Case Study – Matthew Shock – Athens, Georgia
I believe the best way to learn the business of real estate investing is to hear how others have done it.
When these interviews were recorded, I asked Tom, the interviewer, to ask questions that would help the viewer see how these folks got started.
I wanted to hear the struggles, the successes and a clear path and explanation of what they had to do to make these deals happen.
I did NOT want them to be a bunch of people telling you how wonderful Joe Crump was. I wanted content, examples and real life experiences.
I hope we succeeded.
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Read Transcript for “College Graduate Working At McDonald’s Quits Job And Does 50 Deals In One Year”
Matthew: My name is Matthew Shock. I’m from Athens, Georgia.
Interviewer: Now where is Athens compared to Atlanta?
Matthew: Athens is about an hour and a half east of Atlanta, home of the Georgia Bulldogs.
Interviewer: I see. I see.
Matthew: Yes, a college town. I had actually called someone out of the newspaper that had their house for rent, the typical “For Rent Method”, and called them up and they were very receptive to my offer. He was having problems renting his home. I think he was having financial problems as well. He would have really liked to sell the home if he could but I think at that moment, he was underwater. I went out and met with him. He actually signed up – I had emailed him or faxed him the agreement, the lease option memo and he had signed it and sent it back within an hour. I met with him the next day, got my sign in the yard, showed it a few times and had a buyer in there by the next month.
Interviewer: What kind of marketing? What was on the signs?
Matthew: My sign said, ‘Rent To Own. No Qualifying.’ These were the ugly yellow signs that I was posting around the area. I have a rent to own sign that I put in the yard that says my number and ‘Need Down Payment’. The signs that I put around the property within probably a five mile radius and major intersections and Walmart and whatnot said, ‘Rent To Own, No Qualifying, 3, 2’ and the monthly payment and the number. I had put probably about ten signs out and was getting 10 to 20 calls a day on the property. I did get a lease option fee of $3,000. It worked out really, really well.
Interviewer: How many hours did it take you to complete the transaction?
Matthew: If I think back, putting out the signs, putting it up on Craigslist, talking with him and showing it a few times – probably eight to ten hours. It wasn’t very much time at all. It was well worth the time spent to make the money that I did, so you do the math – I made $3,000 on the deal and I had done another deal as well that same month.
Matthew: That first month that I started in the program, I had done two deals. I split the option fee. They were investors as well, which I typically don’t do, but I was just getting started. They were trying to do rent to own and I actually had a buyer for them and we got $3,000 down on it and I split it with them. So, that was in the same month.
Matthew: I actually was working at McDonald’s. I have a college degree from the University of Georgia in real estate, actually. I never did anything with it. They were pushing me toward working in commercial real estate. This was 2007 and 2008 when the market had crashed and the economy was terrible and I ended up taking a job at McDonald’s. And within a month of joining Joe’s program, I had left McDonald’s and was making five times what I was making ($9 an hour as a shift manager).
Interviewer: Is that right? How long were you working?
Matthew: I was typically 12 to 8, something like that. But it was hell. I’m not saying anything bad about McDonald’s but you and I know they – it was a lot more work than it was worth and they, again, definitely it was underpaid, and again, within a month of doing Joe’s system, I had already multiplied my income by three or four times, easily.
Matthew: Again, I’m kind of lazy when it comes to this. I enjoy a very good lifestyle. I went to Costa Rica for a month last year. I bought a brand new car. I’ve got a Nissan 370C Nismo. I lay around, don’t get up until 10 or 11 in the morning and if I want to work that day, typically I don’t do anything, but if I am working now, its 10 to 20 hours a week max.
Matthew: I can’t even remember. I think when I graduated from the University of Georgia with my real estate degree – not many places have real estate degrees but UGA is one of them, I was looking for a job. I ended up taking a job as a mortgage broker in Atlanta, so I was driving practically an hour and a half a day to get to my job as a mortgage broker. This was right when the crash happened as well, so within a month they had closed their doors.
Matthew: And then, I started working with a real estate broker as well as his assistant and I was doing some work for him. That’s not what I wanted to do. I never wanted to work for the man or work for a corporation; I wanted to do it myself. And I think I was online researching real estate investing and Joe Crump popped up and I found some information about him and Azam Meo and ordered his book.
Matthew: And at the time, I also had done – I had ordered the “Push Button Method” but didn’t really use it for a couple of years. I sat on it and jus tinkered with it. Then, I got a normal job with McDonald’s and the finally I realized, ‘Wait, I need to actually work and have some discipline for the real estate,’ and as soon as I did put in the time and thought and energy into it was when it started working.
Matthew: Right now, I haven’t been. In the past year, I’ve been doing it all manually, but the Automarketer does work. I had Joe’s scraper that he was – we had used that, and then it turned into the Automarketer and Joe had allowed us to use it for a little bit. I was one of his beta subjects who just tried it out. I’d used it for a couple of months, and again, not for any particular reason, had let it lapse and just started, again, doing it manually.
Matthew: But I’m going to go back into it after speaking with so many people at the event, and realizing the type of numbers that they’re getting. Because it does take time to do it manually. Going in and… And I’m not going to stop that completely but I’m going to do both manual and the Automarketer and open it up into other areas. I’ve got a person that I work with that’s going to be doing it for me in South Carolina, so I’m going to expand a little bit.
Interviewer: About how many deals do you think you’ve done in that time period?
Matthew: 40 to 50.
Interviewer: How much profit on each one?
Matthew: I’d say $2,500 to $5,000.
Interviewer: Tell us about the best deal that you’ve done.
Matthew: This is a good one. I had actually signed up a friend of this woman and done her house and she had referred me to her friend in Loganville, Georgia, which is about an hour for me. She had a very, very nice house. She had gotten a divorce, her and her husband, and was thinking about letting it go back to a bank or doing a short sale, and again, her friend referred me and said, ‘Well, look, he did this for me so I’m sure he can do it for you.’
Matthew: So I started marketing her house. She owed $240,000. But there were homes selling in the neighborhood, this is last year – this is just a few months ago – I’m sorry, this was 2013 – there were homes selling in the neighborhood since the crunch for 210-215, so there was no way she was going to be able to sell it on the open market for what she owed. So I told her that I could possibly come in and do a rent to own. We could do a three year deal and get you what you paid for it.
Matthew: She was very skeptical but because of what I had done for her friend, she was open to it, so I marketed the house. Lo and behold, some person from India, I believe, had contacted me and told me they had about $25,000 down, okay? And I was taken back a little bit by it, and tried for a while, to where, with that type of money down, I wanted to give them a stronger form of ownership.
Matthew: Anyway, we ended up doing a land contract on it. Instead of having them put $25,000 down, I had them put $12,500 down and drew up a contract for deed. I did it myself. I already had an attorney do some of my other deals and had the paperwork already, so I just basically wrote the paperwork off of the paperwork he had already, then closed the deal and made $12,500 on it.
Matthew: She’s happy as a clam. I gave them a seven year contract for deed installment sale with a balloon payment after seven years so that they can go then and refinance. But I got this person and they were as happy as could be. She’s moved onto other things. She sold her house. Now she’s got a person in there taking care of it, I made some cash out of the deal and hopefully in seven years, they will refi and she’ll get a big payday, because again they’re going to be paying down her note as well. So it worked out very well. I never thought I could make $12,500 off of one transaction.
Interviewer: How many hours did you spend to make $12,500?
Matthew: Again, probably eight to ten hours. That seems to be about my average when I think about talking to them, going back and forth, etc. I only showed that place three times. They’re a little harder to work with because the people that bought it didn’t even speak English barely; very little. So, I had a guy that was kind of in between that spoke English and whatever they speak in India, and he kind of facilitated the deal for me. So we had a little bit more and we met at a real estate office not far from where the deal was done with people that could speak whatever language that they speak over there. So I had a little bit more into that, but again, eight to ten hours max.
Interviewer: So, $1,000 an hour or more, depending.
Matthew: Yes, it’s insane.
Interviewer: Not bad for a shift manager.
Matthew: Yes, it felt really good, and again, it was so nice to see – she kept thinking, ‘This is too good to be true, this seller – this is too good to be true,’ because again, she was going to let the house go back or do a short sale and ruin her credit. And she had decent credit; she was a school teacher. She was very skeptical but after the deal happened, she’s very thankful to me and very happy and so were the buyers because they couldn’t have bought a house any other way. This way, with the land contract, it literally is a purchase where they’re receiving the tax benefit on the money that they’re paying into the interest on the loan and whatnot, and it’ll be very easy for them at some point when they get their credit in line, just to refinance and when the market’s back, which obviously it’s going in the right direction now.
Interviewer: What are your goals as a real estate investor now that you’ve accomplished this much?
Matthew: Well, this is going to be my career. This is going to be for the rest of my life. I also have – we were doing things, traditionally. I have a business partner and we have rental properties, but I’m going to move into the “Subject-To” where I’m going to take ownership of these things and hold onto them. But, I’m going to expand into other markets.
Matthew: I think I mentioned before that I’ve got somebody in South Carolina. I’m going to use the Automarketer to open it up into newer areas and just expand my marketing and just work myself a little bit more than what I have been, because again, I’m not spending that much time. I’m going to spend more time with the sellers, pick up more deals, and do some “Subject-To” stuff, and build my portfolio, the homes that I’m retaining instead of just flipping.
Matthew: And I’d also like to get into even rehabs, too, but we’ll see. I want to get a little bit more money in the bank before I actually delve into that. But I’m very interested in maybe doing rehabs at some point.
Interviewer: Other than the trip to Costa Rica, how has all of this affected your family life; your lifestyle?
Matthew: Well, I just found out that my girlfriend – we’re having twins. But, my lifestyle is great. It’s because of the kids now in a way, the income that I’m making – she doesn’t have to work. She’s going to stay home with them and she’s really happy about that, to say the least. She was making $12 an hour at a medical billing office and now she’s going to be able to stay home and take care of the kids and I can stay home with them and whatnot. But I have taken some trips and we plan on taking some more here in the near future. My lifestyle is great.
Interviewer: When are the babies due?
Matthew: The babies are due in March. Because I guess they’re twins so I guess they’re going to be a little bit earlier than that, so probably mid-February or something like that; a boy and a girl.
Interviewer: You know that already, huh?
Matthew: Yes, we just went and had the ultrasound done. We’re naming them Elijah and Elizabeth. It was a moment I’ll never forget. The last thing I was thinking about was having twins. It was probably the best news I’ve ever received.
Interviewer: Well, how big do you want your real estate business to be? You say it’s going to be your career.
Matthew: Yes, no doubt – my goal is to get it to about $20,000 a month. And I think that I can do that. I’ll probably – I don’t think there’s any doubt that I can make $10,000 a month or more just with the “For Rent Method” and then employing some of these other things and expanding into new markets, my goal is to get to about a quarter of a million a year.
Interviewer: Good, good. What advice would you give if someone you cared about asked you, ‘How do I get involved in real estate investing?’ What would you tell them?
Matthew: Well, I would say find a good mentor, somebody that you can trust. Somebody that’s actually doing deals and isn’t just somebody that you see on a late night infomercial. And again, that for me was Joe. But as far as actually making it a viable business and a good income, discipline to me is the key, and finding a good model and a good mentor that can show you the ropes, because learning this stuff would take forever and having somebody there to guide you makes sense.
Matthew: But it doesn’t take that much; it just takes a little bit of discipline to do the things that you don’t want to do. When you’re working at a job, it’s kind of structured and whatnot and you know what you’re doing each day from 9 to 5, and that seems to be my problem; making myself do what I didn’t want to do, which might be talking to these sellers. But when you do, you make money.
Interviewer: Sure, anything else you’d like to say about the program?
Matthew: I think that about wraps it up, but to anybody out there that’s thinking about this – this is the real deal – I’m a testament to that.