, they don’t need it thrown in their face. Show them the respect and courtesy that every human being deserves. What I’ve learned in business is, I believe it sets you apart from 95% of your competition right then and there. Just be professional, be respectful, and be on time. Just those three things. Really, I hang my hat, I feel it’s so important and for my sales guys they’ve got to be professional, they’ve got to wear appropriate clothes. They’ve got to be on time. If they don’t, I’m going to let them go.

It’s a big deal at my company because somebody’s time is important. If you schedule an appointment for noon and you’re there at 12:30 and you’re texting them, “Oh, traffic is bad.” It doesn’t matter. Traffic is not their problem. You being on time shows that you respect them. If you can’t honor a commitment to be at an appointment, how are you going to honor a commitment to buy their house and solve their problem and take away their uncertainty in the fear that they’re facing in this situation?

Mike: Yeah, I know the last contract that we got even, the buyer, I have an acquisitions guy that works for me. He’s bought hundreds of houses. He stayed there. He spent a lot of time with the person kind of explaining the situation and the guy told them before he left, “No matter what my other offers are, I’m going to sell my house to you.” He had other investors looking at it, which we don’t often win competitive situations to be honest because somebody outbids us or whatever. Literally he sold us the house and he said, “I had some higher offers, your offer was the lowest, but I trusted you the most.”

Martin: Yeah.

Mike: I think a lot of people are kind of surprise when they hear this if you’re not an investor now is that money is often not the motivation or the lever that cause people to sell us houses. It’s like avoidance of pain where I want to make this easy. I don’t want to go through this again. I want to work for somebody I trust and it’s not so much like “I need every dime I could get,” sometimes it is, but it’s not always the case.

Martin: Right. Generally, the person who wants every dime is going to go a different route anyway.

Mike: Yeah.

Martin: Just like you said, people are looking for confidence, they’re looking for peace of mind, they’re looking for somebody they can trust. I mean that’s the name of my brand, The Trusted Home Buyer. They’re looking for somebody that they can trust that’s going to take this problem away. That’s something that we train internally on and its human nature. People always feel like, “Well, we lost that contract because somebody offered more.” Well, maybe or maybe we didn’t do a good enough job building rapport or building trust because that happens to us all the time too where people would tell us just like your story, “Well, we trusted you more.”

Just because, if somebody is unprofessional or creates other reasons for the seller to feel concern and throws out a higher number, it doesn’t mean that you have to compete with that number. I mean, think of any buying experience that we engage in all the time. If I’m going to buy a car, for example, I’m not just going to buy the cheapest car. I’m going to weigh other options. How long this is going to last, reliability, safety, all these other things are factors. Same thing in our business and we are those other factors. When people are evaluating us, how reliable is this transaction.

Do I feel good that this is going to go through? That’s a big part of this equation and if you can address that . . . if you look desperate to compete on price people will actually lose confidence in you. If you can look somebody in the eye with confidence and say, “I may not be the highest offer but I understand this business and I know that if you work with us we’re going to solve your problem. It’s going to be done the way we say it’s going to be done.”

Mike: Yeah. The other thing that I believe and I’ve seen it many, many times in our own business is that if you treat somebody right, if you’re professional, if they trust you more, and when did have a lower offer then sometimes you’ll get another swing at the ball. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to get it, but they’ll say, “Look, I got a higher offer, I would really rather sell it to you,” because they trust us more because we built that relationship.

I even have people say, because sometimes it’s been like a little bit out of reach or I don’t really want to go that high and we’ve said, “Well, do we have to beat their offer?” They say, “Well, can you just get closer?” They’re willing to give some because they trust you more and that says a lot about professionalism, the importance of it.

Martin: Absolutely. That’s how you create value, and that’s how you get deals, opportunities to make a profit is to create that margin, add value to your seller, not necessarily through extra dollars but through extra value of reliability and trustworthiness. That’s the margin that allows you to go out then and make a profit, which you should.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. Martin, any quick tips you can give on some basic things you can do for professionalism to just, of course, you talked about being on time and things like that, but just in appearance or kind of business practice, business cards? Any kind of low hanging fruit that’s like, “Hey, this is the easy stuff. Just make sure you do these things.”

Martin: Wow, that’s a good question. I kind of hit on the biggies because I see it all the time and we’ve already talked about those. But certainly, I think spend 50 bucks and have a nice looking business card instead of the Vistaprint ones for free, I think that’s kind of a no-brainer.

Mike: That say Vistaprint on the back?

Martin: Yeah, show that you’ve been in business for a while, that you have some reliability. A lot of people might disagree with me on this one, but I’m a fan of the Better Business Bureau. I think a lot of people in our space might sell us a house still check that, and it’s a great environment to build up testimonials.

I think that’s another key is if you’re doing a good job, follow-up in a professional way and get that testimonial. It can go a long way because this day and age people are checking you out, at least a lot of them are. If you have some validation for how you helped others, it’s going to help you build that brand that you’re working toward.

Mike: Yeah. Another one I think is to have a professional looking website even if you’re not doing paid advertising to your site because I think a lot of people if you’re sending direct mail or even a business card, if they haven’t been to your site, a lot of times they’re going to go research you, right?

Martin: Right. For years I didn’t pursue PPC or SEO maybe the way we ought to have, but we had that professional website. It’s another validation that you are who you say you are, that you have a legitimate business. You’re not just some guy who watched a late night program last week and thought, “Hey, I’m going to give this a try.” By the way, we love those guys because we sell against them all the time, and they make it easy for us.

But this is a way that that guy can go out and start creating his own professional presence. You can do it quickly. I mean this day and age you can have a great looking website. There are great services out there that do that in no time.

Mike: Yeah, absolutely. Well, Martin I’ve got a question of the week that I want to ask you that will fit right into some of the stuff we’ve been talking about and that’s, we didn’t talk a whole lot about your professional, your athletic background which is pretty expansive which is really interesting.

Here’s the question, what lessons have you applied to your business from being an Olympic athlete specifically in judo, what are some of the lessons that you learned as an Olympic level judo athlete that you can apply towards your business or you have applied towards your business?

Martin: Okay, sure.

Mike: Do you take anybody down?

Martin: Well, I think the easiest, the most obvious component of that answer is, judo and like a lot of sports, if you’re always battling somebody else’s strength you’re going to struggle. So judo like a lot of martial arts is you take somebody else’s force and you “use it against them.”

In our business I don’t think we want to use somebody else’s strength against them per se. But the point is, if you focus on what you’re good at and you try to help where somebody else might be weak, I think you’re going to have a much greater success instead of battling somebody on their strength. If somebody wants to battle you on price, I don’t think you’re going to succeed in that battle. Instead, find out where the real need, their soft spot might be and help them there.

So that would be kind of the, I think the big takeaway, is you can’t be the best at everything. Be good at what you’re good at and know where you can win and know where you’re not going to win. That’s where you put your time and energy and effort. I mean in judo there’s certain techniques, throws, take-downs, that I was better at and some that I wasn’t.

I’m not going to go out in the Olympics and go try out the new stuff that I’m not good at in that environment. But you have to always by the same token be practicing and exploring where am I weak, where am I strong, so that when it’s time to play, when it’s game time, you can perform.

Mike: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Martin: I think that’s another big mistake people make is they practice in the real world and there is always going to be an element to that. But there’s a lot that you can do to be prepared so that when you are meeting with that seller you have a much better opportunity to close that deal than if you’re just practicing with that person. So preparation is key.

I think that’s not judo specific, I’m no Michael Phelps, but Michael Phelps was prepared.

Mike: Yeah, absolutely.

Martin: He knows exactly how many strokes to and from the wall. He knows everything. He’s not figuring it out as he goes and those are things that we apply in our business. We can know what our client needs, we can ask good questions beforehand and come into that appointment prepared saying, “I understand that this is what you’re looking for. Here’s how I can help you.”

Mike: Yeah, yeah, absolutely, that’s awesome. So hey, I wanted to follow back up. We talked about persistence and never giving up and I wanted to tie it into what you just said about your strengths and your weaknesses. So I’ve been listening to a few podcasts, read some things lately where they basically are talking about that we’re generally taught when we’re growing up, to focus on your weaknesses, right? Like improve your weaknesses and then the alternative to that is, “Hey, it’s okay if you’re not good at that. Focus on what you are good at, focus on your strengths.” As a business owner, as a real estate investor, what are your thoughts on how to focus on what you’re good at and then with your team and other people that you surround yourself with, allow them to fill the gaps with your weaknesses.

Martin: Well, that’s a great question and that’s one of my weaknesses to be honest with you is offsetting my strengths and weaknesses with other people that are really complementary.

Mike: Me too, me too.

Martin: It’s a struggle in business to do that. I think on a personal and business level, John Maxwell, I’m sure you’re familiar with him, he talks about if you assess your skills and let’s say you’re an eight in one category and a two in another. He’s says you’re much better off bringing your 8 to a 10 rather than your 2 to a 4.

Mike: Sure.

Martin: But by that same token, I believe it’s important to know where you are at two as an individual and as a business so that when you’re out hiring you know what gaps you need to fill.

Mike: Right.

Martin: So I think honest self-assessment, again, all these things are connected. It goes back to that if you’re not willing to assess yourself and be honest with yourself about your weaknesses, then you’re going to have a very difficult time in finding somebody that can complement you in that way.

Mike: Yeah. I think a lot of investors are solopreneurs, right? They’re individuals that are doing a lot of things and so I think it’s not like everybody has a robust team of like, I have a 10 person team that I can fill out because you may not be able to afford that especially early on. But I do think, like you said, it’s really important to know what your weaknesses are especially if it’s around acquisitions. If you’re just not a good people person, you’re really uncomfortable meeting with somebody that you don’t know and trying to help them solve a problem, then you’re probably setting yourself up for failure.

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be a real estate investor. I mean that’s such a critical role to have a good person in that you could be hurting yourself if you can’t step up your game there or find somebody else that can play that role for you.

Martin: Yeah. I would say that’s the hardest role to outsource because everybody, it’s the most valuable and it’s where the rubber meets the road in this business. Can you go out and get a contract? You always want to feel like you can do things better than anybody else as a solopreneur and that’s I think one of the hardest lessons to learn is there really is somebody that can do it better than you.

One of the things I’ve been really blessed with is my acquisitions guy here in Phoenix, he’s better at it than I am. I think a large part of that is, I love helping people and I’m passionate, and people see that. But I tend to be more on the serious side and Joel, he’s just much better at just kind of relax and let loose, more of a sense of humor, getting people to laugh. Getting people to laugh is not really one of my strengths, but it’s his.

I’ll tell you what, if you get people to laugh, boy, that can open up a lot of opportunity. So his number, he does great, and I think that’s a big part of it is, not only is he trustworthy but it’s easier to like somebody that makes you laugh. All things being equal, people would rather do business with people they like.

Mike: Yeah. That can become . . . we’ll talk a little bit about brand, which we’ve talked a little bit about, but that can become part of your brand as well. Just how you represent yourself when you’re meeting with sellers right of, just being trustworthy, being easy to talk to, all those things, right?

Martin: Absolutely, and that’s one of the things that I benefited or my company has really benefited from that really defining what it means to be The Trusted Home Buyer. That’s our brand. Because there’s a lot of times you work hard to get a deal, you want to do whatever it takes to get a deal and sometimes things can get a little fuzzy or gray. It’s really helped us to know, this is who we want to be.

It helps bring clarity to difficult situations of how are we going to handle this, and to be able to go back to those core values or your mission or whatever you want to call it, and say, “This is who we are and this is who we want to be,” then often it will help you put some focus on that challenge to say, “I think this is how we need to address this based on our values.” Once you have those values you can share those with your clients as well. It can be part of your presentation and it could be another way for them to help feel connected to you.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. Any kind of advice you could give to newer investors that might be listening or those that they may not be new but this is kind of like hitting home that I don’t really know . . . I mean in their mind they know “I’m a good person, I always try to do the right thing, I do these things,” but they don’t really have a stated, “This is who we are” and then basically make sure that the clients, the sellers that they’re meeting with actually understand this is who you’re dealing with here and why you should work with us. Any kind of tips or advice there?

Martin: Well, I don’t know that I’m a branding expert and to say, “This is the process.” I feel like I’ve done it well. I’ve built a couple of brands that I’m proud of. My personal process takes quite a bit of time. It’s an investment. I mean, once you have, like FlipNerd, I don’t know how long that took you, but The Trusted Home Buyer took me, I think I probably worked on it for about six months.

I have all sorts of ideas. I used a mind map, I used notepads, I was always scratching down things like, “Oh, well what about this, what about that?” Just kind of a process of every time something struck a core with me, this is who I want to be or this is what I like,” I’d write it down. Overtime I started to realize the theme I started to hear back from people over and over is “Martin, when people talk, they trust you.” It just helped me coalesce that into a brand. So that would be the first thing is, you have to invest time. It’s not just going to pop out of thin air especially in this day and age where everybody is trying to have a brand.

The other thing I would encourage somebody looking to build a brand is avoid the word “solutions.” Everybody has solutions in their name, everybody is providing solutions for something. It’s not terribly creative, it’s long and I don’t think it’s going to help differentiate you very much. I would encourage people to really spend time on what your values are, what’s important to you, who you want to be, and come up with a brand that speaks to that, that may not use the word solution. That’s just my two-cents worth.

Mike: Yeah, awesome. Well, Martin, hey, this is great information. Anything that we didn’t cover that you want to talk about here as we kind of wrap things up?

Martin: That’s a good question. I guess just one more comment on the brand. I think it’s true for most people that’s definitely true for me, that at the end of the day I want to feel good about what I do. You want to lay your heard down on your pillow at night and have that peace. I believe that comes from being congruent in your business with who you are and what your values are.

If you believe you answer to a higher powered then those values need to be honored in your business. So I think that’s a question you need to be asking yourself is, how can I honor my values and my business. Making a concerted effort to do that will bring you extra piece and satisfaction because on the surface, what do we do? Well, we buy properties for less than they’re worth and we flip them and make the margin, right? Well, great. But it’s not all about money. At some point there has to be more to it or the passion is not going to be there.

So I think that’s been very important for me is just to be, maybe not necessarily even just who I am but who I want to be.

Mike: Yeah, that’s great. Well, Martin, if folks want to learn more about you or about your companies where should they go?

Martin: Well, our brand for buying houses is, a lot of people forget the “the” in front, so Of course, if you’ve got a property or rental property that you want to get rid of definitely give us a call.

Mike: You’re in Phoenix, and in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is that right?

Martin: That’s correct. Yeah, thanks for pointing that out. Those are two markets we’re in right now and we’d love to expand but those are the two for now. Then if you’re interested in buying a good deal in those markets we also flip some of our properties as-is to other investors just because we don’t have the capacity to handle all of them. That website is, and property is singular.

Mike: Awesome. We’ll add links for both of these down below the show notes here for those of you that are going 80 miles an hour down the freeway right now. I don’t want you to try to write that down. So Martin, I really appreciate you spending some time with us today.

Martin: Oh, you’re very welcome. It’s great to be here. I love FlipNerd, I love what you’re doing and it’s a real honor to be part of your podcast.

Mike: Well, thanks, man. I really appreciate you being here. In fact I’m going to see you in just a few days at our mastermind, so I look forward to seeing you there.

Martin: I’m looking forward to it as well.

Mike: Yeah. Awesome. Everybody, thanks for joining us. This again was episode number 328 and we got a lot of great shows out there and we’re going to keep them coming at you. Thanks for spending time with us today. Hope you have a great week. Take care, everybody.

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