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Building an Intentional Business with Alex Pardo

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When you’re building a real estate investing business, it can be easy to accidentally lose sight of your vision, and just grow for growth’s sake. But it’s far better if you maintain a strong sense of intentionality—in both life and business.

In this episode, Jeff interviews Alex Pardo, an experienced real estate investor and host of the Flip Empire podcast. Jeff and Alex discuss a wide range of topics, from the importance of consistency, to intentionality, to the debate about whether single-family or multi-family investing is better. Tune and learn from Alex Pardo’s wealth of information.

Episode Transcript

Alex Pardo 

Have a vision for your life get really clear on what it is you want your life to look like and then build a business to support and enhance that vision in that lifestyle. And if I'm being honest man in 2010 2017, beginning of 2018, I kind of got sucked into the vortex that social media can be. And I you know; scale is a very popular sexy word. And I said, Man, if they can do it, I can do it. And I set out to scale my wholesaling operation, and I succeeded. But what I failed to realize was that my overhead ballooned from four or five grand a month to 45,000 a month, I had different types of headache and stress that I didn't have before. And my margins were shrinking. You know, and that wasn't the business that I set out to do. I've always wanted a very simple business that was low overhead, high margin, right and I had built the opposite.

Jeff Stephens 

Welcome to Racking Up Rentals, a show about how regular people, those of us without huge war chest of capital or insider connections, can build lasting wealth acquiring a portfolio of buy and hold real estate. But we don't just go mainstream looking at what's on the market and asking banks for loans, nor are we posting We Buy Houses signs or just looking for “motivated sellers” to make lowball offers to. You see, we are people-oriented deal makers, we sit down directly with sellers to work out win-win deals without agents or any other obstacles, and buy properties nobody else even knows for sale. I'm Jeff from a Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur. If you're the kind of real estate investor who wants long term wealth, not get rich quick gimmicks or pictures of yourself holding fat checks on social media, this show is for you. Join me and quietly become the wealthiest person on your block. Now let's go rack up a rental portfolio.

Jeff Stephens 

Thank you for joining me for another episode of Racking Up Rentals. Show Notes for this episode can be found at www.thoughtfulre.com/e59. Please do us a big favor and do yourself a big favor at the same time by just hitting that subscribe button in the podcast app. It will definitely help you make sure you don't miss any upcoming episodes and also sends a message back to the platforms to let them know that you like the show and that they should let others like you and I know about this podcast honored with today's episode.

Jeff Stephens 

In today's episode, I'm really pleased to share with you an interview with Alex Pardo. Alex is a very experienced real estate investor of his own. He is the host of the Flip Empire podcast which is where you might know him from already; and he is also a co-founder and co-host of a great mastermind coaching program called Ascend. And in this conversation, Alex and I talked about a lot of different things, but what we found that emerged as the theme for this conversation was intentionality. And I didn't know that that was going to be the case going in but that's really the idea that emerged and definitely connected the two of us and we just had such a good sort of bond over that. And as you can tell from the clip that I shared with you at the very beginning, intentionality is such an important part of what we're doing as real estate entrepreneurs, as entrepreneurs in general, and as people. So I think you're gonna get a ton out of this interview. Alex is a great guy fun to talk to, and I think you're gonna like it very much. So I will stop blabbing away. And I'm gonna give you right now the interview with Alex Pardo.

Jeff Stephens 

All right, Alex, thank you for joining me today.

Alex Pardo 

Hey, Jeff, it's my absolute pleasure. I'm excited to be on your show, my friend.

Jeff Stephens 

I have been looking forward to this for a while. So I grateful that we got a chance to meet a few months ago and just been great getting to know you. So I'm a big picture guy, I would love for you to just start at the high level give us the sort of 60,000 foot version of Alex and then give us some more detail.

Alex Pardo

Yeah, absolutely. And feel free to cut me off for jumping whenever you want. But, uh, you know, come from pretty humble beginnings. My family, my entire family's from Cuba, my sister and I were born here in Miami. And, you know, I don't have a rag to riches story and but I also did you know, I grew up in a middle-class family, I don't come from a family of entrepreneurs or anything like that. In fact, I'm the very first entrepreneur and in our family but I think one of the things that motivated or motivated me very early on was the fact that I saw how hard my parents worked for somebody else, you know, working 12-13-hour days and on and you know, early on I just realized that that's not the kind of life I wanted while I was when it taught me a lot of work ethic and fight of ownership finding their work and all that kind of stuff. I took a lot of that but I also took the fact that you know working for somebody probably wasn't going to be was wasn't going to get me to where I ultimately wanted to go and I realized that an early age and I remember being 11-12-13 years old that I grew up playing sports. And so I'd be at the ball park all you know every weekend and I would buy baseball cards, and I would flip them for an extra 50 cents or for an extra dollar. And that's when I kind of got my first taste of buying something low, selling it a little bit higher. And I'm like, I kind of liked this thing. Of course, at the time, I didn't know I was flipping at it. No, it was wholesaling. Or I was just making a little bit of money so I can buy a pizza or something. Right? And, and then it's kind of weird man, I had a shift. When I when I got into college, I've always been very ambitious. And I don't know if it was the perceived prestige of being the CEO or the CFO that kind of was appealing to me. But sometime in college, my junior senior year, I decided that I wanted to go be a bigwig at a big corporation. Of course, not knowing what that meant not knowing what corporate America was all about. I started interviewing with companies like General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and ended up getting accepted into GE's financial management program. So without getting into too much detail there three months into that job, working 70 to 80 hours a week. I'm like it reconfirmed the fact that I don't want to work for somebody else. Yeah, so I finished that two-year program moved back to Miami. Here I am 25 years old, moving back into my parents’ house, not how I had kind of drawn things up in my head. So that was motivating for me as a single guy to you know, 25 years old living back with my parents was probably not the best look. And, man, I had started reading books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I bought a Carlton sheets course no money down, you know, so I thought real estate was all about assuming loans. And I was traveling backpacking around Europe, trying to kind of find out what I wanted to do with life, right, trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I became a grownup. And a buddy of mine sent me an email and he said, “Hey, Alex, I'm going to this marketing for deals bootcamp in Atlanta, it's 997 bucks, do you want to come with me?” And it was a kind of fork in the road defining moment for me, where I almost remember not going because I had financed that entire trip on my credit card. I didn't have much money. But I also knew I had to do something, I was going to be coming back down to Miami in a few weeks, the trip was over and like, life was gonna start, like reality was sitting in. And I'm like, you want to know what I've always been interested in real estate. Let me just bet on myself. And that's exactly what I did. I went to that event. I pulled out a pre foreclosure letter from the manual, and I started photocopying pre foreclosure letters, it was so ghetto Jeff that like, you could still see the black three rings in the letters. And I started staffing, stuffing and stamping envelopes and I sent my 300 and something letters to pre foreclosures. And fast forward two and a half to three months later, we ended up closing a deal we made $44,000. And so that was, we closed that deal January of 2006, and I've been doing real estate ever since.

Jeff Stephens 

And that is that that is super cool. And actually, I realized our there's a lot of similarities in our stories kind of overall, yeah, just in terms of like the family, you know, kind of like where you started. The idea of being the first entrepreneur in the family and kind of taking a little path down the more traditional route and quickly realized he didn't really want to do that. And yeah, that's really, really cool. And you know, I love I love the fact that the black circles, we're still on the photocopies because that to me, the lesson there is so clear, which is that, you know, thinking is great; planning is great; preparing is great. But nothing is like taking action, imperfect action, right?

Alex Pardo 

And I would add to that point, and I'm glad that you kind of drew that is one of the key takeaways, because I'm hoping people listening and watching this get that as well. I think one of the things that has served me very, very well in my life is I don't really believe too much in procrastination. I know that we have a short amount of time on this earth. And, you know, you ever hear people talking? They're like, “Wow, I can't believe it's November, December and like, where has the year gone?” And I think you don't want to have that mentality because enough of those and you turn around and a decade is gone. And so I've always been more of a ready fire aim type of approach. Yeah, and more times than not that has served me well. There's been a few times where you know, it's kind of backfired on me. No pun intended. But uh, but yeah, man. So when I when I decided to commit, I kind of burned the ships, I put the blinders on and I go all in and I just like I said earlier, I'd bet on myself, I think that's what I want to encourage people to do is bet on themselves. Because, you know, we're all given unique skill sets and a unique ability, talents. And I think it's, my belief is our job, Jeff to really figure out what those talents are. And then double triple down on those, you know, not so much focused on the weaknesses, but really focus on what I believe are the gifts that God has given all of us.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, for sure. So one thing I recently discovered about you that you don't know that I know about you, but that we also have in common. And you just got a little clues of it in your language. Just there was a I think we're both disciples of Dan Sullivan. Are we not?

Alex Pardo 

Oh, yeah, unique ability out then. Yeah, man, Dan Sullivan is fantastic Strategic Coach. His book, what is it? Who Not How I think it is? Yeah, man. I've learned quite a few things from Dan throughout the years never. I've never gone through his coaching program or anything like that, but just books I've read and things that have really helped me throughout the years.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, yeah, he's fantastic. I was in Strategic Coach for several years and planned to go back and got so much so much out of that, but even the idea of being ready fire aim. I totally resonate with that too. And, you know, Strategic Coach, they have you take the Colby test. Are you familiar with Colby?

Alex Pardo 

I'm highin follow through. Um, I'm relatively I think I'm like a six or seven and quick start. I think I'm like an eight and follow through. And so yeah, follow through is my highest.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. Okay. quickstart is my highest fall through is my, my second highest. But yeah, yeah. No, that's, that's very, very cool. All right. So if we, if we fast forward to today, as I understand it, you are both an investor. And then now very much a teacher, and a podcaster, and a thought leader, so I want to get into all of that. But like, as you do deals today, what are those deals? Like, we got a sense for where you started?

Alex Pardo 

Yep, yep. So um, you know, I was a one man show for the first four or five years of my investing career. I was when I when I read Tim Ferriss, the four-hour workweek. And I realized that, hey, I can outsource a lot of stuff, and I can, so you got to understand, man, when I the whole ready fire aim thing, I learned how to do real estate deals by just doing real estate deals, and just screwing up and making a lot of mistakes. But I was never taught to be an entrepreneur. Like in fact, I've made colossal mistakes from like not filing taxes for several years, and then getting an envelope from the IRS half an inch thick, saying hey, you over $100,000 in backpacks is like I've made all those types of mistakes. And I've learned that I've grown from them. So I didn't even realize that, hey, I could hire people to do a lot of the things I was doing in my real estate business. So 2009-2010, I hired a virtual assistant, and learns everything as far as not to do when hiring someone and how to manage and train them. And then in 2011-2012, I specifically remember it's interesting the things we remember, I was on a date. And I had just finished sending out a direct mail campaign and my phone was not stopping. It was just kept buzzing and going off throughout the day. And it was a good thing. I was getting calls. But it was a bad thing that I didn't have anybody to take those calls. And even though I had Pat Live as a backup like it, it just wasn't good enough for me. And so that was kind of another fork in the road that I said, the wholesaling business is very transactional, obviously, I need to start hiring people put the right people in the right seats. I read a book called Good to Great by Jim Collins, and he talks about having the right people on the right bus in the right seat. And so 2012-2013 I started the process of building a team, you know, so I hired acquisitions managers, and dispositions managers, transaction coordinators. And while I've done all types of deals throughout the years, wholesaling was always my bread and butter. Um, and what ended up being our bread and butter was probably also a blessing and a curse, a blessing in that it really provided for my family. And it was a tool to generate a lot of cash. But one of the things I didn't realize early on that obviously you and your audience has is that I needed to take that money and put it into assets that create cash flow. And, and Dude, I got stuck to be just totally transparent, totally vulnerable. I got stuck on that hamster wheel, just making a bunch of money, and then living a pretty decent life but not having anything to really show for it at the end. Yeah, and I, you know, I rectified that mistake in 2016-2017, when I started to acquire some rental properties and started doing some lending and things of that nature that started to spit off more cash flow. I launched a podcast called the Flip Empire show in 2016. And, and then I really got to taste although I hadn't coached people prior to that I really got a taste of what it was like to give and really helping inspire others. Yeah. And then once I got hooked on that, like that truly became my passion. Real Estate, honestly, is not something I'm passionate about. It's more just a vehicle, you know, but I'm helping people you know, doing what you and I are doing now. Like this is what fires me up not, you know, trying to find the next deal. And so yeah, man, I'm kind of fast forward to the part that you may or may not know about. But June of this year, after a lot of prayer thought, careful consideration, I actually decided to exit out of my wholesaling operation, which is something I had been, you know, building up and doing the last 15 years, and I haven't got anywhere I'm still doing real estate deals. I just I had built this machine I had built this beast that I had to feed and that no longer fit my vision.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, yeah. Wow, that I mean, that's a like that's the entrepreneur’s journey in a microcosm right there. And I think people, even outside real estate can relate to that entrepreneurial journey of you know, you get started, you get excited, you start to get some traction, then you start to realize it, maybe not everybody experiences this, but I have to that, wait, who's working for who here I'm serving the business rather than the other way around. And that prompt some, you know, very productive, but deep reflection and, and so it sounds like you've gotten increasingly than like intentional about what you want your life to look like and your allocation of time energy.

Alex Pardo 

Yeah, you so you, I don't think I could have put that any better than you just did. I got very intentional; I think is the operative word. One of the things that I learned early on and I'll give full credit to the life in our organization was have a vision for your life, get really clear on what it is you want your life to look like, and then build a business to support and enhance that vision in that lifestyle. And if I'm being honest, man, in 2010-2017, beginning of 2018, I kind of got sucked into the vortex that social media can be and you know, scale is a very popular sexy word. And I said, Man, if they can do it, I can do it. And I set out to scale my wholesaling operation, and I succeeded. But what I failed to realize was that my overhead ballooned from four or five grand a month to 45,000 a month, I had different types of headache and stress that I didn't have before. And my margins were shrinking. You know, and that wasn't the business that I set out to do. I've always wanted a very simple business that was low overhead, high margin, right. And I had built the opposite. So and it was kind of tough to unwind that because to a certain degree, it kind of became a little bit of my identity. You know, and so, but I ultimately, I can't talk about living your vision and then operate a business that didn't fit my vision, right. Like that just wasn't congruent for me.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, yeah. I think you know, you and I met at a at an event recently, where there were lots of people who were in the kind of coaching industry and but of course, they're all investors to be in with and coaches. Secondly, and if I think if there was one single word that kind of is like, the headline to me of a lot of the takeaway I got from that event was intentionality. Because a lot of those people experienced that where they start growing something and then they realize is, it's not quite, not quite right, or they hadn't maybe been intentional enough, and they start to buckle down and get more intentional, and then things start to get much better. Life is happier, you know, they're actually be more successful as well.

Alex Pardo 

Yeah, it's a I think you're spot on. You know, I also got that key takeaway from the event is, you know, you there was a gentleman that spoke that, you know, without mentioning his name, he talked about how he and a partner had built a $15 million a year business. And yet, I think their profit margin was like two or 3%. And he was overworked, and he wasn't fulfilled, and he wasn't happy. And I think people have the misconception that bigger is better. And I've learned throughout the years that that's not true, better is better. And just because you can get bigger doesn't mean you should the question is does that fit your vision? Is that what you truly want? And then why you want that? Right? Is it? Is it to feed an ego thing? Or is, you know, is that what you're really meant to do?

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, absolutely. You know, so I call what we do the Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur, and sometimes people that asked me what is thought for me, and I always say there's, there's two legs to thoughtful. The first one is really actually about being deliberate and intentionality, and just, you know, not thrashing around and taking a lot of action that's not in going in a certain direction to really think about it first and really be I don't know, yeah, deliberate and thoughtful, I guess. But the other side of it, then is an approach to people. And thinking about this being a business. It's really about people. It manifests itself in sticks, and bricks, and dirt, and financial structures, but it's really a business about people. And I know, that's one thing that we share. Also, in terms of our philosophy, I was wondering if you could just sort of speak to overall like, what is your kind of as you coach others? And as you did your own deals? Like? What is your investment philosophy? And how does that people-oriented side factor in it?

Alex Pardo 

I'm glad you asked that question. Because again, I know that we share a similar thought process. To me, it's all about people. It's all about relationships. It's all about you. I believe that businesses are meant to serve the owner, but they're also meant to have a positive impact on people's lives. Right? And so, core values is one of those things that I think its foundation or any business, you know, if you're listening to this, and you don't have defined clear set core values, that's something that I think you really need to spend a lot of time thinking about. And your core values have to be something more than just making money. And when you can make core values about how to positively help or impact other people and it's not just about you and making more money. That's when I think of business can really breathe life into, you know, into you and into the community. And so yeah, man I were we were talking about this offline. Real estate is just the product. That's all we're not in the room. Let's do business. Some people say we're in the marketing business, I believe we're in the people business. We're all about working with people, relating to people communicating with people, impacting people. And if you're you know, sometimes I talk to people and they say, I'm not happy with the amount of money I'm making. And immediately I asked, What problems are you solving? Right? And the bigger the problem we solve, the more money you make. But when you take the focus off of making money, and you make the focus about other people, that's when things change. And I don't know if it was Zig Ziglar, Jeff that talked about, I don't want to screw up the quote, but basically, you know, you'll get everything you want, when you help others get what they want. Yeah, yeah, it was really, really run the people business.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah. Yep. I absolutely agree. And I think that, that the question of what problem are you solving as such? It's a good one, again, in any, any form of business and entrepreneurship. But I think in real estate investing, in my experience, I should say, that question gets oversimplified by so many people, I think that so much of investing education is, oh, the problem I solve is, there are people who are in financial distress with a piece of real estate, and they need to just get out. And obviously, that that happens a lot. But to think that that's the only problem that we solve. I think it's very limiting. And to the point where we almost forget to even ask that question, like, I was, as you were saying that it's like, Okay, well, Jeff, you know, put your money where your mouth is, like, What problem do you solve, and I would say, actually, that, seven out of 10, eight out of 10 properties I buy, the problem I'm solving is the seller wants to get out of the business, they don't want to pay capital gains, right now, they don't want to do a 1031 exchange, because that's just, you know, trading one responsibility for another. And they don't like the stock market and things like that. And so the solution I provided in relation to that problem is often some kind of an installment sale structure that also helps them to for some gain, and continue to have an income, but it is a solution to a problem. And the other the other thing I guess I just want to put out there for your feedback, because I think that so many investors think about the solution. Before they think about the problem. And the solution is like a hammer. It's like, I like to buy properties at a 40% discount, and like so they just, it's like they look at this hammer and go, Oh, my gosh, this is great. Let me go find some stuff to hit, rather than like looking for the nail that actually needs to be, you know, hit down a little bit. Does that make sense?

Alex Pardo 

A 1,000%. I'm so glad you said that. Because Yeah, it's like grabbing the hammer and trying to kill a fly with it. Like you might succeed. But there's better tools for that. So and I think that's what you know, in the wholesaling industry, so many people teach. everybody buys with cash and closes on your timeline, and there's no closing cost. But like, can you provide the seller with other options that maybe they don't need to sell cash, and they don't need to sell at 60 or 65 cents on the dollar or less? You know, maybe there's and I love the fact that you're crystal clear on who your avatar is and what their challenges are. Because now you can craft your marketing message you can craft your product, your solution to best serve them, and many people don't have that clarity about who they're really serving, right.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, absolutely. It's really just another version of intentionality. When you know, like, here's, here's the person I know I'm most probably suited best suited to help brings a lot of focus. So okay, so that's really cool. So now a couple weeks ago, you did something really fun you kind of a video element to your to the podcast, where you had this multifamily versus single family. I'm gonna call Smackdown. You know, debate. That was a nice way to put it debate but that it was really it was it was fun and entertaining to watch. And, and, you know, an educational as well. But I was curious, like, what was one thing that you took away from that? Like, when you when you hit the end button, you're like, oh, the most interesting thing about that was blank.

Alex Pardo 

First of all, great question. I wish I had a super sexy answer for you. That was like something that was like, Wow, that was a huge a-ha. But I think what it did was it just validated that real estate is a phenomenal, phenomenal industry. It's a great space to generate and create wealth, and to generate cash flow. And I think this is going to sound like you teed it up for me, but you didn't because I had no idea you're gonna ask this but I think it ties in perfectly to intentionality and being very purposeful. And look, you can succeed in either asset class, you can succeed in single family multifamily. In fact, I'm doing one in a couple of weeks storage versus mobile home parks. on any of these asset real estate works. The question is, do you work and are you going to be laser focused? Right, so you have to pick the one that's best for you. I think the mistake is trying to like do single-family and multi and do all these different asset classes, especially when you're just getting started if you haven't built something that already has gained traction and momentum. So to answer your question specifically, it just validated that man real estate is a phenomenal space. It's a great industry. And if you're in real estate and you're very intentional, and you're focused in and dialed in or NASA class, you're going to succeed. Now granted, you have to have the right strategy. And there's other things that come into play. I don't want to say just because you're in real estate, you're gonna succeed because that's just false, right? But dude, Rob Swanson and Dave Parrish on the single-family side, they presented a lot of pros for the single-family space. And then Tim Rods, and Rod Cleef definitely presented a lot of pros on the on the multifamily side. I think the general consensus was multifamily one, quote unquote, not so much because that they like that the guys took it to Robin and Dave, but more so because you know, there's more scalability and just multifamily has things that, but that doesn't mean that everybody listening here should go john a jump and run into multifamily because they might not be best suited for multifamily based on their skill set based on their goals, etc. So both asset classes, all four guys one, in my opinion.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, yeah, I agree. I guess I left there feeling like the right asset class is the one that you fall in love with the one that you want to become, you're driven to become a student of the one that you find yourself just dying to, you know, keep studying it and learning it and learning the tips and the tools of the trade and, and that like kind of where Yeah, where your passion and your heart goes, then then your expertise and your competency will go to and then, you know, it's in that sense, like you can't I don't think you go wrong picking one or the other. I guess you could make tactical mistakes within deals and things like that.

Alex Pardo 

And it's really interesting that you just said that, because I find myself now reinvigorated, passionate and excited. And I have as of the last, and this is very, very recent. As of the last two, two and a half weeks, I have been consuming so much content on storage investing. In fact, so much so that I hired a coach and joined the storage mastermind. And so now that I have the mental bandwidth and the time and energy, I've kind of taken some time away from the single-family space, that is the asset class that best fits my vision and what I'm looking to accomplish long term. So as you were saying that I could just kind of like it was resonating with me.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, absolutely. I've got a good friend who's been very successful in storage as well. But when we also had Stacey Rosetti on the show, a couple of months ago, as well, it was really cool to learn more about more about that space. I think the other question too, is, once you know really what your unique ability is? The question becomes like, in what arena? Are you able to show up as your best self? And so when I think about like, what is my specialty? I do single family and I do small multifamily. I don't have any, you know, 100-unit complexes or anything like that. But to me the commonality there they actual a common denominator is not necessarily the number of units, but it's actually more about the negotiating dynamic. And that's I'd say like my sort of, quote, asset classes, the asset class where I can sit down in that seller’s living room as a regular person, eyeball to eyeball ever regular conversation and see if we can work something out. And that's, if that's an eightplex, that's an eightplex. If it's a house, it's a house. And so I think that's kind of that other question is like, where do your unique abilities show up in the best light?

Alex Pardo 

Yeah, yeah, no, I think it's a phenomenal point. And I think it's one that when people really hone in and figure out what their unique ability is, I think people will start to realize that you can, you can get involved in real estate and not necessarily if your unique ability is not to be an operator, and not to be the CEO, but you're better served as number three, of somebody else's LLC. You know, Gary Vaynerchuk talks about sometimes people are much better suited being number 17 on Facebook than trying to be more Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg, right, because not everybody has that gift on, you realize that there's many creative ways to get involved in real estate and to be a part of a successful business. There's joint venture opportunities. So like, if you're really good at negotiating, figure out how you can do more of that, number one, you're gonna be more successful. Number two, you're gonna be happier. And number three, I think you can have a greater impact, not just the amount of money you make, but the people that you work with by focusing in on that aspect of it and trying to either outsource delegate or figure out how you can get the other stuff that's important, but that doesn't fit your skill set and your unique ability. So I think you bring up a really good point about kind of playing in the sandbox within the talents and gifts that that have been given to you.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So with your podcasts and coaching stuff, you do and you've got, you've got a great reach. And so when I think about reach, I think that's a lot of data points that you get to observe from investors, you know, all over the country doing all sorts of different things and we know 2020 has been a real one of a kind, you know, a year like nothing else has been like this. So I'm wondering, as you get to, you know, you've visibility into so many different people. What's, what's the thing, like, if you could kind of like name one thing that you see people doing in 2020? That, like, I just, I feel like that's a little bit of a mistake. I wish, you know, I wish people would be making this adjustment in 2020.

Alex Pardo 

Yeah, that's a really good question. And I'm just kind of processing here in real time, I'll tell you, one thing I've seen a lot of people do this year is make decision similar to what I made, not necessarily the same decision, but understanding that 2020 has kind of flipped many people's lives upside down. And for many people, it's their income has been shut off or has been severely altered. And I think it's given, I've seen a lot of people kind of opened their eyes to the fact that like, I can't necessarily have all my eggs in this basket. And if this basket gets affected, how, how is this going to impact the rest of my life? And so I'm seeing people kind of take a step back and ask the question, hey, what do I really want for my life? Is this the best business to be operating in? It happens to be for me, it was just timing I, my decision had nothing to do with COVID. In fact, I was having conversations with people in my mastermind, my coach, going back to 2019. But so I've seen people kind of take a step back and ask wider, more broad questions about what they want out of their business and out of their life. I see people getting involved in risky rehab deals that I kind of wish they wouldn't. With the uncertainty of the marketplace, you know, I see people swinging for the fences expecting properties here, at least here in South Florida have just have been super-hot, interest rates are still really low. And I see people getting involved in deals that I could potentially see them getting caught holding the bag. And so um, you know, just, unfortunately, I see people making mistakes that I saw people making in 2007, and eight. And even though I happen to think there's some sort of market correction coming, I don't know, when I don't have a crystal ball. But I do believe that at some point here coming up, we're gonna see some sort of correction now, to what degree I guess that that's debatable, right. But a lot of the mistakes that people make back then I see them making now not monitoring days on market, not monitoring inventory levels, just assuming that things are going to continue to stay hot. And it's ironic, because we're in the middle of a pandemic. So, those are some of the things that come to mind for me.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, yep, I understand I and I agree to I actually just closed on the sale of a flip yesterday. And, you know, the whole time is an escrow, which isn't, you know, five weeks or something, it wasn't a real long time. But, you know, the whole time like, I, I actually feel like it's my job in that case, to continue to be I hate to use the word worried, but like, aware of the fact that a lot of things could go wrong, the lending market could change, if there's a sudden spike in COVID cases that could, you know, result in some kind of very quick, swift governmental response, which could then, you know, impact the secondary market. Like, there's just so many things that are variables. And, you know, obviously, we can't just sit around like living our lives in fear and paralyze and stuff. But yeah, that whole that whole escrow period, I just was keenly aware that like, at any, like, let's get this thing closed. Because for all I know, the day after we closed, like the, I don't know that, you know, fan, there could be some Fannie Freddie policy change that could just, you know, change everything. So I agree, it's definitely time to, you know, just step cautiously and just be aware that we can't take anything for granted as an assumption that like, oh, the buyers pre approve, that means they're going to close or

Alex Pardo 

I completely agree. And to piggyback on just some things that came to mind as you were speaking, Jeff was, yeah, if don't delay getting a deal closed, right, like, don't just assume it's going to get to the closing table, I think over communicating is extremely important. Sometimes I see investors make the mistake of we inked a deal up and we kick it over to the title company and just let us know when the closing date is and not communicate with all parties involved. And that's a big mistake that people make, and going back to our conversation about relationships is continuing to have a long-term view in this business don't have a short-term view of just transaction after transaction, but make sure that you're building relationships right with people, private lenders, I know I know many people that are just banking on lines of credit. And one of the first things that gets shut off when things go sideways is lines of credits get shut off and then then they start to try to build relationships with private lenders, but it's too late. You know, start planting those seeds start investing into relationships. And the biggest thing I wish I would share with you guys about investing in relationships is always ships with a servant's mentality. How can I help? How can I add value? Don't approach relationships, especially when people you don't know or that might not know you, with your handout asking for something. I mean, I think that's, I can't tell you that I'm sure you get people that reach out to you. You know, and they're always they don't, you don't know them, and they're yet they're asking you for something. And sometimes you might, you might accommodate them, but it just, that's just not the way to build a true relationship, in my opinion.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, yeah, I agree. I do I get some of those directly to me. But even more broadly, you know, being a Facebook group or something, I don't see somebody post. Hey, I'm looking for a mentor, and so and so town. Okay. Good luck with that. I mean, what do you Where? Where's the exchange of value gonna happen here? Right. Yep. Yeah. So all right, let's talk about I want to talk about flip Empire. And if I'm tracking correctly, like, you've got darn near 500 episodes under your belt with that, is that right?

Alex Pardo 

Yeah, we're approaching 500 here pretty soon. So the story behind the Flip Empire show was, you know, I, I guess I was fortunate that I experienced some level of success here locally. And from time to time, I would have people approach me and just ask me questions. I certainly never, you know, claim to know it all. And I still don't, I'm still making mistakes, right. But I've always been just been very open and very transparent and vulnerable, not just the wins, but the losses, because we all have them. And I would have conversations with people. And then more people were kind of approaching me. And I would end these conversations just by thinking to myself, I wish that conversation was recorded, because I believe it could help other people. Yeah. And then early 2016, I kind of made a decision. I'm like, you know what, screw it. I'm gonna launch a podcast. And I'm not super techie. I know enough to be dangerous. But like, I equated like, how I know nothing about podcasting, I just kind of knew it was and, and dude, 3045 days later, I had a podcast on at the time, that was iTunes. And, and I told myself, if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it right. And I'm going to be consistent, I had read a stat somewhere that, you know, 80 90% of podcasts, like, don't get past the six or the seventh episode. And I said, I'm not I'm going to commit to this, I'm going to do it. And so every single week, since June of 2016, I released two episodes. And I cannot tell you just the platform has been incredible how many doors and opportunities, it's opened up, I'm sure you've experienced a lot of that as well. Just the fact that you and I even though we met at an event, like this is a continuation of our relationship, and now I get to hopefully have a positive impact on your audience. You know, when you're on my show, you can have an impact on them. It's so it's, it's just opened up a lot of doors and opportunities. And I knew something was missing in my wholesaling operation, when I would get more genuine joy, fulfillment and appreciation from somebody reaching out to me from the podcast, saying, Hey, man, I really appreciate you putting up this episode. It really helped. I got more joy out of that and closing the next $20,000 deal.

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, yeah, that sounds a lot. And you know, when I when I did first meet you, you mentioned I do two shows a week, you know, and then just earlier in this conversation, I was doing the math on like, okay, early 2016, late 2020, almost five years, 500 episodes, like, that's literally two episodes a week, with unbelievable consistency, I guess I just want to key in on that idea of consistency, because a lot of times, you know, entrepreneurs we are, we're high Quick Start we a lot of ideas, and we take action quickly on those. But the follow through is not as high as yours. And you mentioned your spouse who scores is high, which is reflected in the, and the number of episodes and that consistency. But if you if you could kind of give people a tip on how to be more consistent in life, because I mean, I would argue that, that that quality is going to lead to better and more deals bigger deals, as like pretty much any positive outcome you're seeking in life. And I can't say I've been perfectly consistent everything. It's something I'm always striving for. So you have any words of wisdom for us?

Alex Pardo 

You know, again, I think it's a really good question. I think about the analogy of the magnifying glass, you know, where you put a magnifying glass to a leaf and you leave it on a hot summer day. And I see too many people grabbing the magnifying glass getting frustrated with the lack of results, right? It's not burning a hole through that leaf. And so they think it's the leaf and they go move the magnifying glass and pick up another leaf. And it's not the leaf, it's that you just need to leave it there long enough. So that actually burns a hole through the leaf. So when it comes to consistency, think about that analogy. Hopefully that helps. I realized many, many years ago that I had to go an inch wide and a mile deep in order to have impact. And in order for something to really blossom and to really come to fruition. I knew that you know, doing 50 episodes in a podcast and doing it whenever I felt like it wasn't gonna gain any traction. It wasn't gonna really go anywhere. It's almost the equivalent of like sending out you know, two or 300 mailers and then not doing it again for another year, another three or four months, like be consistent if you really want to have an impact. And if you really want results, think about another analogy, going to the gym, you can't just go to the gym for a week straight, and expect to have like this desired, let's just say a Beachbody type of look and physique and a six pack and or you can't just eat well for or clean for three, four days, and expect to lose all this body fat and all this weight. Dude, you got to be consistent. And I certainly do not want to make it seem like I'm consistent every aspect of my life because like you and like many others, sometimes I fall off the wagon, but just not beating yourself up about it. And just getting right back on. And I like to think big picture, Jeff. I like to think okay, why am I doing something? Right? The Why is key. So we talked about Dan Sullivan the book who not how I think just as important of asking, who is asking why you're doing something. And if you have a strong enough why that's going to help you remain consistent. Too many people talk about it, but they're not willing to be about it. You know, and so all these strategies or asset classes, or podcasting, or YouTubing, and all these things work, the question is do you work? And are you willing to put the time in the hours and the sacrifices to really make it work? Right?

Jeff Stephens 

Yeah, absolutely. Well, well said thank you for that. Well, so as we get closer to wrapping up, I wanted to see if you would tell us a little bit about, I know you're involved with something called Ascend. And can you tell us like how does that what exactly is it? And how does it fit into the world of things that the Alex world and everything you do?

Alex Pardo 

Yeah, I appreciate the opportunity. I think to kind of share in a nutshell, what Ascend is, I think it'd be important to give you a little bit of context, beginning of 2019. Jeff, I was in Guatemala I was there for it's called the master mission. It's half mastermind, half mission trip. And during that mastermind portion, first of all, the mission trip was impactful. And it's left a tattoo on my heart and in my head and just incredible experience to serve at that level. But the mastermind portion, man, things were going well, we were making money, we were closing deals from the outside looking in, but everything was great. But inside something felt off. Right. And, you know, I opened up about the fact that, hey, I feel like I'm being called to do something bigger with my life and bigger with my business. Well, fast forward four or five months from that point, Ascend was born, where I approached a friend of mine, Steve Kabanov, who had a very successful coaching business in Maryland. And we felt that combining our efforts with one plus one could equal five. And so we set out to create and launch a community where it was mastermind coupled with the benefits and the power of one on one coaching, right, because I've gotten so much from masterminding and coaching. But I always had to search outside of the mastermind for a coach and I always had to search for a mastermind outside of the coach. Right. So we wanted to going back to the whole avatar thing, we got very clear on who we wanted to work with. We wanted to work with existing entrepreneurs that already had a business, but the business was running them. Right. They didn't have the desired lifestyle; they didn't have a vision for their life. And we wanted to work with people that desire to have a positive impact on other people's life, right, we wanted to see how can we have a ripple effect on as many people as possible by working with people that also had that mentality. And so we launched the community where we meet three times a year in person, it's a challenge based mastermind. It's life and business focused. So it's not one or the other. You know, sometimes in our retreats, somebody who's having a personal challenge, it could be relational, or it could be you know, going through a divorce, or I have this addiction. And then it could also be on the flip side, somebody else has a challenge and growing and scaling their business or hiring or doing more deals, or, you know, growing the bottom line. So it's a very holistic approach. And it's very, just, it's a family type atmosphere, brothers and sisters walking alongside each other. And there's a one-on-one coaching component and other things. But yeah, man, it's, um, I get again, I would do that for free. Yeah, like, that's my happy zone. That's where I, what I feel like I'm meant to do is co lead that group along with the podcast and a few other things in doing so. I don't know if that answered your question. But it's for entrepreneurs. It's time just for real estate investors. Yeah. And it's for people that want more out of their life in their business.

Jeff Stephens 

I love that. I feel like the storyline that I've heard from you is, you know, you started doing deals, and then you know, you transcend it to that, or from that to building a machine that does deals and then you transcend it from that to wanting to help other real estate investors and you transcended from that to, I want to help other entrepreneurs as well. And so I see it, like, literally in my mind as you're kind of getting to a higher level, a broader perspective over time. And I love that journey. And I relate to it a bit myself, too.

Alex Pardo 

Yeah, that's so cool, Jeff, I don't know that I've ever heard it kind of outline the way you just Did but yeah, that's exactly that's exactly what it's been. And you know, it's interesting that you said that because you get to a certain place where money is important, but it becomes bigger than money. And it speaks to now a bigger purpose. And when you find that purpose, like, I think that's where the juice of life is.

Jeff Stephens 

yeah, fantastic. Well, I'm sure people are gonna want to know how to follow up with you and find everything that you've got going on. So what some of the best ways to reach you and hear more of your ideas and content offerings.

Alex Pardo 

Yeah. Again, appreciate you having me on the sermon has been a lot of fun. A couple different ways ascend, you can go to www.ascendyoursuccess.com, www.ascendyoursuccess.com, and then the Flip Empire show www.flipempire.com, and then if you just put the forward slash podcast that'll redirect you to Apple podcasts, and you can check out the show. And yeah, again, I opened up I'm, you know, I just I reveal all on that show. It's not just business, there's some personal stuff in there as well. But I share wins losses, what I'm working on, I'm kind of opening up my storage journey now on the show. So it's, it's been cool. So if you guys have any interest in that, go check it out.

Jeff Stephens 

So cool. All right. Thank you so much for being here, Alex. I really appreciate it.

Alex Pardo 

Well, Jeff, really appreciate you, man. Anything I can do for you, just let me know. And I look forward to continuing to build the relationship.

Jeff Stephens 

Me too. All right. Awesome. Well, I hope you enjoyed that interview, I sure enjoy the conversation with Alex. And he's not only just a great guy, he's been doing his podcast for a long time, as he described there. And he has talked to lots and lots and lots of great guests. And so talk to one person and Alex who's got a perspective that reflects hundreds of people that he's interviewed over the years, and he's just a wealth of knowledge, be sure to go check out and subscribe to the Flip Empire show, absolutely.

Jeff Stephens 

Well, that's it for another episode of racking up rentals. Show Notes for today's episode are at www.thoughtfulre.com/e59 for Episode 59. Please do us a big favor, hit that subscribe button in the podcast app. If you would be so kind as to just take 5-10 more seconds and rate and review the show. We would so, so appreciate that. Did you know also that we have a group in Facebook for thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs? We do. It's called Rental Portfolio Wealth Builders and we would love to have you join us there just go to group.thoughtfulre.com and the magic of the internet will take you right to that page where you can hit the Join button. And if you enjoyed this episode, I hope you did please take a screenshot of it; post that screenshot to Instagram and just tag us — we are @thoughtfulrealesate.

Alright friends until next time, I will see you then. And this is Jeff from the Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur signing off. Thanks for listening to racking up rentals where we build long term wealth by being a win-win deal makers. Remember solve the person to unlock the deal and solve the financing to unlock the profits.

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