Episode 20 – Megan Greathouse on The Military Millionaire Podcast

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Episode 20 – Megan Greathouse on The Military Millionaire Podcast

00:00 - 05:00

David:

What's up military millionaires! I'm your host David Pere.

Today we have an exciting episode talking about how making a great house was able to go solo in real estate investing. Super exciting lifestyle balance. Good stuff if this is your first time listening, thanks for joining the community. This podcast is produced every week for your enjoyment. Show notes are found at Frommilitarytomillionaire.com/podcast now relax and enjoy the show.

Intro:

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.

David:

Hey, what's up everybody? It's Dave here at From military to millionaire.

I'm here with Megan Greathouse today, she was a mega was an officer in the Marine Corps. She was a public affairs officer. And we connected through Instagram. And since then she's gotten out she got her master's of Business Administration with her GI Bill. And now she today actually is her first day she's gone solo for real estate investing, which is super exciting that she was able to do that. So look forward to hearing your story.

Megan, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Megan:

Hey, thanks for having me on.

Yeah, you summed it up pretty well. I right out of undergrad joined the Marine Corps. I came from a military family. My dad was a career marine. So I wanted to serve some time. And I did four years active duty in public affairs. And when I got out, I took advantage of that wonderful GI Bill and went to a great university in my I guess what I'll claim is my hometown now St. Louis, that had a Yellow Ribbon Program as well.

So I was able to get my MBA, without any out of pocket costs to me, I was also able to do reserve work while I was in the MBA, so that I could keep kind of making some money while I was at it and actually bought my first house during my MBA program. So that was a you know, it was one to live in. But it was one we knew we might try to rent out later.

So um, so that was pretty sweet that I was able to do that while I was in the MBA program. After the MBA, I went to corporate america and marketing. I spent the past four years doing that full time. And it was a great experience, you know, well paying, which was awesome and helped us out a lot as well my husband and I both got MBA’s and got great paying jobs that we were able to sock a lot of money away to put into real estate investing. And this year, we decided it was time for me to step away both for real estate and for some lifestyle changes for us. We have a two year old.

So I left my job basically right after the new year. I worked a few days the past couple of weeks to help them with transition. But today is kind of my first official real estate working for myself. Unemployed day, and I'm spending the first hour with you. So it's pretty cool.

David:

Yeah, being super unproductive, nothing real.

Megan:

I got up early. I got my coffee. I'm here. So it's uh, you know, at least it is sleeping on my first day.

David:

I mean, that's true. You definitely could. That's a bad habit to start here.

Megan:

Right.

David:

Although.

Megan:

I try not to do that.

David:

Yeah. So what is the I guess my first question would be so what's, what's the plan, like working wise, if you thought about what your weeks are going to look like?

Megan:

Yeah, so it's interesting, because I've thought a lot about it. But I know I'll kind of figure it out as I go, as well. And so the whole idea behind real estate was to have more flexibility for my family.

So first of all, we cut my daughter down to part time daycare. So I will be spending Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays with her, which is very exciting for me. And of course, I'll wake up early to get some work done before she's up and I'll be able to work during her naps.

But um, but yeah, Monday, Wednesday, Fridays are primarily family time hanging with the kid taking advantage of it before she goes to kindergarten. She's almost three. So she's only got a couple years before kindergarten.

But then Tuesdays and Thursdays are going to be all about the real estate business. So obviously, there's a lot involved with that. We are, buy and hold investors. So we have a few small multifamily properties in the St. Louis area so far. But you know, as lots of people in real estate find when you're looking for those opportunities, and you're doing things like direct mail, and just constantly scouring the MLS and networking with people, you come across opportunities that maybe don't fit for you perfectly, but you can still make something of it.

So we've actually wholesale one property as well. And we are finishing up a flip. Right now. It's like going on the market at the end of this week. So I think going forward, I want to make sure that we continue to build our own buy and hold portfolio. So everything that goes on with that deal analysis and marketing and everything. But I'm also going to take advantage of any opportunities that come our way besides that so I might do some wholesaling to kind of continue to build capital for our business.

05:00 - 10:00

Megan:

So, it's interesting because I'm going to have to find the right way to schedule lead generation and networking and checking in on my properties and working on my property management SLP. Because I really want to get some processes and systems in place that help us run really efficiently.

David:

Yeah, that's awesome. And I like that you mentioned the you've wholesale and flipped a house and is that the other so because a lot of people get wrapped up in buy and hold game or whatever their game is, and they don't realize the truly successful real estate investors or those who can find a property that's a deal and whether it fits their niche or not figured out how to make some cash with it. And the easiest way, you know, worst case scenario is just wholesale it to someone who is their game.

Megan:

Yeah.

David:

It’s not all that complex, but people don't think about it, they look at it and say that that's not what I'm looking for, well, if it's a solid deal, whether it's what you're looking for, like for me, I don't, I have not dabbled a whole lot in single family homes, although I've been trying to find a good one here recently to do like the BRRRR method.

Megan:

Right.

David:

But you know, if I'm looking for duplexes and triplexes, at the time, and I find a single family, that would be a perfect flip, but I don't have the team in place to flip it. But the thing under contract and call someone you know, in a phone call, you'll make you know, three, four or five grand off it whatever your wholesale fee is for basically doing nothing.

Megan:

Yeah, and even if it's a small wholesale fee, nearly nearly nothing, it's still something and you're probably getting something out relationship wise from that. So maybe you're helping out a connection that you already had, that you really wanted to help out. Or maybe you're strengthening some neural connections by helping them out and bringing them a deal that really makes sense for them.

So I think there are a ton of ways to make money, whether it's actual money or you know, strengthening relationships, or whatever the case is for later. Just from taking advantage of when you see deals that make sense for someone to help be the connection point.

David:

Absolutely.

So I was kind of curious. First, I guess I'd ask, like your buy and hold strategy, kind of what are you guys doing? Is there anything unique as far as your acquisition? Or? Like what you guys are in the realm of doing I guess?

Megan:

Yeah, so for the first couple, not really, I mean, I would say it was kind of that rule of thumb if you look at about 100 deals to find one that makes sense. And it was a lot of just doing things on weekends and evenings and trying to work around my daughter schedule and my work schedule. So we bought off the MLS the first couple of times, really.

And I mean, we put 25% down, it was pretty typical, in terms of how you buy real estate, the last one, we actually did buy it off the MLS, but we found one that needed a lot of work. And we were able to get it at a price that will allow us to BRRRR it. So we're finishing up renovations on that one now, we should be looking at refinancing next month.

So going forward is really where we'd like to be, is to buy rehab rent refinance repeat methods of really finding ways to put little to no money into the deals in the long term, but still have some equity coming out of the other end.

David:

Like it, yeah, that's a super powerful strategy, because you can pull your cash back out and reuse it. Talk about and it is exponential.

Megan:

Right.

And it's great, because we're, this is our first one. So we recognize it might not be perfect. But uh, at the end of the day, even if we go over budget, we're gonna end up, you know, with maybe 10% cash into it rather than the 25 that would have been required otherwise. So it's a sweet deal. If you can make it work. It just takes a little bit of extra effort.

David:

Yeah, that's phenomenal.

So okay, so I would I'm curious, having had a media background, both in the Marine Corps and a marketing background, outside of the Marine Corps, are there any tricks or trades that, like you, you have learned that might help with lead generation? And if they're super tricks, don't you know, she's not in the St. Louis market. So don't don't try to...

Megan:

No, you know, it's, it's interesting because I, I believe in education, and I listened to, like, every single BiggerPockets podcast, I went on to your YouTube site and started watching some of your stuff. And I've tried to do as much learning as I can in the past couple of years, especially in that first year.

And every time I listen to anything about direct mail, it feels a little bit sometimes ho hum and boring, but it's very much true. And we know it to be true in the marketing world as well. That repetition is key. I mean, that's key in life in general. They say you have to tell yourself something seven times to remember it and so that that repetition part really is key. I've heard a ton of people talk about how they see people fail because they do one round of letters and they never follow up and it just doesn't necessarily work.

10:00 - 15:00

Megan:

So I actually, you know, even though it can feel like a big outlay of cash, we went ahead and invested in six months of repeating mailers to a group. So, thousand addresses, each one gets a mailer once every month for six months. And we went into direct mail marketing saying we wouldn't do anything less than that. Because we know from what we've heard in the real estate world, as well as what I know from marketing, that repetition is key.

So there's going to be competition out there, there's going to be a lot of other people doing mailers trying to get people's attention as well. At the end of the day, when someone decides they're ready to call somebody, they're probably going to call the people that they're like, Oh, yeah, I've heard this Greathouse name, like four times. And, I mean, it probably helps it. My name is Greathouse also, I had a couple of calls when people told me that. But uh, but yeah, so I think repetition is key. And then kind of connected with that is how you manage your leads, and how you make sure that you're actually tracking everything.

So this is something that I want to improve on in the coming year. In the past year, when we did direct mail, I was kind of working around my work schedule. I would try to call people back during lunch, if I could, but if I had a lunch meeting, it would be the next day. And, you know, ideally, you're getting back to if you can't answer the phone, when they call it, you should be getting back to them within 24 hours. And I couldn't always make that happen. So I think that's something that's exciting, too, about me going full time into this is because I can actually get a process in place to really follow up on those leads aggressively, and make sure that people feel like okay, this is someone who's actually ready to act on my interest in selling.

David:

I like that and follow up aggressively.

Yeah, I'm so good at that sometimes. I have found that a lot of times, and it's funny, I was a recruiter. So you'd think I would be really awesome with the phone. But I found a lot of times when someone calls me and I can tell it's a callback on a mailer, that I almost prefer to let it go to voicemail just so that I know if I'm walking into a storm.

Megan:

Yeah, I'm, I'm the same way which is rough because it is best to answer when they call. But when I see a phone, phone number comes through that I'm pretty curious from one of my mailers, I'm always like, hmm, am I ready to answer this right now? So I'm with you there.

It's a tough one. I think it takes a certain type of person to just be always ready to sell for lack of a better term. You're kind of selling yourself as a potential buyer, I guess. And I'm not necessarily one of those people. I'm much more like a brand builder. And you know the network more than I am in the sales side. But it's something that I'll be working on this year because I know that it pays off.

David:

Yeah, people talk all the time about direct mail and all the all the wins. But I don't think enough people talk about the reality of direct mail, which is the voicemails you get that are like, I don't know how you got my address, but you better never call me again, or I'm gonna report you to the police you are and you're like, Whoa, dude, like, I sent you a letter saying that I want to buy your house in cash. How is that a bad thing? Like if you're looking to sell your house? That's a great thing. If you're not looking to sell your house, at least you know, your house isn't a POS because somebody's making it off.

Megan:

Right.

I know. It's crazy. I kind of always wonder, do they get angry at all the companies that send them coupons in the mail? It's basically the same thing trying to entice you to buy something or sell something.

David:

Yeah.

Megan:

That maybe you weren't thinking of before. But yeah, it's pretty funny. Some of the voicemails I've gotten are some of the calls that in retrospect, I guess I'm glad I didn't try to answer at work. Because it could have been a little awkward to suddenly have people around me here shouting on the other end of the line. Certainly gotten a few of those.

David:

That's funny.

Yeah, it totally happens. And it's not fun at all. I'm going to actually write in a note right now that I'm going to make a YouTube video about the reality of direct mail.

Megan:

Yeah, that's a great call. You know what I found while you're making your note, what I found to be pretty disarming for people, those that if you actually take it out, like continue smiling when you talk back to them, people can hear your smile on the phone and stay super calm.

I had one lady call me just in an outrage. You could tell she was an older woman and probably thought that I had just completely invaded her privacy in some way. She was very upset. And you know, just tried to keep smiling and answer super calmly and politely and by the end of the phone, she's like, okay, okay. Yeah, thank you, you know, the voice tone totally changed. I mean, it's, some people will stay mad. But for the most part, I think people start to realize it's just a human being on the other end and when you're, you're like, Okay, no problem. I'll take you off my list. They calm down pretty quickly.

15:00 - 20:00

David:

Yeah, we used to, on recruiting, they call it smile and dial and that's, that's the reason right? Because you know, parents don't want you to call their kid but we had a recruiter who, man, he thought he was happy on the phone. But like, No, you you are you are not happy at all ever. And we would. We found at one point we had, we put a mirror on his desk, and we would be like you watching yourself on the phone, right? Like you would look at him here. And holy crap made a huge difference. Like you could see his numbers change because he was just oh, I'm not smiling. I'm a miserable SAP on this phone. And yeah, it works.

Megan:

Yeah, absolutely.

David:

I have to put up videos like tips and tricks.

Megan:

Definitely.

David:

Go up here and like to write my own YouTube script as we're talking.

Megan:

I love it.

David:

Alright.

So that's actually phenomenal the repetition thing, because I think a lot of people fail at that I'm guilty of, you know, sending out a list and saying an ad and getting phone calls. I'll try something else. And that's, you know, that's not what successful people do.

I've had, there's someone trying to buy my house back in Missouri. And I've forgotten three mailers in the last couple months. And I will not be selling my house to them, because I like my house. But I know that and I, you know, shot them a message. It was like, hey, FYI, I'm an investor. And I'm not selling this for a price that you'll make any money. I'm sorry.

Megan:

Yeah.

David:

But I have been added to their wholesaler list. And they're probably the best wholesaler found in the area.

Megan:

Yeah, I've had a couple people call me also so going back to making sure you kind of look for the opportunities to, to monetize or make use of any leads you get, even if it doesn't fit, fit your normal model.

I've gotten calls from multiple people who said, you know, I'm not looking to sell, but I'm trying to buy more if you come across anything. And I usually take down their information, I also tell them about the meetup that I coordinate once a month here in the St. Louis area. So I like you, I coordinate a meetup of real estate investors in the area. And, you know, I try to make that connection and make it a warm one. And just last week, I met a guy for coffee, who called me because of my direct mail and said, I'm not looking to sell, but I'd like to buy more.

He ended up being this guy who has like 20 properties here in St. Louis, 20 properties in Florida, and a couple of commercial units somewhere in Ohio. And he's been doing it for, you know, 20 years on off, in addition to being I think, a business owner on the side, or originally, eventually retired from that. But I mean, he was like, basically mentoring me during this hour long coffee that we had last week. And that just came from answering a phone call and trying to make the connection, even though I didn't have something to sell to him, right.

David:

Yeah. And had you called that guy and said, Hey, I'm looking for a real estate mentor, he would have never answered you.

Megan:

Right. Yeah.

David:

So you got something out of it, that it's probably more valuable than just what you know, if someone else had sent or responded to the mailer. And I found that as well. I actually do the same thing. If I get a mailer from someone, the first thing I do is call or email or whatever their contact is on there and say, hey, look, this is who I am, this is what I'm doing, you know, let's connect. And I found my best wholesalers that way, because they don't always have a website that pops up in Google. And there's this funny quote about if you're, you know, the easiest, the best place to hide a body is the second page of Google.

Megan:

Right.

David:

It's right. I don't ever look on Google. If it's not on the first page. Sorry. But yeah, wholesalers wholesalers are a huge asset for building your business or anyone looking to buy houses.

Megan:

Yeah, it's true. I also, again, go back to kind of the competitiveness, how many people do direct mail and the importance of repetition. And then good follow up. It's interesting how many times I've called folks who sent me a mailer about my properties and just never heard anything back.

So if you want, you know, a little bit of, I guess, reassurance that your time and effort will work, just look at how many others out there, do fail at the follow through and and realize that if you're the one who does follow up, you're probably going to get that deal even though this, you know, seller may be sent out maybe five other postcards showed up at the sellers house, but you're the one who actually follows up.

It's amazing how many of us don't and, again, I've been guilty of that this past year, too. So definitely something that I'm going to fix this year.

David:

I’ll write that down. That's a nugget.

You're right, because a lot of people don't call back, which is strange.

Megan:

Yeah. But I mean, you know, you and I were both in the same situation. This past year. We're, you work a full time job and you can understand why that can happen. I think there are plenty of people who are going through the same thing right now, not everyone who sends out a postcard is a full time real estate investor with a process in place to make sure that doesn't happen.

So I'm going to become one of those full time investors. He does have a process in place.

20:00 - 25:00

David:

Yeah. And systems are definitely important. Do you have, are you looking for like, do you have a script or whatever you use when someone calls and you talk to him or set in the works?

Megan:

I started on one I actually my first direct mail campaign that I did last year, I did through someone from BiggerPockets, excuse me.

And he was really great about kind of providing a little bit of mentorship and sending a script and everything I went through that it kind of changed a few things here and there to put it a little more in my own voice, tried to follow it a couple times. And then I realized I'm probably a little bit better at this when I'm being a little more natural with it.

So I have now a list of questions that I tried to make sure I asked to get some basic information. So about the house about, you know, you're interested in selling, what the multifamily properties, you know, going forward, that's what I'll be looking into more, but just trying to figure out their motivations, timelines, and some of the relevant facts about the house and then try to get them to set a time for me to come see it. But other than just kind of following that list of things that I kind of need to checkboxes on. I don't follow much of the scripts, because I think I do better just speaking to them in a more personable manner anyway.

David:

I’m kind of the same way. Yeah, solo scripts are awesome, but you gotta you gotta tweak it to your own voice. Because if it's not your voice, it's not gonna sound it's gonna sound robotic.

Megan:

Yeah. And if you're too beholden to a script, and someone calls you, and right away, they want to ask you a question that doesn't follow your script, it's just gonna throw you off.

So it's great to have one in mind, or have kind of a checklist of things you need to get through. But you need to be flexible, too. You need to be able to talk to them, and build some report even in that first conversation.

So I think scripts are good to have, but you shouldn't live and die by them.

David:

Yeah, I like the checklist of questions rather than a script.

Megan:

Yeah.

David:

All right. So what else? Anything else that you can think of as far as like to buy and hold and stuff that you might like, like, unique to your process?

Megan:

Unique? I don't know. I mean, there's so many people who've been doing this for so long, and I've been at it, you know, just under two years. So I don't know if I can claim anything that's unique, Megan isn't yet.

I think really, for me, I guess maybe my goal, and this is something that's different for everyone. But my goal is not to be a multi billionaire with 8 million units, you know, I'm really looking at something that I can build that is sizable enough to give me and my family the lifestyle we want. But not so big that it just feels like a behemoth to manage. And I think I'm going to learn a lot about what the right sizes are as I go.

Right now, I have a picture in mind. But um, but yeah, I think I'm really looking for that lifestyle business over something that's like, Whoa, look what I built and look at all these units, which there's nothing wrong with that. I think that the people who build big like that are awesome, and those are the people I want to be learning from.

But yeah, I think my style going forward is going to be very lifestyle focused. I'm big into family, big into travel, we try to do international travel at least once a year. And I don't want to feel like I'm losing the ability to have some flexibility to do that.

David:

Yeah, that's killer. And I would, I would agree with you on the units thing, although it's not a lot of people say it. But you know, having a lot of units is cool. But the real metric is cash flow.

And, you know, if you have 200 units in their costume, and you're only making $1,000 on it. Cool story.

Megan:

Yeah.

David:

And there's guys out there like that. I mean, right now I have a big property that is not doing what it should have been doing. And I'm trying to get out from under it. You know, and it's unfortunately, it's like, two thirds of my portfolio. So it's like, hey, I've got all these units, and they're worthless. I want to go back to 13 units. Those 13 are awesome. You know, so that's the reality.

Megan:

Yeah, absolutely. And I actually, my husband and I go through the exercise a lot to have more leveraged units versus fewer paid off units. And there's a ton of really great mathematical reasons that leverage makes a ton more sense. But again, from a lifestyle perspective, and from a peace of mind easy to sleep at night perspective. I'm really tempted to get to a point where we've got a certain number of units and then we're just paying them off.

So again, I know that mathematically, leverage makes a ton more sense, but I'm going for the lifestyle.

25:00 - 30:00

David:

And if you know, it's a personal goal. I've heard this strategy where somebody like people want, you know, 30% of their properties paid off. Because those three cash flows are higher, these ones are. I got a buddy who owns 20 houses, and they're all cash, they're all free and clear. And he made like 80 grand last year or something like that in passive income. I'm like, Ah, that's nice. That's really sweet. You know, and I don't, but I was able to build, you know, a decent sized portfolio a lot faster than he was. So it's kind of, but none of mine cash flow as well.

So over time, they will, you know, they'll pay themselves down and be a little bit different. So I'm kind of kind of the same boat, I'm looking to pay off my duplex just to say it's paid off and then work on the rest of this stuff as is, but we shall see.

Megan:

Yeah.

David:

All right. So we'll roll into one of my first questions here. I normally say if an E1, E2 military but you know, if an 18-20 year old, whatever walked up to you asking for advice, you only had a few minutes to give me your best tip on real estate life, whatever. What would it be?

Megan:

Um, yeah. So it's funny you say that because I actually was that junior officer in the Marine Corps, who went to the major in my office and was like, I feel like we need to do some sort of financial education for these guys. I even back then as a, you know, 23-24 year old, I was trying to share what little I knew at the time.

But I think the biggest thing in my mind is it boils down to being intentional about your finances, about your life. There are a lot of people who think, alright, if I get this job, and I have some money coming in, then it's more money than I've had before. Because I didn't, you know, if you're an 18-19 year old, or E1, E2, you've got a job, and all of a sudden, you're like, Hey, cool, I got money, I can spend it.

If you're not intentional about thinking about what you want your life to be in the long run, if you're not intentional about looking at how you spend your money. And I don't necessarily mean I, you know, assigning a certain dollar amount to every single category in your budget, but just looking at it and knowing where you spend and deciding, is that really how I want to spend because it's amazing how many people don't even realize what they're doing with their finances.

And people in my office, where most of us were making, you know, six figures, they look at me, and they'd be like, Oh, man, I just don't know how you bought, you know, multiple properties. And I can't imagine having multiple mortgages. And you know, we were making the same amount. It's just that I've paid attention to this. I kind of got that personal finance bug early on. And so I'm kind of always at least aware of what I'm doing. And there are a lot of people out there who don't pay that much attention.

So paying attention, being intentional about what you're doing with your finances, and with your life in general, is kind of, I think, the best advice for making sure it doesn't all just slip by and you're like, wait, what happened?

David:

Yeah, I totally agree.

I try to, so I host because of that exact problem. I'm a command financial specialist. I host a financial class once a month. And you know, the first month I had like, 50 people, and the second month I had like three and I was like, alright, nobody cares. So I think it ended up being four as someone came in, halfway through.

And honestly, the four was that an awesome conversation cuz I just threw the PowerPoint out the window and just literally sat down. I was like, okay, where are you guys at? What do you guys know?

Yeah, we do a really good job of talking about finances after somebody's finances go south. Right. And it's, you know, the, they're improving. And, you know, that's not their job. But the biggest one of the big things I talked about is opportunity cost because this kid by and you know, iPhones, Jordans, and cars, that's all great. He's got plenty of time to make his living. But I'm like, dude, if you invest in your tsp or something with compound interest now, you'll never be able to catch up. I'm, I'm putting 22% of my paycheck in my tsp right now, knowing that I will never be able to catch up to where I would have been if I put half that in when I was 18. And put it in the right font.

Megan:

Yeah, that’s true.

David:

Yeah, that's solid. intentional, intentional, intentional. I like that.

Megan:

Yeah.

David:

Awesome. So what is what I guess I just mentioned that kind of talked about one thing. I didn't know when I asked this question. And people always tell me it's not the military's job. But I like to ask them. Do you wish the military taught you about real estate investing finances earlier?

Megan:

Yeah, I mean, I get why people would say it's not the military's job. But I also think that the military is unique in terms of tight knit brotherhood and sisterhood. You've got a lot of young kids coming right out of high school, who take on an immense amount of responsibility for their age, and they're looking for outlets. And if you don't have someone there who's trying to help guide them in some way and just give them the heads up that you need to be intentional. You need to be looking at how much you spend versus how much you make and thinking about the future. I mean, who's gonna tell him most of these kids are taken far away from home pretty quickly, depending on where they lived originally.

30:00 - 35:00

Megan:

So, um, you know, I don't think that the military needs to get too crazy into, you know, thinking about being I mean, they probably it's against their best interest to talk people into being entrepreneurs or, you know, big time investors, but just getting some basics into those kids hands early on.

I think, you know, even I went through college first, and I still saw a ton of my peers who didn't think about things that way. So some sort of, you know, basic, basic understanding of setting budgets and having some mine for personal finance, you know, there's some young kids out there, far away from home, making money suddenly, and not really sure how to manage it yet. And I think a little bit of basic knowledge would go a long way.

David:

Yeah, I agree.

And we're getting better. There's a base here, there's a personal readiness seminar that New Jordans are supposed to go to and like their first three months, and it's a big financial thing.

Megan:

That’s awesome.
David:

Yeah, it is. Because especially now, with the new retirement, we have to be a lot better with teaching fund management and the Thrift Savings Plan. Because if you leave it in the G fund, you may never lose money, but you might never ever make money either.

Megan:

Right.

David:

Just what I did, which is why I have like a third of what I would have had if I put it in a smart account. But.

Megan:

Yeah.

David:

Oh, well.

Megan:

I mean, yeah, I know.

I mean, and you're still doing better than most, I would imagine, because you got into investing. But yeah, it's it's crazy how much I mean, I look back and the only reason I really got into it is because I graduated from college. And as a graduation present, my dad handed me total money makeover by Dave Ramsey, and the Millionaire Next Door by, I can’t remember his name.

David:

Yeah, it's a good one.

Megan:

Yeah it’s a good one. But yeah, he gave me those I've always at least been the type who likes reading. So cracking open the book wasn't hard for me. But uh, he gave me those and basically was like, don't screw this up.

And I read on and it intrigued me and I kept reading and, you know, I didn't always act on the information I was reading right away a lot of it. I did lots of it I didn't. And so you know, hindsight being 2020, I would have done even more in my early 20s.

But at least I had someone who gave me some material and tried to give me a push in the right direction. And it helped me start on a few things. And at least starting on those few things is better than not having started at all at age 20-23.

David:

Yeah, I agree.

Megan:

Yeah.

David:

All right. Well, I think I think we might have already touched on this, but I, you know, what makes the Megan Greathouse method of investing unique or successful?

Megan:

Yeah, yeah, we kind of already touched on it, I think I'm not quite to a place where I could claim anything super unique yet I do. We are working on our first BRRRR now. And I want to keep doing that. So I think that's probably not so unique anymore. Because a lot of people talk about it, there's even a handy little name for it. But I really want to do that as much as I can. And then I want to try to make sure I keep this business, a lifestyle business as I build it. Not grow just for the sake of growth, but grow to a place where I'm comfortable. I don't want to say comfortable because that implies you're not growing anymore.

But I want to keep it at a point where I'm still spending a lot of time with family. I'm still traveling. It's built around my life, rather than my life being built around my business.

David:

I think I mean, I think you say nothing super unique. I think the repetition thing is super unique. Because there's not many people who send out more than one mail out, they say, oh, it didn't work, and then they stop and they don't ever spend any more money on it.

Megan:

Right.

David:

I also think the lifestyle thing, that's huge. So people talk about their why. And often they're wise, you know, some big lofty financial goal when reality like that's not what's gonna keep you motivated me. Don't get me wrong. Having a cool car is nice, but it's the, um, the non tangible things that matter.

Megan:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

I think some of my favorite examples from you know, things like the BiggerPockets podcasts are people like, you know, Chad Carson, who really set up a lifestyle for himself. And then he and his wife and their two kids were able to go live in South America. I can't remember exactly where for like, yeah, a couple over a year. I think so. Yeah. So Central America, I guess.

For over a year just learning Spanish fluently and doing something different and having grown up, you know, my dad was military. I lived abroad in Okinawa for six years growing up, but I would love to take my family out of the country. At some point I would love to learn another language fluently because I've built a business that enables something like that. So those are my favorite stories. And that's the kind of story I want to build for myself.

35:00 - 40:00

David:

I like that I've got a buddy Joseph Hogue. He's another youtuber and kind of the same thing like he got out of the Marine Corps did his own thing for a while, and he was like, we're gonna go live in Colombia for two or three years. And that's what they do.

And the cool thing is, and this is what's really crazy about it is the way they're doing it. They're living abroad, they're doing all those other things, but the cost of living is like 20% of what it was in the US. So since he's still doing online stuff, he's also saving at a huge rate compared to what they've been before.

So he's exponentially increased his financial position while having a two year vacation. And everything.

Megan:

Yeah, that’s amazing, that's pretty freaking cool.

David:

Yeah. Talking about winning. If I could go live in like Italy for two years and become richer by doing so I probably would do it.

Megan:

Right, I know, right. I love it.

David:

Alright, what's a one resource, book, course, website, whatever you would recommend to anybody looking to get started in real estate?

Megan:

Um, so yeah, I mean, I think bigger pockets, and a lot of the books they've put out are awesome. And I think I first found out who you were through bigger pockets, because you were on one of your podcasts. And so I've learned a ton from that. And if you're into buy and hold, and you're, you know, if you're looking to go that route, one that I read fairly recently, and it's kind of helping me set up my own systems and processes is Brandon Turner's book on managing rental properties.

So I mean, not everyone wants to manage their own properties. But even if you're not going to manage them, having an awareness of what should go into managing is probably a smart move for you as an investor. And for someone like me, who wants to kind of set up my own systems and get it running myself and maybe then bring some people on to help with it afterwards. I felt like it was a must read and, basically, building an SLP. Like typing it out based on the structure he put in that book, because it's just, it's awesome. He lays it out really easily. So yeah, that was a great one for me.

David:

I think that book is cool because it's him and his wife. And it shows that, you know, this can be a family business, because then they managed to do everything on their own, which is super cool.

Megan:

Yeah, absolutely.

David:

They're both really nice people. So they didn't lose their hair and turned gray doing it.

Megan:

Yeah, they seem like they're living the dream, at least, I see on like, Instagram and everything. No Instagram is that. That's what you put on Instagram. But it's pretty cool how they've set up a lifestyle business. And they set goals together, and then they kind of just slam and they're living in Hawaii.

David:

They found a way to live in Maui, and not pay much more than they were to live in the Seattle area or Washington, wherever. So it's pretty cool. I'm jealous. I had to come, you know, be dragged around by the Marine Corps and not have a lifestyle to live out here, which is still awesome. But you know, the joke in Hawaii is that you live here for three years, and you never get to see it like someone who came on vacation because you weren't.

Megan:

Right, right. Yeah.

David:

That's not the end of weekends. But you know, like you said, we spend our weekend doing laundry or whatever. So we have a lot of stuff that we still have to check off our list before we leave. The other thing is there's just so much stuff to do here that I can't ever do.

Megan:

It's an awesome problem to have. Yeah.

David:

Yeah, there's still like a whole plethora of hikes that I'm like, oh, yeah, you could do that one.

Megan:

Yeah.

David:

Alright. So before we wrap it up, any, any, you know, anything you'd like to add parting advice, big ideas.

Megan:

Um, you know, I think for me, something that's been big this past year and a half since I got started is you got to learn, you got to educate yourself, but then you just have to start acting also.

So I think there's kind of this constant cycle of you learn, you act, and you repeat. So I have done a lot of things. Without 100% of the information, I think it's impossible to get 100% of the information before you act. And there are some people who will never ask because they're trying to get 100% of the information.

So you know, none of my investments so far are like the perfect home runs. But I'm leaps and bounds ahead of anyone who is just waiting around to find the perfect investment.

So yeah, learn, ask and repeat. You learn from the mistakes you make on one, and then your next one's that much better. And you just keep building that way slowly. But surely.

David:

I think that's something the military does a great job of teaching people is the like, making a decision on an 80% solution.

Megan:

Yeah.

David:

So many people get wrapped up in waiting for everything to fall out, you're never gonna know. And if you can't pull the trigger, you're just never gonna learn. And it really works out.

Megan:

Yeah. And it's, I mean, that's something that I really appreciate from having been in the military. And I think the fact that my husband and I both were in the military, it has made us jump into investing and now me just leaving my six figure job to focus on this that much easier because we're both the type who we look at what's happening in front of us. We get the information we can, but we don't spend too much time, you know, just having in mind, and we make a decision and we go for it.

40:00 - 42:23

Megan:

And so far it served us well, even if it wasn't perfect, it was better than the nothing we would have done otherwise. So I really value that. And I think, you know, if you've got a lot of folks who are in the military or police officers, firefighters, whatever the case is, people who have to be trained like that, you've got a huge advantage, just from having that training in your background. Because there are so many people in this world who just can't make a decision. You're gonna do better than they ever will. Just because you're ready to make a decision, for better or worse, and you're gonna follow it through.

David:

Yeah, absolutely.

And that's that's killer, just taking action. You'll run circles around people if you pull the trigger.

Megan:

Right. Absolutely.

David:

Yep. So where can people get a hold of you Megan? If they wanted to reach out.

Megan:

Yeah, so I'm in bigger pockets. I'm also you can reach me at my email address, it's Megan and M E G A N @ it's kind of a long one, Greathouses. So MeganGreathouse-stl.com. So that's my official real estate, business email, and people can feel free to get ahold of me. And I'm on you know, like on Instagram and Facebook, I don't really spend as much time on Facebook, but I like Instagram. That's where I think you and I actually first connected and chatted about maybe coming on to the podcast.

David:

That is and I will be sure to throw your Instagram handle up in the show notes as well as I like what you did with your email. I didn't catch that. I think when we started email.

That's cool.

Megan:

Yeah, yeah. So you know, we've got a good name for real estate. So we just use it everywhere. Pretty much are married into it, whatever. It's working out.

David:

Yeah. That's super cool. Awesome.

Well, hey, Megan, thank you very much for being on the show. This has been a blast. I look forward to when I may get back to Missouri one of these days and have to come up to St. Louis and hang out.

Megan:

Absolutely. That would be awesome. I really appreciate you having me. This was fun. And I'm gonna enjoy continuing to follow what you're doing.

David:

Yeah, we'll have to do a follow up sometime when you've been solo for like a year and see how much you did.

Megan:

Yeah. And I've totally crushed it. I'm sure.

David:

That's the goal.

As long as you crush the lifestyle. That's it.

Megan:

Yeah. Right. That's what we're going for.

David:

Awesome. Well, thank you very much. Have a great day.

Megan:

All right. Take care.

Megan Greathouse on The Military Millionaire Podcast

Episode 20 – Megan Greathouse

Megan Greathouse is a full-time real estate investor!

Mergan served in the United States Marine Corps as a public affairs officer! After  four years she exited the service, got her MBA (courtesy of the GI bill) and landed a solid marketing job in the corporate world! As of the day we recorded this podcast, she is officially solo! She will now be spending 3 days a week with her kiddo, and 2 days a week working on the real estate investing business…which we are excited to hear more about in the future!

Advice to an E-1/E-2 (18/20-year-old) is:

Be intentional about your finances, job, and life!

the resource she recommends is:

BiggerPockets, and the book on managing rental properties https://amzn.to/2SThMoS

His big idea/parting advice is:

learn, and start acting! Don’t wait for a 100% solution, get an 80% solution and make a decision!

If you want to reach out to Megan you can find her on Instagram at: @m_greathouse or E-mail at [email protected]

Also, check out her blog at part-time-empire.com

SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/2Q3EvfE

Blog: https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/start-here/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/frommilitarytomillionaire/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frommilitarytomillionaire/

Audible: https://amzn.to/2K0wzxL

Join me in the BiggerPockets Pro community! https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/we-recommend-BP-Pro/

Books I recommend

First read: https://amzn.to/2KcTEww

Real Estate Investing: https://amzn.to/2ltPRNm

Real Estate Investing: https://amzn.to/2yxFBNf

Real Estate Investing: https://amzn.to/2IhQ1QI

Building Wealth: https://amzn.to/2ttiwpf

Efficiency: https://amzn.to/2K1eRdy

Efficiency: https://amzn.to/2yvuu7K

Negotiating: https://amzn.to/2tmCyT7

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David Pere

David Pere

David is an active duty Marine, who devotes his free time to teaching personal finance and real estate investing for service members, and the working class!

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