If you’ve been following my podcast like I know you have, then you already know that every successful real estate investor has fallen down more times than they can count. Failure is always an option. Success feels great, sure, but it’s only when we fail that we actually learn the biggest lessons. That’s why I brought Nick Aalerud onto the Real Estate Investment Profit Master Podcast. He didn’t become a profit master overnight. He had to lose $400,000 first before he learned the ins and outs of this business. And the advice he offers today will be invaluable to all of you up-and-coming investment masters listening in.
Nick used to be an investment banker in Boston, and he’ll be the first to tell you that the job sounds way more glamorous than it actually is. The grind quickly turned into 80 hour work weeks, and no one can sustain that for too long. As a joke, Nick answered one of those late night real estate infomercials. And while it may not have been the most fruitful decision at first, it ultimately changed his mindset and put him on the path to becoming the real estate investment master he is today.
Today, Nick talks about exactly what turned him into an investment master. We get into all the nitty gritty, the good and the bad, and you’ll never believe how a Las Vegas hypnotist and a bottle of shampoo changed Nick’s working attitude. Because you never know what will be your inspiration or your motivation, you just have to be sure to take ownership of whatever it is that inspires you. Tune in now so you don’t miss out on how you can turn your failures into your real life investment inspiration.
3:35 – Why can’t Nick grow a beard?
4:00 – Nick breaks down his real estate expertise
4:57 – What made Nick get involved with real estate investing?
7:01 – Who was Nick’s biggest influence in real estate?
12:21 – Nick’s big breaking point
21:20 – Nick shares his biggest and best investment strategies
24:41 – The greatest lesson Nick ever learned
29:14 – Nick’s favorite motivational quote
31:15 – Nick’s favorite books
33:10 – What apps is Nick using right now?
38:03 – Nick thrives off 5 hours of sleep
38:47 – Nick’s morning routine
43:19 – What is Nick most grateful for?
44:55 – Nick recommends finding a mentor sooner rather than later
50:22 – Nick shares how his motivation in this industry evolves with him and his business
51:40 – Get in touch with Nick on Facebook
Links and Resources:
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki
Cory: Are you there my man?
Nick: I’m here, Cory.
Cory: How are you doing brother?
Nick: I’m doing awesome. It’s a balmy 30 degrees here in the Boston area and just hanging out here with my sweatshirt, in my Patriot’s gear, in case I don’t get this in.
Cory: I love it. Those that are listening right now, Nick Aalerud.
Nick: Aalerud, you’re good, double “A” is fine.
Cory: It’s close. What’s your lineage, Nick?
Nick: I am Norwegian and Swedish.
Nick: I’m like a Viking but I can’t grow a beard, I’ve been trying.
Cory: That’s a small one, right. I appreciate, you taking the time to be on here, Nick and I know you are going to give us some good tips and some strategies on what you’re doing right now. Why don’t you go ahead and we’ll have this in the show notes of course but can you lead off here with what’s your area investing in real estate that you consider as your expertise right now?
Nick: Sure, absolutely. We’re investors here mainly in Boston North markets. So North Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire markets, primarily. That’s our fix and flip or wholesale, that’s kind of our big presence. We do have some buy and hold stuff in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, that’s kind of what we’re focused now.
Cory: Got it, okay, so you’re dealing right now fix and flips, wholesales, you’ve done some buy and hold. I believe you’re going to start a property management company as well.
Nick: That’s correct.
Cory: And then you’re also have had a short sale business running for quite some time, correct?
Nick: That’s it too, that’s it, yup, you’ve got them all.
Cory: Am I missing another one? Oh yeah, multifamily too. What made you want to get involved with real estate investing, man?
Nick: Well, the quick story is, I was an investment banker here in the Boston area. It sounds way more sexy than it was, I was more in the custody level. They had me working 70/80 hours a week. I love the people I worked with, which kind of kept me there, but they had me working holidays, in foreign trading, and all that stuff. It was bare, and I remember, it was actually a board game I was playing with a couple of buddies of mine. It was the game of Risk, which a lot of us entrepreneurs know.
Cory: I love Risk, man, I love it, yes.
Nick: They were people who were good at Risk and it’s unfortunate because everybody kind of gangs up on you to get you out first, right. So, as a joke, I turned on some late-night TV, that was 2:30 in the morning and I there was an infomercial for $49 to learn about real estate, pennies on the dollar.
Cory: Who was it?
Nick: John Beck – John Beck’s, Tax Lien, Free & Clear Real Estate System. Though I didn’t know anything about real estate at that time, but as a joke, I picked up the phone, I had my buddies watch me. I’m like, “Guys, look you forced me to order in late-night infomercials, I don’t know what you’re doing.”
So, I bought this binder and it came in the mail, I was like, yeah, this is kind of cool. I started to remit and didn’t know what tax things were or how real estate investing was. It said, hey, if you’re serious about real estate investing, when I got to the end of it, call this number. I guess I’m serious, I called that number, and that was the best salesperson in the world. Got me to take out three credit cards from my first like $6500 boot camp over the phone weekly sessions.
I did that for eight weeks, learning all the basics and I honestly didn’t get that much out of that mentorship, but what I did get out of it is they made me read the Rich Dad Poor Dad book. That’s what changed everything, as a banker, as a former – it just changed my old mindset, changed my world and I knew that businesses in real estate is where I wanted to head for sure.
Cory: That’s awesome.
Nick: The longest version, which we don’t have to get into today, because you’ve already heard that.
Cory: No, I want to hear some more of that. Did you have an influence at all for investing besides John Beck? Did you have anybody else that’s more of the – that was more your teacher and educator at that point, but did you have anybody else that was influencing you from investing?
Nick: Yeah, you know what, my best – I’m going to say Kiyosaki, but I’m sure, a lot of people – a lot of your former interviews have said the same. Robert Kiyosaki, as far as changing the mindset around and honestly some of your stories, Cory, I had a really tough start at real estate where my first five deals, I kind of lost everything and I started weighing the hole.
I was going to quit everything at that point. We don’t have to give that story unless – I know we don’t have time today to give them that story. Marshall Sylver was actually the guy. He was another guy, he came in to town for the learning ed that sold three-day weekend called The Turning Point and I went there and honest to God, the guy is an entertainment hypnotist out of Vegas. You might have heard of him.
Nick: He changed my world. He made me take ownership, accept that everything that happened was because I let it happen and I made decisions and wasn’t informed enough, and I wasn’t informed enough. Once you take ownership and you have that master program, you can kind of spin off anything, you just – okay, what do I learn from this, where’s my next failure, what do I take from this and succeed. He has probably been the biggest influence for sure.
Cory: Wow! That is crazy. I do know Marshall pretty well. We talked on Facebook several times and I actually have a great story along these times. Maybe, we’ll see each other again, we’re in the same Mastermind group together, like the Genius and I’m excited that you’re part of the CG, man. So, we’ll have a conversation – Marshall, about Nobu and Marshall Sylver, great story, but yeah, hypnotist. Back on the day, I think it was Jay Leno and maybe even Carson, I don’t know if Pete’s been around for a while.
Nick: He’s very old and he has less hair than I do. So, it’s great.
Cory: Great hypnotist and, obviously, someone that continues to have a lot of influence and success, and Erica, his wife I remember – we’ll just have to tell the story one of these times whenever we see each other again, Nick. Did you have a breaking point because a lot of people, they do have a breaking point before they kind of moved into being an entrepreneur or being into this place of where it’s like – I want to quit working for somebody else which is the whole premise of the Rich Dad Poor Dad, I’m a big fan of, taught me a whole bunch, probably one of the pivotal books in my life as well, on learning how to basically have you work in the place of businesses and like the Cashflow Quadrant. Not being an employee, not being self employed but really being in the business quadrant, creating a business and the business starts to basically serve you instead you serving the business or you serving someone else that’s building their life and dreams of the business and so you’re not fulfilling your aspirations, dreams, and goals that God has given you.
Did you have a breaking point that kind of pushed you over to being an entrepreneur?
Nick: Yeah, I did. So besides, obviously, working at the bank, while I loved it but the work was kind of a grind and with the overworking. Now, I knew, after reading those books at real estate and business were my way out. I remember the actual day, I had finally gotten back in the real estate after my first terrible five deals that went terribly wrong and I was doing a deal in Somerville MA, which is kind of a conversion market just north of Boston.
My first contractor helping me out and I also had a private investor on that deal, a family member. They knew that I almost knew what I was doing but not quite. I remember those – the contractor themselves, trying to manage this project while working that 60/70-week job, and I remember, the only contractors that I could find that were actually not trying to screw me were the ones that if I didn’t respond to their text or call that day, I would get voicemails like – I don’t do business this way. I need people to show up and answer my calls when I’m calling.
Cory: I’m an investment banker most of the day, right. I’m doing this on the side but you don’t, obviously say that, right.
Nick: Right, I was kind of keeping that to myself at that point. I’ve made a decision. I was a real estate investor, not a banker, I was doing the bank on the side job. That was like kind of my new mindset.
I remember, I was just getting screwed left and right by these contractors and, of course, my family member, the investor, they also were having some trouble because of the delays and that was really where I said – you know what, if I’m going to – I either got a S-H-I-T, you’re going to have to pot at this point.
Cory: You know what, let’s try – this is a good segue because I normally ask you about what’s working for you but I want to dig more into the pain if you’re okay because I think that people actually learn a lot more from the pain than they do a lot more upon their successes. I know you have lots of success now, Nick. Can you talk about what some of your biggest challenges were in real estate? You said those five deals, can you kind of talk about some of the pain that you went through and the big challenges there?
Nick: Oh yeah sure. I mean the biggest pain was the starting out. So when starting out, I knew real estate was my way out and my first – I was mad at myself because it was fast forward and call it – I’m still at the bank but I started investing in a whole bunch of courses and I was mad at myself because I hadn’t taken any action yet.
Cory: Right, you bought a bunch of courses that you were setting on the shelf.
Nick: That’s it, exactly. I was throwing a page into a room but I wasn’t really getting into them.
Cory: Yeah, you weren’t really taking the time then you get another one, you get excited by another one.
Nick: That’s it, the brain shut-at-you syndrome, right. But I remember – you need an accountability partner and I didn’t really have one. So I remember, actually it was back in the day, I know you don’t believe me but I did have way more hair back and even slip it like this.
Cory: I think you’re a sexy looking, man. I love it, it looks great, man, own that.
Nick: I appreciate that. I want to give you another image then. Imagine me in the shower naked.
Cory: That’s cute.
Nick: That’s for all your audiences.
Cory: Okay, I want to take back what I’ve just said.
Nick: But I say that because honestly, I remember, that was literally where I knew I needed an accountability partner. I didn’t have one, so I literally just was walking around one day. I was in the shower and I happened to see my shampoo bottle on the side. But you know something, I am going to have a deal done before that shampoo bottle runs out. Like that was…
Cory: Are you serious, that was really your moment, you’re not kidding.
Nick: Yeah, that was the thing. Alright, every single day, it goes down a little bit more like, I’ve got to do a deal. I’ve got to do something with that.
Cory: You basically used the shampoo bottle as your accountability?
Nick: At that day I did, yeah. I didn’t really have a coach or mentor and all that. So, I should have, I mean, looking back, was that smart. I probably should have just grabbed a coach or mentor at that point and went for it.
Cory: No, I love it because you anchored something as a constant. You know that thing was – when you come back – it was basically a challenge. You challenged yourself.
Nick: Yeah, that’s exactly it. I remember, there’s a day that came when it was kind of towards the end, towards the bottom of it and it was kind of out of nowhere where there was this gentleman from Minnesota actually, had contacted me and sort of said, “Hey listen, I see you’re active in the social forums and I’m finding these undervalued pieces of real estate out here and we’re going to buy these, we’re going to put in tenant lease option buyers into them, they are going to pay 20% above market rent for these things and they are going to sign a purchase and sales agreement to cash out 20% above what we paid for them in three years.”
I didn’t know what tenant buyers were, I didn’t know what lease options were and I certainly didn’t know market cycles and mind you, this is 2005.
Cory: Yeah, right at the start of the recession.
Nick: Right at the start. Back then too, the biggest part about these deals, is they could legally get money back at the purchase closing because they had something called the payment authorization, totally sketchy and illegal now. But you buy a house for $400,000 sell it, turns around, gives you a check at closing $75,000 saying thank you so much.
Cory: Not on the HUD or on the HUD?
Nick: That was on the HUD, yup, it was all legit. Of course, it was 90% or 100% leveraged with financing. So I’m like – screw his, I’m not doing one of these. How many you’ve got, all right, I’m doing five, I’m going to do five-in-one…
Nick: Site on, seen some pictures, and all that stuff and what happened was – so we got, it was a 60/40 split deal and all that stuff so we basically, got my money from those closings, we were super excited, me and a colleague of mine here from the Boston market. He bought a few of his own. We had a call on a Monday morning for next steps and tenants and all that stuff and he didn’t show up to the call. As we kept looking into it, he and sort of maybe there were no tenant buyers, maybe he had sort of made up all these contracts and made up all these things and we were stuck now with 100% or 90% leveraged properties and we paid a property manager to try to manage them. We paid an attorney to try to chase him for a while then realized at the end of the day, this wasn’t going to work out. All five deals were lost to my own short sales, actually. One was a foreclosure, four were short sales, and I started as a banker – I was in the hole now. I didn’t know what a short sale was. I’m a distressed homeowner.
Whatever you put in front of me, I’m going to sign it. Like, just get this out of me, get it away from me and my phone was going off every 48 seconds because, you know, it was EMC Mortgage Corporation on auto call, right.
Cory: Oh my God.
Nick: It was terrible and I remember signing away, not knowing what I was signing. I signed $400,000 in promissory notes and judgments or the right to pursues. Of course, my credit was not completely shut, if they even checked it, I was still working at the bank, thank God at that time, but if they’ve checked my credit, I’d lose my job.
So, it was tough – I basically didn’t restart with no credit, $400,000 in the hole and now no cash. So tough learning opportunity there but that’s really where I mentioned before, I still had already paid for one of these Marshall Sylver events that I had and ever taken and I already paid for this, I might as well pay for it and that’s what sort of changed it and turned it all around.
When you’re talking about pain, I still knew real estate was my way out of the corporate world rather. I still knew that the “B” quadrant is where I wanted to be, eventually the “I”. So, I remember saying, I have no cash or credit, I’m going to start wholesaling. I met a local guy here in the Boston market. He was doing those kinds of conversions in Somerville Cambridge Market. He taught me what to look for. He taught me his rules. He eventually loaned me his contractor because I didn’t really know much about construction at that time.
I knew I had to get my rules down. As a banker, I can’t afford to lose any more money. What do I have to do to not lose any more money. So I started how to buy right, how to manage and negotiate effectively and if I can’t ever be swayed by these rules, because if I do, I’m going to get hurt.
Cory: You didn’t have any filters. You created these new filters that really were out of this massive situation that you went through. I mean borderline fraud, really, I mean the guy that was dealing with you and you trusted the guy. You had a deal that looked really good but at the end of the day, he wasn’t being truthful with you and that caused you a whole lot, even more with attorney fees. Then, whenever you took the Marshall Sylver class, you probably took on a new level of understanding of all these decisions I made, no one to put a gun to my head to do it, I was just excited about doing a deal. I was excited about making money and making this work.
Nick: I seemed to find I was almost out, so I had to do it.
Cory: Yeah, and maybe some desperation, which desperation is a great motivator, right. But sometimes, I said, jumping off the cliff, building a parachute on the way down, even though often entrepreneurs do that, it’s often not the best case scenario. And so then, Marshall gave you a whole new understanding of perspective, of taking orders and stuff, and then you start creating some new filters and setting up some parameters for where you weren’t going to get into that situation again.
Nick: You nailed it. Looking back on it now, Cory, you definitely relate with me on this. Without that experience, there’s no way I could be where I am today.
Cory: Absolutely, yeah, it’s a great point. Your pain is your power. People that talk about pain in ways – as a setback and kind of the victim mentality. It doesn’t really give you any kind of positive impact to able to do except something like that, which is not true at all. You are a product of your decisions and people argue with you all day long on that, I know you believe you are because often we make these decisions, often emotionally, not necessarily logically and it’s because we get excited and we want to trust someone, we want to work with someone and you learn.
Every entrepreneur I know, Nick, has fallen down more times than they succeeded – every single entrepreneur I know. Some of the most successful ones that I know, are not just making a lot of money but like, lifestyle, and assets in terms of what they’ve accumulated, but maybe not like, just making millions and millions of dollars, some of the most successful ones I’ve known have fallen the most.
I think that your pain is your power. So, you’re a product of that and I’m excited that you created those parameters, so then, you went to doing wholesaling and sounds like you’re doing some rehabbing now, and you’re doing some short sales. What is what we call a profit master investing strategy – what is something that has really impacted your bottom line that you can share, one of your best strategies for making big profit?
Nick: Absolutely, sure. Well, aside from what – I know, most every owner, your students, the CRM was obviously a huge accountability master in that type. I would say one of our big value adds was going that short sale route. So I met this partner, Maryann, she was a door opener and one of the local real estate investors associations here. She had somewhat of a marketing background. I certainly had a short sale background by that point with my own and had kind of the investment sense. So, we partnered up back then when the market was on its way, if not already at the bottom, it was on its way down and we learned the systems and we were able to provide that, I think as the in-house service solution for most sellers here in that market.
When it became time to meet with a motivated seller or a seller that needed our help, we have a lot of things and our tagline, even to this day is, even if we can’t buy we still can help. And I know a lot of people teach just make sure – get their offer in and make sure they – if it’s a “No” you leave that immediately, if it’s a “Yes”, then you take it right there. We’re not really about that, we’re about branding and kind of the slow presence here in the market. So, one of those big ads that we could bring on is – what else can we do. So maybe we can’t buy this house, maybe this is not a win-win for you but this is institutional listing, you just need a handyman to help you with some things. Do you need a mover? The biggest one is, you have creditors calling you. Well, how about if we step right in the middle of that, we have an in-house negotiation firm, we could help stop those calls and go through that – take care of that process with you.
That, I think, was one of the biggest moves that we made and to this day, obviously we do it for own deals and projects, that we’ve become a major servicing arm to other real estate agents and attorneys in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and Maine right now. I think that’s a huge value add that we brought to the table that really helped with our offer, helped with our give, help with our closings – that helps.
Cory: That’s great, yeah. So, you and I both are on the same path there. Myself having a lost mitigation company, short sale software, kind of getting started in the short sale market back in 2007, 2008. I know that road very well and I think that you create a value add whenever you are offering something of specialized knowledge and that’s one thing that people need and you’re doing it from a way where you’re actually serving what can help them instead of just what can help you. And I think that’s a big difference, man. I appreciate your mindset for that and in doing that because you’re going to win more whenever you’re serving others than just having the mindset of serving yourself.
Nick: Yeah, thank you.
Cory: What’s one of the greatest lessons that you’ve learned that helped you get to where you are today, Nick?
Nick: Greatest lessons we’ve learned – well besides the obvious one, which we’ve talked about, which is taking ownership of all your own mistakes and failures, I mean that’s an obvious one for me specifically.
I would say a big shift was made in my company when we started – really starting to track better. Similar to, I know a lot of your students, actually drilling down and finding data versus turning it from a hobby into a real business. I think that was another big shift that we had made. So, coming in from, “Wow, man, I just did 20 rehabs this year,” it’s not even about the number of rehabs, let’s talk about cost per lead and cost per deal and drill down to really how much – what’s a dollar per hour.
When you start tracking those elements, it really helped me bring it from the hobby into a business sense and along with that came a lot of struggles with growth with people. I brought in a couple of awesome directors right now, which I consider them partners, Rob and we have a direct reparation starting on Monday and we have an amazing office manager, an amazing bookkeeper, managing people after the tracking. That was a whole another set of lessons I never thought I’d ever learn. Not real estate, real estate is about people, not sticks and bricks. Running an office and running a team is also a whole different business than the real estate – in dealing with sellers.
Cory: Dealing with personality.
Nick: I don’t know what I’m going to expect the next day.
Cory: Dealing with personalities, because you don’t have control. Even as a manager, you want to have control over things but whenever someone gets sick, you don’t have control of that. When someone has a baby, you don’t have control over that. When someone needs to go take a vacation for three weeks, you don’t really have control over that. So, you have to learn a whole new set of skills of managing and you talked about going from a hobby to a business. Well, hobbies are fun and that’s why…
Nick: That’s a great analogy.
Cory: Hobbies are a lot of fun. You go fly a kite, you go race RC cars. You go go-karting. You go golfing. Hobbies are fun, right. When you are on a business, in the beginning it really isn’t what you consider fun in terms of like what a hobby is. It isn’t like you go in and you are smiles all day. You’re going to have to deal with being stoic. You’re going to have to deal with personalities and have empathy and that can be sometimes, depending on your personality, that isn’t fun.
Cory: One point I think that – when you start building that team, that’s when you really start to get excited about finding other people on the team that are good at certain things. Maybe somebody is really good at dealing with other people in the team and so, that person needs to be HR. That needs to be someone that’s really good on those personalities and checking them with those things. Maybe, you’re not really good at being a manager per se, maybe you need to have a COO that can manage those people. Maybe you’re just really good at being a visionary and maybe you need to be spending more time in growing the business and marketing and talking with your marketing guys.
Marketing people in the business tend to be real big thinkers and optimistic. Salespeople are, obviously, you want them to be pretty aggressive with not taking “No” for an answer but they also have to be very empathetic. A big part of sales is listening and for some salespeople they don’t want to shut up, right, it’s true. A hobby is usually a one-person, maybe two-person type of thing.
When you go to a business, now you have a whole other set of skills and everything else that you have to deal with an learn.
Nick: Yup, and that’s where my learning is happening day-to-day right now. You’ve clearly got more than that than I have. So, I definitely should take some leadership from you on that.
Cory: It is, it’s like there is a difference between having a hobby and a business. You have to hit it on the head. Which one is your favorite motivational or business quotes, Nick?
Nick: Favorite, well – don’t let perfect get in the way of better. A real estate broker told me that when I was – the brief stint that I was an agent in the retail firm before I became a broker and had our own investment firm.
Cory: I like that, man, that’s great. I love that.
Nick: Yeah, his name is Andy Wilson, and I remember, he was just talking about, I think it was an e-newsletter that he was sending out for something. I remember thinking of that – he didn’t have any idea that was going to have such a profound impact over everything I did going forward but we want to make sure every time we put out a piece that it’s as good as possible but you can still get stuck on, “Oh, is that the right color. Oh, we’re doing a new logo. Is that the right color. Is that the right wording. Is that the right size. Maybe we should wait another week and test it, trial testing it.”
Everything we do now, we go for that test. Like, is it needed – yes. What is the critical element here that we need to push before we just release it. Okay, we’ll make it better next week.
Cory: Right, that’s great. Is, Andy Wilson, the guy that actually said that?
Nick: His name is, Andy Wilson, he’s just a local broker here. He’s now retired, he’s still a sales agent here. But he was an incredible guy. He took over a brokerage because his Dad had passed and he was certainly new to management as well. He was an agent, he was a sales guy and he ended, literally learned management overnight and he became an awesome manager and I learned a lot from him in my three years there which is no longer. Anyway, he was a great guy, very inspirational guy too.
Cory: I’m going to share that. I love that, so don’t let perfect get in the way of better.
Nick: Yup, you got it.
Cory: Don’t let perfect get in the way of better. Man, that’s great, that is rich, man. I love that.
Nick: He might have taken it from somebody online at some point but I don’t know. I’ll give him credit for now.
Cory: Yeah, well I want to give you credit for it. What books do you recommend – I know you named one, Rich Dad Poor Dad, that really has changed the way you think and changed your life.
Nick: Absolutely. Well, the second one which you already references was, Cashflow Quadrant – moving from quadrant to quadrant as an employee to a self employed to a business owner to an investor.
Cory: Yeah they’re both Kiyosaki books, right.
Nick: Exactly, Robert Kiyosaki book. I was trying to come up with or finding one of my motivational books upstairs but I’ll tell you, the one on the business side, which I know you’ve read and a bunch of your students had too is, Traction. You know what the funny part is, I have not even heard of that book until about 12 months ago. Having been in the business now for 14 years. I mean, talk about something that I was missing the boat on.
Cory: It’s huge, it basically is a blueprint for running a small business. You have level 10 meetings, you have ways of accountability. You basically set up a way you can track progress and it’s so easy not to do that. So, if you don’t have KPIs, you don’t have the big rocks, the little rocks, the things that you’re trying to accomplish and haven’t prioritized those things, then it’s really easy to work on things just to be busy but not actually being productive. And so, Traction is amazing for running those meetings in a professional and a way that you can see what happens last week and correct course and change where you’re going this week and also keeping the big thing, the one thing that needs to move the needle the most, which usually is every week in your business.
Nick: Yeah, you nailed it, that’s cool. Those are probably the two best business books.
Cory: I’m going to put that down in the show notes as well. Do you have any mobile apps that you use on a daily basis? Are you more in the text side of things, Nick?
Nick: Well, I’ve got a few actually, I would go through pretty quick. One of them is one that you just recommended on Facebook, which I’ve now got in my team. We’re starting to use it, which is that ClickUp app.
Cory: Oh yes. Oh my gosh, ClickUp is incredible, isn’t it. It just came out, right. It basically has like Teamwork and Asana – and to do this in one app it’s so awesome.
Nick: Yeah, you kind of just threw it out there as a general comment. I’m like, I’ll check this thing out, and oh my God, it combines everything that we’re using and it’s free.
Cory: Yeah, it’s a pretty incredible – so cool. That’s awesome, and so, you just started using that then?
Nick: We just started and yeah, we’re slowly getting – I mean we’ve moved all of our To-Dos from our level 10 meetings. We’re trying to move them all over into that app so we can start tracking a lot better and we’re still learning. I mean that’s a tremendous amount of learning on that one.
A couple of other ones that I use, which are definitely worth noting is Five Minute Journal, you might have heard of that one. That was recommended by Tim Ferriss, so I kind of looped into that one which is literally a way to start your day. Three things you are grateful for, three things you want to get accomplished that day, and at the end of the day you look back and say, did I accomplish what I set out to do – a great little app. It keeps on target and it also pings me, remind me to do it if I decide one day I’m going to procrastinate.
And then the last one, which I just found to, maybe I’m the last one to find this. It’s called Texpand. It’s basically, I’m finding – if I’m on Facebook Messenger or Gmail or texting other people. If I’m texting people the same thing over and over again, and for me, a lot of it was like email addresses or my address, like a business address, anything like that, or even a response, you can literally program with a few different letters in your keyboard and it will fill it. It’s a way to fix your auto correct in a way more professional way where you can dictate what you want.
Cory: I have this app but I think it’s TextExpander.
Nick: You have an iPhone probably, right?
Nick: On a Galaxy Samsung, it’s Texpand, same thing though.
Cory: TextExpander, right yeah. So it’s great because like you said, you’re typing emails and then you hit the tab button and then it automatically will –sometimes it can dictate your phrasing, your words, and yeah, it saves a ton of shortcuts in there. Man, that’s great. I use that too but it’s called TextExpander.
Nick: Don’t take that, that’s going to be one of my gives at CG.
Cory: Okay, I won’t take it. Did you do the paid version?
Nick: Not yet, no. I literally just got this like two weeks ago but it has already saved me at least 10 minutes a week, which will add up to more and more as I use it way more.
Cory: Yeah, too expensive, the paid version, but it’s a great app. I totally love that app too. Cool, man, you’re using some great tools.
Nick: One of them, thanks to you.
Cory: There’s another one that you might check out, that I know you’ve heard of but let’s see here. Do you have Grammarly?
Cory: So, you have to check out Grammarly. It is an awesome tool for writing but it also gives you – when you make a misspelling errors, which is often for me, you just click on the word and it automatically gives you two or three different choices and it’s just so fast, so you can just click a button and it changes the word.
Nick: Oh cool.
Cory: So, it’s Grammar.ly.
Nick: It’s different than the Autocorrect, right.
Cory: Yes, it is different than the Autocorrect and you can also create, like if you’re writing emails and things like that, it gives you its own kind of text editor, if you will, and you can save those inside of Grammarly and then once you’ve written the whole email or written the whole paragraph or whatever, it will give you suggestions on better writing, better words to use.
Nick: Oh cool, that’s really neat, yeah.
Cory: It’s almost like a word editor, like a proofreader. Essentially it is an AI proofreader essentially.
Nick: That’s very neat, yeah.
Cory: Check that out.
Nick: Especially the writing that we do.
Cory: It’s awesome. Do you get eight hours sleep at night?
Nick: No, I don’t find that I need them. At one point I was striving to getting more sleep, and then I was like, why are you trying to force this. So, my Fitbit tells me I make 5 hours and 12 minutes average every night and I’m very happy that way. But if I get 4.5, it’s a terrible, terrible night.
Cory: Because you’re on that REM sleep, right. You got woke up during that pattern.
Nick: Yeah, but that’s my cycle, 5 hours and 12 minutes. I don’t know, I feel great.
Cory: That’s pretty specific, Nick.
Nick: I checked it this morning on Fitbit, that’s why. But I’ve got young kids, so we get up and get them ready and all that stuff every morning. We sleep at about 11:30-ish.
Cory: Okay, what is your morning routine?
Nick: Morning routine – I love these questions. Morning routine is obviously five-minute journal, it’s kind of one of the first things that I do. I do get up, I help my kids kind of get up and ready, get them out to the vehicle outside that’s waiting for them usually and they take off. I come back in, I do my five-minute journal at that point. I don’t check email ever, but I’ll do a quick check on the bigger pockets. If I get some writing done that early in the morning and then I’ll go down. I’ve got a gym downstairs in my basement here. So, I go down there and do my thing down there for 30-45 minutes.
I’m still a big fan of the at-home insanity workouts and P90X, all that stuff. It helps me down there and take 45 minutes down there. Come up here, I’m not doing one of my fasts, I do a lot of that intermittent fasting and if I’m not doing a fast, I’ll make myself some eggs or chicken or something that are high protein breakfast usually. If I’m on a fast, I’ll just have some water and a shot of ketones if wanted to do something like that. I’m all on to that stuff now and at that point, take a shower and get ready for the day.
Cory: You wake up to whenever you take a shower – give me that timeline.
Nick: Sure, I wake up at about 5:45 and get the kids up and out and I workout at around seven-ish or so and then from seven o’clock, I’m back up and between 7:00 and 7:30, I do the workout and then I’m back up 8:15 or so to shower and get ready for the day at that point. So I’m usually, by nine o’clock, I’m good to go usually.
Cory: You’re good to go, okay. So the kids are gone by seven.
Nick: Yeah, I know it’s a solid two hours here but I’ve kind of lived by the – do not check your email until you’re ready to get sucked in, you know what I mean.
Cory: Yeah, that’s true. That is really true, when you’re ready to get sucked in because it will. You’re always responding to other people’s urgencies.
Nick: That’s it, yeah. So the creative part of it, the building, or the growth – that’s also what I’m building our priorities too. If I need to build up more priorities for the day, if I have a creative or a content project, I want to try to get that done before 9:30 or 10:00 AM, that’s usually what I try to do and I can’t thank enough, since I’m on a public forum here. I mean, Rob, the director of sales and acquisitions, he’s now the guy with the sales team that is responding to incoming leads. That was very difficult, to try to grow the business when – you have to be on, waiting for the text, waiting for the email to come in – they’re awesome.
Cory: Yeah, giving away some of the responsibility is a huge part of growing to be a business owner, from hobby to business. That is a huge piece of it because you essentially are trusting somebody – you feel like you’re trusting them with your life. I’m trusting you with my life. If you screw this up, you could screw up my life, right.
Nick: Yeah, that’s a good point. Now, I’m even more nervous. No, I’m just kidding.
Cory: All of that is those stories that we tell ourselves. We tell ourselves that story over and over again, that is so crucial. The reality is, is that very few things are that crucial. We make them more dramatic and crucial than what they are. In fact, we hold our self back often from what we tell ourselves and often, what we tell ourselves is not the truth. The truth is really something different than what we tell ourselves. Because when we look at ourselves we’re critical and in that critical part, it makes an urgency and the urgency part makes stress and stress creates that more of a whirlwind of emotions and things like that. And so, by the time we’re letting something go, it’s just like so begrudgingly.
Nick: You nailed it.
Cory: I trust you. What should I do, what do you think you should do? I think you should do this and this, that’s probably what I would do.
Nick: You nailed it, man.
Cory: It’s tough, that’s a tough transition. I’m totally right there with you. What are you most grateful for?
Nick: Kids are always kids, right. So the number one – almost every single day, I’m learning new things every single morning, every evening with these kids. I started a little later in life and we’ve got a two and four year old. I thought I knew what I knew and learned nothing. I knew nothing with these guys. They are the light of my world right now and they’re pretty much – I’m grateful for every single day and then beyond that, I’m finding that, my gratitude is very similar to you and everybody you know too, definitely not for things anymore – the people around me. If my job does nothing else right now, to surround myself with just incredible, grateful, amazing people that inspire me day to day. Especially those people those people that I consider my partners. Rob, Laurie, Maryann, all my agents, short sale staff – I mean, those people around me at this point who are working their butts off every day just like we all do, they get up and do the same thing that we do every day.
I’m very, very thankful for those teams and I try to pick a different person every single day to at least reflect on for myself. What I should be better at is when I reflect on to myself and my journal is to actually reach out to the person and make something – hey, listen, I was thinking about you today. I’ve got to get better at that and I’m not – there’s a lot of things I could get better at, that’s a good one.
Cory: Work in progress, man, that’s great. Just the kids, the kids teach you a whole lot. You didn’t really talk about it too much, but at what point would you recommend hiring a coach or mentor or how important has one been to you in your life?
Nick: A hundred percent, I should have done it a lot earlier. So when I told you I was looking to a shampoo bottle as an accountability coach, that was probably not the ideal way to do it.
Cory: I love that story though, man, I’ll never forget the shampoo accountability story. I love it.
Nick: I actually still have the shampoo bottle. So I bring it around here, sometimes when I speak in events and stuff and I rode on it like just shut up and do it, 2005 and all that.
Cory: That’s awesome.
Nick: Yeah, it’s pretty cool. That’s where the whole tagline – just shut up and do it, came from. It spread like up here, right. I would say a coach and a mentor is good. Everyone if they want it, they all should get basic knowledge. I think that listening to these types of podcasts, aligning themselves with people locally in their market, going to biggerpockets.com – all these things are really good for people to a point.
So they get the basic knowledge down – hey, listen, real estate is kind of what I want to do. All right, oh wow, there’s like 15 strategies, what do I want to focus on. I think once they find out what they want to focus on, at that point, when they’re willing to kind of put themselves out there and commit a little bit, they should absolutely get a coach at that point to push them to that next level, to hold them accountable, to show them the process, to cut years and years of time off of their learning curves.
Cory: Yeah absolutely.
Nick: Any money that they pay for that mentorship or coaching, I mean people you know this. I mean, I used to complain about it too. Like, oh my God, $6000 for boot camp. Wow, $30,000/ $40,000 per mentorship, you know. Looking back at it, were all of them worth every penny I put into it? Maybe not. Did I give it my all on some of them? Probably not that either. But the ones that you commit to and the dollars that you put in, you get that back at least 10x back, and by the time it saves you, and the pain that it saves you, and the losses that you won’t have because you had someone leading through that process, I’m a thousand percent in favor, right.
Cory: Yeah, coaching is almost like the compound effect just for productivity and mentorship, it’s one of those things where if you follow who you are working with and you take action on what is being coached from someone that has been there and done that, and has gotten the result that you want and all that have been throughout there that you have spoken to their previous students – basically just like checking a referral for someone’s going to hire for a job like you would look at their referrals and call for referrals, and you found someone that is – you feel like you’re going to learn from and have good track records of success, then don’t try to recreate the wheel, be coachable. One of the biggest challenges for students, obviously, as a coach, I deal with students and we turn down students when we’re on a strategy session with them, if I can sense that they are not going to be coachable.
Don’t get me wrong, you have this type-A personality, where all these drivers and I can do it better, don’t tell me I can’t do it, I’ll show you – that all has a purpose but remember you’re working with the coach, you have to throw that out the window. We could throw all of that out the window. Everything that you have learned up to that point and you get to a coach, you’ve got to just put it on the shelf. You can go back and pick and up if that serves you whatever, but just be coachable. Once you learn to open yourself up to new ways of thinking, I may have said this many times, but one way that really changed my mindset when I spent time with Eben Pagan was, whenever I let go of control, I get more of it. That’s a brain explosion.
Nick: It’s a great quote too.
Cory: Yeah, but it’s one of those things where I didn’t think that. He had to express that. He had to say that, in order for me to have a refrain of what control really was. What if control was really controlling you instead of you controlling the thing. What if your belief and you controlling everything in your life, every piece of it – you can do it better than anyone else, you’re not going to give up responsibility, one-man show. I’ve delegated before, it doesn’t work. What if all these ideas of control was really controlling you from succeeding.
So these ways of thinking, like, those are different models. Those are different complete models that – if you’re not coachable, you’re not willing to – you’re not going to receive it. Because you’re going to go in thinking, I know better than you. I’ve done these deals. I’m smarter than you. I can work harder than you. You don’t know me. All these other stuff, you’ve got to drop the ego, you just have to come in with an open heart and an open soul, and an open mind and saying, “Man, I’ve invested in you. I’ve invested in this program. I’m willing to learn.” Now, let’s learn, right.
So, I think that it is a big value to someone if they’re willing to be coachable. If you summarize it, Nick, what is it – why do you do what you do? When you put your feet down on the floor in the morning to get going, why do you it, what’s your big “why”, and why?
Nick: My “why” has changed. You’ve probably heard that a lot too. I have a few – the first “why” that I had, I am obsessed, still am, don’t get to do it as much. Obsessed with travel and foreign foods and foreign, call it alcoholic beverages, okay.
Cory: Experiences, let’s just call that experiences.
Nick: Experiences, right. Anywhere I can go in the world and enjoy an amazing type, you know, I love that stuff.
Cory: I love that too, man.
Nick: The second part would be the kids, and then now it’s literally building my team. My team is – now, I didn’t realize that that would be a passion of mine but literally, the development aspect of being able to kind of turn someone’s mind around, my “whys” have definitely changed. My kids, the team, and of course, we’re all doing this to try to make a living and if with that living comes radical experiences everywhere in the world, and I can bring my kids along, that’s even better, you know.
Cory: That’s awesome, man, that’s so good. I love that too, man. Hey, if there’s a way that we can serve you, what’s the best way to do it? How can we get in touch with you? I know you have a podcast. I know you’ve got a successful real estate business. What’s a way to get in touch with you and how can my audience server you?
Nick: Oh that’s awesome. Hey, listen, they can all check us out at aarealestategroup.com, is the website. You can check us out on Facebook, I’m on there, Nick Aalerud and also AA Real Estate Group and we have a short sale mitigation on there too but definitely, thanks for the plug on the podcast. We have the Shut Up and Do It podcasts that broadcast here from the Boston area where we have motivational stories and people who’ve had struggles in their current real estate businesses. If they want they can check that out on our Youtube channel and our Youtube channel is AA Real Estate Props, that’s our Kindle, I guess you’d say.
Cory: We’ll put all these links in the show note. I appreciate you having me on the podcast. I think we had two episodes.
Nick: You’re right we did.
Cory: We have Part 1 and Part 2 because I wouldn’t shut up.
Nick: No, it was great. Our editor already said, “This guy is amazing. I can’t wait to air this. This would be great.”
Cory: Guys, we run into some stuff there. I love the fact that…
Nick: I’m grateful for you and to have met you too. I told you before, I’ll say again in the podcast out like, as I was already kind of in a good space, you put me into the next channel with what you’ve gone through, your challenges and where you are today. Thank you for kind of opening people’s eyes to what you do.
Cory: Awesome. Man, I appreciate you saying that, Nick. It really means a lot, your encouragement means a lot, your prayers mean a lot. I’m going into a testing for my – I have an annual thyroglobulin tumor marker and a TSH test every year. And so, that comes on Friday and I appreciate – I’ll put a post on Facebook to have some prayers. I appreciate you praying for that – coming up. Man, I love your story, some of the quotes that you put on here, I’m going to share. I love the one that you put for, “Don’t let perfect get in the way of better.”
Cory: Really great, man. So, I’ll put that for Andy Wilson and Nick Aalerud. See, I said it correctly.
Nick: Sure, you’ve got it.
Cory: All right, man. I appreciate you and we’ll talk to you soon. Thank you again, Nick, for being on here and thank you for attending Real Estate Investing, Profit Masters podcast. We’re going to bring some amazing guests like, Nick, on and we look forward to seeing you soon. Thanks, Nick.
Nick: Thanks, Cory, cheers!
Cory: Thanks, bye now, cheers!
Ask Cory A Question
Want to get in touch with Cory and ask him your most burning Real Estate Investing question? We’ve made it super easy for you. Just head over to our Ask Cory A Question page and start recording. Cory will play your question live on an upcoming show and answer it personally.
Who Do You Want To Hear From?
Name some folks I should get on the show! Hit me up:firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to get them on.
Did You Get Your FREE Investing Guide?
TEXT the word PROFIT (38470) to immediately sent Your FREE Investing Quick Start Guide!
JOIN The Elite Real Estate Investor’s Board of Directors
Please check out our website, realestateinvestingprofits.com for the “Down and Dirty” Ultimate Real Estate Investing Quick Start Guide download.