Show Summary

Every successful investor (or business owner for that matter) will tell you the key to success is getting started. Unless you put your fears behind you and get started, you simply can’t succeed. Mike Simmons joins us today to talk all about getting started, the power of networking, and how to take action.

Highlights of this show

  • Meet Mike Simmons, Detroit real estate investor, coach and real estate podcaster.
  • Join the conversation on the importance of getting the courage to simply get started.
  • Listen in as Mike talks about the power of networking to your success as a real estate investor.

Resources and Links from this show:

Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode

FlipNerd Show Transcript:

Mike Hambright: Welcome to the FlipNerd.com podcast. This is your host, Mike Hambright and on this show I introduce you to expert real estate investors, awesome entrepreneurs, and super cool vendors that serve our industry. We publish new shows each week and have hundreds of previous shows and tip videos available to you, all of which you can access by visiting us at FlipNerd.com or visiting us in the iTunes store.

By the way, FlipNerd.com is the most robust social platform in existence for real estate investors where you can find off-market wholesale deals in your market, find great local vendors to help you and your business in your market and socialize learn and grow with others in our industry. There’s truly nothing like it. If you’re not already a member, please visit us at FlipNerd.com today where you can set up a free account in about 30 seconds. Everybody is doing it, the cool kids and even the nerdy ones. So get on over to FlipNerd.com. And now, let’s get started with today’s show.

Hey, it’s Mike Hambright with FlipNerd.com. Welcome back for another exciting VIP interview where I interview successful real estate investing experts and entrepreneurs in our industry to help you learn and grow. Today I’m joined by Mike Simmons. Mike is a Detroit based real estate investor that started in 2008. That is actually the same year that I got started. He’s also the host of the Just Start Real Estate podcast, where he’s done well over 300 episodes now. So kudos to that because I know how big of a challenge that is my friend.

But he focuses on helping people get started the right way in real estate investing. And it’s a topic that we have talked about a few times before, but we really can’t talk about enough, so whether you’re trying to get started or you are trying to take it to a new level, you’re going to want to listen in today. We’re going to talk about the importance of just getting out of the gate and getting started or taking your business to the next level. Before we get started though, let’s take a moment to recognize our featured sponsors.

Advertisement: RealtyMogul.com is an online market place for real estate investing, connecting borrowers and capital from accredited and institutional investors. Get a rehab loan fast and close in as little as 10 days. Rates start as low as 9%.

We’d also like to thank National Real Estate Insurance Group, the nation’s leading provider of insurance to the residential real estate investor market. From individual properties to large scale investors, National Real Estate Insurance Group is ready to serve you.

Please note, the views and opinions expressed by the individuals in this program do not necessarily reflect those of FlipNerd.com or any of its partners, advertisers or affiliates. Please consult professionals before making any investment or tax decisions as real estate investing can be risky.

Mike, welcome to the show.

Mike Simmons: Hey thanks for having me. I appreciate it. It’s good to be here.

Mike Hambright: Yes, yes. I love having on other podcasters and I think I told you that you might be one of the last that’s left that I haven’t had on the show until now.

Mike Simmons: Yes exactly. Hey, best for last.

Mike Hambright: All of the other podcasters have cool microphones, they know what they are getting themselves into here.

Mike Simmons: Exactly. Exactly, yes. Yes, exactly and I know exactly what you’re going through like you said and hopefully, everything sounds all right that sort of you know, sometimes you get the it sounds like a tin can kind of an effect. So hopefully it’s not that.

Mike Hambright: No everything is perfect. Absolutely. So awesome. I’m excited to talk about, just getting started today, because as we talked about beforehand and a lot of people get this. There’s so many people that end up failing by never really getting starting. And I think I’m sure you feel this way. And a lot of people know how I feel about this, that people wouldn’t be listening to this show right now if they didn’t have an interest in real estate investing. Whether they’re already doing it or they see this as a way to achieve financial freedom and get their life back, things like that.

And you and I both know that this is a great vehicle. But you and I both also know that a lot of people defeat themselves and never actually get started.

Mike Simmons: Yes, absolutely. I mean I listen to a lot of different podcasts and different things where people are being interviewed, successful people. And it seems like, and you mentioned my podcast and the reason why I named it Just Start Real Estate is not just real estate. But I listen to a lot of entrepreneurs talk and inevitably at the end of every time they’re interviewed, the interviewer will say something like, “Hey what’s your advice for people out there if they want to be successful or if they want to,” whatever, and it was almost always the best advice that these ultra successful people would give is just start. Just get started.

Go out there and take action. And that is by far, like we were talking about before, it’s by far the biggest barrier to entry. It’s not money, it’s not education, it’s not where you were born or what city or country you live in, it’s the action that you take and that’s by far the biggest determining factor.

Mike Hambright: Yeah, you’ve got to get over that confidence hump. You’ve got to see it work or not work and learn from it and regroup and do it again. You could, like you said, you could raise money, and you can ask people for help with rehabbing. There are resources out there for all that. There are even resources to help you get confidence through a mentor, coach or being part of a system or something like that. But nothing will get you going like real, kind of boots on the ground experience, right?

Mike Simmons: Exactly and there is no better teacher than experience. That’s kind of a cliché but it’s true. You can have a mentor that will tell you exactly what to do. But until you do it and find out the mistakes that you’re going to make along the way and learn from them, it’s just the best way to do it. I tell people, I can coach you or mentor you, but after you do your first deal, you’ll be so much farther ahead than if I had just talked myself blue in the face for a month. You’re going to learn so much just by doing it.

Mike Hambright: Yes. Absolutely, absolutely. Before we dive into talking about the topic of the day, why don’t you tell us your background and how you got started, what you did pre real estate investing. And we’re talking about getting started here, so let’s talk about how you got started.

Mike Simmons: Yes. Exactly and I’m a good case study in a lot of things not to do when you’re starting out. So back in early 2000s when I was in my early 30s, I started thinking about retirement. I didn’t think about it in my 20s, certainly not in my teens, but somewhere in your 30s most people start thinking about how and when can I retire. And when I started thinking about it, I did the math and I tried to figure out what am I going to need to live, how much money will I need to have saved and so forth and so on, to maintain a certain style of living. And what I realized is that my current salary or even taking inflation and cost of living increase over the years, I would have to work until I was in my 200s. I was never going to be able to retire. I was going to be working for the rest of my life until I died and that didn’t appeal to me so I started thinking how I can-

Mike Hambright: Presuming you were do something you didn’t want to do for 200 years.

Mike Simmons: Absolutely, something I don’t want to be working in for the rest of my life, for 200 years certainly. I have been doing it for 10 to 12 years and I was tired of it. I think most people think about retirement. You can tell how much they like or don’t like their job based on when they started thinking about retirement. If you’re planning for retirement and you know in your early 20s, chances are you’re either really smart and you have great parents or people you look up to. Or you just hate your job so much that you’re already thinking of how I can get out of this.

Mike Hambright: Right, get me out of this.

Mike Simmons: Yeah, apparently in my early 30s when I started getting fed up with my work. So I started to think about how I can retire and it occurred to me that investing, if I’m going to be working during the day. The only really way to do it is to invest my money somewhere, where it’s generating money while I’m not working at it. So I was looking up stocks and day trading and just the stock market in general and I’m trying to educate myself on it. But I really hate reading about stocks apparently.

I didn’t know going into it, but as it turns out I don’t enjoy stocks. And reading about it was incredibly boring. And I would always find myself somewhere else, on a different website that was more interesting like ESPN or something, trying to look up anything other than stocks. So I wasn’t getting very far. I wasn’t getting very educated about it.

I actually have friends who understood the stock market to an extent. They tried to help me and I just glossed over. I just hated it. So as I was looking up ways to invest my money, I came across real estate investing and I started reading about real estate investing and it really piqued my interest. I loved it. I could tirelessly read about it for hours well into the night and it was very, very interesting to me. And that’s exactly what I did.

And the worst thing that happened to me that could happen to you when you start learning about real estate investing is, you sort of get stuck in the learning phase and you get paralysis analysis and I was really reading success stories. And I was reading about different ways to invest and every way sounded great and sexy and fun and I just kept reading and I never took action.

So when I said, I’m a case study in a lot of things to do wrong, number one thing I did wrong was that I didn’t get started. I didn’t start. I read and read and researched and talked and that went on for like four to five years. I just thought about it. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t take action.

It wasn’t until I found a local guy in my local market doing a bootcamp and I signed up for this bootcamp, it wasn’t cheap. At that time, I think it was like $3,000 for a weekend, which was insane. But I had gotten to the point of my life where I was like, I’ve got to make this happen and I need help doing it. So I signed up for it, my wife and I. And we went to it and it was good. It gave us the basic information. It was certainly good at getting me motivated to move forward and I joined a local mastermind and did my first deal just a few months later.

So you know, spending that money, the great thing was that my wife is awesome. She’s smarter than I am, she’s better looking than me and all that, she is also very conservative. And I knew, I sort of did something that I knew I couldn’t ever undo. We spent a lot of money to learn about something and if we were going to spend that kind of money to learn about something, there was no way in the world she was going to let me not do it after spending the money.

So I sort of had a must do kind of an edict from her, if we’re going to spend this money, we’re going to go for it. So we did and we did our first property at the end of ’08 and luckily it was a success. It was actually a huge success at that time.

Mike Hambright: That’s great. So you’re talked about going to the bootcamp and you talked about being in a mastermind group. Can you talk about the role that those had in inspiring you, and kind of giving you whatever. You had a void there somewhere, so talk about that.

Mike Simmons: Yes, I’ll talk about that. Okay and it’s a good point and I said it was crazy to spend $3,000. Let me take the step back on that. It seemed like a lot of money at that time and it is a lot of money. But honestly that $3,000 is the best investment ever. It’s not because the material necessarily had a worth of $3,000. But the motivation and the basics that I learned there enabled me to do my first deal where I made $15,000. So if you look at it from an investment standpoint, would you give me $3,000 if I would give you back $15,000?

Mike Hambright: Sure.

Mike Simmons: You’d do it all day long. So it was the best money I’ve ever spent and that bootcamp gave me the foundation. I was able to ask some of those basic questions that you’re kind of embarrassed to ask in a big mastermind or some local real estate investing club. You just feel silly asking questions that in your mind maybe are stupid questions. They’re so basic. But I got all those questions answered at the bootcamp.

And like I said the information was kind of broad in general and generic. But it was a good enough base for me to feel like I could move forward and I’m not an engineer by a degree. But my previous experience is sort of in an engineering project management kind of field. So I really need to understand things before I move forward sometimes.

Mike Hambright: Right, right.

Mike Simmons: I’ve changed. I’m not so much that way now. But I was definitely that way then, so I needed some basic things answered and that boot camp helped. And then transitioning to the mastermind, it was actually a paid mastermind. So everybody in there was relatively serious or very, very serious in doing a lot of deals and successful in their own right. So I was surrounding myself with who I wanted to be and what I wanted to know.

And I think that’s the biggest thing about masterminds is, you’re surrounding yourself with people who have already done and are where you want to be and just picking their brains once a month and then eventually doing deals with them, invaluable. I can’t tell you how important that was and without it, I don’t think I could have gotten anywhere really. I really relied on that.

Mike Hambright: Yes. I think I’m in a very high level mastermind myself, these really big name guys and it’s really more than anything, it’s not cheap. It’s a lot of money. But to surround yourself with people that not only inspire you to achieve more, to know that they’re watching you and the next time you have a meeting, they’re going to ask for an update about how it’s going.

Mike Simmons: Oh yeah.

Mike Hambright: It just puts you in a position to not want to disappoint people or look bad or disappoint yourself. And so like you said a lot of times, it’s not necessarily the money. It’s just the predicament you put yourself in that I’m now more committed. You kind of notched up the commitment ladder to where there is less of an opportunity for you to turn back now. And I think that’s where a lot of people get stuck is they put themselves in the position where it’s easy to make excuses and not move forward because they are not in that much pain anyway.

Mike Simmons: Yeah, it’s one of those, if a tree falls in the forest scenario. If you make a commitment and tell no one but yourself and then you break it, who is to know, right? It kind of makes it too easy for you to not do some of these things. But you’re right. A mastermind is great for accountability if nothing else. I mean just having people that you tell what your goals and what your plans are, who are going to then hold you accountable or at the very least, innocently ask you how that’s going, your own sense of pride it’s difficult to not do anything. You’re telling these people you’re going to do it and then not do it, its embarrassing.

Mike Hambright: I mentor a lot of folks and I usually tell them, I use kind of a funny joke before I left the corporate world, everybody had plans flying around, there were all these meetings to meet about stuff and everybody knows there are a lot of potential things that the company is going to do. I worked for a very large company. But any time something got laminated, it’s like that became the law of the land and the next thing you know they’re handing out thousands of them and everybody’s got them pinned to their cubes. And this is our plan for 2015. Whatever it is, they kind of laminated it.

So I give people some planning tools that we have and just develop your kind of pro forma plan. This is how many houses that you’re going to buy, here’s how much you’re going to advertise, this is how much you need to advertise as you get there, all these things. But then laminate it and share it with people that will hold you accountable, whether it’s a spouse or a family member or a friend, whatever. But just effectively laminate it and make it the law of the land and go get it done.

Mike Simmons: Absolutely. And my wife is the best at that. If I tell her something I planned on doing, she is like the greatest memory, she will bring it up to me. If I say in a week, I’m going to do something, in about six or seven days she’ll start to ask me about it. She is the greatest mirror in the world to hold up in front of myself when I don’t do something.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Mike Simmons: So it’s important. Whoever it is, whether it’s a spouse or a mentor or a mastermind, I mean it’s valuable. People a lot of times think I don’t need that. I know what I want to do. But man, you need to surround yourself with people who are doing things. And like you said, you’re in a high level mastermind. Surrounding yourself with people who are doing maybe even more than you or have at the next level where you want to be, man that’s huge.

If nothing else, just to see that it’s possible there are people doing it. They get a renewed sense of possibility when you’re around people like that.

Mike Hambright: And whatever you think you know or how good you are at something, when you get around a lot of people that are really talented, you quickly realize that you don’t know anywhere close to what you thought you knew.

Mike Simmons: Yes, exactly. In your local market, you might be a rock star. But you go into something like that and you’re . . . But it’s great. Ideally you don’t necessarily want to surround yourself with people who aspire to be you. Its fine, but you need surround yourself with people who you aspire to be. It’s just the average of five people you associate with kind of a law.

Mike Hambright: Right, right. So before us, I think we talked about this a little bit before we started recording today, you were talking about your first deal and how you mentioned your wife is really conservative. And if you hadn’t made money on that first deal, that that might have been the end of your real estate investing career.

Mike Simmons: That would be the end of it. I would have just resigned myself to work until I was 200 years old.

Mike Hambright: Yeah. So that’s where a lot of people are afraid of is that they’re going to lose money and I think you know enough now that had you lost money on the first deal and had you had the fortitude to keep sticking with it, that that wouldn’t even matter now. But a lot of people, if they do lose money on the first deal or even comes close, they give up. I mean talk about that phenomenon of not being worried about failing just worry about getting the lesson so that you can move forward quickly.

Mike Simmons: It’s really easy to tell people that once you have been doing it for several years, if you don’t do well on your first deal, if you lose money or if you really don’t do very well, it’s a tough pill to swallow. And it’s huge leap of faith with real estate anyway. People are just scared. It’s a lot of money you’re talking about. I can look back as an experienced investor and you can look back and go, oh if you lose money on the first deal, don’t worry about it.

You’re going to make money on most of your deals. It’s going to be well worth it. That’s great, unless you’re talking to me in 2008 when I pushed $15,000 of my own money in the pot to do the renovations and went and got a mortgage for the house. If I had lost all my money and not made any money at all, that was my life’s savings at that time.

So it’s easy to tell a person that. But the idea that you’re going to always make money in real estate is probably a little bit naive. Things are not always going to go well. I always just hope for people that they do okay on their first deal because it’s a lot easier to tell them, you will lose money at some point, or things will not go well on every single deal. It’s a lot easier telling them that if they had some success.

But I can tell you in a way, you learn more a lot of times when mistakes are made and things don’t go well. That’s where you learn a lot. You make distinctions and you learn what not to do. So if you don’t do well on your first deal, I can say, you probably learn more than if everything went smoothly and the likelihood of you losing money again is probably a lot lower, right?

Mike Hambright: Right.

Mike Simmons: You’re going to make money on most of your deals. And I always tell people this too when I’m trying to explain to them what I do, sometimes I use the analogy of, “You know those guys on the flipping shows and they go in and they buy a house and renovate it and bring contractors in. And then sell it again at top market value?” “Oh yeah. That looks like a lot of fun man. It looks great.” And I go, “Real estate investing is not that exciting. Honestly.” If you’re doing it right, if it’s that exiting, you’re doing a lot wrong, right? I never had to scream at a contractor. I’ve just never had a deal. I’m in the Michigan market. So we’re buying houses in the 50 to $80,000 range, and selling them at the 150 to $180,000 range. So we’re not talking millions and millions.

But if I ever estimate a rehab to be $40,000 and it ends up being 90, I’m losing money. That’s a dead deal. And these shows like it’s going to be 30 grand and it ends up being 120 but they still made 60. That doesn’t exist in my world. I’ve got to be better than that. So my numbers don’t vary wildly, my circumstances don’t vary wildly, because the fact of the matter is, when you’re flipping houses especially, you get a system, you get a rhythm, you get materials that you use and every house with very little exception becomes very repetitive.

Mike Hambright: Sure absolutely.

Mike Simmons: And very routine, if you’re doing it right, it becomes very routine. But if you’re constantly being surprised and constantly having things go completely out of control, you’re not doing a very good job in the upfront when you are buying and estimating the rehab.

Mike Hambright: Yeah, I tell people that all the time, if done right, this is a pretty boring business. You want to develop a process, its checklists, and it’s talking to the same people over and over again. There is nothing sexy about it. I have bought and sold hundreds of houses and I’ve never had a makeup artist at any of my projects. Have you, Mike?

Mike Simmons: No. I haven’t either.

Mike Hambright: So it doesn’t work that way. Have you ever done doughnuts in the front yard of the house because you were mad at the contractor or thrown a sledge hammer through the window or?

Mike Simmons: No, no, no, I’ve never done that. I’ve had to firing contractors and I’ve had contractors not perform. But I’ve never gotten shouting matches and thrown things. It just isn’t that exciting. The first house I did and the first couple houses I did, just buying tiles is super exciting right? So that was exciting. But once you do a handful of deals, like I say, if something turns out to be super exciting, it’s usually negative. It’s not exciting in a good way usually. You find something when you take a wall down that you didn’t expect. But by and large it’s really repetitive and sort of like you said, it’s just boring. It’s not super sexy.

Mike Hambright: Yeah, when you start to get processes. We’ve rehabbed hundreds of houses. We primarily have been rehabber’s, a lot of people know. And we use the same color paint. I’m not joking. If we’ve rehabbed 200 houses we’ve use the same color of paint on 195 of those and there were like 5 where we tried to get overly creative and use custom colors. And we immediately regretted it every time. It was just like, now we got to touch that up. Which color was that? And the next thing you know, we’re repainting an entire wall instead of touching something up. It’s just, let’s go back to the boring stuff.

Mike Simmons: Yeah, exactly. You should not be reinventing the process every time you flip a house. If you’re going to do one a year, I suppose you could do that, but if you want to make this a business that you can grow and you can scale, you have to use the same materials and you have to create systems. And the more routine and systematic things become, probably the more successful you’re becoming at the same time.

Mike Hambright: And it’s funny like you said, a lot of people that get into this, it’s not just a money thing. It’s a lifestyle thing. And if you have to go pick out the supplies every time because you want to change them every time, you’re probably not living the lifestyle that you got into the business for in the first place.

Mike Simmons: Yeah. We made the mistakes, the common mistakes that people make when they start is they think they’re going to save money by doing some of the painting themselves or they’re going to do some of the work themselves, we did the same thing. We were painting a basement, I was painting fascia, I was scraping fascia on my first house. I’m insanely lazy when it comes to that stuff, so I immediately identified that I don’t want to be doing that and it was not really saving me money because it was taking me longer and I was getting in the way of the other sub contractors. So it was actually hurting me.

But a lot of people make that mistake when they think they’re going to save money by doing things themselves and really what you find is the more successful people become in this industry, the less and less and less they’re actually doing themselves in all phases. So you and I have people we know in common that are doing hundreds and hundreds of houses and what are they doing in the process? Almost nothing.

They have people who may be answering the phones, they have people who talk to the contractors, and they have people who turn on their utilities. They have people who are selling the houses for them. They’re managing their business but they’re not like working in it so much and that’s at a high level. So even if you’re doing only two or three or four houses a year at this point and you’re starting out, you really still want to fire yourself from every position in your company until eventually you’re running the company and managing people and not doing everything. We did way too much in the beginning. Way, way too much.

Mike Hambright: Yeah. Even in the early days when you’re getting started, if nothing else, your time is better spent generating leads or finding more deals.

Mike Simmons: Right. Exactly.

Mike Hambright: You have to start to look at the opportunity cost of your time. And even stuff over the years, we’ve done stuff like I would pay an errand runner to go pick up a lock box when we sold a house. I’m paying somebody $10 an hour to go pick up a $15 lock box and it’s taking them two hours so this is costing me money. Then it evolved to, we’re going to give them a prepaid UPS box to ship it back that’s $5.

So even if we get one in three back we’re ahead of the game. And then it’s like, it’s just the cost of doing business. If they say, “I’ve got your lock box. What do I do with it?” Say, “Throw it in the trash” or hang it on your Christmas tree or something but I don’t want to deal with it. It’s just funny how that evolves over time.

A lot of people that are successful in this business start out by being very conservative. You’re trying to find ways to make money and I will say that a lot of people who do really well in this business have found ways to squeeze a few thousand dollars out of every deal. But it’s not from things that take their time. It’s usually from finding a process that can improve things or whatever.

Mike Simmons: I couldn’t agree more. Like you said, people tend to do too much at the beginning. My problem was and still is, I like to try to divorce myself from this character trait but I can’t, I’m a control freak and I’m insanely impatient. Insanely impatient. Those two character traits make it difficult for me to hire and train because I like to make sure things are getting done right and I’m super impatient.

So how do you train someone to do it exactly how you would do it and as quickly and with the same urgency that you would have. It’s difficult. So what I have to realize is, things don’t have to be done my way. They need to get done and they need to be done right. But they don’t necessarily need to be done the way I do it. And I have to be able to be patient while people learn, so that ultimately, everything can grow and be faster in the end. But it was a lesson that took me longer than it should have. I was a one man show. My wife and I, I should say a two person show for a long time. And it wasn’t until I was trying to scale and realize I couldn’t do it and wear all the hats, that I had to start hiring and kind of building my team and that’s been a game changer for me. It’s huge.

Mike Hambright: Yeah, absolutely. Well Mike, we have about another five minutes or so. Maybe we can talk about action items because we talked about our own experiences here and you’re sharing yours on how you got started. Maybe we can go through some action items for people who are listening that are either looking to get started literally or they’ve had a little bit of success early on and have done a few deals. But, in order for this to make sense for them, they need to take it to another level.

Mike Simmons: Yeah, okay and that’s a great topic and it’s something I’m passionate about. That’s why I do my podcast. People who have flipped 10 houses, they can figure out how to get to the next level. There are a lot of resources and people they can talk to.

The new people sometimes struggle and that’s who I really want to help because I remember being new and I remember being afraid and that’s the two things that will stop you from doing this.

Number one, the thing that you have to do and I’ve done a lot of podcast episodes about this. I can’t stress it enough. Its a drum I beat all the time. You have to just take action. I don’t care who you are right now listening, I’m just telling you, put the books away, you’ve read enough, keep listening to this podcasts, to the FlipNerd podcast because it’s excellent.

But listen to it on your way to take action, but don’t make it in place of taking action. You’re done learning. You’re done trying to figure this out. You know enough to actually take that first step and for most people I would suggest the first step, I don’t know if you agree with this Mike but I think people need to find a mentor.

Now it doesn’t necessarily need to be a paid mentor. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a national mentor. It could be someone local in your area. Go to masterminds, number one. Start now. Find out who’s actually doing deals in your local area and try to have coffee with them, have lunch with them.

Sit down and ask them for a little bit of their time, but in exchange, ask them if there’s anything you can do for them. Get that relationship started with people who are actually doing what you want to be doing, ask them how you can help them. If there is any way you can get involved and don’t look for anything in return. Just try to be helpful and try to offer them anything you have. Whether it’s time, something that you can do for them that would make their life easier and just be around it. Learn from them.

And for that matter, paid mentors are not a bad thing. I don’t have any issue with that. I’ve mentored people, I’ve coached people and I think that’s great. But no matter which route you go, paid mentor or someone local that you just want to make a connection with, what they tell you, you have to do. You have to try it, you have to take action. And I really suggest, if you find someone, you don’t look for three mentors who all do it different ways because you’ll spin in circles. Find somebody who is doing it. Make sure that they’re doing it; they are legitimate and then use what they’re doing as a road map and take action.

To me that is the number one thing. Don’t let yourself be distracted by all the different ways of doing it because there is a million different ways to do this industry or do this business. Find someone who is doing it and do it exactly the way they’re doing it. Don’t deviate. You’re like a Clydesdale. Put those blinders on the sides so you can’t see side to side and just have tunnel vision. And go after it until you do your first deal successfully.

Mike Hambright: Yeah, and a lot of good mentors too I think, even if they have a big toolbox if you will, in terms of the number of ways that they make money in real estate, they’ll usually tell you to keep it simple. Start simple. Let’s not get exotic here and I think that’s part of the challenge. There’s actually a huge educational industry in this industry that it might be bigger than the real estate industry.

Mike Simmons: I know and there’s more people teaching it that there are houses on the world. But that is the problem I’ve had with people that I’ve mentored or coached in the past is, I’ll give them some action steps and we will discuss their plan of action and then they’ll come back to me a few days and say, “I listened to this podcast and there’s this guy and he’s doing this and it sounds awesome. What do you think?” And I say “Forget it. It might work but forget it. I have given you a path. We’re working on something here. Stick with it.” Wait until you have done this and eventually of course eventually, you’re going to branch out. You have done it, I have done it, most people have done it. But in the beginning it’s critical, I mean it’s critical to success that you keep it simple and stay on the course.

Mike Hambright: Yeah, even on top of that, even if you get exotic down the line, you need to understand the fundamentals. Wholesaling is the basic fundamental of real estate and if you don’t understand that, then you can’t be a successful rehabber. You can’t be a successful anything. Just focus on the fundamentals early on. Mike, thanks so much for joining us today.

Mike Simmons: Yes. No problem. Hey, thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it. This was a lot of fun and you’re doing some good stuff here. I’ve listened to a lot of episodes. You’ve done 200 and how many?

Mike Hambright: I should know that my friend.

Mike Simmons: Oh I put you on the spot?

Mike Hambright: You did, you did.

Mike Simmons: Two hundred and something.

Mike Hambright: I think on you’re episode 202. I’m only giving you like a 90% quote on that. You are 202.

Mike Simmons: Okay 202. I mean there is just, I always tell people, listen, you don’t have to listen to my podcasts, but I guarantee if you listen to this podcast, FlipNerd, and you start at the beginning, you’ll get an entire education on real estate investing just from this one podcast. There is more than enough information out there.

But the bottom line is, you have to know the first step. But before you take that first step, you don’t have to know step 10. So get to that first step and then worry about step 2 when you need to get to step 2. That’s the basics. Just get out there and get started. Don’t let fear control your life.

Mike Hambright: Absolutely. So Mike, tell folks how they get a hold of you and how to find your podcasts.

Mike Simmons: You can find my podcasts at juststartrealestate.com. Go there and check it out. You can go to iTunes at Just Start Real Estate and take a listen. There’s a lot of stuff out there for you too. I’d love to have you there, sign up, subscribe and all that. But listen, you can get a hold of me at mike@juststartrealestate.com if you want to talk to me directly or I have a contact tab on my website. Either way, I return all emails. I try to do it immediately. But if I don’t do it immediately, I’ll get to it that day for sure. And I’d love to talk to you and help you out. If you have any questions, I am very accessible. Please shoot me an email and we can talk.

Mike Hambright: Fantastic. Thanks again Mike. We’re going to add links for everything down below. For those of you who are listening in just check out our website and you can get access to Mike. Mike thanks so much for joining us today.

Mike Simmons: Awesome. Thanks for having me I really appreciate it.

Mike Hambright: All right, buddy, please stay in touch.

Mike Simmons: All right I will thanks. Bye.

Mike Hambright: Thanks for joining us for today’s FlipNerd.com podcast. To watch or listen to more great shows, please visit FlipNerd.com or visit us in the iTunes store.

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