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You're listening to the military millionaire podcast, a show about real estate investing for the working class. Stay tuned as we explore ways to help you improve your finances, build wealth through real estate, and become a person that is worth knowing.
Hey, what's going on guys? It's Dave from military to millionaire.
Today's interview is with Jacob Ayers. He is a fire protection engineer with eight rental properties under his belt, and he currently runs the podcast the real estate way to wealth and freedom.
So Jake, or Jacob, as we were just discussing, whether we go with Dave or David, and then I told him Dave is what I use when I don't like talking to people jokingly and I just referred to him as Dave, so I'm sure he feels super welcome on the show.
No, so Jacob and I, I guess first met in bigger pockets, you could say we didn't actually meet but we were in bigger pockets, Episode 21. Together, and then as soon as that episode aired, I reached out to him and the other guy, and I never heard from the other guy. But Jacob I've since I've been on his podcast, we talk all the time. And so it was time to get him on here to talk to you guys.
So welcome, Jacob, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hey, thanks so much for having me on. Jake. Jacob here. Yeah, excited. Um, yeah. So yeah, like you mentioned, we were both on episode 281 of the BiggerPockets podcast, which is a really cool experience. We reached out to each other, connected there, of course, got lots of commonalities. And yeah, it's been a fun time. I've had you on my podcast now I'm excited to be here and talk with your audience today.
Yeah, well, thank you. Thank you.
So, you know, we, I've heard a little bit about your story. But what got you started in real estate?
Yeah, that's an interesting question. And it's, you know, there's not really like a point in time, I can point to exactly and say, like, oh, that was the light bulb. But, you know, I was born and raised with this blueprint to go to school, get a good education, get a good job, go to college, do all those things, right. And then the final step of that blueprint is get a good job. So I did that, right. I, you know, went to engineering school, got a degree, moved to Houston, Texas, where I entered the corporate world of engineering. And that was like, the final master step in my whole blueprint that I was like, born and raised with.
So from there, it was like, alright, you're 23-24 years old. Got a whole life ahead of you. And no, no future plan. So what was next? So I was really interested in personal finance, and just trying to, you know, get my head wrapped around how to, you know, get my finances in order for the rest of my life. And, you know, from there, there's really no, there's no, like, unique advice out there. It's like, you know, work for an employer, retire at age 65, you know, invest in your 401k. And I just do those things. And I just didn't really settle well with me.
So I started down this path of just looking at different options. And I'm a pretty simple guy. So at one point in time, I was trying to invest in stocks and bonds and mutual funds and just trying to, you know, play that game. And I luckily did okay with it. But it was just blind dumb luck. It wasn't because I had any kind of skill or knowledge or even halfway knew what I was doing, right. But I didn't lose my shirt. So that was okay. And then I thought, all right, well, I better, you know, you know, call it quits while I'm ahead. And I became really interested in real estate investing. Because there's like this tangible asset, I can kind of understand. I think, at the end of the day, everybody has some kind of level of understanding of real estate, like I can show you an apartment or a house and you can say, like, hey, that's a really nice property, or, hey, that's a slum, I wouldn't live there, it's probably only gonna rent for like, $300 a month or a that's a mansion, like that thing's probably worth north of $10 million.
So the end of day everybody can kind of, you know, understand the value of real estate. And same with me. So, um, I just decided to take the leap, and I spent maybe six or eight, maybe even 12 months, just purely educating myself listening to podcasts, you know, immersing myself in the world of bigger pockets, which, you know, you and I go way back on. And, yeah, eventually, I just decided to take the leap and buy my very first rental property, which was a very low end property. I'd be happy to talk about the details of that one, but yeah, so it's been a fun journey ever since.
Yeah, that's killer. So that's, and I agree, the whole talk about real estate, because, you know, everyone's got an opinion on real estate. And I think one of the things I liked was as I started talking to people about how I was looking into real estate investing. The responses that I got from people who had mentored me at some point in life are much different from when I talked about buying a car or buying stocks or whatever, like I was telling people all this stuff kind of looking for like that. Self validation, I suppose. And like, nobody had anything negative to say like the worst thing I heard was like a mixture you have a good property manager like, oh, okay, well, yeah.
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But like nobody was like do not invest in real estate oh my goodness, you know where I've heard that with stocks. I've heard that with different things that Bitcoin and things that I, you know, I'm like, yeah, I don't know. But that was a nice way of me like, oh, I should probably actually pursue this because people that I respect think it's a good idea rather than warning me about it.
So, yeah, anyway. Alright, so, let's roll into some questions here. I guess I guess the first thing I guess would be, before we get into like the advice piece and whatnot, you mentioned the one deal, but is there any specific deal that you'd like to run through as far as your strategy and some of your successful stuff that you've gotten to play along with?
You know, and in bigger pockets, we were inundated with this burst strategy, right? Buy, rehab, rent refinance, repeat, and I just recently this year, fully executed that full project life cycle of my very first brrrr. And that was pretty cool. So this was my second property I ever bought, which was a duplex.
And I found this thing pretty interesting enough, I just shared this story recently. So at the time, I know Dave, you and I are always, you know, talking about off market strategies and how to find deals and mailing campaigns and tax records and just all these, like, you know, complex strategies we're trying to formulate, but this deal came to me..
My mail outs just came back.
So this deal came to me by my 80 year old Grandpa, who I call my papa John, right, like the pizza company.
So my papa John has no access to the internet, doesn't get on the computer, doesn't own a cell phone. has, you know, it's just, you know, an 80 year old man. And he brings me this deal. Well, essentially, he's out metal detector with one of his buddies. And he says, yeah, my grandson's been buying properties and, uh, you know, just doing this thing now and his metal detecting buddy says, Oh, I know this property over here. Let's go metal detect its backyard. I know it's for sale. I know it's bacon. So my papa John tells my grandma, my grandma tells my dad, my dad's like, Hey, we should go over here and take a look at this duplex.
So look up the owners. It's for sale. It's like a for sale by owner sign on a Facebook page. And so I contacted the lady. It's three sisters who have this property. And they've inherited it. They don't want to do anything with it. They don't want to rent it out. Both sides of this duplex are fully vacant, outside looks pretty rough, insides okay. You know, it needs a little TLC. So I walked this property the day off and I asked the ladies, they're asking, I think $60,000 for this property and say, well, what's the lowest you'd take for this property today? They said $55,000 and I was just doing some math in my head thinking, okay, each one of these units is going to rent for 595 $600 a month. And yeah, math checks out. So it's like, Alright, I'll do 55,000 I'll draw up the contract tonight. And they're like, okay, well, we have a lady coming tomorrow to check it out. So we need to wait until then and say, I'll buy it today. I'll get you a contract sent over like, in an hour. And it's like, well, what should we do about the lady coming tomorrow? I said, tell her you sold it.
Okay, so, so do the deal. And you know, step one, buy this fully vacant property, which is a little scary, right? Because you don't exactly have a proof of income. You know, I'm ballparking these random things like, I think they'll rent for 600 but maybe they won't rent at all. I'm not sure.
So fast forward I get this place rented out for $600 a month. Do some renovations interior, exterior paint, you know finishes nothing major it didn't need you know, like crazy renovations or anything. You didn't have to knock down walls and you know, restructure the building or anything but uh, so I do all that stuff.
About a year and a half later I got it reappraised in it for $110,000. So it doubles in value. And so I bought it for 55 appraised for $110,000, pulled out my equity and rolled it to another property. So that was cool just to see the whole brrrr method come together from start to finish and still got the property obviously, it's rocking and rolling and it's been really probably my biggest home run properties.
Yeah, that's super killer. That's cool. My most recent birth strategy which was I found this property for a kid you are not wholesalers that has to be 18,500 I got should have been worth 70-78 I think my accomplice 78 contractors said 20 grand tops to fix it so I'm like doing the math I'm like, perfect. And then the time it took me to do the math it was already contracted and so on cash off mark
I was way too slow. Took me like seven days to get all that done. Most of the story shouldn't have waited on the comp should have just gone with my head math and I was just kind of sketch because I was you know for me, like I'm 6000 miles away.
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So for me to do a long distance. I'm like, let me get my agent to verify my math on value. And I should have just pulled the trigger because someone else had bought it. But I mean, they had closed prior to me sending the email on the seventh day to say, I want to buy it right now. And they were like, oh, yeah, we closed yesterday, the guy brought cash. And I'm like hmmm.
Oh, wow. Yeah, well, it was a good deal.
You know, like, dang it. So lesson learned, pull trigger, go, boom.
Alright, so if you were to so if someone was to come to you and ask you about real estate investing, or just, you know, advice in general, financially or whatever, like a young 18-20 year old, what would you tell them?
Like, what do you wish you had learned? Earlier on? Because you are exactly right on the same. I was raised in the school job mentality as well. In fact, we were joking earlier that when I said I was going to join the military, I basically got dragged to like every school in the state of Arkansas, because they were convinced that if I found the right school, I would no longer want to join the military a little did they know that, I just wanted to blow stuff up. I didn't want to take that out of me. So.
I think I think we have some other shared interest there. You know, I went to school for fire protection engineering, I just wanted to catch stuff on fire and put it out. So you know, find a college degree that lets you do that's pretty rare.
So well, I don't know, if somebody in it, you know, let's say 18 or 20 years old came to me and was asking me about real estate first, I would ask them some questions back. And they would be like, okay, what do you want your life to be like? Because, you know, many people out there that the right path for them is to go to school, get a good education, and work for somebody else, you know, if they want a stable, you know, long term career, then maybe maybe working for an employer is the path. But if you want something that doesn't have a ceiling, and you're in control of your own destiny, and you can be creative with things, and if that's what you want, then maybe real estate is the path for you real estate investing that is, so let's just assume that real estate investing is the path we're going to take, because, you know, that's the premise of the show, right?
No, I would say, you know, kind of, once again, fast forward, what do you want your life to look like? Do you want to, you know, have a lot of passive income, do you want to build an active business? Or you gonna, you know, want to flip a bunch of homes every year and you know, have a crew of contractors and be very hands on? Do you want to maybe just, you know, work part time for you know, whatever it is you'd like to do, maybe it's, you know, being an active duty Marine, or being a fire protection engineer, and you just want to supplement your income.
So, I think really auditing what you want your life to look like, and what your goals are, is like the first step. And then from there, I mean, your options are, so enlist with real estate, right? Like we were mentioning, you can wholesale, you can flip, you can buy and hold, you can, you know, do repeated verse strategies.
So I would say just think about what you want your life to be like, kind of map it out, you know, and just do things intentionally. And you know, your options are really endless with what you can do in the world of real estate investing.
Yeah, yeah. And the cool thing is that, like, the more creative you are, and the more you let your imagination run wild, the more opportunities you create for yourself.
In fact, I just had a buddy post something about that yesterday. And I was like, yeah, I just released a video on creative financing, because like, I've somehow managed, and I think it's all luck of the draw, but, you know, who knows, but like, somehow managed to not pay over 6% down on a single property yet, which, granted, might be a little over leveraged on some stuff, but I think, you know, you mentioned like, opportunities, like, they're out there, you just got to be creative. So I don’t know.
Yeah, no, I love that. It's definitely right. I mean, there's, there's so many ways you can do real estate. And the more creative you can get, the more opportunities you can create for yourself.
So having your 80 year old grandpa be or bird dog, or, you know, finding properties like you do, or, you know, investing 6000 miles away, you know, there's just all kinds of different ways you can do it, the more creative you can get with it, the more fun you can have. And yeah.
it's all about a system and a team.
Yes, definitely. So.
Alright, so I like this question and it kind of ties back into the real estate side.
So what is what makes the Jacob Ayers version of or method of real estate investing? Unique or successful? So I know, we talked about a brrrr strategy, but you know, what, what is it that allows you to be successful? Like what's, what would you? I don't know..
I say it's a mindset. Yeah. So I try not to let real estate investing stress me out, I like to, for it to be fun. And it's something I want to do, I don't want it to be like a burden. And you know, like, I need to make, you know, all these deals happen in order to, you know, continue to put food on my table or something like that. I try to just let it know, you know, be the thing that you know, I like to do, I don't want it to really ever become a burden, something.
And it can easily do that because there's some definite definite pitfalls in real estate investing, right, like just this morning, I woke up to a call like plumbing shut off at a rental property.
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Got to handle it, but You know, those things are going to come up. So you just have to have the mentality that those things are gonna happen. Don't let them stress you out when they come build some processes and subsystems of how you're going to handle these things.
And yeah, just try to, you know, roll with the punches. So for me, it kind of starts with that mindset of just, you know, understanding that there are going to be some punches, you're gonna take and try to develop some systems and processes. So and then, you know, after that after, you know, getting that mindset down is I really focus a lot on scalability and being able to unplug from the business a lot. So, yeah, that's kind of like my take on real estate.
I think it's so people think one of the biggest questions I get is, you know, how am I able to buy property when I'm, you know, 6000 miles away, like, and I flew home for my big one, but I flew home, like two days before we closed and it was just because I was like, yeah, I feel like I'm obligated to see this thing.
I actually had no intention of seeing it until my partner was like, you should probably go look at it. Like, okay, fine. And people, you know, it scares people to say that, but honestly, I think it's a blessing for me, because what, what being 6000 miles away has forced me to do is trust my team and have a system because I couldn't operate real estate, like I could not manage my properties from here, you know, on my own and worry about every detail, because it's three in the morning when you guys are waking up. So it would not be conducive to my lifestyle.
And so it's forcing me to have a team and systems and so I think that's almost a benefit. And and if you can get to the point where, like you said, stepping away and having systems in place and not stressing like, other than this one property that you and I kind of talked about, it's a little bit of a headache for me right now, all of my other real estate, the extent of my dealings with it is that I get an email from my property manager at the end of the month that says, here's a report. And if there's something big, she'll call me, but I haven't gotten one of those phone calls in like, four or five months. It's literally just like, hey, here's your report. Any questions? Nope.
And then my hour a month is spent on okay, type up my report because I'm a bum and don't have an assistant yet. Like, they're totally stress free, and their cash flow. And I and that's just systems.
Yeah, you know, so many people come to you, I'm sharing. They're like, David, what about you know, when, you know, you get a plumbing leak? Or what about this? Or what about that? It's like, yeah, those things happen. I know they're gonna happen, but but what's your option, not invest in real estate, because you don't want to deal with the leaky toilet or, you know, you don't want to read the property management statement, or whatever it is, like, it's not a good enough reason to avoid something, right?
Yeah. I don't even know about that stuff. Like, I will get my report at the end of the month.
Oh, I spent 60 bucks on plumbing this month. Do I care to ask what that was? Nahh? Like, I told my manager, hey, unless it's over 300 bucks, or something really weird that you're not sure what route to go to solve it? Don't call me.
Yeah, I love that.
Yeah, I don't, like and I told her, you know, hey, if it's something that you can replace, sort of like a light bulb goes out, replace it with an LED. If toilet breaks, you need to buy a new one, buy a high efficiency one. Like if it's something you can spend an extra 50 to 100 bucks to upgrade more efficiently. Do it. If not, buy the cheapest one. And don't bug me unless it costs over this much. And she's awesome. Like, yeah, so anyway, so system system systems. Wonderful. Totally agree. I'm going to not hijack this.
Alright, so then we kind of covered some of these questions. But I guess you know, I'm gonna throw a weird one at you. And I did not prep you for this.
But I just thought about this, because it is December 14. So everybody's going to start setting their new year, new me, new year's resolutions and all this other crazy stuff.
So I guess my question would be, is there any goal for 2019? That you're dead set on that you would care to share? Or is there a strategy that you use for goal setting that you would like to that you think has made a difference in your life? Because I would assume, and I could be totally wrong on this, that you are the type of person that has some goals in life. Because I have yet to meet a real estate investor who does not at least on some level, set a goal. And if you're that guy, then you know, just admit this entire part of the conversation, but.
Yeah, that's right. You bring up an interesting point.
Most real estate investors have goals. And I don't know if it's just because of the nature of the business, you've got to have them or if it's a personality type that's drawn to real estate investing. But first and foremost, New Year's resolutions and New Year's goals are kind of my pet peeve. Like I don't understand the concept of waiting until a certain date like I'm going to become a better person, but not until January 1, like it's November. I'm just going to continue being a lazy bum for the next two months and then come January 1, I'm going to turn it on like no start today. Like Don't wait until January 1, December 14 today, don't wait until January 1, even though it's two weeks away, like turn it on now. Get after it or like it. Start thinking about it.
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So, yeah, I think goal setting is so important, right? Because if you don't have something you're aiming at, and then what are you doing, right? So I like to start with some long term goals like 10 year goals, and then back calculate from there. Okay? So if that's your 10 year goal, whatever it might be, what's your five year goal? Where do you need to be at your five? And then where do you need to be at year one? And then I really like yearly goals, because I can kind of operate on a yearly basis, right?
So say, your goal is to, you know, buy, I don't know, let's say, a duplex in 2019. What do you need to do in 2019? To buy that duplex? Well, you're going to have to analyze, let's say, 100 deals. So what does that mean? Every month, you're gonna have to analyze, you know, eight deals a month, or whatever it is.
So I really like taking that step by step approach and goal setting. And of course, they have to be smart, right? Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time sensitive. Time bound, right. Does that. Yes, that's Yeah, yeah. So uh, those are really important.
And yeah, but my first and foremost piece of advice is, don't wait to start setting those goals. Don't stop. Don't wait to start acting on them. Like, don't wait until January 1. There's no need to do that. So yeah, just get after it now.
Totally agree. Yeah. So don't watch my facebook live on the 29th. Because it's going to be talking about New Year's goals.
So I just was sitting around, I'm like, okay, so this is the world is going to end as far as those four days of people just posting all this stuff about all new year new me and blah, blah, blah.
And so I got like, four or five different guys, we're gonna do like a group chat, turn it into a Facebook Live and basically talk about, like, 2018-2019 and just try to try to answer questions about just what you and I are just talking about. But I totally agree, like I set goals, but then, you know, if, if I meet one, I set the next one. I don't, it's not like, oh, I met that. Alright, we'll wait till January 1.
And yeah that's kind of what I'm getting at right? I don't mean to come down so hard on New Year's resolutions, because like, at the end of every year, I look at my next year plan, right? And I say okay, in 2019. What are my goals now? Or where am I at? So yeah, I look at things on a monthly annual decade type basis. But if you've got zero goals today, don't wait until some arbitrary calendar date to get started.
So yeah, I mean, yeah, I like I like what you're doing there, too.
Oh, no, I totally agree with you. There's a super negative connotation to New Year's resolutions anyway, because everybody's like me more of like gym today, gym tomorrow. No, Jim, next day. And I think that people set themselves up for failure by joking about that stuff. Because they think like, oh, yeah, well, it's no big deal. Everyone else fails on their goals in the first month like, hmmmm? No, no, people who abide by the New Year's resolution changed my life today, mindset, mentality. People who set goals do not. It's different. Yeah, it's a mentality thing.
But anyway, I digress. So we're gonna get into it, I know you got a not a whole ton of time. And we may be able to talk about this next one for a little bit.
But what is one resource, book, course, website, etc, that you would recommend to anybody getting started in real estate? I'm sorry, for those of you who are like, wow, this jerk is yawning. It's still only 5:15 in the morning. Coffee is yet to be found, I guess.
Yeah. Okay. So I mean, it's hard not to reference bigger pockets. I mean, they are the elephant in the room when it comes to real estate advice, networking, education. And of course, you and I, that's how we met. So I mean, it's got a near and dear place in my heart. It provided me a ton of great information and resources when I was getting started.
So let's set that aside. Let's just assume like that's a given. I think the best resource I could recommend our podcast just in general, because it's like the new Google I mean, anything you want to learn in depth about, there's a podcast out there. If you want to learn about the Harry Potter trivia, I guarantee there's 100 Harry Potter trivia podcasts out there real estate, there's a bazillion. You know, so anything you want to learn? You can find out through a podcast just like you know what we're doing here, YouTube video series, those kinds of things.
So I think that's a phenomenal resource for and it's free, by the way, I think every podcast I've ever come across is free. And so yeah, I'd say podcasts are just like, a great resource to just kind of get involved in the world of real estate investing or whatever it is you want to do. And yeah, from there. It's a rabbit hole. So.
Yeah, yeah, podcasts are good. And yeah, shameless plug for BP because I love them. BiggerPockets is wonderful.
And yeah, podcast. And I think that I mean, there's so many rabbit holes, you could go down with that. But at the end of the day, if you're taking some time to learn for yourself, then you're doing something right.
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Yeah, definitely. And I think it's just setting aside a certain amount of time every day, week, month, whatever it is to invest in yourself, because this whole real estate investing thing is, you know, you're ultimately investing and you're expecting a return.
But the best investment you can make is not in a house. It's not in an apartment building. It's not in some, you know, super low key or high key storage unit somewhere. It's what's in between your ears, it's your mind. So if you're not taking the time to invest in yourself, then don't even bother investing in anything else.
Yeah, I totally agree with that. Yeah, absolutely. And that's why all of us are weirdos when it comes to listening to audiobooks and reading books and talking about goals. And I think that's, like that's hitting the nail on the head. And that's why we all end up on podcasts and talk intelligently or try to talk intelligently about this stuff. Spent time learning it, whether it's on our computer.
Anyway. So to wrap this up, is there anything you want to add any parting advice, big ideas, or anything that we didn't touch on that I should have asked you?
Yeah, I would say, look, if you're thinking about getting started investing in real estate, and you're unsure of, you know, whether it's for you, or whether you can manage it, or if you're worried about the pitfalls or worried about the hardships or whatever, I would say take some time, educate yourself and just take action. And that action could be buying a book on Amazon reading it, that action could be downloading a podcast and listening to it, action could be going to bigger pockets and spending 20 minutes just looking in the forums.
It could be buying your very first deal. It could be researching property managers just to take action. And take that next step. And that next one in the next one, as soon enough, you'll look back and you'll realize you've accomplished all of this.
So I would say just you know, once you decide on it, spend some time investing in yourself and then take action. So yeah, it's doable to everyone out there. Trust me, if Dave and I can do it, then pretty sure anybody else can. So.
I am a marine. Yeah, no. And that's exactly what I always tell people is like learning networks and taking action, if you can, if you can educate yourself and then go for it. Because the most of your learning will be done when you put your foot out the door and take that action. And I found that most of the time when you take action, the learning is good learning. And it's things going your way because you took action and to control your situation in your life.
So alright, Jacob, where can people get a hold of you?
Yeah, well, as you mentioned, I host the real estate way to wealth and freedom podcast. So you can find that anywhere. You can find podcasts, YouTube, I Heart Radio, Stitcher, spreaker, iTunes, all those places.
And if you want to connect with me learn about what I'm doing reach out to me the best place to do so is www.Jacobayers.com
Totally forgot to plug your website earlier.
Well, hey, Jacob, I know you don't have a whole lot of times. We'll wrap this up. But I really appreciate you coming and chatting with us for a little while.
You and I've talked multiple times. And I'm sure we'll continue to stay in touch because it sounds like we're pretty much on the same path as far as our thought processes and objectives. So I look forward to seeing what real estate does for you in the next little while, and I look forward to continuing to listen to your podcast.
Hey, thanks so much. And hey, thanks for having me on the show. It's been a lot of fun
Anytime brother. Have a great day.
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Jacob and I first met after we were both guests on the BiggerPockets Podcast (Show 281)! He is a fire protection engineer that owns 8 rental properties currently! He is also the host of a podcast called The Real Estate Way to Wealth and Freedom (of which I’ve been a guest)! Jacob is an all-around nice guy, with a level head, and great knowledge about real estate investing. I look forward to seeing what 2019 has in store for him!
Join me in the BiggerPockets Pro community! https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/we-recommend-BP-Pro/