35 episodes

New Shows every week! Exciting interview with top entrepreneurs. I get to the bottom of their business to discover the secret to how they became successful. Every episode is full of actionable advice and tips that you can use in your business to immediately help you further your success in real estate.

Just Start Real Estate with Mike Simmons Inspiring interviews with today's most successful real estate investors!

    • Investing
    • 4.9, 160 Ratings

New Shows every week! Exciting interview with top entrepreneurs. I get to the bottom of their business to discover the secret to how they became successful. Every episode is full of actionable advice and tips that you can use in your business to immediately help you further your success in real estate.

    From Engineer to Buy-and-Hold Real Estate Investor with a $4 Million Portfolio

    From Engineer to Buy-and-Hold Real Estate Investor with a $4 Million Portfolio

    In this episode, I talked with Palak Shah, who is the founder and owner of Open Spaces Capital that generates over $1M in revenue. She brought her knowledge and 17 years of experience in building systems, processes, and scaling from her corporate career in engineering leadership to fast track her real estate investing journey. In her first two years investing full-time, she purchased, renovated, rented, and refinanced properties creating a $4M rental portfolio. It is now her passion to empower other investors to pursue entrepreneurship through real estate investing to live a financially free life without taking undue risks or over-leveraging through her coaching program at Open Spaces Women.
     
    We began, as we often do, talking about Palak’s background and what brought her real estate investing. She worked as a mechanical engineer in the corporate world for 17 years, traveling all over the world, loving her career, but when she had kids, everything changed. She had less and less time to spend with her family as she climbed the corporate ladder, and that left her feeling resentful and wanting something more. By the time she decided to leave her corporate job, she and her husband had already invested in a couple of rental properties, and she started to get her footing as an investor with those.
     
    I asked Palak how she transitioned from her full-time job into real estate investing. She walked through how she analyzed the feasibility of working from home while raising her kids rather than remaining in her corporate position. We talked about how vital it is to have the support of your spouse as you move into a venture, especially when investing money.
     
    Palak discussed different investing strategies she utilizes in her real estate market of Philadelphia. She primarily employs the BRRRR (buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat) Method to grow both her portfolio and passive income. Palak talked about different ways she ‘supercharges’ that particular strategy.
     
    I asked Palak if she is at all interested in other types of real estate investing such as wholesaling or flipping and she talked about how that would require her to expand her skill-set which would defeat the whole purpose of why she got into REI in the first place - to spend more time with her children. She is willing to spend money to hire a reputable wholesaler, agent, or general contractor so that she doesn’t have to spend the time learning those tasks.
     
    Then we discussed how Palak finds her deals. She starts off by saying it does take some time and effort to build a good deal pipeline, but it begins with cultivating good relationships. She works with wholesalers and has done several deals with a realtor, but she still often finds workable deals on the MLS. We talked about how important it is in working with realtors to train them to the specifics you are looking for as an investor and how you run your numbers.
     
    Palak then walked us through a deal she did that ended up cash-flowing $3500 per month. She says she loves the property because so many positive things came out of doing that deal, such as completely revamping the neighborhood and even helping a neighbor to start a business.
     
    Palak said that since they figured out this super-charged BRRRR strategy she really wants to help other investors, especially dual-income families trying to raise kids. She has started a coaching program and has a new cohort beginning June 6th that you can check out by visiting https://www.openspaceswomen.com.
     
    I hope you will join me for this terrific and super-informative interview with brilliant engineer-turned-real estate investor, Palak Shah!



    Notable Quotes:
     
    “I felt like a lie had been sold to me - you are told ‘get an education, establish your career, have kids, and everything will be fine,’ but it’s not like that because everything gets

    • 56 min
    Real Estate Tax Strategy - A Proactive Approach to Higher ROI with Amanda Han

    Real Estate Tax Strategy - A Proactive Approach to Higher ROI with Amanda Han

    In this episode, I am joined by Amanda Han. As a CPA, tax strategist, and real estate investor, Amanda Han combines her passion for real estate investing with her expertise in tax tactics. Her goal is to help investors with tactics designed to supercharge their wealth-building using entity structuring, self-directed investing, and income offset opportunities to keep more of what they make.
     
    Amanda begins by giving us a little bit of her background. She talks about how both her parents and grandparents were real estate investors but encouraged her to follow the more traditional route of getting an education, followed by a good job. She began her accounting career at Deloitte, just by chance, in their real estate specialty group. She realized very quickly some of the tax benefits her investor clients could take advantage of, increasing their income while not necessarily working a ton of hours.
     
    Amanda explained that the majority of real estate investors are not aware of the tax strategies available to them. She pointed out that it isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault but that the tax codes are written in a convoluted way. Reaping tax benefits requires very specialized knowledge for each and every industry.
     
    I asked Amanda to explain a little about what is going on with the tax situation during the current COVID-19 pandemic. She said as part of the Cares Act pandemic relief package, the new filing deadline is July 15th. Most of the states are following these guidelines, and Amanda recommended getting more information from AICPA State Tax Filing Guidelines.
     
    I wanted to find out Amanda’s recommendations for newer or smaller investors on when a good time is to begin working with a CPA and employing tax strategies. She said it was important for even brand new investors to consult advisors in order to form to proper legal entities necessary for both tax benefits and protection, and also how to use them effectively.
     
    I asked Amanda to explain a strategy that I have recently become familiar with which is cost segregation. She said first that one of the things that is so attractive about real estate investing is the depreciation that can be claimed no matter how much is put down on the house or other factors. Cost segregation is just the next level of this type of tax advantage. It involves defining all of the components of a particular investment property, not just the building itself. Some of these components may be eligible for an immediate deduction, providing the possibility of taking a higher deduction upfront rather than having everything depreciate over the standard timeframe.
     
    Amanda went on to explain strategies that could benefit some types of real estate investors but not others, giving specific examples. She also gave some great, practical advice on how to determine whether an individual’s tax advisor was helping employ these strategies.
     
    I then asked Amanda about the charity that she and her husband and business partner, Matt, formed named Animals for Armed Forces Foundation. The foundation helps to place shelter animals with current or retired servicemen and women. Normally on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day each year they will work with local shelters to place animals in military homes for free, while the foundation pays for any necessary fees. Amanda talked about how rewarding it is to receive pictures of these pets in their new homes with their forever families.
       
    We then talked about the two books they have written on tax strategies for real estate investors (see links at the bottom). She said that she and Matt read a lot of books about taxes benefits for investors and found them difficult and dull to read and wondered how people who were not CPAs would get any useful information from them, so they wrote their own books to help people find strategies that could help them. The

    • 1 hr
    Scaling a Flipping Business and Investing in Multi-Family Properties

    Scaling a Flipping Business and Investing in Multi-Family Properties

    For this episode, I interviewed friend and fellow 7 Figure Flipper Dana Mace. She begins by talking about her background and how she began in real estate investing. Dana said that because her step-dad owned one of the largest, privately-owned real estate businesses in Virginia, investing this way was just part of their family culture. She bought her first property at the age of 21 years old and hasn’t looked back since.
     
    Dana was born and raised in Virginia Beach and this metropolitan area is where her business is focused. She and her husband started their newest company, Ubiquitous Properties, with the goal of scaling their flipping business to 60 each year. Dana explained that they picked the name Ubiquitous because it means “omnipotent; all over, everywhere” and that is their objective. We discussed the markets in our prospective areas and what an average deal sold for.
     
    We talked about different strategies for getting on wholesalers’ lists and what was really successful for Dana in her market. She also shared with us how she evaluates her deals. Dana also gave us an idea of the key people she wants to have as part of her team so that she can scale up to a particular level.
     
    Dana shared some of the struggles she has been dealing with this year, but how determined she is to push through and make her business succeed. In order to raise some capital, they pulled off a 7-day flip, and Dana describes what that experience was like.
     
    Next, I wanted Dana to talk about why she started her YouTube channel and what its purpose is. She said that she thinks that the best way to scale something and to learn is just to talk about it. She had initially intended to show a lot of before and after house-flipping situations but was encouraged to put on more varied real estate content, as well.
     
    Join me for this super fun, upbeat and honest interview with fiery real estate investor Dana  Mace!



    Notable Quotes
     
    “I knew that real estate was the thing to go into.”
    Dana Mace “If anybody wants a tip, tell them to buy real estate.”
    Dana Mace’s Stepdad  
    “I have been very fortunate to have people surrounding me my whole life that know a lot about real estate so that I have been able to learn and grow.”
    Dana Mace  
    “I knew I wanted to do something cool with my life and something cool with my money.”
    Dana Mace  
    “I just wanted to flip it. I am just flip-happy sometimes.”
    Dana Mace  
    “No one understands completely how well you are doing because you are just a ninja and crushing it, just doing your thing and not making a big deal about it.”
    Mike Simmons  
    “When life “lifes” on you, what are you gonna do?”
    Dana Mace  
    “Life makes its move, and sometimes it feels like ‘Check.’ It is only ‘Checkmate’ when you give up.”
    Mike Simmons  
    “Find the people that are good at things that you are not.”
    Dana Mace  
    “The number one thing that has made the biggest difference in my business is getting out of my own way, realizing what I wasn’t good at, quit lying to myself about it, and bring someone in that could handle that for me.”
    Mike Simmons  
    “What does scaling really look like to me? Being better tomorrow, a little bit better than what you were today.”
    Dana Mace


    Links:
    7 Figure Flipping
    Level Jumping: How I Grew My Business to Over $1 Million in Profits in 12 Months
    Dana’s YouTube Channel
    7FF Video Vault

    • 52 min
    From Humble Beginnings to Success in Multi-Family Investing

    From Humble Beginnings to Success in Multi-Family Investing

    In this episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing multi-family property investor Teghena (Tenny) Tolofari. Prior to establishing Xsite Capital Investment in 2019, Tenny spent several years leading a major sales force in one of the fastest-growing financial services companies in America. He is also a Global Cyber Security professional supporting the likes of Boeing and Deloitte. Tenny’s major role is building relationships with brokers, property management companies, and investors to ensure the success of their property investment business.
    Tenny began by sharing the story of his humble beginnings as a child in Nigeria. He was initially very insecure about his abilities and did not do well in school. Because of the class system in Africa, Tenny realized the only way he could break out of the poverty of his youth was to immigrate to the United States. He made a bet with his mother in which she told him she would find the means to send him to graduate school in America if he could finish college with high honors. That motivated Tenny to get to work and accomplish this goal.
    Upon arriving in the States, Tenny began his graduate degree in Management Information Systems at Virginia International University and then transferred to Bowie State University. After graduation, even though he had great jobs and was able to bring his family over to the U.S. from Nigeria, he continued to ask himself, “What’s next?” He then began to learn about finance and it opened up a whole new world to him.
    Like so many other budding entrepreneurs, Tenny started self-educating by reading Rich Dad Poor Dad and Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki. He found that the financial service platform gave him the opportunity to start his own business and work with others with more experience. During this process, he met his partner, Leslie Awasom. After discovering they were reading many of the same financial freedom books, they began their working relationship by meeting at a brewery to play the Cashflow 101 Board Game. Because Leslie already had a real estate investing company, they decided to merge their business efforts in January of 2019.
    Tenny talks about how both he and Leslie were very invested in educating themselves and went to many financial and real estate boot camp and mastermind events. They decided they were going to focus their real estate ventures in the multi-family market and bought their first property, a 192 unit apartment building in Marietta, Georgia. This year, they are looking to expand these efforts.
    I asked Tenny how he feels when he hears people born in this country talk about how they don’t have the same opportunities as others and can’t afford to improve their situation. Tenny said it used to make him mad because he believes those are just excuses for not improving yourself, but then realized you can only be who you surround yourself with. We discussed how important it is to appreciate and use what you have and encircle yourself with good people. Tenny talked about the sacrifices he had to make, yet how driven he was to succeed.
    Tenny then explained what syndication is because that is what he primarily deals with in his business. He explained the difference between the two business classifications that they have, 503B and 503C, as far as dealing with investors. He also detailed why they decided to go into multi-family real estate investing rather than other options. He gave several examples of the advantages of owning multi-family including spreading out expenses such as management companies and adjusting for vacancies. Tenny also detailed their philosophy for finding and funding deals.
    We talked a lot about different ways to build relationships and how important this is in real estate investing. Tenny said one of the strategies that they have when trying to enter a new market is to talk to the pro

    • 1 hr
    Real Estate vs. COVID-19: Round Table Discussion

    Real Estate vs. COVID-19: Round Table Discussion

    For this episode, I have invited four of my friends and fellow real estate investors to talk about their specific market experiences thus far during the COVID-19 pandemic. I asked each of them to introduce themselves and tell us a little bit about their business.
    Adam Rae lives in Colorado Springs and operates his business in southern Colorado. His business works in wholesaling, flipping, and rental properties.
    Andy McFarland lives in Utah and is also involved in wholesaling, flipping, and owns rentals in three different markets:  Salt Lake City Utah, Albuquerque, NM, and Indianapolis, Indiana.
    Jeremiah Johnson runs his business remotely from his home just outside of Denver and does primarily wholesaling in the markets of Wichita and Kansas City.
    Terry Burger does business in the markets of Atlanta Georgia and Greenville, South Carolina, performing primarily flips.
    We began by discussing our different states and markets and the limitations we are seeing with the varied stay-at-home orders and how that has immediately affected our businesses. With the US economy impacted so severely by the pandemic, we all shared our projections about the real estate market going forward. We also considered how the different facets of the business could be influenced by the response of buyers, sellers, and lenders. We talked about different ways we have all implemented some cost-saving measures internal to our businesses, as well.
    This episode is filled with “actionable intelligence” that will benefit investors of all kinds, in any state of business development.
     
    Notable Quotes:
     
    “History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”
    Mark Twain  
    “Real estate is the local perception of a national opinion.”
     
    “Our asset class is looking pretty sexy right now.”
     
    “We’re not going back to living in tents anytime soon.”
     
    “Real estate is a slow-moving animal and you aren’t going to miss the boat if you don’t buy something tomorrow.”
     
    “I think your grandma’s economics still work here… live on less than you make, invest the difference, have cash reserves, have staying power.”
     
    “I wrote down “actionable intelligence” - I absolutely love that and need to make it part of my vocabulary.”
     
    “It is important to develop empathy and not ego through this.”



    Links:
    Level Jumping: How I Grew My Business to Over $1 Million in Profits in 12 Months
    7FF Video Vault
    7 Figure Flipping
    Adam Rae's Website
    Andy McFarland's Website
    Jeremiah Johnson's Website
    Terry Burger's Website

    • 1 hr 2 min
    $900,000 in Revenue and 90 Deals by the Age of 20

    $900,000 in Revenue and 90 Deals by the Age of 20

    In this episode, I interviewed Will Brown, who is a 20-year-old real estate investor and tech entrepreneur who dropped out of college in May of 2018. Since then, he has run and built a team from scratch without any outside funds to go on and do over 90 deals and $900,000 in assignment fees in less than 2 years. He has since handed the reins of the wholesaling business off to a partner and is 100% focused on building his AI tech startup in Los Angeles. He is massively into personal development and supports others in carving their own path and creating themselves into who they want to be.
    Will began by summarizing what brought him to real estate. He and his mom attended a mastermind event in the Fall of 2016, but they didn’t have the money to invest, so that left a little bit of a bad taste in his mouth. In January 2017 he was playing a video game that let you buy and cash flow real estate, and he thought that learning about it for real would be a lot more interesting than sitting on his couch! His first google search on the subject led him to a BiggerPockets podcast, and there was no stopping him from there.
    Will started investing by cold-calling off of a probate list and putting himself in the proximity of other real estate investors. He offered his services, in the case of his first deals, by installing security systems in order to learn from other investors. We discussed how you can’t start any kind of relationship by asking for what you need first. Will talked about the need to know your skill-set, and the willingness to work hard for someone else without concern about the outcome in order to learn and grow.
    Will gave a detailed description of his first solo deal, and he describes the challenges he faced. He talked about the importance of having a great lawyer and how he managed different aspects of the deal that were new to him. He feels like he learned so much from this first deal and the mistakes they made will never be repeated.
    Will described how they find their deals, and talks extensively about building a team. He hired an assistant in the Fall of 2018 and was able to scale his business exponentially because he was able to spend his time more effectively. It helped him so much to have someone to help him do the things he wasn’t particularly strong at.
    Will provided the list of technology he currently uses to find deals and the listeners can find these links further down in these show notes. He speaks in-depth about his sales funnel and what he has found to most effectively convert leads to deals.
    I asked Will to explain what he is involved in now and how he found a partner in order to run his real estate business. He talked about paying his partner really well in order to keep him and put him on a tiered commission schedule in order to entice him to stay. His partner is now running the real estate completely on his own with minimal interaction with Will.
    Will is now completely invested in launching an artificial intelligence company in Los Angeles, which he conceived in a Cabo San Lucas hot tub while at a business mastermind event. His concept is grown from the question of how to provide resourcefulness to humanity because if you solve one problem, another is created. In order to address this, Will is working on creating AI personal assistants for people to help people in problem-solving and life balance.
    You have to check out this super energized interview with up-and-coming entrepreneur, Will Brown. He gives a ton of great advice based on a solid foundation of respectable values, along with being an extremely entertaining interviewee.
     
    Notable Quotes:
     
    “Not to say, do this: step, step, step. But it gave me the inspiration of ‘Hey, this guy has done this before,’ and it kept adding proof that yes, this is possible.”
    Will Brown  
    “I had the drive of setting up the blueprint of my

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
160 Ratings

160 Ratings

Rachelrichards92 ,

Henry Washington’s episode is pure gold

Wow! Just found this podcast from a mutual friend and I can’t stop listening. Especially Loved Henry Washington’s episode and really understanding how someone can start investing without really knowing anything. His story was very eye opening and inspirational and I think listeners will walk away feeling encouraging to start their own journey. Mike Simmons does a great job as host and I can’t wait to listen to more. Highly recommend!

Cwamne ,

Mike has an amazing show!

I just finished the episode with coach Venos; really made fall in-love with the podcast. Mike is an amazing host, and that episode was some motivating and filled with great life advice. I'll be sticking around for more.

Erin Helle ,

Thanks for having me as a guest!

Thanks so much for inviting me to be on the show! I learned a ton and really enjoyed talking to you!

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