Today’s episode is huge. Nathan Brooks is like a celebrity for me. He’s the CEO of his own company Bridge Turnkey Investments, and he’s basically automated his excellent leadership into a successful investment strategy. He started out as a musician and wanted to be a rock star, but how he got into real estate investing is really inspiring.
You’re going to hear how he transformed his company by focusing on the excellence of his team. Nathan calls it a “renaissance”, and in reality that’s exactly what it is. He overhauled his entire business model, all the way down to the specific tasks of his each of his employees. He learned what it truly means to manage and lead a team. Nathan breaks down all of the individual processes he put in place in order for his turnkey investment strategy to be as successful as it is.
Nathan has a trick for focusing on just one thing. I know that seems impossible when you have 45 to 50 things to do every day, but this meditative technique for being present in the moment is truly valuable. If you’re able to check in with yourself every day and be present in the specific moments that means the most, then you are truly a success story. Focus on just one thing and you can really develop the real estate investment strategy you envision for yourself.
4:55 – Nathan Brooks from Kansas City!
5:28 – Nathan’s expertise and why he’s involved in real estate investing
6:24 – What’s Nathan’s average sales price?
7:35 – What got Nathan into real estate investing?
9:12 – Nathan’s biggest influence in real estate
11:16 – Nathan’s breaking point
12:30 – How did Nate go from rock start to investor?
15:17 – Nathan’s new leadership skills transformed his profit master investment strategy
18:23 – Cory breaks down the profit differences between wholesale and rehabs
21:25 – How Nathan sells to two types of clients
25:03 – How Podio revamped Nathan’s leadership
30:58 – The greatest lesson Nathan learned in this business
35:30 – How to set amazing and attainable standards
37:45 – Nate and Cory swap coaching notes
38:55 – Nathan motivates himself with jiu jitsu
42:02 – Nathan’s advice for all the new investors
43:10 – Nathan’s trick for being intentional in just one thing
46:25 – The books that changed Nathan’s life (and there’s a lot!)
54:08 – Does Nate get 8 hours of sleep every night?
55:14 – Nate and Cory compare morning routines
1:01:38 – Cory shares his meditative shower technique
1:05:02 – When should you get a coach?
1:07:59 – What is Nathan most grateful for?
1:09:58 – What’s Nathan’s secret motivation?
1:12:13 – Serve Nathan and connect with him at LINK
Links and Resources:
The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber
Traction by Gino Wickman
The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin
How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler
Organize Tomorrow Today by Jason Selk
The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins
4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss
Cory: What is up! What is up! What is up party people? This is Cory Boatright. I am your host of Real Estate Investing Profit Masters and the founder of Real Estate Investing Profit. Today, we have another incredible interview for you. We continue to bring those to you. This one is really cool because this one if from another guy, another mastermind member that we have started another podcast that is all about books. You’ll be hearing more about the later.But I want to talk to you about Mr. Nathan Brooks. He is the CEO for Bridge Turn Key Investments. That is company is pretty incredible because what they’re doing right now is literally hundreds of turnkey rental properties and they have a machine that is set up.
What’s different about what they’re doing is they have this setup where the standard is excellent. The standard is excellent so you can’t just throw something on there and that’s good enough. No. that does not work for their company. They have some high standards on what they do at Bridge Turnkey Investments. They are located out there in Kansas City, Missouri. They are crushing it out there.
You’re going to hear what he does and what their company is all about and how they put the focus and emphasis on excellence on the team. Not just one person, but the team. What I love about Nathan is he’s so inspiring, but he’s also this natural cool person that has everything put together so well. He’s just got everything down so well. It just flows effortlessly out of him. You’re going to love this. You’re going to love this interview.
Later on, I can’t wait for you to check out another podcast that we’ll be releasing very, very soon. I got to keep quiet about it right now but it’s coming up very soon, so you’ll hear about it. Make sure that you check this out.
Have you downloaded the Ultimate Real Estate Investing Quick Start Guide? If you haven’t, go ahead and text the word profit to 38470. From there, you’ll have the book automagically downloaded right to you. Love to hear your feedback on the book. We’re working on a revised 2.0 version, if you will of that book. I’ll let you know when that is out very, very soon too.
Now, we have folks that ask us about coaching, wholesale coaching particularly. If you’re interested in coaching, you can simply go to coryscoaching.com,watch a video, right there, on that page, and that will tell me where you are in your investing. Have you never done your first deal, which is about 90% of the folks that get on and listen. They’ve never done their first deal, which is fine.
I remember when I was at the place where I never done my first deal. That was a big deal. It’s a big thing to make sure I cross over that big fear. There are a lot of fears during your first deal.
I want to talk with you about where you are in your career. Have you done 5 or 10 deals? Are you doing 10, 20, 30, 100 deals? Where are you and what specifically do you want to accomplish of the next 6 to 12 months? We can help you get there but we need to have conversation. It’s called a strategy coaching session. Love to talk to you about it. I have a video recorded for you right on the front page. Go to coryscoaching.com.
Alright, check out this interview with Nathan. I think you’ll really enjoy it. What they’re doing there with Bridge Turn Key, it’s pretty incredible. In Kansas City, Missouri. Alright, here you go. Here’s Nathan Brooks.
Nathan, Nathan. What’s going on my man?
Nathan: What’s up, Cory? Nice to be on here with you, man. I appreciate it.
Cory: I appreciate you taking the time to be on here, man. This is awesome. I feel like a celebrity that’s on here right now, man. You are doing quite a bit of things not only in your own right for your investing but you’re also a big name on bigger pockets and some other places. I’d like to get into that a little bit but before we go into that, why don’t we talk about what is your investing expertise right now and how you got involved in real estate investing?
Nathan: Great question. Thanks again for having me on too. The main thing that we do is turnkey real estate here in the Kansas City market. We have a team that we buy, sell, and manage real estate. We do that for clients all over the US. We have the full acquisitions, construction, and property management side of that business.
Cory: That’s all in house?
Nathan: All in house, yup, exactly. We really are focused on the higher end flips for those properties. It’s not just the paint and carpet rehab, we’re really going after a full scale rehab and that experience on the turnkey side for each client.
Cory: When you say higher end, Nathan, you mean a $150,000, $200,000, what’s your average rehab finish project if you will or your sales price?
Nathan: The bottom really is $80,000, $90,000. Our average really runs, let’s say, $125,000 to $150,000, $160,000. We also have some that are even $195,000 to $225,000 that sell turnkey.
Cory: Right now, you’re doing everything inside of OKC, you’re not doing anything outside or other states?
Nathan: Yeah, correct. We don’t have anything else in any other markets. Kansas City is a pretty good sized metropolitan area. For somebody who wasn’t from Kansas City, I would say, I’m in Kansas City, if you didn’t know it, we’re in Raytown and Independence, Johnson County, we’re in Kansas City, we’re up North. There’s a lot of cool little markets and niches within that market but we’re in that greater metropolitan area.
Cory: That’s cool. What made you want to be involved with real estate investing, Nathan?
Nathan: I really liked doing construction stuff early on even as a kid. I loved going around at constructions sites, taking boards and 2x4s and stuff and building stuff in my backyard. I’m not sure how much my parents loved that, “What’s he building now?”
Cory: That’s interesting, son.
Nathan: Yeah. “That’s really cool. What is it?” I always enjoyed the real estate side of it, especially design, I really loved layouts and colors and understanding that side of it. I actually overheard a conversation, the next thing I know, of course, I’m chatting up the guy next to me and my wife having lunch. Two or three weeks later, I’m in my first real estate deal. Not necessarily the best idea, Cory. I’m not saying that’s what people should do, it’s just the truth of what did happen.
Cory: What timeframe is this? Where are we in time?
Nathan: This is 2008, I believe.
Cory: Not quite 10 years but going on 10 years. What was one of your bigger influences for investing?
Nathan: I rose and had the dumpster fire along with many people in the boom and bust of that late 2000. One of the most impactful relationships was an investor, I lived in South Florida at that time, who had a property management business and had a flipping business and a [00:09:40] business. At that time, I think, he managed 1,500 properties, doors under management. It’s a pretty sizeable operation. He was a broker as well or is a broker.
I had asked him a dozen times to go to lunch. I couldn’t understand then why he was so busy and couldn’t fit me in his schedule, I can more appreciate what he must deal with now. He sat down and we talked about his business and I just asked him question after question. He wrote out what his business looked like, in the sense of here’s opportunities for income, here is my property management business, here’s my flipping business, here’s my private lending business and here’s how these things intertwine.
He owns rentals as well. It wasn’t like, “I don’t have one opportunity, Nathan. Maybe the brokerage this month doesn’t do a whole bunch of business but I have rentals, we had a couple of big flips or whatever.” That really opened my eyes to understand not just the real estate activity of owning a rental or flipping a house, but really the experience of what a real estate investor’s life looks like and opportunity look like.
Cory: That open your ideas to multiple streams of income. It’s not just one way so you can have a couple of different things to fall back on, if you will, that makes sense. Was there a point before this, before investing, that there’s what we call a breaking point where you’re doing something else and then you just knew you had to go into this investing because if you didn’t, you weren’t going to reach that place of where you inspire to go or get there faster by obviously doing investing. Did you have a breaking point?
Nathan: I think I had a couple, really. I was making my living as a musician at the time.
Cory: There’s nothing wrong with that. Look over here, Nathan, look at all these guitars.
Nathan: Oh my goodness, I love it. That’s amazing.
Cory: If you’re listening now, you just missed this incredible show of over 17 different guitar cases all lined up here. Anyway, obviously a guitar player, you’re a musician. I love it, obviously, being a musician is great. I get this question too like how did you go from musician to investor? What is your story? How did you do that?
Nathan: I was just watching the opportunity happen. I was teaching lessons and playing live and tutoring and I had lot of cool stuff. They played my song on the radio. I was just starting to understand what trading time for dollars meant and really trying to find the opportunity. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to play music, it doesn’t mean I don’t want to enjoy that thing that feeds my soul, but I also don’t want to do it for $15 an hour or whatever it was that you get paid. It was typically like beer was free, food maybe, and then you might get paid.
Cory: I think you just described all musicians. The life of a musician, I think that was there in a nutshell.
Nathan: When you’re 20, that’s pretty cool, or 21, should we say. This is only sustainable for so long. I just found myself trying to start to acquire properties. I was really trying to do everything and I basically just continued doing some of my private lessons and then I would start to try to flip these houses. I’m an all in guy which is great except when it’s not. I had no idea what I was doing and I was trying to buy them and I was trying to flip them and I was trying to manage, it was just a mess.
I went down in flames with the whole crash and lost nearly a million dollars with the real estate, got back into music, back into worship leading and found myself back eventually, in Kansas City. I’m at a huge Church, wonderful place, amazing people, it’s the largest United Methodist Church in the US so it’s like the dream gig. But I found myself flipping seven houses as the turn of Christmas came around. This is a Church that has 36,000 people through 4 campuses in 3 days or something.
It’s nuts, absolutely nuts. I was just like, “I can’t do this anymore.” Three months later, I had quit my job. I made my interior annual salary that month from the previous year. I was like, “Let’s go.”
Cory: Let’s go, I’m all in.
Cory: We talked about what is coined as the profit master investing strategy, that’s one thing that’s really impacted your bottom line. Usually, a marketing strategy is really knocking it out of the park for you, do you have something that is working right now that you can share with the listeners that’s really doing well for you?
Nathan: Yeah. Actually, this might be a little different answer than we typically get. For me, when I came back from a mastermind group and had this epiphany moment in my business which is I wasn’t being the leader that I needed to be. Doing all the activities that we want, seeing the end result, what we were wanting and there wasn’t direct leadership within the office [00:16:10].
We really had this renaissance in our business over the last six or eight months, we just consistently taken the time and effort to solve the biggest problem today. For me, personally, to take that opportunity to lead in my office. We weren’t seeing things coming out of the factory whether the rehab wasn’t completed on time or property wasn’t leased as fast as it should be. When you talk about the profit side of that, you can’t have the end result if you’re not delivering the product.
We came up with this motto in our business which was, “On time quality and budget.” We had to deliver all those things. We started having the mantras in our office about what we are delivering these on time quality and budget, we’re going to do everything and we’re going to start everything and we’re going to make sure that we can do that for every single one of our clients who’s coming to us. April, we had the best month in the history of our business. We sold 8 or 9 properties just in the last 30 days.
Cory: Just the last 30 days. You said that you had about six or seven crews going, do you do much wholesaling or do you do mostly rehabbing?
Nathan: We do almost exclusively fix and flips. We don’t even have a wholesale part of our business built out at this point. We’re literally in the midst of hiring somebody for the acquisition side as we speak.
Cory: That can be exciting, that’ll be a fun ride.
Nathan: It’s going to be huge. I’m fired up for it. I think a lot of times we probably just take them down ourselves but we’ll also have that avenue of just another stream of income to our last point.
Cory: There’s always that question of, “Should I wholesale it or should I wholetail it or should I retail it?” The wholesale and wholetail right now are pretty strong on the profits, right now, on this market. But with rehabbing, if you are an expert at that thing, which you are, man, I tell you, diverting much from that may not be the best idea even though that there is other options to wholesale, to wholetail.
I think you have to probably get very specific on what that dollar amount is, that is what the net profit is going to be from that rehab and then look at, man, can I just wholesale it and get 80%, 90% of that right now and not to worry about all of the other one time, the juggling of everything else, all the other stuff. Is it worth it to take it down and make extra money? I’ll tell you right now in front of the people that we work with that we wholesale to rehabbers.
I would say we leave about 30% meat on the bone, between 25% and 30% meat on the bone. I don’t know if that’s the same way in KC or not because over in California, they leave 10% meat on the bone. It’s a different market and it’s fine. In New York, it’s 15%, 10% on the bone but in the Midwest here, it’s 25%, 30%.
What we look at is if we’re going to take the deal down, which we do on occasion, take a deal down. We have to look at, one, is it a hot area that’s selling on the MLS very quickly? If it’s a hot area selling on MLS very quickly, then it’s worth it to us to take it down to get an extra $10,000, $15,000 out of it in a short period of time, if it’s a hot area. But most of the time, we get deals that need repair, need all these other things. We’ve got these buyers already that they can buy quick and done.
I would think on your side of it, there’s probably going to be some thought on what is that net number that we’re going to make from our rehabbing compared to if we’re just going to this wholesaling thing.
Nathan: I 100% agree with you. The second part for my personal question when I’m buying stuff is that I actually sell to two different clients. I have the retail MLS client and then I also have my turnkey clients. I don’t do a waiting list anymore but we have more buyers than we have inventory and it’s because I always tell my clients, I’m like, “I don’t bet 1,000, I wish I did, but I’m transparent, you’re going to know what’s going on, we’re going to do a great job.” We’ve been able to build that over time.
When I’m buying properties, my first goal, although I love MLS flips too, we do those regularly probably two or three a month but I’d love to sell those turnkeys. It might have a little bit smaller margin or whatever that deal is, but I also put into property management and then it makes money there too.
Cory: But you got a profit margin for managing the property. I would think too, you’re selling on cash flow, that’s another big benefit that you can have by doing these turnkey selling on cash flow. It’s going to be interesting to see which one, is it wholesale or if it’s worth it to just rehab and turnkey them.
Nathan: I couldn’t agree more. I look forward to updating you on it because we’re fired up to see that. We also have a very dialed in percentage that we’re looking for on the return of the money that we’re putting in, that’ll be interesting. The other cool part, for me personally, is thinking about, “Hey, we might even be able to pay a little bit more.” If there is that continuing tightening inventory, we can take those things down, I already have built in construction. I think we’re positioned very well in our market for that.
Cory: You mentioning that, it actually makes me think of you having an advantage that you could actually pay wholesalers more money because of that. Whatever your highest offer is, come to us. Wouldn’t it be great if you positioned yourself that whatever your highest offer is, Bob, a guy I know that does five, ten deals a month, send it to me as your final offer, I’ll see if I can give you $1,000 more or whatever. That will be pretty interesting to have that positioning in the market where you pay the most but you’re still able to make it work on your end too. Pretty cool.
Nathan: The cool part for us too is that we build those relationships too because we haven’t had that wholesaling side of our business. I might even pay less but they know if I am signing that contract, I’m closing on it. We’re fast, we’re cash, we close, there’s no issues, we have people in our office who handle… A wholesaler was just telling me yesterday, he’s like, “I want to close every deal with you because I know that your team is actually pushing the ball forward, not me.” He’s like, “I’d like to just close them with you.” It’s pretty cool.
Cory: That’s great, that’s cool. Basically, there’s a positioning that you have that’s different than your traditional wholesalers. You have the turnkey, you have the rehab and then adding this other component on for wholesaling will be interesting to see how that’s going to serve you and what you’re doing right now in the business. Ultimately, really, you want to help your clients, you want to give them other opportunities, that’ll be great.
What is a big challenge that you went through in your investing business? One that you maybe recently went through, if you have one to talk about. How did you get through it so we can all learn from it?
Nathan: I think that’s a wonderful question because it’s right back to the conversation we just had which was kinda that renaissance in our business. We really struggled for several months, as we’ve grown, back to The E Myth book, they talk about being in your infancy as a business. You go hire Bob or Jane or whoever it is and you’re like, “Hey, you’re my new assistant, go do stuff. Great job, Jane. Now you’re the sales manager, go sell some stuff.” That works great until it doesn’t.
We started to really recognize that we hadn’t put those processes into place like a business, like a big business, no matter how many people we have. I think the challenge for us was that we had a lot of areas, when you’re buying them and you’re managing multiple rehabs. We have 24 or something rehabs going right now in the Kansas area, you have to manage that and then you have to manage the buy and sell side of them. You have the whole property management business by itself which is its own animal.
We had to just literally start taking piece by piece and we literally went through every single job description for every single staff person doing every single job. We went back through, we sat down with each one of those people and we said, “What are we missing? What are we not training?” We use Podio to run everything in our business. I think the single greatest thing that we did was take the idea out of Traction on the issues list.
We actually created an issues list app in Podio so that our staff could say, “I have an issue and I have nowhere to put it.” Cory, that is such a great idea. Could you remind me via email and text and via telephone in three days?
Cory: Exactly, maybe. It goes into Podio and now you have a growing list of things, you can check out the list, you can prioritize.
Nathan: Yes. The best thing out of that was not only did we say, “Hey, you have to put your issue in, you have to label it low, medium, high, or urgent.” You have the problem and then you require them to put in a proposed solution.
Cory: Interesting. It may not be the correct one that you use but you want to hear what they’re thinking.
Nathan: Absolutely. It’s not just, Cory, tell me what the problem is but Cory, tell me what you’re thinking about. You’re running with this problem, how would you solve it? Great, that makes perfect sense. That really enabled us to have then in our property management meeting or our construction meeting or our sales and acquisitions meeting, then we can say, “Cool, let’s pull up.” We actually give specific time in that weekly meeting to the issues list itself.
People just, right now, don’t try to do more than one or two of them. It’s not going to happen because all of a sudden you’ll have this conversation and 30 minutes later you’re like, “Oh man, I think we got it.” But it takes some time to work through what the actual challenge is and the solution and then be able to implement it into your business too. You can solve ten things but you’re never going to implement them all.
Cory: Just because it’s in Podio, though. There’s a conversation that started, maybe that’s just totally you, now everyone have the access to see that, there’s a full transparency model?
Nathan: Absolutely. It’s done by department too. You could just pull everything in that department and say, “Hey, is there already an issue on this?” Now you’re not duplicating it or whatever.
Cory: I’ll put these in the show notes, great ideas here. Thanks for sharing that, Nathan. That’s going to be very, very powerful. One that I’m going to definitely talk to our team about because that’s great, I love that idea. Traction is an incredible book, EOS, The rocks. If you haven’t got a chance to go through what Nathan is talking about here, I highly recommend you read the book, Traction. A fantastic book, a great way to run a team, either big or small. It’s a fantastic learning tool, a fantastic management tool to use.
Nathan: Two things on that, sorry to interrupt you. Number one, I got to give props to my business partner, David, who came up with the idea for Podio because we kept solving problems and then we had solved them again and it was horrendous. The second thing with Traction, I think, it’s a game changer. Between that book and E Myth, I think they both helped feed that. Traction, like you said, it’s great for big and small organizations. It’s also great to think about what your actual goals are and priority is and actually align it with what your activity is, I love that.
Cory: What’s the great lesson that you’ve learned to get to where you are today? Because here’s what’s interesting about you, Nathan. We haven’t known each other that long, obviously, we’re inside one of the same masterminds groups, Collective Genius. What struck me about you is that you have almost this intense calm, if that makes sense. I haven’t heard all your story but I almost don’t need to to understand that you’re at a place where you almost have this calmness about you. It’s a chill, it’s cool.
But I can also tell there’s this intensity and specificity on what it is you want to accomplish, pretty organized, as most musicians tend not to be. I’m a visionary, you’re a visionary. If I can play the integrator role, I can do it if I’m required to yet I’d rather be the visionary, that’s my fun part. To me, it’s almost like playing guitar, playing jazz or just playing a blues thing where you’re not just playing some super great scale but it’s just this feel of what’s going on.
You strike me as applying some of that for the musicians right now. They’re like, “Oh yeah, man. I get it.” For the people that aren’t musicians, they’re like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” You strike me as that person. What’s the lesson that helped you get to where you are today? Can you encourage somebody with that?
Nathan: Absolutely. By the way, when you post your disk profile on mine, I’m pretty sure ours are basically identical, which is also a fundamental tool in our business too, by the way. We use those all the time. I’ve totally lost track of your question, though, Cory.
Cory: The lesson to get to where you are, that’s the musician in you right there, that’s the musician in you.
Nathan: You’re saying so many kind things to me. I think the lesson, honestly, is it’s really simple, it is the decision to actually make a choice and then to live in the choice, explore the choice, educate on the choice, continue to fall in love with it. For us, we had to stop saying yes, just start saying no so we could say yes to the one thing instead of yes to everything.
My partner, he’s been very helpful on that, on me as well and just saying, “Okay, we’re going to be in the flipping business, we’re going to have the best properties you can buy. We’re going to have the best in the turnkey space, MLS space, I don’t care what space, what price point, you will not find a better house and I will work ceaselessly until I deliver that. If I screw something up, I’m going to figure out what and why and how and I’m going to solve it.
I think a lot of times, people get into the real estate space, not that I don’t have all those tools in my tool box with the wholesaler and the property management and you would probably say the same thing, “Hey, I have all those tools but I have to make one choice on one deal doing one thing.” For us it was make a choice to be a great flipper of properties, be a great renovator. What does that mean? We have selection sheets for every project, it means we have timelines and budgets that are tight, it means we have people who are looking at what the deliverable actually looks like.
We’re able to really fundamentally change the way that we run that business because we made the choice on the front end. Does that makes sense?
Cory: It makes sense. Setting that standard, it’s so important in the beginning from an organizational standpoint especially when it’s not just about you, it’s an organization. You got families that depend on the company, now you’ve got reputation, who are you? What do you stand for? These things become more important. You have seven crews and you’re putting out these many properties. People know you by name of the company and what you stand for and they’re telling everybody.
The referral business becomes so much easier, it’s almost like you don’t even have to ask for because it ask for itself because the quality is exceptional, the people and the organization match that quality and there’s this whole standard of what you stand for. I think that’s great.
Nathan: Actually, I love this conversation because it keeps tying together. But one of the things from Traction book was us to decide what are your core values as a business. We can look through everything, is that how we rehab? Is that a part of our core value? Is this person right on staff? Are they in line with the core values? We just did our first company wide quarterly reviews and it’s the same thing, you have to look at those core values and say, “Are we in alignment?” If not, why? Let’s talk about it.
Cory: Sometimes those conversations can be uncomfortable but they’re much more uncomfortable without having an organization. The funny thing is that organization will set you free. People often think organization will captivate you, will enslave you, will create this way where you’re in a box and you cannot really grow the way you want to, you have these different things. That’s the reality, it’s much harder to be able to run something disorganized.
Nathan: To your point, you can say, “Hey Cory, I really don’t like the way you send these emails because I think your grammar is stupid.” Or, “Hey Cory, one of our core values is approach every relationship with love and care. Could you tell me what you were thinking when you constructed this email because when I looked through that lens, I’m having a hard time understanding where you’re coming from.”
Cory: Yeah. That’s a way different positioning.
Nathan: Way different position. You’re telling your story too. You can coach from that like, “Hey Nathan, you’re being a jerk.” No, this is what we came in here for, this is what we are about as a company and our culture and we can deliver that and this is why.
Cory: That’s great, I’m making a note on that. I do some coaching with investors right now. One of the things that hit me is that it’d be interesting for the conversation to start out what their core values are because being able to coach through that would actually be able to reference what you just said, that really makes a lot of sense. I appreciate you saying that, that’s great. Do you have a favorite motivational quote or a business quote or something like that?
Nathan: I do. I love this quote and I actually wrote it at the top of our board in our property management room. I wrote it down just because I thought maybe this would come up and I didn’t want to screw up, it’s Jerry Rice’s, “Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”
Cory: That’s rich, that’s good.
Nathan: I personally train with a fighter twice a week. He’s a professional trainer but he’s an actual fighter as well. He actually has a pro fight on Friday too.
Cory: That’s awesome. That raises your level of intensity or does it raise your level of standard for yourself, being professionally trained?
Nathan: It is a requirement for equilibrium, for me, to have something that matches my intensity level as a human being that also is very humbling and requires a new skill whether it’s jiu jitsu or kickboxing which I just started doing. I need it, it’s that thing if I don’t get in the gym, I’m not a pleasant human being to be around.
Cory: You take it out on the bags.
Nathan: One of the interesting things we talked about, I’m pretty sure it came out of my mouth but he and I talk about it all the time which is how much intensity in uncomfortable bucket are you willing to go? You can apply that to literally anything, the conversation with your employee. Are you willing to have the uncomfortable conversation now so that you’re not dealing with it in six months with an employee that’s now completely out of control?
Am I willing to go today and workout for a straight hour and a half with a pro fighter who is screaming things at me and I’m screwing stuff up and I’m learning new techniques at boxing and whatever it is and if I miss I’m getting whapped in the side with the training mitts. I can work up a deal in 60 seconds, no big deal. Somebody is swinging punches at you and it’s slow, by the way, and not that hard and I’m still getting hit. I think you can apply that to anything and you can say, “What are the lessons learned? Am I putting myself in a situation I have to learn?”
Cory: Obviously you’re hit so you got to cover up, you got to learn what to do. I can see, definitely, where the lessons are coming from. If you had to start all over again, what would you do differently? What’s some advice you’d give somebody new?
Nathan: I honestly think it starts back with that, what’s my one thing. I think if you can say, “This is my one thing.” And you have direction and ambition, you can connect the activity with the goal. I think when you connect the activity with the goal, you start to understand really, when you woke up on a Tuesday and you’re sad or it’s raining outside or the deal that you thought was going to happen falls apart, your whole world doesn’t fall apart and your dream doesn’t fall apart because your decision wasn’t based on that one day, it was based upon the goal that you had set forth to do it.
Even back to the lessons learned, you have to take one thing at a time, you have to compartmentalize. If wholesaling is the thing I really want to do, I have to do this one thing, not to do it over and over and over and over and understand what really means not just to do a couple deals but my goal is to do X deals per week, per month, per year, my Y is this. If you start with that end goal in mind, it’s so much easier to make it through the times when it is in that uncomfortable bucket or that your deal did fall apart or you didn’t make as much money.
Cory: I’m taking some notes here. Again, everything we talked about here, everything will be in our show notes, we’ll have this transcribed for you as we always do. You’re bringing up some great points, I love the fact that the one thing was the first thing you probably said you would do it differently. Meaning, as you get going as an entrepreneur, you were hit by 55,000 different things. I’m struggling on this myself, there’s this very similar idea that whenever I’m productive, that I also think that that’s being intentional.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. Whenever you’re intentional, you’re productive but often you’re less productive because you’re intentional on one thing and not necessarily getting 45 different things done. But the 45 things that you think need to get done often don’t. In fact, either they do need to get done and I don’t need to be or you don’t need to be the one doing them, there’s no idea of what I’m supposed to be doing, or they don’t need to be done at all.
Can you speak a little bit more on that? I really liked your concept of just the one thing and that was the first thing you talked about how you do things differently.
Nathan: It can work when you’re very first starting out and it can also work if you’re doing 100 deals a year. We still have one thing, it’s just different. For me, my one thing now, I just said, “Hey, we’re hiring an acquisitions guy.” My one focus right now is to find the right guy or girl, find the right person for the job. We dissect what that looks like, we dissect what their disk looks like, we dissect what kind of person fits in the culture for our business. Our one thing is to have the right hire.
I think when people look at that, it becomes this terrifying obstacle versus this incredible opportunity to make a decision. Decide right now, I know what I’m going to do and everything else doesn’t matter. I think it’s important, they can apply it no matter what.
Cory: Using data to make a decision instead of just off the cuff, basically. That’s the moral of what we’re really discussing here. Do you have a book that really changed you? You talked about E Myth, you talked about Traction, do you have one that really changed your life? Obviously, I know there’s so many excellent books, what’s one that really dramatically affected you?
Nathan: Those are the two I was going to mention, I’m putting up my phone with my Audible account. You do a bunch of books each month too.
Cory: I listened to a book a week for the last three years on Audible. I can you show you my curve if you go on Audible curve.
Nathan: 47 times speed or something, you listen to the books at.
Cory: 55, but you know, who’s counting here? The funny thing is that you actually retain more the faster you listen to it. I can show you my list right now. This one I’m reading right now is The Art of Learning, oh my gosh, by Josh Waitzkin. That has nothing to do with the real estate but everything to do with it. He’s a jiu jitsu guy, he’s also a chest champion, the guy has an incredible background story. I’ve got How to Read a Book, it’s funny, you can get a book on How to Read a Book, it’s by Charles Van Doren. It’s really, really good. Organize Tomorrow Today, you have to get that book, Sean Terry recommended that one.
Pretty much anything that Sean recommends, I just buy it immediately. I send him back the receipt thing that I bought it.
Nathan: I love it. I love the accountability too.
Cory: I love that.
Organize Tomorrow Today: 8 Ways to Retrain Your Mind to Optimize Performance at Work and in Life by Dr. Jason Selk and Tom Bartow and Matthew Rudy. Start everyday with more focus, confidence and energy by learning to set the right priorities. Basically, everything that we just discussed. I’ve just done another podcast with Joe Taylor in our group as well in Portland. There’s a book that I wrote down called Mindset. It talked about the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
It’s fascinating, some of the things we talked about, but what hit me was I should be going through that book with our team, we should be talking about going through those. Remember in Church with the men’s group, you would pick a book and you go through that with your men’s accountability group and you would discuss. It’s funny because you should be thinking about what books are going to empower your team and help your team out and what you think. If your team thinks in a better way, that’s growth centric and you’re looking at things not just in a fixed way, not that it’s just a permanence but a challenge.
I don’t like looking at things as a problem, I look at things as a challenge because the challenge, you can be challenge driven. How can I solve it? There’s something that comes from it. A problem, there tends to be this bowling ball on your head, it’s just heavy and it doesn’t really do much. Just changing the way that you think, it’s powerful. But I love Audible, you listen to a lot of Audible, which one do you have on there?
Nathan: This is awesome, I think we can go three hours.
Cory: We could scroll, we could scroll, baby.
Nathan: We need to start a book podcast, Cory. I try to do two to three books a month as well. I only listen to it half-crazy speed. I think it’s 27 times speed, not 55 or whatever it is that you do. Actually, by the way, we started an Audible account for our property management division and we started one for our construction division. If there is a book that we’re fired up about, I can literally say, “Hey, I already bought it. I just listened to it. This is why.”
Cory: That is so genius, that is so good, man, that is great. That’s a separate account, it’s like a company account?
Nathan: Correct. The book that I just listened to, it’s super short by the way too, it’s The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever. Have you heard of that book?
Cory: Yup, I got The Coaching Habit, sure do.
Nathan: The best one out of that was instead of why, say what in a question. That was the learning for me in that.
Cory: Co-Active Coaching was really, really good as well and Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions by Keith Rosen. You like a lot of sales books, I do too. I like a lot of sales books. That was good. The Coaching Habit is really, really good.
Nathan: I love that. It’s so short too. I’m actually listening to it for the second time in three weeks just to do it again. But the other one I listened to recently was The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life.
Cory: Oh I don’t have that, that’s cool. The Snowball, okay, that’s cool.
Nathan: Just a warning, it’s 36 hours of regular speed time.
Cory: The longest one that I went through was Tony Robbins’ MONEY Master the Game. That was on double the speed, it was over 12 hours on double the speed. That one was pretty lengthy, the book is that thick.
Nathan: I’ve actually read that one with the real book, I love to actually get the book as well if it’s something that has a lot of that detail like that.
Cory: I did that with Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body. It’s like a huge thick book, it’s a great table read book.
Nathan: I got that too, man.
Cory: Some things in there, you gotta watch out if you have kids in there. You gotta watch out for some of the things that he writes about. It’s a little extreme.
What about some mobile apps? Are you more of a techy guy, you like mobile apps, what’s one of your favorite apps that you use in your business on a daily basis?
Nathan: Podio is just a massive, massive game changer in our business. I’m trying to think. I really am lucky enough to be at a place in my business where I’m not great with handling the detail side of things. The apps have been less influential for me and more influential for other people in my organization. But really, Podio systematically and dramatically changed the fundamental operation of our business.
Cory: That’s great, man. Do you get eight hours of sleep at night?
Nathan: No. No, I do not. I’m probably in a regularly five to six hours at night. Do you?
Cory: You know what, I can but the funny thing is that I often choose not to. Sometimes, I will, on a Saturday or something, I’ll sleep for nine hours because I can. But if you give me the preference, the funny part is I tend to sleep about six and a half hours. It’s like that three-hour rim, three hour and I get up. If I sleep seven or eight, I tend to be in this weird in between space, a lot of times. I usually prefer to sleep about six hours but if I want to sleep longer, it’s great to have the option. But I find myself just about six to six and a half.
Nathan: What time do you get up in the morning?
Cory: I go to gym so this changes but right now I’m going to the gym. I get up at 6:05AM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I get to the gym by 7:00AM and I’ll workout from 7:00AM until 8:00 AM with my trainer and then I come home. I have breakfast and spend quiet time about 20 minutes or so with Leslie, she goes to the salon and then I go into the office, kind of home office, if you will, and then I start getting into whatever I want to get into.
I do my best to read the Bible. I go through something called YouVersion to go through some scriptures and things like that to get my head centered. I also, on my drive from the house to the gym, do some praying and stuff like that. I’ll listen to praise and worship music and get my mind in a right state. Just being thankful for waking up and having the ability to enjoy the day, not even knowing what the day is going to bring, Nathan, but just being open to enjoying the day, whatever happens.
Sometimes, I see somebody on the road that’s homeless, sometimes, I’ll give him a grateful bracelet, I have a whole bunch of them that I always keep in my car and I’ll just say, “Man, I want you to know that God loves you. I got cancer one time but I got through it and it wasn’t because of anything I did, it’s because of our God.” I’ll give him a bracelet. Something like that just kind of sets the tone if that happens or whatever for the day.
Business usually starts around 10:00AM, 9:00AM to 10:00AM is when, usually, business starts going in and I start getting into business, making calls, doing stuff, coaching. Coaching usually starts at 10:00AM, stuff like that. Our Monday morning meetings is our team’s meetings with our rocks, our EOS deals. We have two of those, we have one with the team internally with the sales, acquisition managers and then my two partners.
We have a separate meeting for another hour that is essentially from 8:00AM until 12:00NN on Monday, it’s all basically meetings and going through what we’re going to do for the day and what the big rocks are and what’s the thing that can push the needle forward for the week. That’s how it looks.
Nathan: That’s an awesome start to the week too. To your app question, I’m not as consistent as I’d like to be but with the meditation app as well. I didn’t really like some of the other ones as much with the voices and stuff but there’s one called Rest & Relax. It really helped me in getting to sleep because a lot of times I just couldn’t shut my brain down.
Cory: There is one called Headspace, have you ever used Headspace?
Nathan: Yes, I tried Headspace.
Cory: I didn’t like it as much because there was more words and stuff.
Nathan: Yeah, exactly. It worked out really well.
Cory: That’s cool. I haven’t heard of that one that you said, is it newer?
Nathan: It is pretty newer. Actually, another one of our CG buddies, I had downloaded this as well and he thought it was awesome, that whole winding down to your dates. A lot of people, they can get fired up about a lot of stuff, maybe they have a hard time getting back to sleep. That worked out pretty well.
Cory: There’s a funny little thing that I can do to destress, it’s called Fit Brains, do you ever use Fit Brains or anything like that? It’s by Rosetta Stone and basically, it’s just all these different scientific ways to improve your brain. They give you little visual things that you can do and memory things you can do, it’s just great stimuli. That one is one that I also will sometimes use, it just seems like it’s a snack for your brain, if that makes sense. Do you have a morning routine that you actually follow?
Nathan: I’m pretty consistent. I’m typically up around 6:00AM as well, not quite so specific at 6:05AM.
Cory: I like specifics, man. It helps me whenever that five comes around. I don’t know what it is, I just like specifics.
Nathan: I love it, that’s perfect. I’m 6:00-ish. I love The Miracle Morning book. I love taking my time. I’ll just roll directly in, jump in the shower, brush my teeth and have my clothes on, I’m feeling good. I don’t have my clothes on until my watch is on. I just love feeling put together, run downstairs, cup of coffee and think through my goals whether it’s my team, my personal side, I have three. One for my family, one for me personally, and one for my business.
I really try to visualize and feel it, feel that opportunity and feel the joy of what it is to do the work. I play probably 10 to 20 minutes of fetch with my dog, Gunner. He is a cool German Shorthaired Pointer who will soon be in the fields of Western Kansas bird hunting with me. He’s a machine. My wife is amazing and kind and basically hooks up the breakfast every single morning. I’ll hang with the kids, bang out some deals by 8:30AM and then I’m out the door by 9:00AM.
Cory: That’s awesome, man. Leslie takes the kids to school, she gets up around 6:00AM as well so whenever I get up, I go to the gym, she goes and takes the kids to school. When I get back, she’s usually back and getting ready and stuff, me too, I get ready and stuff.
One thing that I recently done and I want to encourage you about, in the shower, I tend to be thinking about things to do. There is something about water that is a representation of your mind. That’s why a lot of people, when they say what’s paradise to them, they tend to say a desert island or something with water, ocean, because it’s some representation of just how the mind flows and just thinks. It’s really pretty fascinating to dig deeper into that but we won’t go into it now. But there is stimuli that is from past and different things have happened in your life and usually when the first time you’ve ever swam, how it feels and all these other things, it’s really interesting.
Again, this is encouragement. I was thinking of stuff to do, I need to think of things to do, it’s almost just like a time where you can just think of things to do. But instead, now what I do is I just go, “Wow, how incredible is it to enjoy the shower?” Does that makes sense?
Nathan: I love that.
Cory: The shower is just so magical right now, I know that sounds corny but to feel the water, to feel everything, almost just in this moment of glory, it’s very strange.
How incredible is it just to enjoy a nice, whether it’s a cold shower or a really hot shower, and enjoying that moment and not letting that moment be robbed of the other stuff that you need to get done because that’s what your mind wants to do. It wants to be like, “Now that we’re here, now we can start thinking of stuff to do.” No, that’s the moment of your tranquility, of almost your essence moment of where you can become this one with you and you creator and God and just say, “Man, I’m just so thankful to enjoy the shower.”
I know it sounds strange but if by doing this, it almost makes you smile more through the day. It gives you a reason to smile more if something is frustrating. Does that make sense?
Nathan: I think it’s actually exactly what we’ve been talking about because you can’t answer email in the shower, at least not currently, at least not very well. I think it’s observing again the one thing which to be present with your own self. I love that, I love that there’s that actual saying, “I will make a decision right now to enjoy this shower. I will make this decision to be present with my children. I will make this decision.” I think that’s a perfect way to start. I love that.
Cory: It’s practice to be present.
Nathan: Yes, exactly.
Cory: At what point would you recommend a coach? How important has it been to your success, would you say, Nathan?
Nathan: I started in a weird way so I didn’t really have a coach in the beginning of my real estate experience. However, I believe strongly that the coach and mentor is fundamental not just in the sense of paying a bunch of money to some guru or something like that. It might literally just be somebody in your market, it might be your folks, it might be your buddy, it might be saying, “Hey Cory, I know you do a bunch of wholesale stuff, could you talk me through this because even though I do a bunch of deals, I’m stuck on this one point.”
I think a lot of times, people are fearful of what they don’t know and this brings somebody into the construct that says, “This is a normal thing.” Just like back to the jiu jitsu or kickboxing, the first time somebody throws a punch at you, which is still where I’m at, you’re like, “Aaaah, don’t punch me.” But if you are accustomed to that, you know, “Hey, I can dip and move. I can do whatever I need to do to have the language that you already speak.”
I think when you have the coach, they put it in context for you. It also is the learning curve which has massively changed, assuming you have somebody good with your best interest that is doing the right thing and the right activity for you. I just recently had first couple of students myself, my whole context for them was just to say, “What is the thing that you want?” I think it’s fundamental for people to take that on, make that commitment.
Even our mastermind, it’s in a little different way but we get coaching from all kinds of different people because they have that same interest to help and they also have that same skill to be able to help. I think at the very beginning, whether it’s literally just hanging out at the local meeting or you hire somebody like the Cory’s of the world, you are an amazing coach and amazing thinker in that space. I think people should take it seriously.
If they’re going to put that time into it, they should have the best education, the best skills and also it’s going to cut that amount of time and the mistakes down a lot. You’re still going to screw stuff up but I think it’s awesome.
Cory: It’s almost a shortcut, if you will, to get what you want. It tends to be a lot faster. What are you most grateful for, Nathan?
Nathan: I’m grateful truthfully to be on the planet, be born in the United States, have wonderful family. I think people and myself included, we’re so quick to jump to being frustrated by blank or you can let somebody cutting you off in the middle of the highway completely take you out of this otherwise perfectly good day. I have this line that says, “Separate the emotion with the activity.” If you can separate the emotion that just drove you and why with the activity of, “We’re just driving and we’re fine.” Don’t be annoyed. It’s no big deal.
I try to be present of that in my own self. Also, if I’m in a negotiation, I can separate those two things because I have made it my priority in my own self so I can separate the emotion and the activity. To use Tony Robbins’ language, I can look into those conversations better because I took the time to be aware of myself and I’m grateful for that opportunity. I’m grateful to be in front of you to buy your house or whatever that is and appreciate every single one of those things.
Cory: That’s really presence on another level of really understanding who you are first and then why you have the ability to serve someone and help them be happy and grateful and thankful. If that’s the product, that’s the vehicle, that’s what your price is, what gets you up in the morning? If you had to summarize it, why do you do what you do? What makes you get up in the morning when you put your feet to the ground and you’re excited? Why do you do what you do?
Nathan: There is a couple parts to that question. It’s my kids and an opportunity to put them in a position. I don’t want them to be spoiled but I want them to have every experience in life and opportunity, whether that’s travelling, or trying new food, or having a dance class, or jiu jitsu class for my son or whatever that might be.
Cory: How do you not spoil them and give them all the opportunities?
Nathan: We talk about it, I really try to open it even with my six year old or my three year old and we say, “Hey, listen. This is special. We’re going out to dinner tonight which for you feels like a normal night but for some people this is not normal. They don’t get to go, ever. Let’s take the moment to say thank you for this meal, thank you for this opportunity.” For me, when I think about it, I think about it within my business, I have certain goals to hit. I have certain income goals as well.
I want to have a farm and a beach house and my Kansas City house, those get me fired up. I want to have opportunity with my wife to travel and we homeschool for that reason too so we could literally pick up and go wherever, whenever. Lastly, early on in my Church life and experience with God was doing a lot of mission stuff and my heart’s in that. I love to go. I love to put my money where my mouth is.
We’ve been able to see this increase in our income. I want to take those times. I want to be able to not only support other people’s mission, stuff, but I also want to find ways to create my own and help and have an impact in that.
Cory: That’s good, man, so good. How can we serve you, Nathan? What can we do to help you? What do you want to accomplish right now? What’s the way that we can get in touch with you? What do you need right now? How can we serve you?
Nathan: I appreciate you asking that question and I appreciate again having this time with you too. For us, bridgeturnkey.com is our website. Typically, we sell the houses before they hit the website. If you’re looking for houses, you can just contact us through that link. It’s there and we’ll have a sales call and that kind of stuff. We really try to get to know the clients. We don’t just want a bunch of people. We want to have the right clients, it’s a great fit, win-win for everybody.
Secondly, really just people interested in turnkey real estate or in funding deals, that’s really what we’re looking out right now as we grow. We have a lot of opportunity that help people build wealth and freedom through real estate which is what our mission is as a company at Bridge. We want to help those clients do that, whether that’s funding deals through their higher rates or buying turnkey houses. That’s it.
Cory: I really appreciate you, acknowledge you for taking the time to be on here, sharing some of the things that are really deep and also things that are some of your success principles that have helped you get to where you are today. I know that some people that are listening right now, it may have been one or two things you said that you didn’t think was such a big deal, that may have really unlocked something for them. I appreciate you doing that.
I also want to just encourage you, how cool is it to be able to have all this freedom, homeschool your kids, have this life that so many people would just really die for and yet you’re still really present at the moment that you’re really grateful for that and realize that that’s a gift. I just want to encourage you, man, that as you continue to be more successful, I know you will even get more successful, that you stay humble because it’s one of the coolest things, I think, about your personality. You have this cool intensity but yet you’re really chill and seem like you got things on this even kill.
I learned a lot from you just in this short time. I’m going to put everything in the show notes. I’m looking forward to seeing you in San Diego if you’re going to show up.
Nathan: Man, I’ll be there. I look forward to seeing you as well, my friend.
Cory: I’m going to be there the whole week. Whether or not we’re in that same group one, two, three, or four, whatever, I’ll still see you.
Nathan: Sweet. I look forward to it.
Cory: Alright, Nathan. Make sure you’re on the next Real Estate Investing Profit Masters Podcast series. We’ll bring on another incredible guest. Thank you again, Nathan. I appreciate you.
Nathan: Thanks, Cory. Take care.
Cory: Remember, be a servant. Bye now.
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