Make no mistake, real estate is a business and it needs your full attention to grow. But such is the prowess of this airline pilot that he managed to build his own real estate empire while keeping active pilot duties. We’re talking about Steve Rozenberg, of course, the man who successfully pilots not only a 787, but also his own property management company. Thrust into real estate after 9/11 when his airline job came under threat, Steve failed his way through real estate until he finally got the hang of it. Joining Lisa Hylton on the podcast, Steve shares the highlights of his personal journey in real estate and the lessons that he now shares with others as a speaker, mastermind coach and podcaster. As a bonus, get some of the best inspiration for your own journey in real estate plucked straight from his phenomenal book, Building an Empire: Failing Our Way to Millions.
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Failing To Millions: How This Active Pilot Built His Own Real Estate Empire With Steve Rozenberg
I have yet another amazing show for you. Before we get started, as always, I want to remind you to please head over to my website, LisaHylton.com. Check out my passive investor guide, specifically built for passive investors and information that are needed in order to confidently invest in your next passive investment opportunity. Our guest on our show is Steve Rozenberg. Steve is an international commercial airline pilot, who turned investor after the shock of 9/11 that turned his airline career upside down and the safe security job was anything but that. This is when he realized that he needed to be in control of his destiny. Since then, he has owned dozens of rental properties, as well as apartment complexes. He has flipped and wholesaled hundreds of properties in Houston, Texas. Thank you for coming on the show, Steve.
No problem, Lisa. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
I met Steve through social media. His coaching on Instagram and Facebook Live, I saw it and I was like, “This is an amazing guy. He’s hardcore.” He brings it, which is good because you want people who are going to tell you the real deal so you can move forward. You were an airline pilot and then started investing in real estate. Can you share with my audience how you got started investing in real estate?
I still am an airline pilot. I still do fly. I fly a 787 for a major airline. I built a business and sold it and was an investor. My point of that is that for most people that think they can’t do it because they don’t have time, that to me is the biggest lie they tell themselves. You can do it. You choose not to do it. I started getting involved in investing much like what people are going through with everything going on with the world and Coronavirus and everything. That was my 9/11 back in 2001. Up until that point, I was flying for a major airline. I had the safest and secure job in the world, at least I thought I did.
That safe secure job went away because I was delivered a furlough notice that said, “We don’t think we need you anymore. You’re going to be out on the street with 50,000 other airline pilots. Good luck.” You realize that when you go to school to be an airline pilot, there are not many other things you’re skilled to do. I couldn’t drive a truck. I couldn’t get a job running computers, because all I could do was fly an airplane. What’s scary is that when you’re that specialized, nobody needs you to do anything else. Now, you’re in a field with everybody else. It made me realize that the safe, secure job of having someone else in control of my destiny and in control of my life and my family’s life was the most unsafe, unsecure position that I put myself in.
I had an illusion that I thought, “Go to work. Get a job. Do what you want to do. Do what you love and everything will be fine.” Fortunately, for me, that did not happen that way. I never lost my job. I came within 30 people of the bottom of a 6,000-pilot seniority list. It made me realize that if I did not take control of my own future and I could not write my own book or my own story, this could well happen again, which is ironic. We’re seeing the same thing happen with people I know that are still in the airline industry and people are coming to me saying, “Isn’t this what happened to you?” I say, “Yes. The only difference is I took years of action.” I’m in a much different position in a different place, financially mentally, emotionally in my life because of those years of hard work and action that I took. That’s my story in a quick nutshell of what I did and where I am. There are years of grinding that we could go into during that timeframe of some self-taught, hard lessons that pretty much made me who I am.
You’ve done wholesaling and you’ve flipped. In terms of where you started out in real estate investing, what was your first investment and the key lessons you learned from that experience?
What I first started doing was wholesaling properties. For those people that don’t know what that is, that’s where you’re negotiating contracts. I would get the contract to purchase a property and then I would find a buyer and I would sell that contract. A lot of it was the Chicken Little in me that was afraid to go buy a rental property because I still didn’t know what I was doing. I was 27, 28 years old, still in the airline industry, didn’t know what to do, and I thought, “At least I’m doing something.” I started flipping and wholesaling. What I learned from that, probably the best skill that I’ve taken with me and expanded was how to communicate, negotiate, and talk to people. That skill of that alone has made me more money than I could ever imagine of any buying, nailing a hammer, doing any of those things. I did that for several years until about 2005.
From about 2002-ish and a half to about 2005, I was perfecting the wholesaling model. I don’t want to say it was a business because I was involved in doing it. It was a job, but it was a well-paid job. I made enough money that I joined a local investment club in Houston that was centered more towards apartment acquisitions. I had enough money that I went into a partnership and bought into an apartment complex. The first asset that I owned was an apartment building. I did that from learning how to wholesale properties. Everything dived in after that. When I got into the apartment building and I got into this whole world of buy and hold, it was the grass is greener theory.
I wanted to learn how to buy and hold because I thought that’s where the wealth is, which is true. It’s not the fun, sexy flipping of properties and wholesaling that people see. The money is not fast and furious. They wanted to learn what I was doing and I wanted to learn what they were doing. I thought, “I want to learn to buy and hold.” They were like, “Are you kidding me? This is boring. We want to make $20,000 a deal like you’re doing a couple of deals a month. I want to learn that.” I was like, “That’s easy. I want to learn what you’re doing.” It’s an interesting perspective of what we see in our own minds.
Moving into the apartment investing, were there any lessons, experiences, insights that helped you continue investing, or maybe changed the way you invested going forward?
Everything you do, there’s always a lesson, whether you’re ready to receive that lesson and whether you’re ready to call it a lesson. Many people call it failures. They call it blame, excuse, denial. They call it everything. Some people call it everything but a lesson. Every time that I’ve learned something, the most valuable things I’ve learned have cost me either money, time, frustration. At the time, you don’t think of it as a lesson. You think you’re getting ripped off by someone or you think someone screwed you over or something went wrong, but there is a lesson in everything that we do. We may not look at it that way. What I learned from the apartments was I learned how to run things on scale. This apartment complex, the first one was about a 39 or 40-unit building. It was a C complex. It wasn’t a bad one. It wasn’t a great one. It was one that I could get my hands dirty on.
I learned about occupancy permits. I learned about collecting money on scale, systemizing rents, understanding dynamic pricing, different pricing structures for different units. They don’t teach you this, per se, in airline pilot school. This is where you learn it. I did learn a lot. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I did not take those lessons and pass them on to my next venture, which was buying single-family properties. I purchased the wrong types of properties for the business model that I wanted. Me and my business partner sold the apartment complex, the one that we own. We thought that we were the smartest people around because we sold an apartment complex and made money and nothing could go wrong. We thought, “Let’s buy some houses with this extra cash we have.” He says, “I’ve got these great properties. They’re low income, high cashflow houses. There are tons of them around. We can buy as many as we want.” My attitude is, if you’re going to go, go big.
Within about a year, we bought about twenty of these properties, and then we realized why people don’t own them because they’re time intensive. These types of properties do work and they do make money. They don’t work and they don’t make money based on the way we were trying to run them. In all of our wisdom and insight, we thought the best thing we could do is buy more of them. We ended up buying another fifteen of these things. It was like gasoline on a fire, exploding in our faces. It was probably the worst time in my life because we were in serious financial trouble. We had a lot of problems with maintenance. Our average tenants for staying is eight months. When the tenants would leave, they would take a lot of parting gifts with them like wiring, electrical, air conditioning units, light bulbs, you name it.The biggest lie that people tell themselves is that they can’t invest in real estate because they don’t have the time. Click To Tweet
Every time, a make-ready was three times the amount that we’d projected. It was not the sit on the beach, drink a Corona, and get mailbox money life that I thought that I was going to have. At that time, we were joking and saying, “We should write a book about our lives,” which I ended up doing. I ended up writing an actual book on my story. It’s all about our stories of what we went through. We learned a lot of lessons. I didn’t think of them as lessons at the time, but they were. From there, we realized that the only way that we were going to make this truly work is we are going to need to start running this like a business. That was it. Plain and simple.
We needed to remove our emotions from this. We either needed to fire ourselves and sell these properties, hire a real property management company to manage them, or create our own management company to self-manage them. We didn’t want to self-manage them because I was still flying for the airlines and he was running a huge IT department. We went to a management company, several of them, and all of them said, “No way. We don’t want them because they will never make you money. They’re too time intensive. This is a problem that will never go away,” which was saddening and disturbing at the time. We could not sell them because this is about 2010, 2011 when nobody could get a loan. The people that did want to purchase them wanted them for less than what we bought them for. That didn’t make sense.
We went with option C, which was the one we did not want. We decided to self-manage them as a business. We sat down for about six months. We plumbed the way that we would want the infrastructure of a company that we would hire. We went through every single process and procedure of saying, “If we hired ourselves, how would this work?” After about six months, we got it down. We implemented it. We kicked out about 70% of our deadbeat tenants. They weren’t paying anyway, but they were problem tenants and all that stuff.
The properties never made us money, but they stopped bleeding us to death. We weren’t losing money on them every month. The oddest thing happened. We had other people in the industry that knew us, approached us, and said, “You guys fixed your problems. Would you mind managing my property?” At first, we said, “No effing way do we want your problems. We barely fixed ours. Do you think we want that?” We thought about it. We thought, “Maybe if we got more properties, we could use economies of scale. We could get better pricing on maintenance on leasing and all those things.” We started taking on people’s properties and managing them. The next thing you know, everybody was giving us their properties. We realized, “This is growing big.”
The first thing we did, because of our troubled past of owning all these rental properties and not running them correctly, we went to a business coach and we said, “Is there anything here?” He said, “You have opportunity. You have marketability. You have scalability. By definition, yes. You guys have a business. You guys are not smart and you don’t know what you’re doing so you will be out of business in six months if you don’t fix some of the things that you’re doing. Yes, if you knew what you were doing, you would have a successful business.” We hired him on the spot. Now we have a business coach. We don’t know what we’re doing, but we know we have a coach. That coach stayed with us for seven years.
Every week, we went to this business coach and we scaled that company to a multimillion-dollar company. We got up to about 1,000 properties that we were managing in three different cities. We ended up selling that company and exiting and merging with a much larger company called Mynd Property Management, where we both are part of. It was a roller coaster of a ride. We had an amazing growth. We learned all about business and entities and structures and dealing with rental properties. It was amazing. It was a lot of hard work. It was a lot of frustration. We never planned to sell. We were riding along the wave. Meanwhile, I was still working as an airline pilot. I still am. I’ve traveled the world as a speaker. I’ve spoken in Australia, all over the United States, radio shows, podcast shows, all of that. That’s my skillset.
The one thing that we learned the most, for people that are reading, the lesson out of all of that is that when you own a rental property, whether it’s one property or it’s 50 properties, I don’t care, you own a business. If you don’t treat it like a business, real estate has a wicked side of swinging that pendulum back and knocking you through the next week if you don’t treat it right and it will hurt you bad. It hurt us bad. At the time, you don’t think of them as lessons. Now, it made us who we are. It helped us grow a multimillion-dollar company, which was great. It also could have diminished us and made us go bankrupt as well, had we not had the resources to keep it alive. That’s the more entailed part of my story.
You’re doing all of this while having a full-time job that is demanding. It’s not like you can do both things at the same time. When you’re flying, you’re flying. That’s it.
That’s the thing I tell people. I’m married and I have a son. They’re like, “How do you do all that?” I say, “You get up at 4:00 AM and you start knocking stuff out. You go to the gym and you do this.” They go, “I could never do that.” I’m like, “You never will, because you said you can never do it.” I’m like, “You can do whatever you want to do. You choose not to. There’s a difference, in my opinion.” It’s interesting how people will pick and choose what they find is important based on how they feel. It doesn’t matter how I feel. I’ve got to do it. That’s my job. My job was to grow that company. The one thing I’ve learned, especially when you start growing and you get employees, that defines leadership to me.
A leader is the one who gets up in the morning even though it’s cold, even though it’s raining because you’ve got people relying on you. When you own a rental property, you’ve got tenants in that property and you have people relying on you and that’s your business. It becomes a different mindset. If you want to be successful, you have to do two things. You’ve got to be focused and you’ve got to be intentional. If you’re not those two things when it comes to your business, the odds of it succeeding are already against you. They’re even more against you if you do not focus on it. At least that’s what I’ve learned. I’m sure everybody has a different analogy. That’s my experience coming up.
In your story, you talk about hiring a business coach. I can’t say that a lot of people turned to hiring coaches. It’s something that’s controversial for a lot of folks. Can you talk about the importance of it and why you decided at that time to do it?
You don’t know what you don’t know. When we were thinking of hiring this business coach, we had no idea. I didn’t know anything about what a business coach does. If you step back and think about it, all of the people that are professionals, let’s say in sports, you’ve got Tiger Woods, you’ve got Michael Jordan, right, you’ve got all these people, all these people have coaches but they’re professional. I’m sure Tiger Woods’ coach cannot golf better than Tiger Woods, but he has a coach. They have multiple coaches. Most professionals have at least five coaches for different things in their lives.
You’ve got to ask yourself, “If they’re a professional, why do they believe in coaches?” I’m not here to tell people you should or shouldn’t get a coach. It begs the question of, what is it a coach brings to the table? As we had our business, we had multiple coaches. We invested a lot of money in self-development. I will say the number but it’s high of what I’ve invested in myself. If I didn’t have a coach, would I have built a business to the size that I did and been able to sell it? The answer is absolutely not. I didn’t know some of the things that I needed to know. I didn’t know client cost acquisition, strategy acquisitions. I didn’t know P&L statements, cost of goods sold. They don’t teach you these things in airline pilot school. There’s no way to learn that.
A coach is there for accountability. Every week, we had to go into that guy’s office and answered him why we didn’t get something done that we were supposed to do. It’s the muscle memory and the accountability factor that a coach brings to the table. What got us to the point of managing, let’s say, 50 properties were not going to get us to the point of managing 500, 700, or 1,000. As you’re growing, you don’t know the challenges that are around the next corner. They say your first business is always the hardest because you’ve never been down that path.There is a lesson in everything we do. You may call them failures or bad luck or whatever, but they’re really just lessons. Click To Tweet
We had vacant properties. Let’s say we had 100 properties we’re managing and let’s say we had a 10% vacancy. Every month, we’d have ten vacant properties. Each of those properties generates many phone calls. Not a big problem. When you have 1,000 properties, you now have 100 vacant properties. How many phone calls do you think are coming in? Now you have a problem. The owners cannot get through on the phones because people are calling about the rentals. There are things that you don’t think about and then you’ve got staff issues. That’s a business coach, but there’s no way that I would have been able to answer these questions.
I do a lot of stuff with BiggerPockets. BiggerPockets is great because they’re into education and they’re big into helping. There are people on here that have walked that path and they’ve stepped on those landmines and they’re going to say, “Don’t step on that landmine. Go around this way.” To me, that’s what I want to do. I want to know where these landmines are. The one thing I will say is that unless you have walked that walk and you have had those sleepless nights where you don’t know if you’re going to be able to pay the mortgage on 40 properties because you purchased them wrong and you don’t know what you’re going to do and you put yourself and your family in that situation. Nobody ever thinks about the mental stress that you put on yourself when you have made bad mistakes or you don’t know the answer.
The challenge in real estate is that there’s no rulebook and there’s no playbook. You don’t know if someone is being honest with you. You don’t know if they’re trying to rip you off. You don’t know if they’re giving you bad advice because they don’t know what your goals are. A coach, to me, is a third party, non-biased person that says, “Lisa, for you and what you want and where you’re going, this is the best strategy.” One of the things our coaches always pound into us is we come up with these harebrained ideas. It’s like, “We’re going to start a maintenance company.” He would say, “Great. Is that part of your plan?” We’d be like, “What do you mean?” He goes, “Is it part of the goal?” If it’s not part of the goal, you either need to change your plan or change the goal.
You don’t go off and do something on a tangent because that’s what we do as entrepreneurs. We get ideas. He would always bring us back, “You guys do this. Keep doing this.” We get an opportunity, “Somebody wants me on a TV series. What do you think?” “That’s great. Is it part of the goal? Is it going to get you closer to the goal?” I will try to rationalize it and explain why I want to be on TV and he’s like, “You can do it, but change the plan. Don’t plug it in.” To answer your question, if you want to grow, if you want to stay the same size as you are, hang around with the same people you’ve always hung around with. Make the same amount of money. Have the same conversations and you will be the same person. What got you here is not going to get you there. You’ve got to do something to break out of that mold.
Some people label business coach. A friend could be a coach. I don’t care what they are, but it’s someone who is going to elevate you more than who you are today. That’s what I got. More importantly, it is the accountability that every week we had to walk into his office and say, “Sorry, teacher. I didn’t do our homework.” We’d walk out of there this small and thinking, “We are the dumbest people in the world.” We’re like, “I cannot believe we didn’t do that. We didn’t see that.” You see how I feel about it. I see some of the most successful people in the world have coaches, some of the most highly influential, and earn the most income I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve been on private jets with people and they all have coaches. I don’t know the answer. I know what I see and what I’ve been experienced with.
At this point, can we pivot into how you play in real estate these days and maybe how you play in life? You continue to work your other businesses and etc.
I’ve got multiple things that I do. I still am an airline pilot. I do that. It’s probably more of a part-time job, which sounds weird, but it is. I am Vice President of Investor Education for Mynd Property Management. Like what I’m doing here, I’m the guy who’s out speaking and doing things and being the one educating podcast shows, interviews, that stuff. I do a lot of stuff with BiggerPockets. I’m involved with the education. I love giving back and doing that. On the investing side, I buy and sell houses. It depends on where I am. My claim to fame is my son. When he was fourteen years old, he bought his first rental property. He went through that process When he did that, a lot of people on BiggerPockets and Brandon Turner did an interview with me.
A lot of people were saying, “How did he do it? How did he get a loan? How did he buy a house?” Everybody was asking me the how part. Finally, I said, “You guys are asking the wrong questions.” I said, “You should be asking why did he want to buy a rental property.” He came to me. If you watch the episode with Brandon Turner, you’ll see it. He came to me and said, “Dad, I want to buy a rental property.” A lot of it had been because he sees me talking about it and he knows we own a bunch of rental properties and stuff. I started asking questions of why and everything. He had thought it through. He had answers. Long story short, we ended up partnering on the deal, 50/50. He owns a rental property and he gets the cashflow from it. Both of us, we’ve seen it one time. We bought the property. We closed on the property. We handed it over to the property management company. We run the company through the P&L as an investor should.
My job is not to go there and look at it and spend my time doing that. My job is to make a revenue. That is one of my claims to fame. I am involved in opportunity zones, which are things around the country that are deemed to have an opportunity. I’m also involved in a mobile home park fund with Brandon Turner on the Open Door. A great group of guys and great fun. I’m branching out a little hard money lending. If I see a deal here or there, I may pick it up or partner with someone on the deal. My days of getting my hands dirty, I don’t know that I have the time to do that as much anymore. That’s what I’m doing. I do a lot of consulting. I do a lot of Masterminds and helping people out as much as I can. I try to give back as much as possible.
Regarding the opportunity zones, if there’s a reader who’s reading and who’s curious about investing in an opportunity zone, advice you would give to them for navigating that process?
I am definitely not an expert in this world of opportunity zones. They can become a beneficial tax situation. After selling my company, you do get some form of tax incentive. In 2010, Census deemed certain areas that were considered, I don’t know about depressed, but lower income. Even a college town is considered lower income based on their criteria. There are certain areas that are considered lower income that you can invest in certain projects. If you invest in those projects, you will get an incentivized tax break, but you also will get the return.
I’m involved in a hotel in Myrtle Beach, a condominium complex in Salt Lake City. They’re new. The administration is the one who set it up. I’m not exactly sure. It’s a different way to passively invest in real estate. I don’t know if there’s a minimum. I’m not sure about that. There are opportunity zone specialists that I would probably talk to. For me, it was opportunistic to do that at the time with some funds that I needed to place. It made sense to me. Definitely, I am not an expert. It was brought up to me by some of my people that said, “You need to do this.” I looked into it and it made sense so I did it.
Lastly, your book, Building an Empire, can you talk about the inspiration and what this book provides to readers?
The book goes through the chronicles of what I went through. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, growing up and then going through the airline pilot. From there, having that dream ripped away from you, the ideology of the safe and secure mindset, to getting the lessons in the School of Hard Knocks of what happens on the dirty side of real estate investing. What bothers me is that we always see the glamour shots, the ones who make all this money. You never hear about the people who are in the dirt and that are getting their hands dirty, losing money, or doing this or doing that. It bothers me a little bit. I thought, “I’m going to write a book about my story.”A leader is the one who gets up in the morning even though it's cold, even though it's raining, because you've got people relying on you. Click To Tweet
My story is nothing great, but it’s the trials and tribulations that I went through as an investor from the wholesaling of properties to the apartment complexes to owning these properties that were kicking our butts to starting the management company and then learning how to scale a company from zero to a massive scale. We ended up learning how to leverage and outsource with virtual assistants. 50%, 60% of our company was outsourced to virtual assistants. The only way you can do that is by having proper systems and policies and procedures and structure. All of this ties into what we’re doing and then how we took our model and started expanding into more cities.
It’s one thing to do something in one city. It’s a lot different when you’ve got to test your cities to say, “Does this work in Dallas? Does this work in Fort Worth?” To make that work and still provide the same level of service, it starts putting you on another level and it tests and taxes your ability and your skillset. That’s what I talked about in the book. A lot of people say its comical hearing my stories and they’re relatable. In there, I won’t ruin it but for those of you that want, it’s the turning point. Everybody has the low of what they must do that turns them. In this book, you’ll read that there is a turning point and a low of our bottom day when we decided that we needed to fix our situation. It was that bad that it was comical. Even writing it, it’s funny, but it wasn’t funny at the time.
Is there anything that I didn’t touch on that you would like to share with my readers? Any other further advice or thoughts or anything?
Watching this show and being involved in this, these are great ways to educate yourself. The one thing is to be careful of the advice that you get. The reason I say that is if you don’t know where you’re going in life and why you’re buying real estate, how can anybody give you advice that works? Imagine driving in your car and pulling off on the side of the road and asking someone, “Can I get directions?” What’s the first thing they’re going to ask you? “Where are you going?” If you say, “I don’t know. I’m just driving.” They’re going to go, “I can’t help you.”
Many people in real estate, they get into real estate and they start buying houses. I was one of these people that’s why it’s ingrained in me. They start buying houses or looking for deals and they’ll say, “Is this a good deal?” They go, “I don’t know. What is a good deal for you? What are you trying to accomplish?” I say, “I don’t know. I’m buying stuff.” They’re going to go, “I guess it would be a good deal if you don’t know what you want.” I wish that when I was learning to buy real estate when I was getting involved, somebody would have asked me, “Why are you buying these properties? This does not align with your goal.” That probably would have stopped me from owning 35-plus properties that were driving me into the ground financially, emotionally, mentally.
Had someone asked me that question, “What are you doing? Why are you doing this?” it would have saved me. That’s the advice I would give to your readers. Before you start swinging that axe to chop down that tree, sharpen that axe and ask yourself and ask your family and your spouses what you’re doing, why you’re doing it. Make sure that everyone is aligned. A lot of times, what I say is we become selfish as entrepreneurs and investors. What I mean by that is we will go to these education camps and seminars and boot camps and watch these shows, but we never share it with our family.
You’re the crazy person that’s going off to a seminar on the weekend and you come back and you’re like, “We’re buying notes. We’re doing this.” They’re like, “What is Lisa doing now? What’s going on?” We don’t share it with them and then we get upset when they don’t want to be involved in what we’re doing. A lot of times, we paint this rosy picture, like, “I’m going to make so much money.” It’s going to be great. When it doesn’t happen, they’re going to go, “Another one. Another failure.” It becomes a divide and a rub between families. I know because I did this. I learned my lesson. Try to make sure you’re on the same page with what you’re doing. That’s my advice.
Now are my level up questions. I ask all my guests these questions. The first one is, what are you grateful for in your life?
I’m grateful for all the people around me. For my family, my wife, my son, and everybody who has ever been in my life and helped me. Even if they did me wrong, they probably helped me. Everyone that I encounter, I’m always grateful for it. Maybe not at the time, but I am eventually.
What have you attributed your success and continuous growth towards?
I’m a grinder. I work my ass off. I’d never ever quit. I’m that guy that goes through the wall 100 miles an hour and I don’t stop. I would say the fact that I take massive action on a daily basis and I never give up.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at the beginning of your journey?
I wish I would have known my end destination. I wish I would have had that goal, that North Star. I probably would have taken more focused and direct action towards it. I was driving around the subdivision for the longest time and I never got out onto the freeway because I didn’t know where I was going. Had I known that I probably would have saved several steps and pain points in my process had I thought that through.
Specifically, on that one, a lot of people struggle with that. What advice would you give to someone who’s reading and is like, “I don’t think I know why am I in.” What advice would you give to them in terms of discovering that?Envision your end destination first and work it backwards. Click To Tweet
When I mentor people or help them out, that’s the first thing I ask them. I tell them, “Tell me what your life looks like when you retire. Whatever that is in your mind, what does it look like? Is it cashflow? Is it assets? You wake up, what is your life look like?” We’re all working towards something and that something is different for everyone. We’ve got to get the end destination. You’ve got to envision it first and then you’ve got to work it backward. I tell people, “First, we’ve got to create the goal. The first thing we got to do is we have to have the end destination.” For this conversation, we say, my life is Disneyland. That is my end destination. That’s what I want my life to look like. I want $20,000 a month in passive income. I want to have assets of $5 million. I want to be the owner of five businesses.
You’re painting a picture. That’s what my life looks like, and that’s the Disneyland. We know where we’re going now. We got to say, “How are we getting to Disneyland?” We got to take freeways. We got to take the 405 to the 91 to Beach Boulevard and get off and that’s how we get to Disneyland. Those are what’s called your strategies. A lot of us think that buying and hold, flipping, wholesaling is the goal. That’s not the goal. That is the freeway to get you to the goal. Buy and hold is a freeway. Flipping is a freeway. Note buying, these are all freeways. You got to figure out what freeway are you going to go on. You can’t be on two freeways at once. You’re going to be in one freeway. What freeway are you going to be on? I’m going to be on the buy and hold freeway for five years until I get X, until I hit a threshold. I’m going to jump over to the 91 or the 105 and I’m going to be on that freeway. Those are the different strategies that you’re going to be on.
The last thing is the tactic. The tactic is the car and that’s the house, the condo, the mobile home, the notes. What kind of notes are you going to buy? Those are the tactics. In all of that, the tactic is the least important piece of the puzzle. The goal is the most important and then comes the strategy. Lastly is the tactic, the house you’re going to buy. Once you know all of this, finding the deal and finding the house, when you think about it, that’s the easy part. That’s the plug and play. I’m helping a guy. He’s in North Carolina. We bought a house in Atlanta. He’s in the military. He’s never been to Atlanta. He doesn’t know anyone there.
The goal was for him to buy it, sight unseen, close on it, and have it as a rental without ever leaving North Carolina. He closed on it. We found the team and we checked the comps. We did all that. You’re almost handicap. You’re almost two dimensional because you can’t go there. You have to make sure that your systems are tuned and you know exactly what you want by learning comps and analyzing deals and understanding who’s on your team. That’s all part of the strategy. The house itself, it’s irrelevant. It’s a plug and play once you know everything else. To me, that’s the way you do it. That’s the advice I would give to people.
Thank you so much. If my guests want to learn more about you, where do they go to learn more about you, your offerings, books, the whole nine yards?
You can go to my website, it’s SteveRozenberg.com. There are stuff that you can do and books and all that. You can also follow me on Instagram, @RozenbergSteve, or Facebook, all the usual suspects. I put out a lot of content. I do a lot of free stuff for people. I do a free Mastermind once a week. Anyone is welcome to join. It’s growing and growing. I do it to help out. There are not enough people that are giving back. I make it a point to give back. I help people. I give away free things in the Mastermind. I like helping people. If you go to my website, you can look up the Mastermind and you can see it there. You can download free stuff. You can reach out to me directly. I’m accessible. Most people that reach out to me, they can pretty much get a hold of me.
Thank you so much for coming on. I am glad I was able to get you on. It’s a great episode.
It’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Thank you so much again, Steve, for coming on the show. It’s such an amazing episode. Lots of good nuggets here. I love these episodes. For me, a couple of things that I took from this. Number one, if you don’t know where you’re going, how can anyone give you any good advice? You first got to get clear about where are you going. What do you want to do? Second, in getting that clarity, he talked about envisioning the end destination. Where do you want to be? If you could create your life and close your eyes and think about your life, what would it look like? Taking a step back and then saying, “What are some of the things that you need to put in place.” Getting clear on the goal that you’re trying to achieve and then second is the strategy.
He talked about all the different highways that you can take. Lastly is the tactic. That’s where you are buying the property. It’s the last thing. He noted, for him, was the least important. Once you know what your goal is and then you’ve identified the strategy that you’re willing to commit to, then it’s like, “Does this property align with my goals and my strategies?” You start to consider whether you’re going to buy it or not buy it. It’s important.
Taking massive action and not giving up. This keeps coming up. All these people, they have achieved what they’ve achieved for a reason because they’ve refused to give up in the face of failures and in the face of noes and in the face of things not going as planned. The last item, the last couple of points here was, you don’t know what you don’t know. This was related to hiring a coach. In his case, he hired a business coach. He talked about all the different professional athletes and players etc. All these different professionals, who have multiple coaches for all different areas of their life.
For me, I have found this to be valuable as well. Connected to that was the accountability factor when you pay your money for that coach and talk about the things that it is that you’re trying to do. All that stuff generates the motivation and desire and everything that’s needed to not throw your money away and to take the action that you need to go towards your goals. The last bonus one was your first business is always your hardest and connected to that is the importance of running. Anyone who is investing in real estate is ultimately running a business and knowing when you should run it like a business.
If you don’t run real estate like a business, then it’s like a hobby and then it doesn’t necessarily make any money and etc. You want to run it like a business and be cognizant of the fact that your first business is always going to be the hardest because that’s you creating the path. Once you’ve created the path and you understand the systems and you’ve done it, it’s going to get easier going forward. It’s being willing to put in the work to make it happen.
Another amazing episode. I hope that you got tons of good nuggets and knowledge and inspiration from this episode to take massive action in your life. If that looks like getting clear on your goals or maybe you already are clear on your goals and then now making the step of executing, choosing your strategy to then choosing the property that you want to buy. Whatever the case is, I hope that this supports you in that area. Last and not least, definitely check out my website, LisaHylton.com to learn more information about investing passively in real estate investments, and to learn about opportunities. Go on there and you can set up a call and we can chat. Until next time. Keep leveling up.
- Steve Rozenberg
- Mynd Property Management
- Brandon Turner – BiggerPockets episode
- Open Door
- Building an Empire
- @RozenbergSteve – Instagram
- Facebook – Steve Rozenberg
About Steve Rozenberg
Steve is an international commercial Airline Pilot who turned investor after the shock of 9/11 turned his airline career world upside down and the “safe-secure” job was anything but that. This is when he realized he needed to be in control of his own destiny. Since then he has owned dozens rental properties as well as apartment complexes, he has also flipped and wholesaled hundreds of properties in Houston, Texas.
He and his business partner, Pete Neubig with the help and guidance of mentors and coaches they have figured out how to leverage each other’s strengths to successfully build a multi-million dollar property management business and built the fastest growing property management company in Texas. In 2015 they won Best Marketing in North America by the Business Excellence Awards as well as 4 Years in a row winner of Business of Distinction by the. Better business bureau.
Steve has hosted several of his own local radio shows along with being a guest of some of the most prestigious names in the Industry (John Dumas, Brad Lea, Brad Sugars, PropelioTV) and his latest being a guest on the prestigious Bigger Pockets Podcast show with Brandon Turner as well many other throughout the US, Australia and the UK. He currently hosts 2 Podcast shows: Landlord Survival where he actively helps the regular landlord overcome day-to-day problems and Lion’s Leadership Den where he and his co-host talk with Entrepreneurs and business owners about how they deal with common challenges leaders in any industry deal with and overcome.
He has had the opportunity to travel across the US , Australia and New Zealand speaking on stages while he shares his passion to educate the Self-Managing Landlord on how to be successful in the ‘business’ of Real Estate and the pitfalls to avoid. As well as having upper level presentations to business owners about topics that range from leadership, motivation, goal setting, marketing, communications and the importance of having a check list mindset, utilizing systemization & methodology.
He has written and published 7 E-books, and his most recent literary creation “Building an Empire: Failing our way to Millions” where Steve tells an in-depth recollection of his own Entrepreneurial journey.
Steve Rozenberg has produced over 100 video seminars for its “Owner Education Series” and “Steve Rozenberg On the Road”. Steve is a member of NARPM® Houston and Ft. Worth, TX, CE certified and is a licensed real estate agent.
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