Scott Smith is an Asset Protection attorney and real estate investor with experience in everything to flipping houses to buying notes. Scott specializes on how to make sure you never lose money from lawsuits.
Scott wanted to focus his business on giving people the top level of protection possible, without complicating anything or increasing taxes. “Is it possible to have the best of all worlds?” He asked himself. Turns out it is. And that’s how his business was formed. The types of protections offered, and the way people can scale infinitely with their help makes Scott’s law firm the most competitive in the country.
Scott has been a real estate investor for 8 years, which is why he exclusively works with real estate investors. Now you don’t have to hunt down a lawyer who might know some things about real estate investing. Because Scott’s law firm is so specialized, not only can he help with any of your real estate investing needs, but his team can help anyone in all 50 states. Don’t worry, we’ll have contact information further down in the show notes.
One of the biggest ways to lose money as a real estate investor is holding property in your personal name. Scott explains it like this:
“If you’re holding property in your personal name, what you’re really saying is that if anything goes wrong anywhere in your life, you’re ok with someone being able to attack anything and everything that you own.”
What Scott focuses on in his law firm is separating the assets from the operations. You should have 2 companies. One that holds your assets, cash, stocks, personal investments, etc. Then the second one is what Scott calls your “Operating Company”. That company handles the actual “business”. It’s the company that manages the hiring of new employees, dealing with contracts, handling your leases, etc.
“Lawsuits work because there has to be a connection,” Scott tells us, “between the thing people are complaining about, and the business people are complaining about.”
So if all of your operations are going through one company and someone has a problem with it, they can only sue that company. They wouldn’t be able to attack your assets because their relationship is only with the operating company you have. It’s a way to protect what you’ve worked so hard to get.
Let’s say you’re flipping in your personal name and you’re hiring all of the contractors yourself, basically acting as the GC. That means that if anyone has a complaint against you, or the property, or anything that extends to insurance liability, that whole property gets locked up if they decide to sue you. Once that property is locked like that, you won’t be able to do anything to it until the law suite is settled.
The way to get around that is by setting up your asset company as an LLC. the best place to set it up is in Texas, but there are about 10 other states that make it easy to set up. You can use that company anywhere in the US, just like any other LLC. This is your asset company. Then, from there, you would set up a local LLC for your operations company. This one has to be local because it’s where you’re doing your day to day operations of your real estate investing business.
So let’s say you get a contractor and he makes some terrible cabinets for you and you tell him that they’re not good and you’re not going to pay for them. Of course he’s going to be upset, so he decides to sue you. Well, since you hired him through your local shell LLC, he’s not able to attack your personal name or your asset holding company. That means that while the lawsuit is going on, you can still work on that property and get it sold, and all of your assets are safe in the process. Again, this is a great way to protect yourself, your assets, and your business.
In your worst case scenario, you wind the LLC down that got sued and then open up another one to act as your operations company. In the end, you might be out court fees and a settlement, but your properties are all protected. Plus, you were still able to conduct business while the court case was happening, meaning you still made money. This is a really efficient way of getting rid of issues like that.
Hey Flip Pilots! You know that book Danny wrote a few years back called “Flipping Houses Exposed”? It’s been a free kindle e-book for the longest time, but now it’s finally coming into print! How cool, right?
A lot of investors have told Danny that this book has helped them with their real estate investing business. This isn’t just any book that tells you the basics of flipping houses. No. What Danny and Melissa did was document every single lead and deal that they had so that you can see what they did, what they planned, what worked, and what didn’t.
And when we say everything, we mean everything. See, Danny had taken some time off of the flipping business so he could get his private pilot’s license. When he came back he knew he would have to wear a lot of hats to get his real estate investing business back on track. Keeping documents of every aspect of their business helped him to be able to plan better in the future. When these documents became a book, Danny saw that they were helping other real estate investors grow their business too.
In no time it was obvious to everyone reading the book that the majority of Danny and Melissa’s leads came from their real estate investing website. If you’re struggling to get the deals in your area, it’s because you’re doing the same thing that every other investor in your area is doing.
Now it’s no secret that online leads are better leads. I mean, c’mon, it’s 2018. You have to be online so that when people go to search for someone to buy their house they find you instead of your competition.
Now, this isn’t to try and promote LeadPropeller websites (even though they are the best), this is to let you all know that Danny will be hosting coaching calls to answer any and all questions that you guys might have. So many investors see that it’s possible to get leads online, but have no idea how to do it. Having a website just isn’t enough anymore.
If you want to dominate your local market, come to Danny’s coaching call. He’s going to be going over the best strategy to get online motivated seller leads. Don’t get lost in direct mail, don’t let your competition beat you in Google searches. Come make your real estate investing business stronger with Danny’s help.
No one thought Mark Evans would graduate from high school. Even his teachers thought he should probably just try to pass and then get a minimum wage job.
But Mark had different plans for his life! He did his first two real estate deals before he turned 19… and that changed everything.
Whether he’s sipping an ice cold beer on a Caribbean beach or walking the famous Camino de Santiago or riding on the back of an elephant in India, he’s also doing real estate deals.
In today’s episode, I’m sharing my favorite 11 books that I read in 2017. I read more but, these are the books that ended up with tons of dog-eared pages. Melissa also shares a bonus book she wanted me to recommend for the ladies.
Learn a little about each book and why it is recommended. At the end of the episode you will learn a process for getting the most out of these books. Find out how to take notes you can later find easily based on author and topic. This is a great way to make sure you revisit the key points from each book you read.
The Advantage -
This book is awesome for organization. If you need to focus on organizational health, this is definitely one of those books for real estate investors that you need to add to your list. Stop struggling with managing everything and focusing on processes but not actually getting anything done. Get organized, get working, build your team, and become the Flip Pilot you know you can be.
The Obstacle is The Way -
This is a book that's based on the ideas of stoicism philosophy. If you're trying to achieve change in your life, you're going to face obstacles. When you face them, face them. Embrace the obstacle to be able to overcome it so that you can grow and become a better person.
Bigger, Leaner, Stronger -
This book is more for the health and fitness crowd. Why is this on the list of books for real estate investors, you might ask? Strong mental health starts with strong physical health. Now we're not saying to become a body builder, we're simply saying that you need to be healthy. What's the point in growing old as a successful real estate investor if you've got poor health? This book is awesome because it breaks everything down into the science of healthy living. Definitely a great read to get you motivated and off the couch!
I've already talked about this book in another podcast episode. If you haven't listened to it, the link will be in the link section of the show notes. This is a must read for real estate investors. The tips in this book will help you eliminate what you don't need to focus on so that only the essential parts of your business remain.
We had a recent podcast episode where Steve Cook came on and talked about his book. Check it out in the link section of the show notes! This book is written as a story, so it's easier to process all of the lessons from it. I love this book because it helps you understand that the life that you want isn't always about getting the most money. As far as one of the books for real estate investors, this one is one of my favorites. This is an eye opening message about living the best life right now instead of always focusing on the future.
As a Man Thinketh -
This is a super short book (so it's easy to re-read). This is taken from some Biblical text and really helps you connect with yourself. A quote from the back reads: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he". This is a great book for keeping yourself motivated. If you think you're going to fail, you will. If you think you're going to succeed, then you will too. This book is all about keeping yourself in a positive train of though to accomplish your goals.
Leadership Axioms -
If you're struggling with leadership strategies then this is the book for you. In fact, Melissa has suggested this one to Danny and it really stuck. Every 3 or so pages of this book have an axiom on them so that you keep yourself going through the books. This is one of the great books for real estate investors because you can go back to it when you have a leadership problem that you need to address. Each axiom will help you accomplish your leadership goals and keep your team moving forward.
How to Win Friends and Influence People -
This is a classic. If you've heard of it, read it. If you've already read it, read it again! This book will help you to build relationships that are perfect for networking your real estate investing business. Definitely a must read.
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living -
Often times as real estate investors, we find ourselves worrying a lot. Didn't you become a real estate investor so that you could have the freedom your old job wasn't giving you? What good is that freedom if you're always worrying? Stop that! This is one of the great books for real estate investors because it will help you to take the stress out of your life so you can actually enjoy your financial freedom.
Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment -
In the beginning of this book there's a passage that tells you to focus on practicing for the sake of practicing. That's such a great lesson for real estate investors to implement in their business, but also in their lives. Everything you do you need to practice at in order to become better. Beyond that, though, you need to practice for the sake of practicing because it will make you appreciate the work that goes into mastering something.
Seneca: Letters From a Stoic -
This book is included because a lot of the problems that people face these days are basically the same problems that people were facing hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Things at their core don't change that much. That's why Danny has been so in to stoicism, because that philosophy keeps everything in perspective. The letters in this book survived thousands of years that are jam packed with philosophy. It's an engaging read, which is why it's one of the books for real estate investors on this list.
(Bonus) You Are a Badass -
Melissa specifically wanted all of the ladies out there to read this book. This is a great book for identifying and eliminating the self sabotaging behavior that a lot of people tend to have these days. If you're keeping yourself down, definitely check out this book to give yourself a boost. You're a badass real estate investor. Go be a badass!
Paul Del Pozo is an ex competitive bodybuilder turned real estate investor and entrepreneur. The last 2 years for him have been about personal and business evolution. He has learned to use his unique ability, his gym mindset, to drive and push forward through business failures to success. Listen in to hear about his journey flipping houses.
When Paul got his first deal from knocking on doors, he realized that real estate investing was a great opportunity for him. He made his own luck by starting with knocking on preforeclosures and hunting them down. When he landed his first wholesale deal, Paul started going after the next steps to call himself a real estate investor.
"I always had this idea of a rich guy buying buildings," Paul says, "so it was difficult to picture myself as that guy."
This seems to be a struggle that a lot of investors have when they're first starting out. When is it ok to call yourself a real estate investor? When do you start introducing yourself as one in networking events, or to potential clients? After Paul's first deal, he had the confidence to go to local REIA meetings and call himself an investor.
Paul got into real estate investing out of a need to make money. Originally doing wholesaling deals, Paul has continued down that path with the types of properties he has in his inventory. Now that he's more stable in real estate investing, he is hungry to learn more and build his business.
"Staying excited is what drives you. If you're not excited then what are you doing?" Paul tells us, "No matter what I'm doing in the business, I find it all exciting."
Staying excited is great, but staying focused is better. Knowing where to go and what's important for building your business is key to making your real estate investing business a success. Everything you do when running your business is about being intentional with what you want to work toward.
It's just like in the book "Essentialism". If you haven't heard Danny's response to that book, definitely check out that podcast episodes further down in the link section.