What do real estate investing and yoga have in common? Bob Rometo, the Real Estate Yogi, joins us to talk about all the things that matter to your success, but are rarely talked about. Karma is alive and well, and if you’d like a more miraculous life…don’t miss this FlipNerd episode!
Highlights of this show
- Meet Bob Rometo, real estate investor, mentor, coach and yogi.
- Join our conversation about how focus on solving problems for others, vs. focus on benefiting yourself, and how to fill your karmic bank account.
- Learn Bob’s take how to achieve a much more fulfilling life as a real estate investor, while making the world a better place.
Resources and Links from this show:
Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode
FlipNerd Show Transcript:
Mike: Hey everyone, its Mike Hambright with FlipNerd.com. Welcome back for another exciting Expert Interview show where I interview great guests from across the real estate investing industry to help you learn and hopefully inspire you.
Just another reminder of the upcoming REI Power Summit. It is going to be the largest online real estate investing event ever. It’s 100% virtual. So you can join from anywhere, and you’re going to get access for 12 months after the event. So if you miss anything and you want to watch something again, you’ll be able to. We have over 50 great speakers so far, actually including my guest today, and lots of vendors that can help you with your business. So check out REIPowerSummit.com. It’s coming up real fast here in just a couple of weeks. Don’t miss out.
For today’s show, I’m joined by Bob Rometo who is actually a very good personal friend of mine. And Bob has been a real estate investor for a long time. He’s actually been involved in thousands of transactions. He’s a mentor and a coach and he has a very different approach to real estate investing then some. And you’ve heard the phrase before, real estate guru. That could have negative and positive connotations.
But if you’ve associated with somebody that really has a lot of knowledge in the good term, Bob is not a guru. He actually is a yogi. So he is a yoga instructor as well. And he’s found a way to merge his lessons from the yoga side with his real estate investing side. So there’s really an emotional side to this business that we all know, but rarely talk about. But it’s such an important part and Bob is going to share some of that with us today.
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Hey Bob, welcome to the show.
Bob: Hey Mike, good to see you.
Mike: Yeah, good to see you. And it’s interesting, we talked a little about this beforehand. So I think, I never actually quote my episodes, because sometimes things change, but I think this is going to be, if you’re watching this, this is episode number 262. Bob was actually on once before. He was on episode number 3, so 259 episodes ago. And of course we’ve seen each other many times since then, but great to see you Bob.
Bob: Yes, great to be here Mike. I think the last time we spoke I was actually in Florida. And now I’m in Southern California. I moved up to the big leagues, the high price markets out here, and I’m having a great time.
Mike: Yeah good. What’s always interesting, I love getting together and talking with you Bob. And I know that you inspire a lot of people, because I think a lot of real estate investors we tend to be . . . we very much focus on deal to deal, living deal to deal. The fundamentals of how do I do this from a marketing standpoint. All those things are really important, but we tend to forget about the softer side of this business whether it’s from the person who’s the investor or whether it’s how they deal with a seller or other relationships, or contractors and things like that. It’s the important stuff that very rarely gets talked about, right?
Bob: Yeah, it’s very interesting. I think a lot of that comes just from the nature of the business because there is a lot of knowledge that you have to have, and I refer to it as tactical information. There’s a lot of tactical information that you need to be effective, the what to do, the how to do it, how to structure things in a deal. There’s a lot of moving parts in a real estate transaction. So consequently I think a lot of the gurus and trainers and information that’s out there, deal with tactical information, because it’s important and it’s necessary. If you don’t know what to do or how to do it, you’re not going to be able to succeed.
But the tactical information in and of itself is not really sufficient to have the kind of success that I like to talk about, and the kind of success that I like to coach the people that I work within. I feel like you have to deal with information that’s more transformational and even transcendent. And I discuss some of that in most of what I do, because it’s very different. And it’s the type of stuff that I think allows you to create success in your business, but also success in your life, the stuff that enables you to go to sleep at night, and feel good about what you do and who you are and why you are doing it.
I used to lead events all across the country Mike, the three day fundamental trainings. And it’s so interesting, because I would see 90, 95% of the people walk in to the room, excited to be a real estate investor, and most of them never take the first step when they left.
And I really believe it’s because they hadn’t made the leap in understanding that it can actually be a win-win, and truthfully it needs to be a win-win. I think a lot of people haven’t made up that for them to win as a real estate investor, somebody else has to loose. And I think that at the core of who we are as human beings is something that stops a lot of people, because they don’t want to feel that way about what they’re doing.
And that’s one component. There is a another component I’ll share a little bit later, but I think that’s something that you have to be able to get through and get over, and actually understand that yes, you are in a situation always where you can create a win-win.
Mike: Yeah, it’s interesting there is this connotation for, for those that are listening that are new or are trying to get started, the veteran folks will understand this. If you buy direct from a seller, so there are sometimes and this plays negative head games with you. The people that you go, you make an offer, and we obviously make offers at deeply discounted prices, that if you especially if you didn’t frame right, the person is like, “Yeah, are you trying to steal my house?” So you just hear this negative stuff.
But the people that you actually buy houses from, some of us are getting hugs, you’re getting nice letters, you’ve really made an impact. And those are the ones that obviously you needed to make an impact with. So you won, because you got the house and they won because you’ve seen it a million times. You just see this weight just drop off their shoulders like, “I’m done. I don’t have to worry about this anymore.”
Bob: Yeah, I always said that you know you’ve really done a good job with somebody when you can go to a closing and at the end of that closing have them thank you, sincerely thank you for buying their home from them out of discount that allows you to make a profit but it solves their problem.
It’s interesting, there’s that core group of people, Mike, that we work with that percentage that we are able to buy, and when I coach I share with people, those aren’t the ones where we really earn the money. So this is a little different concept. It’s where you get paid, but it’s not really where the money is earned. I’m a firm believer in, and we have our numbers in the business I work in and I’ve dealt direct with sellers. That’s the only place I’ve bought houses.
I haven’t bought bulk portfolios. I haven’t gone to auction and bought in a courthouse, that’s not what I do. I buy direct from sellers. So all the homes that I’ve purchased and the people that I coach have typically bought in living rooms and kitchens across America. And although we get paid on the ones we buy, I believe we earn it on the ones that we can’t buy.
And what I mean by that is if you can actually spend time with another human being who’s called you, and let’s face it, people who call us off of an ad, a billboard, television, whatever marketing we’re doing, a letter that says, “We buy your house, we’ll buy your ugly house, ugly situation, divorce, foreclosure,” whatever it is, they’re calling us because they have some distress in their life. They are in some pain.
And they know that we know. So there’s typically a lot of barriers in the way when we show up. There is this apprehension, “Are going to take advantage of me” all of that and sometimes the anger that we are experiencing from them, and it’s not really about us. It’s just their situation.
So when people call us in pain, I believe that we have an obligation to somehow leave them in a better place, to somehow help them remove that pain whether or not we can buy their home or not. And that’s a golden opportunity for us. When we can actually make a difference in somebody’s life, and it might not necessarily be us generating profit from that conversation or deal, we’ve really made an investment in what I call the karmic bank account.
We’ve actually planted a seed that is going to pay off somewhere in our life, or in our business. And to me, that’s a real gift because we deal with big problems. Let’s face it. I like to use the metaphor of if you walk in to a . . . you have a headache and you walk in to the pharmacy at CVS or Walgreens or whatever drugstore you go to. You can go to the shelf and grab a bottle of Tylenol, or Aleve, or aspirin and go to the checkout counter and the guy will take that and scan it. And you’ll pay your $15, or whatever it is for a bottle of Tylenol.
And that guy who’s helped alleviate that problem, you’ll go to take two pills and it’ll go away, he’s getting paid in relation to the value he’s provided. He’s getting paid his 10, 12, $15 an hour depending on how long he’s been there. Sometimes there’s nobody even there. You go scan it yourself, and buy it, and walk away, right? But if you didn’t have the headache, but you had brain tumor, now you’re going to a specialist, because you have a big problem. And that guy is making big money.
We’re the surgeons. We’re dealing with people’s big problems, and that’s why we have the opportunity that we have to make the kind of money that we can make. But everybody that we talk to has a big problem in most cases. And we have an obligation, I think, to somehow find a way to serve them. To somehow find a way to leave them in a better place even if we’re not the solution for them. And like I said, there is cause and effect in the universe. This is the yogi stuff coming out.
And when you plant those seeds, those effects will come back to you ultimately. I say that that’s what allows you to get the call, or the seller that wants to do business. Those 95 out of 100 that you can’t buy, that’s where you earn the five or six that you can.
Mike: Yeah and it’s interesting too, in my experience, when you treat people right even if you can’t buy their house, you can’t always see a direct correlation. I know you’re very karma-centric so I’m going to try to get deep here with you, Bob. I won’t be able to compete. But I will say there’s no doubt about it that first off in this business when you know maybe 5% of your leads you’re converting in to something that you can monetize, the other 90 . . . it makes your day a lot better, your weeks, your years a lot better if you’re finding a way to make something good out of that other 95%, because, it’s depressing if you don’t.
If 95% of the time you just hear no and you just move on and you just . . . it can brig you down. But if you left there feeling like, “Hey, you know 95% or a no, but 50% of those I added some value out there.” I made somebody feel good or made me feel or whatever and that stuff comes back around. We’ve gotten, and I’m sure you’ve seen it too, you get leads from people, they’re like, “I wasn’t able to sell you my house, but I have this other friend or family member or whatever that might be a better fit. Can you talk to them?” And the stuff happens.
Bob: Absolutely, I think that a lot of our business is driven by our advertising, the things that we do proactively to make the phone ring in our office. And if you look at how much it cost you, if your perspective is, “Oh, it cost me $4000 to make the phone ring, and 95 of those I can’t buy.” Or I get the call that says, “Hey, I saw your ad. I’m not interested in selling a house, but do you rent properties?” If I’m sitting there thinking that cost me $500 to take that call, or the guy that says, “Take me off your list.” Or if my perspective is, I just blew money with that call instead of here is an opportunity for me to serve somebody.
If you look at your day as how many chances do I get to solve a problem, then it doesn’t matter what the result is financially. On the other hand, it’s did I help solve a problem or not. And that’s trusting something that you can’t see. That’s having faith in a system that is one that you can’t see, feel or touch. It’s universal law. It’s like if I do the right thing, and I live the right way, I know I’m going to be taken care of.
And that’s a really powerful way to live, because as you do it, as you start to plant the seeds, the results have to come. They will manifest, and you might say, and I’ve been through this Mike, you might say, “Well I’ve done a right thing for a long time and I haven’t seen a result,” you know how I look at that? I’m just burning off karma from when I was 22 years old, or from a past life or whatever.
I had a good friend of me say, I said, “Man, I must be burning off a lot of past life karma.” He looked at me and said, “You remember when you were young, how many things you might have done right?” He said, “You might still be working on this life’s karma.” And I said, “Yeah that true.” But so everything is . . . all there is to do is everyday wake up and do the right thing. I always like to say, that great philosopher Spike Lee, do the right thing. But that’s so true. And that’s what allows you to feel good about who you are everyday, and what you do everyday.
And a lot of times, I’ll step into a little different space right now, but it’s related. Because it takes me back to the training days when I worked in events, and did a three day event. And I would see people walk in to the room. And they had a certain capacity to receive financial abundance in their life. And it was capped at whatever it was, because they walked in and maybe they were earning 30,000 a year, 50,000 year or 75,000 whatever it was. And I knew that’s where their capacity was. How did I know? Because that’s what they were getting.
The universe will give you what you work to earn. So if that’s where they were, that’s where they were, but all of a sudden they’re taking a three-day course, and they’re there because they saw an infomercial or whatever, a conversation that for two hours that said you can make a million dollars in this business, which you can. And they think by doing the three-day course, and getting the tactical information, the what to and the how-to, that all of a sudden everything is going to change. Their capacity is going to change.
Well, your capacity doesn’t change with tactical information. It just doesn’t. It’s just more information. Your capacity changes by working on you, and developing you, and altering who you are as a person, as a human being.
And it’s the whole law, the more you give, the more you are able to share, the more you can receive. And so for me . . . and but then you’d wonder inside, okay well 5% of the people that came to those events were successful. They did make a million dollars in the businesses. But most of them had the capacity. Most of them walked in really with the capacity, the desire, and they worked on themselves.
Mike: So talk about capacity a little bit. How do you expand your capacity? Give us some guidance here.
Bob: That’s a great question.
Mike: In the back of my mind there are these political things turning in to like, there’s a whole party out there now that’s brewing that thinks that the universe isn’t going to give you what you want, your government is. So what do you think about, I won’t say anything to you [inaudible 00:18:08].
Bob: That’s really the most important thing, Mike. And you hit is number one being responsible. Taking responsibility and saying, “Okay I have to shift this.” Things aren’t just going to . . . like a two-day seminar, this new software, or whatever isn’t going to change everything for me. I have to change. So how do you change? You have to look for the things that are going to take you outside of what’s comfortable.
So I always say, do the thing that’s hard to do, whatever that is. Find a practice. Like I was in the training and development industry for years, and I started as a student. After I lost my first fortune when I was 26 years old, I bought Tony Robbin’s personal power tapes. And that was the first thing that I experienced that actually created a shift in me, because it got me back into action.
It didn’t create a lot of change in who I was, but it got me back into action which was necessary at that time, because I was lying on the couch staring at the ceiling wondering what happened. So I got back into action and I figured well, what I linked up was, I guess I just didn’t make enough the first time around because I lost it all. I need to make more, so I did that.
But that really wasn’t the answer either, because I lost it all again. It wasn’t until I figured out I had to change who I was. I had to change my nature from somebody who was worried about me, and my ego, into somebody who was able to set that aside, and care more as much or more about the people I was dealing with as I did myself. It’s the old biblical scripture love thy neighbor as thy self. Can you really do that?
Can you do that in business? Can you care enough about your client? Can you care as much about your client as you do about the commission check or about the bottom line profit? So there are practices, whether it’s a seminar event that you can do, whether it’s a transformational program that you can go do, whether it’s . . . I started doing Kundalini yoga when I moved to LA. A typical LA thing to do. But it was the most amazing thing, because and my wife said, she started before me naturally, because my wife is the precursor of everything great in my life, she said, “Honey, you’ve got to do this.”
And I did and I was blown away, because that practice is all about dealing with your negative subconscious though forms that get in the way of you producing the results that you want in your life. Like actual physical practices, breathing, mantras, meditations that remove that stuff. And I saw results so fast in areas of my life that I was stuck in, that I dove in and I became a teacher. So I got certified as an instructor to help other people do that.
So I deal with some of that now with my students. That’s why I started getting called Yogi Bob. So a lot of the people that I coach now that’s how they refer to me. Actually I was going to wear the turban today, Mike, but I didn’t want to flip you out on FlipNerd.
Mike: It doesn’t [inaudible 00:21:09].
Bob: But maybe next interview I’ll wear the turban. But there’s a whole technology around that too, but whatever practice that you can plug in, and it’s not easy, that’s the thing you have to realize. If you’re expanding your vessel, it’s uncomfortable. You stretch. It’s like being in a gym. If you go and work out in the gym, you’re going to be sore. You’re going to be uncomfortable the next day. It’s the same thing with growing your capacity. It’s going to be uncomfortable. It might confront you, because your ego wants to stay safe. It wants to stay comfortable. And ego will show up in two different ways.
It’ll either show up like, you’re loud, and boisterous, and have this arrogance about you, and that’s how most people relate to ego. They think that’s ego. Well that’s one manifestation of it. It also shows up in you saying, “You know, I could never do that. I couldn’t make that happen.” And it has you play small because it will try and protect you. It has you play that game. So it can show up on both ends of the spectrum in your life. So you want to look for that identify, where is my ego at? Where am I being safe? Where am I not stretching?
I saw a great photo on one social, I don’t know if it was whatever, Facebook or Twitter, there was a picture. It had a little circle and it said “Your comfort zone.” And then there was an arrow, there was this huge circle and it said, “Where magic happens.” So clearly magic happens way outside your comfort zone.
And I talk about miracles a lot in my business. I want to coach people to have a miraculous business, and a miraculous life. So you’ve got to get outside of what’s comfortable. If you do the work, the hard work, if you work to get your ego out of the way, and that’s the challenge that I’m talking about.
Caring about somebody when there’s nothing in it for you, your ego doesn’t like that. Your ego doesn’t want to hear that. Your ego says, “Hey, take care of me. I need to be profitable. I need to be successful, I need this. I need that.” So it has you wanting not . . . it’s very illogical. What I’m talking about isn’t logical, but miracles and logic don’t live in the same place. There is nothing logical about a miracle.
Mike: How about, there’s a lot of people out there that I think are . . . there is this allure with somebody else that they see that they assume is successful, because that’s how they represent themselves. As you know, a lot of people are not necessarily how they represent themselves. But people would just start to say, “I want that. And if they can do that I can do that. And I want that whatever that is.” And they don’t even necessarily know what that is, because that might be . . .
Bob: An illusion, yeah?
Mike: Might be, have a little lipstick on it. But I think people have a tendency to identify with “Well I know where I am now and that’s what I want,” without understanding their, as you talked about, capacity. Maybe they don’t need to have that. So some of the people that we coach that right off the bat they’re like, never bought a house in their lives. “I want to do what you do. I want to buy 100 houses a year.” And I’m thinking, why? I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but do you know what that entails, because it might not be as great as you think. You may not need that. I’ve never really used the word capacity.
I guess what I’m getting at is, you might have a lot of more burden. You probably will have a lot more burden, because of that. You’ve got more overhead, you’ve got more risk. You may not enjoy your life as much as you would otherwise. And I’m not faulting anybody for . . . I have a bunch of friends that do tons of houses, far more than that sometimes, but I don’t think that people necessarily know what’s behind the curtain of that scenario.
Bob: Yeah, I think that’s a great point Mike. It gets back to that holistic picture. What is fulfillment for you? And you have to be careful though, because fulfillment and comfort are two different animals, because I don’t think we were born and put here to be necessarily comfortable, but fulfilled, yeah. So what is that? Identify that and then what’s it going to take to get there?
And the truth is it’s all made up. People think they need something. They look at something and say, “I need that. I got to have that.” And that’s so not accurate. One of my teachers, I love the statement he made, because it was very framed, he said, “Desire everything, need nothing.”
And I thought about that and he took it a step further, he said, “Look, want it all, but want it all so you can give it all.” And the more I thought about that the more sense it made because that really puts you in the flow. So you want to have this capacity and desire for as much as you can take in, but not to hold on to. To give it, to share it. And what’s interesting is most people think they have to have it first in order to give it, to plug in to that flow. I’ve got to have something to give. Well you have something already. It’s like taking those 95 calls. I can give those people something. I don’t have to have anything.
A lot of times and you experience this I’m sure, Mike, sometimes you’re sitting down with a seller and the only thing that you can do is genuinely listen to them with an open heart and hear their story. And sometimes that’s the greatest gift you could give them that they actually feel like they’ve been heard. And many start to plug in to that flow. You’re giving, and then you start to receive. And then you can start to look at, what do I really want in life?
Do I need the chaos of 100 house-a-year business, or what goes with that? Maybe, maybe I don’t. It really boils down to what fulfils you, where do you want to give and contribute? Is that 100 houses a year about your ego, or is it about something else? Is it going to give you access to contribute something in another way, which is good. If it’s about ego, because you want to stand up at an event or a convention and be acknowledged, because you are the top dog, I don’t know how productive that is.
Mike: And there is a lot of that in this industry too. People tend to focus a lot more on unit volume which is like, “Are you making $1000 per unit or are you making 40,000?” There’s a big difference. And nobody never says, whenever somebody says how many units, they’re like, “Well how much profit is that?” Because they can differ a lot.
But I know a big, I’m not going to say any names because I know this guy, I won’t say anything else because he’ll identify himself probably, but somebody that I know that’s actually doing pretty well that I said, just recently, I was like, “How is everything going?” “Well I’m going to buy 150 houses this year. Going pretty good, wouldn’t you say?” Or something like that. I was like, “Okay I don’t know, maybe.” But that sounds impressive, but what is that? What’s behind the curtain?
Bob: The better question is what’s that allowing you to contribute? Because if it’s okay, this is Roman, so talk about spontaneous. She just decided to jump up here. But for me, it’s the holistic picture, because you can buy 150 houses a year and be the most unhappy, unfulfilled person on the planet. We all know people like that. They look like they have all the financial wealth and [inaudible 00:29:14], but they’re not happy.
And for me, it’s about being able to have it all. I believe we were born to have it all. We are born to have abundance, health, prosperity, joy, fulfillment. So when we talk about expanding our capacity, I’m talking about all of that. Go plug in the things that give you access to having all of that in your life.
I talk about it a lot, if anybody wants to track me down, I’m happy to share and that’s what I try and do. To point people in a direction with something that will resonate with them because a lot of people aren’t going to want to do yoga, or go to this seminar, or that seminar. But there’s plenty of things out there that will resonate. Sometimes it’s just a book. A great book can change somebody’s life because it speaks to them in certain way. I always say, when that nickel drops, it drops. You never know where it’s going to come from. It might be somebody that says something to you somewhere that you never expected, and it changes everything for you. But we have to be aware and pay attention and conscious to be listening for that.
Mike: Yeah, and that’s the advice I give people. In fact, somebody else asked about this event we have coming up recently, and they were like, “What are all the things I’m going learn?” I was like,” Man, if you just learn one thing.” You know how these events are, we go to a lot of them. It’s like I don’t go to try to absorb everything. I go to pick up a nugget somewhere that I can adopt to myself. And I think whether you do yoga or any of the other things that you talked about here, it’s not about take on all these new things. It’s like find the pieces in there that makes sense for you and adopt it in to your life.
Bob: Yeah, there was a guy that the first business I was ever in was the life insurance business. Mike, I was 20 years old in college when I got my insurance license. And there was a gentleman, he’s still alive today. He was the man in insurance sales. His name is Joe Gandolfo. And he wrote a book, and the title of the book says it all. It says “Ideas are a dime a dozen… but the man who puts them into practice is priceless.” And what enables you to put things into practice is altering who you are. And so I always remember that. It was the first bit of personal development wisdom I ever got.
Mike: That’s good. Well Bob, we’re out of time for today. You want to take a minute and maybe try to summarize something that’s actionable here, because we talked about some pretty deep stuff. What somebody can do, if this resonated with them, what can they do to start moving in a direction of something that will actually help impact their life, and allow them to impact others? And then talk a little bit about how folks might learn more about you.
Bob: I have this saying, this mantra, and it’s always what I’m looking at what there is to do. I always say do what’s hardest first. I always look to do the thing that’s going be most uncomfortable, because that’s going cause the greatest growth for me. It’s going to stretch me more. And it’s not logical. As human beings we don’t want to do those things. So do them. That will push you out of your comfort zone. That will expand who you are.
It’s always great to get up in the morning and say, “Okay what are the tasks I got to do. Let me do the toughest one first.” Logically, it makes sense too somewhat, because you’re going to get it out of the way but it’s not what we’re thrown trying to do, it’s not what our ego wants to do.
So the more you can push the ego aside, and do the things that are going to affect you at a soul level, cause you to grow and expand who you are, that’s what I would suggest, whatever that is. And I can be tracked down, if people want to find me and find more about me they can do it at BobRometo.com or RealEstateYogi.com, those will lead you to the same place, and I have some free things that I do there, the things that I’ll share.
If you just want to plug in to this kind of conversation on a fairly consistent basis, that’s the other thing I would suggest. Find somebody who’ll mentor you and coach you on something other than just the tactical stuff. Get coached and mentored on the transformational stuff, on the transcendent information, because that’s what’s expanding you as a person. Have the tactical, get it. It’s the other stuff that’s going to allow you to really run with it though.
Mike: Yeah absolutely. Well Bob, thanks for taking us deep today. And thanks for sharing this lesson, its important stuff. It’s always good to hear these things because I think a lot of us, like you said, a lot of us are in this business, the real estate business, not for the business itself, it’s because it’s allowing you to fulfill something that you need to fulfill, whether it’s financial freedom, freedom of time, or making a difference or a combination of all those things.
And so this stuff gets talked about so rarely, yet it’s just important whether will help you in your business, or just to live a more fulfilling life. So I appreciate you sharing it today.
Bob: Thanks Mike. I appreciate the opportunity to be here and I wish everybody the best.
Mike: All right Bob, we’ll see you soon.
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