One Rental at a Time with Michael Zuber | 606

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Our guest is someone who had a decent life working in Silicon Valley only to realize that a path to financial freedom was buying and holding properties. Meet Michale Zuber, the author of the book, One Rental at a Time, and learn what strategies he uses to choose the right market, how he finds seller financing deals, and how to get in touch with him.

What You Will Learn About One Rental at a Time with Michael Zuber:

  • What Michael Zuber did before he discovered real estate
  • What convinced him that owning a rental was going to be the right way to start
  • Where his market is and why he chose to invest and stay there
  • Michael’s plan to forever grow his investments
  • What the primary source for acquiring his numerous properties was
  • Where and how he looks for seller financing deals
  • How the market is going to change and why it is going be awesome
  • How to build a reputation and structure a deal based on it
  • Michael’s biggest mistake and what he learned from it
  • Why he started his YouTube channel and wrote the book of the same name, One Rental at a Time
  • Why people feel stuck and what keeps them from investing
  • Why buying and holding is the best strategy
  • How to get in touch with Michael Zuber

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Transcript:

Speaker 1: This is Theriault Media.

Matt Theriault: What’s up? Hello and welcome to The Epic Real Estate Investing Show. This is where everyday people come to get the tips, strategies, and tactics to escape the rat race using real estate. If you’re just getting started and you’re looking to take down that first deal, I’m working with a small group of investors inside of our pilot program, Your First Deal, and if you’d like to join us you may at freerealestateinvestingcourse.com, freerealestateinvestingcourse.com.

All righty, so today, speaking of escaping the rat race, I have a special guest on the phone. He had worked in Silicon Valley since graduating from Santa Clara University 20 plus years ago, and after wasting time and money in his 20s he eventually found real estate investing, and more specifically buy and hold rental properties, and he’s never looked back.

He focused on his day job and grew his rental property portfolio from a single rental house to financial freedom in 15 years. Now that he no longer has a day job, he shares his story via his self-published book, available on Amazon, called One Rental at a Time, and his YouTube channel by the same name, One Rental at a Time. So please help me welcome to the show, Mr. Michael Zuber. Michael, welcome to Epic Real Estate Investing.

Michael Zuber: Thank you, Matt. Thank you for having me. I look forward to this.

Matt: Yeah. We have a lot of mutual friends. I’ve been looking forward to talking to you as well. Can you tell me what were you doing just before you got into real estate and what inspired the transition?

Michael: Great question. I know everybody’s story is different, so I remember it really well. It was my 30th birthday, so a couple of decades ago. I ended my 20s in what most people would call a good place. I went to college, got a good job, had a family, had a child, doing all the right things, except on my 30th birthday I turned around and realized I have nothing in the bank. I’ve got no real … No wealth and very little cash.

I had done some stock training and the like, which is what you did in ’99, in ’98, and all that stuff. It went really well for a while until it didn’t, and when it didn’t it didn’t go very well quickly. So I know what it is to write off $3,000 a year in stock market losses, which is interesting because they want all their taxes when they get gains right away, but on losses, it’s three grand a year.

So I quickly went to a bookstore … Yes, an actual physical bookstore, to go figure it out and quickly realized that real estate was something real, right? It has real in the name. You could see it. You could touch it. It was an inefficient market, meaning there was one thing being sold and bought, and if you sort of got good at it you could create value in lots of different ways. So that’s what I was doing before, and I just realized that I needed to do something different, so I remember it quite well frankly.

Matt: And how long ago was that?

Michael: So that would be … All right, let’s give out my age. So it would be about 2002.

Matt: I’m going to do the math.

Michael: Yeah. 2002. There you go. Now you know-

Matt: 2002?

Michael: Yeah.

Matt: Okay. So, let’s see, that was just a couple … Actually a couple of years … You got a couple of year head start on me as far as when you began. You wrote a book about it. I guess it kind of documents your journey, yeah?

Michael: Yes, I did.

Matt: Okay, One Rental at a Time. Characters like you and myself are … You know, there’s not too many of us out there with all the wholesaling and fixing and flipping going on. What was it that convinced you that owning rental was going to be the path?

Michael: Well, owning rentals had to be the path because, you know, I don’t know about you, but when I was 30 I had a job at least 60 hours a week. I had at least national, and some years of international responsibilities, which just means I was on an airplane a lot. I remember quite vividly one of the worse days of my life was getting a platinum Marriott Rewards card, which it meant that I spent 100 days in a hotel, and that’s not really good when you have a growing family and all these other responsibilities, so rentals were the only way I could go.

I wasn’t going to do 10,000 mailers. I wasn’t going to do flipping because it’s another job, plus the market I chose was two and a half hours away, right? So buy and hold was really the only option I had, but that’s what I wanted. I wanted the slow and steady. I had a decent job. I wasn’t looking to throw my job away and go create another one. I wanted wealth. I wanted long term wealth, and that is what buy and hold is.

The book, One Rental at a Time, is that journey. It’s 15 years in the making, but it was fun to write and … Maybe not always fun to live through, but it was fun to right.

Matt: Is real estate business for you or just … Is it an investment?

Michael: It’s always been an investment. I spend a couple of hours a day now trying to help people get started. The only reason is I’ve been out of work a year, right, 53 or 54 weeks now, and I needed to find something to do or else I was going to go back and get another job, right?

I was 45 when I left work, and I don’t know about you, but I still have this ton of energy and had to do … Type A, and I had to do something. So I have found a passion to help people, hence the book and the YouTube channel. But no, I’ve never … It’s not my business. I’m not a flipper. I’m not a wholesaler. No, I’m a passive investor, right?

I have 175 units, so my rent shows up somewhere between the first and the eighth, just with people being people, and the number that I receive is greater than my mortgages by a significant amount and I’m doing okay.

Matt: Fantastic. Well, congrats. 175 units? So you said the market is two hours away? Where do you live and where is your market?

Michael: I’m sorry about that, so I live in the Bay Area, technically Mountain View, California, so right by Google, and then I invest in Fresno, California, which is two and a half hours away one way, so it’s a five-hour roundtrip before I see one property.

The interesting thing there is I’ve actually never spent the night in Fresno. I’ve had some long days, but I’ve never spent the evening or spent the night there. Some people find that hilarious.

Matt: The whole portfolio is in Fresno then?

Michael: Yes. Fresno County. It’s 98% in Fresno city, and then I have … The other 2% are in Madera, which is like a bedroom community.

Matt: Perfect. So why Fresno? Why was that the choice and why did you stay so long? Why are you staying there?

Michael: That’s good … Yeah, wow, so lots of answers there. So when I was 30, right, I went to the bookstore, what did every book say? Every book said invest 30 minutes from your house like that was some magical rule. So I spent a year … Literally 52 weekends we spent either a Saturday or a Sunday looking for the magical Bay Area street that would offer a buy and hold cash flow rental, and in the silicon valley we probably haven’t had one of those for 20 years, maybe 25, but I didn’t know that then, because all the books said buy in your backyard.

Matt: Right.

Michael: So I remember sitting down at the kitchen table with Olivia, who is my wife and partner in everything I do, and said, “What are we going to do? Are we going to do this or not?” She said, “Well, it’s not going to work here.” So then we had to decide where did we want to go. So the question obviously is do we drive, does it have to be driving distance, or are we comfortable getting on an airplane?

Because getting on an airplane unlocks the country, right? We thought Texas. We thought Arizona. We thought Colorado, all of those places. We quickly realized that we were both Type A and control freaks, so getting on an airplane to see our rentals was not going to work, so for us, the answer was driving.

So then we sit down and start drawing circles around the home, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, two hours. Fresno is the first market of size, right, it’s half a million people that made sense. And by made sense, the only rule I had back then was the 1% rule, so that first house we bought on Norris Drive was 107 grand and it rented for 1,100, so that was the first market of size.

There were some smaller markets, 20,000-40,000 people. It just wasn’t big enough for us, so Fresno quite simply was the first. And then why did we stay? 2008 we looked to make a transition. We actually did. We flew to San Antonio, went to Dallas, Austin, a couple of other cities. But what we came back to when we were on the plane ride home was A, still don’t like getting on a plane to see our stuff, and B, oh, my God, we don’t want to build a team again, because that turned out to be the hardest part of all this. We had to fire five teams those first three or four years, and I could not imagine having to do that with a plane ride, right? I mean I couldn’t imagine.

So we stayed in Fresno. We’ve been loyal to Fresno. Fresno is a huge market. They’ve offered us lots of opportunities regardless if the market is cold, hot, transitioning. So we are quite happy to be in one market, in with one team, and leverage, and economies of scale, and all of that.

Matt: Uh-huh (affirmative). That’s good. Is that market still … Can you still hit that 1% rule there today?

Michael: Oh, no. The 1% rule isn’t what I use anymore, in fairness. It was a … You know, back in 2003-2004 it was all I knew. No, you can’t … Not usually. Some multifamily, some kind of fives through 10s maybe, but they’re probably not in the greatest of areas, so people get in trouble following the 1% rule now, but I didn’t know any different back then.

I now use yield, so I try to figure out how much cash I have to put out, meaning down payment, closing costs, make ready, and I try to get somewhere between 5 and 10% back on my money. Ideally, 8% is the number based on where we are in the market, right? Back in 2012, the number was 15% because everything was on sale. I use something totally different now, but the 1% rule is really not possible today.

Matt: Uh-huh (affirmative). Yeah. Well the 1% rule, when I say that, to me, that’s just like should I look further or not?

Michael: Yes. That’s fair.

Matt: Like just a quick cursory like is this going to … Does it have potential or not. Then of course you go and do the numbers and-

Michael: You got it. That’s a fair way to look at it. Yeah. It’s one of those, you know, easy things.

Matt: Uh-huh (affirmative). Yeah. It’s not my decision maker. It’s just telling me is it worthy of my time to look further, you know?

Michael: Yeah. Should I scratch that a little bit more? Exactly right.

Matt: Right.

Michael: Good point.

Matt: So you got 175 units. What does that look like today? Are you still building or are you sustaining? What’s the plan? What’s the operation look like?

Michael: I’m likely going to be growing forever frankly. I am focused on a certain set today. Today I’m really looking to attract owner financed deals, where I can set up a relationship that’s good for them because many of them have depreciated the asset down to zero. They don’t want to take the big tax hit. They’d like some cash flow. They want to stop being landlords.

So I’m finding if I can find an owner financed deal … It doesn’t matter if it’s a house, a small or a big apartment. I’ll chase those down all day long, all the time,

Because usually, you can work out the numbers and interest rates and payoffs and all the stuff where it makes a whole bunch of sense. And then I’ve gone back, and I’ve … For the first time, banks are lending man, it’s crazy. The banks were turned off for me for almost a decade because I owned too much, you’re too big a risk, the rule of four, the rule of 10, whatever you wanted to follow didn’t make sense. So I, for the first time, [refied 00:11:23] six small multi’s, right, duplexes through quads in the last six month. Basically, I’d take out private and hard money that established through 2012 through ’14. And levered up on those, and I just paid off a bunch of the houses.

So in my base portfolio, we are repositioning debt, we are creating assets that are free and clear. That, oh my gosh, if Armageddon comes again, you can’t take these. And then we’re looking to add owner financed deals forever probably.

Matt: All right, so building those 175 units, what was the primary source or maybe the best source for acquiring hose deals?

Michael: Yeah, I acquired all my deals out of the MLS except two, until the last 12 months. Again, because I didn’t know any different, right. I didn’t have any special access, I wasn’t doing mailers, I wasn’t doing all these things. So I just didn’t know any better. So they all came out of the MLS.

Where the number really jumped through, which really the crux of your question I think, is right around 2008 we came to an inflection point in our business. I think we had seven properties and eight doors so six houses, seven houses, and a duplex. But we knew we weren’t done, we needed another one and we just couldn’t buy anything, right? My accounting brain would not let me buy another one because they wouldn’t cash flow. For example, that house that I told you we bought at 107 and rented for 1100, we sold that year for 265 and it rented for 1100, right? That’s not the 1% rule, that’s not even the half-percent rule.

Matt: Right.

Michael: Right. So it just doesn’t make sense. So that’s kind of how crazy it got. But what we uncovered, just through conversations and networking, is the 5 to 20 units. They were underpriced so we 1031’d that house. We took all the artificial equity, which we didn’t know at the time but it turned out to be artificial. 1031’d into a five-unit apartment building, we bought it for 223, we sold it for 263. So get that, 40K less but it rented for three grand versus 1100.

Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Michael: So if one is good, more is better. So 1031’d all of our houses and duplex into small multi’s. We went from eight to 80 units in about a 12 month period. No new capital, all the equity was moved, no new capital. And then we bought a lot during the downturn, we bought houses up through 18 unit of the building during the downturn. So yeah, that’s kind of how … that was the big growth, right, eight to 80 via the 1031 exchange.

Matt: Got it, okay. So that was my next question so MLS was your source for the deals. The funding really came though 1031’ing and trading up, right?

Michael: Correct, yeah. Yeah, I mean there’s no new capital.

Matt: Okay, so these new deals that you’re looking for, you’re looking for seller finance deals. What is your method for looking for those?

Michael: So I’m a huge networker. I’ve been in sales my whole life so I tell everybody and their mother what I look for. So I call agents that control inventory, I talk to wholesalers now. I have a decent network after 15 years and lots of people … So yeah, it’s word of mouth and that brings about five opportunities a month to kind of review. Some are just overpriced or don’t make sense or they’re not really owner finance but it’s certainly enough to move forward and do one or two every couple of months.

Matt: That’s awesome. So what trend are you seeing maybe in your business or your market that has you either excited or concerned? And how is it changing the way you’re doing business?

Michael: Oh that’s a good question. Nobody’s asked that yet. So I’ve lived-

Matt: What’s your favorite color, Mike? Just kidding.

Michael: Purple, purple. So here we go, so the markets changing. You and I’ve been through this, right?

Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Michael: Here’s what people don’t understand, right? So first off, if you’ve been investing wholesaling, flipping, frankly buy and holding for the last five years, you do not know what a changing market looks like. And if you hold the wrong inventory, you have hard money, short term debt, whatever, it can go bad fast. I saw somebody worth $10 million in ’08 lose it all because the House of Cards or Jenga fell apart because of that. So watch out is my word of advice.

But I’m excited, right? I’ve made most of my money in changing markets. So what I suspect is going to happen, right? So I’ve seen the rollover before, I think it’s happened, certainly in the high-end, high-end being one and a half x the median for whatever market you’re in. So my medians 250 so anything 325 and above is already started to fall. I think that comes down the chain, probably gets to the median and you’re going to see listings increase, you’re going to see days on market increase, you’re going to see the percent of price get increased. And all of this is going to create the press and online media to get negative on real estate, where they’ve been positive the last five years. And that’s just going to do the self-fulfilling [inaudible 00:16:08] and it’s going to be awesome.

I am going to take huge advantage of this and by lots of stuff because all the owner-occupants are going to disappear, they’re going to start saying, “Real estate is scary.” And I’m going to licking my chops because what I’m doing to change my business is, I’m already offering 10% less than I was last June. And if this gets as bad as I think it will, just from a press perspective, it might be 15% less and I’ll be fine. It’s a great time when markets change.

Matt: Yeah, no, I’m very much looking forward to it as well. We do a lot of direct to seller marketing and so we’re talking directly to private sellers. And probably more so in the last couple of years than any other time that I’ve been doing this, there’s been pushback like, “Well why should I sell to you at a discount? Let’s give it to a realtor, it’ll be gone in a week.”

Michael: Yeah, exactly.

Matt: And for the most part, they’re right. Right?

Michael: Unless it’s got a burned out kitchen or something, you’re absolutely right, yeah.

Matt: Yeah, so I’m looking for some days on market to extend. I’m looking for some more inventory, I’m looking for the bad press to beat up the owners a little bit.

Michael: It’s coming.

Matt: That’s the opportunity, right?

Michael: Absolutely, you’re going to clean it up. I think the next three to four months are kind of … What happens is, prices are sticky on the way down, right? Sellers kind of just hold on, stick their nails in and go, “Oh I’ll wait, I’ll wait, I’ll wait. Oh, the winter’s bad, nobody buys in the winter. I’ll hold, I’ll hold.” Then the spring comes and they realize the buyers still aren’t showing. Then come summer time, you’re going to see monestrous price drops because they’re going to … Most of these sellers have to sell for a reason and that reason doesn’t go away. So it’s coming. But again, prices stick on the way down. They’re like an elevator on the way up but they’re pretty sticky on the way down. So it’s coming.

Matt: Yeah, I agree. I kind of like how it’s working right now because it’s not a crash, it’s not a big giant, the bottom hasn’t fallen out. It’s coming down slowly and what I think that allows us all to do is to still conduct business without waiting for owners to get with reality, right?

Michael: Yeah.

Matt: Sometimes, if it says a crash, I mean it could be a four to six-month lag before they even wake up and start realizing they should start changing their tune.

Michael: Well yeah, well again, having been through the crash … So A, I’m not calling it a crash. If anybody takes away from anything I’ve said, I’m not calling it a crash. I’m calling it a slowdown. There certainly will be a reduction in the high-end and buyers are going to disappear because of the press. But people having 30-year mortgages with a three on it aren’t going to be in a rush to sell, right? They can hold that. Because the last crash was a financing crash, it just happened to tied to assets and the asset was real estate so it’s very different.

Matt: Got it. So let’s say in the last … I don’t know. This is a different conversation I’m having with you just because usually I’m talking to real estate entrepreneurs and business owners who are out there doing high volume and everything.

Michael: I’m sorry.

Matt: No, that’s okay. I’m just trying to make my question more relevant to you.

Michael: Sure.

Matt: What is your biggest win in the last five years and what have you learned from it?

Michael: So there are lots of things you have to do as a buy and hold guy, right? You have to grow your network, you have to do all of those things. But you also have to be a person of your word. So one of the biggest wins is, I bought an 18 unit building, zero down during the crash. And how it comes about is because I bought another 10 unit building with a very small down payment, like 20 grand or something, just basically covering the closing costs, it wasn’t even towards the purchase. And because of that relationship, the bank president, it was a local community bank that he talked to another local community bank and they reached out to me and we structured a deal based on my reputation.

I didn’t have 10% down to buy it, right? But we worked out an agreement, we put in a little bit of reserves for repairs in an escrow account. And because my reputation matter and I’d proved I’d done, probably by that time, 30 or 40 turn slum lord into private ownership rentals, that deal came to me. And first rider refusal is awesome when you’re an investor. Off market, they’re going to provide the lending, right? No credit checks, all that stuff. That felt pretty good and frankly still feels pretty good that the bank was willing to do that.

Matt: Nice, so the other side of the coin, in the last five years, what’s been your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?

Michael: I remember a house I bought with a realtor who I no longer work with. Swore up and down that it was a two family lot, two houses on one lot which is what I was buying at the time. Turned out that it was not even a garage, it was like a shack that converted that the city already red tagged. So I bought it at X because I was traveling around the world doing my day job. This person I’d worked with for years, I just trusted them blindly which, no matter how many times you do when you’re putting money on the line, I should not have done that, but I did.

And I, low and behold, find out like a week after closing, the red tag is forward to me and I have to spend, I don’t know, five grand removing this structure and then, of course, I paid too much because I was buying it as two families which turned into be a one family. Yeah, that still stings. I still own that thing as of today. And I remember every day I pay the freaking mortgage payment, that I was stupid.

Matt: Yes, we have those humbling moments don’t we, in our-

Michael: Yes, we do. Every month man.

Matt: It’s the lesson that keeps on giving.

Michael: Yes sir.

Matt: So now you’re helping other people do this as well, right? And I’m sure when you start doing that, your reticular activator is fired and you start noticing what other people do with regards to teaching and helping and coaching. And thereare so many different options out there for people these days and on every day in my Facebook feed, there’s a brand new guru of the day, running their ads, sharing how he’s gonna give me the secrets to wholesaling. And so, I’m curious. Now that you’re kind of in that world a little bit, what is one piece of advice you frequently hear being given that just kind of makes you cringe?

Michael: Oh. Well, like you, and I saw this back in ’08. Anybody who wants to make the real estate game seem easy or cookie cutter or simple, run away from. One of the first things that I will tell everyone is real estate investing will test you. You will have bad days, right? You are working in a business where people are involved, and lots of people are involved. And people are people, right? Stuff happens. Bad things. You get good and bad, just like the deal we just talked about, right?

I had a relationship with someone for probably five to seven years that I valued, and he clearly didn’t. He saw getting a commission check because whatever was going on in his life was worth destroying a relationship. And I pay the price still to this day. Real estate will test you. I don’t know what the right word is. Working in the real estate investing business is simple, I guess, logically. But it’s not easy. It is challenging. You have your bad days. The only thing I can guarantee you if you get into this business is you will have bad days.

If you hold on then the days turn good, but there are bad days.

Matt: There’s a very popular, that you brought that up, there’s a popular, not popular but well-known real estate investing guru. Been around for a very, very long time. To this day, his Facebook ads are saying never leave your house and at the click of a button, you can do this business. I’m just like-

Michael: Mailbox money. Yeah. No thanks.

Matt: To this day. I’m just like, come on, man. Really? But yeah. We’re all looking for the easy button. What do I have here next for you? What’s in your future that has you most excited and why?

Michael: So again, I’m lucky enough to be in a position where the money that shows up pays all my bills, right? I don’t have a lavish lifestyle. I’m not driving a Ferrari or anything stupid. That’s not who I am. Just, I can live a simple life and be fine. So, I’ve had to create goals, because I’m a type A, goal-oriented sales guy that if I don’t have a goal, I’m lost, right? So I have two goals. Goal number one is, I want to create something that outlives me by a hundred years, right? Think about that.

So in order to do that, I had to write a book. So I wrote the book. It’s our story, it was written in a way that ideally, somebody in a hundred years could pick up on it and get at least what I thought the rules of the game are, the rules of the road. That was important to me. The other one is, just in case books go away or the paper’s gone or whatever, I created that YouTube channel, the same name of the book called One Rental at a Time.

I now post at least daily, at least one video a day. Usually interviews much like this, or a topic. Because I seriously want something to outlive me by a hundred years. And that keeps me interested. And then the other one is a thousand. I’m trying to create something that helps a thousand people get started. I think too many people are stuck on zero. And specifically buy and hold, right? This isn’t necessarily for whole sellers or flippers. I’m just gonna talk about what I know, which is buy and hold. I’m trying to help the people to get started. And my story is let’s just get to four. Let’s get you to four rentals.

Because if you can get to four rentals, you’re gonna decide if this business is for you or not. But frankly, if you only ever get to four, your life’s fundamentally different in 20 to 30 years. You have four assets that are owned, free and clear. You’ve had inflation in rents. You could sell them, you could refine, there’s just so many options that come if you have four, that’s my goal, right? So I do a lot of talking about four. I found that when I go out and talk, if I talk about financial independence or freedom or any of that, they applaud, they give me high fives and take selfies. But nobody does anything. Because they don’t think that they can do it.

So that’s why I’ve modified my message to be let’s just talk about getting to four, right? Let me help you get to four. So that’s kind of where I’m at with my goals. And what keeps me excited every day, frankly.

Matt: Got it. And you say most people are stuck at zero, which I have observed as well. What do you think is their biggest reason for being stuck there?

Michael: So I don’t know if there’s a single or if there is, I haven’t figured it out yet. There are several. One is, they’re scared. Or another word for scared is risky, right? Because some people still remember ’08. They had a family member, they had someone that had real estate investments and it ended badly. If you were in that situation if you were a millennial and you saw your parents lose a house or something, that memory’s probably not going away, right? If you were in high school or something, that’s gonna sting for a while.

The other one is, I think a lot of people like being excited, but they don’t like doing work. So they like talking about doing investing, and this could be real estate, it could be stocks, it could be Bitcoin, it could be whatever. They like being excited, but they don’t wanna do the work, right? So they don’t want to drive two and a half hours to Fresno, go look at 10 properties and write two offers, right? Oh my god, I’m gonna lose a Saturday? Yeah. So yeah, this takes work, right? It’s not, you can’t just order it on your app on your phone. So, those are some things that I think what keeps people on zero.

Matt: Yeah, I think you’re right there. Where people like to be excited, right?

Michael: Yep.

Matt: And sure, I mean a lot of people, when it shows up knocking at your front door dressed up like overalls, right? That old quote. But I also think, to speak on the excitement factor that a buy and hold the house, that cash flows $200 a month, is not exciting.

Michael: No, it’s not. It didn’t get exciting for me for a decade. Almost 12 years. When I think about that, right? Even at 80 doors, it wasn’t exciting. It was, “Oh, great. We could pay both our car payments with it.”

Matt: Right.

Michael: Right. It’s interesting, but it doesn’t move the needle. Buy and hold land lording is really not about cash flow positive until you get, like I said, 15 years in. However, our net worth exploded. If we wanted, we could have sold out five or six years ago and had multiple seven figures. That wasn’t for us. Wealth is created in this business by holding stuff. I’ll ask you this question because you’re a high volume. What would have happened if you kept every fourth property you wholesaled or flipped?

Matt: Well again- [crosstalk 00:28:31]

Michael: High tier. Oh good. I talked to lots of guys that are like, “God, I wish I did that.” No. All right.

Matt: No, to your point though, that was actually what set me off on a buy and hold strategy was-

Michael: Oh, awesome.

Matt: … a real meeting that I had gone to probably a decade ago now. And I’d heard a version of this a few different times at different meetings and that one meeting, I walked in and a guy was in. And I don’t know, he had to be in his 90s, he was really old. And he was sharing about his fortune that he’d built. Like he had this really unique strategy of building or doing multifamily. One bedroom, one bath, multi-families.

Michael: Oh yeah.

Matt: It was like the type of thing that everybody runs away from but he’s like, “Why are you running away from this? You’ve gotta do this, this, this and it’s a goldmine.” And one of his, Q&A time, one of the people in the audience had asked that if you were to do it all over again, what would you do differently? And he just said, “I wish I would have sold less and held more.” And me coming out of the music business, licking my wounds and thinking I knew everything, for me to pay attention this time around to what other’s people’s mistakes and apply those towards the future for myself, that was the perfect time to get that message. And that’s why I do hold today.

Michael: Awesome. Awesome. Well, I’ll tell you a story that got me much the same way, kind of like that aha moment. When you’re getting started and you spend a lot of time on airplanes, you have a lot of time to read, right? So I read about the savings and loans crisis. Probably five or six different investor’s stories. I wrote about the oil shock in Texas, whenever that was. In the 80s, I guess. But the thing that I took away from all those books, and they’re probably 20 different books and stories was, they all said a version of, “I wish I had bought more.” I wish I bought more.

So when my opportunity came, which was the ’08 crash, or maybe it was ’10 to ’12, whatever year you wanna call it, I bought every freaking thing I could. I was willing to put a loan on my paid off cars, I was willing to get a second on my house. I was going to do anything I could to buy everything I could and there was only one deal we didn’t quite cobble together but I gave it to a friend. So everything we found got done, and I’m very happy that I can say that today. No regrets.

Matt: Awesome. Well, Michael, I can see why we have so many mutual friends. Because we are birds of a feather, I guess, is how you say it. It was very much a pleasure to meet you and we should do it again. Maybe we’ll be able to cross paths and meet in person. If someone wanted to get in touch with you, what would be the best way for them to do that?

Michael: So the best way to get in touch with me is just go to YouTube and type in One Rental at a Time. You could do me a favor, please subscribe. We just crossed the 1500 subscriber level so I’m pretty proud of that. [crosstalk 00:31:10] yeah, I post daily. I leave my email all the time on those videos. It’s just M as in Michael, Zuber, Z-U-B-E-R at onerentalatatime.com. Everything I do. Shocking.

Matt: That’s clever.

Michael: Yeah, shocking. And then, if you really wanna hear the story, right? It is this book. And if you do me a favor, Matt, just send me your address, I will mail you an autographed copy.

Matt: Oh sure. Perfect, thank you.

Michael: Of course.

Matt: Super. Well, it’s been a pleasure, let’s do it again. Let’s stay in touch.

Michael: Awesome. Thanks, Matt.

Matt: You bet. All righty, so that’s Mr. Michael Zuber. You can go and check out his YouTube channel, One Rental at a Time, he’s got a book in Amazon of the same title. And I will see you next week. If you wanna do deals, catch me next week. And catch us on our YouTube channel, we give it away five days a week. And if you’d like to go fast, go to reiace.com all righty? Until next week. To your success, God Bless, I’m Matt Theriault, living the dream. Take care.