72 episodes

New Shows twice per 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 • 191 Ratings

New Shows twice per 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.

    Overcoming Challenges and Using Them as Rocket Fuel for Success with Mike “C-Roc” Ciorrocco

    Overcoming Challenges and Using Them as Rocket Fuel for Success with Mike “C-Roc” Ciorrocco

    In this episode, I am happy to welcome Mike “C-Roc” Ciorrocco. C-Roc has been a real estate investor since 2005 and is the CEO of People Building Incorporated. He is the host of the popular podcast “What Are You Made Of?” and author of the upcoming book, Rocket Fuel. He has also been recognized as one of the Yahoo Finance Top Business Leaders To Follow for 2020.
    C-Roc began by telling us that he started in sales at the age of eight when he would find golf balls at the golf club he lived on and sell them to the golfers, all while being chased by the club manager in a cart! He was in sales for a water treatment company for nine years before getting into real estate and through this experience, he really learned how to deal with people. In 2005, C-Roc became a realtor and was a top-performing agent pretty quickly because of the work ethic he had developed in his former work life. After about a year, he realized that showing people houses wasn’t really his thing, so he moved into the mortgage industry.
    C-Roc brought up training under Grant Cardone and I asked him what it meant to be a licensee of his program. The mortgage company he went to work for was already using Cardone University products and they were seeing a ton of growth when they implemented his systems. Being a licensee means that C-Roc can intertwine the Cardone ideas with his own and present them in his coaching and seminars. He said he has his own branding and ego, but that he is not stupid and wants to be associated with uber-successful people! C-Roc also gave us some of his background to explain why he felt drawn to Grant and his philosophy.
    I asked C-Roc to explain the “What Are You Made Of?” Movement and what it really means to him. He said that he grew up surrounded by a lot of broken people who suffered from mental illness or addiction and that it influenced him to not only rise above it but also to try to fix it. He said that “what are you made of” is a form of self-talk, affirmation, or a way to push through a difficult situation. He talked about the power of writing down ideas, making a commitment to things even if you don’t know how to do them, and having people and opportunities come into your life to help you achieve goals. C-Roc talked about a difficult experience they had in their business that really caused them to re-evaluate what they were doing and it really birthed the movement.
    I asked C-Roc to talk a bit about his upcoming book, Rocket Fuel. He said that it is his story and how past hardships can be a powerful force to either keep you down or break free and succeed. It uses the “what are you made of?” question to lead to personal transformation and achieve a fulfilling life. He said that he is really vulnerable and transparent in the telling of his story so that people can really see what the entrepreneurial journey is all about.
    C-Roc also shares the enormous goals he has for his business, those he had before the pandemic, and how they have been affected by the coronavirus. He is working to develop a culture in their company so that the employees are indoctrinating each other on the way things are done to grow in team accountability and be successful. He is also planning to travel extensively promoting the book and the movement in order to help people grown their businesses by building up their employees.
    This is an incredibly honest, transparent, and riveting episode of the Just Start Real Estate Podcast that you do not want to miss that is applicable to all people in any industry!

    Notable Quotes:
    “Don’t hyper-focus on whether a salesperson you may hire has a ton of real estate experience… that is easily taught. Finding a great salesperson is often difficult.”
    Mike Simmons  
    “My success is all about work ethic… there isn’t a secret.”

    • 32 min
    Easily Managing Your Rental Portfolio Without a Property Manager

    Easily Managing Your Rental Portfolio Without a Property Manager

    In this episode, I am excited to host Laurence Jankelow. Laurence is the Co-Founder of Avail, an all-in-one software solution designed for do-it-yourself landlords. Prior to launching Avail, Laurence spent seven years in data analytics first as a Consultant at Protiviti Chicago and then at Goldman Sachs. Laurence is also a long-term real estate investor with a passion for 3-unit multi-family properties in Chicago.
    We started as we usually do by diving into Laurence’s background and how he got into real estate investing. He and a friend took some real estate classes while attending college and studying finance. One professor explained to them the perils of not paying your property taxes and how an investor could really take advantage of the property owners who do not. Laurence and his friend took that info and invested in delinquent mobile home property tax lien certificates.
    After graduating from college, Laurence went into a business and risk-consulting career in Chicago and stopped investing for a time. After working a couple of different corporate jobs for several years, he had accumulated enough savings to purchase his first multi-family property. He performed his own property management for several years before his college investing buddy encouraged him to quit his corporate job to begin a start-up. They were both using Excel to manage their rental properties and felt like they could create something that was more appropriate and efficient for the necessary property management tasks.
    When they initially started this project, Laurence and his partner thought they would be able to find a software engineer to write the program for them with a stake in the company. They couldn’t find anyone willing to do that, so they took two years to teach themselves how to write the code themselves. I asked the obvious question of, “Why not just hire a property management company?” and Laurence said that they felt that they were giving away their entire profit margin if they chose that route.
    I asked Laurence why he has chosen to focus on 3-unit properties and he pointed out that they are very plentiful in Chicago and work for his price-point. We discussed in detail how he evaluates properties and what his investing goals are. We also talked about some of the tactics he uses managing his own properties so that he doesn’t get service phone calls all day, every day. Additionally, we discussed the systems and processes Laurence has in place to perform as an effective landlord.
    We then dove into talking about Avail, the software that Laurence and his buddy created. He said the initial goal was to develop it for themselves so they had a more effective portfolio management tool. They wanted it to define a particular process and automate it for investors who considered themselves part-time landlords. Laurence pointed out during their research, they found that about 60% of landlords do not screen potential tenants, so they wanted to develop software to aid in the day-to-day tasks of do-it-yourself landlords. Laurence goes into great detail on the functionality of Avail during our discussion, including many features that benefit both landlords and tenants.
    Not only do you want to check out this comprehensive tool for DIY landlording (link provided below), but you also do not want to miss this information-packed episode of the Just Start Real Estate Podcast with Laurence Jankelow!

    Notable Quotes:
    “To this day I love Excel, but it is not appropriate if you want to be a real landlord and grow that business and manage it professionally.”
    Laurence Jankelow  
    “It is a lot harder to build something from scratch than we gave credit to it.”
    Laurence Jankelow  
    “Is this rental going to put money in my pocket at the end of every month?”
    Laurence Jankelow  

    • 36 min
    Raising Private Money and the 8 Traits of High Achievers with Josh Cantwell

    Raising Private Money and the 8 Traits of High Achievers with Josh Cantwell

    In this episode, I welcome Josh Cantwell onto the show. Josh is the top residential real estate investor in his community of Northeast Ohio and has been a full-time investor since 2003. Josh has bought and sold over 700+ properties in 25 states since this time and he is the host of several podcasts, including the Accelerated Investor Podcast.
    Josh begins by sharing some of his background and how he got into investing. He has raised and managed over $40M of private money that he is utilizing as part of his current deals through one-off deals, private lender loans, and as equity in his 2600 apartment units. But he got started, like so many of us do, by attending a real estate investing boot camp. Being from the greater Cleveland area, they were already seeing a foreclosure crisis with many publicly-traded companies leaving the city, so Josh got his start with foreclosure investing long before the national housing crisis.
    Josh spoke in quite a lot of detail about the data that he is seeing that points to the possibility of the COVID-19 pandemic causing another similar situation in the summer of 2021. He compared the policies being observed now to the period of time following Hurricane Erma in 2017 when New York and New Jersey were impacted by this storm. Josh explained that in that case, the banks got ahead of the foreclosure crisis by offering all of the homeowners forbearance agreements. So the hurricane happened and twelve months later, there was a massive spike in foreclosures. Josh, along with many other investors, believe we are headed in this same direction with the pandemic.
    I then asked Josh to talk to our listeners about raising money. Many would-be investors use not having enough money or not being able to qualify for loans as an excuse for not getting started. Josh said that being successful at raising money often comes down to a person’s own mindset about money. Josh talked about how reliable real estate investments are and how likely it is for lenders to get a high rate of return with no costs. He talked about approaching people on four different levels: if they can buy a house from you, if they can sell you a house, if they can cheerlead for you or refer you, and if they can lend or invest with you. By thinking this way, everyone you meet can become a potential client or partner.
    Since Josh has been coaching other investors since 2006, I asked him to walk us through the eight traits to high achieving entrepreneurs. These traits include such attributes as self-reliance, taking responsibility for your own life, and having clarity about what you want. Seven-figure earners also have a clear idea of what their average, ideal day looks like and focus on a certain framework for getting things done even though their things to-do list may seem endless. We also talked about time management and allocating certain days per week to free-thinking, revenue-building, and buffer or preparation periods.
    We talked about the steps to finding private money, marketing, networking at non-real estate events, using technology as a weapon, and so much more! Josh is an incredibly passionate and knowledgeable investor, so you do not want to miss this information-packed episode of the Just Start Real Estate Podcast!

    Notable Quotes:
    “I’m primarily focused on raising capital and investing in multifamily properties.”
    Josh Cantwell  
    “As a financial planner, I recognized that most of my clients owned real estate.”
    Josh Cantwell  
    “You have to play the game and know what is working today.”
    Josh Cantwell  
    “I’m glad to hear you say that because it makes me feel smart for doing what I am doing.”
    Mike Simmons  
    “If you have something to offer, a product or service, that you think is going to benefit someone, you have a moral obligat

    • 49 min
    Caring for Orphans and Building a Rental Portfolio of Over 700 Doors with Bill Manassero

    Caring for Orphans and Building a Rental Portfolio of Over 700 Doors with Bill Manassero

    For this episode, I welcome Bill Manassero to the show. Bill is a real estate investor, entrepreneur, and host of the Old Dawg’s REI Network Podcast, a podcast for people 50 years and older who see real estate investing as a means to fund their retirement years and create a legacy for their family. Prior to forming the Old Dawg’s REI Network, Bill and his family were missionaries to orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk children living on the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Before that, he was a professional musician and spent over 25 years in business, on both the corporate and entrepreneur side.  A few highlights of his career include meeting Ronald Reagan, working with actor Jimmy Stewart, being interviewed by Oprah, and having CNN produce a documentary on his work in Haiti entitled “Rescued.”
    Bill’s story is absolutely fascinating and we dive in by discussing his 25 years of business background, which included working in sales and marketing in the automotive and airline industries in Southern California, launching the Nissan infinity division, and then moving on to the technology sector right as the internet took off. At that time, he even bumped into Mark Cuban who was streaming a variety of games via mics in front of radios.
    Shortly after the bubble burst and Bill felt called to get into ministry. He always enjoyed traveling but usually, that was for work and meant being away from his family – so what better way to take the family on the road with you – as a family rock band! They partnered with Christian organizations and toured together. During this time, they sponsored a child from Haiti and his daughter became obsessed with learning about the country. Little did they know that soon enough they would be visiting Haiti to perform.
    The trip had a profound impact not just on Bill’s daughter, but the whole family, and Haiti eventually became their new home. They sold everything they owned in the US and returned to Haiti to take care of the kids. Initially, they of course had no idea what they were doing and where to start, but eventually, their efforts grew into an entire organization, Child Hope International, and they invested first in a boy’s home, then a girl’s home, and then a guest house, and even a school.
    After being struck by a devastating earthquake, Haiti was in the news across the globe which resulted in Oprah visiting and CNN producing a documentary entitled ‘Rescued’ which was all about their efforts. Slowly Bill’s children had grown up and started to return to the US to go to university and Bill’s wife was diagnosed with cancer. So, jointly they made the decision to pass Child Hope International to the next generation and make plans to return to the US together.
    This left Bill wondering what to do next with his life. He knew he wanted to diversify his investments before retirement, but he wasn’t sure how. After an extensive period of research and reading Rich Dad Poor Dad among other books, Bill had established that real estate investing was the route to go down. He did as much research as he could to develop his plan. He decided to focus on turn-key properties and settled on Atlanta and Memphis as the first areas to make a purchase. After a short trip to both locations, he returned with 3 properties to call his own.
    Like us all, Bill was learning as he was going along. Some properties were making more money than others and property management turned out to be challenging at times. At last, Bill got himself a mentor who recommended starting a podcast to share his experience of real estate investing for retirement – and after some initial resistance, he went for it. The podcast has over time provided Bill with a large amount of networking opportunities which has certainly helped to open more doors for him in the industry.
    Bill then shares th

    • 45 min
    BRRRR Strategy, Property Management, and Mobile Park Investing with Ryan Murdock

    BRRRR Strategy, Property Management, and Mobile Park Investing with Ryan Murdock

    In this episode, I have the opportunity to interview successful investor, Ryan Murdock. Ryan spent ten years in the electronics manufacturing industry before transitioning to real estate investing and property management in 2007. Today, he is VP of Acquisitions at Open Door Capital, a real estate investment company from Bigger Pocket’s Brandon Turner. Ryan has extensive management experience in many facets of real estate including retail, office, multi-family, HOA, nationwide consulting, and mobile home parks. He has been a licensed real estate broker since 2008 and owns and operates a portfolio of residential rental properties.
    Before Ryan got into real estate investing, he worked as a production facility technician in the electronics manufacturing industry, traveling all over the world. His priorities really changed when he got married and found himself having to decide if he wanted to continue to live overseas. He bought his first rental property when he was thirty years old and has been building his “empire” ever since!
    Ryan’s first investment was in a duplex in Bangor, Maine and he lived on one side while renting out the other, “house hack” style. He financed this investment very traditionally and talks about how this was his first experience with having difficult tenants to deal with. He bought a few more duplexes and was looking aggressively at foreclosures to find other deals, while at the same time he started his own property management company. He ran this company himself for about five years and then eventually paired up with a bigger management company that had a network of employees that he did not. At about this same time, he also got his real estate license so he could pursue his own deals.
    Eventually, Ryan got to a point with his own portfolio where he was able to leave this company and go back to managing only his rental properties, aided by much better systems, technology, and automation. As he started to broker other deals and do some consulting, it made sense for him to give the project management portion to his past employers so he could spend his time in more profitable endeavors.
    Ryan utilizes the BRRRR strategy with his properties, so we spent some time discussing how that worked for him. He talked about how he was completely reinvigorated by finding the BiggerPockets podcast and learning about different strategies that he had not yet explored. It made him take a hard look at his portfolio and get money out to use as working capital to invest in more properties. He encourages our listeners to take a hard look at their own properties in order to maximize their cash flow.
    I then asked Ryan what made him pick up his life and move to Maui and join forces with Brandon Turner. Ryan and Brandon had partnered to buy a mobile home park and developed a relationship through that process. When Brandon moved to Maui, he asked Ryan to come out and give him a hand, and a week-long stay turned into a month. Brandon eventually hired Ryan as his personal assistant.
    Because Ryan initially hooked up with Brandon by feeding him a mobile park investment lead, we spent some time exploring this investing strategy. Ryan talked about how to evaluate these types of investments and the techniques they used to add value to these communities. Once Ryan moved to Hawaii, they got really invested in Open Door Capital, Brandon’s company which exclusively buys mobile home parks. At the time of recording, they owned about 10 different communities with approximately 1500 lots. Ryan went into quite a bit of detail about what they look for in an investment of this kind and also the type of investor that they look for to partner up with them. He also pitched the “Bring Brandon A Deal” promotion they are running now if someone finds them an off-market mobile park deal.
    Ryan has an incredibly di

    • 56 min
    260 Rentals and 850 Flip and Wholesale Deals with Andrew Holmes

    260 Rentals and 850 Flip and Wholesale Deals with Andrew Holmes

    For this episode, I welcome fellow real estate investor, Andrew Holmes. Andrew built the #1 flipping team in Chicago and completed over 850 deals in the Chicago market. He owns over 250 rentals and more than 2 million in assets. He started the Chicago Real Estate Investors Association which has become the #1 Real Estate Association in the US. Andrew has worked with over 450 investors in the Chicagoland area helping them develop a rental portfolio of more than 2800 rentals. Andrew and I started investing in real estate around the same time - he absolutely killed it and I am absolutely thrilled to learn about just how he did it in today’s interview.
    Andrew first shares his background story and how he got his real estate license back in college with money designated to pay for his studies. He shares further along in the interview how this is something he has never even told his parents about!
    We then moved on to discussing how Andrew got started seriously investing at the age of 32. We discuss his first year in business where he completed an astonishing 10 flips. Having done two flips myself in the same year, I was extremely interested to learn about just HOW he did it without burning out. Andrew then explains how he made the first investment himself, before securing further financial investment from two business contacts. The growth just continued exponentially after that.
    Together we then dive into discussing the sheer operational challenges of rehabbing this number of properties at the same time and Andrew shares how he got started with a less-than-perfect Jack-of-all-trades contractor - and how he slowly transitioned out of moonlighting and into working with proper contractors. Lucky for him he realized that the stress of working all night just wasn’t worth it after about the third flip. Andrew then shares that as the number of flips he completed grew, the profits started to fall.
    We discussed how his parents have influenced his outlook on life. Having both been hard-working, well-qualified surgeons, Andrew’s parents saw themselves as true professionals and they expected nothing less than that from Andrew himself. Andrew however saw two people who worked extremely hard and didn’t have all that much to show for it. Andrew made it his goal to show his parents that he will also be successful but in his own way. He describes how as a child he has always had big dreams and has more often than not been considered crazy for even talking about it.
    Eventually we discuss how the constant pressure of keeping up and the lack of security was making Andrew feel less than safe and his focus shifted to buying wholesale. Andrew shares the super simple formula he used for transitioning to owning rental properties - the 2-5-7 formula. Listen to the episode to get all the details on how it works. He told me how he started with just a handful of properties and then scaled it up from there.
    We then move on to the topic of choosing the right properties to invest in. Again, Andrew shares some gold nuggets here about the exact criteria he uses to assess whether or not a property is worth investing in or not. That’s the exact system that got him from 3k a month cash flow to 100k a month cash flow.
    We talked about the logistics of managing 260 rental properties. Andrew manages the properties in-house with just full-time managers, 1.5 rent collectors, and a team of contractors. He gives us an important reminder to never buy individual properties outside of your area, as this adds unnecessary workload.
    Lastly, we discuss the importance of networking. Andrew shares how just studying the information just isn’t enough and how important surrounding yourself with people that are actually DOING IT has been for him - and as always I absolutely agree with his assessment. Don’t miss this episode of Just Start

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
191 Ratings

191 Ratings

OlaTheApartmentSyndicator ,


Love this podcast and I learn a ton! Mike interview the best guests and ask the best questions.

bethe11en ,

Loving this podcast

I picked this podcast up from an interview on BP. I really like his interview on that platform and decided to give his podcast a try. I’ve been extremely pleased and am super thankful for all the information that’s given away!

KirbyAtwell ,

Mike does an incredible job!

Mike is a really talented interviewer! He cuts through the fluff and gets to the most beneficial information for his audience! Definitely recommend!

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