October 7, 2017

JF1131: How To Be The #1 Brokerage Team In Your Market with Samer Kuraishi

Samer started out as an agent doing his own thing. He never really had a fantastic mentor or coach, but still made a really successful brokerage. If you are an agent or broker you’ll want to hear how he has sold over $800 million! If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!

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Samer Kuraishi Background:
- CEO & Broker of A-K Real Estate, boutique brokerage in DC, MD & VA
- Manage a team of 40+ agents / staff Specialize in residential, development, distressed properties, commercial & property management
- As of 2012 started using online marketing, has sold over 800M+ in sales.
- #1 Team in DC 4 yrs in a row
- Based in Washington, D.C.
Say hi to him at www.zillow.com/profile/SamerKuraishiGroup/

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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluff.

Joined with me today, Theo Hicks. How are you doing, sir?

Theo Hicks: Doing great, Joe. How are you doing?

Joe Fairless: I am doing great, nice to be partnered up with you again on Follow Along Friday. How do we wanna approach today?

Theo Hicks: We have a couple listener questions, but I wanted to first hit on the main topic for today, which is about finding advisors and mentors. I know something that you talk about a lot is the fact that in order to become – we’re talking about multifamily syndication specifically – an apartment syndicator, you’re gonna either need past success in business, or past success in real estate. If you’ve got past success in real estate, obviously, you can use that and leverage that for syndicating, but if you have business success, you can also use that, but you’re also going to need some sort of tying of real estate, so that your investors know that you know what you’re doing, or have someone on the team that knows what knows what they’re doing.

Joe Fairless: And YOU know you know what you’re doing.

Theo Hicks: Exactly, yeah. So obviously, you’ve got the education aspect of it for the syndicator themselves, but it’s also good to have an advisor and mentor to leverage their experience, and also other benefits as well. I know that you have had advisors/mentors in the past, so I wanted to have a conversation around that, about where you find them, what benefits you get, how many have you had, and things like that… So however you wanna approach the subject of how to find an advisor or a mentor for real estate.

Joe Fairless: I have had three total paid advisors over my real estate investing career, and one of those three I still am paying and still work with. He is more of a mindset strategy, less of a tactical Q&A for real estate deals. I have a network around me with people who have more experience than I have on real estate deals. My business partner, Frank, has been in the industry longer than I have been in the industry. He has quite frankly more relevant experience in asset management and underwriting, so he is also someone who is on my team and we’re partners.

As far as how to find the best real estate mentor or consultant, there’s really only one way. That one way is through  a word of mouth referral. That’s it. How I found my three were not through word of mouth referrals. I’d say the first two, pros and cons, and the third one, pro… But I found him through the Tony Robbins program. I watched Tony Robbins’ Ted talk video, then I had heard from other people who I knew that the Tony Robbins program was a good program, so I guess secondarily it was through word of mouth, but no one directly said “Go talk to this person”, but it was through a program that I already heard good things about.

As far as why I say word of mouth referral is the only way – well, that’s the best way to qualify someone. If you go through someone who you already know and they’re like “Yeah, it’s worked well for me. You should check this out, too!” You can read books and reach out to the authors, you could go on Bigger Pockets and see who’s posted a lot or has insightful things to say, but ultimately, it’s important not only for someone to be qualified, but they’ve gotta have some other things as a mentor/consultant.

I want to mention a couple things on what to expect from a consultant or mentor, and what not to expect. Because a lot of times when we think of hiring a mentor or a consultant, we think of them being our knight in shining armor, and they’re not. So let’s talk about what we shouldn’t expect from them. We shouldn’t expect them to be the solution to our problems. We shouldn’t expect them to have a done-for-you program where “Oh, you sign up with me and I’ve got it all taken care of. You sit back, you hang out and just follow this thing and be semi-engaged, and you’ll be a millionaire”, because that’s just not true. If it is true, best case scenario – let’s say it’s 100% true – then when you become a millionaire through that type of program… Well, I’ll just ask you, what happens to most of lottery winners ten years later?

Theo Hicks: They lost it all.

Joe Fairless: They lost it all, or worse. Or they’re dead.

Theo Hicks: Most likely much worse.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, most likely much worse. Unless you improve yourself along the way, regardless of what chunk of money you receive, you’re gonna be back to where you started, or worse. So even if it is a “done-for-you” program, then you’re still gonna be where you were, but you’re gonna have less years of your life to figure it out. So don’t look for the done-for-you programs; if someone promises it, even if they’re telling the truth (which they’re likely not), you’re gonna be worse off.

Instead, here’s what you should expect from a program – you should expect someone to have expertise in the subject matter that you’re looking to get better at. You should expect someone who is actively doing that subject matter. If it’s a partnered investing, when is the last time they closed? If it’s wholesaling, how many wholesale deals do they personally do? Not their student… That they personally do. If it’s fix and flips, same thing. Note buying – same thing.

There should be a system, but it’s a proven system that others have replicated through implementing the system. Not done-for-you, but a proven step by step system for how to do it. You should expect to have an ally for your business, for your transactions, and most importantly, you should expect to have an ally who you can selfishly talk about what you need help with and not feel guilty for only talking about what you need… And that’s key, because some people have the mindset “I don’t wanna pay for consulting”, and that’s cool, I get it… Whatever, there’s no one path. The challenge with that thought process if you wanna achieve at a really high level is that you’re gonna need to bounce ideas off of people, you’re going to need to have questions about how to structure certain things, deals, contracts, whatever, and while you certainly should be consulting attorneys and CPAs along the way (where they’re relevant), there’s gonna be some grey area for stuff that you just need help with on that particular stuff.

When you continue to go to one person who you’re not paying, then there’s not gonna be that value exchange, unless they’re just incredibly nice; maybe they’re older, they’re just looking to give back, or maybe they’re a family member… That’s different, right? Family members are probably gonna be more willing to do this, but eventually you’re gonna hit a point where you’ve exhausted all of your karma points or the outreach that you can do and they’re gonna be wanting something in return, or you’re gonna turn them off and you’re gonna hurt that relationship.

So when you do have a consultant or a mentor, you pay them, or you give them a part of a deal or however it’s structured, and that allows you to selfishly ask them “Hey, what do I need to do right here?” and just keep asking them, because you’re compensating them.

Then the fourth thing would be connections. You should expect to receive connections from the consultant or mentor. Real estate is a relationship business; it’s about people, it’s not about transactions. Everyone who’s in it for the long run and who has success in the long run gets that. I just finished a book by Sam Zell… I’ve mentioned it before, but I just finished it now; it’s called “Am I being too subtle?” and he talks about how he always sets up his business transactions so that people want to do business with him in the future; therefore, if he can get something at a price that he knows he’ll make a lot of money, but the other person won’t make any, he’ll actually decrease the amount of profit he gets so that they win a little bit, he wins, and they wanna continue to do business with him in the long run. And that’s the way to approach business, and life in general. You will just be a happier person.

So to recap, the four things to expect from a consultant or mentor. One, expertise on the subject that you’re doing, and make sure that they’re actually doing it. Two, they have a system for doing it, and others have replicated those results; that’s something Tim Ferriss talks about a lot – it’s one thing to be an expert and to have an accomplished background in whatever your profession is, and it’s a whole other thing to actually be able to replicate those results for other people; so a system for doing so. Three, having an ally who you can selfishly ask a bunch of questions to and not feel self-conscious about not giving something back, because you are giving back. And four, relationship or connections. So those are the four things to expect.

What not to expect – a knight in shining armor. They’re not someone who is going to just magically wave a wand — now, I’ve turned the knight into a wizard, I realize that… But magically wave a wand and then it’s done. Just don’t do the done-for-you programs. If they just say “Oh, you just pay this much and it’s pretty much you sit back and be done” – don’t do that. Because even if it does work, you’re gonna be worse off in five years than you were when you began.

So going back to how you find it, the one way – a word of mouth referral, and if you don’t know someone who can provide you a word of mouth referral, then guess what, you’re not ready for a consultant, because you haven’t done your legwork on having enough of a network to be integrated or evolved in that industry. If you don’t know enough people in that industry where people can say “Oh, you should work with so-and-so”, then you’re not ready for that mentor step anyway; you need to work more on the foundation of the business, learn more about the fundamentals and attend more meetups and attend more seminars and conferences about whatever you’re focused on.

Theo Hicks: So after they do that, they kind of get their education and they’re working on their network, would that be the time they get a mentor or an advisor, or should they have done a couple of deals first, like smaller deals, or shadowed on deals? When do you think would be the ideal time to find an advisor? And you can say based off of when you found your first advisor…

Joe Fairless: Yeah, once you know the fundamentals of the business… If you’re asking questions to the advisor that can be easily found through a Google search, then you’re not ready. But if you’re at the point now where it’s like, “Okay, I get it, and I’ve got the following things working for me; I’ve got two-three things”, maybe you’ve got some money, but need help finding the right market, or you have the right market, you just need help getting access to more money, but you know how to run the numbers, you know the fundamentals, then I’d say it’s time.

Basically, one of my favorite books is “The road less traveled” by Scott Peck, and he’s a psychologist… There’s a whole series – The Road Less Traveled And Beyond, Further Along The Road… He got a little carried away on the title… But he talks about when you need to see a psychiatrist, and this is relevant to what you’ve just asked. When you need a psychiatrist is when you feel stuck; when you’ve done what you can do, but you’re just stuck. That’s when it’s time to bring on a professional or an expert in the area to help you out. So that’s what I would say.

Theo Hicks: [unintelligible [00:13:35].00] Something I really liked about your mentor now is that he’s very outcome-oriented. If you have a specific outcome in mind – you know exactly why you wanna have a coach, because you wanna have this outcome, that’s quantifiable and specific, then maybe that’s also another sign that you’re ready to have a mentor… Versus, “I wanna be a real estate investor, and I’ll get a mentor just because I’m supposed to.” My point is don’t just do it just because you think you’re supposed to; have an actual goal in mind as to why you’re getting this person, so you’re not wasting that person’s time, wasting your time and your money, when they could be spent on actually getting education elsewhere, doing your first deal, or whatever it is.

Joe Fairless: That’s a great point. For every one of my calls where someone applies to my consulting program, at the beginning of the call I always say “I wanna make sure we accomplish whatever you’re looking to accomplish on this call, so what is outcome for our call?” And I do that not only for people that apply, but then outside of that for other types of business calls. I make sure that we accomplish the outcome that they want to accomplish, and then if something works for us, it does; if it doesn’t, whatever. I help someone accomplish their outcome, we got to know each other, and then we’ll just go on our separate ways and everyone’s happy. Two thumbs up.

Theo Hicks: Cool. Alright, so now we’ll move on to a couple of listener questions. We’ve got Nick, who asked this question actually last week on Follow Along Friday. He wanted to know what is a better investing strategy between being leveraged versus having the entire property paid off? So I guess that’d be buying it all-cash up front.

Joe Fairless: Well, it’s clear that having leverage you will have a better cash on cash return. That’s obvious. However, I don’t think it’s a matter of a black and white debate on it, because the numbers are numbers… That’s why there are loans, to help you have better cash-on-cash return; I think that’s why there are loans, but that’s one purpose loans serve. The real question is what type of risk-tolerance do you have and what’s your investment philosophy? Because that ties into if you should buy all cash or if you should have a loan and have some leverage. Or a third option, have some leverage and then just aggressively pay off the loan. It’s a matter of your risk tolerance.

I can tell you that after speaking to people who lost it all in 2008 on my podcast, a lot of those people are now buying houses in cash and not having loans, and they went the complete opposite of the extreme they were at before, and perhaps there’s a middle ground they should be doing… But there’s something to be said about being able to rest at night knowing that regardless of what happens, banks don’t have anything on me, because I own all my properties free and clear. And again, it’s not about returns, because that’s not a debate. You get better returns with leverage, and the tax benefits, because you write off the interest, and some other things.

Theo Hicks: And the mortgage pays down from the actual residents… That’s one of my favorite aspects of having a loan – they’re paying down the loan.

Joe Fairless: They’re paying the loan for you. So there’s not a debate on that, it’s a higher level question of “What’s your risk tolerance?” because there is more risk when you have a lender; there is. And with that risk tolerance, what do you choose to do? Right now I can tell you all of our apartment communities obviously have a loan on them, because that gets the returns that we need just to return to our investors and to have successful transactions. If we paid all cash for the deals, then we would be making whatever the cap rate is, right? So 5%, 6%, 7%, or whatever that particular deal is… And that just doesn’t work. So we do leverage for apartment communities.

For my single-family homes – I do have loans on them, but I’m wrestling with this question myself on my single-family homes. I only have three houses, and I could pay them off; I haven’t yet, and I don’t know if I will or won’t. Financially, it’s not a smart decision to pay them off, but from a peace of mind standpoint, it’s kind of nice. So that’s really the question, and those are the things to think about.

Theo Hicks: Something else I’m thinking right now, and let me know what you think about this – if you do also have them paid off completely, and let’s say the market is to take some sort of dip, then not only are your properties themselves safe, because you’ve done a loan on them, but then you have access to all that equity, all the properties around that area, that people are potentially getting foreclosed on or can no longer buy those properties… So you can take a loan against your property to buy those properties, and then get a loan at that point. I guess the fact that you have access to that equity still, that you can if you need to and you want to take a loan against that, or [unintelligible [00:18:54].07] whatever you wanna do, you have that option too, whereas… Technically, you have it if the loan is depending on how much you’ve paid it down, but you definitely have access to equity if you pay it off completely.

Joe Fairless: One asterisk on that would be if the market tanks and you own them free and clear, it’d be more challenging to get a loan on your investment properties. So one thing you could do in that scenario or planning for that scenario if you do pay them off but you’re thinking about doing that, is talk to a credit union and see if you can get a line of credit and use those free and clear homes as collateral, and do that when things are nice and rosy. That way you’ve got this access to a line of credit. Now, the line of credit could disappear at any point in time from the credit union if things go South in the market, but at least you’re planning a little bit ahead to leverage that equity without actually tapping into it prior to something bad happening.

Theo Hicks: Yeah. The next question is from City Park Properties. He asks–

Joe Fairless: He or she.

Theo Hicks: He or she asks “Can you explain the difference between a broker who can offer off-market deals and a real estate agent”, who I’m assuming will only offer the on-market MLS deals?

Joe Fairless: He or she.

Theo Hicks: He or she. [laughter]

Joe Fairless: Do you wanna take that one?

Theo Hicks: From my understanding, as you create relationships with brokers, they’ll have their on-market deals, but obviously those deals were off-market when they got them… So if you have a relationship with brokers, you’re gonna have deals sent to you before they actually go live. From my understanding, the difference would be not necessarily the person themselves – because they would be doing both at the same time – it’s just how much of a relationship do you have with this person, or how much of a reputation do you have as an investor, that they would be comfortable giving you this deal before they actually put it on the market.

Now, I’m not sure if there’s brokers that just do off-market deals and that’s it, I don’t know, but from my experience so far, that’s what I’ve found – they’ll have on-market deals obviously, but if you know them well enough, you can get access to that beforehand. I also know for smaller deals, if you’ve got the pocket listings – that’s a well-known thing, where if you know an agent, they will have a deal that they don’t put on the market because they know that you’re interested in… I guess from personal experience, two of the three properties I bought were off-market, and one was on-market.

Obviously, that same real estate agent had five deals – two on-market, and three off-market that he wasn’t ready to put on market yet, probably for tax purposes for the seller, or something… But just the fact that I knew that guy was really the only reason I got these properties. If I didn’t know who he was, I wouldn’t have seen him posting on Facebook and I wouldn’t have had his phone number to reach out to him, call him and say “Hey, I wanna see this property and I wanna learn about the other properties off-market.”

Basically, the difference is “Do you know them or not?” and “Do you have a good relationship with them?” And if you do, you will have access to more deals that you would if you’re just some random guy that they don’t know.

Joe Fairless: Nailed it. Completely agree.

Theo Hicks: Alright, so that wraps up the main topics, the listener questions… Next, we’re gonna move into just some updates and observations from the past week. Do you have anything for your business, updates or observations?

Joe Fairless: Yeah, just closing approximately 5th December on the 304-unit. We are closing out our due diligence; we’ve been doing due diligence, and everything looks good. Really, we’re sending out the private placement memorandum to investors most likely today or tomorrow; that got finalized. Then we’ll just begin funding, and everything’s good; we’re all good there. As far as other property updates, we’re exceeding our rents from our projections across the board on every one of our properties, so things are going well… Nothing really stands out.

I mentioned I finished the book “Am I Being Too Subtle?” and now I’m reading a book from the 1970s called Coma, and it’s like a psychological thriller, so it’s not in the same genre as self-improvement, but I do recommend Sam Zell’s “Am I Being Too Subtle?” He does a really good job of putting you in the deal while it’s happening, even though it’s already happened, and he gives you his mindset for why he structured a deal a certain way, and this isn’t just real estate deals, it’s larger deals. He talks about losing 100 million dollars of his own money, plus  millions and millions – he doesn’t mention how much – of investor money on a cruise line venture that went South after 9/11.

He talks about having to file bankruptcy for the company that owned the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Tribune and some other entities… So he talks about failures, and he also talks about a lot of success, and how he structures an organization based on meritocracy, versus just tenure, or whatever. It’s what have you produced, and how he expects his employees to be entrepreneurial. He’s a billionaire, and it’s important to at least – when a billionaire talks – to hear what they have to say and then decide if it’s relevant to your or not. As a real estate investor, I recommend other real estate investors read this book, because it is a lot of relevant stuff.

Theo Hicks: Nice, cool stuff. My business – I’ve got one lesson learned about boilers… It’s a lesson first, so whenever I buy a property or look at a property, before I even put it under contract, I’m gonna have this new guy that I met come in and at least look at the boiler and then look at individual radiators in the units.

Joe Fairless: Can I guess the price?

Theo Hicks: Yeah, guess.

Joe Fairless: $4,500 to replace the boiler.

Theo Hicks: No, it’s more than that.

Joe Fairless: $9,500.

Theo Hicks: I know someone who sent me a quote that they got back in 2013, and it was $8,100 to replace his boiler, but the guy that I had come in – but I think that was just for the actual material, not including labor – said “Expect between $10,000 to $15,000 to replace the boiler.” Another lesson is you have to do maintenance on it once a year; at least inspect it, clean it up a little bit.

He was telling me a story — I’ll get to my point in a second, but he was telling me a story about how he’s working with a church right now that bought a brand new boiler for like $25,000 five years ago, and they didn’t inspect it or anything, and I guess whether it’s condensation or leaking, it basically just disintegrated because it so corroded, and so they had to replace a brand new boiler that they bought five years ago for $25,000. Obviously, they were doing [unintelligible [00:25:44].25] to raise the money, and things like that.

So I’ve got three boilers in the three of our properties, and the story goes one of them was leaking – I saw a leak on the ground during inspection, so in the inspection report or the inspection addendum we had them fix that. And they went in there, and I thought it was fixed, but it wasn’t… So another lesson is make sure that they actually fix what they’re supposed to fix. And it took them months to actually address the issue. Lastly, they finally went in there to fix it —

Joe Fairless: Who’s “they”?

Theo Hicks: The sellers who I bought the property from.

Joe Fairless: Oh, but you’ve already purchased it and the seller is going back in there to fix it?

Theo Hicks: Yeah, they’re going back in there to fix it.

Joe Fairless: So you closed without them fixing it, but they said “Hey, we’ve got your back. We’ll come fix it after closing, don’t worry, Theo”?

Theo Hicks: Exactly. Which at the time I thought, “Oh, how nice of them”, but now I’m thinking that they did this for a specific reason, which I’ll get into in a second. So they’re bringing their contractor… It was basically — they just cut these pipes and then they replaced them. And they go in there, and I guess they had to refill the boiler with water, and then go to each of the individual radiators and bleed them, because apparently it’s under pressure, so there’s air in there; they’re bleeding all the air out, so that water can circulate through.

And they go to the first radiator they open up, they take it off, and there’s like this long pipe that’ll go up and down with [unintelligible [00:26:58].10]. He sent me a picture of it, and it looks like something that you’d find on the sunken Titanic, it was so corroded and rusty… So he said “We can’t even touch this. This is such a hazard, since the boiler under pressure could explode at any time.” So we can’t touch this, you have to get it replaced.

I was in there yesterday and they went through all the individual units, and there’s probably three or four radiators per unit, and luckily only two of them were Titanic status, so they’ll have to fix those. But the boiler itself is so old that they told me “You need to start saving up money to replace them.”

So the lessons learned are having an inspector come in there and look at the boiler and all the individual radiators before buying a property. The boiler contractor that I was working with, he also owns properties, and he said that you can actually get the sellers to do that inspection separately from the regular inspection; they had them paid for it. I’m not sure if I’ll do that or not, but I’ll definitely have them looked at. He offered to actually do it and come in and look for me; he was a really nice guy.

Then also, obviously, if you have something on the inspection addendum, make sure that you have it addressed before closing, because they might not be doing it because they know that you’re opening up a massive can of worms. If they would have addressed that issue prior to closing, we would have found out that replace a couple of radiators, and the boiler potentially needs to be replaced, as well.

The silver lining here, from my perspective, is two things. Number one, I’m glad we’ve found this problem now and not in the middle of winter, because I don’t even know what people do if their heat goes out in the middle of winter, because you’re obligated by law to obviously provide heat.

Joe Fairless: You’d be riding up there with portable heaters, you’d buy a CVS.

Theo Hicks: Or putting them in a hotel.

Joe Fairless: Or putting them in a hotel, yeah.

Theo Hicks: So that was number one lesson, and I guess silver lining. And number two was I hadn’t looked at the other boilers in the other properties, and they were in much greater shape than this boiler… So I’m still gonna have to go and inspect each individual radiator, because obviously if the owner neglected the radiators in one unit, I’m expecting it to happen in the other units, and we’ve already had complaints about the boiler not working in one of the buildings… But yeah, fortunately the only boiler that he believes I’ll need to replace any time in the near future is in the one unit, whereas the other two are newer. So boilers are interesting…

Joe Fairless: To find the right inspector, what should a Best Ever listener search for, who should they ask to inspect the boilers? Because you said you already had it inspected, but it wasn’t sufficient.

Theo Hicks: So I asked the HVAC guy that was with me yesterday, I asked him “How did my general inspection not catch this?” and based off of what was involved to do the inspection – it wasn’t much, but it involves moving furniture, and pulling off the radiator. He said that most inspectors just don’t do that. Some of them might, some of them might not, so I guess one thing to do is that when you’re doing an inspection, if there is a boiler in the actual property, ask that inspector “Hey, can you look at the boilers? Do you have previous experience looking at boilers?” Or you can just get a boiler inspection from an HVAC company. So google “HVAC service city-name”, and then call up and say “Hey, do you have experience with boilers? Do you do maintenance on boilers? Do you inspect boilers?” and then go from there.

According to this boiler guy – he could just have been selling me, but he said to me “Not a lot of people look at these things anymore.” I’m so glad we found each other… Because I just found him just because of the issue with my property, and he was just the guy that the seller found. So I kind of just got lucky by finding this guy.

If you need to find someone, either ask the inspector who’s going to do your general inspection if they can look at the boiler and if they know how to look at boilers, and if not, just find an HVAC company to do a separate inspection.

Joe Fairless: Okay. Good lesson. It sucks for you, but good lesson. [laughter] In the long run it will be a good lesson for you, and everyone, for sure.

Theo Hicks: It’s one of those things where you kind of have to go through it to understand, unless you’ve read a book somewhere where they talk about boilers… Because I wouldn’t even think about looking into the boilers or having the boilers inspected. I was like, “Oh, I guess they just work, because people are living here.” It’s little things like that that you don’t think about that could be costly.

And the other lesson is make sure you get them ongoing maintenance once a year, because they can last 40-50 years if you do that.

Before I wrap up, one last thing that we wanted to start doing is that we’ve got the Best Ever Facebook Community, and each week a [unintelligible [00:31:15].18] or social media guy will post different business-related questions, that will have interactions with people, and it’s also nice because you see how other people answer these questions based off of their experience, and kind of just get to know each other.

So we are going to answer these questions ourselves on Follow Along Friday… This week the question – we’ll call it the Best Ever Facebook Community question of the week – was “What is your favorite morning routine for daily success and productivity?”

Joe Fairless: What’s yours?

Theo Hicks: [unintelligible [00:31:44].14] I was having trouble with having a morning routine, because it was more of like individual routines that had a kind of — I would do one, and that would be done and I’d have to will myself to the next one, and the next one, and the next one… So I wanted to find a way where I could just have one trigger that would automatically make me do all of my routines so I don’t have to think about it.

Something I’ve been doing for the past month – and this is at night, but then I review it in the morning… But I literally write out what I’m gonna be doing the entire day. “I’m gonna wake up at this time, and this is what I’m gonna do. At 8 o’clock I’m gonna do this, at 10 o’clock I’m gonna do this. Then at noon I’m gonna have a lunch…”

Joe Fairless: And that’s working for you?

Theo Hicks: It works really well, and it’s evolving, because now I’ve got alarms, so whenever I’m done with a certain task, the alarm goes off and I move to the next job. I’m kind of like automating myself so that I’m not only doing every single thing that I need to do for the day… At the end of the day I go back and I essentially just journal exactly what I did right and wrong; it’s like “Okay, I said I was gonna get up at 7, but I got up at [7:30] today, but I still did everything I was supposed to do. Then I was supposed to read at 9, but I had this thing come up that I had to do instead, so I couldn’t read today at all.” Or “I didn’t go to gym today because I’m lazy”, or things like that.

So it forces me to look at my failures, instead of just skipping something I said I would do and then just not even thinking about it again. That’s been very helpful. So at night I write out my schedule, in the morning I review it, I set up my alarms in the morning and then I do it throughout the day, and I don’t have to think at all throughout the day. At the end of the day, I think again by journaling about it and trying to make any tweaks, like “Oh, set an alarm”, or whatever… So that’s my routine.

Joe Fairless: After hearing that, you realize what I’m gonna do tomorrow…

Theo Hicks: What are you gonna do?

Joe Fairless: I’m gonna call you randomly 17 times throughout the day… [laughter]

Theo Hicks: To see if I’m on my schedule?

Joe Fairless: Yeah. “What are you doing now, Theo? What are you doing now? Are you supposed to be talking to me? Aren’t you supposed to be doing something else?”

Theo Hicks: I’ll send you a screenshot of it every morning. [laughter]

Joe Fairless: Things I do every day in the morning for productivity is as soon as I wake up I have a Five Star notepad and I write 15 times “I’m a strong, confident, successful and handsome real estate billionaire entrepreneur.” I’ve been saying that as my incantation and affirmation many years. Recently, over I’d say the last 90 days, I’ve been doing that every single day, writing it down 15 times, and I’ve mentioned that on the show before.

Theo Hicks: Even on weekends?

Joe Fairless: Even on weekends. Every single day. And if I miss a day – because there have been a handful of times where I’ve missed a day – I then make up it later. So I am caught up to today for the last 90-120 days.

Theo Hicks: That’s awesome.

Joe Fairless: Every day, 15 times. “I’m a strong, confident, successful and handsome real estate billionaire entrepreneur.” I also drink a liter of water with a scoop of wheat grass mixed into it every morning when I wake up; I have a daily journal that I write in usually towards the middle or end of the day… I just write whatever’s going on that day. It’s amazing to go back a year – and at this point I can go back two years, with that daily journal; I’ve been doing it that long – and just see what I was doing, what I was thinking that day and see the progress that I’ve made over that period of time.

Then I always do some sort of exercise. Over the last 90 days or so I’ve been doing at least 50 push-ups…

Theo Hicks: In a row?

Joe Fairless: In a row, yeah.

Theo Hicks: That’s impressive.

Joe Fairless: And in my softball team, Ben, who is Samantha, our team member’s boyfriend, he’s on my team and he asked me if I was on steroids… And not because I look swole, but because I’ve hit a home run in softball the last four games in the row, except for the last game [unintelligible [00:35:28].06] But I’ve been nailing home runs, and I attribute that to my 50 — actually, I do 51 push-ups, because I wanna do 50, and I always do a little bit above, so I always do at least 51 push-ups. Then usually I do some sort of cardio, too.

So those are the things I do for productivity and to get me set for success… Every day. Every single day.

Oh, and I read at least one section in a book, whether it’s a paragraph or whether it’s just a couple pages, depending on how boring the book is. But I will always read something, and that helps build momentum for continuing to read.

Theo Hicks: Yeah. Do you wanna mention the Best Ever Conference, or any updates on interviews we have?

Joe Fairless: We might have updated guests, I don’t know. Just go to BestEverConference.com and you can see all the guests we have so far. And early bird special – you save $100 if you book between now and Halloween.

Theo Hicks: I believe we have Bigger Pockets Josh Dorkin Part I released this Tuesday, and then we have part II coming up next week.

Joe Fairless: Which is not related to the conference, so…

Theo Hicks: Oh, sorry… I was talking about the upcoming exclusive interviews; I got ahead of myself.

Joe Fairless: Okay, got it. Yes, Josh Part II is being aired this coming Tuesday.

Theo Hicks: Awesome. And to wrap up, make sure you subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review for the opportunity to be the review of the week. This week we’ve got Westin Brooks, and he said:

“Awesome podcast. As a religious listener and a first-time investor, I felt more than confident diving into the real estate world. I’ve already utilized several tips and techniques he’s discussed, and I’m looking forward to expanding. Thanks!”

Joe Fairless: Thanks with an exclamation mark.

Theo Hicks: A lot of exclamation marks in there.

Joe Fairless: I appreciate you listening, Best Ever listeners… Enjoyed it. We’ll talk to you tomorrow, and have a best ever week!

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