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My guest today is Mike DeHaan. Mike is an electrical engineer-turned-real estate investor. He is the Founder of INW Properties LL and owns 34 doors and has completed over 50 deals in 3 years of investing. Mike now generates more passive rental income than he used to make with his 9-to-5 which was a 6-figure salary job. He has been featured on the Real Dealz Podcast, Real Estate Investing 365, and several Ryan Dossey YouTube videos.
We begin the episode with Mike sharing his background story and how he got started in real estate. Mike started his career as an engineer by degree, but after five years of doing that, he decided to change his career path. With no real plan, he started dabbling in real estate while also trying to get into the tech world. The tech world turned out to be too difficult, especially with where he was located, so he started getting more and more into real estate. In 2018 he bought three rentals and in 2019, he started flipping some houses by himself, working with realtors to find stuff on the market and buying from wholesalers. Soon, it was getting hard to find deals so he decided to join forces with his, now business partner, who was also his best friend from college and start their business. They started officially in the beginning of 2020 and now they own 34 units and they've done about 50 transactions in the last year.
We then talk about where Mike found the funding for his deals. He shares that he bought his first three rentals using money from his W-2 job, but when it came to flipping he acquired the money through different partnerships. As soon as he started getting involved with real estate, Mike really got involved in the local investor community and that's how he’s been able to grow very quickly. He is a big believer that your network is your net worth, so when he started flipping houses, he met somebody who had the cash but didn't have the time. Mike, on the other hand, had the time and he had the hustle, so he facilitated the projects and they would just split the profits 50-50. A big lesson here is to always show up and talk about what you do because, at the end of the day, real estate is a people business.
Next, we talk about Mike’s transition from his W-2 job to entrepreneurship. Even though he was married at the time he left his W-2 job, Mike shares that the toughest conversation was the one with his parents. Coming from an academic background, it was hard for him to explain to his parents that he will no longer have a job that requires his engineering degree. Luckily, his parents didn’t try to discourage him. Mike also shares that his W-2 at that point was making him miserable and depressed and that entrepreneurship has elevated his life in ways he couldn’t even imagine.
We also talk about the best way to find deals. Mike shares that they focus on direct mail and they mix in some cold calling there as well. But the biggest thing is just being persistent. They also really push a local brand very heavily, showing that we are actually true local people who are connected to the local community. This may sound simple, but it works and it has been a cornerstone in their business the entire time
Next, we talk about landlording. Mike and his partner have been able to accumulate a sizable rental portfolio in a relatively short amount of time. At the moment, they are doing their own property management for the most part. The only ones that they don't manage themselves, are properties that are at a decent distance from where they live, so they use property managers out there. They also have a virtual assistant who helps them answer maintenance calls and do other random tasks that come with it. The only thing that they really have to do when it comes to property management helps placing tenants, but they are working on hiring an admin right now to help them do that whole process. Mike mentions that one of the software that they use is Hemlane.
Make sure you don’t miss this amazing episode of Just Start Real Estate with Mike DeHaan!
“There are two things that you did really well to find this money that came to you: you showed up where people like that hang out and you talked about what you were doing.”
- Mike Simmons
“A big thing that a lot of people don't understand is that after you have those conversations with people, you have to be proactive and follow-up.”
- Mike DeHaan
“I think that the entrepreneurial lifestyle just fits me a lot better. Once you kind of figure it out and start making real money, it elevates your life in ways that you don't really understand.”
- Mike DeHaan
“Of all the very successful real estate investors that I know, I would say 80% of them get the vast majority of their deals from direct mail. It just works.”
- Mike Simmons
“You have to have decent properties. There are so many landlords out there that just think because it's a rental, the property doesn't need to be decent.”
- Mike DeHaan