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Armchair Real Estate Millionaire. Michael Dominguez
For those who have a real estate investment dream but don’t know where to start, author, investor, & realtor Michael Dominguez stops by. Michael shares how investing in simple quality homes with additional dwelling units transformed his wealth. He is an award-winning sales representative, member of the RE/MAX Hall Of Fame, and founder of Doors To Wealth Real Estate Group, a team of realtors focused on educating and assisting people with investing in real estate.
Michael has discovered a real passion for helping others build their wealth to experience the choices and financial freedom they desire.
Bob and Michael discuss how transforming your mindset can set you up to see real changes in your net worth.
[3:48] “I was the little kid that I said, I want to be a millionaire.”
[9:06] Take action to improve your financial intelligence.
[14:39] Focus on quality properties in quality neighborhoods that appreciate in value.
[18:13] The Goldilocks Principle, what’s just right for you.
[22:35] Finding quality tenants that help make the landlord experience pleasurable.
[28:56] Owning a home, a financial asset, or monetary liability?
[30:41] People underestimate what they can accomplish in 10 years.
Michael’s book, Armchair Real Estate Millionaire, provides the roadmap to crafting a portfolio of quality investment properties for positive cash flow. His book offers valuable insights into property investment that creates consistent and sustainable wealth and savvy retirement planning—without taking over your life.
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Michael’s Latest Book
Click to Read Full Transcript
[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Welcome to another episode of Money You Should Ask, where everyone has something they can teach you. I’m your host, Bob Wheeler. In this episode, we are going to explore why we do what we do when it comes to money. As a CPA for the past 30 years. Wait, let me say 25, because that makes me sound younger. I have seen it all when it comes to money and emotions.
[00:00:21] And if you think I’m talking about my clients, I’m not. I’m talking about myself. My relationship with money has been, and sometimes still is, an emotional rollercoaster. Maybe that’s something you’re also familiar with. Good news. You and I are not the only ones. Our next guest is going to share their money beliefs, money blocks, and life challenges as well.
[00:00:43] Buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.
[00:01:05] Our next guest, Michael Dominguez, is an award winning sales representative, a member of Remax Hall of Fame, and the founder of Doors to Wealth Real Estate Group, a team of realtors focused on educating and assisting people in investment real estate. After becoming a realtor in 2008, Michael bought his first investment property and proceeded to add to his portfolio for 10 consecutive years.
[00:01:26] Since his start in real estate, Michael was drawn towards people who saw real estate ownership as a vehicle for building wealth and reaching their goals. Many of his current and former clients were able to quit their full-time jobs to do more of what they want to do and seek their passions. As an investor realtor, Michael discovered a real passion for helping others build their wealth so they can experience the choices and financial freedom they desire.
[00:01:48] Michael, welcome to the show. And I forgot to mention you also have a book.
[00:01:51] Michael Dominguez: Yes.
[00:01:52] Bob Wheeler: Called The Armchair Real Estate Millionaire.
[00:01:54] Michael Dominguez: Thank you so much for having me, Bob, I’m really looking forward to sitting down and chatting today.
[00:01:58] Bob Wheeler: Well, I’m excited to talk about real estate because I think there’s a lot of myths and misconceptions.
[00:02:04] And so that brings up a lot of emotions for people. And I love talking about money and emotions, because it can be a roller coaster ride when we’re dealing with our finances. And real estate is no different. Now, one of the things I always like to ask people though in the beginning is, where did you see yourself when you were a kid?
[00:02:21] I know in high school, you said it was the typical stuff, but like when you were six, seven years old and I assume living at home with a parent or two, did you have any siblings? What did you want to do? And then what was the environment like that you grew up in?
[00:02:35] Michael Dominguez: My dad was self-employed. He was an appliance repair man, and they had a small, independent business.
[00:02:42] And so I was always like, not knowing it, but I was always around sort of, a little bit of an entrepreneurial mindset. And my uncle, he was, if we want to use the Robert Kiyosaki mindset, he was truly the Rich Dad. He was a very successful entrepreneur. Not that my dad was Poor Dad, but it was certainly, he was the Rich Dad.
[00:03:01] So from an early age, I was given a lot of life lessons for, you know, running your own business and being an entrepreneur and becoming wealthy. So if anybody ever remembers the TV show, Family Ties, I was like a little Alex P. Keaton, where I wasn’t necessarily walking around in a suit and tie, but I did have a briefcase, which is pretty lame enough.
[00:03:22] So yeah, that was me in early age. And so it was funny. I was very entrepreneurial in my younger preteen and teenage years. And I kind of lost it later on. And well, I guess we’ll talk about more about that later on, but I had a lot of positive upbringing as far as education early on.
[00:03:41] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. And you didn’t necessarily know you’re going to go into real estate. You just knew you wanted to be an entrepreneur, right?
[00:03:48] Michael Dominguez: Yeah, exactly. And you know, it’s funny when you’re 16 years old or 15 years old, and people ask you what you want to be when you grow up. And, you know, people say they want to be a policeman and a fireman. I was the smart, the little kid that I said, I want to be a millionaire.
[00:03:59] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:04:01] Michael Dominguez: And that’s what I would tell. And I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I thought I’d run my own business and such like that. But as I went into my twenties, you get a job, you meet a girl, you get a raise, you get a promotion, you start moving on, eventually get married, you have a kid.
[00:04:13] And before you know it, you sort of look back and you say, holy shit, what the hell just happened? I’m now in a system.
[00:04:19] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:04:19] Michael Dominguez: And that’s kind of what happened. And so my entrepreneurial spirit was essentially on life support my twenties and thirties, because, you know, I was just so focused on my day-to-day life.
[00:04:29] Bob Wheeler: Well, now, one of the things you talk about, you mentioned that nobody ever mistook you for being the smartest kid in the class.
[00:04:34] And the reason I say that is for a couple of reasons. One, there are people out there that may say I’m not the smartest person, therefore I can’t do anything, right? I’m not qualified cause I’m not the smartest. But what that statement also doesn’t say is, I might’ve been the funnest person in the class. I might have had the most experiences in the class.
[00:04:53] Sometimes I think we measure that if we’re the smartest person in the class, that everything is just categorically easier, and I don’t think that’s true. And so I was intrigued by that piece of not being the smartest kid in class, because there are so many other things that you can be, and that doesn’t negate any of those other things.
[00:05:10] Michael Dominguez: Absolutely. I was a believer of C’s get degrees kind of mindset. And it’s funny how we in the education system early on, everyone’s measured by a certain set of criteria. But in actual fact, a lot of the most successful business people were not necessarily strong in school and, you know, they don’t necessarily have that full skillset.
[00:05:32] As I got older, I began to learn that I didn’t need to have a general knowledge on all sorts of things, which is ideal in the school setting. But if I had a really good skillset in one or two things and then did that well, I could become very successful and make a lot of money that way.
[00:05:48] So what I’ve actually done is, all the things that I don’t do well, and that’s a big, long list, I have other people do it for me. And I just focus on what I’m really good at. I’m the surgeon in terms of the investing world. And I focus on just the actual surgery itself essentially. And I do what needs to be done and it’s, it really makes a huge difference in my fortunes.
[00:06:06] Bob Wheeler: That’s great. See, I think that’s so important, knowing your skill set, knowing what you’re good at, and knowing what you’re not good at so you don’t drive yourself crazy doing the things you’re not good at.
[00:06:15] You talk about after high school, you know, you grew up with this entrepreneurial spirit, and then in your twenties and thirties, you bought into the system, right? Get a house, get a girl, have a kid, do that, blah, blah, blah. And then like, oh, and then all of a sudden you’re a robot, maybe.
[00:06:30] What was it that woke you up? And there’s two parts of this. How do you think you get hooked into the system? Is it just sort of unconsciousness of, well, I’m just going with the herd and then all of a sudden you wake up and go, wait, what happened? How did I get here? What was your story?
[00:06:44] Michael Dominguez: That’s a hundred percent the case, is exactly that, I remember looking when I was approaching 40 years old, actually the big time was when I was 35. Cause I was born in 1965 and I always had this mindset, by the year 2000, I would be, you know, I’d have certain levels of success. And then that year came and went and I sort of said, okay.
[00:07:04] And I found that for me to create a second income, my wife really never, my first wife never created a lot of money, unfortunately. So I found myself not only working my nine to five job and commuting another 10, 15 hours a week, but I was also, we started a business and I was putting about 20 to 30 hours a week doing that.
[00:07:23] And so I was basically working 60, 80 hours a week. Seven days a week on my jobs to try to get ahead. You weren’t getting forward. And so, you know, I woke up at like 38, 39, 40, and I would say now, as recently divorced, I didn’t have a whole lot of money. I had one asset, which was my home, and I didn’t even know how I’d be paying the bills on a monthly basis.
[00:07:46] And that’s where I was not that many years ago.
[00:07:49] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And, you know, I appreciated that you were sharing that about how the fact of not knowing if your debit card was going to go through and cover that. And I think a lot of people can relate to that. I know I can relate to that. There were times in my life where gee, I don’t even know if I can afford $2 for the special fricking sandwich at the fast food restaurant, because, or even be able to put $2 of gas in my car.
[00:08:11] Michael Dominguez: Yeah. There were times I didn’t fill up the car because I knew I didn’t have enough money in the account to pay for it. So yeah. I did that.
[00:08:17] Bob Wheeler: It’s a scary place. And I think the good thing is, I know for me, I can look back and say, oh my God, you know, I made it through. But in those moments, you have to keep telling yourself, this too will pass. I don’t know when, but this too will pass, with a little bit of panic.
[00:08:30] Michael Dominguez: Well, that’s the thing is to just assume that it’s going to pass is not necessarily the case. What I started to do, and some of it was with intention, some of it was with not intention. But I’ve learned over the years that 200 years ago, what separated the successful and the not successful in a lot of cases was the ability to read. Today, the biggest difference between wealthy and the not wealthy or the successful, not successful, is their financial intelligence.
[00:08:56] What I learned over the years was, the more I learned about financial intelligence and I started to learn, I’ve read books. I started to go to meetups. I started to hang out with other really successful people. And as, over time it just became almost the, just the natural next step was to start doing the right things to start building your wealth.
[00:09:17] So had I just simply said, kept my fingers crossed and thought this too shall pass, I probably would be working today and I wouldn’t have written this book. But the fact that I started to take action and started to make a real difference in my life, it started to fall into place the right way.
[00:09:31] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. I think that’s an important distinction about just hoping this too shall pass. Right?
[00:09:36] We have to be proactive in our financial journey. We can’t just sit and wait. You know, I often joke, people say, I’m waiting for my ship to come in, go out and build your ship. Like don’t wait. And there is that piece of some consciousness and some intentionality of, I’m going to actually help propel myself so that I’m not just going to sit in the same place going, why does the water keep falling on me? Let me move over two feet and get out from under the gutter.
[00:10:04] So you started doing these things and things started to shift. It happened quickly. It happened slowly. It was super easy. It was painful. What was that process? You’re meeting people, you’re reading, you’re getting informed. And when did you know, okay, you know what, I think I’m actually making progress?
[00:10:21] Michael Dominguez: One of the things that I started to learn, which honestly, I didn’t really know what this was, but I started to learn what truly was an asset. What was an appreciating asset. And, you know, again, I knew it, I took Accounting 101 in school. They know the difference between an asset and a liability, but when it comes to real estate or other appreciating assets, all of a sudden I was buying stuff that was going up in value versus buying that new car that in 10 years or 5 years would be worth a fraction of what it’s worth today.
[00:10:49] So the process was difficult at first, because I was all of a sudden thinking differently than I used to think before, but then it became, honestly, just, everything just seemed natural. And I don’t want to say that I abandoned all my old friends or anything like that. It was nothing as dramatic as that, but by hanging around with a new group of people that were all doing the same thing, all of a sudden, you know, we got to talk openly about building wealth and making money.
[00:11:14] And that became my new mantra for many years. And I just put my nose down, and I was not the type of guy that I’m sure, some people you’ve interviewed the past in the real estate game, they buy 10 properties in a month and like it’s, it’s stuff that wasn’t realistic to me. I had my full-time job. And in this case, it was focusing on real estate as a real estate salesperson.
[00:11:36] And so I was around a lot of people who were taking action, which certainly helped me in that way. But once a year or once every other year in some cases, I was buying a property and just moving forward, adding an asset because they were appreciating assets in a good market. I was able to refinance those properties and use that to buy another one.
[00:11:55] And it just kept growing and growing and growing. And really there was an aha moment. About six, seven years after I started, I really started to look at my net worth. I was blown away by how much my net worth had gone up in one year. And I just haven’t looked back since then. It just keeps growing from there.
[00:12:10] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. Do you ever find yourself thinking, oh, it’s not so, or maybe not now, but was there a point where you’re looking and going, wow, they have a couple of properties and they, oh, I have that? Like the reality hasn’t caught up with your mindset?
[00:12:24] Michael Dominguez: Actually just today, for example, I was having this conversation with my wife and I’m having a hard time with the mindset that on a daily basis right now, I don’t have a lot of my agenda anymore because from, as being a realtor, I’m kind of semi-retired now.
[00:12:38] And, you know, again, just using stats, net worth analysis and cashflow, I’m bringing in enough money right now that I don’t need to work on a daily basis. And I have to almost daily convince myself that I have won the race. I don’t need to work like this anymore. And it’s not easy. It is a real shift that I’m having a heck of a time with it, to be honest.
[00:12:57] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, I get that. I mean, we’re so conditioned in a certain way. And even talking about when you had your new friends that were talking about money and stuff, having it modeled differently than what we had in the past. It’s, when we can see it modeled, it’s much easier to make the adjustment. But still, we sometimes bring some of that residue with us that has that old belief or, you know, no, no, no. Don’t let it go. And that old mindset can creep in and try and trick us.
[00:13:23] Michael Dominguez: A hundred percent. I have anxiety dreams to this day, well, maybe not last few weeks, but I have anxiety dreams where I think I’m going to run out of money. But if you’ve done everything well, if you’ve built the foundation properly and actually built a portfolio of real estate and equities, and I do some private mortgages now, you know, I’m in a really good place and it didn’t take a hundred years to do it. I was able to do it in 10 to 15 years. That’s pretty awesome.
[00:13:49] Bob Wheeler: That’s amazing. And what would you say to these people that, now I can hear you say it, it doesn’t freak me out, but other people are saying, well, I don’t know how to do cash flow analysis. I don’t know how to do cost benefit. This is out of my league, so I just won’t even go there.
[00:14:06] Michael Dominguez: Yeah. There’s so many examples throughout history where people started a project and they didn’t know how it was going to finish. And that’s honestly the best answer I can give you, is that if you are starting this journey of financial education, you don’t know all the answers right now.
[00:14:22] That’s part of the whole fun of it. And you start with some of the low-hanging fruit options, and this is something we could talk about forever, but, you know, there are certain things that one could do. And then if you all of a sudden start to build on that, things just start getting easier over time. It doesn’t get harder. It actually gets easier.
[00:14:39] And especially if you buy the right type of assets. And some of the things that I often hear of people that have never bought real estate other than maybe for their own home, is they’re afraid of all of this horror stories of being a landlord and such like that. And, you know, I’m not going to lie to you and say, there’s never, ever going to be an incident, but if you really truly focus on quality properties in quality neighborhoods that are appreciating in nature, you could actually seek out quality tenants and have long-term buy-and-hold quality profits.
[00:15:11] And that’s kind of the model that I did. I didn’t buy in the worst part of town and the cheapest property in the worst conditions, I bought in many cases, a really great property. And my wife and I, we’re spending a whopping two to four hours a month on our portfolio right now. And it’s bringing it in after all of our expenses are being paid. We’re at the point of making five to $7,000 a month in income, just from those properties alone. And it’s paying down the mortgage.
[00:15:37] Bob Wheeler: And what about though, the people that say, well, I’ve got to put 20% down and, you know, Los Angeles, Toronto, these different places, Vancouver, it’s expensive real estate.
[00:15:48] Michael Dominguez: Yeah.
[00:15:48] Bob Wheeler: So how do you get in?
[00:15:50] Michael Dominguez: So, yeah, let’s use LA as an example, since that’s your hometown. And I love California, California does have some very strict landlord-tenant rules, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t invest there. I’m a big believer in adding additional dwelling units. They’re referred to in California as ADUs. And they just passed a law in California that actually just got passed just a few months ago, where they’re really strongly encouraging additional dwelling units in single family, residential homes.
[00:16:19] So I’m not necessarily investing in Santa Monica or LA or Orange County, but an area like the Inland Empire where you’re looking at Riverside and Rancho Cucamonga. Those are towns that are just an hour outside of LA, they’re appreciating at an incredible rate, just an incredible rate.
[00:16:39] And the reason why they are appreciating is because the population is growing. It’s some of the fastest growing cities in all of the United States right now is those towns. And they’re also getting improved transit as well, which is really good to see. And so investing in a market like that and taking a single family home and adding a second or third unit onto it.
[00:16:58] Those properties are going to cover themselves and they’re going to be strong cash flow properties. You know, you find a property that’s maybe between 30 and 60 years old, so it doesn’t have the oldest wiring possible. And you find it on a nice quality street where if you took your DeLorean time machine 20 years in the future, it’s going to be a quality street in 20 years too.
[00:17:18] And then you find a tenant who’s going to appreciate that kind of stuff. You can choose someone with a better credit score, with a better income source. And that’s how you can move forward with that. As far as the down payment, that’s a challenge. I’m not going to lie to you. It’s definitely a challenge.
[00:17:33] What I did is, it wasn’t like I was a multi-millionaire when I started this process. I had a house that had pretty much no debt on it, and I was able to do a home equity line of credit on it. And so that was how I was how I was able to obtain the 20% down. And then the balance came through a mortgage on the property.
[00:17:51] Now the good news is because of the ADUs that I had, I was able to cover all of my expenses, even the line of credit interest. And because these assets were being paid down and they were appreciating, I was able to eventually refinance those over and over again to the point where I got to the portfolio I have today.
[00:18:07] And yeah, I built up some debt, but it was always being covered by my asset. And it was paying me cashflow as well.
[00:18:13] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, that’s a really smart way to go. You have to be a little bit, uh, discriminating in the tenants you choose and the property that you pick. And you talk about the Goldilocks Principle. So if I’m a first time buyer in investing real estate, I probably don’t want to go out and buy a 15 unit building or three single family homes in different parts of the county.
[00:18:35] Michael Dominguez: Yeah. I did not write the book for somebody to buy their 37th property. That’s not who I wrote the book for. I wrote it for someone to buy their first, second, and third investment properties. And if your goal is to own seven multiplex buildings, you know, obviously there could be some value in my book as well, but it wasn’t written for you.
[00:18:55] It was written for the guy or the girl that’s looking to buy that first property, whether they’re looking to move into it themselves and live in one unit and rent out another, or they’re looking to have two or three rental suites and maybe have a second, maybe have a third property.
[00:19:10] Some of the success stories I chose, and I did this with intention. People had bought as little as two properties, two properties. They say that it takes them one to two hours a month to deal with these properties. And it’s given them a seven figure net worth as a result of those two properties with some time. That’s a lot better than a lottery guess sort of thing.
[00:19:30] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. Well, you know, it’s interesting. I sort of came to the same conclusion that you did about multi-units, but in a different way. So I work with a lot of entertainment people. And so a client would be starring on a TV show, and they, I want to go buy a house. I’d say Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Don’t buy a house.
[00:19:47] That’s just going to be debt. And you might lose the TV show. How about, buy a duplex or a triplex, so that you’ve got two other people paying your mortgage. So I was coming from the place of, with my entertainment clients, I didn’t know what their financial stability was going to be. And so trying to get them into units where they’re sharing the property, at least they don’t have a roommate, but they’ve got two other people on the property.
[00:20:10] Now somebody is covering their mortgage. And it was also for people that wanted to get into real estate. Having a duplex is a great way to just explore it and see if you even like it.
[00:20:19] Michael Dominguez: A hundred percent. And if you’re living in the property, there are exceptions, of course. But for the most part, you can pick and choose your tenant. You’re overseeing it. And there are not a lot of things that typically go wrong.
[00:20:29] Yeah. We all hear the horror stories, and Uncle Joe tells you not to invest because his friend wants invested and lost a lot of money. But if you go in with a lot of intelligence and buy the right type of property and the right type of tenant profile, even during the pandemic, my clients had between three and well, almost 500 units actually now that I think about it.
[00:20:51] And we had almost a 99% tenant payment rate and it was that good. And we had no vacancies, the rents went up, the prices went up. It was a very good scenario. That was during a pandemic.
[00:21:02] Bob Wheeler: Do you think that, there’s different components, and so I’m thinking as you’re talking about all this stuff, and I’m thinking about picking the tenant.
[00:21:08] So for me, I had some properties and oh, you know, I can’t pay the rent, Bob. My husband left me and there’s this. Oh yeah. It’s okay. Oh, next month. Six months later, eviction. Right? So I have a big S on the top of my head, “sucker,” Bob’s super nice. Bob’s not going to, you know, and so I got myself in a couple of situations that I went, oh my God, I’d just rather own land.
[00:21:33] Michael Dominguez: And land is a scarier play because they can appreciate, but it doesn’t cashflow. Because you’re not getting in that monthly income. But no, it’s, you are more like me. You need to have someone like my wife, who’s managing the properties. She’s got an HR background and she’s a bit of a hard-ass, but at the same time, you know, she’s fair, but she doesn’t put up with bullshit. And if on day three or day two, they haven’t paid their rent.
[00:21:57] They’re receiving the first level of the eviction forms. And we tell them straight out, we’re going to take care of you. We’re not going to let any deferred maintenance happen, but if you don’t pay us the rent on the first, we’re going to start the eviction process right then and there. And they know it.
[00:22:10] And so I don’t want to have tenants where, you know, oh, I’m going to do my car payments and pay on my credit card bills and sorry, I’m not going to pay you rent. But the better the quality of property. That’s the question you asked me, I guess, is it is so important, the tenant profile, I actually have refused to buy properties that were probably deemed to be very, very good deals because I didn’t think I’d be able to find quality tenants to rent them.
[00:22:35] And so the people that have made lots of money in this business, in many cases, it’s because they’ve been able to hold onto them for a long period of time. And in my mind, the only way that I can hold onto a property for a long period of time is if it’s not a pain in my ass, every single week and month and stuff like that.
[00:22:52] If all of a sudden I go six months and I say, geez, I haven’t dealt with any of my tenants. Once in the last six months, that’s a pretty easy business to run. And that’s what I’ve focused on over the years. And so tenant profile was everything for me.
[00:23:04] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, I think it’s so important. And I just can’t stress it enough about selecting the right tenants, because otherwise you’re stuck with a nightmare.
[00:23:11] I’ve had people that know how to work the system and be able to stay in the property for a year, especially in California.
[00:23:16] Michael Dominguez: Yeah. Ontario is bad too.
[00:23:18] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. I mean, I had a client, she bought a property, had two amazing tenants and said, oh, this is so easy. Took a line of credit against that property, went out and bought two more. Got really bad tenants, and lost everything because she just thought it was so easy. She didn’t actually know she had a good thing, and she was a bit naive.
[00:23:35] That’s a major thing. And the other piece that I find that I always had to worry about and thankfully had enough smarts to stop and check it out. But I had a property, they called me and said, there’s a leak. We sent out a company, one of those national companies, $20,000 to fix the plumbing. Sewage is leaking under the house. There’s all these crazy things, tenants freaking out. And I said, look, I’m not going to authorize $20,000. I’m driving back from Vegas right now. I will check it out tomorrow.
[00:24:03] If you want to go stay somewhere else, I’m not spending $20,000 sight unseen. I sent out another guy that was a handyman that I knew, $250. Everything was fixed. There was no sewage. There was no, all these things that were being told, but everybody just assumed because they said I’m a plumber, I’m certified.
[00:24:22] This is what’s going on. And so there’s this fear that I’m going to spend thousands of thousands of thousands of dollars, which I did on another property, spent probably about $20,000 on probably stuff I didn’t need to spend early on because I didn’t know. I can change a lightbulb. But I can’t build a bathroom.
[00:24:39] Michael Dominguez: Yeah. You know, you’re absolutely right. It’s you can make mistakes, but if you buy, at least if you buy quality assets that are growing in value, you can handle any legitimate or illegitimate hurdles that come along the way. And that’s the mindset. What I want to share to your listeners. And by the way, I give the listeners credit because they are taking their financial education seriously.
[00:25:01] And they’re listening to podcasts such as this. But my advice to you is just to start doing the research, but be ready to take action and move forward. And you are going to have some hurdles along the way, but the one thing I can share with you is of the hundreds and hundreds of clients that I’ve worked with over the years, the ones that have held onto their assets in good markets have all made money 100%.
[00:25:21] And I can’t tell you that that’s the case in the equity world. Certainly real estate has a chance to have some real long-term wealth. The people that have lost a lot of money are the people that are speculating, the people that are buying negative cash flowing properties, and the people that are buying properties, where the tenants aren’t paying the rents. If you buy the right type of assets, it’s not nearly as scary as one might make it up to see.
[00:25:44] Bob Wheeler: Why is it so important for you to help other people learn about buying property and, and being able to have financial freedom? Why do you care?
[00:25:53] Michael Dominguez: You know, it’s one of these things that I was really fortunate, in that when I entered into my forties, I had some mentors along the way that were some really, really successful people.
[00:26:04] And I grew up, I guess, with a bit of a me versus you mindset. Where I’ve thought that if I had to make money, you had to lose money. And I quickly started to learn that the people that had some incredible success weren’t necessarily sort of kicking me down on the ladder of success, but they’re actually reaching back and pulling me up a couple of rugs.
[00:26:24] And I always appreciated that because yeah, in some cases I paid for some coaching or paid for some mentorship, but they didn’t need to do that. They weren’t making money off of that, really. They were doing it because they were trying to pay it forward to me. And so I always had that in my back of my head that if I ever built a level of success, that I would pay it forward to the next generation.
[00:26:46] And I did that in my local market on a pretty good basis. And I’ve, in a local standpoint, I’ve done a lot of seminars and coaching, but I thought to really nationalize it, I should write the book. And I wrote it with a lot of my mindsets and a lot of my analogies and cartoons and silliness, and, you know, because that’s just who I am, but it’s meant for that person to get them moving that first, second, and third property.
[00:27:09] If you’ve already got an asset, like a house with some equity, or even if you’re looking to buy your first property and starting to move forward, there’s a lot of ways to building some significant wealth through real estate.
[00:27:19] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, that’s so awesome. We are at our Fast Five, so I want to jump into a different mindset.
[00:27:25] I’m going to ask you these questions and let’s just see where it takes us.
[00:27:28] Michael Dominguez: Okay.
[00:27:28] Bob Wheeler: How did you spend money more wisely this week?
[00:27:32] Michael Dominguez: This week?
[00:27:32] Bob Wheeler: This week.
[00:27:34] Michael Dominguez: Oh yeah, that is funny. I haven’t really got that anymore. I don’t need to spend money wisely as much anymore. Once you start getting enough assets coming in, you don’t need to do that anymore. So this week, let me think really quickly. I’ve been eating at home versus eating out as much anymore, but honestly, that’s only because I just came back from my Route 66 trip and I’ve just been vegging, so.
[00:27:55] Bob Wheeler: Well, you know, it’s interesting you say that though, because I have so many clients that during pandemic started eating at home and learning how to cook again.
[00:28:01] And saves thousands of thousands of dollars. Plus you get to eat all the leftovers and you get to put as much salt or as little salt as you want. So, like there is some good about actually eating at home, which I do a lot of.
[00:28:12] Michael Dominguez: Trying to lose weight too.
[00:28:15] Bob Wheeler: And that helps with that too. Do you believe in the adage, it’s better to give than to receive?
[00:28:20] Michael Dominguez: Absolutely. That’s the whole point of this book that I wrote was a form of giving back. And it’s one of these things that I probably, in my teens and twenties in the me generation, I didn’t necessarily think that way, but now I am really enjoying the idea of giving back.
[00:28:34] Bob Wheeler: Cool. What’s your wife’s worst financial habit?
[00:28:37] Michael Dominguez: Well, yes, she won’t say it, but she goes to Starbucks every single day. So let’s go with that.
[00:28:42] Bob Wheeler: Oh my goodness. All that money, buy a coffee machine, you can pay for it.
[00:28:46] Michael Dominguez: Well, she does, we have four coffee machines, if you want to know the truth. So…
[00:28:50] Bob Wheeler: It just tastes better if you pay for it and overpay, I guess.
[00:28:53] Michael Dominguez: That’s exactly it. Exactly. So, yeah.
[00:28:56] Bob Wheeler: So in your opinion, owning your own home. Is that a financial asset or a monetary liability?
[00:29:02] Michael Dominguez: Good question. Yes. If you listen to Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Robert Kiyosaki’s mindset, they would call it a liability because it isn’t bringing in normal cashflow. And I accept that as an answer, but at the same time, if you buy a quality property, a quality neighborhood, and it’s where you want to live, if it’s not an asset, that’s the best liability I could possibly have because I’ve made almost a million dollars on my liability. So yeah, it’s been pretty good. So how’s that for a non-answer?
[00:29:30] Bob Wheeler: It’s a great non-answer but that’s an answer. What does financial success mean to you?
[00:29:35] Michael Dominguez: Uh, freedom to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Honestly, that’s been my mantra in the last little bit, just being able to do what I want, visit who I want and not have to take on tasks and jobs that I don’t want to do anymore.
[00:29:49] Like honestly, I have a house cleaner that’s cleaning right now, yesterday, the pool was closed by a company. And the day before that we had a lawn cutter cut our lawn. Like 15 years ago, I couldn’t even imagine stuff like that, but that’s where my life is now.
[00:30:03] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. We’re at our M & M Moment, our Sweet Spot for Money and Motivation. Do you have a practical financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom you could share with our listeners?
[00:30:12] Michael Dominguez: Yeah, one of my favorite things I always like to share, and we kind of talked about it already, but people tend to overestimate how much they can accomplish in one year, but they tend to underestimate what they can accomplish in ten.
[00:30:24] This was a quote by Bill Gates, but really it’s something that I’ve followed for a long time. A lot of people, they want to change their life in like an hour and a half, but in one year you can do some differences. Don’t get me wrong. But in many cases it takes you as much as ten years to make a real life change.
[00:30:41] But if you go in now with a ten-year plan, you can make a significant difference. That said, if you sort of say, well, I’ve got seven more years in my ten-year plan, you’ve got to start now. If you want to make it happen in ten years.
[00:30:52] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. And it doesn’t mean you might not get there a little bit quicker, but if you don’t start working towards it and start taking those steps, it is so incremental.
[00:31:01] And I do think, especially in the culture of today, it’s trying to get from A to Z, trying to get there with no work without putting in this, you got to put in a little sweat, you got to put in a little equity. You got to get your hands dirty. And make that choice that you’re going to see it through, because most people do not have amazing success by just wishing for it. And then the three days later it arrived.
[00:31:23] Michael Dominguez: Yeah, that’s right. There’s no Amazon Prime when it comes to changing your life. That’s for sure.
[00:31:27] Bob Wheeler: That’s right. I’ll order that tomorrow.
[00:31:29] Michael Dominguez: Yeah, exactly. How’s that for, I should write that quote down actually!
[00:31:33] Bob Wheeler: You should! Write it down. Well, you know, Michael, here’s what I really appreciate about what I was hearing today is you don’t have to be the smartest kid in the room, but you can go out and get educated and learn about what you don’t know.
[00:31:45] You can find mentors that can help you out. And even though sometimes I think for people, it sounds painful to, like you said, you didn’t give up your old friends, you just invited in some new people that created some space for you to see things differently. And I hear this so often about surround sound or who you put, you know, at your table, because those are the people that are going to help lift you up.
[00:32:06] And so, I love that you were able to take away that lesson of seeing other people actually lifting people up and realizing you had a me versus them mindset that you were able to shift, and really see the power of paying it forward, which I’m a big believer in. And I love that you don’t have to know. You don’t have to know how it’s going to end, but you still have to step forward to start the journey because we know if you don’t do that, nothing’s going to happen.
[00:32:34] Michael Dominguez: You said it way more eloquently than I did, Bob. Thank you.
[00:32:37] Bob Wheeler: Well, Michael, I so appreciate this. Real estate, for me, is one of those things that, you know, every time I go through a refi, I get emotional because it’s just an emotional thing. They’re judging my credit score. They’re judging my assets. They’re judging all these things. And then they get to decide whether or not I get it, even if I think I deserve it.
[00:32:55] And so it’s emotional.
[00:32:57] Michael Dominguez: The advice I would give you, Bob, is first of all, understand the golden rule. He, who has the gold makes the rules. And it’s a mindset shift where a lot of these guys are not entrepreneurs themselves.
[00:33:08] They work in a corporation, they’re following their set of rules. So what I learned years ago is sometimes I would get rejected by banks and not move forward. But one thing that I would often ask is I said, well, what would have made my application more successful? And many cases because I built good relationships, they would tell me.
[00:33:25] And then I would go to the second lender and I’d ask the same question when they said no. And eventually I got the point where they’d say yes, because I made some adjustments along the way and was able to move forward. And it sounds crazy, but you know, you just keep going, keep pushing forward until you get your yeses.
[00:33:41] And as long as you don’t overextend yourself and put yourself to the point where, you know, you can’t sleep at night. But you know, if I told somebody, said, oh, I’ve got four or $5 million in mortgage debt. You know, some people would have a coronary, but it builds up over time. But if I’ve got $4 million in mortgage debt, but $10 million in assets to support it, I’m okay with that.
[00:34:00] Bob Wheeler: Exactly.
[00:34:01] Michael Dominguez: And the cashflow is every single month and that’s kind of how it happened. And so it all starts with your own principle residence. If that’s what you decide to do, or like you said, buying a duplex or triplex type of property and moving forward. And I’ve got people that have, they built millions by doing it that way and just doing it smart.
[00:34:18] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. Michael, I so appreciate you coming on, sharing your own personal story, and giving us some tips on getting into the real estate market. And I hope people out there listening will go out and buy that first or second home and start seeing some financial freedom.
[00:34:31] Where can people find you online and on social media and get your book?
[00:34:34] Michael Dominguez: I would really like it if you found my book, it’s on Amazon, it’s called again, Armchair Real Estate Millionaire. And the mindset is that you don’t need to be a hands-on day-to-day investor. You can, you’re sitting in your armchair anyway. So why don’t you build your wealth with it, is really what this concept is.
[00:34:50] My website is armchairrealestatemillionaire.com. If anybody wants to reach out to me, they can find me on that website at email@example.com. I can tell you that I’m in a mindset where if somebody buys the book, reads the book, and puts a review on Amazon, we can have a conversation and I can give you a 30 minute consultation if you’re interested. So there’s my offer.
[00:35:12] Bob Wheeler: Awesome. So appreciate it, Michael. Thank you so much. This has been great.
[00:35:22] We hope you enjoyed this episode. Did you learn something new about your relationship to money today? Maybe you have a friend who has some financial blocks or beliefs that are holding them back. Please share this podcast so they too can get off the rollercoaster ride of financial fears and journey towards financial freedom.
[00:35:38] To learn how to have a healthy relationship with money, visit themoneynerve.com. That’s nerve, not nerd. We’ll be back next week with another perspective on