Your Real Estate Investing Burning Questions | EREI 15

Your Real Estate Investing Burning Questions | EREI 15

By popular demand, Matt is answering all of your most pressing questions about investing in real estate. Listen up!


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Podcast Transcript:
(Voice Over):  Epic Real Estate Investing Podcast Episode 15.  You’re about to meet a man that can show you how he took control of his life and financial future and how you can do the same.  He’s never been on TV.  He’s not a millionaire.  He doesn’t know Donald Trump.  He is a full time real estate investor, newly discovered author, and family man.  He does not report to a boss.

He creates his own schedule and takes his family on a few vacations every year.  He got started investing in real estate with almost no money and a really crummy credit score.  And he’s going to show you exactly how he did it and how he continues to do it.  You will have to work.

You will have to be responsible.  However, laying the beach, sipping fruity drinks is a reasonable goal.  Without further delay, your guru.  Sorry.  Your guide to a better life, the real estate investor, Matt Theriault.

Matt Theriault:  Hello.  Greetings from The Epic Real Estate Investing Podcast.  The podcast that will show you how to create wealth through conventional and creative real estate investing so you’ll have the option to realistically retire in the next 10 years or less.  And enjoy the good life while you’re still young enough to do so.

My name is Matt Theriault, author, full time real estate investor and family man. Boy, am I family man now.  I’m really, really, really feeling it.  My son is putting me to the test.  I’ll tell you that but I’m working it out.  Everything’s going to be all right.

Now if this is your first time listening to the show.  You want to do two things.  First of all, welcome.  I’m glad that you’re here but you would want to go back and listen to episode one to get the gist of what the show is about and why it’s here.

I mean everything that we discussed is going to make a lot more sense if you do that.  And two, download the free real estate investing course on how to deals, no money required.  And you can get at

It’s a step-by-step course of which I reveal everything that I do, everything that I say, everything that I use including the documents and contracts.  Everything that you are going to need to invest in real estate using no money or credit and that’s yours for free at

Okay.  So over the past 30 days or so, I’ve been sending out a survey to my email list and my podcast list regarding their most burning questions about real estate investing.  The response is really; it’s been fantastic so thank you for your input.  If you missed the survey and you have a burning question or two or maybe three, you can send me an email to [email protected][email protected].  I’ll do my very best to answer all of our questions.

Having said that, I don’t know it all.  That’s for sure so what I’m going to be doing is I’m going to be bringing up a bunch of guests over the next 2 months or so to help me answer all of your questions as well as give you different perspectives on your questions.

I can certainly answer most of your questions from my perspective but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be the right answer for you or the best answer for you.  And most of the time, I mean there just isn’t one right answer.  The actual answer to just about any question in real estate always starts with “it depends.”

What I mean by that is they’re just so many variables in real estate investing and so many different approaches to achieving success.  A lot of them will work as long as you just stick to that one approach.  Depending on the approach is going to influence the answer to a lot of your questions.

You know the place that I see a lot of people experience a lot of frustration is that they choose one approach.  They go give it a try and they discover that this involves a little bit of work, a little bit of effort, and to experience a little bit of failure. There’s a learning curve.

They decide that it doesn’t work. Then they go try another approach and they discover that this approach has a little bit of work and a little bit of a learning curve and a little bit of failure and frustration.

So they decide that that doesn’t work.  They try another approach and experience the same exact thing.

Then they try another and the exact same thing. Then they try another.  Oh, this involves work too.  This involves a little bit of a learning curve.  This involves a little getting started period.  They never stick with one approach long enough to get good at it and experience the good results.

As we discuss on a couple of episodes ago, every approach involves three characteristics.  You have to do the right thing.  You have to do them consistently.  You have to do them long enough.

You can’t do them long enough if you’re hopping from approach to approach to approach.  You’re never going to get away from that.   Every approach has that.  You got to do the right things.  You got to do consistently.  You got to do it long enough.

So I’m excited to answer all of your questions.  I promise to do that over the next 30 to 45 minutes.  It might take me 60 today but I’m going to do it as efficiently and as quickly and as thorough and as thoroughly as I possibly can for you.

I’ll have multiple guests on the show to help me answer those questions.  Now what I wanted to get started with today is a certain group of questions.  A lot of you have questions specifically for me.  Today I’d like to answer hose questions because there were some great ones in there.

By the way, some of you had asked me some questions as if you’re sending an email and wanted me to respond quickly but the nature of this survey is anonymous.  So I have no idea who asked what.

So if you asked questions like that and you’re awaiting a response, please send me an email directly to [email protected] so I can answer that for you.  So question number one: if you could start over again, what is the first thing that you would do?

That’s a great question.  I actually had to think about it for a minute but I know exactly what I would do.  First, I would set up the lead generation systems that I currently have in place right now.  I set those up right away.

A real estate investor without leads is just not in business.  It all starts with leads.  It starts with a lot of leads.  The quality of the leads is in the quantity of the leads.  You need a lot of leads to be successful in this business especially in the beginning to even call it a business.

Those three primary lead generating sources that I would put into action is they would be first handling networking groups in real estate investing clubs.  Start attending those as soon as possible because in hindsight I’ve come to notice that the majority of my leads come from my personal relationships and the network I built.

I wish I’d been a little bit more proactive about that in the beginning.  That would be the first thing.  The second thing is I would implement a massive yellow letter campaign.  Now I haven’t use the yellow letter very long in my business.  Only about, I don’t know, a few months or 6 months now. I found out that yellow letter is almost just as powerful as my network.

I received probably 10 calls a day right now because of my yellow letter campaign.  I’m averaging, I would say, two deals or maybe 1 and a half deals per month just from the yellow letters.

I sent out a lot of those letters because I understand that I got to do the right thing so I got to send them out. I got to do it consistently.  I got to do it long enough and because I do send those out consistently, my phone rings consistently.

In a very short period, I’m doing deals consistently just from those yellow letters. So that’s the second thing I would do.

The third thing is I would set up my Internet presence. I would send out my buyer’s landing pages and my seller’s landing pages, and my squeeze pages. And then I would hire a VA just as I’ve recently done to post ads on the online classified sites like the Craigslist, Backpage, the Kijiji, and the I hired that VA as I’ve done to set that up and to post those ads every single day.  That’s probably my biggest source of leads right now.

With just those three, I’ve got more leads than I can get back to so networking events, I would start building my database ASAP.  Building those relationships.  Second, I would implement a massive yellow letter campaign.

Third, I would launch my squeeze page and my landing pages. Create this giant Internet presence then hire a VA just to place the online classified ads for me. I would have them place them every single day at least Monday to Friday. Great question.

Okay, question number two.  What are your top 10 ways to grow your network of buyers?

Well, I can’t answer that question because I don’t have 10 ways.  The answer to this question would be very similar to the answer to the first question.  My top way, my number one way to build a strong buyers list is to meet buyers face-to-face.

Now it’s not the most efficient but it is the most effective.  You see, when you meet face-to-face just that likeability is conveyed, the trust is conveyed much more thoroughly.  The competence is conveyed much more thoroughly.

So I’d start filling up my calendar with networking events, with real estate investment meeting, with real estate investing seminars.  Wherever I could get or reach or in communication with other real estate investors, with other like-minded people.

I’d start collecting business cards and bring those cards home.  Then I would sort them. Is this person serious?  Was he curious?  Was he just getting started?  Has he been doing this for a while?

I would input them into a database then sort them in that fashion.  Then create a schedule for regular contact.  Do I want to want to meet this person for every single month for a coffee?  Or every other month for lunch?  Or maybe twice years to just catch up or just a phone call or whatever it may be.

I would maintain consistent communication.  I would work on building those relationships.  That’s what I’m doing a lot more of right now.

Because I am doing more lot deals right now. I use a database program called  It does that very easily for me.  I can sort my leads.  I can set up a contact schedule.

The second way to grow my network of buyers would be through the Internet.  I mean 90% of buyers start their search online so 90% of the buyers are there.  I mean that’s where the pond is with all of the fish.

I would want to go fish there. I fish for those buyers in the very same way that I mentioned in answer one through landing pages and squeeze pages.  Then I would link those pages from online classified ads of which I advertise property for sale.

I advertise cheap property. I advertise discount property.  I advertise wholesale property.  Those are the type of things that attract buyers to me.

So those are my top 2 ways in creating a network of buyers.  I don’t have a 3rd way. I don’t know really know the 3rd way of as effective as those two.  I’m sure there are some out there. I just haven’t discovered them.

That’s where I would invest my time:  more networking, more getting to know people such as buyers face-to-face, and online.  Great question.

Okay.  Next question: if you could start over again, what is the one mistake you would avoid?

Okay.  Another great question.  It didn’t take as long to figure out what my answer would be for this question. I eluded this in the introduction. I wouldn’t tried my hand at so many different approaches to real estate investing in the beginning.  I would have investigated each approach a little bit more then just pick one.

And then I would have mastered it.  Then I would wish I wasn’t so timid when I got started. I wish I had taken bolder action because you know after you do that first deal, you recognize that there was really no reason to be timid.  There was nothing to be scared of.

By being so timid in the beginning, I really unnecessarily delayed my success.  So I would focus on one acquisition strategy, one approach, and go after it with bold action.  Great question.

Next question:  I hear many times over that I am the sum of the people I associate with.  Is this correct?

You know, that’s a very difficult thing to gauge.  I think what you actually meant by that though was you are the average of the people that you associate with. I mean if you are the sum of the people, you would be bigger, better, faster, and stronger than everybody you know.

I think you meant the average.  You know, it’s been said by many personal development gurus that if you take the 5 people that you hang around the most and average their income.  Your income is going to be anywhere from 5% to 10% of that average number.

And it’s also been said to be true about the character of the 5 people that you hang around the most.  Now in my experience, I don’t know what the actual number is but I do see a lot of truth in that statement.

For example, I mean if you went to a bar or actually did this. I noticed this about a year ago. I went to a bar to watch a football game.  I noticed a group of guys at one table looking like they might have been blue-collared work.  They just got off work.  They had their work uniforms on.

I noticed another table filled with guys that looked more of a corporate nature, more of your white-collared type workers.  And I noticed something.  They had a ton in common.  First, they each got together with the guys on a Monday night to watch football.

They had that in common.  They were both know how to obnoxious and rooting for their team.  They were both drinking beer by the pitcher.  They were both whistling and gawking at the waitresses.

But I know during the day, the conversations that would take place in those circles would be very different.  The network would be very different.  The opportunities available to those individuals would be very different. The help and the resources available would be very different.

It doesn’t really make one good or one bad but it’s just that they’re different.  You know, one of the most efficient ways for you to change your situation is to change your environment.

That would include the people that you associate with. That would include the places that you go. That would include the type of TV that you watch.  That would include the type of books, the type of magazines that you read.

I mean that old movie “Trading Places,” is a great movie.  It’s one of my favourites with Eddy Murphy and Dan Akroyd.  It’ very much an experiment what had the most influence on a person’s outcome on their results.  Was it their environment or was it their genes?

If you saw the movie, you would which one it was that one?  It’s the environment.  Eddie Murphy who was the homeless thief on the street became the successful clean-cut businessman when his environment changed.

Dan Akroyd who had the good genes who had the whole world at his fingertips was very rich and successful but he became the homeless, begging drug addict when his environment was changed.  They traded places because they traded environments.

Now I know it’s just a movie.  It’s Hollywood.  Right?  But I don’t think it was really too far form real life. I mean it was an extreme example but there’s a whole lot of truth sewn into that.  I hope that answers your question.

By answering your question, I hope you don’t walk away from it thinking that you have to go and get rid of your current friends.  I’m not suggesting that at all but what I am suggesting is that you might want to start networking with people that you want to be like.

You might want to start investing with other real estate investors or successful real estate investors because you have an impact on your results.  It certainly had an impact on my results right in the beginning and right away.  I mean you just open to new conversations.

You discover new opportunities.  You have new resources.  You have new help and assistance at your fingertips within your network.

So add a few successful real estate investors to your network and see what happens.  I’m pretty sure you’re going to get good results.  You’re probably going to notice it fairly quickly.

Next question: Aside from wholesaling, what is your next favourite strategy?

Well, you know, I wouldn’t consider wholesaling as my favourite strategy.  Buy and hold is actually my favourite strategy.  That’s really an exit strategy by the way. I mean you need to have an acquisition strategy.  You need to have an exit strategy.

Wholesaling, although you could acquire property through wholesalers.  It’s typically an exit strategy.  The profit is really in using it as an exit strategy.  Holding is an exit strategy as well.  My goal is to create a million dollars a year of passive income.  I’ve got to hold those assets to make that happen.

My preferred acquisition strategy is to deal directly with motivated sellers and distressed sellers. The sellers are distressed or the properties are distressed doesn’t matter but that’s where I’m going to find the best deals.  It’s actually where I enjoy what I do the most so buy and hold is my favourite exit strategy.

I mean holding is my exit strategy.  Now I do a lot of wholesale and I do a lot of flipping to create the cash so I can buy and hold more properties.  Hopefully I make sense.  What I don’t like.  I don’t like anything that has to do with banks.  I don’t like short sales although I do a lot of those. I’ve been successful with over the last few years but I don’t like them.

I don’t like REO or real estate owned.  I don’t like foreclosure auctions.  All of those strategy is you have to deal with the bank.  I don’t like them for a couple of reasons.  I don’t like them first of all because you typically have to have cash on hand to conduct those transactions.

I like to invest using none of my own cash, none of my own credit.  Second I like to deal with people that need to sell.  That’s where you’re going to find your best deals.

In these days, dealing with a lot of short sales and a lot of REO, I’m finding these days that banks don’t need to sell.  They want to sell but they don’t need to sell.  Good question.

Next question actually it’s not really a question.  It’s a statement.  It says, “I want to thank you for your series of podcast.  I’m finding the information you’re providing is great for other forms of making money not just real estate. I find myself going back to listen to them over and over.  Thank you for your hard work.”

Now although this isn’t a question, I want to draw your attention to something.  In this statement, it says, “I’m finding the information you’re providing is great for other forms of making money not just real estate.”  This person is absolutely correct.

You see when you’re going out to make money, when you’re going out to conduct business, you’ve got to go out there and you got to find the deal.  Then you have to analyse it and to determine whether it is a deal so you know the difference between a good deal and a bad deal and a great deal and a terrible deal.

You got to know how to analyse deals.  Then you got to make a presentation. Then you got to make an offer and then you got to close the deal. That’s pretty much the way it is in all business.  In fact, it is the way in all business anything where money is transacted.

Further, what makes real estate really such a great training ground is that you have to master these 4 phases.  What makes real estate really such a great training ground is that you will be dealing with lots of people. It’s a great place to sharpen your people’s skills.

From this point forward, when every buyer you sell whether it’s real estate or the widget of the day or the service of the day, it’s going to be to or from another person.  So if you’re really good businessman already, you’re probably going to be a good real estate investor.

If you’re not a good businessman, real estate investing will make you one. Glad that you noticed that.  Thank you for pointing that out.  Great question or great comment.

Next question:  what is the most strategic way to invest in today’s market in the state of California?

Okay. I’m going to do to refer to the default answer.  The answer is it depends. It depends on what your actual goal is.  Remember you need to know what you want and you got to know why you want it.

Because once you answer those 2 questions, that’s going to dictate what is the most strategic way to invest in California.  I mean are you looking to create quick cash?  Are you looking to create long-term cash flow or are you looking to just buy and hold and maintain until the next wave of California appreciation comes about?

So it really does depend. I can’t give you one answer for that but I’ll tell you what my strategy is right now.  I buy and sell houses here in Southern California. I flip or wholesale them.  I do that in Los Angeles County and Orange County.  The reason I buy and sell in California is two-fold.

First, the property here is very expensive.  It typically takes a decent chunk of money and credit to hold the property in California. Both of which I don’t have access to on a regular basis so I don’t have much choice but to buy and sell here in California.

The second reason is that you can create anywhere from 25 to 30, 35-40, 45,000, 50,000 dollars on really simple and easy flips here in Southern California. So my strategy is to buy and sell here in California because you can make chunks of cash.  You can make really good chunks.

Then you can take those chunks and you can buy property outright in other parts of country where the return is much greater, where the cash flow return is much greater.  I really like the Midwest.  I like the South.  That’s where I’m buying and holding up at the moment.  The return is just much greater on your dollar.

I can take the profits I make from flips and wholesales here in Southern California and buy a whole property of whole house free and clear in the Midwest those cash flows from anywhere.  I don’t know.  It depends on where it is but could be $500, $600, $700, and $800 a month. So that’s my strategy to buy and sell here in Southern California.  Then buy and hold in the Midwest and the South.

Now having said that, my attention has been very much on buying and holding something in California. I’ve been looking for something. I just need to write opportunity where I can get creative and do that.

Coincidentally, I was just able to do that actually this week for the very first time through my yellow letter campaign.  God bless yellow letter.  I found the ideal situation.  I found the seller that owns a property free and clear.  She actually owns several properties but this particular property is a trouble property for her.

You see she wants to get rid of it because the majority of her potential tenants in that neighbourhood only speak Spanish. She does not.  She still wants the cash flow from the property but she’s having a terrible time communicating with her tenants and her potential tenants.

So I made her an offer of which will still allow her cash flow on the property without all of the headaches from finding tenants for the property. I made a full price offer with her to carry back 100% of the financing.  That financing, I advertising over 40 years with the balloon payment due in 10 years.

So I’m getting to take over property with no money out of my pocket, with a 100% seller financing.  Oh, and I got a 3-month monetarism on the payments.  So I don’t have to make payments for 3 months.  Sweet deal.  Right?

The reason that this is a sweet deal for me has to do with my answer to your California strategy is I don’t have a crystal ball.  Okay?  I don’t know what’s coming whether it’s next year, 5 years, 10 years. I haven o idea what’s coming but I’m pretty sure and I’m pretty confident that the real estate market is going to come back or start to come back within the next 10 years, within the 10-year period.

So while I’m waiting for that to happen, I’ll be cash flowing on that property. Now maybe the market can go down a little bit more. I don’t really care. I’m still cash flowing.  Or maybe it goes up again and crashes before that 10-year period.  It doesn’t really matter. I would still be cash flowing along the way.

What’s going to happen?  I don’t really know but all I do know is that I’m going to be cash flowing and making some money during that 10-year period while I wait for it to happen. I can’t really lose. I got no money in the game.

So I buy and sell in California then I buy and hold in the Midwest but I always got my eyes and ears open for the right opportunity for the right property that I can take over and hold with relative ease here in Southern California to wait for the next upswing in the real estate market.  That’s my strategy.  So I hope that answers your question.  Great question.

Next question, what are the steps I should take in getting my first real estate investment deal here in the State of California.  Well I think I kind of answer that question with the combination of the answers of the previous questions.

Unless you have a bunch of money to deal with and you have a great credit score, you’re probably going to have to get very creative to acquire property in California.  The one place that lends itself to creativity is dealing directly with distressed homeowners and motivated sellers themselves.

I’m starting to get in touch with the good amount of these types of sellers through my yellow letter campaign so to get started I was suggest you get on top of that yellow letter campaign.

If you want to do a deal in California, that’s the quickest path I see to make that happen.  That’s what I would recommend.  Get those yellow letters going.  Great question.

Next question, you’re married with a new child, how did you help your spouse become comfortable with investing?  I’m having a hard time with her fear and helping her overcome it.

Wow.  That’s a very common question.  You know, through my coaching, and my seminars, I actually experience that questions a lot. I get those questions a lot.  You know, either the wife gets it and the husband is ultra conservative and wants nothing to do with it or the husband is all about it but the wife wants nothing to do with it.

Fortunately, I’m blessed with the girl that also invests in real estate so it’s not an issue for me.  Well it’s not an issue for me now because you see I’ve been married before and it wasn’t an issue then.

So I’m probably not the best person to ask this question because I didn’t complete a real estate transaction during that relationship. I did not complete one until that marriage actually ended.

That certainly not going to be my answer to you is to get divorced and get to pursue real estate on your own.  What I have noticed that seems to be effective in breaking down some barriers between couples and eliminating some fears is to take your spouse with you to your real estate investing club meetings.

Take your spouse to your real estate investing seminars.  Take your spouse to watch the online webinars that you might watch, to read the same books, and to listen to the same audio programs that you do.

Most of the time, one spouse is going to be completely ineffective in convincing the other that real estate investing or entrepreneurship is the right thing for them, most of the time.  However, introducing a 3rd source of information, a 3rd party can accomplish that for you.

You know, it really, in my opinion, it just comes down to the relationship itself.  You know, now having walked the earth for 42 years, gone through a couple of marriages. It does more to do with the relationships and compatibility than it does real estate investing.

I wished I had the magic answer for you because I get that question a lot.  I would bottle the answer to that question.  I would sell it. I would make a million if I had it. I answered it to the best that I can hopefully that helped.

Last question, is there any chance we can meet in person?  I’d even willing to drive to LA. I live in the Bay area.

Because this was anonymous survey, I have no idea who you are.  That’s one of the types of questions I was referring to. Having said that, I love meeting people face-to-face especially people that are serious improving themselves, especially with people that are interested in improving their situation, and expanding their results, expanding their success.  So if I have the time, I would be more than happy to meet as many of you that I can.

If you want to do that, if you happen to be in the area, you know, hit me up.  Let’s give it a shot.  If our timings work out, we do it.  If not, maybe next time.  Send me an email to [email protected][email protected].

Alrighty.  So that’s it for today.  Great questions.  Until next time.  As a very wise person once said, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get.  To your success, I am Matt Theriault.  Living the dream.

(Voice Over):  Thank you for spending this time with Matt Theriault and the Epic Real Estate Investing podcast.  When you have time, stop by iTunes to leave your comments and let us know what you think of this show.  And if you haven’t done so already, get started investing today by visiting to access Matt’s free course on how to deals, no money required.  Until next time.  To your success, to your success, to your success.

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Matt Theriault

Real estate investor and educator.