Table of Contents - How to Get your First Deal Done with Little or No Money with Matt Theriault
Dave Debeau [00:00:09] Hey, everyone, Dave Debeau here with another episode of the Property Profits Real Estate podcast, and today, it's my pleasure to be chatting with material, a very astute, experienced real estate entrepreneur based out of Los Angeles, California. Matt, how are you doing today?
Matt Theriault [00:00:25] Doing fantastic. Dave, thanks for having me.
Dave Debeau [00:00:27] My pleasure. So, Matt, it has a very interesting background. Americans do thunder because you'll tell us a little bit about it. But a former Marine who served in Desert Storm back in the day worked in the music industry with the music business until technology kind of came in and turned things sideways for him and then he got into real estate investing. So I don't want to take away from your story. So tell us a little bit about that background and how the heck did you get into this crazy real estate gig in the first place?
Matt Theriault [00:00:58] Yeah, I mean, you kind of test on a little bit. When I got out of the Marine Corps, I spent the next 15 years of my life in the music business and that all digital download came along and it wiped out all the record stores and wiped out the way that people consume music. And in a very short period of time, I found myself bankrupt and divorced and went from a seven figure year really quickly in about six months to seven dollars an hour. And I was bagging groceries. So that was at the age of thirty four. So it was my humble new beginning
Dave Debeau [00:01:25] and that would, that would bring a guy down a notch or two, that's for sure.
Matt Theriault [00:01:29] Yeah, sure. Well we sure did. But at the most unlikely and I look back at it now, I had no idea the impact of this statement when I heard it. But I look back and I think it was the turning point is when the the grocery store manager who had some rental properties, he had said to me, real estate, if man, if you want your money back, it's the final frontier where the average person has a legitimate shot at creating epic wealth. He can say everybody said real wealth. I say epic now because it has to do with epic real estate. But anyway, that really sat with me because I didn't know what I was going to do next. I just knew I missed my money from music and I was like, well, whatever I get into next, whatever I decide to learn next, I want to make sure it's lucrative. And so that statement was like, OK, it set me down this path. I became a real estate agent, did that for about four years till I realized, wow, if real estate is where all the money is that I'm sitting on the wrong side of the desk. So I decided to no longer serve people in the sale, the buying and selling of their properties. But rather than serve myself in the purchase and sell of my own properties, I became a real estate investor and stumbled upon this book. You've probably never heard of it called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It gave me that concept of passive income. And in the music business, I was really just so focused on, you know, the next month how many CDs is going to sell this month to make more money, make more money is just about how big I could get my bank account. And this is just a whole new concept introduced to me that it's not necessarily how big your bank account is, it's how much money comes in each month without your direct participation. And so I was like, OK, well, I'm starting over in life. Let's do it differently so this doesn't happen to me again. Let's just focus on building streams of passive income so covers my monthly expenses and then we'll keep on doing that will allow my lifestyle to rise with the passive income in less than four years. I was able to to make that happen to where I didn't have to work. I wasn't rich by any means, but I did not have to work. And that all around rates. Yeah, exactly. And like I said, I was a combination of increasing my passive income and pushing down my expenses. And, you know, as you can imagine, when people around you and your network, your friends, your family, they all know your story. And I knew you were bagging groceries just a few years ago. And now they notice that you're playing golf on a Tuesday. They're wondering how did you do that? And so when I had a lot of lunch meetings with friends, a lot of coffees to quote unquote pick my brain, and it just seemed like the natural progression to start teaching what I did. And here we are probably ten years later after that decision got there. What I think is the number one real estate podcast, until I met you, of course, on iTunes, we just started our ninth year. We've been doing it for a really long time. And, you know, life is great.
Dave Debeau [00:04:09] Yeah, that's great, Matt. So what what's kind of your bread and butter real estate investing strategy?
Matt Theriault [00:04:16] I'm a buy and hold investor. I'm not part of the flipping generation or the wholesomely generation. I've certainly flipped my share of properties in wholesaling is more of a it's a what's the word I'm looking at the last option, you know, when everything else won't work because we do a lot of marketing and, you know, every property that comes in doesn't necessarily fit our category or our our our standards or our criteria is the word I was looking for. And so but we still spent money on it. So we figure out how how can we still recoup that and throw that back into the marketing spend. And so that's when we wholesale. But I'm a buy and hold investor.
Dave Debeau [00:04:53] You're focused primarily on single family homes or multifamily properties or.
Matt Theriault [00:04:56] But we ventured into multifamily and, you know, bit off a little bit more than we could chew. And so we're still looking those wounds. But we're going to go back in smarter and wiser the next time.
Dave Debeau [00:05:07] All right. So you're. Built up a significant portfolio of single family homes focused primarily in California or you invest all over the place.
Matt Theriault [00:05:15] Yeah, and they'll be in a cash flow investor. It's pretty tough to do in California, really, anywhere on either coast. So we're focused primarily in the Midwest and the South where the cash flow numbers are more favorable.
Dave Debeau [00:05:28] All right. Well, this this is a loaded question because there's always 20, 20 hindsight. But knowing what you know now, let's say you lost it all. You lost the portfolio, you lost the influence. You're kind of starting all over again from scratch. What would you do differently now?
Matt Theriault [00:05:45] I do the exact same thing I did to get started and actually have been asked that question so many times. We created a a a free real estate investing course around it from where I just documented that whole process, A to Z. So that's how I get started. But what I would do differently as I was growing is I'd be really careful about my delegation. I would be doing as much due diligence on the team, specifically property managers and contractors. I do as much diligence on them as I would do on the properties, because in hindsight, looking back like you asked, what I found is that real estate is really, really safe. It's the people that are risky.
Dave Debeau [00:06:25] Well said. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think we've all been bitten in the butt a few times before, that's for sure. And we've been training people for ten years or so now, been a lot of folks. But maybe besides getting the wrong team members, what are some of the biggest mistakes you see people making when they're investing in real estate?
Matt Theriault [00:06:43] I think most people I think they go on with the wrong expectations right up front. And there's a lot of people that get into real estate like I'm going to give this a try for 60 to 90 days and see how it goes. I think that's really the wrong mindset to get started with. I also see a difference where people the idea of going in and being a real estate investor and eventually the dreams of being a full time real estate investor and not having to hold down a job, not having to work for the man I think has really glamorous and romantic. The idea of being your own boss and being flexible and being the person that can call the shots is, you know, really alluring. And it's great when you get there. But I think what people miss out on, particularly when they're coming from this employee mindset, are they've always been an employee. Is that yes, you are in the beginning, you are going to be your own boss. And it's fantastic. But you're also your own employee also. And so you have to hold yourself accountable to you yourself, your your new boss in the same way that you were performing for your previous boss when you're working for the the man. Right. And so I think that's where people stumble. I think they just don't realize that the freedom of being your own boss doesn't mean the freedom of not having to work.
Dave Debeau [00:07:56] Yeah. So you have to have things set up properly before you can be taken that Tuesday off to go golfing.
Matt Theriault [00:08:02] Mhm. Exactly. Exactly. Because you know, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. And the boss is not going to fire you,
Dave Debeau [00:08:09] you're going to go broke fast. Yeah. Exactly, exactly. OK, so you're a big fan of Robert Kusaka. That's kind of the book that got you inspired. As for myself and countless others. Right. Right. So guess who wrote another book called Your Unfair Advantage. And everybody who's a successful real estate investor has probably several unfair advantages or powers. What would you say is yours?
Matt Theriault [00:08:38] Mine? I would say the the ability to do this business, particularly the purchasing and the the acquiring of property with creative strategies, not needing a whole lot of money. I think the belief of and it's hard for me to convey to my students until they pull it off the first time and then they believe it. But still, there's a lot of doubt going into it the first time you try to do this. But focusing or recognizing that when you have a good deal under contract, you have control of that good deal. You have more power than the people with the money. And I think that gets reversed. Sometimes people think they can't get into real estate investing because they think they're going to have to, I don't know, kiss. But to go borrow the money from somebody so they can close the deal. In reality, when you start getting good deals, you get you start to recognize you're the more valuable piece of that puzzle. So finding the deal and just knowing that the money is always going to find you. And I think and being able to put that type of stuff together with creative strategies as far as the seller participating in the deal and carrying back some of the financing and and being able to raise private money and put those structures in place, I think that's my superpower to have that's why I got started. And now that I have money, I still don't use much of it, because why would I if I if I built it without it? Right.
Dave Debeau [00:09:53] Yeah. Like Kisaragi says, he or she who raises the most money wins.
Matt Theriault [00:09:58] Right. You got to get it to perform too. That's an incomplete statement. I learned that the hard way.
Dave Debeau [00:10:07] So. I mean, if people are saying, well, that sounds good for you, but but I'm not that good at that. What would you recommend to them to become better?
Matt Theriault [00:10:18] Well, it's like anything. Real estate investing is a skill. And we have we hold a two day summit for our private clients here. And one of the things that we stress is when we go over scripts and deal analysis and creative structures, it's a skill that can be developed like any other skill, and it's to massive repetition. And I show people and demonstrate like, you know, practice your dialog with the seller in the same way you would practice your golf swing at the driving range or you practice playing the piano. Right. Just massive repetition. And even when you're good at it, keep getting better because that's really the skill that makes the most money in real estate. And I'd say if you if you practice that skill in the same manner, say a basketball player practices their free throws, you're earning potential is so much greater than that NBA player. You know, you just look at LeBron James and the greatest player in the league right now and you see who writes his paychecks, the bus family who built their whole empire on real estate here in Los Angeles. So I think that's how valuable that skill can be. And if you treat it like a skill and practice like you would any other skill, I think the sky's the limit.
Dave Debeau [00:11:31] Yeah, very, very, very well said. All right. So when it comes to your students and your coaching clients, what not I mean, you and I both know there are gazillion different real estate gurus and trainers out there. What's the biggest problem that you help people to solve?
Matt Theriault [00:11:49] The biggest problem is show them how to how to find deals, because there's a lot if you're going to bring other gurus and trainers and educators out there into the conversation, you know, you can go learn how to flip properties or excuse me, you can go learn how to flip, fix and flip. You can go learn how to do storage facilities or mobile home parks or multifamily. There's all these other I mean, there's all these cool strategies out there. By the end of the day, if you can't find that real estate at a discount, none of the other stuff matters. So that's what we really focus on, is helping people generate leads and then convert those leads into discounted contracts. And then once they have control of it, now they get to decide what am I going to do with it rather than being I'm a wholesaler or I'm a fix and flipper like, you know, every day there might be a greater income potential on that property after you've done your analysis, after you actually have control over it. So that's really what we focus on, is finding the deal, finding the deal, finding the deal and then getting control of it.
Dave Debeau [00:12:46] Oh, that's so huge. A lot of our listeners are up here in Canada. I find that a lot of Canadian real estate investors are very lazy when it comes to marketing for deals. They rely way too much on realtors that rely way too much on on the MLS learning strategies to find motivated sellers and go about. It was my old trick in the beginning when I first got involved was getting motivated sellers to call me. And that's just a game changer. So, yeah, that's huge, right? All right. Well, we're just about three more minutes to go here. So, Matt, have you got any you talked about at the beginning any free resources for people if they want to find out more about you and perhaps how to know?
Matt Theriault [00:13:29] Sure do. Yeah, you know, I just did something about six months ago. I put a lot of work into it and I created what's called the six levels of real estate investing. And each level is based on how much money you're making and how much time you're putting in to make that money. And I just kind of reverse engineered my whole journey, divided that up into six levels. And so and identify this is what you're dealing with. This is what you're experiencing. This is where you're vulnerable. So this is where you how you fix it. This is where you want to go to work on yourself. So at each level, there's a whole different set of stuff that you get to deal with. And so if you go to what's my next level, dotcom, what's my next level dot com, you can get that whole resource. It's a really nice, thick book with a bunch of pictures and it's really pretty and everything, but it's also really, really helpful and it's a great resource for anybody that's trying to get to their next level.
Dave Debeau [00:14:19] Sounds good. We'll include that link in the show notes so people can click on that and find out more about that. All right. Now, about from all your years of experience and you've been in this for a while now and you've been teaching and training people quite well. What do you think would be the biggest action tip you could give somebody to actually get off their toes and and get some stuff done sooner rather than later?
Matt Theriault [00:14:41] The biggest action tip, I think first is recognizing if I keep doing what I'm doing right now, will I be happy with my result in five years? That can be something that gets people off their butt pretty darn quickly.
Dave Debeau [00:14:56] An example of somebody. What's a concrete example of somebody not doing that?
Matt Theriault [00:15:01] OK, so someone that may be listening to the show right now is might be a great consumer of podcasts, a great consumer of books. They love the information.
Dave Debeau [00:15:12] And a seven hour junky maybe.
Matt Theriault [00:15:14] Yes, exactly. And I've been there and I recognize and I still fall into that trap. But once while I like learning, I really like learning. But, you know, if you continue just to go down that route and you don't implement what you learned, are you going to be happy with where you are five years from now? I think there's this kind of three things that you can do. First thing is to really just make the decision to start. And I think that's probably easiest if you're having trouble with it. Kind of look at what you're doing right now and kind of envision out there into the future. What will your life look like in five years if you continue to do what you're doing right now? I mean, sometimes for some people, even just six month vision is a little bit scary. And that's really what catapulted me off my butt and into action out of that grocery store. I was like, wow, if I keep doing what I'm doing, I just might be manager of this darn store someday. And I didn't like the way that sounded. And so that was the first part. The second part, I would say is and this is such a cliche, but it's so true. And I hate that it's a cliche I hate that's overused I because I think people disregard it or don't discount the value of it. And that is really be intentional about creating your environment. In that that cliche being, you are the average of the five people you spend the majority of your time with. And there's so much truth to that. And I wish I would have known that a lot sooner in life, or at least implemented it a lot sooner in life, because when you start getting in a different environment of people that are doing what you want to do, that are living the life that you want to have, you find yourself in different conversations. You find yourself with new ideas. You find yourself where those new ideas actually seem. And they don't feel like dreams, you get connected to resources and relationships that can actually make all that stuff happen. And I think that's that's number two is just get around, be intentional about creating an environment, get involved with people that are doing what it is that you want to do. And the third thing would be, is to become a person of value inside of that community. Be the type of person where you are valued to be around, you're enjoyable to be around, whatever, that just finding out what people need and trying to give them that and then start asking for help.
Dave Debeau [00:17:20] And then I like that second point. You're right. It is overused. And my follow up question to you as well. OK, let's say you're a brand new real estate investor. You don't have a hell of a lot to bring to the table. You know, as far as experience, you've got nothing to bring value to the other people because I see so many people just trying to suck stuff out of experienced real estate investors. What would you suggest like.
Matt Theriault [00:17:47] Sure. So to be successful in real estate, you need four things. You need knowledge, time, money and credit. Now, you don't have those don't all have to be yours, but you have to have access to all of them. And there's very few people out there that have an abundance of all four at any given time. And so wants to find out how you can become a value. It's really creating that relationship and finding out what people need and whether it's you that can bring that value personally, or maybe you can make an introduction to a person that can deliver that value. That's that's really the probably the easiest way to do it is just ask, hey, you know, what do you need? One of my favorite networking questions. Well, you know, Dave, I'm going to be talking to a number of people next week. As you can imagine, I come across all kinds of different people. My business, if I were to find your ideal client, how would I know it and how should I introduce them to you? Nice, right? So that's a really good way to ask. And so that's actually a comment you might be able to tell. I've said that more than once because it served me really well for a really long time. Well, that's awesome. Totally free.
Dave Debeau [00:18:52] No, I appreciate that. Right. Because it's it's all, like you said, give before you ask right off before you request. So that's super powerful. Great. We've got to wrap things up your mouth. So, again, you offered a very valuable free resource. And if people want to find out more about you, where they go, look,
Matt Theriault [00:19:12] I would say EPIK real estate dot com is probably everything epik. And if you listen to the podcast, we have the epic real estate investing podcast. So everything you need is probably right there.
Dave Debeau [00:19:22] That great to get to know you a little bit over the over the interview. And everybody, thank you very much for tuning in. We'll talk to you next time.
Matt Theriault [00:19:29] Thanks, Dave. Thanks.
Dave Debeau [00:19:31] Well, thanks very much for checking out the property profits podcast. We like what we're doing here. Please head on over to iTunes, subscribe read us and leave us the review. He very much appreciated. And if you're looking to create a regular flow of inbound investor inquiries about your real estate deals, then I invite you to attend one of my upcoming live online demonstrations. And you can check that out at Investor Attraction Demo Dotcom. Take care.