Episode 22 – Michael Mazzella on The Military Millionaire Podcast

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Episode 22 – Michael Mazzella on The Military Millionaire Podcast

00:00 - 05:00

David:

What's up military millionaires. I'm your host, David Pere. Today we have a really, really exciting episode with Michael Mazella. This guy is a special forces guy who got out of the army and stayed out here in Hawaii. He's done over 240 fix and flip properties here in Hawaii, not even including his passive income deals back in the mainland. And this guy won't flip a house unless he's making six figures. So you do the math.

He's amazing. He was also a rich dad coach. At one point, he runs the Honolulu mentorship program out here. I mean, the guy's legendary so the wisdom is bits in here is great. Gotta check it out. Stay through all the way to the end because I mean is just packed full of information.

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 David From military to millionaire. We have a really exciting episode today I'm here with Michael Mazella who was a Army Ranger, army infantry officer did a lot of fun stuff in the Army's you tell us a little bit about, but the way that I know, Michael is that he is one of if not the biggest house flipper on the island of Guam. Like, everybody knows this guy's name because he is out there, just crushing it. And not only is he a big house flipper, he also runs my favorite real estate related event on the island, the mastermind event. And then he also runs a mentorship in a training program that my friend, Jin, that you're always seeing on my videos has gone through and it's just awesome.

So I'm super excited to be able to do this. Michael, welcome aboard.

Michael:

Hello, David. Thanks a lot for having me. I'm proud to be here on From military to millionaire. I think it's a great concept. I'm glad you're doing this brother.

David:

Thank you. Thank you, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Michael:

Alright, well, I've lived in Hawaii for like 29 years. So this year, when I came here I was in the military. So this was my last assignment at Schofield Barracks.

David:

Awesome.

Michael:

Yeah, I do now for about 20 years now. So I haven't been recently in the military. But, you know, as a very young man, you know, a lot of who I am today was because of my, you know, my time in the military.

So I'm, you know, very proud of my service, I have a lot of respect, you know, for you, David and Jin and all the guys who are you know, who are still serving, I think it's, it's not an easy, you know, thing to do with all the deployments that are happening. So I thank you guys for your service.

And like I said, I'm proud to be able to contribute something to your, you know, to your audience. And I hope they can learn a lot. I've been flipping houses or really investing in real estate for this is, or 17. I have done this for 17 years. Oh my god, I'm right around just right between little over 240 deals under my belt. Most of them are, you know, right here on Oahu. But I've also bought a bunch of houses on the US mainland, and over the years to, you know, to get some passive income.

So I love what I do. I think it's a privilege to, you know, evolve with the, the jobs in the world. I think I'm doing what's just about, you know, number one or two, if you can't be a rockstar, you know, via house flipper. And of all the places to do that. I can't think of any better place and you know, the most beautiful place on the planet, you know, right here in Hawaii. So here I am, I'm loving it.

David:

Yeah, I absolutely agree. And I mean, the market here in Hawaii is just so unique. But it's really cool. Because you can go I mean, anywhere in the island, and you're either on a beach overlooking a beach, or you've got the most awesome view of the mountains.

And yeah, there's nothing bad here. In fact, we were just talking about the house that you flip recently in my neck of the woods. I got to see it and the view from that overlooking all of Kailua was just breathtaking.

Michael:

Yeah, it's a you know, there are little sub markets and you know, all the different neighborhoods. And yeah, that was a beautiful house. It was one of, we built that one from the ground up.

So it wasn't a flip. It was a mini development, and which is a whole different thing than flipping a house. To help me there's a lot more complicated. There's a lot more hoops You have to jump through. It's not something that I recommend for beginners. Although it's, uh, you know, talking about becoming a millionaire, you could literally do that in a single development project. You know, so it real estate is just an amazing, you know, way to you know, to accomplish that that mission to go From military to millionaire

05:00 - 10:00

David:

It is, I agree.

Michael:

Yeah.

David:

Absolutely.

Well, Michael, would you mind walking us through one of your, one of your deals, one of your better ones, or one of your crazier ones, whatever.

Michael:

Ah, gee, there's so many of them that are crazy.

Right now I've got a at this moment 25 houses in in various states of progress around the island, it tends to change from week to week, where we'll sell a couple we'll put one or two more into escrow, and stuff like that, we just put one into escrow yesterday, it's on prospect Street, which is kind of in town.

David:

Yeah.

Michael:

And it's, you know, off market, we're buying it for I think 375, I'll probably put about 200 into it, to get it ready. And then it should sell for about 850 to 900. You know, when we're done, we expect that process to take about six months.

So this will require a couple of complexities that we usually encounter in about every deal that we do, in this case where we need to tie in the sewer line. So we're working with the neighbors to see if we can get there okay to do that into something that they've already got there, which will save us a lot of money. And we're gonna get into negotiation, right now with neighbors, you know, to do that I'm offering to repave, the driveway, that, you know, all the neighbors are on, it's kind of coming apart. And I will always do that at my expense. But let me tie into this that we're where we live.

Now. If not, then we have to go out and do it out to the street, which will cost about three times as much. The other complexity and this one is that this is a two storey house in the upstairs is the design, the layout of that, you know, the upstairs is is it just makes no sense at all, there's no flow to it, you have to walk through one bedroom to get to the other half of that house.

So we'll probably have to just cut it and start over. I'll bring in the designer, and we'll lay out the whole thing to do it. So that's why the budget is about 200 grand, whereas a typical flip it's usually around 100 grand. Yeah.

David:

Yeah, as I say that seems a little a little out there. I like that you mentioned, you know, people talk negotiations, but instead of just saying that you're going to hey, can I hook up to your sewer line that you're offering something that honestly, to, to me as a homeowner, having a nice new paved driveway or road sounds pay more enticing than the sewer lines.

Michael:

Yeah, I think you know, we have to know what the other people want and then come to the table and provide that. Or else we're just doing nothing more than asking, you know, for someone to do us a favor, which they have no reason for, they may have no reason at all to you know, to do that. So we'll bring something of value to the table, and it gives us a little bit better position to negotiate.

David:

Absolutely.

I guess I would be kind of curious to ask, since you are not only a very avid obviously 25 pending houses around the island, a very avid house flipper, but also someone who actively teaches what kind of advice would you give to anyone looking to get into the wholesale fixing flip type game? If there's anything that you could say, for you know, someone who's kind of just doesn't know where to start?

Michael:

Yeah, that's a really good question.

And it's actually a deeper question, then, you know, that that is that is on the surface, because if somebody starts going in the wrong direction, whether they're being laid or doing it on their own, it's going to be really hard for them to to recover. And I'll give you an example.

One of the things that I advocate, you know, for my students is, do not start with passive creating passive income. Instead, I encourage people to start with the active appreciation type deals, what I call wealth creation.

So real estate provides wealth creation, but it also provides passive income right for you know, which is the ticket for retirement, but it's not going to get you rich. And I think most people who jumped into the game are taught like well go passive, you know, start buying properties that will cash flow in crappy markets. And if they could do that, they're not going to get rich. They'll get there, you know, 300 bucks a month, maybe with each property that they get, but the You're not going to get wealthy that way.

10:00 - 15:00

Michael:

Whereas if, you know, in our market right here, a lot of people don't realize you could flip one house and make a net, that's a pre tax net of $100,000, which the median household income, David, on this island is about 66-$67,000. Now think about that for a minute, that's people who are working their butts off for a whole year before taxes, get them, right. And we're taxed very high, especially here in Hawaii. And you know, with a maybe a boss, they don't like a job that they're putting up with traffic back and forth, to make, you know, 67,000, a year before taxes, whereas, you know, in our business in the same market, we flip one house, right, one house and net 100,000, you know, a pre tax net of $100,000.

And I'm not, I'm not saying that to be excited this is a fact, this is a fact. So a real estate investor who's starting out who flips only two or three houses a year is going to be in the top 5% of all income earners.

You know, and that's like the sledgehammer of logic, you know, crashing on your head. When I first got into this business and made that discovery, one of the biggest things that I scratched my head over was, oh, my goodness, why isn't everybody doing this? You know?

David:

Yeah.

Michael:

And I've since come to learn, you know, the reason is that a lot of people are not trigger pullers, a lot of people see their idea of safety is not in the, you know, the entrepreneurial path, you know, of taking, you know, taking risk, and, you know, getting out there and doing stuff on your own. That could be scary. You know? That's why I mean, if everybody if everybody could do this, it wouldn't be it wouldn't be so special, you know, so clearly, if, you know, what we do is not for everybody, but you know, in a market like this. So you look at our market here in Honolulu, the Honolulu Metro, which is the island of Hawaii, you're, um, you know, you do not have to crush it in this market. You don't have to crush it, like, like me and a couple of others who do, you could just do two, three a year. I mean, ask yourself this in for your listeners, you know, if you could make $100,000 on a single house flip. How many, you know, deals do you need to do in a year for it to completely change your life.

David:

Yeah.

Michael:

I mean, I have doctors that have come through a bunch of them actually, in the past, like two years, doctors who have gone are medical doctors who have come through my mentor course. You know, I'm one of them. Recently, you became a friend of mine and told me that I think I'm going to leave the medical profession to do this full time. And I said, No, we don't need doctors, maybe doctors here, go do that. Just do it part time, you know, you can double triple your income just doing it part time. But if you were a lawyer, I would say yeah, I could, you know, we got too many lawyers here.

David:

I love it.

Michael:

So as you look at this market, David, you know, this is not a good market for cash flowing properties.

David:

No.

Michael:

it's not a good market for that, you know, so people looking for cash flow are going to have a hard time here, they're going to hit a wall pretty quickly.

Now, that said there are exceptions to it. I've got a few properties that are cash flow here, but it's mostly vacation rentals, right? So if you get into some kind of niche like that, okay, you can make it work if you do something super creative. Yes. But for the most part dollar for dollar you're not going to do well here you're trying to cash flow something you could take that same money and go somewhere else and then they double or triple which what you're going to make here you know, so when people tell me yeah, I'm holding I'm looking for properties I can rent I can hold and rent here in here in a Awahoo the first thought that goes through my head is I think you need to get educated first because if you you know if you're planning to do that, this is not the ideal market and I could show you some some numbers in fact remind me to do that later in the in the podcast, David give you some example, you know, numbers on on, you know exactly that. And you know, but that said, so this may be a crappy market, this local market for cash flowing. It is an excellent market for wealth creation.

And that's what I mean when I said you know, wealth creation, flip the house, make 100,000 do a development project when you're ready and trained for that. You could make 5, 800,000 you know, on a single project, it'll take two to three years to do that, but still, so this is a great wealth creation market, you talk about, you know, becoming a millionaire. Um, it's not a terribly big, you know, big deal. This is a great way to do it.

But, I encourage people to begin to focus initially on wealth creation. And then when you get more money than you need to live, now take some of that money and use that to invest in your passive and get some cash flow go.

Does that make sense?

15:00 - 20:00

David:

Yeah, that makes awesome sense. I absolutely. I love the way you put the answer to why people don't do it. A lot of people are not trigger pullers. We hear the analysis paralysis, but, but that's all yeah, that just says, oh, they're nervous. But the reality is, it doesn't necessarily matter if they're nervous, some people just will never pull the trigger.

Michael:

Right, yeah, I agree. I agree. And it's, you know, I've been doing this for 17 years, 240 plus deals, to this day, I still get a little bit of apprehension, when I pull the trigger on a deal, you know, to this day, so that part doesn't go away. It's not like there is no risk, there's always risk in what we do. This is a business.

David:

Yeah.

Michael:

There are only two outcomes, each project, you're gonna make money, or you're gonna lose money, right. And it's never pleasant, you know, to lose, you know, to lose money in any type of investment, but it is it but it is a reality. And it you know, therefore, it's not for everybody. So it's not a question of fear, the fear is going to be there in any industry, any person who's an entrepreneur, who's investing, you know, working seven days a week putting their own money into their deals, there's always the risk of loss.

And that doesn't go away, even in a cool, you know, sexy business that you know, that we're doing, right. But it's not what it is not forever. So people are just not going to take that risk. It rather stayed in the cubicle and found their security there. And then they should be complaining, though. Right, you've got the opportunity, as I look at it, you know, one of the things that motivates me is that I realize that we're not here for very long, David. And I think your audience, your military members, have a more keen realization of that, you know, then then the average population is that, you know, we are in the military, right? We volunteer, and we sometimes three, four times volunteer, and we volunteer to put ourselves in harm's way.

In, you know, so we're not, we're not a stranger to taking risks, right. So if you think about that kind of risk, that of military men, that of the Brotherhood that we take, or have taken in my case, in the past, I take that risk anymore. But let me for heaven's sakes, you guys are volunteering to put your life on the line. Therefore, to take a risk where the only the worst possible outcome, the worst case scenario, is that oh, okay, we're going to lose money.

David:

Yeah.

Michael:

You know, it should be a really good open gate and a huge opportunity for military people who want to become millionaires.

So, you know, one more time, I'm a big fan of what you're doing, David, I wish that we had somebody who like you, when I was in the military, you know, the closest we had to that was, I remember, when I was here at Schofield, there was a young officer, the richest guy in the battalion was the major who was single, right? No family, nothing to do. And he used to read the Wall Street Journal every morning, and he would invest in stocks, and you know, it was good for him.

But to me back then, that was such a foreign concept, you know, and when I got out of the military, I was going to use my GI bill to go to law school. And upon doing further research, I decided not to do that but it took me a few years to find my way. And eventually I stumbled across the idea and learned about real estate investing, right so what you're doing, David, you are a potential goldmine for people who have that that interest because you're you're a gatekeeper, so to speak, where you're able to show them you know what we do, because I wish that I would have found and I'm not complaining about the way my life unfolded, you know, from getting out of the military to where I am today. But I'll tell you, it would have been cool if I did somebody like you who was pointing the way back then because it would have saved me several years of kind of stumbling around in the dark before I finally discovered real estate investing.

David:

But it means a lot.

That's kind of my hope I had my first few years in the Marine Corps, I made all the normal mistakes, the Harley, the cars, the guns. I invested in the TSP, the military's Roth 401k, but I never got the funds out of the super safe account. And so I gained like 2% interest, while all the other accounts were gaining 20% interest. And the other thing you mentioned, you know, if your biggest risk is losing money, that's really not that big a risk. But the other thing that I always try to bring up to my service members is, especially the young ones, if you're 20 years old, and you make the worst financial decision investment, it just goes absolutely south and you lose everything, you still have a career bringing you a solid paycheck, and you're gonna bounce back, you have time on your side.

20:00 - 25:00

Michael:

Yes, yeah. And, you know, failure in our business is, like I said, you look at the worst case, you analyze risk, which is another thing I learned in the military, it was a point where I was a plans officer for a brigade. And my job was to always have a B plan in the tactical scenario.

So if the enemy moved into this valley, I would have a plan. And that was my job, I would be in the operation center a few miles behind, you know, enemy lines. And I, my job was just to write plans. If they did this, here's what we do. If they go this way. Oh, okay, well, here's what we do, then we redeploy this way, right? And, you know, there were times where the colonel would come back to me and say, okay, they just did this. And I would say, here, Colonel, take this run with it and I'll start calling the battalions and helping them deploy.

But it drilled into the thought the concept of always having a pea plant, you know, for everything. But you know, as we analyze risk, you think you start with, okay, what is the worst thing that could possibly happen here? Right? And in the military, it's, you know, it's, it's great, right? So we're looking at, not only the lives are on the line, but you know, for dad of all your comments, and not just not just ourselves, whereas here, it's nothing, it's a walk in the park, you lose money, the worst case, then and money is a renewable resource, unlike time, and that's why time is always more important than money, your time, you know, my time is more important than the money itself.

Money is renewable, but the time is not, you know, in one of the ways that I like to illustrate that is, imagine a an hourglass, you came right in front of you, let's say a large hourglass, where you know, you've got the sand in the upper cylinder that is slowly dropping down into the bottom cylinder, right? Now, hold that thought in your mind. And let's say that we're going to take a cloth, and we're going to cover up and hide the top cylinder. So you can't see the top. So all you can see is the bottom cylinder, right? With the sand falling down into that. Does that make sense? Are you with me?

David:

Absolutely.

Michael:

Okay, now, and that is it. That's us, that's our lives, right? You got sand falling down, we know that at some point, it's gonna stop. And it's over. But we don't know when that's gonna be. It could be tomorrow, it could be this afternoon, it could be in 20 years from now, you know, 40, 50, 60 years from now, right? So if and I think if you think of it that way, right? We all have or 80 years plus or minus, right? The human lifespan. And that time, once you spend it, you can never get it back. You know, so I think is, you know, we look at ourselves in the mirror each morning, you know, and ask ourselves, what can I do to make the biggest impact today? You know.

David:

That's, that's huge. I had never heard that hourglass analogy before. And that's amazing. I really, really, really like that.

Michael:

I want to get a graphic of that, where I can show it like on a slide or something like that, where it's just thought and we can, you know, just to really help people give that visualization for people. Because I think it's very, it's very real.

David:

Yeah, I, uh, I would be interested in you. I bet you, I have a friend, I'll see what I can do. I might be able to.

Michael:

Okay. All right. Cool. Cool.

I think it's a powerful reminder of how important you know our time is and that it's going to end if you can't get it back once we spend it. But money is completely different. And I think you know, when we can always make it that if we want to get to a point where we're not we're no longer working to make money, you know, where it's coming in, you know, automatically and then one of the great things about real estate is you analyze all of the different business opportunities that are out there for entrepreneurs.

25:00 - 30:00

Michael:

Real estate is amazing and that, number one, it can make people wealthy.

David:

Yep.

Michael:

Whatever economic strata they are in right now. Whether it's, you know, middle class working class, even poverty, I've trained a couple of homeless people, they can get to where they could get up in the top 10% or higher of all income earners, through real estate, the wealth creation portion of it. And then when it comes time to get, you know, for the passive income, right, money flow without us working at all, again, there's no better place than real estate, you know, to do that.

David:

Yeah.

Michael:

Right, you do that through holding rental portfolios, or even to private lending, which has become more popular to get the, you know, to get that passive income.

So real estate is almost like it can provide everything that we need. So it is in, you know, another thing about it is that whatever happens in the world politically or economically, people will always need a place to live, right. And once you know, as an investor, you've had the opportunity to go through up markets and down markets and go through a couple of cycles, you'll see and get more confidence that even in a down market, which we're already starting to see some of these more hot markets in the country starting to turn already.

David:

Yeah.

Michael:

It's still a good opportunity, we simply shift our strategy, and we do more acquisitions, right? It's easier to buy stuff, you know, at that point.

David:

It's all on sale.

Michael:

Yeah. So yeah, the key to bridging all that is education. And that's what you're involved in. That's what I'm in. That's where I'm committed to you and I are both committed to that, you know, to that education.

One of the common questions I get David, from people who are kind of poking around kicking the tires and wondering about real estate investing is, you know, well, how much money do I need? I can't afford it, you know, the median price of a single family home is a big thing, right?

David:

That's the number one question or excuse.

Michael:

I hear you. And I hear that a lot too. In it, you know, when the median price of a home is about $800,000. It's intimidating for people.

So I get a lot of people who won't cross over into and take a shot in real estate investing, because they have convinced themselves that well, it's just too expensive, we can't do it. But the thing is, you don't need money, you don't need to have money to do it, you need to have Financial Intelligence, you need to have it. And once you get that no one can ever take that away from you, right. You can create a fortune, you could lose a fortune, but no one could ever take away your Financial Intelligence. And that's why the education piece is so critical, critical, it's vital that you know, you can because you can once you know what to do, once you know the strategies, you you'll be surprised that people will step up and invest in your projects, there are people out there looking to deploy funds into your house flips.

You know, I have for quite a while now, I have a waiting list of people who want to invest in my house flips, you know, when I have to tell them sorry, I don't have anything right now. But you know, I'll get back, just hold on, it may be a few weeks, or maybe a few, you know, a week or so or maybe a few weeks. But...

David:

Given the amount of the volume of deals that you do that's huge. It's not, it's not you have a waiting list because you only have one deal. You have a waiting list. You're doing a ton.

Michael:

Yeah, and a lot of my money I put into I just reinvested into my company. But still, that said a lot of my deals. I don't have a dime of my own money investor. You know, so think about your ROI, what's your return, and your ROI when when you have zero money in, in, you know, four months, five months, we make a boom 80,000 $100,000 profit. What's your ROI? You said it's infinite.

David:

Yeah.

Michael:

You know, but what are we leveraging in that case? OPM, yes, other people's money, but we're also leveraging our Financial Intelligence. That is irreplaceable.

David:

Yeah, so I and I always tell people that I kind of started, I guess you could say a coaching program. I started like, I'm running a trial run for a coaching program. And one of the people I was talking to the other day, so I mentioned, long story short, there's this gentleman who owns three 400 rental properties in my town and he has not really been keeping up with everything and he when he filed bankruptcy, it got denied. And there's some other extenuating circumstances but I mean, long story short, he's people are knocking on the door for foreclosures. For a large amount of properties, apartment complexes, everything. And so I sent a letter to him, you know, hey, I don't know what your situation is. But if you need to sell or finance out subject to whatever I can do to help let me know. And one of my one of my buddies was like, well, how are you going to be able to afford if he comes back like, well, if he comes back, given a situation, finding people to help with the affording isn't hard, it's just finding the good deal. If you can find it, you'll no matter the market, no matter what. Finding people is not that hard. Finding money, people want to invest in good deals.

30:00 - 35:00

Michael:

Right.

That's a, that's a really good point.

I like to say that, as a real estate investor, whether it's day one, you're just starting, or whether you're, you know, you're a seasoned veteran that's been doing this for years and is a multi millionaire, we have two priorities. And only two priorities, and that's finding deals and funding deals.

And of the two of them, the one that's more important is okay, the one that you need to get to one and not the other, right, but you know, when you find a good deal, there's always people who will step up and be willing to it that there is a lot of money looking for us looking for us to find good deals, you know, in the market right now, that's actually increased over the past few years, we've seen the rates, for instance of hard money, that used to be, like 18%, are now down to like seven, or 8%, right. And that's a sign of the time, there is a lot of money, there's a lot of people out there looking to place money into our deals.

So therefore, it's finding the deal. And finding deals, right, our two priorities, finding deals and funding deals, finding deals is really the genesis of wealth creation. You know, and if you become good at that, you will get rich, despite even if you're even if you're you suck at everything else. If you're good at finding deals and funding deals, you don't really have to be good at anything else, you know, you're, you could suck at everything else, and you're still going to be fine. That's how powerful it is. That's how powerful it is.

David:

Absolutely.

I'll write that down. If you're good at finding deals you will get rich.

Michael:

You will get rich in spite of yourself. Following other things, you'll still use it.

David:

And you know, you might have fun doing it.

Like I talked about Jin and I, Jin and I will drive around town, looking at houses and postcards. And we have the time of our life. And I tell people that because driving for dollars knocking on doors is not the most fun thing in the world, right? cold calls, nobody likes any of that.

But if you find a buddy who's on the same page, and you can turn it into a contest, we will drive around in circles banging on doors and knocking on doors and sending postcards and taking pictures with people in front of their house and whatever, right just have so much fun.

Michael:

Yes.

And, and you know, I mean, at the end of the day, sometimes you find stuff that works out sometimes you don't you know, we've both done a little bit of wholesaling out here and been able to move, move the money back into passive investments or reinvest in, you know, camera for YouTube or whatever.

But it's fun. And that's the part that I yeah...

Michael:

Good for you. And you can make it fun if with this a little bit of creativity. I mean, in my earlier days, driving for dollars, I used to like to take my wife with me, or I take my oldest boy with me who at the time was he might have been like 10-12 years old. And I remember we would do it together. So we were getting good. My car had a sunroof. And he was big enough where he could stand up as I drove by and pulled over in the sunroof, you know, through the sunroof and snapped the picture of the ugly house, you know, I would, you know, get the address. And we, you know, had a great time doing it. It was a good finding.

My wife got excited about it after I took her a couple times. And she then started doing it with her friends.

David:

Oh, that’s awesome.

Michael:

They would get to Starbucks, they would go out they would talk story, but they would do it and you know, so it could be a social bonding, that it just takes a little bit of you know, creativity can make it something that might otherwise seem pain. It could be fun. It could be that you're doing that.

David:

Yep, it's fun. And then like you said one house and it just replaced your entire income for the year potentially. So pretty, pretty good return on your time, depending and then as you get bigger, and you're able to leverage that and outsource that, and there's all kinds of things but we could get into the nitty gritty but yeah, you know, eventually I'm not going to be able to talk to you for three hours today.

So eventually I'm going to have to ask some questions.

So I guess one that I would like to ask is you know, if you could give advice to like an 18, 19, 20 year old, as far as you know, you only have a few moments and they're just whether it's financial or life advice, what would you say? What would you like to tell yourself back then?

35:00 - 40:00

Michael:

I guess I mentioned this a little bit earlier, my only thing I would change, looking at my exit from the military and going in for that next career, the only thing I would change, knowing what I know now is I would have gotten started in real estate investing a lot sooner than I would have started the education process. And, you know, at that time, there really wasn't, you know, really forums to do that you didn't have some of these good forums like bigger pockets, you didn't have this, now we have a proliferation of all these TV shows, you know, flipping and flipping houses, it wasn't a you know, a big deal back, then it would have been a great time to just get in and crush it a lot faster. Had I just known what to do and had somebody show me the way.

So I am, which is one of the reasons, you know, what you're doing, David, with your program of, From military to millionaire fills an important key. What I've tried to do with my Honolulu mentor, mentor program is filling that important me. And you know, in doing it in such a way that it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, it doesn't have to, I don't need to make a lot of money from my training program. Because I'm a very successful real estate investor that pays me you know, more than enough.

So my advice would be get an early start, take a good look at real estate investing, if it's not for you fine, and move on, you know, to something else. But it could change everything else. If real estate investing is something for you, it could change everything else, you may decide not to go to college, not to get the degree because you know, you know, you don't need I was just reading something this week, and I think it was in the Wall Street Journal that or it might have been Forbes magazine, but that most billionaires, something like 65% of all billionaires do not even have a college degree.

You know, so if you if you latch onto a really good, you know, business, and I'm not talking about something Goofy, like multi level marketing or something like that, I'm talking about legitimate or real business that could no shit make you wealthy in just a few short years, real estate investing, other things could fall by the wayside.

David:

Yeah.

Michael:

You don't need to check the box, you don't need to climb it, you know, for women. Real Estate Investing is great. Because if there's no glass ceiling, that you find in, in certain industries, women rock in real estate investing in certain aspects of what we do there, they tend to be better than, than the guys, you know.

Um, so I guess that would be my advice to everybody, if you want to be an entrepreneur, take a look at real estate investing first. And if you pass on that fine, then go start looking at other stuff too. But that should be your first stop, because it is a true no vanquisher of the lower income, you know, strata that are even the middle class. And a lot of people are stuck.

I mean, it is not good to be the middle class, middle class, on an iceberg melting from both ends and the middle class, you know, you're getting, you know, pounded from both sides with taxation that hits the middle class harder. If the middle class is shrinking, and a lot of places are either getting wealthy or they're not, they're becoming dependent on government services. And Hawaii is a good microcosm of that, too.

You know, like I said earlier at the start of this podcast that, you know, we have a median household income of about $67,000. And, you know, I couldn't go back into the workforce and take a W two job again, you know, I would laugh when I said, as soon as I asked the question, what's the salary? I would have to bite my tongue? Like, really? You mean, a whole freaking year 80,000 I could make that in a single house flip. You know, that one kind of spoiled in that sense.

But, and so I would advise people coming into this or considering this people are leaving the military. So you know, check it out. Check it out. It may not be for you, but it might be for you. And if it is, it's gonna be a life change, not only for you, but for the people.

40:00 - 45:00

Michael:

You know, um, I have a lot of followers just because I post before and after pictures. You People get excited over that stuff. You know people's love, right? Yeah. You know, people love watching all these houses, these, you know, silly house flipping shows. Because you know, this is a business that if you're good at it, it's going to be a game changer for you. It's going to change your life. It's changed mine and has changed the lives of many of my students, you know, a handful of them who you've met in, you know, David, it is truly a game changer.

David:

Yeah.

Michael:

God bless America. God bless real estate investing, you know, we could do something, you know.

David:

And you know, the other really cool thing about the entrepreneur.

So entrepreneurship is, I guess not historically, but it's lonely, right? People talk about like, you hear all these entrepreneurs talk about how lonely they were building their business and how they got to be like, Real Estate's not like that. It is like it does not matter what your niche is, if you're in real estate, and you're doing your own entrepreneurial thing, you will kick it off like everybody else in real estate misses. That's why these meetups are so fun, because everybody's just, it's like a big reunion of people, even if you've never met. I love that.

Michael:

Right. Yeah, it's nice to network with like minded people, you know, there, there's a synchronization there. That in a way, it's hard. It's hard to explain, you know, but, but it's good to be around people who kind of think you kind of think alike, you know.

David:

Yeah, I would, I would be curious to ask, since you run probably the best meetup. I've been to, what do you think makes a good meetup? Like, what, uh, what makes what is it that you do that makes your so much fun, because I enjoy hosting more, but it's not nearly as good as yours.

Michael:

Thank you.

Well, one of the things you might know, that I did differently, is, I wanted to appeal to a niche of actual investors.

Most of the advice I would give to people seeking is to do some research. There are too many groups, unfortunately, out there, where there's a lot of talk going on, but there's not actually a lot of people that are, you know, they're actually doing stuff.

And when I was forming this group, Rei mastermind about six years ago, I sat down with a friend of mine, who's also a top investor, wealthy guy. And he said something, I asked him, Hey, you want to be part of this with me? And he said something that really impacted me and would impact how I did with this group. And he said, you know, Michael, if you're the smartest guy in the room, what you really need to do is find another room. So you could learn too, you know, so you can learn too and I, he said, You know, I gave a lot, and I love giving. But I want a group where I could learn something to where I will grow also. And that impacted me too. And a lot of the groups that you're going to find are just a group of beginners, it's the one of the one I am leading the blind in, there is a danger, I think, because they'll adopt a certain strategy or two, or they'll promote certain strategies that are just not on track with what is really what really works here.

So when we formed Rei mastermind, we said, Well, look, why don't we just set up and set a group where it's not for, you know, for people who've never done it, not for the wannabes, this is this will be a group that appeals to people who, who have already done at least one deal, right, and where we can all come, we could put deals together, we can learn from each other, even if they're, if it's, they did one deal, and they lost money, hey, there's still stuff that we can learn there, I'm sure there's some good, valuable takeaways, you know, from that deal with the person who lost money that they that they could share? Right?

So that is what you know, that is why I think, you know, this group is successful, is because it appeals if you are an experienced investor, and you're in all you had this is this was the situation for the experienced guys. The only thing available there, there were a couple of groups around, but they were all, you know, people who didn't know anything, you know, so it's fine to attend once in a while and give back like, but those investors are not really learning anything, you know, from other investors like, so.

We get a lot of comments from people who say, hey, look, okay, I see what you're doing. I haven't done a deal yet. But I want to learn, and I'm smart enough to figure out that some of these other groups, these other REI groups, they're just, you know, a well crafted sales funnel.

45:00 - 50:00

Michael:

You know, where I go in They're gonna sell me stuff, they're gonna, you know, we're getting me involved in something that is not really going to help me as an investor. You know, and so what I would another piece of advice I would give to someone who's just starting out is find a real investor, someone who's actually doing deals in your local market and get this, can you get them to take you under their week.

And I do that on occasion, where I'll set up, or we'll have internships available. And there's such a demand for that, to the point where I can't just take in an intern, it's usually when we have an open position, we'll get a bunch of people to apply. And so it becomes competitive, where we end up taking the people who are the most motivated or show the most potential, right, but my advice would be, find something of value that you can offer to that investor, don't just go in and say, you know, help me, help me, you know, teach me teach me that without offering anything in return.

Now, if you do do that, yeah, you may eventually find someone who's willing, because they like you, or see something in you. But much better, your chances are much better, to get an experienced investor to take you under their wing, if you can come in offer and bring something to the table that they need.

And it's not terribly, it's not terribly difficult. Now we can help them help them do some marketing, help them Chronicle one of their house lifts by taking, you know, snapshots and then making you know, videos for them or you know, me, there's a lot of things that you can do you don't without being an experienced investor, where you can come and help an experienced investor and get them to take you under their wing.

David:

And then you learn from them.

Michael:

Absolutely, absolutely.

David:

Awesome. Awesome.

Well, Michael, let's see one of the last few questions here.

What makes the Michael Mazella method of investing unique or successful? I never know what I'm going to get with that one. So I like asking it.

Michael:

It's a very good question.

And I think, when somebody wants to learn, that should be the first question that they ask, you know, it's, and the answer to your question is, is that it works. It works in this market.

The blueprint that I give to my students, you know, there there are a lot of if you look at who are the top investors in this market right now, and in a good bunch of them are graduates of my of my mentor courses, what I you know, what I do, I don't teach, there's so much information out there. And it's hard to discern what's valuable, what is, you know, what is baloney that doesn't work, and what system marginal strategy. And you know, it doesn't have to even be a bad strategy, the strategy is just offset or just a little bit, that is enough to take you off course, and you're not going to be successful.

So, you know, I used to be a national manager for the rich dad company, and wealth intelligence academy. And I learned I went to teach, but I actually learned so much from some of the best and brightest other mentors who, a lot of whom are still my friends.

And, you know, there's, there's so much, there's so much information out there. And over the years, I was able to refine, and filter out that information and refine what really works in our local market. And that's why, you know, my graduates are actually doing very well, you know, here, too, so.

David:

Yeah they definitely are, I've run into quite a few of them. And I have yet to meet somebody that I have not been impressed by has been through your course.

So, in fact, I myself have looked into coming through your program, and I'm not going to say that I won't do it here in the near future, we shall see.

I think I've been off Island more than I know what to do with here lately. So I really am around but I fully intend.

Alright, so let's see, I always like to ask this. What is one resource, you know, book course website and guide, I see that you've got your book back there. So plug your book and feel free. But what is one resource you'd recommend anyone getting started in real estate, or investing in general?

Michael:

I just yesterday, I had a friend that I've known for many, many years, but she lives in Japan. And you know, she comes here from time to time and she's always loved to shadow me when she's here.

And, you know, I want to see a day in the life of a real estate investor. She asked me what I can do. I want to start like now Michael, but I'm in Japan, and I can't attend your course. And as you know, I can't come here. Stay here to attend your course. What can I do?

50:00 - 54:54

Michael:

And I advised, this is just yesterday, I told her to get on biggerpockets.com, and just start learning and start listening to some of the podcasts. Now, it's not every one of them, they're not 100%. all good, but most of them are. And I think the ratio of good information to more marginal stuff that I've talked about is very good on bigger pockets. So by and large, it's a great way for somebody to learn on the go. And that would be my advice for somebody who cannot take my course, I'm going to guarantee your success if you unfold you know, if you stick to the blueprint that I give you, I'll guarantee your success.

But short of that, for someone who can't afford to take my course or for one reason or another cannot, I would tell them to get in bigger pockets, learn all you can from there sometimes, that's enough. For some people, the real trigger pullers are sometimes able to just read a good book, listen to a few podcasts and start executing most people cannot, most people and that's where the mentorship comes in, where I'm looking over them, we send out in my course, on the second day we send out offers, we're contacting owners of off market properties, people would not do that on their own. But they're doing it in a way I make them do all the stuff that they need to do to be successful. And not just learning about but actually doing it. Because I know as a trainer, I know that if they just sat through my course and took notes during the entire intensive and just took notes with the plan. Well, I'll execute starting next week. Most of them will fail.

David:

Yeah.

Michael:

Most of them will. If they wait, like three days or four days, they will fail. Okay, so we start executing on the second day of the course. Sometimes they're sending out offers, I haven't even taught him how to analyze deals yet. It is I would say, well, good, you're a little scared that you're in the right place, it means you're growing right now. But don't worry, I got your back, I still have the rest of the week to teach you and fill in all the kukus and all the holes in your knowledge. You know, at this point, action is more important than knowledge. I got your back on the knowledge I got time to teach you all of that stuff in the course. But for right now, we're getting offers out on the street, a whole bunch of things, you know, and we can go from there.

David:

That's huge. I love it.

Alright. So I think we're gonna have to wrap this up. But Michael, where can people get a hold of you? I know, we've talked about your course. Where's the best way for people to reach you?

Michael:

I'm very reachable through Facebook. I have a personal page, which is mostly posts about my family. But I have a business page. And it's called Michael Mazella’s page on Facebook. And that's where I post. I need a lot of people that way.

Michael Mazella’s page on Facebook, and I think it's a Hawaii house flipper. So facebook.com/Hawaiihouseflipper, But you could just search me search my name, Michael Mazzella two Z's and two L's and you can find me on Facebook. I'm also on Instagram. Just search for a Honolulu Mentor. And you'll find my Instagram posts there and we can communicate that way too.

David:

Awesome.

Michael, I really, really, really appreciate you taking some time out of here.

What's really cool is that this is the first time I filmed a podcast other than the time there was someone in my living room where I've been in the same time zone. I've been able to say thank you for meeting with me on your lunch break. Like in the morning over here for someone on their lunch break.

This has been amazing. And I know that our listeners are gonna get some just huge amount of content out of this.

Michael:

Well, thank you, David, for having me. Again. I love what you're doing. If you know if you want me to come back some time and talk about a specific topic or teach something. I'm happy to do it because I'm a big fan of what you do.

And David, I wish someone did that for me when I was military. Yeah, anything I could do to help out David. I'm there.

David:

Awesome. I really appreciate that. Michael, have a great day.

Michael:

Okay, thanks for having me. Aloha.

David:

Aloha.

End:

Hey, thanks for listening to another episode about my journey From military to millionaire.

If you liked it, be sure to visit Frommilitarytomillionaire.com/podcast. Subscribe to future podcasts.

While you're there. We would love for you to rate the show. Give us a review on iTunes. Now get out there and take action.

Michael Mazzella on the Military Millionaire Podcast

Michael Mazzella

Michael Mazzella is one of the biggest fix and flip investors on the island of Oahu!

Michael served in the Army special forces, and retired after his last tour in Oahu. He became a fixer upper on the island and has renovated over 240 deals!

Michael spent a little time as a Rich Dad Poor Dad real estate investing coach before starting the Honolulu Mentor coaching program in Hawaii. I have gotten to meet several of his students and heard nothing but good things!

His advice to an E-1/E-2 (18/20-year-old) is: Start with wealth creation (fix and flip real estate) before moving into passive income. You need to build wealth first! Time is always more important that money (because money is a renewable resource, and time is not) so start young!

the resource he recommends is: BiggerPockets https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/we-recommend-BP-Pro/

His big idea/parting advice is: Find something of value to offer, and get around solid investors to learn from them!

If you want to reach out to Michael on Instagram @honolulumentor  or on Facebook at Michael Mazzella’s page

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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