If you’ve heard the saying that “attitude is everything”, that statement is as true in real estate investing as anywhere else. In a business with so many ups and downs, and generally few but large paydays, your attitude and your ability to stay positive at all times will help you achieve more success. In this FlipNerd.com VIP interview, Sam Sadat, renowned real estate investor and leader, shares more on this. It’s a powerful show…don’t miss it!
Mike Hambright: Welcome to the FlipNerd.com podcast. This is your host Mike Hambright and on this show I will introduce you to VIPs in the real estate investing industry as well as other interesting entrepreneurs whose stories and experiences can help you take your business to the next level. We have three new shows each week which are available in the iTunes store or by visiting FlipNerd.com. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Hey, it’s Mike Hambright with FlipNerd.com, welcome back for another exciting VIP interview where I interview some of the most successful real estate investing experts and entrepreneurs in the industry to help you learn and grow. Today I’m joined by Sam Sadat who’s done thousands of transactions as a mentor and coach, as a lender, he’s a founder of the Los Angeles Investors Club, Sam has a great passion for educating others and is one of the most passionate people around. Today he’s going to share his knowledge of staying positive and having great attitude and energy to help you be more successful in your real estate investing business. But before we get started, let’s take a moment to recognize our featured sponsors.
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Please note, the views and opinions expressed by the individuals in this program do not necessarily reflect those of FlipNerd.com or any of its partners, advertisers or affiliates. Please consult professionals before making any investment or tax decisions as real estate investing can be risky.
Hey Sam, welcome to the show.
Sam Sadat: Hey, thanks a lot for having me, Mike.
Mike Hambright: Yeah, yeah. I’m excited to have you on and for those that, we weren’t recording a few minutes ago, we were talking, you just have great energy and I’m excited to talk to you.
Sam Sadat: Oh, thank you so much, it takes one to know one, as they say, so your energy ain’t bad either.
Mike Hambright: Great, thank you. Well for those that don’t know you, tell us a little about your background, how you got into real estate investing and then we’ll kind of start talking about how folks can use more passion in their lives to be more successful.
Sam Sadat: Okay, well I went to school as I told you at UT Austin, I studied engineering, I did aeronautics and then mechanical engineering, and then I came to California, I started working as an engineer, I realized that’s just a waste of time for me, so I said what am I going to do, what am I going to do, I’ve got to leave a legacy, I can’t leave a legacy working as an engineer. So I started to explore and of course I always loved real estate and I gradually started getting into the real estate business and over the years I became more and more kind of, the more I did it the more I began to enjoy that. And so what I did was back in I believe 1990 I got my broker’s license, I started doing financing, primarily residential financing and then I started buying properties and started investing, buying my first home, second home, third home, I just kept going. Knowing assuredly, I thought that I was completely financially independent, then all of a sudden on January 17th 1994 the infamous Northridge earthquake hit Los Angeles. And I had a beautiful home, older home, an older structure in Santa Monica, very, very Gelit region of Santa Monica, which is a very beautiful area, very expensive, near the ocean and my home got destroyed, I had an apartment building in the San Fernando Valley that got destroyed, I mean literally red tagged by the fire department. They kicked us, my family, two sons, my wife and two sons got kicked out of our home, we couldn’t even find a place to live because homes were damaged. In Sherman Oaks, Northridge and of all places Santa Monica, those three places got damaged, so everything that I had was gone over a 25 second span of time. And one of those things that maybe you planned things for yourself in such a way that you think you’re done and then the divine and whatever energy you believe in, God or the supreme being, the creator, the universe, life, whatever it is, I don’t know, everyone has an opinion on that, it didn’t want me to have that. It says you’ve still got work to do. I lost everything and we moved to Colorado for awhile, I started my company, I did well, I sold it, came back to California in ’03, I started buying real estate and there started my club in 2003 and my club, Sam’s Real Estate Club of Los Angeles, also LA Club I started educating others, I started teaching others what I know about real estate and after 11 years now we’ve got an awesome group of people, about 20,000 people in my database, a lot of investors, a lot of successful investors, I mentor, I educate, I teach, I essentially want to leave that legacy of teaching, mentoring, knowledge, enlightenment, all of that for people out there. Not just to succeed in real estate and money and business, but in life.
Mike Hambright: Yeah.
Sam Sadat: Because what’s the purpose of having so much money in the bank and being miserable and not being happy because your attitude is not in the right place, your heart is not in the right place, your mind is not in the right place. So I have really tried to teach people a balance between money, wealth and then the other side, happiness.
Mike Hambright: Absolutely.
Sam Sadat: And when you bring them together and you kind of like cross the bridge between wealth and happiness and that way have a fulfilled life and that’s been my passion, that’s been my goal over the years.
Mike Hambright: Absolutely. And it’s interesting Sam because I know a lot of folks, some big name folks who are in real estate and people always look at it differently, and I haven’t even been in it that long, six years, we’ve bought hundreds of houses in that time but a very short period of time, there was a time six years ago where I had never bought a house in my life other than the house that my wife and I lived in, so, but I saw real estate as a tool to help me achieve financial freedom or something like that to pursue other things. There’s some people that it’s about the real estate itself, which everybody is entitled to how they want to treat things, but I think most people look at it as a means to something other than just buying and selling houses or holding houses or land lording or anything like that.
Sam Sadat: Yeah, absolutely, and it’s totally okay if somebody’s role and their passion and their life mission is to just own as many properties regardless of anything else, more power to them. I have no issue with that. But I’m for one am thinking that the balance in life is one of the most important of our fulfilled living. A life, in the words of Socrates, an unexamined life is not worth living. Okay? So you’ve got to examine your life, you’ve got to check it out, you’ve got to have checks and balances, how much money is enough money? How much, you have $10 million, I’ve got $20 million. How much more can I do with my 20 million that you can’t do with your 10 million? You understand what I’m talking about.
Mike Hambright: Right, absolutely.
Sam Sadat: It reminds me of what Arnold Schwarzenegger, you know, former California governor said one time, he said you know, money doesn’t make you happy. It’s true. Because I remember when I had $50 million, now I have $100 million but I’m not one bit happier than I was when I had $50 million. Come on now. I mean, the bottom line of it is, that happiness is, part of it may be yeah, that money part is very important, believe me, if you’ve got your heart in the right place, if your mind is in the right place, if you have a mission to not just help yourself, but you’re here for another purpose and to help others.
Mike Hambright: Yeah. And so Sam talk about, and I agree with everything that you’ve just said. For a lot of folks that are trying to get started in real estate investing it seems to be a struggle just to get out of the gate. And sometimes it’s because people aren’t confident in what they’re doing, or whatever, but talk about how you make that transition to worrying about balance and focus and the other side which is you can’t even get started yet or you seemingly can’t get started yet.
Sam Sadat: Yeah. You know I mean, in my opinion, the way I’ve seen things unfold with a lot of investors, a lot of students that I mentor and educate on a regular basis. There’s no doubt that if you work very hard and you combine it with some smart thinking you can make money even if your attitude sucks, even if your heart is not in the right place, you can still make something happen, right? So with that being said, for most people I have noticed if you fix your attitude, what goes through your mind, your thoughts, and what’s in your heart, if you fix those two places it will make your journey a lot easier and a lot more successful.
Mike Hambright: Sure, yeah.
Sam Sadat: And when you begin to bring money into your life, it gives it so much more meaning, it gives it so much more happiness, because not only are you in the right mind and the right heart, but now you’ve got the money. My suggestion to all investors out there especially beginner investors work on your attitude, work on your mindset, work, you know, examine your heart. Heart is a very interesting concept. The word heart if you talk about encouragement, encouragement is a very important factor of life. You encourage yourself, your children, your wife, your friends around you. Why is encouragement so important? Because the word encouragement comes from core and core is heart in French and in Española, in Spanish it’s el corazon, heart. Any act of encouragement is an act of the heart, and any time you encourage others in essence, your adding something to their heart and to their mind and realize their full potentiality. In my opinion if people read good books, or get books that boost their attitude, that boost their mindset, that they look at life from a positive perspective, that they understand that what happens out there doesn’t determine your destiny. What happens here and here determines your destiny. People tell me “Sam, there’s not enough inventory out there, we can’t find properties” how come I see people with great attitude finding properties all the time? How come I’m finding them all the time? Because the outside external forces in no way can they determine your happiness and your success. It’s all management of your own thoughts, management of your emotions, management of your own attitude. Once you master that, believe me, nothing outside is going to bug you. It’s not like you’re going to be a robot and nothing bugs you, I should say, it may bug you but you won’t get stuck in that. The key issue is with me, I still get down, but you know what, you’re your own master of them. I snap out of it very quickly because I have reached that awareness that unless I snap out of that and unless I manage my emotions in a positive fashion then life is going to be a very, very hard journey.
Mike Hambright: Sure, sure. And I think there’s a lot of great advice in just, you’ve heard it in a number of books, just living your life in day tight compartments where you have a bad day, but tomorrow you need to wake up and forget that and move on.
Sam Sadat: Yeah, why tomorrow? An hour from now.
Mike Hambright: Right, right.
Sam Sadat: Even 30 minutes. I’ve given myself 15 minutes to feel sorry for myself. Something happens, some bad in the air or something that I don’t like, something that I-here’s the funny thing about it, I’ll tell you something about the grand scheme of things. Anything that can be considered bad is coming from a very narrow perspective. In the divinity plan, in the grand scheme of things and from the spiritual perspective I don’t think anything that happens to us is bad at all. We just don’t see the grand scheme. Haven’t you noticed some of the stuff that you look at in the past and you consider them to be bad and then in the future after a couple of few years you say wait a minute, that’s the best thing that could have happened to me.
Mike Hambright: Right. Absolutely.
Sam Sadat: Earthquake, the Northridge earthquake, wiped me out. I was out of four to five million dollars and at that moment it was the worst thing that happened to me, but in retrospect, when I went to Colorado, and spent so much time in the Rockies, I meditated, I wrote a book, I did so many things that boosted my morale and changed my life for the better, I said that was the best thing that happened to me in my life. At that moment it wasn’t. So our limited perspectives really doesn’t have that ability to define anything in life as good or bad. So if that’s true then, anything that happens that you think is bad, maybe it’s not that bad. You have 15 minutes to feel sorry for yourself, move on. Get back on track.
Mike Hambright: That’s great. So how do you advise people that are looking to get started in real estate investing, newer folks that do have a hard time finding a deal, they just don’t have enough knowledge or education yet to be successful, but they’re working on it? It’s easy to get down and not see that you can be successful here. How do you advise those folks versus some that maybe have already made it?
Sam Sadat: Networking buddy. Networking. Belly to belly, eye to eye. You know social media is fantastic, as you know our website SamsRealEstateClub.com, okay, you’ve seen our website, you see all our education programs, we’re also on the social networking, I have the greatest web master, we do all of that stuff, emails, all of that. All of that is overrated in my opinion. Maybe I’m old fashioned but I still think eye to eye, belly to belly networking, if you’re not networking you’re not working. So the best advice I can give people is go into as many networking venues as they can. Hook up with other people to share their resources, one person’s got property, the others got money, hook up together. I provide proof of funds for my investors, they don’t have the money, but they come to me, they’ve joined my club, they have joined my membership team, I provide them with proof of funds, I provide them with the earnest money deposit, they go and put a property under contract, they wholesale it, they walk away with some money. We do partnership, we fix it, we flip it, we make some money. The bottom line of it is, none of us has got all the resources, all of us need other people. When you have your omelet in the morning for breakfast, do you know how many of hundreds of people have worked for you to have just the omelet? Not to speak of the chicken. So the bottom line of it is it’s a world that’s interconnected, so my best advice to beginners go out there, network, find people, bring people into your networking team, into your team that have things that you don’t have, that have resources that you do not have. I know it’s not that easy, I know it takes courage, I know it takes effort, going out there, driving, meeting people, shaking hands, it may not be the easiest thing for most people, but the bottom line of it is, it’s really the thing that works.
Mike Hambright: Yeah, yeah. And we were talking briefly before we started today about using power versus force. It’s the power of persuasion, the importance of your attitude when you interact with others. Talk a little bit about how much of a difference that could make between success and failure for real estate investors.
Sam Sadat: Yeah, I mean for example last night at my club meeting we were talking about the non-verbal language, body language, and most of the time it’s so easy to see why most people fail at life. If you look at them they’re slumped over, you know, if you look at them their body language says I can’t get anything, I’m a loser, who wants to be with a person like that? The way to do it, sit up, change your posture. I do meditation, almost every day I meditate for a half an hour, 45 minutes, an hour, sometimes I’m gone for a couple hours. The first rule of meditation is you sit erect, your back is fully erect. If you just do that and sit up and look up, immediately you change your mood, as opposed to slumped over and I’m looking down which ruins your mood, just sit up, look up. I always say if you’re feeling down, get up. Just this alone, looking up, it just boosts your energy. Because body language not only influences other people but it also influences you, it influences your mood. So the bottom line of it is if you feel down, change your body posture, change your posture, change your body language, try to incorporate more things that bring power to your life. Instead of promotion, use encouragement. You don’t have to constantly promote people, oh, you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that, encourage them to take action. Instead of constantly pursuing people, influence them, educate them. Education is something that in our industry I see that a lot, in the real estate industry, it’s like every other speaker that I see, and that’s why I’m not bringing a lot of speakers to the, so called professional speakers, to the club, they constantly sell you the sizzle, but where is the steak? People are tired of that. You know, give me some 100% pure education. If you share that with others, if you give it like that, giving is not always about money, giving is about energy, your education, your knowledge, you give it, it will come back to you. If you freely share that you will have nothing to worry about. The universe works like a charm. When you give it, it comes back. I’m an engineer, remember I told you? Second law of thermodynamics, no energy is ever wasted, whatever you put out you’re going to get back.
Mike Hambright: Yeah. And it’s important even when you’re talking to sellers, a lot of folks don’t realize this, that for a lot of real estate investors maybe it’s just a transaction, they want to do a transaction, but the reality is if you represent yourself as a problem solver, try to show compassion for that person you’re dealing with, and people like to work with people that they like. So it’s very common for us to be talking to sellers that will sell us their house at a lower price than another offer they’ve had just because they like us more. We took some time to get to know them. Yeah.
Sam Sadat: Absolutely, you put your finger right on it. Because people like to do business with other people that are like them, or perceive them to be. One of the things that I taught last night is the concept of pacing. In other words if you’re going in there and your seller is kind of in a bad mood, and you walk in like this, you’re not going to be communicating with the guy, your body language says I’m powerful, you’re nothing, and the guy says get the hell out of my house, at least in his mind. So the bottom line is if they are not feeling good, if they’re down, you do the same exact thing, you pace them. In other words, you actually do what they’re doing with your body language so you can establish some rapport. That’s a secret of rapport, the secret of rapport and trust is to I don’t want to say imitate or mimic, but I want to say kind of follow and pace what they’re doing, so gradually from this, we can bring them up to this.
Mike Hambright: Right.
Sam Sadat: Because after we pace them and their body language, how they talk, their attitudes, their beliefs, then you can lead them. You can do something else like sit up and you’ll be amazed. The person is like this, so you go like this as you’re chatting with them and after awhile you know, you go like this, you’ll be amazed that your seller all of a sudden goes like that.
Mike Hambright: Right.
Sam Sadat: That’s called leading, pacing, and leading and when they go like that you’ll know that you’ve established that rapport. And the moment you establish that rapport is it, here’s the contract. Now you just get in and get your junk out, pack up right there, let’s get into business. It works like a charm because like you said, people like doing business with people who are like them.
Mike Hambright: Right, right. Well Sam talk a little bit about, I know that you’re a big believer of working together with others to get deals done and you just said that everybody needs something in terms of running their business successfully. So talk a little bit about that because there’s so many real estate investors that are cowboys, that are just one off people.
Sam Sadat: One man shows.
Mike Hambright: Everybody is their competition. And they’re not going to share anything with anybody. Why don’t you talk a little bit about your kind of philosophy on the power of sharing and working with others?
Sam Sadat: I think I talked a little bit about that, there’s two mentalities. Either you’re coming from abundance or scarcity.
Mike Hambright: Right.
Sam Sadat: People that want to have everything for themselves, their mindset is scarce. Look at the word scarcity, scare, city. City of fear, any time you’re in that realm of insecurity and scarcity that you do not want to share with others, either you’re going to have to change that or you’re going to have to live in your own island for the rest of your life and those kinds of people even with a lot of money they’re not going to be happy.
Mike Hambright: Right.
Sam Sadat: The other part is abundance. Abundance, it’s a dance, it’s a dance of the universe, the waves, the ups and downs the energy that is in the universe. Abundance is the key to your success and happiness. Money, wealth and happiness. When you share, when you come from abundance, when you do not see scarcity, you’re secure, you’re not in fear and when you share with others, we just talked about it, it will come back to you. One of the main reasons a lot of our people are successful, our investors, is because they come together as a team. It’s so easy to form a real estate partnership, it’s not like buying a restaurant together that you have to be married to the other person for 15 years.
Mike Hambright: Right.
Sam Sadat: It takes four months, five months, six months, have a nice solid contract in place, couple of pages, good people that your energies are aligned. I’ll tell you, the best advice that I can give to people is if you’re not aligned with the other person’s energy you will know in the beginning, don’t do business with them.
Mike Hambright: Yeah.
Sam Sadat: Either you’re aligned and you can see eye to eye in your energy, you’ll feel it, it’s not something I can talk about it, but you’ll feel it. If you feel good about that person outside of the mental calculation, it’s not a left brain thing, it’s a right brain thing, if you feel good getting into partnership with them, all you need is a couple of pages.
Mike Hambright: Right.
Sam Sadat: And you go into partnership with them you share in that process, it will come back to you. Okay, it’s either you’re coming from fear or you’re coming from abundance. Okay, I can’t work with people that come from fear. I have helped so many other people establish other real estate clubs in LA. And people tell me Sam, why are you creating competition for yourself? I say I’m not creating competition, there are 12 million people living in LA.
Mike Hambright: Right.
Sam Sadat: How in the heck am I going to reach all of them? And how can everybody connect with me, some people don’t like me, their energy’s not going to be aligned with mine, some people that like me, I’ve got enough of those people that are going to offer to do business with, some people like you, some people like the other guy. Thank God for that because everybody’s going to be to their own people and the people that they can connect to. There is no competition to me, there’s none, I don’t see that as competition at all. And once people develop that, I think you see that you’re going to be a much happier society I think as a whole.
Mike Hambright: Absolutely, absolutely. So Sam, for those that are listening that love your energy and say I need to get me some of that, what do you advise? How do they get started? There’s a lot of folks, maybe they’re in a rut, they’re down on themselves, and they know it, where do they go to kind of get started to kind of learn more?
Sam Sadat: I’ve got two great books I can send to them. One of them is called The Magic of Thinking Big by Doctor Schwartz, it’s an all time classic, best seller, that was probably one of the first books I read, The Magic of Thinking Big by Doctor Schwartz. And the other one is The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol. Those two books, although they’re older books, and of course the all time classic Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, which I’m absolutely [inaudible 00:24:58].
Mike Hambright: Absolutely, right.
Sam Sadat: Those three books is a fantastic start for any beginner in real estate or in life, whatever, and also I can not overstate the importance of meditation, not medication, meditation. A daily meditation to be alone by yourself and allow yourself to kind of be in your own thoughts. I mean just sitting and being in your own world and allowing not anything to disturb you. No music, no sound, just that meditation. There’s so many different techniques for meditation.
Mike Hambright: Right.
Sam Sadat: Some people go into the nature, some people go for a walk, it’s okay as long as you have some time for you with no other distractions that you can spend. Magical, magical. So if you’re down on yourself take frequent walks, meditate, okay? Read good books. I’ve got a lot of reading free educational food for thought articles that I’ve written that are on my website, they’re free. People can go download, I’ve probably written maybe 100 articles and each one of them is exactly designed to help people get out of the rut, to get out of the negativity, to get out of the low energy and come into the realm, the higher realm of high energy, high moral. You know what morale is.
Mike Hambright: Absolutely.
Sam Sadat: [Inaudible 00:26:26] is morale? High spirit, sense of well-being. Okay, that is so critical in our success, if you operate in that realm even if you don’t make money today, you’ll make it tomorrow, but you’ll be happy. And nothing can take the place of happiness and peace of mind.
Mike Hambright: Yeah, yeah. Thank you so much, Sam.
Sam Sadat: My pleasure.
Mike Hambright: So for those that want to learn more about your club, we’re going to add a link down below the video, but where do they go?
Sam Sadat: One of the main reasons I started the BBA Sam’s Real Estate Club because people can remember Sam’s Club, right?
Mike Hambright: Yup.
Sam Sadat: So what they’ve got to do is Google Sam’s Club Real Estate, boom, I’m right there. I think I’m second or third on the first page, right there, Sam’s Real Estate Club or Los Angeles, we’ve got a great website, a lot of free educational videos and materials for people to look at, and of course our monthly meetings, we’ve got workshops, I do occasional workshops with Sensei, you know my friend that introduced us, so you know, they can, on my, I have an open door policy, literally my door is open, people can come in, shoot me an email, I help them.
Mike Hambright: Great.
Sam Sadat: I spend about an hour, hour and a half on every day to respond to emails to people who I have absolutely no idea who they are. They just write me and they say “Sam, I need help” so I spend time and I find out exactly what they need and I just respond to them. That’s part of my contribution and leaving a legacy for our great community and also country. Because I tell you, people constantly tell me oh, we’ve got problems, everybody’s got problems, of course America’s got problems, but would you rather live someplace else? I don’t want to.
Mike Hambright: Right.
Sam Sadat: I travel all over the world but still come back here and say thank God I’m back in America.
Mike Hambright: Right.
Sam Sadat: You know what I mean?
Mike Hambright: Absolutely.
Sam Sadat: I mean we all feel the same way.
Mike Hambright: Right.
Sam Sadat: People abroad, people in other countries, you know what I’m talking about, [inaudible 00:29:29] travel. Yeah.
Mike Hambright: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Sam Sadat: This is the best place to be. You want to get rich, you can get rich, you want to get happy, you can get happy, you want to get meditation class you can get meditation class, you want to go be an artist, the best artists, we have the best people and the worst people in America. Let’s forget the wars, vote for the best. We’ve got everybody.
Mike Hambright: Great. Sam, thank you so much for joining us today, definitely appreciate your energy and the passion, it’s very good stuff.
Sam Sadat: Thank you so much, I appreciate it.
Mike Hambright: Not enough people have that much energy in the real estate industry.
Sam Sadat: Thank you so much, I hope that all of the people out there at least feel a little better that go out there and change, improve the quality of their lives. And I’m sure they can. Even if I can touch one person through this interview, I’ve done my job.
Mike Hambright: Great. Thank you Sam for your time, appreciate it.
Sam Sadat: Thank you, I appreciate that.
Mike Hambright: We’ll talk again soon.
Sam Sadat: Take care.
Mike Hambright: Thanks for joining us on today’s FlipNerd.com podcast. To listen to more of our shows and hear from incredible guests please access all of our podcasts on the iTunes store. You can also watch the video versions of our shows by visiting us at FlipNerd.com.