This incredible interview series kicks off with Michael, a new investor who overcame his apprehensions and pushed forward with purchasing a cash flow generating rental property. He shares his story of how his goal to spend less time working and more time living, is becoming a reality by simply investing in buy and hold real estate. This article discusses his journey, his achievements, and his experience with Morris Invest so that others may realize that if he can take those initial steps towards financial independence, so can they.
A Quick Summary of Michael’s Wealth Building Real Estate Journey
Michael recently took the needed steps that have placed himself on the path towards building great wealth, which in turn, will allow him to leave his day job and spend more time with his family. This step included successfully acquiring a brand new construction property through Morris Invest.
This was a three bedroom, two bath, single family home in a great rental market. To his surprise, the property was cash flowing from day one. This was a hands-off real estate investment where Morris Invest took care of everything for him, making it a simple, stress free, wise real estate investment strategy.
Let’s dive in with these 12 interview questions that take a closer look at how Michael is securing his financial future through the world of rental property investments:
1. What was it about real estate investing that motivated you to take matters of wealth building into your own hands?
I thought it was the best way to create passive income. I tried wealth building schemes, if you will, pyramid schemes, and things like that. To be honest with you, my personality just doesn’t fit, I’m not a salesperson. I just don’t enjoy going after the next sale, and trying to get someone to build a business with you, and getting these people under you. Between Amway and Quick Start, whatever other name it had, I just didn’t find it very fulfilling. I found it more taxing, more draining, than anything else. I just didn’t find it financially fruitful.
2. What was the moment like for you when you realized that real estate investing would allow you to be the one in control?
The moment was liberating because I realized that the money you put in, is a lot of money, and effort, at first, but if you do it right, and you take care of your properties, it’s definitely not something you have to deal with every day or every week, like Amway. Also, eight years ago, my wife and I had our first kid. So, everyone says, “What’s your WHY?” My WHY was my son because I realized that I had to build a better future with him. I want to spend more time with him playing soccer, or Legos.
I didn’t want to have Sunday night phone calls regarding work that ask, “How many people did you meet this week?” I don’t want to do that. So, I thought real estate was the best way. And, unfortunately, I had a tragedy in my life. Seven years ago my parents passed away, and they left me a good chunk of insurance money. So, I thought how can I invest this to take care of my wife and my kids going forward. After listening and reading books on the topic, I thought real estate was the best way to do this.
Response from Clayton Morris: This is what I want people who are listening right now to pay attention to, YOU took action. You didn’t just sit there and continue to do the 9:00 to 5:00 job and pyramid strategies, and other things, you’re thinking about your family, and you identified your WHY. When someone gets on the phone with us, that’s one of the things we asked them right away, we want to know what is your Why.
3. When you booked a call with our team, what did we ask you?
You asked me, “What’s your WHY, Michael?” “Why do you want to do this?” I thought that was great because I already had my WHY, but I love joining a company that asks the question of WHY. “What is it going to do for you?” “What do you want to do when you reach this?” I thought it was great, it’s like a partnership. I thought it was awesome! It wasn’t just Morris Invest selling me something. It was like a partnership, like I’m going to help you get there, but at the end of the day, you have got to remember why you are in this game. I think that was so great for an initial conversation.
4. How did you know investing in real estate is the step you needed to take to fulfill your WHY?
You look at what you should do, and what’s the best way to provide for your family. So, what I did was read books and listen to podcasts, and other things like that. I just looked at real estate as the best vehicle for this, and how I want to use this money, because you know, I come from relatively modest means. The insurance money that I received from my parents passing away was probably the biggest lump sum of money I have ever received in my life. I wasn’t rich. I didn’t have a lot of money. So, I knew I had to do this strategically.
I looked at my 401(k), it wasn’t moving much. So, I pulled money from my 401(k), and used credit cards, and other resources, to build and get my first house, because I knew it would pay off in the end. It’s all difficult at first, but I knew it would pay off in the end.
I researched and went with a real estate agent to look at dozens of houses that sort of fit the mold, and that were in my price range with how much work I would have to do because I didn’t have a crew or general contractor. I had to find something that was affordable and in my price range where I could use a general contractor to do simple work, or do some of the work myself.
5. Tell me about your first deal that you did on your own? What were the numbers? How is it doing for you today?
It was my first deal, a house I bought for $150,000. Honestly, between the general contractor, and my wife and I, we put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in there. We spent hundreds of man-hours putting it together. But now the house is worth, bordering $225,000. It was a small two bedroom, two bath single family home in Alexandria, Virginia, and it did very well, it’s been great.
That’s another thing I’d like to say about why I love Morris Invest. You can listen to real estate gurus, if you will, they’re always talking about multi-family this, and multi-family that, but I love the fact that Morris Invest talks about single family homes. Just places where families want to live. You want them to have a garden in the back, and I’ve seen it, a place where the same tenant is there for several years.
There is one tenant I know, she’s been the only tenant in there, she’s painted the walls, I’ve seen her kids and her grandchildren come. So you kind of grow with the family, and I think that’s great. It’s not like the very transactional nature of multi-family units. Nothing is wrong with that, but I just like the idea of helping a family you know, who in many ways probably couldn’t afford to own a home like this, or live in a neighborhood as such. You help them grow, and see their kids grow, and their grandkids. It’s beautiful for me, because I feel like I’m doing something for them, and I’m making money as well, so I’m helping my family too. It’s kind of a win-win.
6. Tell me about taking that leap from doing it all yourself, to taking back time to play LEGO with your kids.
You take the first step, you get the first house, and you’re comfortable with that. Then, in listening to podcasts, and things like that, you figure out how to make this work. You take some equity out of your house, because it’s doing relatively well, you take $20,000 or $30,000 out, and then you get another. But you find something that needs a little less work.
And then after a while you talk to people, make connections with general contractors, electricians, you build your own team of people who you relatively trust to do these things right. One thing I’ve learned from you guys, it’s about relationships. You trust your contractors, you built this relationship with them, you don’t short change them. You know, honest pay, honest work. This has helped me tremendously to build my portfolio because they always say, “Michael, we could do this for you, don’t worry about it, we got it.” So it’s about relationships, and you learn that. This has helped my wife and I purchase six homes off that first $30,000.
7. What was the process like buying through Morris invest?
I told my best friend who also dabbles in real estate, “This was the easiest real estate transaction I’ve ever had. This was helpful because we had one kid, and now we have another kid, there are the stresses of jobs, my wife’s father passed away, we are caring for elderly parents, and so on. So, I realized that, yes, I wanted to keep growing, but I didn’t have the capacity or time to do it. So that’s when I realized there is nothing wrong with needing help, right? Nothing wrong with seeking out expertise.
I was watching your videos and said, “Ok, I just need to give these guys a call”, and I did. The team was great. They were really helpful and walked me through everything, and showed me properties that were in my range. Every step of the way I got an e-mail, I get monthly statements, and more, it was just easy. It has grown my portfolio in a location I really have no connection to, like Texas. My property that I bought through Morris Invest was in Lubbock, Texas. I’ve never been to Lubbock, Texas! All my properties have been within a 20-mile range of my house. This helped because the price range there was great, and I couldn’t afford anything else in the DMV area, I had to go out of the area, and I needed help with it.
I’ve had the property since August. I’m an active investor, so I call to ask questions all the time, and I promise you that when I call those folks in Chicago, they call me back within 24 hours, easily. If it’s something really big, they call me in less time. It’s just great, you feel like you have a team and I don’t worry about anything in regards to my portfolio. Sometimes I forget, honestly, that my Lubbock property is there, because it’s going so smoothly. My other properties have issues. Oh, I’ve got to paint, or I’ve got a garbage disposal issue. With the property in Texas, I don’t deal with issues, and it’s awesome.
8. What type of property did you purchase through Morris Invest?
It’s a three bedroom, two bath rambler in Lubbock, Texas. Like I said, I’ve never been there but knew Texas Tech University is there, it was just about all I knew. You guys sent the demographics showing why it was a good investment, it has a major university, jobs, and things like that. And I was like, ok, this is pretty good, we’re seeing a lot of growth here in Lubbock.
I learned that the best sort of houses are a three bedroom, a one and a half, or two baths, because that’s everything a family would need. So, within the family, mom and dad get a room, your two kids get a room. Or, if you’ve got one kid, Grandma gets a room. It’s just a comfortable place to live, and that’s why I went for it.
9. What was your biggest surprise in the entire investment process?
Honestly, you know, I’m not being paid for any of this, the answer is, how smoothly it went. I’m used to the wrangling and the fighting of purchasing real estate here. Going back and forth with the seller’s agent, and all these things can be difficult. But the Lubbock property just went smoothly. I joked with my best friend, I was like, “look, dude, I think I bought this house in less than 15 clicks of the mouse.” Honestly, it was just smooth. At no point did I feel like I was suspicious, it was transparent, it was upfront.
You know, when you put your money out there you want to follow up, right? So I looked at the demographics of the city, and I matched the sheet you gave me that listed the good qualities of the city, with the Lubbock chamber of commerce, and thought, “wow, these things match.” I thought, “This is nuts, this is real.”
So, it was just easy. Everyone gave me a call within less than a day. Everyone got back to me with an email or call, and they would say things like, “Hey Mike, how are you doing?” “Are you OK with this?” “We received your transfer.” I received more interaction from your team in Texas than I have with teams in DMV, who are 15 minutes away from me.
10. The house you purchased from us was already built, renovated, and had a tenant in place. Can you talk a little about that?
My other properties have been stressful because I knew I needed advertising to get someone in there. I have to worry about low-income housing vouchers, and things like that. But with your property, it was already built, it was new construction, the tenant was already in there.
Then, I got my first rent check – Instant income! I was like, “Oh, where did this eight hundred dollars come from?” I even called the team. I said, “There’s a mistake here guys. Let me just send this check back.” He’s says, “No this is how it works.” It was just so smooth and you forget about it. I told my friend, it’s like real estate by numbers, I can just paint in numbers, and there it is.
And I can’t wait to get more money and more funding. I purchased six properties because this is so simple. I wish I would have done this seven or eight years ago. It would have taken stress off my life, and I would’ve had more time. I told my buddy, “This is ridiculous, something’s going to go wrong here.” Mind you, we are four or five months into this now and I’ve had no issues.
11. Did we provide you with a cost segregation analysis on the new construction property you purchased through Morris Invest?
Oh absolutely, and you provide me with more. You provided me with spreadsheets, and all this information, and I was like, “Wow, there is some real data behind this” It wasn’t just like, “Hey, let’s pick a house in the middle of Texas, and you can buy it”, there was real data behind it. I can appreciate that because I do research for my day job. I can appreciate delays in the research, and the depth of it. It’s just work that’s done for you, because you don’t know what you don’t know.
12. Tell us about your Freedom Number, where are you going, what are your goals?
My wife and I have worked out our Freedom Number. I tell everyone, if you have a partner, tell your partner. We’re not a one-man band here. You can have your freedom number, but if your spouse wants to retire early, or like me, you have a kid, it increases your freedom number. I honestly need between 11 and 12 properties to get where I need to be with my freedom number.
I’m already at seven so I’ve got to do three or four more houses within this range to get to my freedom number to be comfortable, so when I walk away from my day job, my wife and I can just hang out and go bowling.
A Final Thought From Michael on Motivation
One thing I want to add before we leave, I listen to your podcast, or watch your YouTube videos at least two or three times a week. I appreciate how you cover new content like if you don’t have any money, how do you get the money? Then you had this one podcast that I remember – How do you stay motivated? At that time, things were going wrong, I got turned down, beat out. Hearing how to stay motivated was uplifting because you cover the gamut.
You go over the numbers, the properties, finances, and things like that. But it’s the simple stuff, like how do you stay motivated in the game, that I thought was so great because most people don’t cover that. It’s normally “Buy more, do more of this”. No one’s talking to you about motivation, and sometimes you need that.
Important Interview Takeaways
Our interview with Michael revealed some great takeaways that can be applied when duplicating what he did, and taking your own steps towards financial independence. Let’s take a look at a few:
1. Set Your Motivator in Place by Defining Your WHY
Determining WHY you want to invest in real estate is one of the first steps to take when trying to reach your goals. A WHY will set a big motivator in place that you can keep in the forefront of your mind. For instance, maybe you would like to leave your day job and spend more time with your family, like Michael did. Or, you want to save for retirement and not rely on your 401(k). Your WHY is what can fuel you to take the needed steps, and keep marching forward until you achieve what you are after.
2. Determine Your Freedom Number
Your second step, as well as a second motivator, is to find your Freedom Number. This number is determined by how much cash flow you would need to become financially independent and leave your day job, if that is your plan. Your Freedom number should be the foundation of your wealth building strategy.
It will calculate how many properties you would need to become financially free. This number is calculated through our Freedom Cheat Sheet, a helpful free resource that will enable you to accelerate your ability to create the passive income you need through investing in real estate. In addition to this, if you want to fast-track your ability to build wealth through real estate, read more about our Financial Freedom Academy.
2. Sort Out Your Finances
As you can see from Michael’s experience, you don’t need to be rich to start investing in rental properties. In some cases, you don’t even need to use your own money. Michael mentioned using his 401(k) to produce the funds needed to start investing in real estate, let’s take a closer look at this, and an additional funding option:
- 401(k): Michael realized his 401(k) was not growing enough to secure is financial future so he decided to take action and utilize it in a more beneficial way. 401(k) plans typically allow for a loan to be taken out against them. Although we are told not to touch our 401(k), it’s bad advice and you are literally losing out on thousands of dollars if you leave it as is. A 401(k) can provide you with the money to invest in rental properties and set you on a path to financial freedom. Read more about using a 401(k) to invest in rental real estate.
- Unsecured Business Credit: This method of creating the needed funds to invest, offers low-interest funding for rental property purchases. Our customers utilize Fund & Grow. They have helped many individuals reach their dream of leaving their day job and creating great wealth. Fund & Grow has already provided over 25 million dollars for Morris Invest customers.
3. Utilize a Full-Service Real Estate Investment Company
The final and most important step would be to utilize a full service real estate investment company. If you have previously looked into investing in real estate, then you know how time-consuming it can be, as well as how complicated it can be to accomplish everything on your own. This is where Morris Invest steps in and takes care of everything for you. Our team of experienced professionals can quickly get you set up and running with a cash-generating rental property that will place rent checks in your hands every month.
We Hope You Were Inspired By Michael to Take Action and Get on the Path to Financial Independence Today!
If you were inspired by Michael’s story, and would like to become financially free, just like he did, Schedule a call with Morris Invest. We will set you on your own path to building great wealth so that you can live the life you have always dreamed of, spend quality time with your family, and secure your financial future.
Visit our podcast to hear Michael tell his incredible story for himself.
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