What if you had the flexibility to invest in many other markets outside of where you live, and when one market got overheated…you simply move on? What if you could target multiple markets to spread out your risk, and do it with systems that allow you to scale your business so you can enjoy your life more? Matt Andrews has figured that out, and he’s here to tell us more in this episode of FlipNerd.com. In addition to all Matt’s tip on investing virtually, he shares how real estate investing has been a vehicle to allow him to start 2 great charities and give back to those in need. It’s a great show you don’t want to miss!
Mike Hambright: Welcome to the flipnerd.com podcast. This is your host Mike Hambright and on this show I will introduce you to VIPs in the real estate investing industry, as well as other interesting entrepreneurs whose stories and experiences can help you take your business to the next level. We have three new shows each week which are available in the iTunes store or by visiting flipnerd.com. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Real estate investing, experts and entrepreneurs in the industry to help you learn and grow. Today I’m joined by Matt Andrews who is a successful real estate investor out of the Tampa area, but he buys houses in many different markets. He has a passion for travel and doing a lot of other things. Today he’s going to share with us how to run a virtual real estate business that allows you to do deals anywhere in the world from anywhere in the world and help enable the lifestyle that you may want to have. Before we get started though, let’s take a moment to recognize our featured sponsors.
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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.
Hey, Matt, welcome to the show.
Matt Andrews: Hey, good to be here, man. Thanks for having me.
Mike Hambright: Yeah. I’m excited to hear the topic because, you know, we talked a little bit before the show. I’ve focused so much on one market and I’ve met a few people lately that are able to pull this off all over the country and really invest virtually, which is kind of like the Holy Grail. Right?
Matt Andrews: It is, man. It really opens up your options when you’re not bound by geography really.
Mike Hambright: Yeah, I think that historically there are so many real estate investors that just focus on their market, which is fine. There’s a lot of pros to that, but it could limit you if you’re in a market that’s overheated and you want to sit on the sidelines for a little while. Your choices are sit on the bench for a while and do nothing or go find another sandbox to play in. Right?
Matt Andrews: Right, exactly. And that’s really what drove us to look at other markets, too where some of the markets we were in became very competitive and we can do that and we can fight other people, but sometimes it’s nice just to go to some other place where there’s not as much competition and, you know, do it there, too. So, yeah, that’s why we went that way.
Mike Hambright: Awesome, awesome. So I know you’ve got a tremendous amount of experience. Why don’t you kind of take it from the top and tell us how you got started, I know you’re a fellow corporate refugee, and kind of how you took life in your own hands and have kind of improved your business over the years.
Matt Andrews: I like that term, corporate refugee. I actually haven’t heard that.
Mike Hambright: Yeah.
Matt Andrews: I’ll use that, man. That’s a really good one. Clever.
Mike Hambright: I use it all the time. I can’t claim to have created it, but I don’t know.
Matt Andrews: That’s cool. Well, yeah, I’ve been investing in real estate and running my own business for 14 years now, or a little over 14 years. Started in 2000 and was working like you said in corporate America at the time and doing well there, but you know, like a lot of people that eventually become successful entrepreneurs, I kind of looked down the road at what other people were doing in my position 10 years, 15 years down the road and I knew I didn’t want to be there. Right?
So I started studying real estate, did what I think a lot of people do. I think I bought a Carlton Sheets course off of a late night infomercial and I’m actually really glad I did. A lot of people think that’s cheesy, but it actually helped me a lot, learn the terminology, learn the world of real estate investing so that was a big thing for me and started little by little studying while I was still working for a company, flipped my first deal. You know, I was fresh out of college on all this stuff. I’d only been in corporate America for about a year and a half. Didn’t take me long to figure out that wasn’t where I wanted to be. Started studying, flipped my first house, did everything absolutely wrong, about as wrong as you can do. Turned what should have been a 25 grand profit into like a two grand profit, but at the time I thought, hey, I made money. So I did just well enough to make me think, let me try this again. Did it again, the second one got better. The third one got really good.
By the fourth one, I was making pretty good money flipping and doing rehabs so I was able to leave my job at that point, go into it full time and from 2000 to 2007 really mostly rehabbed properties. Buy, fix up, sell. Kept some rentals along the way and then when the crisis hit, and I know you and I talked about this before. The crisis hit in 2008, and really ’08 and ’09. The floodgates opened up in Florida and we really took our business at that point to wholesale and started doing high volume wholesale deals. A lot of buyers were buying two or three at a time, some buyers were buying 50 or 60 from us.
Mike Hambright: So at that point when the market was kind of tanking in Florida especially, who was coming in and buying at that point? I mean, there’s a reason you kind of transitioned to wholesaling. Right? It’s safer. You probably had an escape hatch in there if you needed it because the market was moving down and people that didn’t got wiped out. Right? So you were able to survive through all of that, but who was coming in and buying 40, 50, 60 houses from you?
Matt Andrews: You know, at that point we really had to go out and kind of create that market to find that. You know, a couple years later, fast forward to 2010, 2011, you know, everybody kind of knew about it, the cat was out of the bag, cash started coming in, all of that. But in ’07, ’08, ’09, we really had to go out and kind of talk people into the opportunity and let them know that it was there and really educate at that point. So we started doing a lot of Internet marketing at that point, reaching out to big corporate buyers, reaching out to some small hedge funds at that point and educating them on, hey guys, you see what’s going on in the market?
You see we’re able to buy these properties at 30¢ on the dollar and then later, we didn’t have to educate any more. You know, Wall Street Journal and USA Today were educating the whole world to the opportunity in foreclosures, so we just kind of went with the flow there and did a lot of wholesale deals. It was definitely a great time in our business. We worked like crazy and I felt like I was a chicken with my head cut off a lot of times, you know, but we did a ton of deals and got a great amount of experience that I’ve used in other markets since then.
Mike Hambright: Yeah, it’s funny. So I operate primarily in Texas, which has been pretty stable throughout all the time that a lot of areas like Florida were really in trouble. But I started in 2008 and everybody was running away and we’re kind of running towards the fire and we killed it. It’s funny, lately the market’s been hot and our business is still doing well, but I wouldn’t mind having a bad market back, you know?
Matt Andrews: What you just said there I think is really key because everybody else was running away and you were running to it.
Mike Hambright: Yeah. We were naïve at the time, but yeah.
Matt Andrews: You were what?
Mike Hambright: We were naïve. We didn’t know at the time.
Matt Andrews: But it was a good thing.
Mike Hambright: Yeah, a lot of the competition goes away. The media over hypes the situation and, you know, a lot of stuff that is good for investors ultimately.
Matt Andrews: Well, and it goes back to the old adage, zig when people zag. And at that time, I remember 2008, 2009, so the time you were getting in, that’s really when my business exploded at that time. I’d been doing okay before that, but my business really got good around that time and I remember telling people that weren’t in real estate, people would ask, what do you do? Oh, I’m in real estate, I flip properties and do what we call property wholesaling and I would always get the same answer. Everyone would always say the same thing. They’d would go, ooh, how’s that going? Because they thought, you’re in real estate and all they do was see the news all day talking about real estate in the tank.
Mike Hambright: The retail market, yeah.
Matt Andrews: Yeah. I found the same thing you found, was that there was less competition, media was telling people they couldn’t do it so no one was trying and I kind of felt like, at that time especially, wow this is awesome. Like I’d found a secret little gem here and all I had to do was introduce that to some key buyers to really get that business rocking and rolling so we both benefit from misinformation in the media, I guess.
Mike Hambright: Yeah. Wait, there’s misinformation in the media?
Matt Andrews: Wait, did I say that? So yeah, that was a great time for our business and out of that came a lot of different opportunities. Doing that many transactions and selling and acquiring that many properties, you get to see a lot of different exit strategies so one of those exit strategies which really worked for us and has continued to work for us was creating turnkey packages in properties. So some of these properties I would buy the wholesale.
Instead, I would go ahead and close on it myself, I would fix them up, rent them out, stabilize them over a period of two, three, four months to make sure they were good cash flow properties and then I’d package those up five, 10, 15 at a time and started marketing those to a lot of overseas buyers and a lot of higher level buyers that wanted to just buy something totally turnkey. Buy it one day, start collecting rent, property management in place, that type of thing.
Mike Hambright: And so what year was that?
Matt Andrews: Really all through 2008, ’09, ’10, ’11. We still do it.
Mike Hambright: You were ahead of your time because that’s really become hot right now, selling packages of rentals to people that just don’t want to do all the hustle to find the deals, rehab them, get them rented. Turnkey rentals have been around for a long time, but really packages of them, it’s not that it wasn’t around, but that’s really becoming something that’s kind of hot right now and so you were a trailblazer, man.
Matt Andrews: Yeah, I guess so, yeah. Well that’s what we found, too, is that people didn’t want to buy turnkey properties, but the properties we were doing were so inexpensive. I mean, our average sale price in probably ’08, ’09 and ’10 was like 50 or 60 K per property so these were fairly cheap. And those were rented, fixed up, ready to go.
Mike Hambright: Those are the ones that cash flow the best.
Matt Andrews: Absolutely. They did. So we found out, instead of trying to sell $100,000 properties we just made a minimum. We said, look, if you want to buy turnkey properties, you buy five at a time at a 50 K price point and that’s what it is. So we really kind of set a barrier for investors coming in, that you needed to bring in at least a couple hundred thousand dollars at a time to have these properties. We could wholesale you properties one at a time, that’s no problem, but if you want the turnkey stuff, we set a threshold there.
You needed to buy at least five at a time. That worked well. So we did that and that’s been a fantastic source of business and then, it’s 2014 now so really over the last two years, three years, we’ve started to move into other markets, as well. So I took what I was doing in Florida, Tampa, Saint Pete, Clearwater and just replicated that process in some Michigan markets, in some Indiana markets and, I don’t know, maybe I can come do some stuff with you in Dallas too or something. Working together, you know?
Mike Hambright: You know what’s interesting, I’ve talked to a couple people about this lately and for a lot of the guru-type folks . . .
Matt Andrews: Holding the cards close?
Mike Hambright: They are some people that represent themselves as big timers in certain markets. They would lead you to believe that if you stop buying or you start mentoring people or you take your business in a different direction, that you’ve kind of sold out. It’s like, well, wait a minute. I’m going where the opportunities are. One way or another. Or I’m going to something I love and what’s interesting is you would never hear Wall Street people talking like that. There are times when the market’s overheated and you need to just sit on the sidelines for a while and wait for things to cool down.
The problem with real estate investors, especially if you operate in just your market, is you can never stop buying. Otherwise your business is dead. Or if you’ve accumulated rental properties and you have another source of income, but if you’re primarily living on wholesaling and rehab revenue, you can effectively never stop buying unless you found a way to get creative and generate revenue into other areas. Right?
Matt Andrews: No that’s very true and that’s a big piece of why a lot of wholesalers, I think, fail is because they do something, they learn how to do it, they learn how to wholesale and they make money wholesaling. Then they realize, like you said, they’re in a hamster wheel and they can’t stop. So really what they’ve got there is a job if the income stops coming in. And so, like you said, unless you have another source of income, unless you have a good portfolio of rental properties or something like that, then you are like a hamster in a wheel and I was definitely a hamster in a wheel for a while there until I figured out how to kind of change my business a little bit to get more out of less essentially.
Mike Hambright: Yeah, and I have been, too. And there’s a day when you realize that and usually it’s when you’ve just made a bunch of money off of one deal and you celebrate for a much shorter period of time than anybody else in the world would and you’re like, that’s so awesome, but I’ve got to go do that again tomorrow now. And it’s just that realization of, wow, that was great and what are you going to do for me next? When you kind of realize that, I don’t want to work this hard forever. How do I get creative? What do I do to keep more properties as rentals? How do I create more of a virtual business like you have I can have systems in place where people help me so that I don’t have to be involved in every single piece of my business.
Matt Andrews: That’s it and it really comes down to time because we all have 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week, 365 a year. Right? So that’s what we all have. None of us have more, none of us have less. You, Donald Trump, me, we all have the same amount of hours in a day so how do we leverage that time? How do we get more than 24 hours out of that? And that’s kind of what you’re talking about and as we turn to be more of a virtual company and try to be a little bit leaner and more versatile, that’s what we really figured out how to do was how to make an hour of our effort yield 10 hours’ worth of results.
So that was really key there in our business and it was a fundamental shift because I was doing the day by day, got to do another property, got to sell another package, got to do this, got to do that, and it was just grind, grind, grind. And that was before I had kids. My daughter’s five months old so I haven’t had kids long, but that was when I could do that kind of stuff. I was young and didn’t have many responsibilities, a lot of it before I was married, too and so I could act like some Silicon Valley guy and stay up all night and just run, run, run, but that’s no way to live long term.
Mike Hambright: It catches up to you, yeah. So talk about that point when you realized that we have to do things differently. Of course, technology, I’m sure you’re going to share, technology has obviously changed the world for real estate investors over the last few years. I mean, in all honesty, I’m about to come to an event where I’m going to see you tomorrow. By the time this is playing, it will be a couple of weeks behind, but, in all honesty, I’m closing on a deal this Friday and I’m just going to do it from my iPad and wire money from my Chase app. I can do that now. You couldn’t really do that three years ago. I don’t know when, it hasn’t been long.
Matt Andrews: No, no, you really couldn’t. Technology, I love how quickly it’s moved because it really has done what I just said, it takes your one hour and turns it into 10 hours or 20 hours or 100 hours. So for me, it really came down to, my wife and I love to travel. That’s a big piece of our lives and we’ve been able to do a lot more since we turned virtual, but back when I was in that hamster wheel like we were talking about, we were doing a ton of deals, we were doing all the things successful real estate investors do. We were flipping properties, we were making money.
I’d show people HUD statements and they’d be all impressed. I could show them how many we were doing, but I was hating life because I was running around all day arguing with contractors, realtors, thought I had to meet with every buyer and seller face to face. When you’re negotiating with someone who is not on the same level you are, you have to kind of go down to their level and it takes way longer in a lot of ways, especially if you don’t have a system in place, which I didn’t at the time. I call it manually doing everything. It’d be the difference between trying to screw in a screw or have a power tool.
Mike Hambright: I’ve been there, my friend. I get it.
Matt Andrews: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.
Mike Hambright: It’s bittersweet. Right? Sometimes you get to a point where you buy a deal, you’ve got a house under contract and a few years earlier, you would’ve been pumped up and celebrated and then, it’s like, you’re excited because you got a deal, but then you’re thinking about the burden part of it, like okay, I’ve got to go drive across town and do this or do that and it’s crazy that it can get to that point.
Matt Andrews: Absolutely, and I was getting burned out. We were doing good and we were making decent money, but I was definitely getting burned out fast and that all came to a head one time when my wife and I decided we’ve got to get away for a couple weeks, got to get away from the business for a little while and went on a backpacking trip in Germany. Me and my wife Lindsay, we love to travel hippie style and stay in hostels or at least we did back then. So we’re, backpacks on and traveling and we’re hiking in the Black Forest in Germany in Freiburg and it was beautiful.
We actually went to the World Cup that year and the Tour de France and then we’re hiking and so we did all this amazing stuff. But while I was there, I was literally freaking out the whole time because I had these deals coming in and I was trying to get them done and I didn’t have the tools to get them done. The technology wasn’t necessarily there at the time to get this stuff done, so I’m holed up in Internet cafes at 2:00 in the morning.
Mike Hambright: With a dial-up connection.
Matt Andrews: Yeah, dial up connection and in Freiburg and some remote areas too, that wasn’t even that good and so I’m sending an e-mail just hoping it gets to someone within two days, crazy stuff like that. It was driving me nuts and it drove my wife nuts to see me going nuts and I wasn’t able to enjoy the vacation. So that’s where it really came to a head for us and we said, you know what? We’ve got to figure out, either we’ve got to get into a different business altogether or we have to make this business fit the kind of lifestyle that we want to have.
Mike Hambright: You know, it’s interesting because my wife’s name is Lindsay, as well and I know that your wife is pivotal in your business and mine definitely is, too. What’s tough is when your spouse is in your business full time, too because you just can’t get away from work. Even if you’re like, I’m not going to think about work, I’m not going to talk about it, you can probably count on a second hand before your spouse brings something up and even if I say, let’s not talk about work today, she’s like, well you just did and you just can’t keep each other in check, but I know what your challenge is there.
Matt Andrews: Yeah, very true and if your wife’s like mine, they’re usually the first one to say you know what? This has got to change. That’s what my wife said and I was on the same page with her there and so we knew after that trip. We closed a couple deals on that trip and actually more than paid for the entire trip with a couple of wholesale deals on a mountaintop in Freiburg, Germany with barely any communication, but it was terrible and it took so much time and it literally took me out of my vacation for two or three days and then, even after it was closed, I couldn’t settle down for another two or three days. By the time I was starting to enjoy the vacation, I had to go home.
So when I went back home I committed to figuring out, okay, I’m either going to make this business fit our lifestyle, I’m going to make this business virtual or I’m going to get into a different business that will work like that. I believed the real estate business, particularly wholesaling, but other parts of it, I believed it could be virtual. So we went to work and basically we had one criteria. If we couldn’t handle it from our laptop, we wouldn’t do it. So if we couldn’t do it without seeing people, if we had to be face to face, if we had to physically sign documents, then it wasn’t going to work.
So we looked at everything through that filter. If we can’t do it virtually, if we couldn’t do it, like you said, from your iPad, of course there weren’t iPads even in 2007. Right? Or 2008 or whenever it was, but if we couldn’t do it with that and with that technology, we weren’t going to do it. So little by little we were refining our process and over a period of about a year or two, we really got to the point where it was virtual and we started outsourcing more so on certain deals we’d make a little bit less, but we were able to do more deals.
So I might make less on one deal, but I was doing three times more deals. That’s a winning prospect. It took me less and less time and what I figured out and I told you this when we talked another time, I found out that many times I was the logjam in my own process. And once I started doing deals that had as little of me in there as possible, they were actually better.
My referral partners that were bringing me buyers liked it better because they didn’t have to wait to hear back from me. There was a set process to the way I sold and my title companies that I used in different markets knew there was a set process and it just moved a lot smoother. It was around that time, 2007, ’08, that I read “Four Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss which, even though he was in totally different businesses, it totally just spoke to the problem I had and so from that point on, we really worked to make it 100% virtual and the wholesale business that we run now in three different markets in the U.S. is completely virtual.
I can run that from anywhere with my phone and that’s fantastic and we’re working and getting better and better every day at being able to do rehabs that same way, too. And what that does is just opens you up to do everything and really do the things that you want to do versus the things that you feel like you must do. And that made all the difference.
Mike Hambright: We unfortunately won’t have time to talk about it in great detail, but can you just talk about, if you have boots on the ground, how you enable those deals to get done in a market where you’re not.
Matt Andrews: Absolutely.
Mike Hambright: Let’s talk about this. From taking the lead to analyzing the deal to making the offer to negotiating to selling it. Just kind of talk about the main process of how you get that done virtually.
Matt Andrews: Absolutely. So we have basically one set of boots on the ground in each market we work in. If I feel I need someone to go by and look at a property for me to be able to figure out exactly what I need to pay for it, I can do that. But really what we’ve done, and it’s much like a lot of people use in direct mail, is a process of looking up the property and what it’s worth essentially and offering a certain percentage of that.
And every once in a while, you get a deal that you think, okay, you know what? That one wasn’t what I thought, but more often than that, you stick with that and you say, hey, if Zillow says this and I’m going to pay 50% of that price, I know that’s a winner. I might lose the deal because someone else might know more and might get it, but I know if I get it at that price, it’s going to be a winner.
Mike Hambright: And you just make some assumptions on repairs based on square footage or based on some questions you ask the seller like, how old’s the roof, how old’s the [??], stuff like that?
Matt Andrews: What we really did is we just assumed worst case scenario. In a wholesale situation, we assume basically if we’re going to wholesale this property to an investor who’s going to fix it up and sell it, we’re going to assume it’s all terrible. Now if it ends up being better than that, fine, that’s great. Right? But we assume new roof. I mean, in Florida at the time, ACs were getting stolen like crazy. We just assumed there was no AC on every house. On one of 20, there’d be an air conditioning unit still there, unbelievable, you know?
But we just did a worst case scenario, kind of a Murphy’s Law approach to that and we had certain percentages we would offer, like a lot of people do with HUD properties. They offer a certain percentage of the price without seeing that property, so we basically set thresholds like that, had one boot on the ground, had a good title company at each of those places that we trusted for the title work and that type of thing. Then if they were distressed owner deals, if they weren’t bank owned and they were distressed owners where somebody could go out and actually speak with at the dining room table, that’s what our boots on the ground were for mostly.
Mike Hambright: Who’s taking your initial leads, your initial calls? Who’s taking those?
Matt Andrews: My initial calls go to a number of different Google Voice numbers and then those all get filtered to two different assistants that we have and they’re paid on all commission and they basically know our process. So the calls don’t come to me and that’s the important part. And that’s the biggest piece because if they were coming to me and I was somewhere in Costa Rica surfing with Lindsay for three days and didn’t have cell phone or didn’t have e-mail, no deals would happen.
So I empower certain people in our business, mostly independent contractors that are investors themselves and are more local, to do these types of things. So a combination of realtors, other wholesalers, other real estate investors, sometimes even students of mine will help fill those gaps in different markets and the idea is, of course you make less on a deal by cutting someone else in like that, but it gives you the ability to do multiple deals where you could only do one before.
Mike Hambright: Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. Just talk a little bit about the mentality. I’m not sure if you’re quite like me. I’m a bit of a control freak and I know a lot of real estate investors are. When you’re kind of in this feast or famine business, you’re always worried about the famine and, even though maybe it never comes, but you’re just kind of worried about it and a lot of people just get into this mindset of, I don’t trust anybody else to do it so I’ll do it. I’ll just have to do it myself and I don’t know if that’s how you were, but a lot of people are. How do you get around that?
Matt Andrews: I am a little bit like that and it is hard to get around because the truth is that as entrepreneurs that have been doing this for a while like you and I, there probably aren’t many people that can do it, as well as we are. And so a lot of people mistakenly think, no one can do it like I can, but we’re right in a lot of those situations. The paradigm shift that I had was really two things. Number one, everything doesn’t have to be perfect. If I’m supposed to make six or eight K on this wholesale deal and everything kind of goes wrong and I make one or two K, you know what? Big deal, move on to the next one.
So if I empower somebody who wouldn’t do it the same way that I would do it, then we try to get that deal done. That’s fine and then I talk to them about that, have them tweak and refine their process so they would do it a little bit more like me. It’s just a step by step process. What we’re going through right now with trying to do virtual rehabs, every contractor that we’re using, it’s a learning curve on every single one of those. So that was one big piece, letting go a bit and saying look, this doesn’t have to be perfect. If I was there and I was doing it, at least I think it would be perfect. Right? But it doesn’t need to be perfect.
I’m okay doing four deals that aren’t perfect instead of one deal that is perfect ’cause that was the difference between doing it myself or having someone else help me with it. So that’s one thing and then number two is just getting really, really good at identifying and qualifying partners or employees or whatever you want to call them, people that you’re working with, getting really good at that and do that through a system of questions. And I almost have a funnel, like an Internet funnel built for partners that I work with so that it never even gets to me if there’s some disqualifiers there. So anybody that wants to bring me buyers, there’s a series of videos that they have to watch. I can say sure, bring me whatever you’ve got. I want to make sure they don’t bring me about 95% of what I wouldn’t want. So that type of thing.
So it’s really just choosing very carefully those partners and it’s a step by step process and we do it again in each new market we go into. So Michigan and Indiana for me are much newer markets than Florida and it took me about a year and a half in Michigan to have my correct partners. I went through quite a few people with contractors and realtors and other wholesalers, quite a few people that we worked with and then didn’t work with again before we found a really good team. It’s really about setting up that right team in each of those markets that you’re in.
Mike Hambright: Right. So I know you use real estate as a vehicle to help you travel and I know you’ve got a couple of great charities that you support. Talk a little bit about, from a real estate investor perspective, if they can figure this out, just talk a little bit about what it enables you to do and how you see that for other real estate investors, what it’ll enable them to do.
Matt Andrews: Yeah, absolutely. For me, there is work that you do and money that you make because you need to and then there are the really, truly fulfilling things in life. And sometimes those things go together and sometimes one feeds the other. I had a degree in psychology, I came out of school working with autistic children and loved that. Not a big buck in that. Not a lot of money in helping developmentally disabled children and that type of thing, but I loved it and it felt good to my heart, you know?
Unfortunately, real estate made a lot more money than working in that realm. But Lindsay and I both knew we wanted to get back to that, so for me, it’s about being able to use your business and leverage your business so that you free up time and have the money to go do those fulfilling things. For us, like you said, it’s a couple different charities that we’re founding board members of. One is called Ja Mobility, j-a mobility.com and that’s a charity that we helped start where we take six hundred wheelchairs a year down to Jamaica and actually have those manufactured in China and take them there and we pick the people up, put them in the chair and give them the gift of mobility and that doesn’t make money.
We’re not trying to make money doing it, but the feeling that I get from doing that and being able to do something like that invigorates me so that when I come back home, I innovate in my real estate business so I can do more of that. So for a lot of people and especially for a lot of beginners, it goes back to what we hear a lot. You have to know your why. You know, what’s the reason you’re doing this? If you’re just doing this to make money, then once you make a little bit of money, your inspiration’s no longer there. So what is it that you’re trying to get to? So for us, it was working with those charities, being able to travel, being able to flip properties while being in Jamaica. Our other charity is called [inaudible], which is the Indian translation of “feel happy” and we support at this point 10, I think we just added 11 independent children’s homes in India and all those kids are sons and daughters of sex trade workers and their living conditions are terrible. It’s just unlike anything any of us have seen here.
If we ever think we’ve got it bad, come with me to India for one week. You’ll never think you have it bad again. It’s a perspective shaper and I need that, I think. I’m the kind of guy who needs to go and see things like that because it helps my perspective and when I can go and do that, when I can see some of the smiles on those kids’ faces and I can see some of those children have a future when they didn’t before, and that I was just a tiny, small piece of that, that fuels me for a year to come back and innovate in my real estate business.
So for us that was really the impetus for everything we do in real estate, for going virtual, for outsourcing things, for taking our business to the next level was to free us up so that we could do the things that are more fulfilling and it doesn’t have to be charities or some big thing. It could just be spending time with your kids that are growing up too fast and for a lot of people that’s what it is and I’ve got a six month old daughter now and I want to be around her all the time.
When we have more kids, I want to be around them all the time. So just knowing what the inspiration is for doing those things in real estate and for me, being able to be involved and to help those charities grow and now starting my family, all of that is the best motivation I could ever think of for continuing to grow my real estate business and to be around business owners like you and other people like we’re going to meet with tomorrow to help me raise my game to that next level. So that’s kind of a long winded answer, but that’s really what fuels my business.
Mike Hambright: I think everybody wants that. I don’t know many people that care more about the real estate investing than what it’s enabling. It’s a vehicle. Right?
Matt Andrews: Absolutely.
Mike Hambright: It’s a fun vehicle.
Matt Andrews: If you don’t have that vehicle you don’t get to do those fulfilling things. ‘Cause you go home and you just drop into bed and get up again the next morning and do it, so like you said, really systemizing and getting to the point where you’re not as involved with your time. You’re involved at a high level, but not as involved with your time and that frees you up to do the really important things in life. No one wakes up and says, I’m going to flip another property because it feels so good in my heart. They think, I want to flip these properties so that I can go to the lake house with my family for a month, that type of thing. That’s what it’s all about, that’s real life.
Mike Hambright: Absolutely. Hey, we’re running out of time here, but I know also you’ve got the number one selling real estate investing book on Amazon for a couple of years or something, is that right?
Matt Andrews: In the digital category. I have a [inaudible], but it’s called Real Estate Investor’s Guide. I had a series of four books actually that are all under that Real Estate Investor’s Guide, but the number one is Real Estate Investor’s Guide To Flipping Bank Owned Properties and it really just details how I started my process of flipping properties from the bank, buying foreclosures and wholesaling them and tells my story a little bit and gives very practical steps on how somebody could start doing that. So that’s been really successful for the last couple years and that’s been right around that number one, number two rank for about two years now so that’s been great.
Mike Hambright: Awesome. So if people wanted to get a copy of that, how do they?
Matt Andrews: Well, anybody that’s listening to this, any FlipNerd people out there, I’d be happy to give you a free copy of that. I’m going to give you my personal e-mail address.
Mike Hambright: You’re supposed to be all systemized. This isn’t going to a virtual assistant in India somewhere?
Matt Andrews: On podcasts and interviews, I like to hear from people so I couldn’t do that before when I was in the hamster wheel, but now I can actually interact with people. So my personal e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and if you guys send me an e-mail, just put in the title free book and just say something like, I was listening to flipnerd, you were offering a free book to everyone who listens to the show and we’ll shoot that back to you in PDF format and Kindle format so you can get however you want to and be able to read it at your leisure so I’m happy to do that.
Matt Andrews: Yeah, fantastic. Thank you for sharing that, that’s awesome. All right, man, thanks for your time and congrats on all the success and congrats on using it as a vehicle to kind of do what you really love. I think a lot of people get caught up in the hamster wheel and never get to the doing what they love part or not enough of it at least.
Mike Hambright: Absolutely. And that’s why people are listening to this right now, so they can achieve the same thing.
Matt Andrews: I hope so. This is awesome, man. I love your show.
Mike Hambright: I’ll get links for both of your charities, too and we’ll add those on the page if anybody wants to learn more about the great stuff you’re doing. That’s awesome, that’s awesome.
Matt Andrews: Obviously we always need donations, but we also need people to spread the word for us, hook us up with other people that might be able to help us and we need volunteers, too, in those areas sometimes a week or two weeks at a time, so if anyone listening has a heart for that kind of thing, get in touch with us. We’d love to talk to you about it.
Mike Hambright: Fantastic. We’ll try to enable some of that for you.
Matt Andrews: That’d be awesome, man. Love it.
Mike Hambright: All right. Well, I’ve got to go catch a plane to come see you and some other guys so thanks for joining us today and I appreciate your time.
Matt Andrews: Awesome, man. See you tomorrow.
Mike Hambright: Thanks for joining us on today’s flipnerd.com podcast. For more of our shows and to hear incredible guests, you can access all of our podcasts in the iTunes store. You can also watch the video versions of our shows by visiting us at flipnerd.com.