How do you achieve massive success? Give before you receive. Craig Curelop and Zeona McIntyre welcome Taylor Doolittle, a passionate realtor in the greater areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Together with Team Steady, Taylor has been able to sell 678 properties. The essential piece is to bring value to your potential clients for free. When you help walk them through the purchasing process, they will buy properties from you. Creating educational content is an excellent way to bring value. If you want to learn more, listen to this episode.

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Secret To Success? Give Before You Receive With Taylor Doolittle

Z-Money, how are you doing?

I’m doing great. Everybody has been sitting on pins and needles about this, but I finally got a car. I’m proud to say, Craig, that I did the Fi thing. I didn’t get a luxury vehicle which is funny because he mentioned in this episode, “The typical real estate agent with the slicked-back hair and the BMW.” I was like, “Damn.” I didn’t get a BMW. I ended up getting a Mazda CX-5, which is freaking fancy and still pretty affordable. I felt like I did the smart thing. The payments are paid for by a house that I bought in 2021. It makes me feel like it still was in the realm of having the house pay for the car.

You did buy the car and got a loan on it. What was your thought process there? I know a lot of Fi people think that it’s best to buy it in cash.

I can make more money with that money. It was $29,000, so that’s after all of my registration fees and taxes. I can take that and buy a house. I can do something more than that. I can make more than 3%. That’s my reasoning, but if somebody is like, “I’m going to be sitting on a lot of cash,” that’s different. It depends on what is your strategy and how optimized you are.

I used to be in that boat. I’ve never purchased a car with a loan and also never driven an expensive car. I’m thinking for my next one like, “I might do that.” You put $3,000 or $4,000 down. You got a monthly payment, but the car payments are so low-interest rates. I’ve got a fun, little story for you. I’m in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and our house does not have internet. I’ve been running around trying to find a good place to work. This coffee shop said they had work offices so I could shoot this show, but they’re not open.

Thirty minutes before, I’m running around trying to find a place. It so happens there’s this coworking space one block away, but no one was there. The door was unlocked, so I walked in. I was like, “I owe these people money. I’m trying to find someone to pay and there’s no one here.” We’ve got an awesome guest. Taylor Doolittle is a good friend of mine. He’s a realtor out in Minneapolis, but he doesn’t talk too much. He runs a real estate business here. It’s all about his journey, his life and how real estate investing has changed it. What did you think of Taylor?

It is a great episode. It’s everything that I love. There was a lot of depth. We talk a lot about purpose, vision and faith. It’s powerful, so I’m excited for people to read to the end. There are some good nuggets about how we goal set between the three of us.

The Final Four is good. We go pretty deep. He even almost cries a little bit. That’s always fun when you can pull emotions out of people. Taylor, come on the show.

Invest2FI has now partnered with RentRedi. It is the software system that both me and Zeona use to do property management for our rental properties. It makes things super easy. We can send applications, get background checks and credit checks. When tenants come in, they can pay rent automatically through there and submit maintenance requests to everything you need to do for property management all in one place. That is why RentRedi is the thing that we have done. I have been using them for years now.

We reached out to them for a relationship on the show. Again, I’m super excited to have them on board. If you go to RentRedi.com and use the code INVEST2FI, you will get 50% off your first six months. Sign up and use the coupon code. I can’t wait to see you there. Let us know and hit us up on Instagram or wherever and let us know what you think of RentRedi. It is amazing software. I use it all the time and you can access it from your phone. Thanks so much. Let’s get back to the episode.

Taylor, welcome to the show. How are you doing?

I’m doing good. Thanks so much for having me on. It’s super fun but also a pleasure to be with you.

I am so pumped to have you on. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. Let’s get into your story. You’ve got a fun one and I want to hear about where it all started. How did you first hear about financial independence?

It was never something that I grew up having people in my life that were big into financial independence. I stumbled into it by accident and it was the best accident of my life. My background is in tech. I worked at retail tech for probably 4 or 5 years. I was in the twin cities of Minnesota and got to a point in my job and my wife’s job where we’re like, “We don’t want to take our jobs any further. Let’s quit our jobs, go on a 2 or 3-month trip over in Europe, come back and figure out what’s next.”

The greatest things in life come from unforeseen opportunities, and you need to have the courage to step into the unknown. Click To Tweet

In my mind, I was like, “I’m going to the force and epiphany. This is my vision quest. I’m claiming it.” We packed up our stuff and moved to the UK, which is where my sister and her husband, who’s British, were living. We thought, “We’ll travel around the UK and Europe for 2 or 3 months, do the whole backpacking thing, come back and then automatically know what we needed to do next.”

What year was this?

This was August of 2015. We spent 2 or 3 months traveling around and started to run out of money because we started traveling with a decent chunk of savings, $13,000, which was a ton of money for me. I’m thinking, “We’ll spend this, come back and figure it out.” Bank accounts started dwindling and instead of coming home, we got one-way tickets to Sydney, Australia. We had friends that were living there that I had previously worked with. They’re like, “We’ll get you a job here.”

The thought was we’ll go to Australia, work there for 2 or 3months, come back not broke and then figure out what we should do. I ended up getting hired at my previous employer in Sydney, a couple of blocks from the Sydney Opera House. We thought we’d be there for 2 months and ended up being there for 1.5 years. Our 2-month trip turned into 2 years of being abroad.

As an experienced traveler, I want to highlight this because a lot of people think, “If I quit my job or take a gap year, I’m going to miss life. I’ll miss all these opportunities and I won’t be able to get back into the workforce.” What I’ve found is that when you live your passion, go out there, experience life and you’re in this rich place, all of these great opportunities come. Who would have ever thought you would get a job in Australia? You were on this path already, so these things opened up to you. I love that you were doing that.

The greatest things in life come about from unforeseen opportunities and you having the courage to step into the unknown and say, “Worst case scenario, I can come back and do exactly what I’m doing.”

In most cases, the worst-case scenario is the scenario that you’re in. You could always retreat to where you are. If you’ve got a W-2 job, go out and try to go to Australia or try your venture, you can come back and find another job. People lose sight of that. It’s the fear of the unknown that people are so afraid of, but that’s exciting.

There’s that thought of, “I can always dig a ditch.” What I mean by that is, “I’m hardworking. I’m going to support my family. I’m not above any work. Worst case scenario, I come back and I’ll get whatever job I need to do to support for as long as I need to.” I ended up leaping and it was a very transformational part of my life and then also my awesome marriage.

What was the job you had in Australia?

I was working at the Apple Store. I was helping lead the genius bar team at the Sydney flagship Apple Store. You would think that disgruntled retail customers in the US would be very unique. They’re not. They’re the same disgruntled retail customers in Australia, just with a different accent.

How many times do you have to turn off someone’s phone, turn it back on and have it working again?

Give Before You Receive: You don’t need to sell someone a house; you need to show someone why you’re the right person to help them through the process.

 

Over and over, it was a great experience because I was able to lead and work with a team of people from 30 different countries speaking 15 different languages. It was cool.

What caused you to come back to the US?

I loved my time there. I was having the time of my life, rock climbing on the weekends, working at Apple, skateboarding to work every day, but my wife wasn’t having as good of an experience. Every couple of months, we would have a conversation of, “What are we doing here? What’s our purpose here?” During one of those conversations, Sarah wanted to come home and I thought, “Sarah, my resumé is going to look great when I get home.” Then I was like, “You’re right. We should go home.”

We were 28 at the time. We wanted to start a family eventually but didn’t feel like we had a foundation for that to be a wise decision. We ended up moving back to the States in June 2017. I had coffee meetings set up with friends working at some great corporate tech companies around the cities, which I thought I was going to jump into.

Right at the time where we came back, my brother-in-law, who had been a real estate agent for about a year and a half, was at a point in his business where he said, “I’m on a team. I want to start my team. You have experience leading teams. You should try real estate.” I had never, ever considered it because I had never had anyone in my life to look at it and say, “This is what a realtor’s life looks like.” In my mind, I thought, “Slicked back hair, suit, drive a BMW. I’m not that guy.”

I talked to all my closest friends and family members, prayed about it a ton and was like, “Lord, you’re opening up doors. I’m going to start sprinting through these doors. If this is not the right path, slam one in my face, please.” Z, it was an opportunity. I’d never thought of it ever before. I’ll jump in knowing that I can take a year and if it doesn’t work out, I learned a ton. I learned that wasn’t what I wanted to do and go back to where I was. I ended up getting licensed as a real estate agent in August of 2017. I can’t imagine ever having another job.

You went from beautiful Australia to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

My wife is originally from Minnesota. We met at college in North Carolina, where we both went to school. As all good Minnesotans do, they call it the Minnesota boomerang. Minnesotans go out, grab someone, come back. That’s how Minnesota repopulates. We ended up moving back to Minnesota to be close to Sarah’s family. That’s where we’ve been for a couple of years after college. We jumped into real estate with Sam, my brother-in-law and he said, “This is what you do. Here’s this podcast called BiggerPockets. Listen to every episode and let’s go sell some houses.”

That was the start of your real estate journey. That’s a fun little start. You used some of your experience from the Apple Store and brought that over. There are so many good things that apply to being a real estate agent and business stuff. What was the first thing you did in your real estate business? You’re listening to the podcast. What is the first actionable item that you took?

Let people know what you're looking for, so if they run across something, they can send it your way. Click To Tweet

The hardest part about real estate or any sales job is not doing your job. It’s getting people to trust you to do your job for them. Me not being from Minnesota, I didn’t have a high school sphere, a big friend sphere and a college sphere to lean on and say, “I’m a realtor. Let me help you buy a house.” My background at Apple, unbeknownst to me, was the perfect segue into real estate. In real estate, I don’t have to convince you to buy a house.

If you cannot be homeless, you’re not going to be homeless. If you can buy a house, you’re going to buy a house. It was a big mindset shift for me to know that I don’t need to sell someone a house. I need to show someone why I am the right person to help them through this process. The big way that I started was creating educational pieces so I could show people the value that I could bring them for free, so it felt like a no-brainer for them to take the next steps forward through the purchasing process.

What type of educational pieces were those?

I did a lot of open houses on other real estate agents’ listings. As people would come through the door, I would start to have a good conversation with people and educate them. “You’re starting the process. I encourage you to start here. If you haven’t done this, I’d encourage you to do this. Would it be helpful if I introduced you to this person?” It was all about providing value and through that, people see the potential value that I could bring them through the rest of the process.

I finished reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. All the jabs that he talks about are bringing value. Eventually, you come in with a right hook you haven’t asked, but you have to give before you can ask or receive. You figured that out pretty quickly in the real estate business. Go to open houses, give value, make videos, put some cool posts on Instagram and give away all your stuff.

Even if you give it away, there’s a scarcity mindset that people have that’s like, “If I give away everything, then I’m not going to be different.” No, because there are some things you can’t give without using experience. When things come up that are unexpected like, “How would Taylor Doolittle handle those things?” That’s not going to be found in any Instagram posts that you have.

There’s a great Zig Ziglar quote that talks about, “If you help enough people get what they want, you’ll get what you want.” In providing that value, like you’re doing through this show, chatting about financial independence, you’re helping people get it. It’s valuable for them and rewarding for you, so it’s a win-win for everybody.

I want to make sure that we have enough time to hear about your real estate investments. We’re all agents, so it’s nice to talk about that and get other people into being agents come to us. How did you go from seeing and helping people buy houses to going, “I should probably do this too?”

As a real estate professional, you’re walking through houses every day. It made sense to me that, “If I’m helping people do this, it makes sense for me to do this.” Who better to be able to walk into a property and realize potential value than someone that walks through properties for a living? I got licensed in August 2017. In between August and the end of 2017, I made more money in my real estate business than I did the entire previous year working in my previous job. It’s like, “Game over. I’m sold. This is it forever.”

Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life

In April 2018, I purchased my first property with my wife, which happened to be a duplex with a sneaky third unit. I put myself out there talking to a lot of agents. I said to a friend of mine who was a real estate agent, “If you can find me something, you can represent me as my agent.” He came across something off-market, threw it my way, then I took the backseat as the client because he provided the value, so he was my agent through the process.

This first deal makes you go from homeowner to real estate agent to real estate investor. You got your agent by being like, “Find me a deal and you can represent me,” even though you were an agent yourself.

This was a close buddy of mine, so it wasn’t me reaching out to a bazillion agents. This was a good friend of mine who was also an agent who worked in the multifamily space. I said, “If you come across anything, then send it my way.” I was excited because through listening to the BiggerPockets, it clicked in my mind that whether you’re renting or you own a home, you’re paying a mortgage. You’re either paying your mortgage or someone else’s mortgage. It clicked. Buy a house. If you’re in a phase of life where you can have roommates and have people live across the wall, get roommates. It made sense to go multifamily for us.

Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life

That’s called house hacking. There’s an awesome book written on it. You bought this duplex. Describe the property a little bit.

There were 3 units, but only 2 of them are licensed according to the city. It was a side-by-side 1950s duplex with a walkout basement. Half of the basement was utilities. Half of the basement was a 3rd 2-bed, 1-bathroom unit. At some point in ownership, the sellers finished that to be a sneaky third unit.

How much did you buy this property for?

I ended up rolling my closing costs into it. I ended up purchasing it for $304,000 and then having the sellers cover my closing costs. This was in a suburb of Minneapolis.

You bought this triplex for $304,000. Depending on your market, this will be different everywhere. What was your mortgage payment on that property?

I ended up having to put 15% down because we needed a cosigner. I hadn’t been in my business for two years yet as a business owner. Shout-out to dad who cosigned with us. It made our mortgage payment around $1,650.

You’re putting about $45,000, $50,000 down. Was that savings through the prior 6 or 7 months of being a real estate agent?

It’s exactly what it was.

$1,650 is your mortgage payment. What unit are you living in?

There were long-term tenants in the two actual units. The bottom unit was vacant, so we ended up going into the property and renovating that bottom unit for us to move into. We’re doing paint, light fixtures, light kitchen rehab, installed a couple of egress windows, which we didn’t do ourselves, and moved into that.

I’m wondering how much of a sell this was to your wife. Going into the basement unit, was she into this or was she like, “What are we doing? I already followed you to Australia and back?”

I’m super married up. I don’t know how I swindled this. Sarah was totally on board. She was pumped on it. Financial independence is big for her as well. It honestly wasn’t a huge sell. Also, it was a walkout basement. One side of the unit had full-size windows looking out to the backyard. The basement didn’t feel as basement-y.

What were you getting for rents on the top two units?

This was years ago. I can’t quite remember when I moved in there. Both of the units were super under rent because the previous owners had paid it off, so they didn’t need high rents to cashflow well. I had to go in and have some fairly uncomfortable conversations saying, “You can’t afford this and super under market. The market’s here. Let’s meet somewhere here to make it a win-win.” We ended up getting $1,300 on one side and $1,200 on the other.

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That’s still pretty good. You’re making $2,500 on a $1,600 mortgage payment, plus you’re living rent-free. That’s the biggest component of it. I have a couple of questions surrounding these inherited tenants. How were these tenants? You hear horror stories about inherited tenants. Anything or were they just chill?

They were super chill. One of the ladies had lived there for 27 years. If she had owned the place, she would have had the mortgage paid off. She was sweet, but an older lady had been living there. It felt a little bit like there was this perception of, “Who’s this young child moving into the property, telling me what to do at my house?” It was a bit delicate.

How did you handle that conversation?

As respectfully as possible, saying like, “This is what you’re paying for rent. Here are some rental comparables. I could charge this, but I’m going to charge this. I would love for you to sign a twelve-month lease. If you want to buy a place, you can break your lease at any time if you use me as your real estate agent.” She ended up buying a place and didn’t use me.

You’re cashflowing almost $1,000 a month right off the bat on that place. You’re not even getting market rent.

Cashflow and living there, adding that together was not a normal deal. Don’t expect this in most markets. With that sneaky third unit, I did end up getting in trouble with the city. Things there look a little different.

Let’s talk about the evolution of this property. I have a couple of sneaky units myself. What happened?

It probably depends on the city you’re in, how strict the rental inspector is, how they decide to read the language and the rental rules. In my mind, it was licensed for 2 units, so I could rent out 2 units and not rent out the one I’m living in, but they came in and said, “No, only two families are allowed to live here.” It had to pivot over the couple of years that we lived there. We lived there from April 2018 to July 2020. Track with me. The tenants and we lived here. They moved out. We renovated this unit. We moved up, sneaky moved in someone in the bottom, even though we’d already gotten in trouble for it. She bought a place. We paid someone to renovate this unit. At that point, all units were rented.

I came to the agreement with the city that you could wrap the bottom unit into a top unit. It counted as a single unit. If you only have two mailboxes, it’s the same lock to get into the door and they’re on the same lease. I could still functionally use it as a three-unit. Whenever we rent that out, I have property management that handles it. They need to find a special situation where they can find friends or a larger group where it’s like, “We’re getting cheaper rent combined than if we had two 2-bed, 1-bathroom units. I’m getting more than if I was renting out one.” Updated numbers because of property taxes, the mortgage went up to $1,895. I’m getting $1,400 on one side and then $2,200 on the other combined unit. That’s cashflow of $1,700.

How did the city even find out about this?

It’s during their rental inspection. They would do a walkthrough every year in this specific city and then want access to the entire property. Come to find out, that sneaky third unit had been on their radar and flagged by the past 2 or 3 owners because everyone had tried to use it and the city said no every time. They knew specifically to come in, which it wasn’t listed as a three-unit and they didn’t say that I could use it. It wasn’t the sellers trying to be sneaky. It was me trying to make something work.

Give Before You Receive: We ended up going into the property and renovating that bottom unit for us to move into.

 

I love the way you did it because it seems like other people may not have used it. They might’ve said, “We can’t use this unit, too bad.” You were like, “How can I make it one big unit?” It is super great because you could get a big family and mixed professionals that want to have two kitchens. It’s an easy sell. That is so great that you’re finding a way to make it work. It’s that thing where you don’t take a no and let it stop you but go, “How can I find a way to make this still work?”

With the city, I was like, “We need housing. This is a beautiful unit.” In my mind, even if I couldn’t squeeze an entire market rent out of that, I’d rather pull something out of it. I wanted to make sure the space was being used in some way.

That was the first property and you’ve lived there for two years. Is there any reason why you stayed there for two years instead of jumping year after year?

The day that our governor in Minnesota decided to shut down the state of Minnesota, we found out that we were pregnant with our first kid, which was super exciting. Once we were pregnant, that’s when my wife was like, “I’m not living in a duplex anymore. You got to get me a house for this baby to be in.” From mid-2018 through 2019, we were looking and didn’t find anything that was exciting that I wanted to do, so I was checking things into savings and waiting.

When you moved out of this property in 2020, did you move into a traditional home?

Yes, at the same time, we were looking for a home to purchase. A duplex popped up that I did want to buy, so I ended up having a personal residence, the second multifamily under contract simultaneously and then did one closing right after the other.

Did you use any low down payment options here?

I did not. They were big down payments on both houses.

Twenty percent down on both houses?

I ended up doing more than 20% down on my residence because I was right on the verge of different loan products. I wanted to stay in one lock, which was insanely low-interest rates at the time. I was able to lock in 2.8 interest rates for 30 years on a primary that we will be in probably forever.

You could not do a low down payment on the multifamily because you can’t live there and you’re buying your primary.

Yes and no. Paper-wise, yes. The benefit of being a real estate professional is I got paid on the deal because I was my agent. I almost got a refund for a portion of the proceeds that I bought. It was a $400,000 duplex, made around 3% as my commission. It’s another benefit of being a real estate professional.

When did you hire a property manager?

The most stressful thing for me in the year 2020 was not a global pandemic. It was one tenant. It feels like mailbox money if you have great tenants and forget you have properties. If you have bad tenants, you never forget you have that property. It was my fault. I didn’t do a good job vetting and with rental criteria. Everyone had a tough time mentally in 2020. I set bad expectations. She had crazy high expectations, not a good fit. Going into 2021, I hired property management for everything.

How did you find a property manager to handle such a unique property like that one? Would anybody be willing to take that on?

It turns out that my good buddy, an agent who helped me buy it, started a property management company. He took it on.

Let’s get into number two.

It’s $400,000 and then you had to put 20% down. What were the numbers on that one?

The mortgage payment was under $2,000 a month. In the first week of listing it, it was completely vacant. I was able to get new leases on market rents. $2,000 a month was my monthly payment, then I got $1,675 on the one side and then $1,650 on the other side. The way that I found out about this one is another agent buddy of mine called me and said, “A duplex went up for sale in my neighborhood. I can’t buy it. You should buy it.” I was like, “Okay. I trust you.” I bought it. Letting people know what you’re looking for specifically so if they run across something, they can send it your way is hugely important.

That was a side-by-side duplex too?

This was another 1950s side-by-side duplex.

Do you prefer the side-by-side over the uptown or whatever the opportunity is?

At least in our market, anything that’s the 1950s or newer is going to be side by side. Anything older than that, at least in our market, is going to be old up-down 1910, 1915 duplexes in the city. From a property maintenance perspective, side-by-side 1950 duplexes are more modern electricity, plumbing, framing and insulation. In my mind, it’s less upkeep and a better investment for what I want to do long-term.

When I started investing in real estate, I could afford those 100-year-old homes. They’re easier and cheaper to find. Through all the maintenance, I learned the hard way that I don’t buy anything older than 1950. You’re right there on that cutoff. It sounds like a good spot to be in.

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Is this a typical deal in the twin cities?

Not anymore, maybe for when I bought it in 2020, but prices are appreciating everywhere, so there is less margin to be expected. Both of these properties that I took on were both long-term owners and had old roofs and mechanicals. By happenstance, I came across deals that I was able to recognize immediately because I’m walking through properties all the time. I was like, “This is a good deal. I’ll take it.”

It’s a good thing about integrating your active income with your passive income. There are a lot of synergies between being a real estate agent and a real estate investor, especially if you’re a residential real estate investor and agent. Taylor, let’s skip ahead to where you are. What does your portfolio look like? Are there any big things that you’ve done between 2020 and now?

Since then, I have purchased two properties, and both were opportunities that happen to pop up. One was the single-family that I got a call from someone saying, “How much would my house sell for as is?” I said, “I’m on my way.” I went there and said, “I’ll buy it.” I was able to buy it for $175,000, single-family at appraised for $240,000 as is. I could probably sell it for $260,000 or $270,000. I turned that into a single-family rental. In December 2021, I purchased a ten-unit, so it was my first commercial property.

How did you make that leap? How did you find the commercial property? What gave you the courage to do that?

I’m a big believer in, “If you could go bigger, do it.” If the appreciation is 10% on my $175,000 single family, whereas 10% appreciation on a million-dollar building, it’s going to be much more. This was another opportunity. An agent on my team, my brother-in-law called me and said, “I talked to an apartment owner. This seems like a good deal. You should buy it.” I said, “I’ll buy it.”

Did you do 25% down and bought it yourself?

This was a cool deal. I was able to get it for tax-assessed value. The owner had owned it for 30 years. The owner before him had owned it for 30 years. It’s a nice long-term building that two people have had for over 70 years. I got it under contract for $925,000, had an inspection, had some foundation issues, got structural engineers in there and got quotes to do those fixes. Through the inspection period, I said, “Seller, I’m going to need $110,000 to do these massive repairs.” He said, “Okay.”

He had a property that he wanted to purchase. He had under a contract that he wanted to roll proceeds into. My commercial lender accounted for that $115,000 repair credit because they reduced my cash to close. I was supposed to need around $240,000 to buy this. I ended up coming to the table with $120,000. I essentially got it for close to 10% down for a commercial building. My cash-on-cash return is good.

Are you planning to go in and do any repairs or bump the rents? How do you increase the value to the multifamily property?

It’s all long-term way under market rents. I’m trying to find that balance of, “We need to get closer to market, but I don’t want it to be fully vacant.” A lot of long-term tenants don’t want to cause everyone to be homeless. At the same time, a mentor of mine once said, “Let your business be your business and your charity be your charity. Don’t let your business be your charity.” My initial plan was over 3, 4 years, it gets us up to the market, but St. Paul’s city already passed this rule. This building is in Minneapolis and it’s probably close behind what St. Paul did, but they are putting the rent increase caps where you can only increase the rent by 3% per year.

If I don’t raise these rents closer to market and then that 3% cap gets instated, then inflation and property taxes going up will outpace me being able to increase rent over time. It forced my hand to get things closer. The average rent across these ten units was around $770, but market rent across this is closer to $1,100.

With that 3% rule, though, that’s only on the same tenant. If they move out, you can raise the rents however much you want for the new tenant.

It’s a gray area.

In California, they have rent control and a certain percentage. If they move out, then they can bump it up.

There’s so much gray area of, “Did it go into place? When does it take effect? Can you do this and that?” It’s one of those things that you’re not going to call the city and ask, “Can I do this?” “No, you can’t.” “Sorry.”

Give Before You Receive: Make sure the space is being used in some way.

 

You’ve got a couple of residentials, the 3-unit residential, 1 to 4-unit properties and this big 10-Plex. What does your passive income look like monthly on these properties in total?

We’re probably looking at around $5,000 to $6,000 a month.

That is financial independence. In a base level financial independence or you’re starting to introduce some luxuries into your life, I suspect, how long did it take for you to get there? You bought your first property in 2018. Here we are years later and you have $5,000, $6,000 of passive income. It’s to show everybody that it does not take a long time to seriously change your life through real estate investing. You’ve got to find the right properties, right teammates and don’t be afraid to take action. That’s the biggest thing.

People overestimate what they can do in 1 year and underestimate what they can do in 5 years. If you would’ve told me years ago, “This is what your life is going to look like,” I would laugh in your face. I was able to get into incredible communities and surround myself with people who could pull me up.

Z, where were you in 2017?

I did this exercise because I’m doing 25-year horizon planning, which is hard to do. In 2017, I lived in my one-bedroom apartment, financially independent, but I wanted to be in a relationship and then engaged. There are so many things in my life that changed. It is nice to look back and be like, “I can do all these things.” Taylor, in the beginning, you were telling us that with this original duplex, you’re about to do a cash-out refi and some plans. Tell us a little bit more because it is exciting when you have real estate for a while to start to see how your real estate can buy your other real estate.

I couldn’t be a bigger advocate for owning real estate. The power over the time of the appreciation of values is crazy. Cashflow is incredible because it allows you to exit your job, have financial independence, and not worry about bills. The bigger side of wealth that is created in real estate is from an appreciation of value over time.

I purchased this property in 2018, that duplex that I chatted about originally about $304,000. I’m about to do a cash-out refinance on it at appraised for $440,000. I’m able to pull out $104,000 and add only $500 to my monthly payment. Remember, I’m cashflowing $1,750 on it. I’m still going to be cashflowing $1,200 after that additional loan payment and have $100,000 tax-free equity in my bank account ready for the next property that I’m looking for.

As long as you get a return higher than whatever your refinanced rate is, it’s an efficiency of money. We hear a lot about return on investment, but a return on equity is another metric you should look at as you acquire more properties. You’re going to accumulate equity in your property and it’s dead equity if they’re just sitting in your house. What is that return on equity? It’s a fun calculation to run. If you are under-leveraged, it’s a great thing to refinance, pull it out and reinvest in something else.

The interest rate on that will be around 4.5%. I need to find an investment that you can throw in crypto and get an 8% return on a stable coin, but I’m going to buy real estate with it.

We’re heading into the final part of our show, the Final Four. Taylor, we’re going to give you one last chance to leave us with some words of wisdom though, if you got anything.

The biggest impact in my life over the past years because my life has drastically changed is surrounding yourself with people that are going to pull you up. I’ve been fortunate in my life to have lived with the idea of you are the average of the people that you surround yourself with. Whether it’s finding a local meet-up group or scheduling coffees with people or, “A friend’s dad, I know he does this. I wonder if he’d sit down with me.” You got to change your environment.

Let’s head into the Final Four. Z, Kick us off.

What are you reading now?

I love reading. I’m a big book nerd, so usually, I have a couple of books going. I almost always have a learning book, business or development, a faith book because my faith is the most important thing to me and a fun book. For my learning book, I’m reading a book called Alchemy by Rory Sutherland. It’s about the illogic of successful marketing. It’s cool and challenging my belief in marketing. For faith book, I’m reading The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer, which is a contrast to that hustle, grind culture that we’ve all been hearing about over the past couple of years. I’m a huge sci-fi fantasy nerd. I finished the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, my second time through.

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What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

I’ve gotten so much great advice. The first thing that came to mind is a quote that probably a lot of people get attributed to, which is, “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” That can apply to entrepreneurship, investing and starting your own business. People might say, “I’m done with college. I don’t want roommates.” If you’re willing to live with roommates and house hack for 2, 3, 4, 5 years, you’re going to be so thankful you did that. In 5, 6, 7 years after that, that’s huge.

People forget that Warren Buffett has made all his wealth from age 65 to 90. If he were to retire at 65, he would have $50 million, but you would never hear of him. Time is the most valuable resource you have in saving and compounding. If you’re young reading this, get started saving now because that’s going to compound. I’m jealous of how young some people are starting.

In the past couple of years, God can’t steer a parked car another one that’s been huge for me. That’s that whole idea of you got to take action and your steps will be guided.

Question number three, what is your why?

Over the past couple of years, I did a practice developing my mission statement. I’ll read it to you guys. “My purpose or my why is to encourage, equip and lead those around me to achieve their fullest personal, professional and spiritual potential through the use of their unique God-given talents and abilities.” My big thing is encouraging, motivating, challenging and leading. Craig, I know you’re capable of this. Let’s do it. I was able to see your potential maybe before you even do, helping you realize that and then leaning into your unique talents and abilities to achieve it.

I love your mission statement in general. I also love the fact that you have a life mission statement. What inspired you to write a life mission statement?

It’s the people I surround myself with. I have an awesome mentor and he did a study with me in a couple of handful of friends. The whole study was around, “What’s your mission field and personal mission statement? Why are you on this earth?” You can’t live an intentional life on accident, so you need to get dialed in, be purposeful and then make an impact in your friend’s life, community’s life and those people around you. Getting dialed in on your purpose is so important.

To do a lot of this stuff, you need to create goals, but it’s hard if you don’t know where you’re going. I wrote my vivid vision, which is very impactful years down the road. If you have that long-term goal in mind, then you can start zooming in further. “If I want to be there in three years, that’s means I’ve got to do it this year, this quarter and this month, which means weekly, I’ve got to do this.” It’s super powerful if you can be purposeful in the direction that you want to take your life and your family’s life.

You need that clarity. Z, you’re doing your 25-year plan. For me, I don’t even think that would be helpful because I cannot think. Maybe that’s a limiting belief and I should think that far out, but three years is hard for me. That’s the max I could do.

It’s a cool exercise. I don’t know if you’re used to the wheel of life exercise where you look at your life with eight different categories, but you go, “If I do a thing of where my life is, maybe one section’s 3 and one’s a 10.” How do you get all sections to be a 10 out of 10? What would that life look like? Who is that person? It’s cool to work backward. We have a 25, 5, 1 and then we do quarters and weeks. I’m in a different group. It’s not GoBundance, but you guys are in GoBundance. We structure it like that. It’s powerful.

Taking the action to even think about it. We keep going back to the community we surround ourselves with. You might have an awesome set of friends, which is great, but there are also communities that you can join, like local investment groups or places like GoBundance or Z, like your place. Get around people that are as motivated to crush it as you are.

Taylor, when you are old, what do you think your grandchildren will want you to tell stories of?

Whenever I think about family in the future, it gets me teary-eyed because family is so important to me. The first thing that comes to mind is me telling grandkids stories about how much I love their grandma. My grandfather was the patriarch of our family and was impactful to his 7 kids, 1 of them was my mom and then 40 cousins of mine. My faith is super important to me. If I can lead an example for future generations of making an impact and those around me and then an impact for the kingdom, I want to be able to walk up to the Pearly Gates one day and have the Lord say, “Well done, good, faithful servant.” That’s my goal.

Where can people find out more about you?

I’m super active on Facebook in my real estate business and investments. Add me as a friend on Facebook. I’m also fairly active on Instagram. My handle is @Taylor.Doolittle. That’s where I post more fun, goofy stuff. I have a lot of fun with what I do.

Taylor, it’s so great to have you on. Honestly, you’ve shed such an inspiration and some good light on your investments, real estate business, faith and things that are important to you and life in general. I’ll be talking to you soon and I can’t wait to see you again, hopefully in Detroit.

Thanks for having me on.

That was Taylor Doolittle, AKA Do A Lot. Z, what did you think of Taylor?

I loved his story. It’s so powerful to see what you can do even in a few years. He was able to build cashflow of $5,000 to $6,000 and that’s huge. For many people, that is Fi and that could even be on the fat side of Fi. That is great. One thing that I loved about it is he trusted and kept looking for opportunities and then they appeared. It’s preparing and putting yourself in the right position. He was telling all his friends exactly what he was looking for. When they found something that fits, they came to him. It wasn’t like he was hustling. He wasn’t door-knocking or putting out signs. He was just waiting. That’s a great way to do it too.

He seems so intentional. He talks about his life mission statement. Everything that he does in his life makes that mission statement stronger. It brings him closer to his mission statement. Having that clarity, guidance and somewhere to go into lead yourself is so important. I love how deep he gets and how intentional he is.

I want to hear your mission statement, Craig. Could that be your homework?

If you remind me on the show, I will write the mission statement.

The mastermind or accountability group that I’m in, you’re in GoBundance. I’m in one called Momentum Lab. If anyone’s interested, reach out to me on Facebook or Instagram. I’m happy to connect with you. It’s been very powerful for me.

Speaking of plugs, if you would not mind leaving a rating or review on the show, it seriously means so much to us. We look at every single one. With all of the feedback that we get, we try to come back and implement. Please let us know. Leave us a five-star rating and review. Hit us up on Instagram. I’m @TheFiGuy. Z is @ZeonaMcIntrye. With that being said, we’ll see you next time.

 

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About Taylor Doolittle

Taylor is a realtor in the greater areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul. He’s passionate about empowering people to prosper in all areas of life, and sees real estate as the perfect opportunity to set his clients up for long-term happiness and success. As a driven, competitive, hard-working individual, Taylor stops at nothing to find the greatest fit and most profitable win for each client.

He values honesty and integrity, and believes in the importance of educating clients through every step of the process, so they can feel confident in making the best decision for themselves and their families. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, you’ll want this upbeat, encouraging man right by your side.