From non-english speaking immigrant with $20K in debt to 7-figure real estate investing business. Andrey Sokurec joins the show and shares his incredible story, to demonstrate how anyone can be an investor. He also shares some powerful tips on how to better serve your sellers to build up an impressive referral business, and how your core values provide fuel to achieve your dreams. Check this show out!
Mike: This is the FlipNerd.com Expert Real Estate Investing show, the show for real estate investors, whether you’re a veteran or brand new. I’m your host, Mike Hambright, and each week I bring you a new expert guest that will share their knowledge and lessons with you. If you’re excited about real estate investing, believe in personal responsibility, and taking control of your life and financial destiny, you’re in the right place.
This is episode 309, and my guest today is Andrey Sokurec. Andrey is a real estate investor in the Minneapolis area. He runs a real estate club, flips around 100 houses a year, and even has a TV show. But not all that long ago, he moved here from Russia, and was not only broke, but he had $20,000 in debt. In fact, he hardly even spoke English. But he had a vision for how he wanted his life to look and found his way into real estate investing where he works tirelessly to achieve his vision.
In part one of today’s show, we’re going to learn more about Andrey, a little bit more about his story, and he’s going to share some really cool information on how his real estate investing company is different than almost any others that you’ve heard about. They really focus heavily on the customer experience, the seller experience, which is very rarely something you hear about in real estate investing.
In part two, Andrey is going to share some details about how he builds relationships with sellers and generates referral leads after the fact from other people they know that want to sell their house as well. So it’s a really powerful lesson and a lot of folks don’t focus on after you deal with a seller. A lot of times, we kind of move on and we really forget about that person. But not Andrey, he’s found a way to get leads from folks based on providing just an outstanding experience.
He’s also going to share about how you can build your own success plan because he had to figure that out on his own when he moved to America. And if you’re a Pro or Elite member, you do not want to miss part two of today’s show.
So let’s go ahead and get started. Please help me welcome Andrey Sokurec to the show. Andrey, welcome to the show, my friend.
Andrey: Hey, Mike. How are you? Thank you for having me.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Glad to have you on and I want you to introduce yourself in just a second here. But I’ll tell everybody a little bit of backstory. You join the mastermind that I’m in, Collective Genius, recently and you had just a great story about how really kind of your entire story about coming to the United States from Russia and how you went from not even speaking the language to running a seven-figure real estate business, and having an education business, and a TV show, and all sorts of other stuff. So it was really impressive and I’m really excited that you’re here to share your story with all of our listeners.
Andrey: Oh, well, thank you. Well, my story is no different than the story of millions of other immigrants who come here because we don’t have any other choices but just to become successful. And most of the people come here with a couple hundred bucks. I came here with $20,000 in debt. That’s the only reason I came here. I wanted to make my money and go back home.
And when I came here, I didn’t have any money, I didn’t know anybody, and the only place available for me was the public library. So I went to the public library and started reading, started researching, and I found a book by Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich.” And I found a book by Jack Canfield, “The Success Principles,” and the third book was by Robert Kiyosaki, “Cashflow Quadrant”.
So I read those books and it led to me going to different conferences. I went to the Jack Canfield training, “Train the Trainer.” It changed my life. I became his assistant for many events. And I went to Robert Kiyosaki and I started using my cash flow properties. And now, 10 years later, I have a company. The company name is Homestead Road. And we’re here in Minneapolis. I have a TV show, I have a rental business and speaking business. So that’s my story.
Mike: Andrey, before you came here, were you entrepreneurial before or what caused you to take the entrepreneurial route versus the traditional route of getting a job or whatever when you came here?
Andrey: A good question, thank you. I’ve always been entrepreneurial. I started selling chewing gum at 11 and failed a couple of business. And the reason why I came here, actually, was because my business failed. And my brother loaned the money to me and I had to repay it back.
Mike: Okay. And why real estate? What caused you to get into real estate versus other things?
Andrey: Well, I think real estate is the best to become financially independent. And for me, without speaking the language . . . I’m still learning it, but it didn’t stop me from buying houses, and remodeling them, and selling, and building a rental portfolio.
Mike: And I know you’re going to talk a little about this, about how you think of yourself more as a marketer than a real estate investor. And I’ve always thought the same way. I mean, real estate just happens to be the kind of widget that I buy and sell, but ultimately, you’re a marketing person. You have to generate leads, you have to do all those things, or nothing works, right?
Mike: Yeah. Well, tell us a little bit about your company, about Homestead Road and maybe some of the ways that you’re a little bit different than others, too because that really hit home with me when I saw some of the videos you do, some of the commercials, and how intertwined you are in your community.
Andrey: Well, the story of Homestead Road, I decided to start with the end in mind, like Stephen Covey says. And I imagined, “Okay. How do I want my company to look?” The only way to be successful, I need to hire somebody who is really good at marketing,” because most of the companies, they look like used car salespeople. They call and say, “Hey, I can pay you pennies on the dollar for the house.” And I decided to change that.
And I hired the best marketing director, I think, who has extensive experience. And he helped me to build the story about the company, about the logo. And now, we decided that we would want to have a completely different message than anybody else has. We excluded “we pay cash” from all advertisements. Our tag line is, “Feel the joy of selling a house ‘as is’,” or, “Selling a house ‘as is’ has never felt this good.” And we built all the marketing materials around that.
Another thing, what we decided to do, I went to a company called Zappos, the shoe company, you’ve probably heard about them. And I brought my entire team, entire office to learn from Zappos. They have Zappos inside training. And so all the people in my office got the experience like how they serve the customer. So one of our core values is serving people better than anybody else. So it includes a lot of wow components in the selling process.
For example, when we’re going out to the house, we tell people, “Hey, you don’t need to do anything.” We clean the house. We work with Salvation Army. So we’ll box it up, donate it and the rest of the stuff will go to the dumpster. And when the house is completely remodeled, we’re going to create a memory book for you and have a house tour when you can invite the whole family, and you look through the house and see how beautiful it is. And we’ll give you a memory book with the pictures of the house because selling a house is emotional, very emotional for a lot of people.
Mike: So we’ve bought a couple houses in the last couple of days, actually. One of the houses that we bought is actually just a couple of miles from my office here. So that’s always exciting, it’s not like on the other side of town. But specifically, this woman said, “I really want to see the pictures afterward.” she’s lived there for 27 years. Her son was born there and now he’s 27 years old, and moved out, and everything. But she really wants to see because it’s just basically a ton of deferred maintenance and it’s dated, and everything, and she was really excited about seeing the after side. Do you rehab 100% of your properties, or do you do wholesaling and things, as well? Or are you primarily . . .
Andrey: We don’t do rehabs. We have a construction crew so most of the houses we rehab ourselves. We have, right now, 38 projects. We have contractor as partners, so we partner with them on the rehabs.
Mike: I see, okay. And so that’s interesting, though. I think a lot of investors are so the high-buy houses type, there’s no branding, there’s no loyalty, it’s very transactional. Now, it’s easy to see why it got that way because you’re only going to generally do one transaction with a person. But I think a lot of times we forget that, for us, it’s just another deal, for them, it’s one of the biggest decisions they’ve ever made in their life probably. And for a lot of folks, a lot of the house that we buy, the houses are generally paid off, or person has lived there for a long time, so they have a lot of memories and things like that. Sometimes, they may have some bad memories and may even just want to close that door. But now that’s really cool.
How did you come up with that idea of weaving that into your pitch that, “We’re going to show you what happens in the next chapter of the life of this house,” I guess?
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Mike: How do you lay out this vision realistically of what you want to do, and then back into the steps to get there?
Andrey: Well, I think, a lot of time, it just starts with deciding what you want because it’s like a GPS. If you don’t answer your destination, you can drive around many hours, many days, many years, but you never going to be where you want to be. So the first step is to decide where exactly you want to be in five years, three years, and to set goals, and put them . . .
Mike: Well, talk about that because I think it’s easier to say, “I want to be able to make a quarter a million dollars a year, million dollars, whatever,” a number is easy. But to envision like, “What my company looks like, how we serve others, what my team looks like,” that’s a lot harder to do.
Andrey: Well, but I went to a lot of Tony Robbins events and Jack Canfield, and first is you’ve got to change your beliefs because your beliefs will dictate your actions, and your actions will dictate your results. So you cannot change your actions if you don’t change your beliefs. So you’ve got to believe in yourself, and it’s daily work with affirmations, with different exercises to increase your self-esteem and create that picture. Because if you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will believe in you.
Mike: Right. Well, I don’t think I told you this upfront. One of the things that we started doing recently on our show is we went out on Facebook and Twitter and asked people to give us some questions and we said, “Hey, we’re going to be interviewing Andrey. Can you give us some questions?”
So Tom asked a question and his question for you, specifically for you, so he must know a little bit about you, is, “How do you balance building a business, maximizing your profit, and kind of helping your community, kind of being a part of your community, as well?” There’s a lot of negativity around real estate investors. Unfortunately, right? But a lot of them very much feel like that they’re in for themselves, in and out, fly-by-night-type. So Tom asks, “How do you balance building a business, maximizing profit, and helping your community, all at the same time?”
Andrey: Well, it’s a great question. At first, I wanted to build a company to sell it and then I completely changed my perspective. I wanted to build a company. I never wanted to sell it. And like what Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos said, he said, “If you follow your dream, money will follow. But if you chase the money, you’re never going to get your dream.” So I decided, “If I’m going to do right things, and serve every client, and to have high ratings with feedback from every person,” so we get about 9.5 to 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, and we’re going to deliver the “wow!” experience, it’s just a matter of time when those people will start referring people because they had such a great experience with us. So if we need to do something extra for people, we’ll do that. And know that if we do the right things, money will follow.
So my sales guys, I don’t limit them, “Hey, if you want to do something extra for the people . . . ” Let me give an example. Usually, when they go on an appointment, we support a local charity called Cookie Cart. And what they do is they train people from bad neighborhoods with basic skills. So my sales guys, they go on an appointment with them, with cookies from that charity and say, “Hey, this is charity we support.” And if a person cannot move, we’ll pay for moving expenses, we hire a company who will pack them up at no charge. When we sign a purchase agreement, if they think that they can do something extra for people, they don’t need my approval. They just go and do that.
Mike: Okay. Wow. That’s awesome.
Andrey: And I know every time I do something extra, that person will tell the experience, because nobody else does it.
Mike: That’s awesome. Well, I want to jump into the “Taking Action” segment here and the back half of the show. And I want you to start maybe sharing a little more detail as to how you do that. So like the example you just gave of they could pay for somebody’s moving expenses, okay? So maybe it could be a couple thousand dollars, right? Is that something that you have to factor into your cost, ultimately, that goes into your offer, or you’re just eating expenses like that yourself? Or do you have to factor that into the original offer that you make for them?
Andrey: Well, it depends. So if you negotiate, then you can bring in a negotiation factor. But with the example that I gave is just we already signed a purchase agreement, but my sales people, they’re thinking. It starts, I think, with the core values. We have core values like, “Serve people better than anybody else.” And if they think that it aligns with our core values, they will do that. They don’t need to have my approval. And, yes, I will eat that $2000. But that $2000 moving expense that they paid, it might lead to a potential customer. And the average profit is about $20,000 in our area in Minneapolis.
Mike: That’s great. So let’s talk a little bit about actually getting referrals from people. I’ll say this in my business. We’ve always tried to do the right thing for people. It probably hasn’t been as defined as what you have there. I’m sure it’s not. But we always try to do the right thing, we follow up with sellers. But a few years back, we started a formal follow-up program with sellers. Once we’ve closed a transaction, we essentially never talked to the seller again. Part of it was maybe selfish, thinking that, “Well, I’ve already bought their house. There’s nothing else that I could do.”
And part of it is just so focused on that next deal, new transactions, and finding new buyers that we didn’t really realize that until we started to get some referrals or we’d come back around like, “Oh, somebody at my church sold their house to you and they said I have to sell my house to you.” And then I was like, “Oh, wow! We’re missing out on this.” We’ve bought hundreds of houses and we could be following up with all of these people. But can you maybe give some practical steps of what you do to continue that relationship even after the sale?
Andrey: Sure. Well, it’s a great question because, before we could not get any referrals from people. And it’s problematic because people sell only probably a house once in a lifetime. But when we went to attend the training at Zappos, when I saw how they add extra wow, extra experiences for people and get the loyalty, and then actually people become like brand ambassadors, it’s like with Amazon. Zappos, you buy something, and they tell you, “Hey, you get a free upgrade one-day shipping to VIP customers. So you can return your goods within 365 days.”
That’s what we do with our people here. We close in 10 days and then the day after we sign the purchase agreement, we call them and we say, “Hey, Mr. Seller, we upgraded to VIP status. So now we cleared the title. If you’d like to close, we can close tomorrow or any day of your choice.” And the people say, “Wow!” And then when they’re ready to move, we order the truck at no cost to them and say, “Wow!” When they’re done, we invite them to see the house tour and they say, “Wow!” So all small “wows”, it’s like a compound effect, like in the book by Darren Hardy. You add small things and then they cannot wait to tell their customers.
Another great thing that we’re in the process to do is I want to buy a van and we want to do mobile closings for those people. And my sales people will ask, “Hey, where would you like to close? Would you like to go to our office or would you like our office to go to you?”
Mike: Wow, that’s great. Do you explicitly ask for referrals or do you just provide enough value to where you hope that it will come back to you? I mean, do you ever say, “Do you know anybody else that we might be able to help?” Go ahead and answer that first. I’ve got a part two of the question, as well.
Andrey: Absolutely. Yeah, you’ve got to ask for referrals. But before asking, you’ve got to deserve it. And to deserve it is to add more. Because if people have a great experience, they cannot wait to tell other people, to say, “Hey, you know what those guys did for me? Nobody else does it.” They want to share. It happens a lot of the time, especially in small businesses, people start asking for referrals, but they don’t deserve referrals.
And people, even if you want to bribe people, say, “Hey, I’ll pay you $500 if you give me a referral.” And they say, “Well, I don’t really want to refer my friends because you didn’t serve me well enough.” And right now, with the global markets, and with the Internet, you have to step up to be successful. You have to do extra for people. Look at Amazon like. They have one-hour delivery now. So, as with everything, when people submit the lead, you have to respond within three minutes, then one-hour lead evaluation, same-day appointments, five-day closings.
Mike: And is there anything you do on an ongoing basis to follow up with that seller for years, or is it just kind of a recent thing, like around the time they sell? We try to provide a lot of wow, we ask for referrals. Do you do any sort of ongoing drip campaigns or something to maintain that relationship?
Andrey: Yeah, what we’ve done, we’ve founded the Homestead Road Scholarship Foundation. So what we do at the end of the year, we just select people who we think are deserving. So we donate $1000 bucks on their behalf. We’ll frame it and we donate $1000 to Hennepin College on their parents’ behalf. Say your parents passed away, we buy the house, it was six, nine months . . .
We’ve just done it recently with four sisters. Their mom passed away, we buy the house, and we invited them for lunch, and we gave them those certificates framed with a donation of $1000 on their mom’s behalf. So they’ve been crying and it’s so emotional for them. They keep sending their friends to them because they had such a great experience.
Mike: That’s incredible. And how about just anything like direct mail, calling, anything like that, on an ongoing basis, or . . .
Andrey: Yeah, we can, if we had a great customer, my sales reps, they can call, say, “Hey, how’s everything going? Do you have any friends? We can do the same experience for them.” And we send, obviously, emails, anniversary emails, like, “Hey, it was one year since you sold your house. Do you know anybody else?” A lot of people become friends with my sales reps.
Mike: Yeah, that’s great. Because I think some of the reasons investors don’t stay in touch with the seller is the fear, maybe it’s fear, or maybe it’s the reality of the seller finding out how much money they made or something like that. They don’t even want to go there, like, “I don’t want this guy to know that I made $40,000 off of this house,” or whatever it might be. But maybe talk about that, and how you deal with that. It sounds like if you provide enough value, people are likely to not even go there. They’re just like, “I don’t care how much money you made because you really served me well.” But maybe share your thoughts there.
Andrey: It’s a great question. It was actually a big . . .
Mike: Andrey, I only ask great questions. I think you’ve realized this. My questions are top notch. Well, yeah, it’s all right. I’m thinking . . .
Andrey: When we just started, I was, “Wow! I made $20,000. Well, I don’t know why I can’t think of the sellers,” but now we set up right expectations upfront when people call, we tell, “Hey, Mr. Seller. I just want to understand that we don’t work with everybody. We don’t pay retail values. We pay wholesale. But if we pay wholesale, you don’t any realtors, you don’t need to deal with showings, cleaning. We’ll do that and we should make a profit for that, right? It will be fair. You could do it yourself, but we’re here to solve your problem, to do it stress-free and easy.”
Actually, we’ve probably bought 500 homes. We never had the problem where the seller came back and say, “Hey, guys. You made $20,000 from my house.” It never happened because we tell people, “You should make money. If you’re not making money on the house, you should be out of the business.”
Mike: Sure, yeah. I was hoping we could maybe shift gears a little bit and you could kind of go back to where we started, which was how somebody that immigrated here, didn’t speak the language, was in the hole with debt was able to build a successful company. And I think I say this with love for people that are listening, is that there are too many people with a victim mentality of, “I can’t get ahead because of who’s President, or taxes,” or lots of excuses. We make lots of excuses, as Americans, unfortunately. And so I want this to be actionable.
So maybe you could share some actionable steps that people that just feel like, “Well, yeah. He did it, but I can’t do that,” and just maybe give people that are listening a better sense of how they actually can define what their goals are, and achieve success, whatever that means for them.
Andrey: Sure. Well, first of all, we should be blessed living in this beautiful country because America is number one, the best company to live in and to do business. If you go to Africa, if you go to Russia, Asia, you will be miserable. It’s impossible to conduct business without bribes or anything. Here, it’s a free country. You can start a business, you can fail, you can start a new one.
So how I got started is just buying the first house. It was scary. I remember, you sign a purchase agreement. And it sounds weird, but I didn’t want my purchase agreement to be accepted. I could not eat. You probably remember yours. My hands started shaking. I was afraid. And a lot of times, we have a great opportunity, but I tell people it’s like an imaginary red line. A lot of people come very close. They look at it, they look behind, they look above, and what happens? A lot of people just turn away, turn back and turn away, and never cross the line.
So you’ve got to take action. And what I do at my workshops and seminars, I just take . . . this is a great exercise that I learned from Jack Canfield. I’ll bring, $10, $20 and say, “Who want to get extra $20?” And all the people raised their hands. “I want it. I’ll take it.” And I don’t do anything. I don’t move. And it takes maybe 30 seconds, a minute, and then somebody then, one person, realizes that she has to actually stand up . . .
Mike: And so something.
Andrey: And grab it. And then he grabs and then said, “Guys, who wanted to have $20?” And everybody raised their hands and said, “Well, whatever stopped you right now from grabbing that $20 is stopping you in real life.” You’re selling a property, like wholesale, if it’s a great deal, people start thinking, “Well, is it a good deal? Is it not? The numbers look too good to be true. I’ve got to do my research.”
You’ve got to jump. If you have the opportunity, you’ve got to jump. And if you fail, that’s fine. But like what Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots that you never take.” But if it works, if you do something and it works. But if it doesn’t work for you, well, at least you know that you took your best shot.
Mike: Yeah, you know it’s funny, everybody’s different on this because there are clearly some investors out there that overpay for houses and get into trouble. But I’ve been so afraid, even after buying literally hundreds of houses. We bought a couple of houses this week, and my first thought when I looked at . . . I have an acquisitions guy, my first thought is, “Oh, man. I think you overpaid for this one.” It’s just that conservative nature. I don’t like to go back and renegotiate because I like to deliver on what we said we would do, but truthfully, I have signing authority. It’s not a contract until I sign it.
So I approve each deal. But still I think that what’s happened is, after hundreds of deals, I’ve actually only lost money on a few deals, and they were just . . . they were bad. It was just bad decisions, or bad circumstances, or whatever. But very, very few. Less than 1% of the deals I’ve done, I’ve lost money on. But I still have that fear.
So I think, if people are listening, and they have that fear, then just know that that very fear, don’t let it prevent you from doing deals. But if you still do deals, it’ll help keep you safe.
Andrey: Yeah, but if, let’s say, if it’s your first deal, you’ve got to do it because if you’re going to sit on the sideline and never sign a purchase agreement, so you sign a purchase agreement, put inspection contingencies in, and then start doing your due diligence. Well, if you were not on the numbers . . . as soon as you set up the right expectation with the seller and say, “Hey, Mr. Seller. I will have my construction guy to come out and inspect the property to make sure I’m correct on repairs. So if we find major problems, we should lower the price. You’re okay with that?”
We never get out of the contracts because we want to have high standards. So we rarely reduce the price. But a lot of sellers, they don’t tell you necessarily the whole information. They tell, “Hey, I have a brand new roof, 1998.” And they don’t tell you that the basement is leaking and lot of other things.
Mike: Yeah, you’re right. I guess, for people that are listening to this, you just have to think of, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” If you make a bad decision, what’s the worst thing that could happen? And for some people, often the worst thing that could happen is not much worse off than they are now. So why not?
Andrey: Indeed. Yeah. But to help you and to protect yourself, the first step is you’ve got to surround yourself with the right people, and learn from people who are successful. Because it takes 5000 hours to become an expert or it takes less time if you have a mentor in place, a coach, somebody who’s already successful. So you’re mentoring people, you’re training other investors. So you know that people can read all the books, watch all the trainings, but they have to take action. And if they have somebody who they can rely on, like a mentor or coach, their process will be . . . they will make fewer mistakes, and they will learn faster.
Mike: And that’s the key, is just making fast decisions. You have to use your best judgment and go. And if you have the right structure in place, it’s really just a confidence thing. The first deal, you said you were shaking, you were nervous about it. I’m sure I was, too. I still get nervous doing deals. I’m not nervous . . . I’m nervous . . . I don’t know when I’m nervous. Maybe I’m just a nervous person. But my point is that if you do this enough, it’s just a confidence thing. You are so confident that, “Well, if something doesn’t work out as planned, then I’ll deal with it. Whatever that situation is, it’s not gonna be that bad and I’ll just figure it out.”
And if you do enough deals, every once in a while, if you do lose money or you have a bad deal, then it’s just part of doing business. I mean, there aren’t many businesses, or sports, or anything where people never fail. There aren’t any. So you can expect to fail every once in a while. But that’s okay. It’s just part of the process.
Andrey: Yeah, we’re probably losing . . . as long as . . . if we’re overconfident, the only way we’re losing money, like you said, “Hey,” like last year we bought 20 houses, one month. And I started buying houses without looking at them. And I look at the MLS and then when I was . . . we get inside, and there was a disaster. The guy who was the handyman didn’t pull any permits and didn’t do anything right. So we had to guy the whole house so we lost the money on that one. But now we say, “Okay. Well, we made a mistake. Now we don’t buy houses without looking at them.” And that’s it.
Mike: I’ve done that same mistake. You just, “[Inaudible 00:33:13] oh, that one’s too far away. It looks like we bought it really well. I’m not too worried about it.” And it turns out it’s like a crack house, or something, slated for demo, or something you didn’t know. So, yeah. But you learn from that. You learn, “Okay, I’m not going to do that again.”
Andrey: Yeah, but it depends. A lot of people, if they lose money on the deal, they say, “Well, it’s horrible. It’s the end of the world.” But at the end of the day, you learned your lesson and you didn’t fail. You just got the feedback. So if you look at every setback as feedback, you know that this way, you don’t need to do it. You need to do something, try something different. And next time, you need to run the numbers and be more careful choosing comparables, and then you will not repeat it again.
But making a mistake is . . . some of the problems, like Thomas Edison. He didn’t quit . . . he said that he didn’t fail 10,000 times. He just experimented. He found 10,000 ways that the light bulb doesn’t work. But if you look at it as feedback, I think it’s important for any business person to look at setbacks as a feedback.
Mike: Yeah, absolutely. Well, Andrey, we’ve talked a lot about how people can be successful, how it’s important to just take action, and how it’s really important to chart your path of where you want to go and start with the end in mind. Is there anything that we’re missing? What have we not talked about here, for folks who are listening, that either want to take their business to the next level, maybe they’re doing deals now? Or maybe they’re not doing deals at all, and they just need to kind of get up on their feet and make it happen? What have we not talked about yet?
Andrey: Well, the first thing is you’ve got to decide where you want to be. And also have a great life because you should have a balance. That’s why you bought great tools, like you can probably download at jackcanfield.com, tools where you write your vision in different areas and then you do your best to balance that because, at the end of the day, you still want to have fun, and have a great relationship with your wife and family, and give back to the community.
So I think that giving back is very important, also. What we do is we set aside 30% of the income and put into a [inaudible 00:35:41] bucket, financial freedom, and giving. We love to give back. So that’s why we have that scholarship foundation. And once a quarter, I bring my entire team and we work for Habitat for Humanity. We serve homeless people. And, in fact, I’m going to a Jamaica trip with the guys from Collective Genius.
Mike: Oh, yeah, with Matt, yeah.
Andrey: Yeah, so I’m bringing my daughter. So that’s kind of an experience . . . that’s when you feel that you’re a successful person when you can help other people.
Mike: Yeah, that’s . . . How old is your daughter?
Andrey: She’s six.
Mike: Six, okay. My son is about to turn nine. But, yeah, I thought about, just for folks that . . . kind of talk about it a little because you brought it up. But Matt Andrews, who’s a friend of ours and he lives in Florida, he’s been on the show for a couple of different times, actually. In fact, I think we’re publishing his . . . yeah, we just published a show of his couple of weeks ago. He started a . . . I think it’s formally called the Jamaica Wheelchair Project.
But, anyway, there’s a huge problem with mobility in Jamaica because there’s a lot of people that get limbs cut off because diabetes is a huge issue there. And so he started this project where he orders chairs, and parts, and stuff from China and they have a bunch of people go down, like Andrey is about to go down there, and basically just kind of give people the gift of mobility, put the wheelchairs together and put them in a wheelchair.
And so now, a lot of people . . . and Matt’s shared this story a number of times . . . usually, people have tears in their eyes when they’re listening to some of these stories. But people that have to carry their family members everywhere because there’s so much poverty that now they have the gift of mobility, and they can move around, and do things, and live a more normal life that we just kind of take for granted here. That’s awesome.
Andrey: So you’ve got to give back to the community. And even if you can help somebody, you can do a small exercise like pay for somebody else Starbucks, when you’re driving, pay for another person and you’re going to feel much better than you felt before when you give.
Mike: Yeah, I’ll say there’s a Starbucks right here by our office, and that happens. It’s close to where I live and that happens all the time. Probably a quarter of the time I go through there, I go up to pay and, “The person in front you paid.” You’re like, “That’s awesome.” And then, of course, I pay for the next person and just kind of starts this effect. But, yeah, definitely . . . whenever I’ve been grouchy, or something, and something like that happens, it makes your day. It’s just a little thing, but that’s awesome.
Well, Andrey, how do folks learn more about you? I know, hopefully, you’ll have one of your commercials with a link that we can add for folks to watch. Where else would they go to learn more about you and all the things you have going on?
Andrey: Well, my main website is homesteadroad.com. So you guys can go on the website and see what kind of core values we have. And I think our website is completely different from the other sites because we don’t mention we’re paying cash. We’re completely staying away from that message. And you can connect with me via Facebook, Andrey Sokurec. And if you’re somewhere in Minneapolis, St. Paul, we do events once a month, the Midwest area, and we do conferences once a year, the Minnesota Real Estate Convention Summit. So that will be a great way to connect via meetup.com.
Mike: Awesome, awesome. We’ll add links for all this stuff down below. And I forgot to say, after the question we got on Facebook, for those of you that are listening, we appreciate you being here with us today. But if you ask us a question for an upcoming guest on Facebook or Twitter, you can just tag us, and we use your question, then we’ll send you a little gift for thanks. So, Andrey, thanks for being here with us, today. Great to see you, my friend.
Andrey: Likewise. Thank you for having me.
Mike: Awesome. And, everybody, thanks for joining us today. We look forward to seeing you around on FlipNerd. Have a great day.
Andrey: Thanks, Mike.
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