How to Be Successfully Unemployed with Real Estate With Dustin Heiner
Kim Lisa Taylor, Esq., interviews Dustin Heiner, founder of Master Passive Income, about his system for building lasting wealth with real estate investing.
Dustin’s expert team teaches beginners how to become successful real estate investors and create their own passive real estate income business from scratch. His ultimate goal is to help you quit your job with real estate investing.
Episode at a glance:
- The primary reasons ordinary people want to invest in real estate
- Where someone should start their real estate journey
- How to find properties
- Strategies for building generational wealth
- How to scale
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Hello, welcome to Syndication Attorneys’ free monthly podcast and YouTube stream where we talk about topics of interest to real estate syndicators and fund managers, with an opportunity for live questions and answers before we sign off. I am attorney Kim Lisa Taylor. I would like to also introduce Krisha Young, our co-host and Business Development Associate at SyndicationAttorneys.com.
Before we get started, please note that this event is both recorded and will be put up on YouTube, and will be used for future promotion, posted on our website or in a broadcast available to the public. You can ask questions at the end of the broadcast by raising your hand or typing your question in the Q&A. Information discussed during this free broadcast is of a general, educational nature and should not be construed as legal advice.
What is our topic today? Krisha, you have that handy? “How to be Successfully Unemployed with Real Estate.” We have our esteemed guest, Dustin Heiner, here with us. The reason I invited Dustin to join us is because I met him at an event and he was wearing the shirt that he’s wearing today, saying “Successfully Unemployed,” which of course is very intriguing. Mine actually should say “Unemployable.” It’s like, I’m self-employed. I’m a little too outspoken to. .. yeah … bosses. I don’t like that. I’ve learned many, many times. I learned that I needed to be self-employed.
But anyway, Dustin. Thank you. Welcome to our program and thanks for coming.
Hi, Kim and Krisha. Thank you so much for having me on the show. Yeah, this is fantastic. I love being able to … Well, it’s really real estate investing is just amazing because it’s not like real estate itself. It’s what it affords me to do in my life. I literally don’t work a job. I love the term “Successfully Unemployed,” basically found a way to provide for myself and my family without working that dead-end J-O-B, I call J-O-B “Just Over Broke,” is what you’re living every time you’re working that job.
And so now I just have my coffee in the morning, go to the gym, hang out with the family, and come on podcasts and talk to great people like you. So thank you so much for having me on the show.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Wow. Well, that sounds like an amazing life. I’m pretty sure a lot of the people that are on the (call) today — and we have quite a few people who’ve come to listen to you — I’m sure a lot of people want to hear the secret sauce on how they can do that, too. Tell us how you got your start in real estate investing.
I, like every single person literally ever, was always taught to basically work a job. This is the process — and I went through the exact same process: You go to school, you get good grades, and then you get those good grades and you go into a college or university and you get thousands and thousands of dollars into debt. Then you also get a piece of paper and you try to go with that piece of paper called the degree, and you try to go get a job and get hopefully a “career” at some place and work there 40-plus years of your life and then retire at 65, 70 years old, and then try to live on what you manage to save that entire time you’re working that “just over broke” job.
Well, I’m doing that exact same thing and I actually got a job at a local county government in California doing IT, like technical stuff, the most risk -verse job you could ever think of. At the same time, I’ve always been entrepreneurial, always loved the idea of starting businesses, owning businesses. When I was young, I had a newspaper route. You’d ride on a bike and at 5:00 a.m. you’d throw on newspapers and bang them on garage doors, waking people up.
I had a graphic website design company. I had a skateboard manufacturing business. Even started a pizzeria and a convenience store from the ground up, built those. But all the time working that “just over broke” job. Well, this is what really shoved me into real estate investing. At the time I was investing, I bought one rental property that made me a minimum of $250 a month in passive income. I bought one property. I said, “This is amazing. I didn’t do any work other than buy the property, and I had experts do the work for me; I need to get more of these.”
But you know what happens, life gets in the way. As I started having my … got married and started having kids and I stopped investing, which was the bad thing. Here’s what happened. My wife and I started having child after child. Eventually, we had our fourth child and I went on paternity leave. That’s where the dad stays home with the mom, changes poopy diapers and all that good stuff. After about two weeks, I go back to work and in that same week I go back to work on a Friday. At 3:30 in the afternoon, I get a call from my boss’s boss’s boss’s secretary, like the top dog and she says, “Dustin, would you please come to the office?” I said, “Sure.” Then I hung up the phone and I paused for a second.
I thought, why in the world are they calling me to the office? This isn’t normal. I’ve seen plenty of movies. Friday at 3:30 is not a good sign. Well, as I’m sitting there, I remembered about a month or two before I went on paternity leave, there was some rumors, there’s some rumbling going on that in the office that there could potentially be layoffs. I immediately shook it off. I said, “There’s no way. I’ve got 12-, 13-year seniority here. My bosses think I do a fantastic job.” And with that, I decided that everything’s going to be fine.
So I get up and I walk down the hallway to my boss’s office. Now, this hallway isn’t very long. In fact, it’s kind of short. But every single step that it took, it felt like the hallway got longer and longer and longer. It felt like my feet became lead bricks because it started weighing on me that I could potentially lose my job. Well, I get down the hallway and I turn the corner and I see my boss’s door. His door is closed, and I see his secretary there, super sweet, nice old lady. She says, “Dustin, go ahead and have a seat.”
I’m looking at her and she’s kind of consoling me with her eyes. She knows everything about what’s going on. I know nothing about what’s going on. She’s trying to console me. She’s sheepishly grinning at me, so I go in and take my seat. I sit down and I start thinking about my life. If I get laid off right now, if I lose my job, that entire plan that I’ve been told from the very beginning, did I just waste my life doing this? And then realize, oh my goodness, we just had our fourth child. If I can’t feed my children, does that make me a failure as a father?
Does that make me a failure as a husband, as a man trying to provide for his family? As I’m sitting there, my hands get all clammy. My forehead gets all sweaty because the nerves of everything is crushing down on me. The door to my boss’s office opens up and out walks a co-worker of mine, a lady, a coworker, and she’s walking by me and she has a piece of paper in her hands. She is noticeably distraught. She’s noticeably upset. She’s not necessarily crying, but she could tell her world’s absolutely been rocked.
Well, she passes by me and my boss says, “Dustin, would you please come in the office?” So I get up and I go into his office. And I get laid off. Remember, this is the government. Nobody ever gets fired or laid off from the government, but I did. The reason why I tell the story is what I learned after. I took that layoff notice and I went back to my desk and I sat there and I realized two things sitting there. Number one, I need to get another job. I need to be able to provide for my family.
I was really blessed. Prayed to the Lord to find another job in the same county. A different department wasn’t having the same budget issues. So check, got that. The second thing, while I’m sitting in my chair just getting laid off, I realized I need to make sure this never ever happens to me again. I need to make sure that this never happens where somebody could take away my ability to feed my family. Well, right then and there, I realized life got in the way. I need to make sure that never happens.
So every time, and I told myself anytime anybody would ask me the question, “Dustin, what do you do?” I would normally reply, “Well, I work for the county doing technology for the county,” but I’m basically replying and projecting out to the world that my value comes from my job. No, my value doesn’t come from my job. My value comes from my God and from myself and from my family. So right then and there, I made a firm commitment that every single time anybody would ask me that question, I would reply, “I am an investor. I’m a real estate investor.”
And right then and there, that mindset changed because I realized that nobody could ever pay me what you are worth. Everybody listening or watching this, you need to realize that you are not being paid what you’re worth. If your boss paid you what you were worth, they would actually go broke and you would actually make so much more money. Nobody could ever pay you what you’re worth.
Let me fast-forward the story. This new job started, I was buying property after property after property, each one making me $250 a month in passive income. This is generational wealth that I will literally give these properties to my kids. Eventually, I had 30-plus properties. Then I realized even though I’m making $75,000 a year at this job, I’m losing money here. Last part of the story, I went to my new boss, good boss, and all I said was, “Hey boss, I’m laying you off. Here’s your layoff notice.”
We laughed and he jokingly laughed and he said, “What are you going to do?” I said, “Well, I don’t have to do anything. I literally own real estate. It makes money for me without even working.” The last part of the story, I usually walked to and from my job every day, a mile and a half every single day. I’ve done it a thousand times. Well, if you remember that short hallway that I walked down that got longer and longer and longer, well, my feet felt like lead bricks.
This walk, the last time, walking away from my office to my car, I felt like I was walking on clouds because I knew I would never ever need a job again, because now my value is in what I create for myself. And now with 40-plus hours of my life back not working for somebody else, I now invest in more real estate. I build businesses and I provide for my family outside of having somebody else give me that money from my one hour that I work for them.
I’ll pause the story because you’ve probably got plenty of questions.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Wow, that’s a really amazing story. I’m sure that it’s resonating with some of the people on the call. It’s definitely resonating with me. Yeah, I’ve gone down those paths before and realized, yeah, I don’t want to work for other people. I need to do my own gig. You figured it out, and it sounds like you figured it out quite young. I think a lot of it…
I was 37. Yeah, 37 years old when I retired or became successfully unemployed.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
That’s great. I know a lot of people would like to do that. You have a real estate training program, so you share what you’ve learned with others. Tell us about that.
Here’s what really happened. As I was quitting my job, I had friends, family members, co-workers even asking me how I was quitting and why I didn’t need to work anymore. Then I’d tell them, “I invest in real estate.” The second question always comes, “Well, can you show me how to do it?” I’m like, “Oh, sure, I’ll start showing you.” I started just helping everybody just for fun because I really liked helping people.
I’m a coach at heart. That’s how I am normally wired. Then I realized as I was teaching this, this was a lot of fun. I see people transform their lives with that. At the same thing, another thing I realized, it’s a lot of work teaching people one-on-one. It takes so much time. What I did was I actually took all the regular questions, the general questions that everybody has, and I wrote a book. With that book, I would literally give it out to people and say, “Here you go.”
It’s called “How to Quit Your Job with Rental Properties,” the very least creative title ever, but it’s straight-forward to the point. I would give that book to everybody and say, “Here, read this. This will answer your beginner questions. They’re great questions, but this will help you get down the path. And if you’re ready to move forward, then I can help you out more.” Fast-forward. Wrote a number of books, three or four different books now. Started a podcast, YouTube channel, courses coaching, and it’s all because I had so much extra time in my life.
Imagine if you were financially independent, didn’t have to work for somebody else, from there, you would be able to take all that extra free time, go do your own hobbies, go play with your kids, literally have fun, but at the same time, produce something that helps society. I love that I’ve got, I don’t know, hundreds or thousands of students now where I’m teaching them how to invest in real estate. Literally the step-by-step, everything that I learned and figured out on my own, all the bad things I’ve ripped out of my business, all the good things, put it in.
With that, now I’m showing all of them as well as — and you’re going to be at my conference, Kim — the Real Estate Wealth Conference. It’s another way for me to show more people how to invest in real estate. In fact, my goal is to help 1 million people to invest in real estate and hopefully become financially independent. It’s a lifetime goal. I don’t know if I’ll ever get there, but at least I’m down the path. My podcast is actually close to 2 million downloads now, which I’m really super pumped about that. But it’s all about just helping.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Justin, what’s the name of your podcast?
“Master Passive Income.” Yeah, the “Master Passive Income” podcast. YouTube channel is the exact same thing, but honestly, Kim, when I started it, I started with a mindset of a lot of great podcasts are interview-based. But I was like, you know what? I just want to give out. I just want to give this stuff to people. It’s literally like 80% me just teaching how to invest in real estate. I started it back in, I don’t know, 2015, and just constantly giving out content. It’s another way for me to help 1 million people to invest in real estate.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Wow, that’s amazing. Well, you must be more interesting than me because when I teach on my podcast, I feel like it’s the most boring podcast in the world.
Also, it helps with my personality. A lot of people might say, “Oh, he’s too excited. He had too many cups of coffee,” which I’m actually drinking coffee, but what’s funny enough, this is decaf. This is just my normal personality. I just really enjoy and get excited about sharing this stuff because honestly, I did it wrong. In fact, the first property that I bought, actually, Kim and Krisha, you probably would understand this.
It was 2006 when I first started investing, and in 2006, I had no clue. I was just working at a dead-end J-O-B. Well, I was watching TV late at night, and one of those late-night infomercials came on. They said, “Hey, we’re coming to your town, a free two-hour seminar where we’ll teach you how to invest in real estate.” I’m like, “Great, free. I’ll go.” I was so excited. I went there and it was horrible. It was all hype, all sales pitch. Then they said, “Now run to the back. It’s a million dollars normally, but it’s a thousand dollars today.”
I said, “Yay.” Ran to the back, paid that money, and for another two-day seminar, but it was more sales pitch for their $30,000 course, $50,000…
With that, I took what little they showed me and bought my first property. I didn’t have $30,000 or $50,000 to spend. I took what little they showed me and I bought my first property. Well, the bad thing is those “gurus,” they’re just regurgitating what everybody says and it’s always the wrong way. My property manager started stealing from me within six months from my first property. I was like, “Oh, this is horrible.”
But now, if I would’ve just realized or said, “This doesn’t work. Uncle Roger was completely right. This stuff doesn’t work,” because your family always tells you it doesn’t work. Well, I would not be here today. What happened was I realized that there is a wrong way that I was taught by these gurus, but there is actually a right way. I could share all that, but I know you’ve got plenty of questions. I can definitely show you the right way as well.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Well, I think that probably people are wondering how they can get a copy of your book, and you can plug it if you want, but I’m sure everybody would love to know that.
I would love to absolutely give it to you for free. So everybody, if you go to masterpassiveincome.com/freebook, it’s all one word, I’ll literally give it to you. You just pay for shipping and the cost of the book. I’m not making any profit, literally. What’s fun is my daughter and all my kids — I have four kids — they’re the ones that print up the labels. They’re the ones that package it and send them out. I’ll literally give that to you for free.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Oh, that’s amazing. That’s fantastic. Okay, well, good. So you then teach a lot of people. They come to you and they have their own reasons that they want to do this. What are the primary reasons that you see people wanting to invest in real estate?
I think what it really comes down to is… The number one thing is more money, but what it really comes down to, and they don’t realize this or they might, most people don’t necessarily realize the ultimate goal is time. In your life, you want to have more time. But money leads to where you can have more time. Here’s the amazing thing. I love the idea of different legacies that we should leave in our life. Let me quickly go through them.
In our life, we should have a money legacy where we have enough money to afford whatever we want to do, fly somewhere, buy this, that, do whatever, have enough money to do that. Number two, and number one leads into number two. Money leads into a time legacy where we have enough time to do whatever we want. Money leads into that.
Then from time leads into our relationship legacy where we build up our relationships because the money leads into time. Time,we can now devote to our family, our friends, our community and actually have more time with our relationships. Then the last one is a service legacy. You’re thinking about a vision of why. I really love the idea that we should all — every single person — in their life should get to where they can have a service legacy. Money leads into time. Time leads the relationship. Relationship leads into service.
I kid you not, Kim, I know you understand this completely well, the more people that I serve in my life, and I didn’t learn this until later on, more people that I serve in my life, the better my life gets and the better everybody else’s life gets. It’s so super amazing. Now, I have hundreds, if not thousands of students that I’m now coaching how to invest in real estate. I have, I don’t know, 30, 40 properties that have great tenants in there that take care of the property because I take care of them.
If you serve more people, they will help you, give back to you. What I love is also having delayed gratification. That means I’m not just trying to, “Hey Kim, what can you do for me right now?” You need to lead. My suggestion, and this is what got me very, very far: “How can I serve you first?” Basically, “Kim, what can I do for you? How can I help you? How can I make your business better, your life better?” Then after you get that enough, Kim, more than likely you’re going to say, “Well, this has been so awesome. I really appreciate it. How can I help you?”
If you come with that approach with the service legacy mindset, my goodness, everything opens up.
So true. I wrote a note earlier on a servant’s heart just before you said that your million people or whatever I wrote down, he’s got a servant’s heart for sure. You can tell.
That’s something that really has helped me. Just actually I’ll quickly, and Kim, I want you to share. I’ll quickly say, when I bought my first property, I didn’t feel fulfilled. I felt like an accomplishment. It was great. When I quit my job, it was an accomplishment. I felt great. I didn’t necessarily feel fulfilled.
When my first student bought their first property, I felt fulfilled. I helped another human being get what they wanted. And then now when my students are quitting their job because that’s their goal, then I feel fulfilled. When I connect investors together, when I help somebody get what they want, I feel so much more fulfilled in my life. And now that’s all I strive for now. I appreciate that, Krisha.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
That’s definitely true. I know that the most satisfaction I get from my job is teaching and teaching people how they can get what they want, but also how they can help the widest group of investors possible. That’s how I feel like I’m able to outreach to more people, and yeah, that is gratifying. That’s great. That’s a nice mindset. I also meet, though, a lot of people that are just thinking about, “Okay, I want to quit my job like Dustin did.” Or they’re looking into their future.
Maybe they don’t want to quit their job, but they’re saying, “Hey, I’m not going to have quite the retirement that I thought I was going to have or that I’d like to have. I’m not going to have enough. I’ll be able to live, but I won’t be able to travel the way I want to,” whatever it is their goals are. And they’re also thinking about their kids and “How can I help my kids?” Because I guess a lot of us look around at people of the next generation and say…
Some of the opportunities that we had may not be available to them, and maybe it’s going to be a little more challenging for them just by virtue of the fact there’s more population, there’s more competition, times are changing. Certainly there will be opportunities for those who seek them, but there’s a lot of people who are afraid that their kids aren’t going to be able to achieve what they’ve achieved and they want to help them give them a leg up. That’s a pretty noble and worthy cause in most cases.
Totally. I will quickly say too that the more that I do in my life, buying more real estate, building businesses, creating things that I can then have generational wealth to literally give to my children. That’s number one I’m doing. But at the same time, not just giving them money and businesses, but education as well, teaching them how to do this sort of stuff.
What’s amazing is because I’ve coached hundreds if not thousands of students now how to invest in real estate, I literally have all this content that my children are learning and I’m literally taking them through the process. One quick last note. I’m not a big believer in college anymore. I just think it’s a waste of money. You learn everything they want you to learn as opposed to maybe what you want to learn.
And so for my kids now, instead of spending, I don’t know, $100,000 to send them to college, I’m like, “Why don’t I give you that $100,000 to where you can buy your first rental property and that makes you money? Then we can get loans and we could keep growing that just like Daddy did to where you will never need to work a job because you have investments coming in.” Then on top of that, I have four or five businesses now that make me money, having them work in any one of those. It’s all about generational legacy and generational wealth for me.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Wow, that’s a pretty noble cause. How would someone get started that hasn’t bought anything yet, or maybe they’ve got one or two rental properties? I’m interested to know what your thoughts are on that.
Everybody, I want you to remember the saying, if you’re listening to this, get this in your head, firm in your head. I love this proverb or this idea, but it’s a quote, basically a proverb: “When is the best time to plant a tree?” Well, it was 20 years ago. The next best time is literally today. Kim, like you were thinking and saying a little bit earlier, what about our children, have them to be able to make sure that they can do something that we have?
But a lot of people think, “Well, if I haven’t even started personally, how do I start?” Well, when you invest in real estate, you do not wait to buy real estate. You buy real estate and then wait. That’s what the goal is because when you own real estate over time, we just know we’ve seen appreciation just through the roof. Now, there’ll be dips and cycles, but what we do is we buy and then wait. And here’s the great thing. If you do it right, it will make you money every single month.
You’re not just waiting for appreciation. Actually, let me quickly go into the wrong way that I was taught, but then I’ll quickly help you to forget it and tell you the right way to invest in real estate. The wrong way, I took what those “gurus” told me to do, the infomercial, the seminar thing. Well, they said, and you’ll forget it in just a second, but they said, find a property anywhere in the country. It doesn’t matter where it’s at. Find a property, run the numbers, which means calculate your expenses, make sure your income is going to meet those expenses.
And they say — and this was 2006 when I first started investing — they’re saying, “You’re going to get appreciation. That’s what you want. Make sure you’re making $25 or $50 a month in passive income and buy that property.” So you run the numbers then — and I’ll pause it and say, I don’t invest for appreciation. I invest for cash flow — With that, they say, find that property, run the numbers, make sure you make a little money in passive income. You get appreciation. Then spend thousands of dollars to buy the property, then spend thousands dollars to fix up the property, then find a tenant and then find a property manager.
Well, in my opinion, that’s just about backwards. I did that. In fact, I did that and my property manager started stealing from me within six months. It was horrible. Now, when I found out my property manager was stealing from me, I realized something was wrong and then I realized I needed to do something different. If you remember, I’ve always been entrepreneurial, business mindset. Remember, I said it from the beginning, starting many businesses.
I said, if I give up now, then I’ll never know what could come. With that, many people have done this successfully. So let me approach this from a business mindset. That means let’s build the business first. If you hear me on my podcast or my coaching, you hear me say this over and over again: Build the business first. Let me give you a quick example of what that looks like. Let’s say that you’re going to start a convenience store, candy bars and soda machines and all that good stuff. Well, you’re not going to sign a lease on a location, open the doors and set a box of candy bars in there on the ground.
No, you wouldn’t do that. You’d go out of business in like two seconds. What you would do, though, is you would build the business. You’d get the gondolas, the shelving units, all the candy bars going, the countertops, cold storage, bank accounts, cash registers, employees, insurance, everything in the business before you buy any inventory. Once you have the entire business built, then you find the inventory, buy it, and then you put it into your business.
Same thing with real estate investing. We need to build the entire business and every property that we buy, that’s a piece of inventory that we put into our business that makes us money. Now, quickly going onto the idea of appreciation and not making cashflow. That’s the wrong thing. In fact, in 2006 when I first started investing, they were saying that, and I know in 2008, 2009, and 2010 lots and lots, almost every single real estate investor went bankrupt because they were investing for appreciation. They were speculating that it would go up.
I don’t do that. I literally invest for cashflow. Let me give you a quick example. If you’re going to start a business selling a candy bar, let’s say you have a candy bar you could buy for 50 cents and every day without a shadow of a doubt, you can sell it for $1. 50 … you make 50 cents. You would do that all day every day. You would love it. How many more can I buy and sell? What if you didn’t, and this is a great thing about real estate investing, what if you didn’t even have that 50 cents and it took you 25 cents to borrow 50 cents, which is 75 cents total out of pocket?
You could still sell it for $1. You’re making 25 cents. You’d be doing that all day every day. Now take that same candy bar, you could sell for $1. You would not buy it for $2 and try to sell it for $1. You’d lose money. There’s no reason to go into business without making money every single time you make a transaction. Same thing with real estate investing. What we want to do, here’s my suggestion, and to get started, I’ll quickly give you the understanding of how to get started.
With the financial independence, the idea of being able to have generational wealth, the idea to be able to be unemployable or successfully unemployed, what we do is we buy properties that make us a minimum of $250 a month in passive income. One property, $250 a month, that’s $3,000 a year in passive income. 10 properties is $2,500 a month in passive income, $30,000 a year without working. That’s just passive coming in. 20 properties is $5,000 a month, $60,000 a year without working.
Now, last part I’ll say, let me share with you how to actually get started. When you’re building the business, there’s a step-by-step process. First step is finding the area of the country that has good inventory for you to buy. There’s no reason to buy, I don’t know, in the middle of a desert where nobody wants to live and there’s one property. Well, you’re not going to have good inventory. That’s not good inventory. You want to get a city that has good inventory, the right types of homes that people want to rent or eventually buy if you want to sell it.
My suggestions are cookie-cutter type homes, three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,200 to maybe 1,600 square feet, not too small that families don’t want to live there, not too big. That’s extra walls to paint and carpet to replace. 1,200 to 1,500, maybe 1,600 square feet. Then with that, you want to make sure that you’re making $250 a month in passive income. So inventory in a city. Let’s say you found a good city. I’ll give you a quick example. Midwest is fantastic right now. My students are doing terrific.
I’ll give you a couple cities. Indianapolis is really good. Memphis, Tennessee is really good. Birmingham, Alabama is really good. Dayton, Ohio. Those are some really good cities that my students are investing in. With that, check, you find a city, good inventory. Stop looking for properties there. My students, the sad thing, or actually it’s just human nature, they’ll find a city and it happens all the time. A student will say, “Dustin, I found a great city. I’ve already have five Realtors sending me deals.” Like, whoa, stop. Realtors are the last step. Sorry for any Realtors listening to this, but you’re literally the last step.
Finding the properties is so easy. I ask them, “Who would manage that property if you bought that property?” They say, “I don’t know. I don’t have anybody.” Well, here’s the bad thing. Let’s say you did everything those gurus told you and then you buy the property, get thousands of dollars, and then you start calling property managers and say, “Hey, property manager, here’s my house, Number One Happy Street. Will you manage it?” And they say, “No, I’m not going to manage it. I’ll get shot there.” Well, you no longer have an asset. You have a liability.
Instead, how much better would it be if you call up your property manager you’ve already vetted, already interviewed, they’re going to work for you. “I’m looking to buy this house, Number One Happy Street,” and they say, “Oh, I’m not going to manage it.” Well, then you don’t buy it. Don’t waste your time, don’t waste your money. Or if you say, “How much can I rent it for? What type of clientele would I have? Will, you manage the property? What’s the vacancy factor?” You all ask all the right questions and they say, “Yes, this is how much you could rent it for. This is the vacancy factor.”
Then you have your expert information. So inventory in a city, check, move on now to property managers. Find the right property managers. I suggest interviewing five, six, lots of property managers, interview them very, very well so you find the right one. Then move on to mortgage brokers, then insurance agents and move down the line. Eventually, you’ll get to Realtors and wholesalers and other investors and stuff like that. But that’s the entire way to actively do it right, is to find the city, get good inventory, see that city has good inventory, find the right property manager that’s going to run your business.
They’re going to be the experts on the ground. Zillow, they’re not experts. It’s just a company with a database. Trulia, Redfin, they’re just companies with databases. Who are the experts? They’re the people on the ground that are doing the work. Last thing I’ll say because I know you guys got questions. Last thing I’ll say is people ask me, “Dustin, how do you afford a property manager?” I said, “I don’t. I don’t afford the property manager,” and you guys will get this. I don’t pay my property manager. I don’t pay my taxes. I don’t pay my mortgage. I don’t pay my insurance. I don’t pay for repairs.
I don’t pay for any of that stuff, meaning I don’t have to get a job to pay for those things. I make sure all those expenses are accounted for before I buy the property, especially somebody who would manage the property because I want to play with my kids. I want to go do whatever I want. I don’t want to manage the properties. That’s what I talk about, building the business, making sure we’re making $250 a month in passive income and making sure we have the right people, the experts doing the work for us. Does that all makes sense?
Kim Lisa Taylor:
It all makes perfect sense. What about financing? What kind of financing are people getting on these properties?
I love talking about financing because usually it’s most people’s quick hang-up. They’re like, “Oh, I don’t have the money for this. I don’t have that.” Well, here is a big thing about financing. Everybody really, they always know I can get a mortgage, like let’s buy a house. I get a mortgage and a Realtor, put them together and buy a house. That’s just one way. I literally have used 15, I counted them, 15 different ways to get financing to buy my property.
A mortgage is one. You can get private money, hard money, and that hard money is not as nearly as crazy as you might think. Hard money. I’ve used signature loans where you go into a bank and say, “Hey, can I just get an unsecured buying credit?” Yes, you’ll get those. You can use bundled loans, portfolio loans. There are so many different ways to get financing. On top of that, even commercial loans, which obviously Kim, you know a lot about that being in the commercial real estate space.
But with that, I’ve even used a credit card. This is an advanced strategy, but I use a credit card and the reason why, just like the candy bar analogy, I could buy a candy bar for 50 cents and it costs me 25 cents to buy that candy bar. Well, I still make 25 cents because I sell it for $1. I knew because I have my business, I know all my expenses, this credit card I just made sure the cost of the price of this credit card, borrowing the money, was accounted for in the purchase price of the property.
The most easy one right now for most real estate investors is… I’ll give you two. Number one, a regular mortgage, put 20% down. Sometimes you could put 10% down, even 5% down, which we can do that. There’s lots of options for that. Let’s say you already have four properties, four mortgages, and you’re like, “Man, banks don’t really want to lend me any money anymore.” Here’s another, it’s relatively recent, type of loan that came on the market, super awesome.
It’s a DSCR loan, a debt service coverage ratio loan. That loan, instead of the bank, the mortgage broker, whoever looking at you, “Hey Kim, do you have the money to pay this back?” Instead of looking at you as the person to pay it back, it looks at the property. Will the property make money in order to pay off the loan? It’s an investor loan. And these are awesome. You’re going to pay a little bit more, not you, your tenants. Remember, our tenants pay for all this and we make money on top of that. We just need to make sure we account for all these.
So if anybody has the idea, “Financing is trouble for me,” think, check, this is done. Don’t even worry about financing. If you have a good deal, we can, I can, and all my students, we can show you how to actually take down this deal with proper financing.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Well, so it sounds like a lot of work to find these properties. How does somebody get started in that?
Finding properties, that’s one of the easiest, honestly. Finding properties for me is literally waking up, drinking my coffee, looking at my email. Literally, I get people sending me deals all the time. Remember when I talked about building the business? We get the right people in the business to do the work for us, property managers that manage the property, mortgage brokers that find us mortgages, lenders for lenders.
Also, I also get many Realtors, wholesalers, other investors, other property managers. I basically built out a, not necessarily a team. I just tell everybody in my area that I invest. “I’m an investor. If you’re looking to sell or you know anybody that’s looking to sell, send me those deals or send me their information so I can talk to them.” I even do direct mail, literally send people direct mail saying, “Hey, I’ll buy your house for X amount of dollars.” Those work really, really well for off-market where you get a discount on the property.
Finding the property is actually the easiest thing. That’s the last step. Don’t even be concerned about that because as we build out the business, we have these experts on the ground doing all the work for us, and all we do is wake up in the morning, check out our email and see what properties got sent to us.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Oh, that’s amazing. What are some of the biggest barriers that you encounter amongst your students?
I would say, definitely the number one barrier is fear. That’s by far. I mean it’s kind of medical thinking, just your brain mindset. It’s just you and the fear to do it because people think it’s fearful or it’s risky to invest in real estate where I will help everybody to realize the flip side of that or to flip that around. In my opinion, it’s much more risky to work for somebody else who can literally take your job away at any given time, or that company could go bankrupt and you literally don’t have a job. And then what are you going to do?
Just like me, I got the most risk-averse job working for the government, and I got laid off. My goodness, I thought I was stable. I was set for life. With that, it’s much more risky to put your life in somebody else’s hands. It’s so much better putting your life in your own hands, especially if you have experts like you. I keep working with Kim and keep listening to her podcast and try to make sure that you are learning how to do everything right. With that, you’re going to have knowledge, expert knowledge. Just like you go to college to get knowledge, here, you get knowledge.
You come to the podcast, listen every single week and Kim’s going to bring on people that are going to be able to help you do this stuff. So fear is always the first start, but coupled with that is the risk. The risk leads into them having fear. Outside of that, once they get out of their own brain, let’s say they tackle that risk, they tackle that fear. The next step is not knowing how to do it and thinking, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to do it. I’m just going to stop.” That is usually the second step that they have to get hurtled over.
Honestly, obviously, like I said, keep listening to your podcast. Keep listening to my podcast. If you want coaching, I’m there for you as well. It’s getting that education. What’s fearful and what makes you feel like it’s risky is because you’ve never done it before. But honestly, when you have done it, it makes it so easy. Just like riding a bike, you have never done it before, so you’re scared, but once you do it, you’re like, “Oh my goodness, this is the easiest thing in the world.”
My students, what’s a great blessing I’ll say is, my students, usually they’re trying to find real estate or invest in real estate, or trying to find properties for years, and they never do it. They just don’t really ever pull the trigger and actually do it. Then they start working with me and no kidding, literally within two, maybe three months, they’re putting in offers on properties and usually by five months, four or five, they have their first property under contract.
That accelerates it by having education. The fun thing is usually once they get that property under contract, the second property comes within maybe a month at most. The reason why, we build the business, we have everybody doing the work for us. It’s already a machine running for us. And so that is the process to get to where you actively invest. So getting past the fear, knowing that the risk, it’s more risky being on somebody else, and if you have expert education, you know what you’re doing, the risk is literally 99% gone. Then get education and then put in the work.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Wow. Well, I wholeheartedly agree with that. When I started my own law firm, I left a partnership because conditions weren’t ideal, and I decided I wanted to go off on my own, do my own thing. I instantly enrolled in a law firm coaching program.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Just knowing I had that coaching program and those people that were supporting me, backing me up, and kind of keeping me on the right track made me a lot more confident to do it on my own. Without that, I would’ve felt like, oh gosh, I’m doing all the wrong things and I’m spending time on the wrong things, and I would’ve just felt like I floundered a little bit longer. And it probably would’ve taken longer to get to the goals that I’ve achieved.
Much longer. Kim and Krisha, you guys understand this easily, that you, anybody, when you’re going to be doing something, you’re going to pay either way. You’re going to pay with your time or you’re going to pay with your money. What’s the one commodity that you’re always spending and never make or create more of? It’s time. I did this real estate investing my own way, and it took me so much longer. It took me seven to eight years to be able to get financially independent.
My students are doing it in two or three years because I fast-track them. It’s just like all the coaching and the education that you get for whatever you want to do. It is you’re paying with your money because you could always make more money, but you can’t make more time. My suggestion is realize that sooner rather than later, because eventually you will realize that, “Oh my goodness, my time was just worth so much more and I could have just paid for this education and coaching.”
You’re either going to pay with your time or your money. My suggestion, pay with your money, because especially if whatever you’re paying for is going to make you more money, it’s a no-brainer because then you get your entire life back.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Well, and your investment. It’s an investment and you’re getting a return on that investment, and that return is going to come again and again and again.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Krisha, you have some experience with coaching. What are your thoughts on that? I’d like to hear you.
Yeah, yeah. I did the same thing. When you were telling that story, Dustin, about walking down the hallway and having the lead feed and just like, whoa. And compared to when you took control or command of your own life and were just like, “Bye, I’m out of here,” and you were walking on clouds. I had a similar experience when I quit corporate. I was just like, “I’m out of here, man. I’m starting my own business and I’m just doing it.”
But I had mentors and I had coaches, and I had people who had done it before me teach me what I needed to know. I’d never sold a thing in my life. I had no idea how to sell or what I needed to do in order to start a business and be successful in coaching, or whatever it is that… I think that having that support is really important. Having that person who’s gone before you, to your point about saving that time, spending a little bit of money to save that time is critical in order for you to be able to really be successful.
I think the thing that keeps coming back to me that I want to ask you about is the entrepreneurial mindset versus the J-O-B. I love that. I’ve never heard that, “Just Over Broke.” I’ve never heard that before. I love that. But that entrepreneurial mindset, you’ve touched on it in so many different ways, and I think there’s that fear factor and working around that, and having that shift of perspective from being the employee versus being somebody who is willing to take more command of their lives and create something for themselves, and having that servant’s heart.
I’d love to know a little bit more about that for you, what that looks like for you in terms of having that entrepreneurial mindset.
Yeah, the entrepreneurial mindset comes from a place where I started to realize that, and I think everybody either realizes this and enjoys working for somebody else or realizes this and says, and “I’m not going to do that.” In fact, I think everybody listening to your podcast, Kim, they’re probably of the latter where they’re like, “You know what? This working an hour and getting paid for that hour is something that I don’t want to continue to do,” because eventually that hour goes away and you don’t have enough hours. You can’t just get more time in your life.
And so eventually you get older and it’s going to be hard to do this stuff. Instead of doing that, working passively, that’s why I created Master Passive Income. That’s my company where I teach this stuff. It’s Master Passive Income because when I bought one rental property, I realized, my goodness, I don’t do any work. My property works for me. My experts do all the work and I make money. I’ve mastered passive income with just one property. That’s why I want to share, is everybody can master passive income.
Now with that, the mindset and the shifting to be either much more entrepreneurial, it’s honestly, it comes with a lot of entrepreneurial mindset, but really, really comes down to do you want to put your life in your hands or do you want to just be dependent instead of independent? Do you want to be independent? That was my goal, independence. Or do you want to be dependent on somebody else? Eventually, and it’s sad, a lot of people have to go back to work after they retire because they run out of money. Their life is longer than they saved up for, and what’s sad is they now have to go back to it.
I have students that are 65 years old, 70 years old, that are starting it now, which now is the best time. Like I said, well, the best time was 20 years ago. Second-best time is literally today. Right now, if you are actually doing it right now, that’s the best time to do it. From there, you can pass it on, generational wealth. The mindset of being an entrepreneur, an entrepreneur, what it really comes down to is the independence mindset. I think the active or the actionable way of being an entrepreneur is a problem solver. That’s really, if I boil everything down, it’s you are active, like you’re wanting to be independent, but you solve problems.
I’ll give you an example of a problem that could come up in your real estate investing. Like, “Oh, no, I don’t have enough money to buy real estate. I don’t have enough money to get started.” Well, that’s a problem. Let’s figure out how to solve that. More than likely, there are plenty of ways to actually do that, where you partner with somebody, you have private money lenders, you have DSCR. There’s so many different ways to do it. So that’s a problem. We figure out the answer and the solution to that.
Same thing with let’s say, “My goodness, my tenant’s not paying my rent. What do I do?” Well, that’s a problem. Let’s figure out a solution to that. Worst case scenario, we evict them. Okay, that’s the cost of doing business. We account for that. When we buy the property, we hold money aside for vacancy and stuff like that. With that, let’s figure out a problem. Maybe we can just talk to the tenant. Let’s figure out how to answer this problem. Talk to the tenant, see what’s going on.
In fact, I just had a call from one of my tenants today, and she was having a little bit of issues financially. She said, “Can I pay $200 this week and then $200 next week?” This is a problem, let’s fix it. “Yes, we can do that.” So my opinion, you want to be independent. If you want to be independent, entrepreneurial is the right way to go. Then how you do it is you solve problems. Another problem you solve is “I want to be independent, but I don’t know how.” Well that’s a problem. Let’s figure out how to solve that problem.
I love it. It’s like resourcefulness and resilient are the two words that I wrote down.
You’re 100% right. Krisha, sorry I cut you off. Sorry. The resourcefulness and resilience, those are two amazing words. I love persistence as well. I love being patient as well. Delayed gratification. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme at all. It’s a get-wealthy plan, real estate investing. The only thing that’s… Actually, I would suggest anybody, if you’re listening to this right now, we know inflation’s just crushing everybody. The dollar might go away sooner or later eventually. Well, we know the history of the world eventually the currency goes away, the fiat currency.
But with that, investing in tangible things, gold and silver, things like that, real estate’s obviously very tangible. Even funny enough, guns and ammo, those are tangible things that you can sell. If you are resilient, you can figure out a way, but then also being patient as well, having persistence and pushing through things. Eventually, you’re going to work it out to where it’s going to be even better for you.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
All right, so before we get too far, we do have some questions. We want to get to those, but I want you to talk about your upcoming event and how people can sign up for that.
Oh, man. Yeah, so because I’ve coached so many people and my podcast is doing so well now, all my students, hundreds if not thousands of students now, they wanted to meet up and I said, “That’s a great idea. How about I create a conference?” The reason why I thought that was I only teach real estate on four units and below, but there’s so many other great ways to invest in real estate, from multifamily, to Airbnb, to storage facilities, things like that, everything.
I thought, you know what? Because I have been in the online business so long of coaching people, I’ve met a lot of other great real estate investors, and I actually realized that all of my friends who have their own podcasts, YouTube channels and students and all that sort of stuff, I called them up and I said, “How about I create a conference that is different than every other real estate investor conference?”
It’s completely different where we are just bringing our communities together and we’re coaching them, we’re educating them, and we’re building a community where people can network together and help each other. I’m trying to serve. I’m trying to get everybody else to serve as well. One after one, everybody started saying, yes, all my friends. We bring all of our audiences together.
Now we have 40-plus expert investors that we’re all bringing our audiences together. Here’s the big reason why we’re different. REWBCON, The Real Estate Wealth Builders Conference, is different because remember that sales pitch that I went to, that late-night infomercial? I hated that. I was like, “I want something that’s the complete opposite.” So my conference is literally a no-sales-pitch conference. You’re not going to get that. It’s going to be all about you, building you up to be a fantastic investor, getting you around the right…
There are hundreds, if not thousands of other investors, plus 40-plus expert investors as well. That’s the big vision, is to help you to invest in all types of asset classes. You can go to the Real Estate Wealth Builders Conference, R-E-W-B-C-O-N.com, REWBCON.com, and you go there and you’ll see everything. We’ll have videos and stuff, you can check it all out. But this year — and it’s an annual conference — this year it’s going to be in St. Louis, March 14th through the 16th in St., Louis. Amazing hotel. Union Station is a fantastic hotel.
What we do is we focus on you as a person, helping you grow in mindset, even spiritually, health, all that sort of stuff. And at the same time, we teach you how to actually invest in real estate and then we get great companies that all of our investors can work with. Obviously Kim, you and your company is going to be one of the sponsors there. You’re going to be speaking as well, which is going to be even better. When you just said, “Hey, I want to speak.” I’m like, I don’t know any lawyers that would actually speak. Yes, this is fantastic. Absolutely.
Oh, Kim, we also have a 10% off promo code.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Oh, good. Yep.
Yeah, so I want to give everybody the 10% off. If you use the promo code PODCAST, just the word PODCAST, I’ll know you came from Kim’s podcast and you’ll get 10% off the ticket, any ticket that you want. It’s three days of community, of networking, of education and building you up as an ambassador. In fact, yesterday I literally just talked to one of the attendees and she was telling me what she loved about the conference and she said, “Normally, I would just go to breakout sessions and not talk to anybody, just go back to my room.”
She said this is the first conference she’s ever gone from 8:00 a.m. all the way till 9:00, 10:00 p.m. when the closing parties were done because she got so many more friends, as well as got so much education and connected with amazing real estate investors, amazing companies as well. We’d love to have you guys. We’re going to have hopefully 600 to 700 attendees and 40-plus expert investors showing you, literally just giving you, how to invest.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Oh, that’s amazing. Well, yeah, I’m super excited to be there. This is the first time I’ve gone and this is really the first time I’ve had a chance to get into Dustin’s head, so I’m definitely enjoying this. I hope the audience is, too. Krisha, if you could tell people how they can get a copy of our book and then we’ll go right to the Q and A.
Yeah, absolutely. I just want to say one super quick thing about Dustin here that I’m just really, really, really enjoying, is this passion, is this energy that you have. Again, it’s not for everybody, but it’s definitely for us. And because it’s like you’re just revving off of life. You’re revving off of excitement and the “yes” that you’ve cultivated for yourself. You don’t have those lead feet. You don’t have that lead balloon dragging you along in life, and this is what pure energy of somebody who’s just being passionate about your work and being of service and everything. I love that so much, and I just wanted to loop back and comment on that.
Thank you, Krisha.
And say how much we love this energy and thank you so much for being here and for sharing all of your knowledge and information with us.
We do have a couple questions and we do have a book. Well, Kim has a book, two books actually, that she’s written. To get a copy… The first one, the one on the right-hand side, that one there, that’s the first one that she’s written for anybody new to real estate investing. Then the second book is way more in-depth and for people who are looking to maybe do their second or third deals.
If you want to grab copies, you can text the word SYNDICATE, S-Y-N-D-I-C-A-T-E to 844-796-3428. You can also go to our website, SyndicationAttorneys.com, and grab a copy there. If you want to chat with anybody on our team about hiring us as a lawyer to help you out with your stuff, then that’s another thing that you can do as well.
We do have a couple questions here. Anonymous Attendee asks, “How much did you have in monthly income before you retired?” Then the second question here, “How has this property investment strategy changed/evolved since you quit your job with 30 units? How many units is your portfolio now?” So how much did you have in monthly income before you retired?
Yeah, that’s a great question. I know people are going to have a lot of questions too. My book is going to answer tons of questions, but I even have a free course that I can give out. Do you guys mind if I share that? Just give that away too?
Yeah, go for it.
Awesome. Go to MasterPassiveIncome.com/freecourse, all in one word. You could even text the word RENTAL, R-E-N-T-A-L to 33777. RENTAL to 33777. I’ll give you that course. It’ll walk you through. I have people just from this course be able to invest in real estate, so show you how to find an area of the country to invest, how to do it right, how to make sure you’re making money in passive income.
So how much money in passive income was I making when I quit my job? I’ll be completely honest to say I should have quit earlier, but it’s hard leaving a W-2 job because it feels like it’s, even though I got laid off, I still had that same job, but it was like, oh, we got the stable money coming in and I had the passive income. But I wish I would’ve quit sooner. I should have quit two years before. A big reason why I stayed on longer was because I was getting a refinancing. I was bundling four properties together in one commercial loan, and banks don’t like it when you quit your job in the middle of getting a loan, so I had to wait until I got done with that job.
I want to say, oh shoot, I don’t know, $15,000 a month of passive income, 10, 15, I can’t remember. It was right around 20 properties when I had, now I have 30-plus properties and I invest in hotels or syndications now, have other investments now. My wife would not allow me to share how much we make. That’s one thing she said, “Hey, you can give away everything that you do. Just don’t tell people how much we make. That’s not something that’s anybody’s business.” I’m like, okay, so I won’t do that.
But I’ll tell you 30 -lus properties that I have, plus hotels and other investments that I have invested with other investors. Remember this, $250 is the minimum. I started investing back in 2006. Rents just go up over time. 30 properties, 30-plus properties over $250 a month, and some are making me $600, $700, $800 a month in passive income. That’ll hopefully help round out how much money I make in passive income. What was the second question?
Sorry. There’s sirens going right out my window here.
How has this property investment strategy changed or evolved since you quit your job with 30 units, and how many units is your portfolio now? I think you just answered that sort of.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. 30-some properties now. I want to say maybe 35, something like that. I kind of lose track as I keep buying. How it’s changed. Really how it’s changed has been where I now look for other ways to invest, but my bread and butter is single-family. When I say single-family, it’s four units and below. Four units and below, meaning a four-plex and below. Once you get into five, Kim obviously knows this, both of you guys know this, that’s commercial, different loans, different everything.
There’s a lot more to entail inside of the loan process. With that, what I do is I invest in my residential four units and below because it’s cookie-cutter. I literally can do it in my sleep. I’ll sleep and then wake up and dream, and I’ve dreamt about actually buying real estate. I still buy four units and below, but I also invest in syndications and other types of investments. Hopefully that answered your question, but if I would round out how it’s invested better or change the way I’d invest to be better, it’s finding better properties, finding better property managers, finding better experts, in that regard.
Hopefully, that answers the question. I’m not sure if it does.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Yeah, I think you’ve covered it adequately. I think this has been a very lively conference. I’m glad that you came, Dustin, and we got to pick your brain a little bit. I’m really looking forward to your conference. Would add to your financing sources, of course, that we can teach people how to pool money from private investors, how to joint venture, how to repeatedly borrow money from people who might not consider themselves to be private lenders.
Those are some of the things that we’ll be talking about when we’re at Dustin’s event, and teaching people that you have some other strategies besides just going to the bank. Those strategies can work for you too. Even if you’ve had some challenges in the past that you’re working through right now, some of those other strategies, maybe joint venturing with somebody or something like that might be something you can work with.
Thank you so much, Dustin, for coming. Krisha, thank you so much, as always, for your input. It’s always valuable. Do check out our website at SyndicationAttorneys.com, and I know for some of our diehard syndication students and attendees out there that this was kind of a step backward, but sometimes we need to take a step backward in order to move forward. If you’ve found yourself stuck in the multifamily world where it’s really hard to find deals right now, or you’re not finding the commercial deals that you want, real estate is real estate, and you can always take a step back and go back to the basics.
I think Dustin, this is a little breath of fresh air for everybody, and I think we all need to have all the tools we can in our toolbox and think about using them at the right times. There’s different marketplaces and different times for all these different tools to be used. Thank you so much for all you do and giving to the community so much as you do. Krisha, thank you so much for joining us.
Thank you for having me, ladies.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
Thank you, you guys.
Thank you so much.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
We’ll see you in a couple of weeks. All right, thanks.
Kim Lisa Taylor:
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Are you ready to raise private capital?
At Syndication Attorneys LLC, we are committed to your success – book a consultation with one of our team members today!