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Welcome, welcome. Welcome everybody to the hive mind pipe with us podcast. We're here today with Steven Kiger. I hope I pronounced that correctly of homebuyer, Louisiana. And today we're going to learn why he left Australia came to the US. What's working here? What's working still at home, and let's have at it like to introduce my co host, Daniel Martinez and founder of the high with us podcast, and of course, Aussie Steve. Thanks, guys. Appreciate you having me on the show. No, no. So one of the first things I always asked like, had you ever been in real estate in Louisiana? I mean, it is a short story. So So I mean, I started real estate. I'm really liberal, the case it like most people also, you know, I started business straight out of university, always with the intention to buy assets and real estate. So I sort of start with that mindset told me a bit a while I started the business first, buying a few properties in Australia. And, you know, I ended up leaving my business was able to sell a bunch of shares, you know, and take a year off with my plan. And, you know, we love America and New Orleans is a favorite city. So we headed to New Orleans for six months just to, you know, have some fun, and that's part of Robert Kiyosaki book retire young, retire rich, he took a year off when he accident. So that's why we came here. And I love property. You know, we fell in love with New Orleans is an area and culture and everything. And, you know, my wife wanted to stay. And I started looking at the market. And, you know, realizing I want to do more in real estate. I just realized the market was much better. You know, I had some really good sales and marketing skills, my past company, and I learned, you know, that I could acquire deals at really good prices and cash flow. And so that's why I went all in on property here in New Orleans. New Orleans. I don't know if that was like a city. I've never heard of a knowledge. You put up the accent. It's funny because I definitely say I'm Australian. I stand out here. You know, like people call me Aziz. The there's not a lot of Australians that live here. So, you know, I definitely stand as an Australian. But I think when I speak to Australians, they're like, What is this dude talking about? How can I still do the accent but I say a whole bunch of different words different inflection. So I don't know. I guess I'm a bit of a gumbo now. That fits Netherlands in general, though, it's a melting pot from all over the world. Exactly. So all have you been in New Orleans now? So it's been four years. So yeah, became four years ago. You know, and it's funny, funny story in that I had of staying in Airbnb, which we had for six months. And when we decided to stay, we got a lease on it for a period. And then I started doing a wholesaling and in buying properties. And the owner reached out to me at the end of my lease and was like, you know, a lease is expiring and he lives in Chicago is like, I don't think we can really manage the property do you guys mean maybe want to buy it? And I'm like, Oh, my God, I gotta add the state, you know, tired landlord, and I'm living in his house if I if I can't do a deal on their side and what I'm doing in real estate, so I actually got a lease option on their house. And I closed on it this year, actually. So I had a lease for two years 75% of my rent cannabis equity over that period, the house fully appreciated, like I had locked in the price from two years ago. And that Airbnb I now own, and I use it hasn't been before new people. Nice, nice. That's a it's an interesting path we take as investors. Yes. Once you start learning this stuff, you start seeing the opportunities everywhere, right? We are probably couple of years ago that was passing Rob, I wouldn't even thought twice. Yeah, I talked to it's funny stories. I was talking to my friend from Atlanta. And he's renting right now too. And he had tired landlord thing. And he's talking about real estate. So now his whole mind's working like, Hey, can I get up? Can I get owner financing this property? And he's all is that guy was Well, the funny thing is why so like, I own a bunch of properties. And I started buying, you know, backing, I don't know, maybe eight or so years ago in Australia, but I never owned a property. The first property I bought is this house now, which I bought this year. And because we always rented where we lived and invested in other places, and it was just because we're from in Sydney, Australia, super expensive. And where we lived was one of the better areas and the rent, relative to the price, like the yield, you know, was ridiculous, like so it made more sense to rent, because their rent is low relative to the price, then we would buy investment properties, you know, where it made more sense. So, you know, there's nothing wrong with being a renter as an investor and I did that I did that a very long time. I find a lot of properties before I purchase a place to actually live in and hold on. Now Are you a citizen of the US? Are you still have citizenship in Australia? I'm still a citizen of Australia. I am a I'm a, I'm a resident alien is my technical term. So you know, The X Files music, but I haven't. I have a business investment visa. So basically, if you start a business over here and invest money and hire people, then the borders open up, it's fine. And that's the visa I have. So it gives me all the right, pretty much all the rights of a citizen. But I'm not a citizen. I think I think we're going to do that I'm starting to turn on, you know, I haven't been happy with Australia over COVID They've become just way more authoritarian lock downs. And I think I want to get my citizenship here as a backup. Okay, that's interesting, man. We've had we've had a few out of out of country investors that invested from out of the country. Yes, and are visiting here like we're here, as well as aliens as well. So it's kind of interesting to see the dynamics of what people are doing. Because we I think we interviewed Alicia Jarrett, I think she lives in Australia, and she invest out here heavily, and she lives in Australia. So it's one of those things where like, there's no wrong answer. It's just interesting to see the the dynamic, but I'm really glad you mentioned it, that anybody, if you start a business, the doors open up, I think that's I think that's a huge nugget right there that I really want to touch on right there. And if you're looking to come to the US startup business, do you have to hire do you have to hire us based employees? Or do you do you do and they like they like really the the criteria is pretty loosely, it's you need to make a significant investment. Like that's the definition significant, there's no number to that. And but they do like for you to and a significant move, speaking to my lawyers, it just basically means you need to capitalize the business, the government wants to make sure you're not going to come over and be a drain on the economy, they want you to contribute to the economy. So you need to have a plan that shows you're gonna have a business. And you know, you have to have capital and backup that plan, which could be small or large, depending on your plan. And they do like for you to have five full time employees within the first five years. So you need to show a plan for that. But it's just it's just a plan and things can change as you go along. By by postal employees not that bad. I mean, that's not that bad at all. And if you're hiring if you do, we probably have like salespeople, but our commission base. Yeah, we'll see. I've got a local salesperson, which I did, obviously, because of my visa. And but it's a it's a big advantage. Because I mean, a lot of salespeople are foreign, and that works economically. But it is a real advantage for me that a local New Orleans person and you know, she's she just really vibes with, you know, sellers, and it really works. So, I know a local accent helps as well. Knowledge absolutely helped me figure out the names of the streets. Although no one in New Orleans knows the name of the street, they all say differently. That's if you say confidently, you're right. So you've been in New Orleans for a while? What's New Orleans? I know, Louisiana is like one of the lowest priced markets. Is New Orleans, like the outlier in all of Louisiana, because it's a major, major city, or is it like is it like, you can still I know like Birmingham, you can survive, you can still find a house for 30k. So like, yeah, there's always a 30k is where he, you know, you're not getting that he you know, depending on the area, you know, median price might be 300 200, you can definitely buy houses though, for 60k 50k that need work, you know, and the ARV might be like 150k 175k. So you can definitely get them at good prices. It's a tricky market, which also makes it like it's, it's a hard market operating because it varies a lot like you want to see across the street, and you're in different neighborhoods, it doesn't have those nice subdivisions you probably find in Florida, you know, and Arizona and you know, so it makes it really hard to get your head around. But that also means we don't see the eye buyers, the hedge funds like those people aren't in our market. So I think it creates more opportunity for people that know to get those good deals. But then it doesn't have that hole that you get from those hedge fund buyers coming in. But by the same token, I think if we start going down, it's not going to have that same you know, it goes up it can go down like that, whereas it's pretty steady, you know, decent market. So I'm assuming everything there. Sorry, Daniel. I was just gonna say I'm assuming everything there's a flood zone in New Orleans. Yeah, I mean, we have we have a thing called flood zone x, which is like a preferred flood zone and you So historically, that was cheap flood insurance, but they just did the whole FEMA 2.0, which I think is international, right? That was a US national, there was a whole rewriting the flood system and we got hammered. So flood zone expert like you see, for $500 a year, they can go up to a couple grand, it is actually a big factor right now, in our market, I think it will hurt it was interest going up, the insurance has gone up for the flood, and also for the wind and hail given the hurricanes we're having. So insurance is a big deal here. And it is impacting our market. But if it is a flood zone X, you don't have to have insurance. So you might have gone up, but it's still your option. But if it's in a different flood zone, you have to have insurance. And those rates can be pretty high right now. So one thing I know about New Orleans, have you come across like historic homes, because I know New Orleans is the Old City as far as it's been around for a long time. So you probably come across like these 100 plus year old homes. Hell yeah. Is that like, have like certain requirements with city? Yeah, I mean, it's historic districts. I mean, I mean, there's a lot of old homes so the house I mentioned, Airbnb is 160 years old, you know, it was fully renovated like six years ago, but it's, it's all right. But the one thing is because of Hurricane Katrina, you know, obviously, it was a very devastating hurricane and flood he, a lot of the housing stock at least got repaired. So even the old homes, generally, they flooded in Katrina, which most of them did, you know they got new plumbing, new electric new roof. So it actually is devastating is a was a sort of a sort of upgraded the housing stock. Because I know in Ohio and other markets, people literally look at houses hadn't been renovated in 100 years, you need like 100 year old pipes. So we don't really get that as much. But there is historic districts. So if you're around a French Quarter, yeah, that can be annoying, you know, you need to, you know, hereby those codes, and it's, yes, he's gonna spend a bit more time with the CD and planning and all that sort of stuff. Imagine you spend more time searching for black mold and such like that, that wasn't treated properly. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. You might get some Chinese drywall that was putting in that time, but it's not that much of it. Now, me personally, like I, I saw all I do a lot of bird I like rentals, I wholesale, so I don't do a lot of flips. So those real that if they if it's needs a big rehab, I'm just going to wholesale that because that's not really my skill set. If it needs a small rehab, you know, I really I don't really want to pull permits. So if it's like something something I can get away with not pulling permits, you know, floors, kitchen, bathroom, and maybe a roof but like I'll keep that if it needs a full rehab. It's gutted I'm just gonna wholesale it and keep moving that's it's interesting. No, I think I think it's important thing in your wheelhouse and not not venturing too far out because this is my comfort zone. So are you are you keeping stuff for rental majority are you doing Airbnb and rental or majority Airbnb? Just really rentals to be honest, I'm not the one I've even been asked because I bought it it wasn't Airbnb just had the license. So so like I did that just because it's really the property was was, should have been that. But I'm doing long term rentals. I really liked the burr method. You know, for me the 30 year fixed debt is awesome. You know, I think being an Australian, I appreciate that because you guys not only that, no, I just I find Americans take it for granted that you guys have 30 year fixed interest. It is the only country in the world that has 30 year fixed interest rates, you know, but that's what are you getting in Australia? You get five years max five years maximum and then goes to an arm? Yeah, so interest rates really hurt Australia because when the when that when the when the our Reserve Bank, which I just did, actually yesterday, they put the interest rate up, everyone gets affected, because you know, all the all the stuff they're gonna get affected really soon as it has a real impact on the economy. Whereas in America, everyone has a fixed 30 debt, which is amazing, you know, in an inflationary environment. You know, I was really busy last couple years, just buying and putting debt on and I'm like, yeah, like let the inflation inflate away that debt you don't I mean, like I'm so I, that's sort of my wheelhouse. I like those long term rentals to something where it's gonna cashflow a little, at least the tenants paying down that debt, you know, and I'm just gonna sit on it. My plan isn't for 30 years, I don't really intend to sell it. You know, I'll never say never, but I mean, I'm just gonna let them run and keep that keep that low interest rate that that inflation keep, you know, increasing the rent and the value and you know, that that no payment is going to be fixed for 30 years. There are DSCR loans that are also fixed rate that you can use that work well with short term rentals. I know a lot of lenders who only specialize in people who are doing short term rentals and they do the DSCR loans for those does provide found in a city like New Orleans, but then you mentioned the the license. What's What's the extra costs added, like by the city of New Orleans, New Orleans for that it's really restrictive here. So they have a lot of those he can't do. You can't do transport or you can't. Airbnb is not industry rallied, you can't do Airbnbs, they really limit it to, there's a lot of pushback from the locals, they don't like it. Because if you take away the housing stock, and you really have to live in a house, you can get a homestead exemption. So if you're in a double, and you live in one side, you can do it. But it's hard to build a portfolio that there was an exception, which is the house I bought, I bought it because it was commercially zoned. If it's commercially zoned, you can do an Airbnb on 25% of the property, you know, or one, you know, mine's a three Plex. So I can I can do an Airbnb and one of them. So but and I just got my license in, they change the laws. Now. I'm grandfathered, so I'm cool, but they change the law. So you can still do it. But the catch is that because it's commercial, you actually you're no longer on the residential building code, you're on a commercial building code. So it means you need to have like Ada, you know, disabled. You've got to it's got to have fire. Viruses, yeah. driveway where you drive in, but like, it will often say no, this is a commercial carpark can't have one entrance you need like, view my driveway for sports as a commercial cover, which will never pass so the house I have would never been Airbnb if you didn't have the license now, so it's not great. I mean, it's good for me because I mean that that one's gonna do well. But it's hard to build a big portfolio of Airbnb ease here. That's definitely sounds tough. Though, with all the Airbnb regulations, it's like man, let me make it make a difficulty like even though the commercial thing like the make it making your property go commercial can totally ruin it being Airbnb. So if you bought it just for an Airbnb, you're screwed. Yeah, um, and that's our intention. I mean, they're saying, Hey, you can still do it. But like, the intention of bringing those laws in place was evil, because it's very violent project, essentially, being all those potential. Yeah, some cities and states are just, okay, let's do some business and others. They'll just do all they can to shut it down. And which is funny, because I mean, New Orleans is very much a tourist location. So you'd think they'd be allowing stuff like that. But then the hotel motel industry might be zactly putting a lot of pressure to not allow it. So it's, that's exactly why and then individuals, you know, they don't want the neighborhood's changing. Someone said this to me, which I think was actually a really good idea that like, because you know, some people like just don't you shouldn't you shouldn't have these Airbnbs in my area to neighborhood. Okay, that's fine. If you think that though, you shouldn't you shouldn't go and stay in an Airbnb in someone else's neighborhood, right. But these people like yeah, don't do it in my backyard, but I'm gonna go stay in your area and Airbnb. Yep, definitely fun stuff. We've got them here pretty strong in Florida. And depending on where you go, you know, around Disney World. And it's several metroplex, there are a lot of subdivisions, and resort to communities that are strictly short term rental, you cannot live there long term 179 days is the maximum someone's long term stay in some of them, so and they'll they'll do higher end amenities, you end up paying a lot more. We were just looking at one recently, and it was 700 some odd dollars a month, HOA fee for pool and you know, some other nice stuff, but that's on top of, you know, a nearly $2,000 A month note. And then management fees and stuff like that, because obviously unless you live right there in that city, and do it all yourself. So it's, it can get a little restrictive. Yeah, that's the it's a high risk. You know, as my partner says, I've got a business partner and this is our entire focus is Airbnb in short term rentals. And it's high risk, but very high reward. Yeah, so obviously, we know what you're getting into which You've obviously done your research as well. Well, the one the one I've been doing really well again, I wasn't really that interested in doing it, but like it's doing really well. So like I'm going your mate maybe maybe get this a little bit again, the laws are sort of a bit restrictive, so I'll probably stick with the long terms at this point. So now the company in Australia so you took a company public Do you still own that? Are you still on the board or just Dubai got bought out old stock? I have some shares. You have some shares so so obviously so the company was high pages high pages group is pretty much like our home advisor or angie's list here in America, you know, connecting contractors we've got All homeowners. So yeah, look, I was a partner in our business screwed over 14 or so he's a sold some of my shares, which is when I left operationally, so I haven't been like anything operational in the company for about four years. But I do still have shares. Manager oft man, I'm so lucky actually my wife, I told you about my first home, right? And my wife was like, We got to buy a home now I'm ready. I'm like, okay, she's been good. And let me not buy a home for a long time, you know, and just invest. So we bought this house, and I sold my shares. When I saw my I saw a bunch shares to help purchase it. And when I sold on a $3.60 Share, they're like, they're like, $1.20 now. And I did not see that. Like, it's great, too. I mean, all all all our snow fast. And I did not see that coming. I think my wife, she made me do it. And I'm like, Man, that was actually really good conversion. Because the stock market is taking me here, tech companies are taking a hit. They didn't like our last report, you know, and you got hammered. But I still I still I still own a bunch of shares in it. And I wouldn't sell them now. Because like, I'd be a buyer. Now the price it is man, like, I'm not going to sell shares that price. I don't need to buy more, because I have enough. But it's it's Yeah, I'm definitely not selling them now. So I really want to touch on you being about Florida. I mean, I'm from Austria, and I've been like investor friendly at all, do you still work with like people from Austria to invest money here in the United States, because it's not so friendly. I thought about actually had some friends who suggested like I do that. But as don't want to. Because like, I'd like a little bit more lifestyle balance. Now I don't really want to take you know, like, I'm sort of happy to do mine. You know, but it's, it's not that non investor friendly. It's just it's just like, I'm told this is going to be controversial, strange, stupid property investing. And that's the problem, right? This is real, because we have this law. It's called negative gearing. But basically what that law is, is if you lose money in your investment property, you can offset that loss against your W two income. Right? So what happens is all the accountants say to the lawyers, doctors, you know, high earning people that like, Hey, you're paying too much tax, you should buy investment property and negativity, which they do. So they buy the property, it loses money every month. But but they're like, Hey, look at these tax, I'm saving and our tax rate gets to 50 cents in the dollar, I just like to spend in the dollar and again and 50 cents back like, dude, I'll give you I'll give you 60 cents, man, give me give me your dollars. But that's so that's really hard to compete against that. And because most Australians, they bank on the capital gain. And the truth is there's been lots of capital gains is a really highly appreciating market. And you do you know, the capital gains tends to play out, but you're losing money every month, like what's the point. So that's the backdrop of investing. And that's why it just makes it really hard to you know, I have six rental single family rentals in Australia. They pretty much breakeven, they've grown, they've appreciated massively, but they pretty much breakeven. And that's, that's a really good investment in Australia. Like I did really well to have these breakeven properties. But that's what I'm looking I look around America, I'm like, What are we doing? Like I'm, I love I love the diversification. Yeah, not exactly. And I'm not going to sell my properties, a lot of diversification, but I would never buy another property in Australia, just America's way better. I think it's funny because you mentioned like, negative cash flows like oh, never do that. They're morons. Like now you're like, totally different market totally doing different things. And it's like, you're you're you're it's like you're an old school bird person because of Australia's harness the train do not to do you didn't hate him. Hey, yeah, maybe. You've been, you've been put through the system. And now you're you're set in your ways. Yeah, we'll be here. He I mean, he likes abuse, it's easy to get a profit, you know, and, I mean, when I'm going to put my property in Australia, I bought not where I live, right? I really geeked out in a lot of research. You know, I started with that the break even at least you know, and I picked really good areas. And in a in a barn in New Orleans now mainly, you know, great in New Orleans. And, look, if I do the same things in Australia, I probably wouldn't pick New Orleans. Like I think New Orleans just like happens to be the best market in America. But I would I do like theories of market properties. And because I'm buying really well. I'll do my own marketing, you know, motivated sellers. Like I'm Buying and you buy on the market? You kind of wrong, right? It doesn't really matter what the market is, as long as it's not as long as the half decent market if you're buying well below market. Yeah, I mean, you're always gonna win. So let's talk about marketing, what type of marketing is working for you in New Orleans, because it's a smaller market in general. Yeah, I've done a lot of online and mainly because that's my background. You'd been from a tech company. So you know, I've done a lot of mailers SMS, SMS used to be my best lead source, I built the business, firstly on SMS, but I started to transition out to seeing the laws changing. And then I went back to my roots, which is like SEO, and SEM search engine marketing optimization. So I do a lot of that, I grew up in that, like, I know that the back of my hand. And also on the back of that, too, I do a lot of branding. So you know, like, when people visit my ads, I send it to my website, even if I do a direct mail, Austin, my website, you're gonna see videos, you'll see me closings, you're gonna see mean houses, you're gonna read content. And that way, when we speak to the sellers, there's already trust. And it's a real, you know, so So I mean, I don't need to get as many leads as other people, because my conversions are generally higher. You know, if I'm in the ballpark of other people, they're going to pick me, you know, and that that's so really, I'll send on marketing, it's branding, we have a real digital online presence. I was looking through a lot of your social media, and I see a lot of your closings and stuff and a lot of happy people there. That That says a lot more than, yeah, they're so important. And and just like to your listeners, I want to say this, because I think a lot of people do this wrong. And, and it's because, like you learn from gurus, right and added to the lot of different people's and you learn from these people who you base your business on, and then you look at the marketing they do. But then they're marketing to you. You know, I mean, they're marketing to because they're building a business on coaching as well. So they're posting checks, and they're posting money in dollars. And that has a place don't get me wrong, like like, that's some, but for me, I really conscious was, I'm a consumer brand, like I'm a celebrant, you know, so, so all of my posts, all my marketing is about the sellers, it's about solving problems, it's I'm thinking about them, you will never see a check, right? Because like Scylla doesn't want to see you check, they want they want they want to see your clothes in a smiling face that problem solved. You know, they want to see the houses, you know, people often comment they see my videos, they see me in the houses, and the like, they'll relate to that they'll later I and my house is messy. But as I say you do worse you don't I mean, I'm so I'm really conscious on and my background is marketing. So I get this stuff. So like my I'm really conscious on that marketing aspect. And I think a lot of people miss that. I'm really glad you touched on branding in general, just because I can tell you do it too. And it's very powerful in its own way. Because Frank was like, oh, we'll be interviewing. I'm like, it's Steve, from Steve from Louisiana, is Steve, Louisiana, that comes up the Azia, the Australian investment in Louisiana, and it comes up like that. So being getting getting branding online is so so powerful. So, so powerful. And I try and tell people how powerful it is. And it's one of those things. It's one of those things where it's a, you can't really put a price on it. But when it's done, right, it is such a huge benefit. It's that conversion rate, and it helps your time because like a lead is more valuable, because they're more likely to choose you. You know, I mean, like and you do this marketing, you might do mail, and they're gonna Google you or they're gonna look at your website. And if you don't have a presence, to be honest, they're probably gonna call me. And that happens, like people will still get that might get printed by someone else's marketing, but then end up trying to find out who's legitimate buyer. And those paths are going to point to me if you know what I mean. So what you mentioned a couple of different ways to kind of build up your branding. Do you do you see these podcasts as reaching potential sellers as branding wise to or it's just getting more SEO? It's really SEO right? So so just so you get how my mind ticks, right like SEO, the more links you get to your to your site, the more important you are, you know, I have a slight theory that being on podcast, Google might see that as authority. I don't know that is a fact. But I spent a lot of time doing Google SEO in my old company we had as heads of SEO, we had content writers, like you know, I wasn't the expert, but I've now been around as experts. I've been managers to them. So I've formed this view that I think if I don't think of the Google algorithm, people get stuck in the algorithm. You do this, you do that, like forget the algorithm, the algorithms change all the time. I've made that mistake. Like, changes to the algorithm I've learned, the algorithm will change. Right? But if you think about Google as like a human, as someone that wants the right, show the right people, that's how I think of Google. So be the right person. Do the right things, you know, and I know they like authority, they like links. And I guess if I guess being on podcast, that would be a signal of authority, whether there's whether they're doing that now or not, I don't know. But I'm, I'm doing the podcast, because I'm getting the links and building authority. Worst case, you Google me, you'll see a whole bunch of podcasts, you'll see on a legit person and business. Definitely, that you see a lot of family that is, you know, in this day and age, I think is another key point. You know, if you're solving problems and your family focused, and I think that makes a world of difference, as opposed to a strong corporate showing where it cold and impersonal. Exactly, and you and you will see my, my, my videos. Like, like zero, I think, to take once in my life. And there's, there's a couple reasons for that. You know, just real, it's not flashy, you know. And secondly, if I made a real fancy, I probably wouldn't have any videos don't just, it's real, literally walking out the video. Of course, the first thing that comes to my head, I'll talk about the situation arm and posted. In closing, with the sellers, I'm just like, Can you do a video, boom, Mozilla, and don't give me any warning. I'm just like, I'm filming on the spot. And they're just saying whatever they say, you know, and, and I think that just shows authenticity. You don't really do it too slick. You want to be mocking, but you don't want it to slip that you feel heartless, and, you know, just just corporate, as you said. So, with your with your PPC working free now, I think it's working great. I can tell I do the podcast for SEO, largely, I do it to get back I use it a lot. I use it largely for SEO. And it's one of those things where like, I'm gonna put your the power of your name is so powerful, like your name is so powerful, and he leverage it. And I even like right now, like when you came in as Ozzy Steve, it was one of those things where like, you're trying to brand yourself as long as you Steve and it's really cool. And it comes across and I love it. It's cool. The other thing works, right? And it works in New Orleans. Because I stand out and it's like, it's you know who it is someone says, you know, Steve, like, all these days, it's like you, you know, who are you talking about? So it makes it easy to remember etc? Definitely. So now what's what's on your future plans? What what's, what's the next five years or 10 years look like? Yeah, so you really bought properties, I'm just trying to build the rental portfolio, the, you know, the long term wealth. So, you know, I'm at a stage, you know, now where I'm not trying to build a big business, I've done that, and don't want to do that again. I you know, I'm luckily I have some capital from that business. So I am really just trying to keep you on the portfolio, I enjoy what I do, I love solving problems. I love the real estate, it's fun, you know, so I'm really trying to keep it fun. Keep going, just keep adding properties to my portfolio. I'll keep wholesaling. Because for me the wholesaling means you monetize leads, which means I can afford to spend money on marketing. Then, as always, I can spend money on marketing and but but really, the whole selling is just to keep the operation going and keep cash flowing. The real business is those rentals, those burrs, and being a wholesaler, I get to pick the easy one. You know, I wouldn't even say it's the best deals because all my deals are good. I make sure like I think good deals, my buyers, but they're gonna work with a good deal, right? Because it's probably is gonna need more work, you know, if it's like, doesn't need much work. I'm gonna keep that, you know, so So and that's hard. It's hard to get those deals that don't need much work, but it's still a good price, you really need to find those yourself. So, let's talk about work life balance, because I think I really love that about you, as you kind of mentioned that's kind of your focus now and you really don't want to do any other things because you kind of toned in on that. What's that look like on your day to day right now, as far as work life balance? Well, you know, my view on work life balance is that fundamentally, that balance is out of balance, right? It's gonna go this way, that way, that way, balance is the middle and and it takes time if you really put your head down and so I've been really unbalanced at times. You know, when my early my career, man, I worked my ass off do that. You know, I was at first thing in the work plan the day from a team. I'm there at the end of the day, like man I I burning the candle at both ends, I work really hard. And that was hard. It was hard on my family, my family was really supportive. So now for me, I'm like, down, my balance is trying to be more relaxed now. So, you know, I still go to the office every day, you know. But I'm, like, if my kids have an appointment, if I need to do this, I'll do, I'll just, you know, whereas back in the day, I wouldn't do it, I would schedule it. I'm rarely home, like, you know, I'm not going to meet ups. Because I mean, that's, that's important. But I'm really homely, you know, I definitely have a higher emphasis on just giving time to my family, as opposed to back in the day working first. It's a experience this experience to get wiser as you get older. Yeah, it's like, Look, I just genuinely to, like I put a lot of emphasis on, I think I'm really driven by freedom, like, you know, I was always going by, like, not having listened to a boss not having to, like be relying on the government. So you know, and that meant financial to me. So it was always very financially oriented. And I've always focused on financial, I just do a read all the time. And I haven't read a novel for God, and 20 years, it's all it's all business money, this that, you know, but I started to change the last couple years, and realize, like, that's just one form of wealth, you know, you know, there's other forms of wealth, and it's like happiness, it's also just for me, you know, being more resilient in general, like, you know, I had real good skills at sales, marketing, business money, but like, I know, a lot of skills that how to fix things be, you know, if we're cut off from the world, if, you know, there's COVID, you know, shutdowns, like being able to, like, feed myself, you know, so, um, I'm just trying to be a little bit more like, both isn't just money, Freedom isn't just financial freedom is actually just being independent, not relying on the shops being open all the time, you know, so that's just come with time for me. But you know, I'm lucky because I had success in my business. So like, it helped ease the financial pressure, because so we, if you don't have the money, it's hard to do a lot of things. So once you get a bit of money, then you can relax and start to, but I think some people will say things keep going money, right? Money business, you know, like, and I've sort of went, Yeah, no, I'm cool. Like, I need enough. I need to be happy. But I don't I don't need to be Elon Musk. There you go. What is a quote that is yours or somebody else's that you resonate with. So I would say one of my business partners, used to say it's quoted all the time, and it's actually from IBM, he got it from he went to IBM is real smart tech guy. And he said, everything you need need to do, it needs to be repeatable, measurable, and optimizable. And that, that was a real philosophy we built our business on so just don't do anything. If you can't repeat it. If it's not a repeatable process, if you can't measure it, you don't know how it's going. And you want to optimize that constantly. So I think that's probably the most influential quote that I've carried through through my career. That's a good one. It's a good one, man. Because people get lost in the weeds just by focusing on stuff they can't they can't control, or they can't even measure. And that's just like, gotta focus on what's important and what is what's worth. What's worth your time in the long run. Absolutely. Most definitely. I love the quote myself. So you, you touched on not having time to read novels, what you know, and always reading business books. And what's the one book by default no matter what you're going to recommend to anybody trying to get into this, like, what's your key favorite book? And then what's the book you're reading right now? I I am gonna say retire young, retire rich by Robert Kiyosaki. And I'm purposely not saying Rich Dad, Poor Dad, because I know most people say that and I started there. So so if you haven't read Robert Kiyosaki, you should start reached out for that. When I said retire young, retire rich, because like I've honestly read every single one of his books. And he Robert Kiyosaki been so influential on me, and a lot of people, but don't just read the first to keep going retiring. Retiring was about him taking a year off when he exited his first business. That's what moved me here to New Orleans. I mean, so so it's pretty much I'm really saying the whole Robert Kiyosaki series but for those of you who are listening who have read Rich Dad, Poor Dad and half the volume, which probably a lot of you, but just that read the other ones, man, they're the best. Definitely. And he jumps into some interesting topics too. Oh, yeah. There's a little bit of a tangent and um, but he also understands things on a completely different level than a lot of people. Yes, I can see the learn from Yeah, yeah, I can see my mental health like, even me personally. Now listen, podcast books like he's his thoughts run through me. And I've let the up let them influence me. In terms of book I'm reading now a different one actually is the silicene prophecy. Right? So someone sent you read a frank? Yes. That someone sends it to me, right. So I thought it connected him with someone and it was like it was just like really serendipitous how I met this guy who was really cool, like, Hey, you got to meet this other guy. And I connected him and like, he was like, Man, that's like, the exact person needs to meet and they like, and I'm like, and I said to him all like, I still believe in that stuff, the universe. Anyway, this book, you know, and you will read this book. A couple days later, I turned off my house, he sent it to me. So I started reading it. And, you know, I'm really, I'm really enjoying that. And again, I do read a little bit more spiritual and just different. And there's not, it's still not really novels, but I'm trying to not just read business and finance. What's funny is I have listened to a lot of audiobooks on Audible. And I've currently got three novels on there that I've purchased. And I've listened to a total of five minutes of one of them. I've had a lot of, you know, the spiritual books, the business books, you know, the educational focused, you know, someone's talking in a group Oh, my God, this book is just, you know, listening to this, you know, if I hadn't already had it, I'd be jumping on those books here. We're talking about, you know, and so it's the Licious continues to grow and grow and grow, so I can definitely relate. If you haven't, you know, one of my favorites, the Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by Tihar Becker totally changed my mindset and my entire thought process. I haven't done that one yet. I have heard it's definitely there's there's probably a good 40 books that like, I know, I should read that a classics that I haven't got to yet I've read a lot, but there's just and that's enough, that's enough class, I would say. Definitely a great one. Daniel. So where can people get a hold of you? I'm gonna play I'm gonna plug I'm I'm gonna do SEO a bonus on this one. Homebuyers, Louisiana is that can people send you deals there as well to like other wholesalers, I'm on my contact details there. So they can, you know, obviously, I buy in your lane. If you're doing Brand New Orleans, I'm definitely a cash buyer. So reach out to me, homeboy, louisiana.com probably the best place, you can get me on LinkedIn. You get me on Facebook now too. For a long time. I was for a long time, I kept Facebook as personal. But it's just it's just become real estate now. So suffer, so you get me on Facebook as well. There you go. So I'm like thinking like SEO title to really rank you. I got you I got I gotta make this really, really good for you. Because, like, if you provide value, so I'm gonna provide value my own way. And it's my so the SEO, that's my name in it. So I really got a good title for you. I'll let you know what I love. I love it. We should keep in contact we should get if you want to geek out on some SEO? I can I can go there and reach out to you on that topic. No, I think it's such a good topic. And you haven't experienced with it. Maybe we'll have you on again and talking about SEO, it's typically because I think it's such a it's such a misunderstood topic that like no one like really, really grasp what it is. It's simple things like podcasting, that helps with your SEO and just building brand awareness. And I made a post today. We had like 5000 visitors from Google organically. Like you didn't even pay for the item paid for that. It's just being a maybe being branded aware. Just branding yourself 100% using SEO using your name using your brand and leveraging on that you get free traffic that is at the loss for like you know, you need to give some names that lead lasts a long time. It's better than just a campaign, you know, a direct mail campaign. It's an asset you're building. I can see it on my website and asset, you know, and that's what you want. What's with even even titled this, I think we have like 3000 visitors last month on all of our websites just to have 5000 visitors last month is crazy. It's crazy. Absolutely. It's free. It's crazy. So brand awareness is priceless. And I think we'll bring on for SEO because it's some it's a topic that is so so easy once you understand it, but it's hard. If you don't understand it. Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate your time. Honestly, Steve, and like I said, hopefully people find value in it. Please send some deals your way. Appreciate Frank for help me out on this one. But appreciate your time, man. It was a great interview. I enjoyed it very much. I appreciate you having me on. Thank you so much. All right. Thank you guys. Cool.
Steve is an Australian entrepreneur and property investor. His Australian Home Improvement business IPO’ed on the ASX with a market capitalization of $315 Million and he moved his family to New Orleans and founded Home Buyer Louisiana. His business acquires distressed properties direct from homeowners to flip, rent and wholesale. He has a rental portfolio spanning 3 states in Australia and Louisiana. He directly owns 33 rentals valued at $7 Million dollars. His favorite strategy is the BRRRR method and he has aggressive goals to continuously expand his rental portfolio.
Host/ Ceo/ Speaker
I have been an entrepreneur since 2018. I come from a regular home just like most people. My dad worked on the roads in the Chicago area for over 30 years. He always taught me to work with my brain, instead of my body. Your body can only take so much abuse. I learned so much from my father. He always pushed me to work smarter and not harder.
I have owned and operated a trucking business for 2 years. I started learning real estate in 2019. Fell into the Data & Skiptracing business in 2020. My partner Anthony & I started Hivemind in 2021.
I have done a ton of different jobs coming up from painting, to door-to-door sales, telemarketing, truck driving, and loading trailers. What I learned most is that I want to stay in the digital business space. The leverage you can have delivering digital products to the marketplace can yield limitless possibilites.
I started The List Guys in 2020. It is a data and skiptracing service. We provide seller and buyers list nationwide. My clients have been getting great results and I am proud to help people killing it.
I started the Hive in 2021 with my partner Anthony Gaona. It is a real estate and business mastermind. It also comes with a all in one CRM, that can host unlimited websites and users.
Starting the Hivemind has been an amazing journey so far. Seeing one of our users make his 6 figure month in June 2021 leveraging our software, I know there will be plenty more to come!