Matthew Miller at Clever Investor talks about the importance of having a mentor when starting out in real estate investing which helps newbies avoid many roadblocks.
SBT: Hi, welcome to the show. This is Ole Didriksen, your radio host. My guest is Matthew Miller, a mentoring advisor at Clever Investor. Welcome, Matthew.
Matthew: Thank you. Yes, I’m one of the mentoring advisors with Clever Investor, where basically I help out a lot with evaluating our students’ deals. Whenever they hit a roadblock in the deal process, I help them get over that hump and get to that goal.
SBT: Tell me more about Clever Investor.
Matthew: At Clever Investor, we got accountability mentors. They hold the students’ hands one-on-one, guiding them through the real estate education process. They are the people who do the accountability calls. They actually help the student grow as an investor.
We got a tech team that helps out with the tech set-up. That way, our students don’t have to struggle in setting up their own websites and stuff. They come to us to learn about real estate investing not how to set up websites.
We got a great support staff. We’ve got phenomenal VIP concierges that are there to answer questions about business set-up and systems, help out with scheduling and all that kind of fun stuff, so they make sure our students are well taken care of.
We got the mentoring advisors: myself, and my team members – Alice and Ed. We help out a lot with the deals themselves because really the deals are the mission-critical portion of the investing side of things, where students need answers quickly. They get stuck on something where it may be simple like not knowing which contract to use. We help them get over that hurdle quickly. We got answers. We got experience. I’ve been investing for almost 20 years now, so I’m kind of starting to get good at it a little bit.
SBT: Can you tell me more about how you got started?
Matthew: I grew up in a very lower class blue-collar kind of neighborhood. I was actually raised by my father. We weren’t exactly living the luxury life, but he happened to have the good fortune of having a friend who was a property manager. And one day we bought our first two rental properties with no money down. It was interesting to me because I saw that all of a sudden we have an extra couple hundred dollars a month, coming in from these rentals, and my dad is not really working for it.
This was back in the 90s before the Internet was really big, so I was checking out library books on real estate investing. I felt like I hit the jackpot when I found a VHS set of some real estate investing education.
I was 15. And my dad let me take over the reigns. It’s one of those things where I had to communicate with the property manager and our repair people. I would source deals. I lined up financing for us. And it just went from there.
I started with rentals then I went ahead and did some rehabs. Then I got into wholesaling. It’s so much easier going the opposite: doing wholesaling then rehabs then the rentals. But it’s still working out okay for me. I’m not going to complain. I’m living a very comfortable life. But if I could do it all over again, I would have just gotten a mentor and learned how to do it the right way from the beginning.
SBT: What would you say is the biggest misconception about real estate investing?
Matthew: A lot of people think that they have to be a licensed realtor to invest, and that’s not the case pretty much anywhere in the country, except Michigan. I’m not a licensed realtor. With Clever Investor, about half of our mentors are, and about half of them aren’t because being a realtor is kind of a double-edged sword. You have the extra credibility instantly because you’re a licensed professional, and you also have the added benefit of having MLS access.
In addition, there’s pretty much a million different things that people can complain about. You have the extra layer of scrutiny where if you ever have a seller or a buyer upset at you for making a big profit, they can complain to the real estate commission. Whether or not you did anything wrong, it doesn’t matter.
SBT: Tell me about your students at Clever Investor.
Matthew: We’re blessed with a wide variety of students all across the country, and actually around the world. We’re kind of spread all over but we teach real estate investing specifically for the U.S. market because there are different laws in other countries.
Our students are brand new to real estate investing. We really love that. Students coming in with a clean slate is perfect because then we don’t have to waste weeks untraining them on how they learned something the wrong way before we have to train them how to do something the right way.
SBT: What is your biggest struggle as a mentor?
Matthew: Honestly, the biggest struggle we have with most of our students is just helping them to get out of their own way because everyone’s afraid to take action in some capacity. Whether they’re afraid to talk to a seller, that’s just simply a matter of a fear of failure. You’re afraid to look stupid talking to someone, saying something wrong or even worse, missing out on that deal because you screwed up somehow. But making mistakes is just part of the learning process. We help our students get beyond that fear of failure quickly so that they can take action. If you don’t take action, you’re not going to do deals I can guarantee that.
SBT: What are the techniques you are using as a mentor to help your students overcome their blocks?
Matthew: Without giving much of our secret sauce of how we get people from Point A to Point B, it’s a matter of getting them committed to take action, and creating a solid step-by-step game plan for the most effective way of taking action. Every single student that comes in gets a different game plan because no two students are in the exact same market with the exact same skillset and the same resources.
SBT: What’s your unique magic?
Matthew: It’s one of those things where it’s a very simple concept and no one does it. It’s called underpromising and overdelivering. I’ve seen so many education programs. They may charge a $1000 for their videos and contracts. We’ve got stuff that blows it out of the water, and it’s only $300, and it shows a lot of the fundamentals. It destroys the competition. I can say that with clean conscience knowing that we have the best program out there.
SBT: Could you expand more on the overdelivering and underpromising?
Matthew: It’s simple. Even just doing deal reviews, we tell the students that we’ll typically get back to them the same business day or within 24 hours. When a student submits a deal to us, I get an email notification that a student has submitted a deal. Normally, I’ll take a look at it real quick, verify that they’ve submitted the proper information, and send a quick confirmation email notifying them that we’ve received the deal because that’s one of the rarest things out there.
You’re trying to get help on something and the deal is time-sensitive. You don’t even know if you’ve sent it off, if anyone is even looking at it. Well if you get a confirmation email, “Hey! We’ve received it. We got it. It has the proper information. We’re already reviewing it. You should be expecting an answer back shortly”. That immediately puts your mind at ease.
SBT: What would be your best recommendation for beginners in the real estate investing industry if they want to start dealing by themselves without your mentoring advice?
Matthew: I’d give them the same advice as if they were a mentoring student directly. I would tell them to take action because again, if you don’t take action, it doesn’t matter if you have the best mentoring in the whole world; I guarantee you’ll never do a deal in your entire life. You got to get on the phone and talk to sellers. You got to learn how to evaluate deals and start making some offers because if you never get on that phone, and you never make offers, you would never find buyers and build up a buyers list.
SBT: How can someone who needs help with real estate investments or mentoring find more about you and the way you can help them?
Matthew: You just go to cleverinvestor.com, we have a tab on top that says mentoring. If you click on it, there’s a free video from Cody explaining a little bit about mentoring, call to action about what to do if you’re serious in really wanting to take your business to the next level.
SBT:That’s great. Thank you Matthew for you time and for sharing these insights with us.
Matthew Miller is a self-taught real estate expert, co-founder and owner of several real estate companies. Matthew’s passion to help others succeed in real estate led him to become a real estate mentor at Clever Investor. His biggest success tip is to take action and get deals.
You can find out more about Matthew Miller and Clever Investor at: