You must research and study your way when diving into real estate. Every market offers different kinds of opportunities. But, the question is, are you willing to do what it takes to succeed in your chosen market? Join your host Moneeka Sawyer as she interviews Mike Wolf on how to be a passive income nomad. Mike discusses the importance of adapting to changes and explains real estate investing strategies to help you take it to the next level. It’s never too late to try and quit the job you hate for a venture that will help you attain financial freedom. Join in and learn how!
In this episode, I am so excited to welcome back to the show Mike Wolf. I’ve had him on the show a couple of times already. Readers, you loved him, and several of you have gone to his three-day workshop. I got great reviews on that. I’m super excited to bring Mike back to have another very cool conversation.
Before we lead into the conversation, I want to introduce him again to those of you who haven’t met him yet. Mike has been investing in real estate for many years. He’s also a sought-after international speaker, including an appearance on the TEDx stage, philanthropist, and mentor to a group of students he affectionately calls the Wolf Pack. Mike helps people create a lifestyle of freedom and helps them get out of the rat race. Mike, welcome back to the show.
Thanks for having me. It’s always great to see you.
It feels like it’s been so long. It’s so good to be able to chat again. When Mike and I were in the green room, he was asking me how Africa went, and I was giving him some stories. It turns out he is speaking in South Africa soon. He doesn’t have an exact date. The thing that he is speaking about is becoming a passive income nomad.
It’s an event for digital nomads so that people can work, have freedom, and travel. He wants to help them go from digital to passive income, so they work even less. I want to have that conversation here for you readers to see where he’s headed with that. That will support us in choosing bliss. Mike, could you tell us a little bit more about your angle on this? First of all, what is a passive income nomad?
First of all, let me define passive income because that’s important. A lot of people don’t really understand it, or they think it’s this myth thing that doesn’t exist. Passive income is the act of doing something one time and getting paid for it over and over. There’s been a couple of times when I posted on social media about passive income. A lot of times, people say it’s a scam or something like that. To give you an example, look at Michael Jackson. He’s been dead for quite a few years now. He made more money in 2021 dead than I did alive, and everybody read this put together.
He made more money than all of us, and he’s dead because he created passive income that keeps going on and on. Now, the state gets the benefit from that. He did something one time. He went into the studio, recorded the album, and people continued to buy those records. We can do the same thing with real estate. When we buy a rental property, we buy at one time. If we’re smart, instead of trying to manage it ourselves because that’s creating a job for ourselves, if we get a good team, not just any team, you have to have a good team in place that manages it.
There are also tenants. They collect the rent and put it into your bank account at the end of the month. It’s whatever it is that your passion is. For me, it happens to be travel. I have the freedom to travel, and I know that money is coming in at the end of the month without me having to do anything to get it. There are numerous ways to create passive income. Real estate is not the only one, but it’s the best one. When I speak to these digital nomads, a lot of them are living their dream. They’re traveling, but they’re staying in pretty mediocre accommodations or living at hostels. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want to do.
A lot of them are looking for odd jobs, “I’ll be a bartender when I get to this country.” They’re doing a lot of odd jobs and working too hard to support that lifestyle they love. It’s possible, even if you don’t have a ton of money. You just start getting into the real estate game. A lot of people don’t know that, so they end up taking low-paying jobs just to make ends meet.
I’d much rather be a passive income nomad where my money’s coming in without me having to work. Being that person, everywhere I go, I make sure I’ve got a job lined up or try to figure out a way to have a place to sleep at night and have food on my table. That’s what I’m going to be teaching them. It’s how you transition from being the digital nomad to the passive income nomad.
Since most of my readers are probably not digital nomads, let’s jump into how you become a passive income nomad.
Passive income is the act of doing something one time and getting paid for it over and over again. Click To Tweet
There are some steps involved. Most people don’t have the money in their bank account where they can just buy ten rental properties, at least not the ones that I talk to on a daily basis. Sometimes we have to build up to that. A good example is taking something that normally isn’t passive and making it passive. Let me explain. Here’s one of the strategies I teach my students in the Wolf Pack that I’m most known for. I teach a lot of different strategies, but one of them that I’m most known for is something called tax deeds.
What a tax deed is when somebody hasn’t paid their property taxes in 3 or 4 years. Eventually, the county needs that money to keep their schools open and pay for their police department, fire department, etc. They eventually put these homes up for auction. I’ve had some of my students pick up single-family homes for $7,000. That’s not the down payment. That was the actual purchase price of a home worth $90,000 or $100,000. Normally, there are a lot of moving parts to that. You have to go and drive around and view the properties. You got to pull the title.
There are a whole bunch of things you have to do in order to do that strategy safely. If you’re somebody who likes to travel all the time, you don’t necessarily want to have to go to an auction on a certain day of every month. You don’t want to have to fly back from wherever you’re at. One of the things that I’ve done is I’ve built teams. I’ve got somebody on the ground that goes to the auction on behalf of my students. They’re all over the United States, but my favorite one takes place in Houston, Texas.
I have people as far away as Australia participating in that auction from the comfort of their own homes because I have a team on the ground that goes and views the properties and videotapes it. They pull titles and do all the necessary steps for you, so you don’t have to physically be there, including going to the auction itself. As a matter of fact, my student who picked up the best deal, that $7,200 property, was worth around $90 or $100,000. He lives in California. He was not at that auction. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even have $7,200, so I showed him how to raise that money.
This is what’s possible. You can take just about anything. I used to own a pub. I can’t think of anything with more moving parts than owning a pub, but I had a partner who did all the work. I was the money part. I put up all the money, and we managed to both make a pot of money off this pub that was previously bleeding money like crazy. We turned it around and started to make a lot of money, but I never did a day’s work in that pub ever. That was by design. We agreed on that when we did our joint venture.
I said, “You’re never going to have to take a dime out of your pocket for anything, including the purchase of the pub, but I’m never going to do a day’s work. If a cook doesn’t show up, don’t call me. I’m not going to be there.” We agreed to that beforehand. I took something that normally has so many different moving parts and so many things that can go wrong. If you ever own a pub or a restaurant, as glamorous as it seems, it’s a lot of work. The biggest enemy of owning a pub is employee theft. Alcohol and food all go out the back door and people serving their friends. You have to have somebody there all the time who knows what they’re doing.
I don’t want to necessarily go into all the details of the pub, but you can take something like that. I was traveling while we owned that pub and was still making a lot of money. I very rarely went in there. That’s what’s possible, but a lot of people don’t understand. They don’t know how to build the teams. They think that all these moving parts have to be done by them. A lot of us entrepreneurs tend to be control freaks.
We don’t think anybody else can do it as well as we can. Even when we reluctantly hire our first people because we have to, we’re running out of time, getting burnt out, or getting overwhelmed, we have to hire somebody, or we can’t continue. We then micromanage them to death. Now, instead of doing the work, we’re spending just as much time micromanaging and babysitting. Some of the stuff that I love to teach my students is how you build your dream team that has your back, and you have to take care of them too. It’s not a one-way street. If you take good care of them and they take good care of you, you can build something that requires little time. That’s what I love to focus on.
You mentioned two things that are important that I’d like to get some details on. The first one is he didn’t even have the $7,200, so you taught him how to raise that. That’s the first thing. The second thing is this idea of building teams because I’m in that process myself. I have teams for a lot of the things that I do, but I need more. I’d like to touch on that, at least in the first part of the show. If it’s a deeper topic, and I’m sure it is, maybe we can talk more about that in EXTRA. What do you think?
It sounds great. Let’s do it.
Let’s start with this, “He didn’t even have the $7,200, so I taught him how to get that.” Could you talk to us a little bit about what strategies you helped him with?
In that particular case, he had come to one of my training. A tax deed isn’t something you should ever show up in the auction and think, “I’ll figure it out as I go,” because you won’t. You don’t know what you don’t know. It will come back to haunt you. There are certain due diligence steps you have to take. At this point, he had the training. He had the education. He had access to my team, so he didn’t have to be there. His job isn’t to go and fly from California to Texas every month and show up at the auction. That’s not a good use of your time.
Much better use of your time and what I taught them to do is I said, “Start going to meet up groups and different real estate investment clubs and places where investors hang out.” Most people are either looking for a strategy. They’re trying to learn how to do a certain strategy, or they’ve got money. They want to invest, but they don’t know how. There are all kinds of different people that show up at these meetings.
If you go to these meetings, the first thing somebody is going to ask you is, “What type of real estate do you do?” That’s the first thing that comes up every time after your name. Imagine you went to one of these real estate investment clubs in Los Angeles and said, “I specialize in Texas tax deeds.” The first thing that’s going to happen is you’re going to go, “What is the Texas tax deed?” They don’t know what that is. Automatically, they’re curious. You say you’re a flipper, and it’s like, “Cool.” That’s the end of the conversation, or, “I have rental properties,” and that’s the end of the conversation.
If you say something that people have never even heard of before, number one, they’re curious. They start asking you questions, “What’s a Texas tax deed?” You can say, “I have access to these deals.” I gave him a bunch of deals that the team has already done. He hadn’t done a deal at that point, so I gave him a list of deals that we’ve already done a bunch of case studies. He can legitimately say, “Here are some deals my team has done because I let him use my team.” You can legitimately say, “These are some deals my team has done. We’ve got this one for this amount and sold it for that. We got this stuff for this amount and sold it for that.”
The only thing stopping us from scaling this and doing more is, “If we had some more capital, we could certainly do way more deals. That’s why I’m here. I’m looking for partners who want to put up some money. We’ll split the profits, and I’ll do all the work.” In reality, he didn’t really have to do any work. His job was to raise money and then call the team. It’s like having an assembly line. You push the button, and away it goes.
You now have the capital, so you call up a team. They now go and view the properties for you. They pull the title and do all the necessary steps. They then go to the auction for you and get you the property. He got his first property using none of his own money. He went on to do a whole bunch of after that. It created a great win-win because that person who didn’t even know what a Texas tax deed was is now benefiting from a strategy he doesn’t know how to do. At the same time, my student is benefiting because he’s doing deals he couldn’t have afforded to do.
You’re taking a lose-lose where neither of them could have done the deal separately, but together, they’re now doing a joint venture that makes sense for both of them. Your job sometimes is once you have the team already built and all the systems in place, your job, if you don’t have money, is to find money to feed the assembly line. That’s exactly what he did. After you do a couple of deals, as you can imagine, he doesn’t need partners anymore. That’s where he’s at. That’s one of several ways to raise money for your projects.
The thing in this particular case is the investors can’t circumvent them. They don’t know how to do it even though he says, “It’s Texas tax deeds. It takes place on the first Tuesday of every month. Here’s where it is.” They can’t circumvent them because they don’t have the knowledge or training to successfully do a deal on their own. They can’t circumvent them, and he’s already got the team. These people don’t have to ever fly to Texas. They don’t have to do any work other than sign a check. It’s a great win-win, and that’s some of the stuff that I love to teach people.
A lot of people don’t think outside the box. They don’t get creative. They go, “I got to go save up a down payment, get a mortgage, and then I’ll buy a property. I then go back to work and work overtime, so I can save about my next down payment.” That will work. You can do that. I call that transactional real estate. You’re doing one transaction, and eventually, you have enough money to do the second transaction. That can work, but there are more efficient ways to do it.
When they’re putting together these private money deals, do you help them with the paperwork, structuring, percentage, and all of that stuff on how to deal with all that stuff? They, too, can feel a little intimidating.
One of the things that I love about the Wolf Pack is that we don’t just give people information and set them free to go do their thing. I’ve been in this industry for a long time and have been doing this for many years. I’ve been training other people for about half that time. For a lot of people, you can take and teach them exactly how to do a strategy step by step. You can give them a blueprint, and they’ll do the work, but at some point, they have to take that leap of faith. They have to send a contract or make that phone call and put in an offer.
People end up taking really low paying jobs just to make ends meet. Learn how to be a passive income nomad where your money's coming in without you having to work. Click To Tweet
A lot of people do all the work and get to the one-yard line, and then they stop because they start to get fearful and think, “What if I screwed up? What if I messed up?” One of the things I do is I personally look at everybody’s deals and vet them to make sure they didn’t miss something. In a lot of cases, I hold their hand, get on that call with a motivated seller, and help them do that call. I had one of my students who had a friend that wanted to invest in him, but he said, “You haven’t done any deals yet. Come back if you’ve done a bunch of deals.”
If he would’ve done a bunch of deals, he wouldn’t need that guy’s money in the first place. I jumped on a call with him and his potential money partner and said, “This person doesn’t have the experience, but I am personally vetting every deal with them. I’m going every step of the way with them. We’ve done 4,000 deals. You’re getting 4,000 deals worth of experience, and just because you’re lending the money to him doesn’t mean your money is at risk.”
One of the things that we do a lot differently is I’m able to hold people’s hands when they get to that tough part. Learning the strategies is the easy part, but having faith in yourself and getting over the fear is a whole different story. After they’ve done a couple of deals, their confidence is where it should be. You don’t need me necessarily every time you’re writing an offer. It works really well.
You gave them contracts and stuff like that, all of those pieces.
We give them contracts and scripts so they know exactly what to say when they get on the phone. Sometimes they’re still scared to do it, so I’ll do it, and they listen in. We give every resource I’ve got and not only that, they get my Rolodex. I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve got so many great people along the way, including yourself. I’m very well connected. If I taught somebody how to do Texas tax deeds, I said, “When are you going to go build a team?” There’s not a job description that says, “We go to the auction on behalf of real estate investors.”
Nobody does that. That’s something I had to create. That was a made-up career. I actually found somebody and taught them exactly step by step what they need to do, and now they do that. Building the team for a newbie can sometimes be a little bit daunting, so I’ve done that for them, and they get access. They get to inherit my teams. They don’t have to build them from scratch because even if I taught you, “Here’s how you build a team step by step,” when you’re first starting, it’s difficult because not everybody wants to be on your team.
Especially if you’re doing very small investor, it’s sometimes hard to get good people on your team. When you’re doing a lot of transactions, everybody wants to be on your team and your success. It’s like if you won the Super Bowl, everybody wants to be on that team. The team that never gets to the playoffs, nobody wants to be on that team. It’s the same thing in real estate. When you have a successful business, people start contacting you, “How do we work with you? What can we do to add value?”
You’d be amazed how many people every day say, “Mike, I want to bird dog for you. I’ll work for free. I just want to learn.” It’s interesting what happens. When I first started, I couldn’t get any of my friends or family to lend me a dime. Some people don’t even know me. They see my video on YouTube, and none of my videos say, “Give me money.” I don’t have any videos like that, but people every day come to me unsolicited and say, “I’ve got $100,000. I got $500,000. I got $50,000. How do I work with you?” It’s interesting where these people were when I was first starting, but that’s how it goes in the business. You got to pay your dues, and after a while, you get in the flow, and things start to happen magically.
I have a couple more questions. With the strategy or the strategies that you pick for passive income, do they fluctuate with the events or the economy? For instance, could you do the tax lien strategy during COVID or now after on the backside of COVID? I don’t know if we’re totally out of it, but you know what I mean. Does it work in all situations or economies? Could you speak to that a little bit?
Real estate is very cyclical. What works at one time in history or one market doesn’t necessarily translate into a different market. For example, you mentioned COVID. That’s a great example of, “All the auctions shut down. There were no live auctions taking place during the timeframe.” If you were only a tax deed person and that’s the only strategy you knew how to do, you would’ve gone hungry for a year and a half because there were no auctions. On the other hand, coming out of COVID, all the auctions were back and open again. They have a big backlog of properties that would have got auctioned off. Now it’s a great strategy.
Your timing is everything. The good news is there are many different ways to do real estate. There are always numerous things that are working, and then there are things that are not working. Sometimes things that stop working will work again later. I recommend that if you don’t have the pulse on the market and you’re just getting your information from the newspaper, that’s old news. By the time you see something in the newspaper, that’s already happened. That’s yesterday’s news. It’s important to be on the front lines or be hanging out with people on the front lines and know what’s going on.
Now, we’re going to see a lot of changes. We were going from a very strong seller’s market because there was such a shortage of properties. That started to ease up. We’re already seeing that in a bunch of different markets. What we’re probably going to see next is a lot of markets are turning into buyers’ markets. There’s going to be a lot of opportunity for pre-foreclosures, foreclosures, and these tax deeds I mentioned. There are going to be subject-to deals.
If you don’t know what that means, it’s an opportunity. Even if you can’t qualify for a mortgage and have very little down payment, there are ways to take over other people’s mortgages, especially if they’re in a distressed situation. I’ll give you a quick example. Imagine you found a place. It was worth $200,000. The mortgage is pretty close to $200,000. These people are unable to make their mortgage payments now. They can’t call a realtor to sell it because there’s no equity, so they would physically have to cut a check to the realtor.
They think they’re stuck. If you’re an expert investor and know how to do a subject-to deal, you go in there and say, “You’re in a really bad situation. I’ll pay off the arrears for you and take over the home and save your credit.” Imagine, on that home, the mortgage payment was $1,000 a month. You knew that would rent for $1,500. You’ve now taken over this property for next to nothing, maybe a few thousand in arrears. You’ve got a property that you’re paying $1,000 on the mortgage, but you’re collecting $1,500 a month in rent. You’ve now got this revenue on a property you put very little money into.
It comes down to being educated on different strategies and knowing what’s going to work in the market based on what’s going on at any given time. With the rising interest rates, a lot of people are scared. To me, I see tons of opportunities. That’s creating opportunity. You have to be up to date on the times and what strategies are working. If you can do that successfully, that’s where the money is. It’s also on the path of progress because COVID has changed many things, like how people work. We could be on a live stage in theory, but now everybody’s so used to Zoom.
Everything’s on Zoom these days, and people don’t have to go to an office anymore. What worked before COVID was advantageous to have stuff in the inner city, close to where the offices are. That’s not true anymore. People are moving to the suburbs now. If you own properties out in the suburbs and you’ve adapted to the changes in the market, that’s where the money’s going to be.
As we see interest rates going up, what kinds of opportunities are you seeing?
As interest rates go up, there are some good things as a real estate investor that come from that, even though we’re all fearful of that. One of the things we’re going to see is that if you buy a rental property, for example, your tenants are going to be a lot less upwardly mobile. They’re not going to say, “We decided to buy a home,” as quickly as they were when we’re at record low-interest rates. Buying rental properties is great if you can get a relatively good deal now. Your rents are going to probably continue to go up as more people get forced into renting. That’s a great strategy.
We’re also going to see foreclosures. As their mortgages come due and the payment goes up dramatically in some cases, a lot less people are going to be in a good position to afford that. We’re going to see pre-foreclosures, foreclosures, and tax deeds. There are a lot of strategies that will benefit from higher interest rates. It’s going to be costing maybe a little more to get in if you’re using financing. The good news is that everything is tied to inflation, and your rents are going to go up probably faster than your mortgage payment would go up by the rising interest rates, and you still can benefit.
I remember the very first property I ever bought. I remember I had a mortgage of 13.25%, and I was ecstatic to get that because the going rate was 14% and a little bit, and I got 13.25%. I was so happy. I’ll never forget the day that interest rates went to 9.9%. They went to single digits for the first time in my lifetime. I felt like a kid in a candy store going to buy every property I got my hands on 9.9%. Now people are concerned, “What if it goes 6%?” It’s like, “That’s still really cheap money.” I wouldn’t ever loan my money at 6%. That’s super cheap money still.
A lot of people haven’t ever experienced double-digit. I don’t think we’re going to have double digits. People were still doing real estate deals, including myself, when it was 13.25%. Even before my time, when it was 18%, 19%, or 20%, people were doing real estate deals. There are always deals to be had. In the newspapers, you think it is doom and gloom, the sky is falling, interest rates are going up, and the world’s going to collapse. No, it’s actually going to create different opportunities that will still be there.
First of all, I love that. Thank you for that. People get caught up in the doom and gloom because all the people that are talking about it are not actual investors. Much of it is economic theory, hearsay, or opinions. There are people that are in the markets that are doing deals, exercising their expertise, doing different strategies, or moving and pivoting them with the market.
You have to be up to date on what strategies are working and be on the path of progress. If you can do that successfully, that's where the money is. Click To Tweet
Every market presents new opportunities or different kinds of opportunities. That’s what’s so cool about your Wolf Pack or many of these networks that people can plug themselves into. If you have people that are in there that have been in the market a long time with the cycles, they know the different strategies that are going to work given the different circumstances, like interest rates are going up or down. We have a foreclosure moratorium. That’s now opening up. All of that stuff happens, and there are strategies for every single one of those types of situations.
On top of that, everything trickles down. If the cost of living is going up because interest rates are going up, you’re going to get paid more at work. It all evens out. It’s all tied together. It’s not like one thing that’s happening in a vacuum where interest rates are going up, but you’re not going to get a pay cut when interest rates are going up. Your rent is certainly not going to go down if interest rates are going up.
All this stuff is all tied together, and people have all this doom and gloom and fear. For me, it’s like I’ve seen the movie, and I know the ending. I already know what’s going to happen. That’s why being in this business for so long is advantageous because I’ve been through uptimes, downtimes, and times where we’re just stagnant and staying the same. A good investor can make money even when prices drop. When interest rates are going up, you can still make money.
A lot of people, especially if they’re newbies, they think, “It’s going up. I guess I better not get into real estate investing. I better try something else.” I’m glad sometimes that they do because it creates an opportunity for people that are not fearful. It’s like Warren Buffet says, “Be greedy when people are fearful and be fearful when people are greedy.” That’s probably the best advice I’ve ever heard when it comes to real estate investing.
Can you share with us what you did during those COVID months when there were no auctions? What strategy did you use? I’m curious.
It was a very interesting time because I have numerous businesses. The first one was I owned a bunch of rental properties that were passive income. As I mentioned, I don’t collect my own rent. Other people deal with that. That went well. People weren’t moving. People are staying put. A lot of landlords did not get a lot of rent because the government was saying that if you can’t pay, you can’t be kicked out by your landlord. It’s because we have good strategies in place that we’ve used in other times were a lot of people are losing their jobs, such as in 2007. We already had systems in place for that.
We know that’s going to be a repeating trend. There are going to be other times in history, not just a pandemic, that are going to cause mass layoffs at some point in time. We were doing and still are doing lease options, which means that when our tenants move into our property, they’re signing three-year leases. They have a second contract, which is an option for them to purchase it. That option to purchase can be rescinded if they don’t make the rent payments. They’ve got some skin in the game because they have to give what’s called option consideration, which is like a down payment. It’s non-refundable.
It’s like a damage deposit. If they don’t buy the home in the three-year period, they don’t get that money back. We’re very transparent about it. We’re not trying to scam them. They know in advance that if you want to buy a property, we’ll help you get there. We’re going to do our end of the deal. If you don’t do your end of the deal, we’re not going to give you back your money. They’ve got skin in the game, and we are working with them to get them home ownership. There’s a clause in the contract that says if you get more than two months behind, we can rescind your right to purchase it without giving you back the deposit.
We had almost all our tenants paying rent, and very few of them were moving because it was so hard to find anywhere to live. That business was better than ever. In my second business, I sell turnkey properties in Atlanta. What that means is I buy properties 20, 30, or 40 at a time from the banks. We inspect them, fix them, and put tenants in place. My property management team looks after them. I’ve got people to sell these for me, and we’ve sold 1,200 of them in the last couple of years to investors all over the globe.
During COVID, at the very beginning, it was extremely slow. I can remember homes were selling, and I didn’t care because that meant rent went into my pocket. If we don’t sell it, I collect the rent, so I’m still doing okay. It doesn’t matter to me if I sell them or not. Two months in, all of a sudden, the market got hot, and the prices started to go up. Everybody was fighting over properties. I had two investors come in and buy my entire inventory. The banks weren’t foreclosing, so there was a foreclosure moratorium. We couldn’t get more than one here and one there. We couldn’t buy those big packages at home.
We had a good problem on our hands where we were sold out and made a ton of money on that. We also helped a lot of other investors. The problem is that even to this day, we’re still having trouble getting inventory in bulk because the foreclosure process is starting up. That’s the second business that I’ve got. My third one, which is the Wolf Pack, all started because of COVID. I wasn’t planning on doing that.
Before COVID, I would do tax deed training twice a year. I do a four-day training. After the training, I’d hop on a flight. Now, I’m in Costa Rica. I would go somewhere tropical because that’s my happy place. I would get off the grid for a while and not do any work. I get bored after 3 or 4 months. I will call my team and say, “We should put another date on the calendar. I’m bored. Let’s do another event.” That’s how I was doing things for many years prior to COVID.
When COVID happened, I went back home, which happens to be in Calgary, Canada. I don’t do any investing. All my investing is in the US, but my home is in Canada. I went back there and stayed put for seven months, which is something I haven’t done in many years. I usually go back for a week or two because I have my two grandsons there and my daughter. I hop on a flight, take off for 2 or 3 months, and then go back. I went back first after a seven-month period.
When I first got back there, a lot of my friends were entrepreneurs, and their businesses started to get shut down. A lot of my friends are saying, “My gym just got shut down. My restaurant got shut down. What do I do? I need to reinvent myself.” I’m the guy everybody comes to if they need money advice or business advice. Everybody and their dog were coming to me asking, “What kind of real estate training can I take with you?” I do online estate training because I normally do a four-day live event and can’t do a live event.
I could see the demand was there, so I thought, instead of teaching a person one at a time, why don’t I set up Zoom calls and get a bunch of people on there? That’s how the Wolf Pack was born. We’ve now got around 50 members or so. I purposely keep it small because I work with people, not just in the group setting, but when they’re doing an offer, I’m there to help them do the offer. If I had 1,000 people in there, I wouldn’t be able to offer that service. It’s been great. When I first offered it, I thought, “Okay.”
That was a big commitment to set up a group like that because that’s not my normal thing. I like to be free and be able to travel when I want. I thought, “We’ll do it one day a month and run this for one year. At the end of the year, I’m dropping it. We’re canceling it.” It turns out that I like teaching a lot more than I thought I did. That’s number one.
Number two, I can sit in front of Zoom a lot longer than I thought I’d have the patience for it. I never thought that I would enjoy this, but I loved it, especially when everything was shut down and people were interacting. I had my Wolf Pack. I had my community. This is the family that I chose, not the one I was born into, but the one I got to choose. I was enjoying it so much. We meet at least once a week. Sometimes we meet four times a week, and I’m loving it. To me, it’s knowing to watch my students go in and crush it.
I decided I’m never going to stop doing it, and we’re going to continue to have weekly meetings. I’m heading to Paris, and all my students are in North America. I’m probably going to have to wake up at 1:00 and 2:00 in the morning to teach, but I’m looking forward to it anyway. I built a multimillion-dollar business in the middle of COVID that I wasn’t even attending to build. I hate to say it because it sounds insensitive. I know a lot of people were adversely affected. I don’t mean any disrespect to people going through tough times, but COVID, for me, was beneficial in many ways.
I was lucky enough. I didn’t lose any friends or family to it. It made my businesses boom and helped me create a new business that was not even on the radar. That also comes down to your previous question on how you adapt or keep doing the same thing. You got to adapt to what’s showing up in the world. Sometimes there are things that are not of your choosing that are going to pop up. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, at some point, it’s not going to work. It’s super important to keep with the times and keep pivoting, which is a very overused word.
When you can do that, it’s amazing what you can accomplish. For me, it gave me that extra bandwidth where I wasn’t traveling. I was bored. I never watched Netflix prior to COVID. Now, I’ve seen so many different shows, but it gave me that extra bandwidth. Instead of using it to watch Netflix, I didn’t watch. Instead of using it just for that, I took time to figure out what’s the demand, and it presented itself. To me, the universe built the Wolf Pack. I didn’t have much to do with it other than I had to show up.
You had to be available and open to it. You’re willing to do your part. You had to be willing to do the work. This is one of those things that we shy away from. I said this on another show before. People don’t want to do the work because it feels hard. I got to tell you, working for the rest of your life or being broke for the rest of your life is harder.
Here’s the other cool thing that I teach my students. If you do things right, you’re building an assembly line. If you have the right team running that assembly line, it doesn’t have to involve you that much. Once you get that infrastructure set up, it’s very easy to build that second assembly line. For the training and stuff, I already had my marketing team. I didn’t have to rebuild that. All the stuff I needed to do to build that new business, I already had that infrastructure on existing assembly lines. Once you get up and running, a lot of people say, “It’s so much work.”
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There’s so much work in the beginning. Sometimes it’s not really that much work. If you can get a good mentor, or you can adopt somebody like my students do, and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you can get started quickly. From there, it’s just building gaming. You keep adding to it. Sometimes you have to change direction a little bit, pivot, and do something slightly different. I don’t think there’s anything that the real estate market gets thrown at me. I’ve been doing this a long time where we can’t retool the assembly line to do these things slightly differently and still get a result.
A mindset is so important. A lot of people see there’s COVID, doom and gloom, the economy is falling apart, and life is over. If you have that mindset, which is easy to do when that’s all you see on TV, it’s very hard to accomplish anything. To me, every time something changes, I see that as an opportunity. I see it as a way to build something new. That’s what keeps us exciting. It’s never the same day twice. In the last years, there’s never been a day where I woke up and said, “There’s nothing I can do today. There are no deals to be had anywhere.”
I never want to say that. I’ve also never woken up unexcited. I have to pinch myself sometimes. I get paid to do what I get to do. It’s a real passion for me. Even when I got lazy because I had the teams and I wasn’t doing that much hands-on, I was still excited to create those jobs for other people and watch my students succeed. I did a lot of volunteer work, too, before COVID. I’m just ramping that up again because a lot of it involves my travel. It’s important to have something that fulfills and excites you. Real estate still excites me very much.
How many women are in the Wolf Pack?
It’s pretty close to 50/50. We have around 50 members, so there are at least a 20 or 25, which I love because I have so much respect for women. My mother got divorced when I was two. Somehow we always met. I don’t know how she did it, but there was always food on the table. I have so much respect, especially for single moms. I get a lot of single moms either went through a divorce and never had to manage the money before. I always love helping the underdog.
I’m not saying women are underdogs. I didn’t mean it in a negative way, but I know that women have to work harder. They usually have more responsibilities they’re juggling. I especially love the teaching of passive income because I know they’ve got so many other things that are buying for their attention that they’re equally, if not more important, taking care of your kids. That’s super important. We have a lot of females in there, and I’m grateful for that. It’s, in a lot of ways, a male-dominated industry.
In Wolf Pack, our approach isn’t like, “Here’s how you make more money.” It’s very heart-centered. It’s like, “Here’s how we can make a difference and help other people. You can win at the same time as you help these other people.” A heart-centered approach tends to attract more women than other real estate investment groups. I’m very happy about that. I love that. I love the diversity within the group, not just male and female, but different races and religions. We all come together. We all have different beliefs. Everybody is divided over every topic, but within the group, there’s none of that. There’s no politics. People are doing joint ventures together.
I got some people in the group who have lots of money. We have got some dentists in the group, for example. One of them sold his practice, and he’s getting $4 million. He doesn’t want to go on the front lines, auctions, and find deals, but there are other people in the group that have a lot more time and love finding the deals and analyzing them. There are people that are funding my students’ deals.
One of my students picked up a 98-unit apartment building and didn’t use any of his money. Almost all of it was funded by the Wolf Pack. To me, that lights me up to see that this community didn’t even exist a few years ago, and now we have this group of people who didn’t know each other all over North America. They’re doing deals together, and it lights me up. That’s why we do meetings all the time because I get so excited to hear their success stories. To me, it’s fun. I live vicariously through them.
First of all, the reason that I brought you back is because I know how heart-centered you are. It’s been interesting with the readers that did go to your three-day event a few years ago. That was one of the things that they mentioned over and over again to me in feedback. I like to get feedback when my audience attends stuff. You’re so heart-centered, and I knew that.
The person who referred you to me is a friend of yours, and she said that. That’s your reputation, and I know you live up to it. I love that you bring that into the Wolf Pack. Thank you for mentioning that. As women, it is important that it’s heart-centered. We want to make our money and be successful, but there’s got to be some heart in it where we do business a little bit differently. That’s part of what I love so much about what you do.
You never have to feel bad. I know a lot of people feel bad. It’s like, “These people are struggling. I don’t want to take any money.” It’s important to give but also to learn how to be a good receiver because you can’t sustain your real estate career. If you want to help thousands of people, we’ve done 4,000 transactions, and in most of those transactions, there’s somebody struggling on the other side of that deal. Most of the stuff we’ve done is pre-foreclosures, foreclosures, and tax deed auctions.
On the other end of that transaction, there’s always somebody struggling. That means we’ve been able to help 4,000 people give or take. If I would’ve said, “I just want to give. I don’t want to receive anything,” I could have helped a few people, but then I would have to go back to getting a job. I’d be helping very few people. Money is just a form of energy. It’s like oxygen. You take it in and then put it back out there. The size of my bank account is directly proportional to the number of people I have helped who are in a better spot due to them connecting with me. That’s when you measure it that way.
I know I can make a difference. I give back to a lot of causes that I’m very passionate about. It’s awesome to be too heart-centered, but sometimes you also have to work on yourself too. You have to put yourself in a good spot. Some of the stuff that we teach is that mindset around a lot of people. Women tend to struggle, especially. It was like, “That person’s going to lose their home to the auction. I don’t want to take anything.”
You can do that, but how about you create a win for them, create a win for yourself, and make lots of money, and then down the road, if you want to give it all away, you can? If you want to work for free and make it a cause to help other people that are struggling, you can, but don’t do it at your own expense. It’s like when you go on an airplane, and they say if there’s turbulence, the oxygen mask might come down from the ceiling and put it on yourself first instead of your kid. The first time I heard that, I said, “That sounds horrible. What do you mean to put it on yourself before your kid?” but then I thought, “If you’re not in good condition, you can’t help anybody.”
You got to make sure you’re safe first, so you can take care of your kids. Once you look at it that way, you realize that, “We need to be.” I struggled with this for a long time too. I have had a hard time being a good receiver, but once I learned how to do that, I got to the next level, and that would be able to help a lot more people as a result. Being a good receiver allows you to be an even better giver.
I love that. We could talk forever, but we’re out of time. We don’t even have time for the three rapid-fire questions, so we’re not going to do that, but you heard that from Mike before. There are a couple of things first. Mike, could you tell us about the free gift you’re offering? This is the thing. If you want to connect with Mike beyond his mailing list so that you know when his events happened because we’re sporadic, or you want to find out about what he’s doing, go ahead and get his free download. That itself is very valuable.
The big thing is that it gets you on his list so you can hear more about him. I know many of you have asked me how to connect with him in the future and when he’s doing the next event. The best way to find out about that is to sign up for his mailing list. When you do that, this is what you get. Could you tell us about your free eBook?
This eBook was written at the beginning of COVID because I was getting all these people who were losing their jobs and businesses. A lot of them did not have very good finances. When I started many years ago, I was a starving X university student. I was trying to get enough money to pay off my student loans. Originally, I was living my parent’s dream for me to become a lawyer, which was never my dream, but it was my parents’ dream. After I got my first degree, I had all these student loans. I know what it’s like to be starting in real estate.
Maybe you don’t have a lot of resources, so the book was written from the perspective of what I wish I knew many years ago. I used to do transactional real estate like a lot of people do, trying to save a down payment, qualify for a mortgage, and buy a house. I learned down the road that there are so many other ways you can buy a rental state with very little or no money. These are the top seven strategies that are working now. They were written at the beginning of COVID, so it’s stuff you can do while you’re at home in front of your computer. Those are seven strategies you can do without leaving your home, even if you have little or no money.
It’s an easy read on purpose because I know people won’t read it if it’s 2,000 pages. It’s twenty pages of big letters, but it talks about the ten strategies you can do and can do them now. They’re still all working. The market has shifted a little bit. There are some of them you couldn’t do at the beginning of COVID, like the tax deed I was saying. Get prepared for these auctions. Once they open up again, there’s going to be a lot of inventory and backlog. I talked about that and a whole bunch of other strategies that can get started on, even if you have very little resources. It’s free. You have nothing to lose by checking it out.
To get that, go to Blissfulinvestor.com/MikeWolf. Go check that out. I’ve read it, and it’s really good. You’ll enjoy that. Unfortunately, we don’t have time for the three rapid-fire questions, but we have time for EXTRA. We talked very slightly in this show about building a team. I know that Mike is correct that if you have a mentor who’s willing to share their team, that’s the quickest way to build a team. All of us are not necessarily going to be able to do that or want to do that yet, so we need some tips on how to start that path towards building our own team.
We’re going to be talking about that in EXTRA. If you have EXTRA, if you’re already subscribed, please stay tuned. If you’re not, we’d like you to go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com. You get the first seven days for free. For those of you that are leaving Mike and me, thank you so much for joining us for this great conversation. I look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action, and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you in the next episode.
To listen to the EXTRA portion of this show go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com
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Moneeka Sawyer is often described as one of the most blissful people you will ever meet. She has been investing in Real Estate for over 20 years, so has been through all the different cycles of the market. Still, she has turned $10,000 into over $5,000,000, working only 5-10 hours per MONTH with very little stress.
While building her multi-million dollar business, she has traveled to over 55 countries, dances every single day, supports causes that are important to her, and spends lots of time with her husband of over 20 years.
She is the international best-selling author of the multiple award-winning books “Choose Bliss: The Power and Practice of Joy and Contentment” and “Real Estate Investing for Women: Expert Conversations to Increase Wealth and Happiness the Blissful Way.”
Moneeka has been featured on stages including Carnegie Hall and Nasdaq, radio, podcasts such as Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod, and TV stations including ABC, CBS, FOX, and the CW, impacting over 150 million people.