94: Agent to Flipper to Large Commercial with Steven Libman
One of the beauties of real estate investing is the abundant strategies available at one’s disposal in an effort to achieve their financial, career, and life goals. Our guest in this episode is no stranger to the industry. He’s been involved in real estate for over a decade. He’s gone from collecting commissions to selling his start up company, from wholesaling to commercial real estate.
Steven Libman began his journey in real estate as a licensed agent. Soon after that, he became a licensed broker, and then eventually a managing broker. That was going pretty well for a while until one petty demand too many pushed him over the edge. Right then and there, he decided to uproot his career and look at this life. This would not be the last time, either.
Steven decided to take a long trip with his soon-to-be business partner and came up with the startup business plan. It was going well, despite the tough learning curve, but still, yet again, it didn’t feel quite right. They were profitable, and they were growing their business, but nonetheless still didn’t have quite the lifestyle they wanted.
Long story short, and some Masterminds later, Steven has created two separate businesses in real estate, one of which he sold off, and the other thriving now more than ever. He’s learned valuable lessons along the way, and has the unique experience of being involved in different facets of the industry. Not only does he share the importance of financial literacy, but also the importance of lifestyle design.
Takeaways from our conversation with Steven:
1) Don’t be an island. Starting out, Steven and his partner only knew one way to learn and conduct business. They had to do it themselves. Early on, they didn’t consider hiring out jobs or expanding their team. They came from the assumption that experience is the best way to learn, which it is, but long term, it doesn’t always mean it’s the best way to grow.
2) Explain your business. If anyone is worth doing business with, it is worth it to explain to them how your business model works and how your relationship will dividend one another. Being in the investing space, many real estate professionals won’t know how different strategies work or why they should be involved. But by explaining your business and intentions clearly, not only will you be more likely to develop profitable relationships, you’ll be better able to serve your clients (tenants).
3) Taxes are all about perspective. Many entrepreneurs coming from the W-2 world tend to only view taxes as schemes designed to unjustly take your earnings. But viewed as incentives the government has laid out for you to better serve society and the economy, taxes become a very important leg in your business. The tax code is written in a way where the government rewards people who do what they want through tax breaks. When an entrepreneur starts using the tax code, as opposed to avoiding it, not only does your business become more profitable, but you fulfill your end of the social contract as well.
4) It’s important for entrepreneurs to ask themselves not if they can, but if they should. The reason? Because if it’s a matter of “can,” through sheer grit and determination, you will. But if it’s a matter of “should,” you force yourself to think about all aspects of your life and what’s truly important. This same exact thought process is what led Steven to change paths so many times in his career, despite them going well.
If Steven could go back and talk to his 16 year old self, he’d tell him, “Understand how money works… Compound interest is really the eighth wonder of the world.”
An unexpected benefit of real estate investing, Steven said, was the ability to give back in ways that he never could’ve done on his own.
A piece of advice Steven would tell his friends looking to get started in real estate would be to “Know at least what [getting started] looks like and why that is… [then] find somebody who's doing what you want to do and add value to them.”
Steven recommends using Boxer or WhatsApp to help you communicate with those on your team.
Steven recommends reading Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz to help you communicate and negotiate effectively.
If you’d like to get in touch with Steven, visit: www.integrityhg.com
Thank you to everyone that has reached out to us to connect them with our trusted real estate agents in their area! And congratulations to those who have even closed deals using our referrals! For those that didn’t know, we can help connect you with real estate investor friendly agents in your area to help you get started investing in real estate. We recently made some changes to our website that we believe will better suit you in your real estate investing needs. For more information, visit www.millennial-realestate.com and head over to the “Start Investing” Tab. Best wishes and see you in the next one!