Hey everybody, welcome back to the show! Today, my good friend, Michael Pinter joins us on the show! Real estate investing is a roller coaster, with many ups and downs. Michael shares some experiences that he’s gone through over the first half of the year, mainly focusing on things he can’t control and how that impacted his business. Today we talk about the lessons learned from that standpoint.
Mike: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. Today, I have my good friend Michael Pinter, who’s joining us. And he’s had some experiences that happened over the past year, really kind of year-to-date where he found he was really focused too much on getting deals and, “Why am I getting not getting deals right now?” Instead of filling his funnel and kind of focusing on the process, which is the one thing you can control. So today, we’re going to talk about kind of lessons learned from that standpoint.
Professional real estate investors know that it’s not really about the real estate. In fact, real estate is just a vehicle to freedom. A group of over 100 of the nation’s leading real estate investors from across the country meet several times a year at the Investor Fuel Real Estate Mastermind to share ideas on how to strengthen each other’s businesses, but also to come together as friends and build more fulfilling lives for all of those around us. On today’s show, we’re going to continue our conversation of fueling our businesses and fueling our lives. I’m glad you’re here.
Michael, welcome to the show.
Michael: Hey, Mike.
Mike: Good to see you, buddy.
Michael: Good to see you.
Mike: We just met last week at Investor Fuel, but always good to see you. So I don’t know if you’re disappointed that we have to see each other again this soon or you’re happy about that, or what?
Michael: Very happy.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. Good. Good. Well, by the way, it’s always great seeing you. So, yeah. So essentially, we were talking before the show and for folks that, you know, have been listening to me for a while you probably hear that we usually just have some dialogue about our topic right before we record the show, because I like to talk about things that are top of mind, things you’re passionate about, recent lessons learned. You know, things like that.
And, you know, one of the things that you share is that really, what you’ve gone through over the first half of the year, this year, which was probably focusing on things that you can’t really control right now and that impacted your business, and so I’m excited to talk about that. Maybe before we jump into that, tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into real estate investing in the first place.
Michael: Well, sure, sure. So I worked in the mortgage business for 17 years for the same company, from 1997 until 2013. I met my business partner there, he worked at the company, too. And I like to say I was there for 17 years. It was good for like 11 years or 12 years. But when the crash hit in 2007, you know, things got very difficult. I made more money there every year until then, and then I made less money there every year thereafter.
So I started dabbling in buying some investment properties with my coworker, who’s now my partner. And after a while, we realized that we can make a lot more money doing that than in the mortgage business. So we started doing this full-time in about 2013. And for the first few years, we really went to live auctions in my county, Nassau County, New York. We went every single Tuesday, and we bought more properties every year. We bought some on multiple listing service from realtors. But after a few years of that, we realized we really couldn’t scale that. The price that you get a property for at auction is not in your control. If you have a max price and someone else pays more, then you’re not going to get the property. So we started marketing direct to sellers a few years ago, and that’s where we are now, and we love it. It’s been going great. Every year has been better than the last.
Mike: Yeah, that’s great. Hey, maybe for some perspective, so you’ve seen, after you left the mortgage industry, you know, the mortgage industry kind of went back up over the past few years, and it’s facing some challenges again now, right, with where the market cycle is. And also the fact that that industry in terms of getting mortgages has just gotten kind of more automated and more, there’s some bigger players that have gotten into the game and have taken some of the, maybe some of the inefficiencies that created opportunity for mortgage lenders. Is it fair to say that?
Michael: Well, I mean, right after the crash, you know, all of the [old-A 00:04:02] loans went away. So before 2007/2008, we used to look at each other in the mortgage business and say, “There’s really nobody we say no to.” If someone has bad credit, they want to buy with no money down and they invest in property, we can do 100 of them if they wanted.”
Michael: Really, after that, that all went away, and the pendulum really swung the other way where . . . and one of the reasons why I left, you know, you had very, very qualified borrowers couldn’t get a loan. I had one guy who was making $1 million a year, had $7 million liquid in the bank, and I couldn’t get him a $300,000 condo loan for his ex-wife’s apartment. So it was a little nuts. And then I think now it’s gotten better to the point where people can get loans who need loans and there are old-A products out there for no income, there are No Income Loans, and there are no asset loans, but they’re not 100%, so you have to put 20% to 30% down, so that makes sense. And there are loans for people with bad credit. But again, they need to show income.
So if any one of those factors is not there, it makes sense to make the loan. The problem was in 2007, 2008, we were selling loans to Wall Street where you didn’t have to have any factor, right? We used to say mortgage stands on four legs, income, assets, credit, and appraisal. You didn’t need any of that stuff in 2006, right? You could borrow 105% of the property, have bad credit, and not show income or assets. So today, I think they understand that if you’re putting 25% to 30% down on a property, even if your income isn’t great or your credit is not great, it’s unlikely you’re just going to walk away from it, like what a lot of people did in 2007.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Any parallels to take from that and like the real estate investing industry in terms of efficiencies that have happened or just market cycle?
Michael: I don’t think so. I think that was really a unique situation.
Michael: It was a crazy situation. We knew it was a crazy situation. And I worked for really good company that’s still around. A lot of people that worked in the mortgage business their companies closed down. And we were much more cautious than what we were allowed to do. But what was happening was this, it was a crazy cycle where the market was going up so much that Wall Street was buying these loans and package them into mortgage-backed securities, and the rating agencies weren’t seeing any defaults on them. So they just assumed that if somebody was buying a loan and had no income, no credit, no assets, and nothing, they weren’t going to default, because the real estate market was going up so high. So the rating agencies started giving, you know, A ratings and A+ ratings to these mortgage-backed securities that were really full of crap.
Mike: Right. Right.
Michael: And then as soon as the real estate market topped out, it was a house of cards that fell down. I don’t know anything like that that could happen in the real estate industry.
Michael: I think, obviously, the real estate industry is cyclical, but the run up there was artificial because any, you know, because anyone with no job, somebody you met on a bus could go buy 50 properties. So that was part . . . it was an artificially created a real estate cycle. I think now the quality of the loans are much better. And the market will go down like it always goes down, but it’s not going to go down at that rate and to that extent.
Mike: Sure. Sure. Yeah. And I think, you know, what we’re going to talk about today is process-oriented, really understanding your conversions. And some of the things like that is, is really a lot of people, you know, that are new or newer that I talk to, they’re like, “Well, is it a good time to get started in real estate investing?” And I’m like, “Well, it’s always a good time if you buy right, right?” And I think a lot of people on the outside world think that kind of wholesale market follows the retail market, which is not necessarily true, right?
Mike: I mean, a lot of what drives the wholesale market for us when you’re marketing direct to seller is bad things that happen in life, death, divorce, inheritance, like problem rentals, problem tenants, all those things. And those things don’t follow any market cycles. There’s just, that’s just life, right?
Michael: I like to say, “We’re problem solvers,” right?
Mike: Yeah. Yeah.
Michael: Where we can solve some problem that they have related to that.
Mike: Yeah. And the type of problems that we solve are not going to end, you know, unfortunately.
Michael: Right. The one thing I am seeing, though, we’re doing a lot of wholetailing. And you’ve heard that a lot in Investor Fuel. So what we’re seeing is that the difference in price between a completely renovated home that you might sort of figure out with your ARV or the After Repair Value, to sell to a rehabber, like, the wholesale to a rehabber. The difference between that price and the price someone will pay for like a 4 or a 5 out of 10 house, right, old kitchen, old bathrooms, like, in New York, we have pretty old properties, that difference is getting narrower. So what we’re seeing when we look at properties, sometimes when we price them out, where we used to only look at the ARV and say and start figuring out percentages of where we could either rehab it or sell it to another rehabber, is looking at, “How about this house as is or with very little work?” Like, just clean it up and maybe sell it retail?”
So we bought three properties to wholetail. And I think the run up, the recent run up, you know, it’s been like 10 or 12 years where the market has gone up has left some people in a situation where they’re pretty desperate to buy and they’ll pay a decent amount for a house that’s not so great. So the fact that that’s changing is allowing us to buy properties at numbers where we can’t possibly sell them to another rehabber, but we can sell them to a retail buyer and still make money.
Mike: Yep. Yep. Yep. I love that wholetail model. So let’s talk about kind of some of the lessons that you learned. We we’re talking about those before I hit the record button today, we were talking about some of your lessons learned over the first half of the year, and how you’ve shifted your focus. So maybe kind of tell us a little about what happened and what you’re doing differently now.
Michael: So, as I said, we’ve made more money every year doing this. So last year, we had pretty good year. And we shifted some of our marketing to a different mail. We were using, like, a done-for-you mail house last year, and we realized it wasn’t good for us because we weren’t able to get the list and actually market to the list in different ways, which we wanted to do. We wanted to call them, send them RBMs and text them. And this done-for-you mail house was providing us the . . . not providing us the leads and just sending it out for us, so we shifted. And what happened is that there was a lag, so the first quarter was pretty slow. And it was disappointing where we didn’t look like we were going to have a good quarter where we had a great quarter, last quarter of last year. And then the second quarter, the same thing was going on. What I was doing is really focusing on, you know, where’s the money? Why weren’t these deals closing?
And recently, a few months ago, I realized that I can’t control that. There are only certain things I can control. So what I can control in the pipeline is I can turn the spigot on and try and get more leads. I can control how many appointments we go on if the leads are being managed right. And when I go there, I can control how many offers I was making. So when I started breaking down from previous numbers, what those numbers were, I realized I wasn’t making offers on every house I was going to, which is a terrible habit. You know, if somebody didn’t seem right or it’s just foolish. We should make an offer on every deal. There’s no reason not to.
And when I started realizing that if I just focus on the process, then miraculously, the results started coming in. We had a lot of contracts and they’re all going to lead to a lot of money. So I think the third quarter is going to be great for us, maybe our best quarter ever. But it only when I focused on the results, I really got disappointed. And when I focused on the process, I got the results.
Mike: Yeah. For you guys in the northeast, you have really long sales cycles. I mean, we’ve talked about this before. Your closings could take several months sometimes and because you’re a lawyer-based instead of a title company based, and a lot of other issues like that that, you know, if you’re like, “Show me the results right now.” It’s kind of, like, you know, there’s this, I will totally screw this parable up but there’s a parable about slapping a pig and trying to make it sing. Like, it’s just not going to happen. You know, so something along those lines. But that’s effectively what you were doing, right? It’s like, “I want to see these results now.” And it’s like, “Well, what does your pipeline look like?” Because, you know, you can’t just flip a switch and make things happen today. You can make sure that your machine is operating perfectly, right?
Michael: Right. For us, I think it takes between 8 months to 10 months between when we spend money on marketing and when we finally see the results of that. But that’s scary because you can spend money on something for eight to nine months and not get it right. So when we shifted our marketing in the beginning of the year to a different mail house, different lists and I sort of I should have understood that it’s going to be slow in the beginning.
Mike: The clock started over.
Michael: Right. But instead, I just got, you know, like depressed. Like, what’s going on here? We’re not seeing we’re not seeing the results. When I finally just focused on doing what I could do, you know, the results started coming in.
Mike: So talk about how you monitor that stuff. Like, how do you monitor your pipeline? And maybe share some of your stats and people that are listening, like, you know, some of the things that they should be looking at if they’re not already.
Michael: Sure. We should probably open our house right now. So I use a Google Sheet to really monitor. I get the information from our CRM, which is InvestorFuse. But, I mean, we average it’s about 20 leads for us to get a deal, right? Our average cost per lead is around between $300 and $400, depending on the channel. It’s expensive in New York. But we average almost $30,000 a deal. So our cost per contract, it looks like it’s about between $5,000 and $6,000. But, you know, I’ll trade $5,000 or $6,000 for $30,000 any day.
Michael: But I track everything. So I mean, leads per contract and offers per contract. So we really need to make about five offers to get a contract. And so, how many offers do I make? Yeah. So yeah, so that’s what we need to do. So I need to be making offers. If I’m not making offers, we’re not going to get deals. So I’ve got to be constantly making offers. Sometimes even calling up older people, older leads and, you know, and reiterating the offer or seeing where they stand. So we have to constantly work the pipeline and making sure that we’re doing what we can.
Mike: Are you doing anything differently now or are you just kind of shifting what you focus on in terms of monitoring, like, all these things have conversion rates, right? I get 20. You say you close 1 in 20, so that’s a 5% conversion. So if you look at your dashboard and you’re like, “We’re at 3% for the past two months,” then you know something is wrong. Like, talk about kind of diagnosing those different stages of the funnel.
Michael: Sure. So we had a lead manager who in the beginning, she was really good. And then I don’t know what happened, but she ended up not being so good. Like, I listened to her calls and just her energy level dropped and she just wasn’t on top of doing her tasks. I’m not even sure what happened. But we gave her a warning and we let her go at the end of last month, so recently. And we had a caller from the Philippines who was just really great on the phone and he was always asking for more work and more things to do, so we promoted him to leads manager.
So we’re still training him. And so it’s a little bit of process, but I think it’s going be great. And I think that part of it, yeah, we weren’t converting as much because . . . I mean, I spoke to one guy who said, “You know, you were supposed to call me yesterday. I went with somebody else.” Like, literally, that happened.
Mike: Oh, that always sucks.
Michael: She [inaudible 00:15:09]. I know things like that are going to happen. I mean, sometimes, they tell you to call them and then they went with somebody else.
Mike: Right. Right. Right.
Michael: But we were definitely losing deals because she wasn’t on top of it. So I think now we’re better poised to not lose those things out of the funnel. And we have to, you know, turn the spigot on for more leads. And I think things are going to be great going forward. We’ve got a good pipeline. I locked up two deals when I was in San Diego, so that made me extremely happy.
Mike: That’s nice. Yeah.
Michael: But the reason why I thought that it was the best Investor Fuel I went to. Yeah, you have to be on top of these things all the time. The conversion rate should be stable. I mean, it’s going to go up and down a little, but if there’s something if it’s not, you’ve got to be on top of why.
Mike: I don’t know if you’ve fallen into this trap, I have for sure of like, I set it up, I teach people, this is what you’re supposed to do. And I as the owner and the manager, I just assume, “Well, it’s happening now because I told them,” you know? But until and I do this with a lot of our VAs and stuff now. They have to, like, literally send me a daily report. Like, pictures of our funnel, because I’m visual. Like, I don’t want to read a bunch of stuff, like, “Just show me the conversions.” Or the more we can use red and green, like, “Hey, this is bad. This is good.” Like things that just pop out as an exception, and then I’ll drill in deeper if I have to. But sometimes I’ve taken my eye off just trusting the team’s got it. And you look back and you’re like, “God, this has been going on for a month and I didn’t know it.” And I just didn’t put those things in place to say, “Tell me if there’s a problem,” you know?
Michael: Mike, so I hired this leads manager right before I left California, right? So I knew that there was going to be some like a week where it wasn’t going to be perfect. I tried to talk to him as much as I could. But when I got back, I’m like,” Listen, there’s a lot of things I should have told you that I didn’t. And I want to go through it now and almost start again.” And he’s good and I think he’ll get it. But it’s very easy to think that people understand what you’re saying, especially when you’re dealing with people overseas, where it’s culturally sometimes there’s a gap and you think something is clear and it’s not clear. So what you said before about having a morning call every day is something I think I really want to do with my dispo manager and the leads manager, just go over it every day. We have a weekly meeting on Monday. Maybe even like speak for a few minutes a day every day just to make sure they’ve got it.
Michael: And just something simple with the leads manager is he wasn’t able to schedule appointments in my and my partner’s calendar. Like, that was just something that wasn’t working. And that was we missed appointments. Like, that’s not good.
Mike: Right. Right.
Michael: But I knew that I had to get rid of the old leads manager and even though I was going to California. And I went to California . . . I didn’t just go for Investor Fuel. My daughter was there for the summer, so we went, like, four days before. And I really didn’t want to think that much about business even though I did. But I knew that it had to be done. But very often, what you’re saying is true. You set something up, you think they understand it, and then a month-and-a-half later you realize that they had a completely different understanding than what you said.
Mike: Right, right. Yeah. And, you know, when you have this, I don’t mean this in a negative context, but the cost of labor in the Philippines and a lot of overseas countries is so cheap and it’s like, in the past, I’m like, “I don’t want somebody to spend an hour preparing this thing.” But it’s like, “Hey, that’s five bucks and it helps make sure my business is on track. Like, spend an hour at the end of the day, like, typing up a report or doing this research for me to tell me where we’re at. Like, that’s just part of what you do, you know?
Michael: It’s something I didn’t even mention before, but a lot of people spoke about it at Investor Fuel is starting a REIA, like, a group. We started that three months ago. I never would have been able to do that without the help of other Investor Fuel members. So April Crossley helped me, Bill Kenny helped me.
Michael: At that Investor Fuel, Dylan Tanaka was extremely helpful. He’s amazing. So we started three months ago, and it’s really gone well. Like, we got over 40 people every time, we have more people each time, we have 50. So I had a . . . our third meeting was Thursday after I came back from Investor Fuel. And we started charging for it, which I was like scared to do. And people were so happy to pay us. We have more people come to that one than any one before. And people are telling us that they really thought it was, like, a scam because it was free. Now that they actually have to pay, and we charge them $5, but they thought that it might be great.
Michael: That’s been amazing for me. But for the three months, I was, even four months, because I started a month before, I was the one trying to generate, get help, get people to come to this, which I have a whole system that I do through meetup.com. I was thinking about I might share it on Investor Fuel’s Facebook just to show it because . . .
Mike: Yeah. Yeah, that will be great.
Michael: But it was taking hours a day of my time. And after a while, I realized, “This is nuts.” Like, this is not the best use of my time. So I got a VA to do that. And there’s complications when you’re doing it from the Philippines, but they connect to a computer here. Again, it’s something to show, but . . .
Mike: Oh, yeah. VPN.
Michael: Yeah. She’s doing it for two hours a day. Well, VPN, I use TeamViewer. It’s a simple, simple program. But I have a computer that no one uses in my office, so she connects to that. And it’s such a pleasure not having to think about it and knowing that she’s doing it. It’s amazing.
Mike: Oh, yeah. Yeah, one of, things that you said a minute ago about we were talking about is so this guy, you know, Aaron, is in the group and he runs a sales team for his investing business, right? And they were talking about just they had this morning 15-minute kind of power chat type thing, like, “What are you going to do today? Get everybody pumped up.” Like, “What are your leads? What can I help you with?”
And I used to do . . . so as you know, I have a couple different businesses. But in my team, I’ll say this, for the past year, up until like two months ago, we had this, I just call those stump meetings. Like, where kind of like, you know, stand around a stump and talk. So which was maybe over the phone or whatever, but just as dedicated 15 minutes that if my team needed anything, let’s talk about it then. And we weren’t using it very much and I went away from it. I basically just . . . It was in my calendar, like, in everybody’s calendar. It was like a preset meeting. And one day I was just like, “You know, we’re not really using it, or we hadn’t been using it.” And part of it is I was traveling. And I just literally deleted it from the calendar because it was like a recurring thing, like, forever, deleted it, and we stopped having it.
And then I noticed just I just literally told Hannah, on my team, you know, Hannah, that we’re going to start doing that again. Because what happens is I’m getting peppered all day long now with like, “Hey, what do you think about this or these things?” And I was like, the time it takes the banter all day long for, like, little things is far more than, “Let’s just set aside 15 minutes.”
Like, if you have a bunch of little questions for me that are not urgent, save them till tomorrow’s 15-minute power chat, and let’s, like, let’s make some quick decisions and knock it out. And so I think as a business owner, I mean, we all want businesses that just operate without us and all that stuff. But the reality is that’s just not realistic. And so the more . . . it’s really just another version of time blocking, right? Like, my team has questions, they need things, let’s set aside this small time in the morning to knock it out. If you don’t have anything to talk about, then it’ll be five minutes instead of 15 minutes, right?
Michael: I think it’s great. I’d rather do that. I mean, we have the weekly meetings, and I feel like it . . . I think that the shorter the time period in between meetings you have, the better off you are.
Michael: Like, if there’s an issue, you don’t want it to sit for a week.
Michael: If it sits for a day, it’s probably not a big deal. So I think I’m going to start that.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah, because if you don’t, you know, you get peppered all day long. It’s just disruptive to other things you should be focusing on, right?
Michael: When you had to stump meetings, did you still have like a level-10 meeting every week? Did you do that?
Mike: Yeah. Yeah, we have a level 10 every Wednesday, and then this was like, Monday, Thursday, Friday, or something like that, where it’s just a quick call. I mean, the truth is, is we could do better with it. It was kind of intended to be that way. But sometimes I wasn’t available, even though it was on the calendar or whatever.
But I think it’s just that commitment to like, really kind of displaying to the team, like, “I’m here. Like, don’t, you know, let’s . . . ” And I do it, too. Where, like, you know, we’ve gotten better with the level 10. Once we went to the level 10 the U.S. implementation stuff about 18 months ago, but, you know, you know several my team members, like, we all like to talk and we like to talk to each other. And so there’s all day long, it was like, “Hey, you have a second?” Or, “Hey, can I bother you for a second?” And you start to realize, like, “Man, how much time of day are we spending with these hallway conversations?”
Mike: And we’re all the type that like, we have a quick question, but somehow it turns into like a 10-minute conversation about what are you going do this weekend or whatever?” And it’s, like, it’s just disruptive. And it’s not that I don’t like working with people that I’m around or care about them as individuals, but it’s just it’s not efficient from a business standpoint.
Michael: But did you find that there was less to talk about in a level 10 meeting or because you just had stump meetings?
Mike: The reason it’s not because we follow a very specific schedule, like, you know? And if we’re if we’re going to talk about this for five minutes, and if we go over, we’re like, “Hey, let’s move on.” That’s the one thing that we’ve allowed to be structured, everything else is.
Michael: All right. My level-10 meeting isn’t that structured. I don’t have that much to talk about. But I think it’s still worth doing. If there’s an issue that someone has to, you know, that we’ve got to talk about it, it’s good to talk about. But I think we should have a meeting every day. I mean, for me, it’ll still probably going to be only be five minutes long. There’s only four of us.
Mike: Yeah. I think, especially people who are running sales teams, too, or you have even one salesperson but, you know, better with multiple is that . . . the truth is that my experience with salespeople, you know, they’re competitive by nature. And so if they hear that somebody else has got something awesome going on, they’re going to level up. They’re just like, ‘Oh, man, I want some of what he’s got, right?” It’s just kind of getting everybody pumped up. It’s an opportunity to pump up your team, too. So that’s one of those things that I won’t say necessarily it’s more like, do as I say, not as I do type stuff. Because even as I’m talking about to you I’m like, “Not necessarily saying that I’m doing what I should be doing. But I at least I’m reflecting on the fact that we need to do it.
Michael: No. I think I should do this, too. Maybe even like even if it’s twice a week. I have level 10s on Mondays, so maybe I would have a stump meeting on Wednesday or Friday, that kind of thing.
Mike: Yeah. So if we can shift gears a little bit, like, one of the things that you talked about is your Meetup group, you just started this. There are several people that are Investor Fuel members that have Meetup groups, and they do it for different reasons. Some of them it’s to lend to investors, some of it is to borrow from investors, some of it it’s to do deals. And so there’s a lot of opportunities inside of communities that you build to impact your business. Like, the real business isn’t the Meetup group. You probably, in fact, often lose money on that. But it’s from that platform from that community, you know, some of it could be it brings joy to you to teach other people. Some of it could be to get more deals or things that benefit your business. Maybe talk a little bit about the, I know it’s still early, but some of why you’re doing it and what the benefits are so far.
Michael: So we really approached it from giving, we want to give, we want to help people. We believe that most of the help that’s out there online. And we actually, one of the free resources that we talk about REIA is that FlipNerd podcast.
Mike: Oh, nice. Thank you.
Michael: We feel that it’s different in New York, and people need help in New York. And a lot of people who are getting their information online are sort of getting information that applies to most of the country besides New York.
Mike: Okay. Yeah.
Michael: That’s how we approached it, as giving. We just want to help. We want to show you what works, you know? And we invite anybody to come to our office. We probably had two dozen people come to our office and sort of guide them on how to start. That was the approach. We knew in the back of our minds that it would help us establish ourselves as leaders in the area. And a guy who came to the first meeting already sent us a deal. Now, this is a deal and he didn’t even know if it was a deal. And if it was a deal, he wouldn’t know how deal with it. And we locked it up, and it’s going to be a $40,000 wholesale deal that we’re going to split with him. So he’s going to make $20,000 that I don’t think he had any possible way of making before. We’re going to make $20,000 that I know we’d have no possible way to make before because we had no idea what the lead was.
So I believe it’s something that when you approach it from a giving standpoint and just trying to help, it comes back. So for us, it’s been amazing. It’s been, I’ve had people, like, on the verge of tears saying that they didn’t know where to start, they didn’t know what to do. And, you know, and I know from their questions. They come to me and say, “I need an investor-friendly title company.” In New York, a title companies doesn’t even do the closing, an attorney does the closing. So I know from their questions that they’re getting information from other places.
So we’re here to help. And I guess I invite everybody that comes to the REIA to come to our office. You can see our board with our, you know, with the properties we’re working on. And then in a week from today, so Thursday the 22nd, because a lot of people ask for it, we’re going to actually bring them to two properties that we’re working on, and we have like a dozen people signed up for that.
So, again, our approach was just to help. Anybody who needs help, we’re here to help you. But it’s already more than paid for itself, and we believe it’s something that will help us over time also by establishing ourselves as the experts in the area.
Mike: Yeah, that’s great. And, you know, you know, I believe in communities and networks. So I mean, that’s pretty much everything I do now is there are so many things that you don’t know what can come of it until you get into it. I mean, there’s so many opportunities that will come your way if you’re building a community that’s a safe place for people to share ideas and you truthfully have their best interests in mind. But, you know, like you said, you’re doing a deal with this person that’s good for them, it’s good for you.
Mike:I mean, I think there’s nothing wrong with making money in the process, right? It’s, like, you just have to create win-win solutions. And nobody cares.
Michael: This is as much win-win as you can imagine. Like I said, there isn’t a chance that this guy would have made a dime off this if he didn’t come to our REIA. There isn’t a chance we would have had a dime off it if we didn’t know him from the REIA. So it’s great. And I’ll say it again, I never ever would have started without Investor Fuel members help. They were incredibly helpful. And I was terrified. I was terrified even before we had it that no one was going to show up. So I [inaudible 00:28:49] and I talked to Matt and the encouragement of Bill and April and Dylan was, you know, Dylan just said, “Just do it,” you know?
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s great.
Michael: I mean, there really was a need for it because there are a lot of REIAs in . . . I mean, we’re in New York. So there’s a ton of REIAs, but almost all of them are really expensive, like, they charge 50 bucks a person. And very often, they’re run by somebody who’s trying to sell coaching. So we just represented ourselves as we’re free, because we were free for the first two REIAs. Now we’re $5, which is a lot cheaper than other ones. And we’re not selling you anything. We’ll give you coaching for free. If you come to our office, we’ll coach you. We’ll help you. So I think a lot of people were really, really attracted to that.
Mike: Yeah, that’s awesome. So Michael, you’ve been, obviously, we’re on the vein of being a giver here. And you were at Investor Fuel with us last week. And thanks for all that you share there and all that you do there. You’ve been a member of the group for a little bit over . . . about a year now, right?
Mike Yeah. And so maybe you can share your thoughts on just, you know, last week, some of the experiences that maybe you have at Investor Fuel, and maybe just the general kind of testimonial on the group.
Michael: So first, in general, I am not even sure if I’d still be in business if it wasn’t for Investor Fuel. And I sort of was thinking about it really deeply about what Investor Fuel means to me. So I really think there’s three main things that you get out of it. The first is seeing what’s possible, right? When you talk to people who have done things that you . . . I’m certain I would have said a lot of the things they’ve done are impossible. The way some people built a business and then took themselves out of the business, some hired a COO. Like, I didn’t even think that was humanly possible. So finding out that people can really do deals and that the system works is a huge thing for your mindset. If you don’t believe it works, it’s not going to work. A lot of people don’t get into this business because they almost thought they can’t fathom it. So seeing what’s possible was a big deal for me.
The second thing is talking to people who are going through the same problems that you have is incredibly therapeutic, right? You know, when I went to the Investor Fuel in May, you know, a lot of people were struggling in the beginning of the year, and we were struggling, too. And just hearing that was incredibly comforting.
And the third thing is finding solutions to some of your problems. So a lot of people were saying at the main meeting that, you know, PPC wasn’t working for them, and PPC was working for us. And we’re spending a lot, we we’re spending, like, $8,000 a month on pay-per-click. And, you know, we fell into that trap of sunk costs, our provider got us to pay for a year in advance for the management. So we were six months in and my partner was like, “Oh, we have already paid for it.” And I’m like, “We cannot make a decision based on sunk cost. That money is gone. We can take the $8,000 and spend it in another lead channel that’s going to bring more money. We can’t look back on what we spent. And without a doubt, the May meeting convinced me we’ve got to cut loose. And we stopped, we cut back significantly on our pay-per-click. So hearing that from other people was incredibly helpful. And just hearing people who’ve been through similar problems where they hired somebody who wasn’t great and they got rid of them. Like, hearing that was incredibly helpful.
But the fourth thing really is that having a community when you’re not at the quarterly meetings, where you can throw something on Facebook group or call someone, which is what I did, before I started the REIA, was, I mean, I couldn’t put a price on it. I never would have started the REIA if I couldn’t speak to April and Bill and Dylan, never. And it wouldn’t be as good as it was in a million years if I couldn’t speak to people like that. So if I wasn’t a member, I never would have started the REIA. And when things got tough, I probably wouldn’t have stuck it out. I might be working another job if it wasn’t for Investor Fuel, because just having that community of people to speak to and listening to their problems and listening to solutions to their problems was just invaluable to me.
Mike: That’s awesome. I’d say there’s probably two things that would surprise most people. And that is, you know, we do have a quarterly, our main meetings are every quarter. But probably most people are surprised to learn that, you know, how much effort and emphasis we put on being a community year round, like, even in between meetings and all that, right, which you just kind of alluded to.
And then I think a lot of people are probably surprised that we don’t just . . . it’s like social media, people just always show their good side. Like, we try to put as much focus on the negative side and the bad side. Not negative, but like, share your mistakes. Like, you know, there was a guy here at the last meeting that is buried in a bunch of bad inventory and he’s got a financial hard money is like, costing him just insane amounts of money. And we were like, “Don’t hide. Like, let’s dig that out.” You know, and now I’m having regular conversations with him. Like, “Let’s review this. Let’s go through it. Let’s get rid of that stinky produce.” Like, this isn’t about just celebrating the good times. I mean, as business owners, anybody that can be in Investor Fuel has had some level of success already.
But also, to get to that point, you’ve had to dredge through a bunch of crap, there’s no doubt. Like, we’ve all had ups and downs, right? And probably more downs, not more downs than ups, but stuff that could have thrown us out of the game and we chose not to. And so, like, let’s work through that, because those failures or those mistakes or those challenges, that’s what makes us better business people. That’s what makes us better in every aspect of our life is like the lessons learned from that, right?
Michael: Sure. I mean, somebody recently said to me, and I posted it on YouTube, “The only difference between you and somebody more successful than you is that they failed a lot more than you. A lot more.”
Mike: Right. And they didn’t give up.
Michael: Right. We all think that people who are successful were instantly successful, they had some advantage over us. That they were smarter, they got some break. But really, it’s just that they were willing to fail a lot more than you and then and learn from it and not give up.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. So, Michael, if folks want to learn more about you, or what’s going on, or maybe you could even share your Meetup, name or link and share some ways that they can get ahold of you so we can add some links on the page.
Michael: Of course. So I’m available on Facebook. Our name of the company is LMPK Properties. You can find me on Facebook as Michael Pinter. The name of the REIA, you can find on meetup.com is Nassau County REIA, R-E-I-A. And I post on Facebook. I post on YouTube almost every day a video called “Flipping and Wholesaling in New York.” So that’s our YouTube channel, you can subscribe to that.
Mike: Awesome trying to write this down ferociously here. Okay. Awesome. Hey, thanks for sharing that with us. Thanks for sharing your lessons learned. I mean, that’s a perfect example of what we just talked about is like, let’s talk about what didn’t work. I mean, it’s so much easier to learn from other people’s mistakes or failures, right? I think when listening to you and when we kind of banter a little bit, there’s . . . that’s how I learn. I go to Investor Fuel. It’s my meeting, right, but I don’t know everything. I’ve learned so much there from other members, because we’re open to talking about not just what’s working, but what’s not working and it just makes . . . it just kind of lifts all boats, right?
Michael: For sure. Finding out what’s not working. Like I said, it’s really therapeutic when someone gets up for a hot seat presentation and says the same problem you’re going through. And you feel like, “Wow. I’m not the only . . . It’s not me,” right? Just . . .
Mike: Right. Right. Right.
Michael: Something’s going on. And something can be going on in the industry or with Google or something and tap into them, too.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. Hey, thanks again for being with us today, Michael.
Michael: Thank you very much, Mike.
Mike: And everybody else that’s listening, thanks for joining us today. If you haven’t subscribed yet to the Investor Fuel podcast Investor Fuel show, you can listen to us on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, a whole bunch of other syndicated places. Of course, you can watch the videos on iTunes. And you can see all of our shows by visiting investorfuel.com.
So I appreciate you a ton. I’ll see on the next show.
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