Ep #287 – Michelle Bosch – From Honduran Immigrant to $40 Million Real Estate Portfolio
Here is some of what you will learn:
How one investment can change the lives of many
Why flipping is exchanging “dollars for hours”
The importance of corporate culture and core values
Tugboat vs Lighthouse mentality
Understanding the ‘Who’ in your business
The science behind the 5 people you hang out with
The power of combining stabilizers with accelerators
Understanding the Four Freedoms
Applying the Four Freedoms to your culture
The power of playing to your strengths
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Full Transcript Below:
Michelle Bosch – From Honduran Immigrant to $40 Million Real Estate Portfolio(Ep287)
Rod: Welcome to another edition of “How to Build Lifetime Cash Flow through Real Estate Investing”. I’m Rod Khleif and I’m thrilled you’re here. And I have a real treat for you guys today I’m interviewing my friend Michelle Bosch. Now I met Michelle’s husband, Jack, at a high-level mastermind that we both attended. Guy should spend two or three years ago and now they’re both members of my multi family mastermind, my multi family boardroom mastermind. And got to know her in Las Vegas but the reason I’m having Michelle on the show is well first of all you know, they’re rapidly approaching four hundred doors when they close on what they have under contract right now they’ll be at four hundred doors and over forty million dollars in assets but you know Jack and she and Jack have bought and sold over 4,000 pieces of real estate. They’re excellent in the land flipping business in fact Jack teaches that, they both do actually. But the reason I wanted to have Michelle on the show is because she just started her own podcast called “In flow” and what I love about it is it’s about inspiring women through the world of passive cash flow in real estate it’s to empower women. So Michelle I’m so thrilled you’re on the show
Michelle: Thank you so very much for having me you know first off I’m very excited to be here and you know be a voice and a face for a lot of other ladies out there.
Rod: Right you are you bet no absolutely. So you know before we dig into what you’re up to now, let’s talk about the real estate a little bit. I know you know you guys have a unique story and so let’s talk about your history in this exciting field you know I know you, I think you started with houses or you started with land I don’t remember which but take us through this progression and how now you’re you know you’re rapidly approaching 40 million dollars in multifamily
Michelle: Okay so I will start actually at the beginning then and that is by saying that I am a first generation immigrant here into the U.S. I immigrated into the US and 1995 from Honduras and before emigrating here you know my father had passed away when I was very young and he before passing had made an amazing decision and that decision was to invest in a piece of property commercial property back home and in that purchase I mean you talk about passive cash flow that purchase long after he was gone I was able to put me through you know private school back home, through university here in the US. It is still part of a family, it will take you know care of my mother into her old age and if it stays in the family you know probably even my daughter will see the fruits of that and so that’s kind of how I first you know came into real estate from that one decision that my father made and that you know that event of his loss was bittersweet because it was it has been a loss and both of my mother’s in my life as big as a sky but at the same time you know he has been there for us all along the way. So that’s what you know passive cash flow can do. So let’s go back to the story I come back you know I come to the US 1995 I meet this phenomenal man in the university that you know he’s now my husband Jack Bosch. He’s also an immigrant from Germany. We fall in love we decided to stay here get jobs we absolutely hate our jobs but we have to keep them for some time because our green card and you know immigration status depends on them. So but you know on the side we start getting educated a little bit more on how real estate works and we decided that you know we didn’t want to start with something as difficult as you know going out there and estimating you know repairs on houses and so on and so forth. So we kind of stumbled into land and so very humble beginnings we started flipping land and our first year I think we flipped like thirty properties and then the second year 60 properties and then by that second year you know we had our green cards and it was a liability for us to continue keeping our jobs and so we started to you know go out on the land and basically really ramp that up and scale to the point where we were doing 250 properties you know selling in a quarter about a thousand in a year and so we were able to do that with land. However that is one-time cash every time you flip a piece of land you know you’re exchanging dollars for hours you know it’s like having a job. And even though we managed to sell that land using seller financing you know those notes at some point come to an end and so back in 2009, we find ourselves in sitting on tremendous amounts of liquidity you know from our land auctions and our next thing for us was especially because we live here in Phoenix and Phoenix was at rock bottom prices you know for sale, we went shopping and started you know on our buy and hold strategy for passive cash for a long term back in 2009 we were able to buy you know properties for 40-50 grand and you know rent them for $900,000 so it was a single-family single-family yeah so that’s how we started and then and then about three years ago you know Jack and I, I think it’s a process of evolution of as an investor or as an entrepreneur that you want to go and do you know something you know more exciting bigger something that could turbocharged this you know this passive cash flow instead of looking at one house at a time or one door at a time how can we start looking at you know a hundred doors at a time and so on and so forth. And that’s kind of how we started in the multifamily space is as a result of us wanting to grow what we call our forever cash you know her forever money because it is forever money unless you decide to sell the asset. And so now we find ourselves in our third syndication we’re about to close right now on December 15th on our third apartment complex and we will be almost at full circle you know or full cycle on our very first deal because we’re positioning that for sale right now in the first quarter of 2019.
Rod: So that one won’t be forever cash that one you’re gonna cash out
Rod: lifetime cash flow because I’m all about holding wherever you can
Michelle: This one we can’t ignore right now the opportunity in the market you know to realize you know about three million
Rod: Sometimes you gotta take your chips off the table I get it okay fair enough. So what role have you played in this multifamily space? I know you’re great with numbers right I mean I think I read that you’re great with the financial side.
Michelle: Yes we I basically my role in the company has been more of an operational and you know the more the process oriented one, Jack has been much more you know the visionary, I would like to call him as the accelerator versus me more the stabilizer.
Rod: Love it. Those are great analogies and I’m going to tell you you know and the guys my listeners have heard this many times whenever you can combine the analytical person with the outgoing person although you’re also very outgoing as well when you when you match that up when you match that up it’s an incredible synergy and you know it’s better than the sum of the parts and awesome okay
Michelle: And so and so my role has been to not just take care of cash and maximize cash and forecast you know cash needs for our company but also as a result of something that happened in 2011 that made me completely reevaluate how we were doing things and that is I had been working all my life since I can remember and back in 2011 I kind of hit a wall and I was completely burned out like burned out to the point where my health and my radiance were completely compromised. I would get up in the mornings you know get my daughter ready to go to school and I would come back and for a period of almost six to eight weeks I would just like lay and basically only get ready when it was time to go pick her up I was that exhausted from constantly going going going going and really because we had not organized our business such that where I had given an emphasis to the hoop. Prior to that my emphasis has always had always been to become very process-oriented, very linear, very generator type of energy to create results and so on and so forth and that completely exhausted me and so back in 2011 after having you know hit that wall, I kind of really ate it what was important and what was it that I wanted to do you know with the rest of my life and how that the business fit into that. And so I decided to put an emphasis more on the who and when I say the who is not just the who as in like my team which is incredibly important but also the who in terms of clients, the who in terms of partners, of who we go into business, in investors, everything of you know revolving around the who and how I and how I did that was by emphasizing something that we had never worked on which is corporate culture and core values. And so I didn’t want to have to push and grind and hustle anymore and I wanted things to become easy and effortless and I know that’s like a paradox especially in this world and in this industry where there’s so much hustle porn around like the grind the hustle the hustle and there and that is important and it is valid but just as that energy is valid the energy of ease and effortless and predictability you know is also you know that stabilizer versus accelerator is also valid as well. And so for the first time then in our business I started looking at that and how could we be going away from being tugboats you know if you think about a tugboat the analogy of a tugboat you’re out there trying to bring every ship you know back into shore and that’s it requires a lot of effort, a lot of energy and so how can we turn ourselves to become lighthouses basically a lighthouse stands its ground, it Center, it you know shines brightly and in the storm you know you attract team members, you would you know you attract clients you attract you know you are there centered and so I did that through core values and it is one of the most incredible breakthroughs and discoveries because like I said in the beginning of my journey I was all about process, process, process, process, and the who actually the who is the one that can help you with the process you know what I mean. So the who is at the cornerstone of everything. If you have a question about anything more than likely a who has the answer to that question
Rod: Okay so interesting label I like it. Talk to me, I want to circle back to you know this core values and corporate culture so give me some give me some examples of how you utilize that to make lifestyle more of a focus than the systems because I know you guys travel like nobody I’ve ever seen. You take your daughter and you are I see pictures of you guys all over the world so you have an incredible lifestyle so it’s obvious that what you’ve done is working I’m envious frankly sometimes when I see you guys because I’m grinding seven days a week and so I’m interested from my own purposes so talk to how you know
Michelle: So we do that too there’s seasons for everything you know right but I think it starts with you as a leader identifying you know what do you stand for and what do you stand against and those become the values that you know you make decisions, that you filter opportunities through, filter relationships through, filter projects investments through. So for us for example you know one of our top core values is to be transformational to be of utmost integrity, excellence, and transparency. And so if we can live and embody that you know we attract easily the people that also resonate with those values and the partners you know even like when looking at property management companies to work with right now you know to help us you know manager our properties I look at weather not just if they’re metric centric and they understand the cost structure of you know turning a property around and turning units around but do our values align? because if they align then they will be almost acting in my best interest because they are aligned, we are aligned on those things. You know what I mean and so and so that’s kind of how we use those we you know we don’t necessarily front and forward put them on our marketing but you will get a sense even of those values even in our marketing you know in both educational and investing side. You will get a sense of that on how we operate you know within our team and how we report how we talk to each other you know that transparency and open communications you know integrity doing the right thing even if it’s difficult you know. So if you start living those you start attracting people that have that mindset and operate like you would in certain situations
Rod: No question. I want to say you know and will lose all the analytical ones when I make this comment but I really believe people vibrate at different levels and you attract people that vibrate at your level and we probably just lost half the audience on that telling you I totally believe that
Michelle: I can regain them back and I can regain them back by saying that what you’re alluding to is that you are the average of the five people that you that you’re hanging out with, why? because they change you at a cellular level you know they change you, when they change your thoughts because of the high level thought you know and thinking that they’re at they change your emotions, they change your chemistry, change your physiology, you know they change you at a cellular level. So that’s a little bit what you’re saying so I hope that I regained them back
Rod: Yeah yeah that’s funny it’s why you went scientific on it that’s awesome you know and they’ve heard me say it a million times you are the five people you hang with I mean you know that’s why we created this Facebook group I think we’re up to 22,000 people now and you know you want to be around people that want more that empower you, that validate you, that push you, and it’s true you know those five people you are physically like them you are you know the happiness level is the same, certainly the financial level is the same, the relationships are the same, and it truly that’s why you’re right it’s at a cellular level love it. So back to you we talk
Michelle: Yeah and one more thing to finish that question on the how you know practically does it apply I also the emphasis on the who is not just on core values but also on having who’s that are both stabilizers and accelerators why? accelerators are the ones that are going to bring change, that are going to bring forward movement, that are going to bring innovation, and creativity, you know vision, strategy, and the stabilizers are the ones that are going to make sure that what we’re doing well stays and continues to be well you know and they’re gonna bring predictability and stability and so even like in types of investments you know cash sources, funding, people, marketing, processes, do you have stabilizers? and do you have accelerators in those and that’s another way how you know I have been able to focus on the WHO and bring it down to the business level and to primary results you know
Rod: Love it love it I call it starters and finishers frankly you know and it’s you know a great example would be Silicon Valley you know you get these guys that are the artists, the innovators, they come up with the concept and then you know the venture capital investors will bring in a c-level team to bring it home because in any organization you know there are typically three arc types and sometimes people wear all these hats but there’s the artist or the innovator the person that came up with the idea, there’s the CEO I’m sorry CEOs wrong word the entrepreneur that that is the one that brings it to market but there are they’re the starter but then there’s the manager that’s the people person that’s the stabilizer as it were that that brings it home and the entrepreneur is usually you know very often they’re pushed out, you see that in some of these big silicon you know some of these big tech companies where I’m the CEO gets pushed out because they really do not have the skill set to bring it home. They can start it and get it going and hopefully continue to accelerate it but it’s okay that’s awesome. So I want to circle back to what you said about culture. Now I just want to be sure that I didn’t miss anything because I’m a big prep mean I love creating an incredible culture in my workplace as I was just telling my coaching calls yesterday I was telling people that you know like when they were doing that ice bucket challenge you know to a team camaraderie we actually bought a dunk tank and we filled it up with ice and water and of course I’m the one that’s sitting on a little ledge that people get to throw a ball at and dump into the ice water and you know silly things like that that we did to just you know we had a we had a CFO but they weren’t financial officer they were fun officer okay. So we had two CFO’s so I was just curious when you said corporate culture was it just as it relates to those values or where there are some other pieces to that?
Michelle: Yes it also relates to you know the four freedoms you know freedom of time, money, relationships, and purpose. And just like we enjoy those four freedoms, we want them to be able to enjoy them as well. And so for example we started doing something called the dream manager it’s something that Jack actually learned when he was at a program at MIT with the EO organization. We decided to bring it home here and so we asked our team what were some of their dreams you know dreams that they thought they would never you know accomplish and for example one of our guys team that has been with us almost 12 years his biggest dream was to be able to spend his summers in Hawaii and I’m like absolutely we can make that happen you know if we have the freedom to go and travel and do the things that we do we want our the people working for us and he’s like our right-hand person you know. We want him to have those freedoms as well so we make it we made it we organized it such you know that for those three months he was going to be online you know for a block of time where everyone knew that he was going to be available because of this three or four hour difference between Hawaiian and mainland and um and we make that possible. We’re virtual anyways as it is so I’m that you know that the technicalities and the logistics of that was not an issue it’s just a matter of time and just you as a leader asking you know what is it that you know your employees really value and part of that was you know for Alex you know who has been with us like I said 12 years was to have the freedom to work wherever he wanted to be working and so that’s some of the things that you know that we do and try to bring in so that the whole goal is to have that person bring their whole selves, their entire selves to work you know not just you know you know Alex the you know tech ninja and operations ninja but it’s this entire South coming you know to work and part of it is where does he want to work you know
Rod: What are those again? Time, purpose, relationships, and? what was the fourth one?
Michelle: Freedom of time for me is number one, then money, then relationships, and then purpose.
Rod: Got it okay
Michelle: Because once if you think about it if you have the first three it you are then in a position when you’re not making decisions out of despair and when you don’t make decisions out of despair you have the opportunity to think about Wow, and I’m gonna get a little spiritual here well why am I here? you know that’s why am I here? what is that dent in the universe that I’m here to you know to make?
Rod: You know how are you gonna be remembered what are you gonna stand for I know all of those things love it love it. And you’re absolutely right you got the first three then you can focus on purpose you have the ability but I’m gonna say this as a caveat. Those of you listening. There’s no reason even if you don’t have all that all the money or all time or even the relationships that you need there’s no reason not to start weaving in some of your purpose. Maybe you want to adopt a family for the holidays you know and feed them you know there’s so many things you can do that that are manageable they don’t require a lot of time or a lot of money to start weaving in that purpose now but I love the way that you describe that. So let me ask you this Michelle because you’ve got a child in beautiful young girl if you could teach school children one thing that maybe they’re not getting at school what might that be?
Michelle: From me I definitely would be would be to emphasize your strengths and to keep on developing your strengths. I see right now in Sofia we actually homeschooled her Rod for half a year and the first half of fourth grade. She’s now a fifth grader and in that half a year of homeschooling we traveled the world and we also hired a teacher you know a tutor, a private tutor, to help us make sure that we were hitting all the curriculum milestones that we needed to hit. Well we hit him in a matter of four months and the advances that I could see in Math because she happens to have a you know a gift
Rod: like you
Michelle: Yeah it was like I was blown blown away and then we go and we get back into the system and we get back into the system that is trying to make her have you know strong weakness as an improver reading which is which we need to be reading at a certain level and be able to write us or at a certain level so that is understood but not continue grinding on and spending time on the things that you’re not good at you know that’s the whole point I think for us as leaders is to find what our weaknesses are and have people complement us in those weaknesses and us continue to you know foster only the strengths. So that is something that I see right now that it was like it was like black and white from our you know homeschooling experience to going back into the regular school system.
Rod: I couldn’t agree more in fact I’ve done driving force clip on this and that you know we’re taught you know build up your weaknesses build up your weaknesses I’m going to tell you and you guys have heard me say it before, focus on your strengths build those up a line or higher or partner for your weaknesses and you will get much further much faster because you need to be playing To Your Strengths love it absolutely love it. So let me ask you this now you know if you were speaking to your 20 year old self about the real estate really life in general but definitely real estate as well the real estate business, is there anything you might do differently?
Michelle: I would have much quicker focus on the who and would have much more yeah on a faster speed made that front-and-center but at the beginning I was a rugged individualist I wanted you know I thought I could do it better than anyone else and I thought through process I can you know Trump having to deal with people and the who is the most important part and that’s what’s going to bring you ease and effortless
Rod: Love it love it. Now what do you think is the number one reason that people fail in this in this multifamily business? you know I’ve got listeners that are just getting started, haven’t started yet, know they want their first property, maybe they’ve got a few properties, they know they want to go bigger but fear of failure is such a big limiting belief for many people but drilling back to why you think people fail and then and then let’s talk about that fear of failure but why do you think people actually fail in this business you have any thoughts on that?
Michelle: I do. So there’s a few things and when evaluating any investment, you cannot evaluate it only in isolation in terms of like what the numbers say you know that that thing is spitting out in the potential and you know but you have to look at you know the surroundings you know as we know market rates and can I really optimize this property, but besides that more macroeconomic environment as far as you know what time of the cycle are we? and is the strategy that I’m wanting to use the correct one for this? you know type of cycle or market that we’re in and so those are part of the things that I think reasons why people fail is that they’re using the wrong strategy at the wrong time and another thing that I want to think of is intuition. Sometimes everything checks off sometimes everything like literally on paper checks off but we overwrite this little whisper and I want to say that it’s a whisper from God that tells you that you shouldn’t do something and you go ahead and do it anyways.
Rod: And you always regret it, you always regret it and I will just say, you say it’s a whisper from God that’s beautiful. I will say that that as human beings we our brains our subconscious brains are so powerful we were able to discern micro little clues they’re not just brain doesn’t get and my friends you listening especially not just on deals, if you’re gonna get into a partnership or you know get in bed lack of a better word with someone in business, trust that because I have neglected that or I have avoid you know not given it the energy that it’s due because everything else checked off and I’ve always regretted it. Your intuition is incredibly powerful I’m really glad you brought that up awesome
Michelle: It has saved us from a lot of faux pas and let me tell you when I have decided to repressed it, we’ve paid for it
Rod: Yeah I will tell you I tell the story, Tiffy and I went to dinner with this guy that I was gonna hire as a COO, 120 grand a year you know at the time was a lot of money and we always go to dinner with them, and we break bread with them, and we get a drink, and there was one little thing in the little bit of cockiness in the way he treated the waiter and I was like you know what I’m gonna dig in a little more and there was one there was one reference that he didn’t want me to call he said the guy had cancer. Well I went ahead and called the guy and a guy didn’t have cancer, he had just stolen from the guy and didn’t want me to call and I was like
Michelle: That saved you
Rod: Thank God you know and that was just that little twinge of intuition but let’s shift gears now let’s talk about your podcast. So why did you start it and what is your outcome for that podcast?
Michelle: Okay so the reason, so there’s two I think reasons well the main reason is like I said it’s a spiritual one you start asking yourself what am I going to leave behind? what is going to be my dent in the universe the you know the thing that I’m going to be doing to leave this place a better place and it’s twofold and number one I have been in real estate for the last 16 years and I have been and it’s been a lonely place for me in terms of every high level meeting I have been one, maybe two people you know women in a room and I would like to see that change I want to see more women you know investing and I don’t want them to not invest because they don’t have the knowledge. There is no lack of intellect amongst women it perhaps there is no tradition of investing you know as much because we are in a generation of women that have are very used to being producers and cash machines and have you know I know a lot of women, seven and eight figures where they’re the breadwinners of their of their businesses but very few are actually investing and having their money work for them and I would have seen more women at the table you know investing, producing passive cash flow, having their money work for them. I heard a statistic from the founder of the She Summit, Claudia Jean and it really like came like an arrow into my heart or a punch to my gut as a guy would say and that is that, less than 1% of all real property in the world is owned by women can you believe that that is incredible that is incredible. And so we need to bring women in perhaps it’s a matter of simplifying because there is some technical language and expertise that is needed especially in multifamily I’m not gonna lie but like in anything but and so we don’t need to dumb things down we just need to simplify them and bring women along as well
Rod: Well you know I think it’s really more about the empowerment and you know you’re gonna be a real inspiration to them, I have my friend Maureen Miles that I talked about yes you know Maureen she was at my Atlanta boot camp and she’ll be at my Tampa one here in January and you know she and I both worked at UPS in a previous life loading trucks. Now I lasted two weeks, she lasted like eight years or something and now she’s 20 million no I’m sorry two hundred million dollars or the real estate just killing it so you know I and that’s why you know when I found out about your podcast, it really resonated with me because you’re absolutely right. There should be there should be more women in this space and you know and I love and that’s why I wanted to have you on here and give that give you a shout out so it’s called “In flow” and you know it’s really to grant women access to prosperity through real estate and I love it I love it
Michelle: Now there’s a second aspect that I discuss on that and that podcast and it comes as a result of the biggest challenge that I’ve had in my life which is my health challenge in 2011 and that period of burnout you know. And so I am bringing some of that as well because why make all this money and work on you know on the outer stuff if you’re not gonna be looking at the inner stuff as well you know and just like there’s time for hustle, there’s also time for rejuvenation, for pauses, for silence, or reflection, and I definitely want women that start investing to not forget about that as well. I mean heck men should probably listen to that part too
Rod: And let me say this and I was talking to my coaching students about this yesterday and that is you know women they need to you know a feminine woman needs to be able to relax into her being and like you say get back in the flow reconnect with herself through meditation through you know peace and so I love the fact that that you’re gonna incorporate that in the show as well that’s so critical so absolutely critical awesome. Well listen it’s been a treat and really really enjoyed this conversation with you and I know you’re gonna knock it out of the park with that podcast. So I really appreciate you being on the show.
Michelle: Thank you very much rod for hanging
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