Austin Hughes has built a 100+ unit rental portfolio before the age of 30! He shares how he’s done every type of transaction residential real estate offers and reveals his #1 secret to real estate investing success.

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Dylan: [00:00:00] From a thousand dollars to 189 rental units all before the age of 30.

Austin: Welcome to real estate investing secrets. We’re all looking for freedom and the opportunity to live better, more fulfilling lives. But most of us were trained our entire lives to work for someone else and chase their dreams. How can we use real estate investing as a vehicle to achieve financial freedom?

My life is dedicated to answering your real estate investing questions and helping you build an investing business that allows you to change your. And the world around you and to enable you to turn your dreams of financial freedom into a reality. My name is Mike aright from and your questions get answered here on the real estate investing

Dylan: secrets show.

Hey Austin. Super excited to see you here today, buddy.

Austin: Howdy Dylan,

Dylan: How are you doing today, man?

Austin: Great. Good.

Dylan: Awesome. Awesome. You always bring a lot of intensity and [00:01:00] excitement and a big smile to everything that you do, as long as I’ve known you. And I wanna welcome you to the show. This is real estate investing secrets on the flip nerd podcast network.

We have done 1500 plus podcasts. We would love for you to subscribe and like, and leave comments and all that stuff. But more importantly, I want you guys to pay attention to every single thing that you hear from our guests today. Austin Hughes. Who at the tender age of 28 at the time of this taping has 189 rental units, which is amazing at any age.

So we’re gonna dig right in and see what changed Austin’s life from being a regular person to an amazing real estate investor in such a short amount of time. And this man’s very humble. So he’s probably already smiling a lot cause I’m looking at the camera, not at him. So Austin te tell us a little bit in the beginning, how you even got interested in real estate invest.


I got interested. Um, you said going from a normal person to this, I’ve never really considered myself normal, but, [00:02:00] um, I was at school at Texas tech university and, um, wasn’t, I didn’t see a career path forward with what I was studying business management, entrepreneurship. Right. But they were just teaching you how to be a good employee.

Um, and so I just thought I’m just gonna spend my time. Learning something useful on my own time. So I just consumed all I could about real estate because I thought, yeah, when I’m 40 50, and maybe have some money, then I can invest in this. And everyone kind of knows that, uh, it’s one of the best vehicles we’re building wealth.

So, um, I just said, well, I’ll just make the most of my time while I’m here. So, um, I intensely studied real estate for. A year. And then I realized, oh, snap, I might be able to actually start doing this sooner rather than later. So that’s kind of what got me

interested. So you, you kind of told us a little bit, uh, [00:03:00] being, you know, going to school at Texas tech.

So why don’t you, why don’t you rewind a little bit, tell us where, where you grew up, where you’re from, uh, kind of how life was before you were this big real estate mogul that you are now. ,

it’s funny when you work from home. Cause, um, you could be a real estate mogul out of your spare bedroom

here you can today, right?

Austin: so. Where Texas tech is, is in Lubbock, Texas, which they call it west, Texas. It’s kinda Northwest Texas. I was born here, but really grew up in Houston. So love the city. So Lubbock, um, I moved back about 10 years ago when I started going to college in Texas tech. And, uh, so coming from Houston, Lubbock field, really small, we’ve got about 300,000 people or so, but, um, I grew up playing a lot of basketball, um, singing, uh, um, musical a little bit.

Um, so just doing different things [00:04:00] before I came back to to Lubbock 10 years ago, didn’t think I was gonna stay. But when I graduated, I was kind of torn. Do I stay here? Uh, I had just started my business. Or do I just go pick up and, and, you know, keep going in Houston and had no clue and ended up staying here.

And then one project led to two projects, led three ended, just snowball outta control to where now here we are 10 years later, still here in Lubbock, but

Dylan: I’ve grown to. Yeah, it’s always interesting to me, I’m super lucky to be able to meet, uh, and hang out with investors like you Austin, and, and get to know your stories and, and really, you know, what, what brought you to entrepreneurship and, and being a real estate investor.

And we have people basically from every walk of life in our business, but I think down deep, we all have that same feeling as an entrepreneur. And, and, uh, and, and as someone who just kind of wants to make it happen right. So when did that click for you? I know that, um, you [00:05:00] know, not everybody knows you’re, you’re pretty tall in terms of, uh, your height.

Right. And, uh, you’re in good shape. You’re, you’re a pretty decent athlete. So did, did that help shape you, you think, um, as far as being, uh, successful in business at a younger age? Um,

Austin: no, not really, actually. So when I’m, when I’m looking for people to bring into my company in a sales role, athletes are. The top of the list, because you have that work ethic ingrained and your athletes understand that the more, you know, if you’re not where you wanna be, you just put in more work and you put in more work and they have that right mentality.

They don’t just say, well, I didn’t do it. I give up, you know, athletes get that. And so that’s what I look for when I’m adding sales people to my team. But actually for me, what kind of. Clicked with, with me being able to get started in real estate, but, but more importantly, continue [00:06:00] and just be consistent.

Was I cut myself off from my parents when I was 20, I just turned 21. I was coincidentally. A few months before I started my real estate business. And so what I’d realized is I, I would do some network marketing. I would do this or that I would try to get a little side hustle going. And my parents we’ve never been poor, but they’ve never had money in the bank saved up.

It’s just always kind of lower middle class, which had every opportunity I could have asked for. But what it led to is I got too comfortable. So I always had a crutch, you know, and, um, it was my last summer going into my last year of college. My mom was encouraging me. She said, Hey, just take the summer off.

You’re never gonna get to be a kid again. You’ll, you’ll never have the free times with full summer. And I was really tempted to quit this internship I was doing. She [00:07:00] said, you can stay here and I’ll pay for all your food, everything like that. And I just had an epiphany when I was driving home from that internship, which.

Horrible. I was trying to give financial advice as an intern and I knew nothing and I was broke, but, um, it clicked that I needed to cut myself off and get rid of that approach because, uh, you know, being, being talented or doing well in things, I would make it kind of far. And then there would be some obstacle that I just couldn’t get at.

And when I quit. Everyone was like, oh, pat me on the back. It’s so good, Austin. Oh, wow. You did so much more than most people could, you know, good job. And they would all, they would all applaud me quitting stuff because I just, I would go further than most, but then I would find a good justification to, to quit.

And so that’s what I realized is I need to put [00:08:00] myself in a bind. I, you know, I only had a couple hundred dollars. Um, and I need to make it to where I’m paying for my own stuff. And I’ve got to figure out how to make this work. It wasn’t a good opportunity, the internship, but I said, I gotta figure out how to make this work.

Cause if I didn’t have that crutch. And let’s say, and this is what I thought. I thought if my parents were sick, if my mom couldn’t take care of herself, I’d be so ecstatic to go bag groceries, to do anything work overnight. I think any opportunity gladly be so grateful. So why am I not making the most, what I have right in front of me.

So honestly, me being able to sustain and, and grow as a real estate investor. I started my company a few months after I did that. That was it. That. That was everything. It changed it when I took away that crutch from. Man.

Dylan: I love that. That that’s the absolute truth. I think, um, I just had a conversation with a couple of my [00:09:00] team members about the same thing, and I said, you guys live a NFY life, right?

So I stole that from the office and, uh, us old guys, like the office, Austin, you, you might not be a huge office fan, but it’s true. You know? Um, I, I, I wanna say I’m kind of similar. I grew up the same way as you. It never needed anything, but never had what a lot of other people had in as far as material items.

But I always had that crutch too. And it’s not until you kind of let go of those crutches where you have to stand on your own and you start to see that why they, they talk about the 80 20 rule. Right. And why 20% make 80% of the money? I think it’s 90 10 now, just to be honest, but that’s just my belief, of course, as an entrepreneur, um, But it, but there’s a mindset shift that has to change.

And I love what you said about hiring the athletes, cuz those guys and gals are used to, um, if they’re, if they’re somewhat decent and you don’t have to be a great athlete, but you can be a great athlete, um, that can take coaching. Right, right. And, uh, and, and if you can learn how to take coaching and, and we take coaching all the time, right?

Both of us have had probably multiple coaches in our life, both, [00:10:00] uh, in, in athletics and in business and always seeking more advice. But you have to be able to listen to what other people say. And I think that’s ingrained in those athletes. So, um, you, you being a little bit younger still, and, and I like to brag about you, uh, for that reason, because I love to see the, the younger generation, uh, building things and just having that awesome mindset.

But, but if you kind of rewind back to when you really first got started and, and you talked about that and not having a lot of money, you know, and, and doing it on your own, and that’s super awesome. So for those newer people out there at any age, uh, who are feeling some of those stumbling blocks, how did you get through those first few deals or, or first couple years?

What, what do you think? The, the advice you can give some newer investors on, on that is.

Austin: Well, during that time, I was not buried. That helps a ton because I was living off of nothing. everyone thinks that, you know, and I’ve hired some BAS from Philippines and at the time they were making about $2 an hour, two [00:11:00] 50 an hour, and everyone was like, wow, how do you get someone to work for that much?

And you know, it’s, it’s the exchange rate. And that’s actually a, at the time that was a really good wage. But what people didn’t know is I was paying myself less than I was paying them. So number one would be just having the ability to, to make it through not making money. So if you’re gonna go all in, if you’re gonna, you know, do real estate as your full-time thing, you need to have either some cushion and savings, which for me.

Had barely anything, but you need to be able to ride through those times. If you do make a mistake, you don’t want it to take you out of the game. You want to be able to keep playing the game and, and keep surviving until you can really figure it out and build it to the

Dylan: point that you wanna get it to.

Yeah, I think, um, you know, some of the mentors, uh, gosh guys who are almost pushing 80 now, again, it shows my age, but those guys and, and girls I’d listened to [00:12:00] 15, 20, actually 25 years ago. The best advice I got from some of them basically was, Hey, you just, you just have to get started. Right. I hate to be cliche.

And you was like the, the Nike saying, but you just have to do it. You really do at some point. But the other thing for sure, and we start to learn this as we take on responsibility. And like Austin said, Everyone gets paid before him. Everybody does. They have to, because if they. They aren’t going to exist in his business.

Right. But it’s creating that cash flow and figuring out whether that’s a buffer or you’re creating actual organic cash on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. You have to have cash flow in your business and just have, have dry powder because it’s. Air to a business and without cash, you’re just in big trouble.

So I think that’s, that’s really, really great advice, um, on, on how to make it through those first tough, tough, you know, few months or even years. But what, what about Austin? Your mindset? I know you pretty well. We’ll, we’ll get into that in a few minutes, but. I know that you’re a very positive person and, um, and that takes a lot for some people to, to do [00:13:00] that.

And even as a positive person, you gotta stay up. Right? Yeah. So in those first couple years, when you did get punched in the face and even today, if you get punched in the face, um, how, how can, how can someone who doesn’t quite have that yet kind of get that what’s your best advice for them to, to get to that point where they’re just, they’re tough mentally.


Austin: man. Honestly, I think just sticking around. It kind of develops itself over time. Cause so, so number one, you gotta remove whatever is your crutch. That’s holding you back, gotta remove that. So that’s gonna allow you to move forward. That’s gonna allow you to get through some of these stumbling blocks, but you kind of have to prove it to yourself by just sticking around.

So for me, I, I took away my crutch cut myself off and I had to make something work and. I had multiple times after that point where I said, man, I can guarantee you 99% of [00:14:00] people would’ve quit. If this happened today. And I’ve had 40 instances like that, I’m like, man, if what just happened to me or what is happening to me had happened to anyone else, I would, I would bet a ton of money.

They’re out. They’re quitting. That’s done. That’s the sign from God. Uh, that, you know, people, people will take a hardship and say, oh, that’s just a sign I need to get out. Maybe it’s a, and maybe it’s a learning lesson. Maybe this is what’s gonna develop your first experience. So I think it’s just proving it to yourself each time.

And. If you don’t have the positive outlook just naturally, you can always develop that. And that’s something I have to work on as well. I’m I’m not just, you know, above approaching with that, but yeah, you, you just prove it to yourself by staying around the harder, a good mindset to pick up. Is that okay?

The harder, this thing. [00:15:00] And just the worse, this situation is the more, I just hate this situation that is happening to me right now. I can just make it through that. That’s a huge win because I know so many people would’ve dropped off it and you prove it to yourself and you just, you build it up over time.

Dylan: That’s great advice. Um, so, so first was, uh, let go of the crutch. Number two is, is, uh, to persevere and just to stick with it. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna keep track of these things, cuz we’re gonna have a little like, uh, Instagram meme on this later and, and I’ll tag Austin for sure. But, um, so a lot of guys talk about like, um, like elephant skin or hear like rhino skin.

I think that’s kind of what you’re talking about. Austin is you gotta be able to, to kind of get beat up. Right. And, um, You do have to persevere and, and what’s funny is, um, you know, get getting into, you know, how I know Austin. So I get to see him quarterly at the investor fuel mastermind. Um, I’ve I’ve met him and his wife, Vanessa shoot.

I think it was [00:16:00] two full years ago now, or almost two years in a quarter. Yeah. Yeah, we, we go by, we go by quarter years in the investor field world investor fuel world because we see each other every quarter, we get to see each other like this, but, um, I would never know that Austin has to work on being positive.

Um, because when I see him, he lights up a room and part of that’s natural, part of that, part of that is like having a unique ability. But the other part of that is up here because he makes that happen. That little lightning strike happens in his head. And he says, when I walk in this room and I’m one of the tall guys, I got this big hair, right?

Like. And, and very humble, but he’s got that big smile and that energy and, um, and is always quick to be, um, you know, quick with, with a handshake or, or to give people praise. And, uh, that’s something that, uh, that does come a little natural, but I think it’s learned and you have to kind of force it too. But again, I would never know that UN unless Austin said that.

So, um, you know, that’s a Testament to your, to your attitude, Austin, and just how people view. Thank you. Um, yeah, [00:17:00] absolutely. And, and it’s, and it’s important. And, uh, you know, if I can brag about myself, like I’m always smiling too, right? Because you only have two choices and my smile’s not gonna go upside down because if it does, then it’s really hard to bring it back up, you know?

Um, so, uh, for digging a little bit deeper into, into real estate, if you could like. 10 seconds. Just talk about like the different transactions that you’ve done, cuz I know probably a bunch of them. And then, and then off of that, talk about what you guys are focused on today with your company. Yeah. So

Austin: quick version, I built this thing, not the way I would recommend, I would recommend focusing on one strategy.

I went wide early, so it took a while to get things going. But now we have a lot of tools. So we. Lots of flips. We’re renovating over 20 properties right now. We have a rental portfolio every now and again, we’ll owner finance, we’ll sell with owner financing and, um, I’m into mobile home parks. I’ve got a [00:18:00] couple of mobile home parks, some mobile homes.

So pretty, pretty broad in the real estate space. What I don’t do is I don’t have any commercial office buildings, anything or self storage, but pretty much outside of that, just. Every type of real estate.

Dylan: And, and what do you guys primarily, and I know that you’re wide, but what are you primarily focusing on 80% of Austin’s day?

What are you doing? So

Austin: we just really take anything that comes into our, our funnels. That happens to be a lot of single family houses. And whenever we get a mobile home park, which we’re working on one right now, I’m really excited about, or an apartment building. Then we’ll go for those. We’ve got the tools and the systems.

So it’s not like it’s just way outside of our business. We’re, we’re prepared for those and we take them down. They’re just less frequent. So more frequently we just get single family homes in. We put ’em through our deal analysis, calculator, it either lights up green as a flip [00:19:00] or green as a rental. And then we’ll just kind of take it one of those route.

Dylan: So I like how you said that you you’re able to kind of field whatever comes towards you. And I use baseball analogies cuz I’m old school, but it’s kinda like the best player in the field is supposed to be a short stop. Right. As far as defense goes, mm-hmm so he’s got all these, you know, he, or she’s got all these balls getting, getting like whacked at him at 150 miles an hour, but somehow they always figure out what to do with it.

Right. So that’s what we do as, as real. Investors and entrepreneurs, but, um, how, how did you think you guys got to that point to where I could throw a, a 12 unit apartment building at you, a, a, a trailer park, a single family home, or say, Hey, I wanna buy something rent to own from you. And you’re like, no problem.

We got that. How did you get to that point? Well, what

Austin: I talked about was. I went wide instead of going narrow at the beginning. And so my approach as I went wide, wasn’t, I’m just gonna do this deal. I’m gonna do that deal and I’m gonna do this other type of exit strategy. It was, Hey, I’m gonna do this one, [00:20:00] this one type of deal over here.

I’m gonna learn everything I can about it. I’m going to document the best practices that I can find. And then over time, I’m gonna refine test those and improve it. It’s doing these different types of strategies, but also building processes, building best practices, getting standard contract templates, getting, um, standard ways to analyze these deals along the way.

So that now we’re at a point where we’ve got all these systems in place. It’s all part of our training. We have phenomenal training and so people can come in, learn our systems and then yeah, they just kind of drop it into whatever is the app. Bucket for that deal and they

Dylan: know what to do with. Yeah. So, so I know because I, I, I somewhat know your business, obviously more intimately than most people who are listening or watching today, but I know that you’re a system and, and process guy, uh, which you don’t find really often and definitely not with younger people.

And I, [00:21:00] I think that’s a big part of your success just for my personal opinion. And the fact again, that, you know, you guys are, you guys are a younger couple and you’ve built something in my eyes, you know, very, very huge. Compared to what a lot of other investors nationwide have done so far. So, so in that Austin, so you’re talking about like training team members and, um, and standard operating procedures and all this stuff, all this, these big words.

So what does your, what does your organization look like right now? Are you, you guys actually have like team members, you guys hire people. How, how does your team look? And what’s the structure. Yeah.

Austin: So, um, I’ve got my right hand band is my integrator. He’s kinda the director of operations. What the integrator does is they take all my crazy ideas, figure out which the good ones, which are the ones that we need to do now, or which ones we need to hold off later.

And then they just make all the areas of the business work together. Um, and that’s kind of from the top down. And then we have few people in doing acquisitions. [00:22:00] So they are talking with a bunch of sellers going on, tours, making offer. We have a project manager, probably time to get a second. Cause we’re doing, we’ve been doing over 20 rehabs for quite a while.

We turn ’em out, but then we keep adding more. Um, we’ve got a marketing coordinator and administrative assistant and everything else that we do. So property management, um, some of our marketing channels we outsource. So we’ve got eight people on the team right now. We outsource a lot of stuff. We have, we keep a lot of contractors fed year round, and they don’t have to go anywhere else for work, but they’re not on our core team.

So it’s kind of a mix of, of the positions that we want to do things in a very specific way we bring in house. And then the stuff that either someone is better than us property management, they are way better than I am at property management. We outsource [00:23:00] or contractors. Thing with contract boots is it’s hard to find one that could up hold my core values in the company.

They can do great work. They could be an awesome partner out there in the field with us. And, and we have great long term relationships, but it’s not necess. They wouldn’t necessarily do well inside the company. Just kind of have to figure out what your balance would be with the.

Dylan: Yeah, that that’s interesting.

Um, because sometimes I, I find myself doing that same thing. I kind of I’ll judge people and say, this isn’t someone who I think would fit day to day. Um, and, and those are just non-negotiables that we kind of have inside our ourselves. Right. And sometimes we don’t share all that stuff, but what, what do you look for flipping that coin to the positive side?

What, what non-negotiables do your team members have to have.

Austin: One of them that we talked about is persistence. So as we get to know them, we, we hear [00:24:00] them talk about stories about their highs and their lows. And so we learn if they have persistence or they just kinda give up and go on to the next thing.

So that that’s one of our core values. Um, we’ve got more core values that I won’t go into all of them right now. That’s a big one. And then. When we’re gonna hire for a position we make, what’s called a job scorecard. So we already know the exact type of person we’re looking for before we start our hiring process.

That’s that is a huge thing. So, um, they gotta have persistence. They’ve gotta align with our core values. And then we just judge each position based on its set of skills based on outcomes that we wanna have happen. And we rate them based on that, a big. A lot of people don’t do this in their hiring process is we go through their career history.

So we narrow it down. We get down to a final two to three people and we just go job by job through their career [00:25:00] history, asking them the same seven questions. Like what attracted you to the job? Um, what do you think about your boss, your supervisor? Why’d you leave really simple questions. But you start to see trends and you can learn so much about people through that.

So honestly, the best predictor of a good team member is past success at past jobs. Good relationships with past bosses, those folks so far.

Dylan: So Austin, how many, um, how many contractors and how many employees do you think you’ve, uh, interacted with since starting your real estate career? Just a, just a round number,

Austin: I would say probably 70 people.

Yeah. That, that

Dylan: that’s a big number and, and, uh, to, to keep those relationships going, um, what would you say, um, For someone who’s, who’s just ramping up. [00:26:00] Right. And they’re you, you can, you could look back in your rear view mirror and say, you know, this, this, this company or these folks, they’re gonna make it.

I can see, you know, I can see a lot of myself in them. What, what do you think the biggest mistakes that you’ve made, uh, working with, uh, with contractors or with your employees? A as far as like, uh, from a personnel standpoint, is there anything you can share? I don’t know

Austin: that it. Mistake necessarily, but something that I am intentional about and something that I’ve seen every time, you kind of go through a group of people that don’t work out, they end up leaving, or you have to let them go every single time that happens in a position, the position gets better.

Our training improves after that, we ask for feedback. Um, so. That’s something that we’re really intentional on. So I could look at it as mistakes from the past, although I didn’t have this, or I didn’t tell them this in the training or [00:27:00] we set, we didn’t set them up for success very well in this area, but until you have that experience and until you’ve built that out and had someone be successful in a.

You don’t always know what those things are. So the thing that I focus on instead is just when someone leaves, we’re gonna break this position apart, we’re gonna see where did they thrive? So these are the things we’re gonna do more of what do they not like? What could we do to improve this opportunity to not only improve the training and the position, what they have, but the opportunity that they have to make more money and enjoy their career more with this.

That’s that’s a really good practice to have. Cause you don’t always know what the, what the mistakes are when you’re making them, when it comes to people.

Dylan: Sure. And, and I mean that, that’s a million dollar gold nugget right there. That’s, that’s not something that you just said it, like, that’s not something you can learn without doing it.

So you’re able to, to share that with us because you guys are [00:28:00] actually doing it. So I think that that’s really, really cool, uh, advice. And for real estate investors who are ready to make that first hire, I’m really, really curious. What do you think a real estate investors first hire should be? Who should that person be?


Austin: I would say someone that does something that you just really don’t like to do. I had made the mistake. Um, I’m really good at acquisitions. Uh, my closing ratio is through the roof and so. There was a point in time where I was doing a little bit of that, a little bit of project management, property management.

I was involved in everything. So I thought, oh, I’ll, I’ll replace myself in acquisition. That’s what I was best at. So no, one’s no one right out of the gate is likely gonna measure up to how good you are at your best thing. So I would say if you’re making your first. Keep doing whatever you are the best at or whatever you like the most [00:29:00] and hire someone to do the other stuff.

Cause you can grow your company a lot faster. If you keep doing what you’re best at until you absolutely can’t handle it and

Dylan: then need to replace yourself. Yeah, that, that’s interesting because, um, I think in some of the rooms you and I get to spend time in together. The number one answer would be an assistant, right?

Like an executive assistant, someone who can handle stuff for you. And I think, uh, the, the second one is like a project manager, because they’re telling you as a real estate investor to try to get, like, to get off the job sites and to do the important things, like bring in deals or bring in money, right.

Or partnerships. um, but I, I tend to agree with you. I think, um, you know, I’ve been told not to do certain things. I really love disposition because I’m a networking guy. You know, I have tons of relationships. I’ve been in the same area forever, so I know everybody. So I like selling my properties as far as wholesaling goes and dealing with other investors, because I feel like I’ve got a way, way, way, way, bigger leg up on, [00:30:00] um, on anybody else I’d bring in.

And a lot of times it’s like, Austin. And I have known each other only for a few years, but if I’d known us Austin for 20 years, we’ve done business a bunch of times. How am I gonna put somebody in front of me with you? And, and it doesn’t mean we have to spend 20 hours on one deal, but it’s super easy for me to text you or call you and be like, Hey buddy, I got another one.

Right. And I’ve been told a million times I shouldn’t be doing that, but. I also love to do it because I get my energy from hanging out with you and then there’s business being done at the same time. So for me, like it’s a double whammy. I don’t hang out with a bunch of people, like from high school anymore.

Right. I hang out with all real estate nerds, you know, this is what I love to do. And if I can make money with those nerds that I’m friends with, you know, so much the better, in my opinion, But I’m, I’m glad that you said that because it’s a different opinion than, than I usually hear from people. Um, and one’s not wrong.

One’s not right, but, but I think that’s, uh, I think that’s a great answer. So moving on, talking about networking, uh, I, I also, I mean, I already said that we [00:31:00] know each other through investor fuel, which is a nationwide mastermind that Austin and I are both a part of and we get together every single quarter.

And we get to share our wins. We get to share our losses more importantly, we really get to talk about our challenges and, uh, and, and if Austin’s on stage and talking about his challenges and I have something great to, to chime in with, I get to let him know or catch him afterwards. And hopefully it’s, if he’s stumbling on something or vice versa, We can, we can connect and help each other.

And that’s really what a mastermind’s all about. Right? You’ve got a bunch of people working on one problem together. So it’s a really, really great place to be. And if you’re not in a mastermind, you should be in one, you don’t have to be in a big nationwide mastermind. Like we are in investor fuel. You can have your own little group, you know, right in your neighborhood, if you wanted to do something like that.

But Austin, I know that. You guys have run some of your own meetups and, and I would imagine you’re very, very networked in, in your area and outside your area, even how important has networking been, uh, to [00:32:00] you as a real estate investor? Well,

Austin: to be honest, networking has to be leveraged in the right weights.

It. It doesn’t automatically just yield fruit for you. So I’m a huge proponent of just giving, giving, giving, add value as much with no expectation, anything return. And we actually had talked about this and you helped is when you have a meet group. I’ve had a, a local meetup here in Lubbock, the Lu real estate investors group for about four years.

And just give, give, give, and hadn’t ever gotten a deal from it or, or really much, but I was happy cause people need to network. But with that networking, if you can just be intentional about one thing to put in people’s brains, kind of stay top of mind. And that’s for me, that was, Hey, you [00:33:00] know, if, if you need help analyzing a.

I know, lovely. Like the back of my hand, I’ve got tools with data to, you know, help you get this deal done quickly. Just reach out. I’m happy to give you free advice. Gotten now multiple deals from my meetup group through network. So yes, it’s important. Gotta always be networking, but you can’t, you can’t assume that good things are gonna happen.

You need to have some sort of a focus that you can kinda put top of mind with people they’re meeting, they’re meeting a bunch of new people. Do. It’s like, who are you gonna remember? What did we talk about? What did that person do? So if you can just have something that sticks in people’s minds from networking, then you can actually, you know, have some good thing, tap into you as you’re helping a lot of other

Dylan: people.

Yeah, that’s great advice. It’s kinda like if you get a gym membership, that’s great. But if you don’t go to the gym and actually do something, then your gym membership is, is a bit benign. Right? Um, a and, uh, there’s another investor, [00:34:00] fuel member, James, who I talked to, uh, on a regular basis and, uh, and James Spence.

So he’s down in, in Texas with you, but he is over in Dallas and he always made fun of me in a good way because I had a checklist. Of people or things that I needed to like get figured out every investor fuel I went to and, and some of them were, were just like generic. Like, Hey, I wanna take three selfies today.

Hey, I wanna go live today. Hey, I wanna, um, you know, I wanna make sure I’m connecting with this person or this person. Cause I didn’t see ’em last quarter. And um, and, and I’m doing the same thing as you asked and I’m, I’m giving without taking so much so that sometimes it almost hurts. Right. But then what comes out of that after a few years?

There’s just relationships that are built and like the, the, like you guys. So you bring your wife Vanessa to, to pretty much every event, right. To every investor fuel event. So when you get to know, when you get to know like a couple or a family, it just changes that dynamic. And there’s a, there’s a few other members who always have either their kids with them or their partners or spouses with them, and you build those [00:35:00] relationships.

And, and when you’re back home and you’re like, oh my gosh, Austin said he needed this. Right. And sometimes that, like you said, that. Just jogs your memory and, and now you deliver that, uh, that value to that person, but you start to build these relationships and, and when you’re intentional, you don’t always have to do it just to make money.

Right. But if you’re listening to what they’re asking for, right. And you’re giving it to them the same way, when we buy houses, the best house buyers in the, in the entire world and the best sales people are the best at asking questions. Right. And then shutting up and letting, letting the, the person tell ’em what they need and then us fulfilling that.

Right. So the same thing with networking and. You know, a lot of people talk about meetups and, and, uh, what, what would you say that your best advice is for, for newer investors who are shy to go to meetups or, or they haven’t soughted out any meetups yet?

Austin: Uh, you gotta go because you’re gonna meet people that are going just open your minds, do things you didn’t think were possible.

Like you may have this huge [00:36:00] problem that you can’t get it figured out, and you’re just, maybe it’s your first deal that you’re looking. And you’re like, man, I just can’t get over this one thing on the, on the project, you go to a meet up and you’re just, it’s this big monster in your head. You go there, you talk to someone that’s been there, done that.

And they say, oh yeah, you just need to do this. It’s like, it’s, it’s not even a problem for them them anymore. They might not think anything of it. It just blew your mind. And all of a sudden opened possibilities for you that, Hey, now I can do this deal. And so it’s not just what you learn there, but it’s also just people that are gonna show you that, Hey, I gotta, I’ve got a quick solution for your, your problem.

I’ve been there, done that. You see that, oh, what I’m doing it’s possible.

Dylan: Yeah. Busting through those limiting beliefs. And I think we may have talked about this off camera. All I do is talk to people, right. So I don’t remember who I talked about it with, but, um, A lot of us, aren’t, uh, aren’t [00:37:00] raised whether it’s from, from our, our family or, or again, talking about like the coaches or the teachers we’re not raised to believe we can do a lot more than what, um, what the average person does.

And that’s because the average person is average. So there’s somewhere somehow in our lives as entrepreneurs where that just clicks. Right. And we figure. Again, going to a meet up or a area, whatever it’s called in, in your area. And, um, I was sitting with the guy earlier today and he was buying one house a year and, uh, he started in 2018 or whatever, and, and this is four years later.

Now he’s got like 48, 2 or 45 rental units. He told me that started with one house a year. He goes, and it wasn’t until I came to your meeting, that I saw some guy who had like 30 houses. And I said, I’m smarter than him. And, and that’s not like putting down the person who had the 30 houses, but it’s saying, wait a.

If Dylan can do it, Austin’s like, shoot, I can do it right. And if, and if Austin can do it, I say the same thing. So I think it’s really important to, to build that mindset that, that positivity, we, we talked about a little earlier is super important. I mean, I think [00:38:00] that’s even more foundational for me anyway, but then having that, that belief that you can do something I’m probably not gonna do a 360 dunk.

The the free throw line, right? Not on a 10 foot rim, so I have to be realistic, but I also never thought that I would be where I am. And in the short couple years ago, when I met you, I know that you guys have stacked more units on and you guys have achieved more. And I don’t know if you’d say to me right now, and you can answer this, you know, two or two and a half years ago.

I didn’t know we would be here already. And, and it’s been a short period of.

Austin: Yeah. Um, when I joined investor fuel, that was May, 2021. So about a year and a half ago, right now we didn’t, we weren’t even at a hundred rental units. So now we’re almost at 200. We will be pretty, pretty soon the next couple of months.

So, yeah, it’s, it’s crazy. But I think about that all the time. I’m like, man, the people I’m hanging out with the things I’m doing. I would’ve never guessed just two years ago that I would be [00:39:00] in these situations doing these things. It, it seems like it’s always been like that. We’re not really good at predicting our own futures.

Dylan: yeah, that, that’s totally true. And, and I don’t think any of us really know that what we’re capable of and, you know, there’s. Everybody has their different beliefs. But my belief is, if you’re here, like you should basically do your best, no matter what that is, you should be trying to be the best person you can be.

Otherwise, if you’re breathing all this, this wonderful air, right. And you got the green grass under, you feel like, what are you here for? If you’re not, if you’re not trying to be the best person that you can be and use those gifts that, that you are given and, and even sharpen ’em right. And, and get even better with them.

So, um, this leads me to the question I always like to ask our guests. One of the last questions today is. For the newer investors out there who, who are, are just ready to get started. Right. They haven’t even put that Nike swoosh on that says, just do it. What is your absolute best advice that you can give someone who wants to become a real estate investor?[00:40:00]

I’ve really

Austin: got two things, but if I had to pick

Dylan: my we’ve got listen, we’ve got time for three Austin. I only got two .

Austin: Okay. So the first one, if you’re looking to get your first deal, your superpower is, is gonna be doing things that the guys that have been around for a while can’t do or won’t do because they’re too comfortable now.

So that superpower is follow up. My first ever deal that I got, I think I counted. I followed up with her like 26 times. There were other wholesalers that were looking at this deal and I didn’t do any marketing. I saw it on Craigslist. Everyone in town saw it and everyone called her, but I followed up 26 times and I was looking at her deal and like two other properties.

So your lack of having a large pipeline and having a large business is your superpower. When you’re starting out, you can just own in, on one deal and just be like a dog with a bone. [00:41:00] Don’t see that as a negative, that, that is something that you need to take full advantage of while you can cause then one day you’ll have a business where, you know, you can’t really do that anymore on and focus that much on the deal.

The other thing. So whether you’ve got that deal now locked up and you wanna buy it. Let’s say you’re wanting to buy it for yourself as rental, or even as a flip is I started out, I. Like you said, I had a thousand dollars when I started this, this business. And so I had to get a deal without putting money into it.

There was no way I couldn’t afford putting money into a deal, but how I did that first deal of being able to fund it without my own money is the same structure that’s allowed me to scale to 189 units is every single property has to have equity in itself. I’m not putting money down to pay for the equity.

It’s gotta have equity. We do a lot of big rehabs. So that’s how we make it work. [00:42:00] But I had the fortunate disadvantage of not having money starting out and people that start out with money, they just think, oh, I’ll throw this much into this property. I’ll throw this into that property. Then they run out money after just few.

So if you keep that mindset for the first one, it’s gonna also open up doors. If you do want to scale up and. Or rapidly or, or fast track your path to retirement. If you do it that way consistently, it’s gonna allow you to get there a

Dylan: lot faster. Yeah. Tho those are, those are, uh, those are two, um, Tho those things should be just written in stone.

I mean, that, that was awesome. So if you guys listen to that, rewind and listen to that again, that that’s the best advice we’ve gotten in a long time on this show. And, and Austin is by far one of the biggest givers that I know, uh, he really is, and, and he has 20. Okay. So let me break this down for you guys.

He has 20 rehabs or so going on right now, rehabs are like buy, fix and flip. [00:43:00] Okay. Like all the stuff you see on TV, which we know is a lot more work than what it looks like in real life. Right. So he’s got 20 rehabs going on. He’s got almost 200 rental properties. He’s got a thriving business, he’s got a bunch of employees, but he took his time out, out of his day, right.

To come and bring this value to the show. So we all appreciate that very, very much Austin. And you are really, and truly one of the, one of the, uh, biggest givers, which you, you receive that award almost every time you come to investor fuel. So we appreciate you for that. But, but I, you have one more question to answer.

So you’ve poured a bunch into us. If there’s anything that anyone out there is listening or watching right now can do for you, what do you need in your business right now from the universe that might come right back around to you? That’s great

Austin: question. You popped me off guard, but luckily I think my answer has been the same to that question for a while.

It kind of ebbs and flows, and this is what all real estate investors are looking for is more deals [00:44:00] and more private lenders to work with. An awesome group of private lenders. I’m always looking to add more. We’re doing a lot of deals, always looking to add more so, and I’m in the Lubbock, Texas market. So really that’s, that’s always what, we’re, what we’re striving to grow in for those two things.

Dylan: Perfect. So we’re gonna have all your info below Austin. We’ll have links to all of Austin, social media. And, um, if there’s any specific sites that you wanna give out right now, Austin, or let us know what the best way is for people to reach out to you. If they do have any real estate opportunities or funding availability in, uh, in the Lubbock area.

Austin: Yeah. Just go to our website under sun So it’s under, and then sun is S U like the ball in the. Thunder sun We’ve got, um, different links on there. If you have a property to sell or want to invest or, or learn more about what we do.

Dylan: So to help that stick in [00:45:00] people’s minds, where, what did, where did thunder sun come from?

Austin: This isn’t gonna help it stick, but I did a word scramble. I took my. My first, middle and last name, scrambled up the letters and then just kinda placed them in. I said that kinda looks

Dylan: cool. UN unbelievable that, that, yeah, that almost doesn’t count. Right. But no, that’s, that’s an awesome story. And Austin, like I said, man, you’ve been an absolute, uh, Give her today and, and you, you just poured a ton of information into everybody who’s listening.

So we appreciate you so much for that. All of Austin’s links to his social media are gonna be below in the show notes. And as you guys know, we take all the notes so that you don’t have to, if you have missed anything in the show, go to and go to the real estate investing secret show. My name’s Dylan Tanaka.

I’m known as a hybrid investor agent. So if you guys wanna learn more about me or what I’m doing in my business, you go to the. Dylan and otherwise from Austin and myself, we appreciate you guys and we will see you on the next show. Thanks for listening to

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