Jordan Smith was working as a consultant when he first discovered BiggerPockets in 2017. He started taking steps to get into real estate investing, but it was only when COVID hit that he really decided to focus on achieving FI—taking inspiration from Craig and Zeona (!).

In this week’s episode, Jordan gives an overview of his foray into real estate investing, breaking down the numbers of his first property and the mistakes that he learned from. Stay tuned for great advice on your first house hack, curating your social media feeds to trick your brain into learning, and how to get your significant other involved.

Listen to the podcast here


How To Focus On FI With House Hacker & Agent Jordan Smith

How are you doing, Z?

I’m doing good. In this episode, we talked to Jordan Smith, our newest member of the FI Team. One thing that he mentioned here is that it is better to get a deal than sit in silence forever waiting for a deal. This thing came up for me because I have been looking for the next investment property for my partner.

We had bought a bunch of new construction, and people were waiting around saying like, “Prices are too high. We are going to wait.” Now, new construction is $30,000 more in all these different markets that we look in, and everybody has this reverse buyer’s remorse where they’re like, “We should have bought.” It is happening everywhere. You need to sometimes get in the deal.

When the market is at the top, people always think it is too high until it is no longer the top, and the top keeps rising. People always think they are Warren Buffet and can try to predict the market, but at the end of the day, you can buy a cashflowing deal, and who cares. Jordan spits some absolute goals in this episode. In the end, when we ask him, “Do you have anything else to say?” Three times he is spitting fire with great tips and advice like brain hacks. Let’s bring him on the show.

Jordan Smith, welcome to the show. How are you doing?

I’m good. How are you doing?

I am doing fantastic. Z, how are you doing?

I’m doing great too.

Tell us how you heard about financial independence. Where did that come from for you?

I graduated from college in 2016 at Penn State. I studied Economics. In college, you are not making any money. I came out and I was making a good amount of money. I went into consulting. I was like, “How do I take this money and set myself up financially in the future?” I went online. I was searching, and I have always been a schemer with money trying to figure out ways to game the system.

I fell upon credit card churning, or as other people call it, travel hacking. I got through that by way of trying to increase my credit score and was diving into that. I hopped on Reddit and looked through these personal finances, and someone said, “Check out BiggerPockets.” I was like, “What is BiggerPockets?” I hopped on there and it is all about real estate.

To that point, I had thought that real estate was a scam and that people were always trying to sell programs. I was like, “I will give this 1 or 2 episodes. We will see how this goes and go from there.” I listened to 1 or 2 episodes. I was like, “This is good. This makes sense.” I listened to a couple more. Everybody was talking about Rich Dad Poor Dad. I read it and knocked that out in two days. I was like, “This is awesome.” That was my introduction to FI.

Like a lot of people, Rich Dad Poor Dad and BiggerPockets are the biggest thing. You graduated in 2016. You said you were a consultant. Can you share how much you were making?

I was making $80,000.

Always try to figure out ways to game the system and generate income. Click To Tweet

That is a pretty solid out-of-college job. In 2016, you were living in the life for a little bit. You are making $80,000. It is the richest you have ever been. When did you stumble upon BiggerPockets?

July of 2017.

A year after your job, you decided that you didn’t like it. One year career is very long.

What happened was I was at IBM at that time. Their pipeline was weak. How consulting works is you get projects with companies and sometimes you don’t have enough projects for individuals. I will sit on the bench and that is how it got started there. At that point, it wasn’t like I didn’t like my job, but over time, it grew on me the financial independence.

In 2017, you heard about financial independence through Reddit and BiggerPockets. What happened? Did you take any action?

What I did was knock out a bunch of books. I was reading Gary Keller’s, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, The 4-Hour Workweek, and all of the ones that everybody talks about. I was super excited. From there, I set forth a three-year plan. I pay off $25,000 in student debt in my first year. After that, I want to build a 6 to a 12-month emergency fund and save up for my rental property. Consume books, podcasts, YouTube, and social media got me going there.

How much student debt did you have in total?

It was $25,000.

There are lots of scams in real estate, and people should be careful of those. You did mention that, and it was smart of you to check it out for yourself. It is funny how BiggerPockets is becoming the Rich Dad Poor Dad. It was like almost every single person clear of those. Read his books, and that is as far as you want to go with Robert Kiyosaki. Jordan, let’s turn it back over to you.

From 2017 to 2020, I went to that three-year plan which was consuming books, podcasts, YouTube, and social media. I fell off in years 2 and 3. There was good and bad reason for that. The good reason was I realized that real estate investing and financial independence was the path I wanted to go. I figured I had to set up my W-2 jobs to work with real estate investing and financial independence.

I went to a different company, a smaller boutique firm in DC. That was about, “If you put forth the effort, we are going to promote you.” What that meant to me was a bump in pay, but it also means promotion, which was more valuable to other companies. I sat down with them. I went through the process and had a good and strong year. I was one of the top 3 or 4 performers in my class that year. I got a bunch of certifications to solidify my income for the next couple of years, and then promotion time came up.

I didn’t get the promotion, and it was a bummer. It is what it is, but it still set me up on a good path for financial independence. Coming off that, missing that promotion, I sat down with my mentor, and he posed the question to me, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” I said, “I see myself financially independent and in real estate investing.” He looked me in the eye and frankly said, “That is pretty immature of you to say.” I sat down and took that information. It was pretty disheartening to me, but at the end of the day, I realized why he said that. I used that information as fuel to the fire and motivation.

You were young and just out of college. Everyone always asks, “How do you find a mentor? I need a mentor.” Where did you find this mentor?

When I talk mentor, it is a corporate mentor. It is not necessarily a real estate investment or financial independence mentor. I found them through my W-2.

You are still at the consultant company at this point. What year is it that you are talking to him, 2018, 2019?

This was early 2020.

To clarify, he said that you were immature to think that? Was he putting down the idea?

He was. What was validating to me is that I have seen Warren Buffet and Mark Cuban say the same thing. For anybody that hears, starts by, and second-guesses that, there are people out there doing big things that think the same way.

House Hacking: If you want to do anything in your life, it’s extremely important to create that environment. Whether in person, whether it’s online, that really forces you to push yourself and go there.


In your whole life, you are taking advice from your parents, grandparents, coach, teachers, and all of these people that you view as your elders that fell into your life, but if you are going a different track than them, then why would you take that advice? Your mentor was working at age 40 or 50. Do you want to be working at 40 or 50? No, so why would you take his advice? Find someone who is financially independent at 30. Take their advice. Sorry mom and dad, I love you to death, but that is not the advice you want to take when they have not achieved what you want to achieve.

That is something I point out about agents all the time. When people are wanting to buy with an agent that has never bought property themselves, beware. If you are buying your first-time home, it is going to be your dream home forever, but if you are going to be an investor, you need to work with investors.

Coming off that conversation, it is a lot of fuel to the fire. After that conversation, I saw Brandon Turner online, and he was on Instagram. He talked about sharpening the ax. I was like, “It is time to sharpen the ax.” This is right when COVID hit. I was working from home. I no longer had a two-hour commute, so I had some extra time. I was like, “Let’s get into this.” I mentioned that I had fell off from reading, and I got right back into that. I read at 5, 6, 7 books right after that. I was re-invigorated with this energy. The last book I read was The House Hacking Strategy. That was eye-opening for me. It is a good book.

I was like, “This is what I need to be doing and locking in on.” A few weeks later, Craig, you posted something on Instagram about people achieving $1,000 in cashflow per month after they move out. I was like, “I can be financially independent in 2 to 3 years. Let’s lock this in. Let’s go.” I talked to my company, and I was like, “Can I move out to Denver?” I talked to my girlfriend. She was like, “Move out to Denver. I will move out in a couple of months and meet you out there, and we will do this.”

The thought process there was, 1) Working with you, Craig. You know the path and what is going on there. 2) The environment out here when it comes to financial independence is second to none. You talk about yourself, BiggerPockets, Zeona, and Mr. Money Mustache being out here. If you want to do anything in your life, it is important to create that environment. Whether in person or online, that forces you to push yourself and go there. That is why I call Colorado the Alabama of house hacking or financial independence because from a football perspective, every year, Alabama is pumping out top-tier football players. You can see the same thing here in Denver. It’s consistently top-tier individuals and financial independence that live out here.

I was thinking anywhere that you would have moved from was cheaper than Denver, and that might have helped you. I love that you were like, “It is about the community and the people I’m going to surround myself with.” Now, you are the latest FI Team member. I’m excited for you that you are doing what you set out to do.

I’m excited as well. I got to give a big thanks to you guys. You are huge in that. I appreciate it.

To me, I love hearing and getting messages where it is like, “I got my first house hack after reading your book and listening to your podcast.” It was like, “I made a difference in someone’s life I didn’t even know a few years ago.” That was huge. Jordan, you are well on your way to doing that as well in terms of being the newest member of the FI Team. Hopefully, you can help some people out, and it is more gratifying than achieving it yourself. I can tell you that much.

This whole time that you are reading, studying, and planning, were you saving? Were you using the FI mindset of saving half your income because you were making a lot?

I will talk about where I did good and where I did bad. What I did great at was saving. I had a 40% savings rate, which was awesome. I don’t know if it is bad. I will talk about the pros and cons. When I was in DC, I was in Arlington, which is a pretty expensive spot, I was paying about $1,900 a month for a studio, which was bad from the financial perspective, but it was good for me when it came that year to get my W-2 locked in and get those certifications. They gave me a lot of space to study and get ready for those, as well as they allowed me to sit down and carve out my routine. I was reading those books every night. I was listening to those podcasts. I didn’t have a buddy coming up to me saying, “Let’s go to the bar now.” Those are the pros and cons.

That is impressive that you were young and didn’t have that FOMO of going out to the bars and whatever it is. When I first got out of college in the first couple of years, I was like, “Friday and Saturday night, I got to go. I will even go alone. There is no way I’m missing out on a Friday and Saturday night of drinking.” It is good for you. I love that.

I do love the bars, but I will be the first person to say, “Let’s stay in. I got a 12-pack for $10 instead of us buying 5 drinks for $50.”

It is 2020. You have done your saving and paid off your student loans. You took the Set for Life strategy. If you haven’t read Set for Life, you have to read it. I highly recommend you pick it up. It is by Scott Trench. The first part of that book is you got to save your first $20,000. That is the hardest part, and it takes the longest, but that time is when you do your education, research, and all of that stuff. Many of you reading may be in that stage of the journey, and you get to the next level when you get into that first house hack. You start investing and start feeling that passive income coming in. Why don’t you take us into your first house hack, which I know that you bought later in 2020?

With the fire and motivation still under me, my thought process was, “Let’s get the highest ROI and get this done now.” I started working with Nick Monge, part of the FI Team, and devised a strategy. It was a rent-by-the-room, single-family house, 5-bedrooms, 3-baths at minimum, no HOA, and Western suburbs of Denver. That was the criteria I had set from there.

I’ll tell you where I made some mistakes was when I talked with you, I got a little bit too eager. I strayed away from some of the criteria there. At one point, I was looking for 5-bedrooms 3-baths on the East Side of Denver, which would have been harder to rent. I’m glad that I didn’t make that mistake. What I’m trying to say is to stick to your criteria there.

Originally, I also wanted a house with a second kitchen, which can be hard to find here in Denver. It goes back to what you say, Craig, “It is better to get a deal than to wait for the perfect deal.” The last mistake is I wanted to find a house where I could add sweat equity. The reason that it is an issue is it is better to land a house that is already in place, numbers already work, and you don’t have to put in that extra work, so you can focus on the processes for setting up your house hack.

In real estate, you have to look at those that are easy to fix but of high value. Click To Tweet

You are saying those are your three mistakes in that process, straying from your criteria, taking a little bit too long to get into a deal, and then you wanting sweat equity but figuring out later that it was better not to do the whole sweat equity piece. I want to elaborate on that a little bit as well because I have made this mistake myself, and I have seen others make it.

You hear on BiggerPockets and everywhere that you want to add sweat equity because that is where you are going to get the most appreciation. That works great in BRRRRs, flips, traditional and buy and hold rental properties, but when you are house hacking, it works way against you. The reason being is that 1) You don’t have your tenants paying for your mortgage. 2) You are shelling out what will be your next down payment for your next house hack in a year on rehab costs. It is setting you back more than it is bringing you forward. 3) The whole purpose of house hacking is to do it every single year. If you are spending this money on rehab and you can’t house hack one year later, you are shooting yourself in the foot. That is the whole thing. It is great that you realized that on your first one, it took me three. I 100% agree with that. What did you end up getting?

I toured 4 or 5 houses. I ended up landing on a 6-bedroom, 2.5-bath in Arvada, Colorado. The purchase price was $475,000 and appraised for $485,000, which was awesome. Down payment was $24,000 after a $6,000 seller concession. I’m at about $10,000 in rehab. I imagine that is going to go up to about $13,000 here. The ARV for that is going to be $540,000 based on a number of resources. PITI on a monthly basis is $2,271. I have reserves of $15,000 saved. It rents out for about $4,070 a month. The cashflow I’m looking at while I’m living it now is about $579, post-moving out and increasing the rents to summer rates. I’m looking at about $1,600 to $1,700.

Let’s digest it one bit at a time. You bought the property for $475,000 and appraised it for $485,000. That does not happen often, but you got $10,000 already baked in. You put $10,000 into it. What did you do?

I’m not super handy. I looked at things that were easy to fix but high value. The way I learned this is through a number of resources. Meet Kevin specifically was a great one. Go on YouTube, and you can find some great DIY projects. The first thing I did was convert a half bath to a full bath downstairs. That was about $6,500. I made some mistakes there. I tiled the shower. I couldn’t put it in a plastic shower pan. A plastic shower would have been good to go. It would have saved me $1,000, and then I used a recommended but not licensed contractor. I haven’t had issues yet, but I’m a little bit worried about coming down the line.

I wouldn’t worry about that. Would you worry about that, Craig? I never asked for a license.

We use unlicensed people. They are a lot cheaper and just as good. You still don’t have that assurance, but that is the only thing.

I’m still learning. I appreciate you throwing that out there. The next thing that I worked on and was my proudest thing was updating the kitchen. I put a new floor in LVP, painted the walls and cabinets, put a new handle, and put a backsplash. I did that all for $1,000. I’m super pumped about that. I updated the bathrooms for $500. I used Meet Kevin. It was painting, shelving, shower curtains, and cleaning. I did some internal updates like painting doors, adding in doorknobs, and that thing for about $500. We had some exterior updates for about $750, which I’m not 100% done with, and I expect that to go up to that $2,500 here shortly.

You took all of the things that sell a house, bedrooms, and bathrooms, and you upgraded all of those and the exterior, all of these aesthetic things that you can make good pictures with and makes it look a little sexier. I saw your kitchen remodel. It does look like you spent a hell of a lot more than $1,000 on it. Did you rent out the rooms as the rehab was going on or did you wait until rehab was over? What happened there?

I bought the property in August 2020. My focus was on getting the interior set up and working on the exterior. I got the interior done within two months, and once the interior was 100% done, that was when I rented out rooms.

It is easier to do the rehab without tenants there. Some people decide, “Let’s get tenants to the downstairs. We are not doing much there,” wherever there will be less traffic. Either way works. It doesn’t matter. Two months is not going to kill you. How did you go about getting those rooms filled?

I used a number of sites like Facebook, Craigslist, and Roomster. The original approach was I posted in October 2020 for summer prices. I made this mistake because I was too focused on rehabbing the property. This goes back to getting a property that is already good to go. You get a property that is already good to go. You can get your process in place, and you can be more cognizant of those rent prices or any issues you are running into.

I came to Facebook and Craigslist. I created a number of posts and commented on people’s posts. Another thing was my Facebook timeline is strictly curated to Denver real estate. It was easy for me to see the last post I commented on and comment up or post up from there. That approach failed from the perspective that I priced it too high, and people were not interested as well as there were some marketing tweaks that I could have made.

With my updated approach, what I did was use a community approach. What I mean by that is when I posted it, I said, “I’m looking for roommates for New Colorado Inn or an outdoor activity house.” What that did was get those people that are like-minded, want to meet each other, and are more likely to be interactive or be social.

That got people excited about coming to the house and wanting to live there, as well as I updated the prices for fall and winter pricing. That helped there. Some tips I can give people have pre-typed phrases for comments and DMs as well as whenever someone comments or DMs you, send out your qualifications right away, so you are not going back and forth and finding out later if they are not qualified.

I have filled a bunch of community houses, and sometimes it is a drag. You get 50 messages, but people are not responsive or don’t qualify. I liked what you said about pricing. That is important. A lot of times, people are stuck on a rate, and then they’re like, “I will wait 2 or 3 months. Somebody will pay it eventually.” In those 2 or 3 months, if you had dropped the price $25, you would have got somebody in, and you are losing out a lot. They don’t quite see that. It is important to be up on your pricing and get somebody in.

One thing that I will always do is I will price it a little high. When you go into a contract, it doesn’t work when you have rehab, but let’s say you want $700,000. Price it $750,000, and if no bites in a week, drop it to $725,000. Each week, keep dropping it until you get somebody. You get the highest price as quick as time as possible. That is a tip that I would always do. You keep mentioning summer prices versus winter prices. We get the idea that summer prices are more than winter prices. Do you have an idea as to how much more?

House Hacking: It’s better to land a house that’s already in place. The numbers already work and you don’t have to put in that extra work. So you can focus on the processes for setting up your house at.


I don’t, but I can give some tips to people renting out by the room. What I would do is I would look up studios in your area of comparable quality, see what they are renting for, and shoot for half of that. That is solid. When I say comparable quality, if you have a 1960s house that is in solid condition but doesn’t have all the extra amenities, don’t look for an apartment building that is top of the line, brand new, and with a pool. Look for an older apartment building or an apartment building that is not as nice and based it off that.

He is saying timing and getting an idea of when you can get the highest rate. In Boulder, which is close to Denver, but 40 minutes away, it is more of a college town. Their rent period is in August. The whole city moves at that time. Sometimes, if you are in this awkward time of like, “I have to rent it in October.” If you know that August is going to be a good time, maybe you make a shorter lease or something like that, so that your vacancies are coming up when it is expensive, because the difference can be so much. They are going to be $100 or $150 a room. It is good to ask other landlords about that so you get an idea if you are new to the area.

Jordan, did you do that with your leases because you signed them in October or November 2020? When do you have them expiring?

They are all expiring in May, June, July 2021.

He has got himself the spring and the summer to go ahead and get those fields. You have until September 2021 to get them filled in at premium pricing. Let’s recap. We mentioned the purchase price and the rehab at $475,000, $10,000 into it. Your mortgage payment is under $2,300, and you are making $4,000, including the rent you pay yourself. You are making $1,700 or so above the mortgage, which is incredible. How much do you have for reserves on that property?

It is $15,000.

Can you explain that approach? Some people like to set aside a monthly amount, but what you are doing is different.

This is all based on something I heard from you that is from Scott Trench that your first rental property should have $15,000 in reserves, and every property after that had $10,000. That is the approach I’m going.

That is a very wise approach. That is even more conservative than the approach of, “Take $300 or $400 out each month.” Do you count that $15,000 in reserves as a part of your down payment? You would want to count that as a part of your initial investment.

I don’t, but that is an interesting idea.

Think of your $15,000 instead of paying $400 a month. You are investing a $15,000 lump sum, which is a good return on investment. I haven’t done it out, but that’s off the top of my head. $4,800 over $15,000 is almost a 30%. It is a wise move.

I do that when I’m running numbers where I do a percentage off the rent, but I don’t track it that much. I have never had to pay too much at once. You have had bigger problems than I have, Craig. Even owning ten properties, it is $1,500 thing here and $5,000 there, but I have never had $15,000 at once. Maybe I’m lucky. In general, I find that I can spread out one amount of money through all my properties. I move it around when I’m ready to buy the next thing or if that is not smart, I’m going to shut up.

There are different ways. Whatever floats your boat or whatever works for you. People like to consider maintenance reserves. When you are calculating your numbers, you can’t exclude them because they are a thing. Most people that are investing in real estate and want to achieve financial independence are not spending the extra $300 a month. They are reinvesting it anyway. You get to a point where you hit financial independence and it doesn’t matter if you have to spend $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000. You are wealthy enough to absorb those. Is there anything else you want to talk to us about this house hack that we may have missed?

As far as pricing and when it comes to screening and getting tenants in the property, and when it comes to the tenant qualifications, a great spot for that is Craig’s book or Brandon Turner’s book, The Book On Managing Rental Properties. One thing that I did tweak there is a minimum credit score of 700, but combined with having great qualifications with the price of the rent. What I like to do is to appraise the rent a little bit lower than what the market is. That allows me to get a bigger pool of candidates, and I’m able to weed out who I want in my house. That has been valuable to me. The individuals I have in my house are awesome.

I don’t know if this is an experience for people across the board with house hacking, but everybody in my house is a great person. We all get along together. I’m super happy about that. One of the biggest compliments I overheard was my girlfriend was talking to one of the roommates, and he said to my girlfriend like, “I love living here. I love the people in this house.” That is awesome. I hope everybody else gets that and can take something from that.

They are even better at overhearing your compliments because they are genuine and they are not like sucking up to you trying to get a decrease in rent.

You have a natural client pool because if these people are seeing what you are doing with house hacking, maybe not all of them will have that way of thinking. 1 or 2 will be like, “What are you doing? I want to try that,” and you sell to your tenants. What will you be doing differently on your next one? I’m curious now that you have made some mistakes, seen how it goes, and you are planning for your second. What might you be doing differently this time around?

I took my lessons learned. I applied that to my girlfriend’s house hack that she bought. I’m going to do what she did. It is a place where everything is completely done. We don’t have to worry about it, and we are not going to do any rehab. That is the biggest takeaway from a house. I find myself every week working on different stuff, and I’m like, “If I had bought a house that is ready to go, I don’t have to worry about this.”

One thing I want to caution everybody about is be careful of the older houses that have been flipped and seem turnkey. Make sure you get that inspection and make sure they are inspecting the electrical, plumbing, and all that. I have had countless people, including myself, have tons of issues with lipstick on a pig.

For those in the process of their first house hacking, one of the biggest things you can do is create habits and schedules to make sure that you're moving towards your goal. Click To Tweet

My girlfriend has a house hack, and we are dealing with a plumbing problem, where the plumber put the toilet only covering half of the hole. You can’t flush because it is half capacity. Now, they have to jackhammer in to make the toilet fits. There are a handful of issues like that. I want to caution you there.

I bought a house like that a few years ago too. When we did the inspection, it needed a roof, water heater, and a furnace. I was like, “What the hell did you do? Did you do anything?” All he did was flooring and put in some appliances, and I’m like, “What the hell?” He was hoping nobody would see that, but it was rough. I got a great deal.

Jordan, what was the strategy there? Are you double-teaming it and getting two a year between the two of you?

That is the exact strategy. Two a year between the two of us for at least the next 3 to 4 years and build our portfolio from there.

I love that strategy because if your girlfriend can get a house that is half as good as yours and you can cashflow $800 a month, you are starting to build that passive income, and if you do end up getting together and having a family, the 2 of you together won’t spend as much as the 2 of you individually. It is 1.5 times. You are able to move so much quicker if you and your partner can both do it at the same time. Any other words of wisdom before we go into our final part of the show?

I want to talk directly to the individuals that are looking at their first house hack. One of the biggest things you can do is create habits and schedules to make sure that you are moving towards your goal. I know Craig that there is a thing you have about how discipline trumps motivation. My thought process is habits eliminate decisions.

If you set up habits for yourself each day where, “I’m reading my book, listening to the podcast, and doing this to make myself better at this time.” It is no longer decision about, “Are you going to get better? Are you going to further yourself towards financial independence and real estate investing?” It is a matter of when you are going to get there because you have that habit every day.

Some of the things that helped me was The Five-Minute Journal. You write down three things you are going to complete for the day and you look at them in the afternoon. That is about accountability. Can you look yourself in the mirror and say, “I did what I said I’m going to do. I got better?” Also, working out and meditating helps there.

I talked about finding a community in person. Meetup.com is a good resource for that. Social media is huge. That is how I formed my knowledge base, and that is going to be huge for you. In my case, it is a mentor. There are going to be friends and family that are going to knock you for real estate investing or financial independence, but seeing these other individuals do it and having that community around you pushes and helps you achieve your goals.

Both of my friends are real estate investors or FI. It is unusual for me to talk to anybody that doesn’t have that lifestyle, and I forget that that is not the norm. You get to a place where those are all your people. It is helpful for me when I’m analyzing a deal or stretching myself in trying something new that might feel risky. To call a couple of my friends and say, “What do you think of this deal?” Having that community is everything. It has helped me be able to move forward. I’m glad you were mentioning that.

I want to highlight, Jordan, what you said, “Habits eliminate decisions.” I have heard of that before, and I love that because it is so true. Decision fatigue is a thing if you have to make a decision on everything. That is why Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs wear the same thing every day. They have one less decision they have to make.

It sounds like you do The Miracle Morning based on the things that you like to do. Do The Miracle Morning and that would encompass everything, and there is no question of, “Are you going to read? Are you going to meditate? Are you going to write?” That is gold. Is there anything else? I want to bleed everything out of you at this point.

I want to touch on two other things. The first thing is to trick your brain into learning. I’m a Millennial, and I’m sure there are a lot of Millennials and Gen Z who are reading this. Not a knock against older generations, but I’m sure older generations read this too. Curate your Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook to focus on REI. It is similar to what I talked about when it comes to building that community.

What it does for me is when I go on Instagram, I’m learning, forcing myself to learn, and tricking my brain even though I didn’t necessarily go on Instagram to learn something. What I will say coming off that goes back to the financial guru and a lot of scams. I find a quote that I learned to be so much true sometimes, “Take it with a grain of salt.” Instagram is a place where a person that has done one marathon gives advice to a person that has done 25 marathons. When you follow people, make sure they are people that are in the position you want to be in and are credible.

The last thing I want to talk about is I hear a lot of people asking, and I have seen on forums, “How do you get your significant other involved?” In real estate investing, you can get very passionate about it. l know I am. Don’t be overbearing. Sometimes, your significant other is not 100% into it. Have casual conversations, listen to podcasts when you are on drives, and know what matters to them. I have read 10 to 15 books on real estate investing and I realized that there was one book that would resonate with her.

 House Hacking: The best thing you could do is look up studios in your area of comparable quality, see what they’re renting for and shoot for half of that.


I passed it onto her, and she read that one book. She was like, “I’m good to go. Let’s do it.” Find people that connect with her as well. I don’t want to seem like I’m overpraising people here, but that one book was Craig’s, and the one person that connected with Erin was Zeona. In real estate investing, there are a lot of guys. When I gave those two things to her, she was like, “I’m locked in. Let’s go.” That is the advice I would give.

We will have to have her on the show. It would be good to get a female’s perspective about this whole thing too. There are lots of wisdom there. I appreciate it. Let’s get into the final part of our show. Z, take us off.

Jordan, you talked a lot about all the great books you have read, but what are you reading now?

I’m reading The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller.

Did you like it? I’m not a fan. It is slow and boring.

Gary Keller does a good job at giving a high-level view of what is going on, whether it is real estate investing or being a real estate agent. That is what I needed both at the beginning of being a real estate investor and the journey I’m on.

Have you read David Greene’s book SOLD? I feel like it is the same idea. David didn’t do that intentionally, but it is better. It is digestible and easier to read. That is my experience so far.

I haven’t read it.

It is smart to read all these real estate agent books. Ninja Selling is also a good one that I would highly recommend for real estate agents. Z, you mentioned David Greene is the same thing as Gary Keller, but more digestible. That is the beauty of David Greene. He is a smart dude, but he can dumb things down so anyone can understand. It takes the smartest person to say the most complex things and dumb it down.

To be fair, Gary Keller wrote that book several years ago. The book is a check, but the stuff he is telling you to do is like, “We don’t do that by hand anymore. We have the technology.” It is a little different.

Jordan, what is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

It is pretty simple, “Winners never quit. Quitters never win.” On the real estate journey, there are a lot of times when you can quit and give up and say, “It is not worth it anymore.” You are never truly going to win and achieve your goals if you quit. Keep going.

I don’t know why, but it makes me want to say that if your deal is not your best deal yet, you haven’t had it long enough. It is one of those. Question number three. What is your why?

My why is we are here on Earth for a short period of time, and I want to make the most of it. I have been given a lot of opportunities in my life, and I want to make the most of them. I don’t want to look back fifteen years and say, “I should have done this and that.” I have grandparents that I want to spend more time with. I want to knock this out and be able to hang out with them whenever I can because you never know when certain people in your life are not going to be around anymore.

The fourth question and most serious one is if you were arrested with no explanation, what would your family and friends assume that you did?

I was probably at Philadelphia Eagles game number one and talking too much trash, and something happened from that.

Where can people find out more about you?

I’m on Instagram, @MeetJordanSmith. I also have the website MeetJordanSmith.com. If you are looking to build a community on social media, I have linked all of the personalities that I follow as well as most of the books that I have read. I have done some credit card churning as well. I mentioned that at the beginning of the episode. By the time this episode goes up, I should have all the credit cards that I have churned on that website as well. Feel free to reach out to me about real estate investing, house hacking, credit card churning, and anything personal finance.

It was great having you on the show. Reach out to Jordan. He seems to be an expert house hacker. You have done the research, completed your first one, and your girlfriend has completed one. Effectively, you have done two in less than a year in terms of knowledge-based buys. He is a great resource. Thank you so much for being on the show. We appreciate having you on.

Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

That was Jordan Smith. Z, what do you think about him?

Habits eliminate decisions. If you set up habits for yourself each day, you’re going to make yourself better. Click To Tweet

I liked Jordan and his girlfriend, and that was a great idea. Hopefully, we can get her on soon. I felt warm and fuzzy when he was bringing up how much we have both impacted their journey and influenced them. It is sweet that he decided, “I need a community. I needed to surround myself with people that are going to say yes and inspire me to keep growing,” rather than all the naysayers he was running into at the beginning. He made a move across the country to make it happen. He is well on his way, and that is inspiring.

Sometimes it is easier to wipe the slate clean, get all new friends, and get into all new communities. It is true. I would not say you leave your other friends behind the dust because you will still be in touch with his old friends. I know I am. At the end of the day, it is the majority of the people you have started hanging out with are people in the FI community.

It is no longer like, “Did you hear about this thing where you can retire by 35 or 40?” It is like, “What investment types are you doing? What is your real estate portfolio look like? How much did you make last year?” It is these topics that are taboo in the regular world but in our everyday conversations, which is why I love this community so much. Z, any more wisdom you want to spill?

I do not have any more wisdom to impart this episode. If you liked this episode, please leave us a comment. Like us wherever you are reading this, and we appreciate it.

Share with your friends if this episode resonated with you. It is such a huge thing. With that, we will see you in the next episode. We are looking forward to seeing you all again.


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About Jordan Smith

Screenshot (102) Jordan is a Senior Consultant in MorganFranklin’s Strategy & Transformation practice out of McLean, VA. He possesses robust functional and technical project experience via providing oversight, strategy, and leadership for a variety of strategy, business, and digital transformation projects as a project manager and change management lead.

Jordan has led efforts to help organizations analyze, document, and implement regulatory change, data analytics, process re-engineering, and change management initiatives across their enterprise through the integration of best-practice methodologies and models. Jordan’s Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Project Management Professional (PMP), and PMI – Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certifications speak to his ability to provide formal project architectures, models, and frameworks that deliver the strategic vision needed to drive successful short and long term organizational change business outcomes.

His ability to successfully lead cross-functional, complex and highly matrixed clients ranging from American Airlines to Honda Automotive Manufacturing, Capital One, Constellis, and the United States Air Force has shown time and again that he values his client’s success above all else.