If real estate TV is your thing, you would have heard of Tarek El Moussa, the star of HGTV’s hit series, Flip or Flop. Tarek has an incredible story from being a broke pizza delivery guy to becoming a successful house flipper and the star of the biggest house flipping show on the planet. Joining Lauren Hardy on the podcast, Tarek talks about how he started with real estate, how he got successful flipping houses, and how he eventually got into HGTV. He also goes into detail about how he flipped houses from three to 13, as well as how he survived dealing with two health challenges while still thriving in his business. There is so much to learn from every turn of Tarek’s story. Make sure you don’t miss this episode!
From a Broke Pizza Delivery Guy to Star of the Biggest House Flipping Show in History
We have Tarek El Moussa, from HGTV, today in the show. He has an incredible story from being a broke pizza delivery guy to a successful house flipper and the star of the HGTV hit series. In this episode, Tarek will talk about how he started with real estate and how he got successful flipping houses.
I’m super excited. I have an awesome guest. I still can’t even believe I have him on this show. Tarek El Moussa from HGTV’s Flip or Flop. Welcome to the show.
How are you doing?
I’m doing good. This is a big deal for me.
It’s a big deal for me too. I see your posts everywhere. They’re fantastic.
You are the highest level, biggest investor and you have a TV show. This is a huge honor to have you on this show. I’m so excited.
Thank you for having me and I hope we bring a lot of valuable content.
We will. We’re going to talk about a lot of things. I have a lot of questions I want to ask you. I know probably anybody who’s reading this knows who you are. If you don’t, you’re probably living under a rock. Tell everybody where are you from originally.
I grew up in Buena Park, California. I played sports my whole life. I was a great athlete. At five years old, my dad was my soccer coach. He was invited to coach the All-Star team. I remember being so excited. That night at dinner, my dad sat me down and told me he was not choosing me for the team. I cried and I was five years old. I asked him why. He told me, “Son, you’re not good enough.” That was my first lesson in life. If you want something, you got to work hard. It was heartbreaking watching my dad coached the other kids. I was sitting on the sidelines and I will never forget that. My whole life, I’m training, working, practicing sports every day from 3:00 PM until 8:00 PM every single day.
I knew what hard work was and I excelled at everything I did. I got out of high school. I found myself pretty lost due to some depression and stuff. I went from being a popular athlete and all these things. The next thing I know, I’m a bum drinking too much. All the other kids are going off to college and I’m still on the couch. It was a rough time. At nineteen, I was selling Cutco kitchen knives and delivering pizza. I was starting to make some good money. Back then, all my leads were in a paper book and I lost my book. I put myself out of business. I lost all my contacts, all my leads and everything I had. There’s no computer and backup database. This was 2002.
If you want something, you need to work hard for it.
I’m at a Washington Mutual ATM in Cerritos, California. I’m looking at the ATM and I’m like, “What in the world am I going to do?” I have no money and I don’t know what to do. I’ll never forget. I looked up to the right and there’s a crooked sign that says, “Wise Old Owl Real Estate School.” I remember I had a moment. I called these defining moments because we have defining moments in our life. It’s a moment in your life that changes the trajectory of your life. I remember thinking, “If I could sell knives, I could sell houses.” I took my last couple of bucks. I walked 50 feet over to this place and I signed up to get my real estate license. That’s how I got into real estate.
I’m nineteen, I started getting my real estate license and I get licensed at twenty. In my first six months in the business, I was young, hungry, excited and motivated. I showed up in my JCPenney suite, my white socks like I’m ready to go and conquer the world. I struck out. I didn’t make any dollars. I completely bombed. I failed and I was so upset. I was like, “I’m twenty years old. I entered the real world. I’m working with adults and I sucked.” I remember talking to my mom and dad. I was like, “I don’t know what’s going on. I’m going to the office, I’m waiting for people to call, I’m sitting in open houses but nothing is happening.” My mom is like, “Go to school.” My dad is like, “No, go for it.” Those were two different mindsets. I was like, “I’m going to give this a few more months.”
One day, I’m in my office. It was an old medical building and an older real estate office, and these two ladies were in this little conference room with me. We weren’t together but in the same room. I hear them talking about how stupid real estate agents were for paying for coaching. They’re talking mad crap, to be honest with you. I remember thinking, “These two don’t sell any houses. What are they talking about? They don’t make no money.” My whole life, I had been coached for football, baseball, ice hockey, and kickboxing. Anything you can think of, I had a coach. I was so young and dumb. I was listening and I was like, “You told me I could get a coach for this?”
There was a free event at Sequoia Athletic Club in Buena Park, California. The event was thrown by a gentleman named Mike Ferry. Anyone in real estate knows Mike Ferry. He’s the OG real estate guy. I’m twenty years old. I’m sitting at his conference. By the end of this thing, Mike has me convinced I’m the smartest guy alive, the best-looking guy alive, and the most brilliant man. The words coming out of his mouth changed my life. At the end of that event, I took a yellow pad and I said, “You don’t know who I am now but one day you will.” I handed him that note. This is a true story. He does know who I am, by the way.
I signed up for coaching that day. I was twenty years old, I was broke, my parents just got divorced, and I had broken up with my girlfriend. I couldn’t afford the rent so I had to move into my mom’s garage. It wasn’t a converted garage. It was an actual garage. You hit the clicker, it opens up, you had a bicycle, dirt bikes and cockroaches. I rolled these little cut-on wheels into the middle of this garage and that’s where I live. Talk about like rock bottom. I’m in the garage, no floor heater, no air conditioning. I’m freezing my ass off in the winter and I signed up for coaching for $1,000 a month. Guess what I didn’t have?
$1,000 a month.
$1,000 back then was like $100,000 a month. I was like, “I got a credit card. Let’s do this.” I signed up for coaching. On the first day, I said, “Coach, I will do whatever. If you want me to wear a piñata and run down the streets, I will do it. I will do anything you tell me.” I did what he told me to do and I did even more. Here’s what I did. I committed 90 days. He said, “We’re going to set a 90-day block. You can make life-changing progress in 90 days if you put in the work. I want to prove it to you.” The goal for me was to work Monday through Saturday and call on Sunday nights for two hours. It was crazy work hours. It’s insane. I was a young kid. I was like, “Let’s do this.” I worked 10 to 14-hour a day, 6 to 7 days a week for 90 days straight.
Here’s what happened. At the end of 90 days, I moved out of my mom’s garage. I ended up making $120,000 in real estate commissions right around my 21st birthday. Imagine this. From a broke kid to making $40,000 a month overnight. I moved from that garage into a $1 million house. It’s a true story. They didn’t give anybody loans back then. I remember my loan application because I delivered pizza six months before. My previous work history was in food services. I delivered pizza. I’m living in this house with no furniture and nothing but a mattress on the floor. I bought the house. It was the most exciting moment in my life. Within 90 days, I made $120,000. I was able to buy a $1 million house and move out of a garage. That’s why I say with this business, you can make life-changing money fast. You just got to put in the work.
You’re riding the wave. Things are going well. Did it keep going that way?
No, it did not. I got my ass kicked. At twenty-one, I’m making $40,000 a month. I buy a $1 million house. I go and buy S500 Brabus, BMW and Escalade. The next thing I know, my monthly bills are $20,000 a month. I think I’m rich because I’m making $40,000. After taxes, I wasn’t making anything. I was a kid. I was trying to get into bars at twenty and I was selling real estate as a kid. I’m crushing it. Here’s how I made my money. I made all my money in phone sales. I don’t want to hear any bullcrap from anyone, any excuses about phone sales.
My name is Tarek El Moussa. Do you know what it’s like cold calling as Tarek El Moussa? It’s like, “What’s your name? How do you say it? Where are you from?” I sounded like an idiot. My first 500 calls, I’m like, “My name’s Tarek. Do you want to sell a house?” “No, idiot. Don’t call me again.” Here’s how I got through it. My goal was not to get listings or to make money. My one goal was to talk to 50 people a day. If they said, “Moron, go F yourself,” I’m not using the word because they did say that to me, I would smile because I got a contact. It’s all in the mindset. My goal is to get contacts. Every time someone yelled at me, I’m like, “I got you. I got a contact.” It came out of it.
That’s how I found my success. I was like, “If I could do this, I can build a team. I can have so many people doing this under me.” I built a team under me. I learned a lot of lessons there but 2007 and 2008 happened. I was young. I had no savings because I spent all my money. Everything I was doing that was working, all of a sudden felt like overnight changed. In 2007, I went four months without a paycheck. I had to sell the house. I sold the cars. I moved into a little tiny apartment in Placentia, California. That was rock bottom again. I literally at a young age thought I made it. I figured it out. I was at the top of the world. I was floored again. I had to start all over. Those are hard times. In 2007, 2008, 2009, they kicked my butt. I wanted to throw in the towel a few times but I didn’t.
What was it like emotionally? Take me back to that place. Every day you woke up, what was your first thought?
It’s like, “Don’t wake up.” I was miserable. You go from making $40,000 a month as a kid. The next thing you know, you’re in your mid-twenties and you can’t even make $1. I was so lost. I’ll never forget I went to Roy’s Restaurant in Newport Beach. This was several years ago. I tried to get a job as a valet parker. They said I didn’t have enough experience. I was like, “What are you talking about? I’ve been delivering pizza for two and a half years. That’s a lot of experience.” This is real. I didn’t get hired. I was going for it. I had to pay my bills and screw the pride. I had to go get a job because I needed $30 an hour. That’s how bad it was. I never quit.
In late 2009, I had this crazy idea. Here’s what happened. I did a short sale for an investor. I found a deal. I negotiated the transaction. There was a first lien, a second lien, an IRS lien, an HOA lien, every lien you can think of. It took me eleven months to do this deal. I spent so much time. At the end of the day, I made $7,000. I watched the investor paint the house, put it back in the market, sell it to someone else and make $127,000. That was the exact moment I knew I was on the wrong side of the equation.
That’s when I was like, “I got to be an investor.” How do you do it? I started pitching everybody I knew to invest in me and everybody was like, “No, you’re too young. You’re crazy. You don’t know what you’re doing. The market is going to tank.” Every single person said no, which is part of the process. I’m sure people told you no too. I just didn’t stop. What I did was I would track properties and then I would show people, “I’ve been tracking. These are the numbers. My numbers are accurate.”
In 2010, I got a gentleman named Pete de Best who several years later, we’re full-on business partners. He’s been on Flip or Flop with me. I was like, “You want to flip houses with me?” He was a young entrepreneur and he’s like, “Sure, let’s do it.” I was like, “No way.” He’s like, “How much money you got?” I was like, “Not much.” I sold my Rolex. I borrowed again to my credit cards and I scraped together $40,000 that back then was a ton of money. I didn’t have it so I had to borrow from banks.
We bought our first condo for $115,000. I did all the work myself. I managed it. I electrocuted myself. I painted the baseboards on the floor. I burned my feet with acid. I did everything wrong but I moved super-fast, got the project done in thirteen days, found a buyer, and close the escrow. I did the entire thing and under 60 days and we made $34,000. Back then, $34,000 was like $340,000. From trying to get a job as a valet parker to making $34,000 on a deal a year later was pretty exciting.
The key to success is doing 10 years of work in one year.
Here’s the interesting part. In that same week, I bought that first property. I went to a Mike Ferry and Tom Ferry event in Las Vegas, California because I was still selling real estate. I always would sit up the back. There were 5,000 people at this conference. My friend was a VP of a real estate company. He was sitting in the front row with his two managers. In those big conventions, the front row, the VIP seats, those are for the people that paid $10,000 for the tickets or they make a lot of money like the big players, the seven-figure earners.
I and my ex-wife at that time got invited to go sit in the front row because those two seats opened up. I remember being in the very back. I was in Vegas, it was a long night, and I was like, “Let’s do it.” We go to the very front row. We were dressed sharp. We were at a real estate convention. At the break, all the people in the front row came up to us like, “Who are you guys? We’ve never seen you before. What do you do? Where are you from?” We’re like, “We’re nobodies. We got invited up here.”
I ended up talking to this guy Brady. He was telling me that he sold real estate in Palm Springs. He was on stage. He was telling the audience how he grosses $800,000 a year. I was like, “$800,000?” I couldn’t even imagine. It seemed like so much money. At the break, he came up to us. He started talking to us and we started talking. It turned out he had a local TV show in Palm Springs like paid programming on the weekends. He said he’d go to the grocery store and people would recognize him. I was like, “It’s unique to be famous and all, but do you make money from it?” He goes, “Of course. They see me on TV and then they buy and sell with me.”
Right away, I’m like, “I need to get on TV. How do we get on TV? What do we get to do?” Two days later, we go home. We were living in San Clemente, California at that time. It was 10:00 at night. My ex-wife has one foot going up the stairs, she looks over and said, “Are you going to bed?” I’m like, “No.” This is when it hit me. I was like, “I’m going to get us to a TV show.” This was out of the blue. She looks at me and she goes like, “You’re crazy.” I would always do crazy things. Everything I do is crazy and I did it. I was sitting there. I was like, “I got to get us a TV show.” “What is the TV show about?” I was like, “I bought a flip. What if I flip houses on TV?” The craziest thing is I pitched a house-flipping TV show before I ever flipped a house.
That night, I sent pictures and bios to the production company. I wake up the next day and they responded, “We liked your look and your story. Let’s meet.” We go through the process. We do a sizzle shoot, which is a two-day shoot. From there, they sent it to all the networks. Nobody wanted it and nobody bet. Ten months go by, we hear nothing. All of a sudden, I get a call from production. They’re like, “You’re not going to believe this. HGTV wants to do a pilot.” At this point, I’m on my third flip. We shoot the pilot and then after the pilot, they’re like, “Normally, it could take 1 to 2 years to get picked up and the odds are very slim.” A week later, we get a contract from the network saying they want to do a house-flipping TV show. I get a contract to flip 13 houses in 10 months on Global TV.
That’s where I want to stop you. Listening to this story and knowing you’ve only had at this point flipped three houses, you have to come up with content for this show. Meaning, you have to acquire a regular stream of flips in Southern California, which is one of the most competitive markets in the country to find distressed real estate. How did you do that?
I also have no money and I have no idea what I’m doing.
This is where it’s big for me. I’m so curious. I had been interviewed by a production company at one point and that stopped me. I was going through a divorce at that time and this production company was like, “We’re going to need a house in an episode.” I’m thinking, “I’m maybe flipping five houses a year in California. I’m not at thirteen.” That was such a big number for me and I was by myself. I said no and moved on with my life. How did you do that? How did you go from 3 to 13?
I get this contract to do 13 houses in 10 months on TV. I look at my ex-wife at that time and I was like, “What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen?” She goes, “They can sue us.” I looked around in our apartment and I’m like, “They can have it. They can take it all. I don’t care. They could have the upside-down credit cards and the upside-down furniture.” I signed this contract. I go from broke, I’m all in and I’m going for it. Here’s how I did it. People say, “Tarek, how did you do it?”
In the beginning, I was focusing on auctions but the problem was I couldn’t buy properties that were occupied because the eviction would take too long. I had to buy at auctions. I had to beat other investors. I had to buy them cash and buy them vacant. I would hustle, grind and work all day long until 8:30 every night. Every night from 10:00 PM to 3:00 AM or 4:00 AM, I would drive all of Southern California by myself on the road, driving by all the houses that were going to auction the next morning.
The reason I did that is because I would look for vacant houses. I would spend nights on the road. I was sleeping four hours a day. I was buying properties, filming a TV show, selling real estate, and driving for dollars overnight. That’s how I did it. I put myself in a position where I was working 18 to 20-hour a day. I’ve put in the time. I worked like a maniac. Ten years of work in one year is my key to success. I’m a workhorse.
What happened was I went from three deals that the first year to 13, 46, and by the fourth year, we’re doing 88. We know we did that first season of Flip or Flop and I pulled it off. Everybody thought I was crazy. Nobody thought we were going to do it but we did it. It turned out to be the biggest house flipping show in history. Going into season two, I got an email from a viewer who was watching my show. She saw a big lump on my neck. It was the first week of filming season two. She was a registered nurse in Texas and she said, “You needed to go get checked out.” I go get checked out. They do a biopsy on my neck. It’s atypical. I go in for exploratory surgery. Long story short, I have full-blown stage-three thyroid cancer that had spread to my lymph nodes. I get a call from the network. They’re upset, “We’re so sorry. We understand that you don’t have to film.” I’m like, “We are filming. We are doing this.”
I’m going through a lot of stress and I’m still filming the TV show. A month after I found out I had thyroid cancer, we did more testing because my doctor had misdiagnosed it. I also found out I had separate cancer which was testicular cancer. Now I’m like, “I have two separate cancers that weren’t related.” The doctors didn’t know how or why. I was 31 and I thought I was going to die. I was terrified but I kept pushing and filming. The year that I had those cancers, I pretty much quadrupled the size of the company. I did film a TV show. I have videos of me working. They gave me radioactive items.
These people would come into the room with hazmat suits and a metal gun. They would laser me from 20 feet away to see how radioactive I was. I have all the pictures of me. I was in quarantine for two weeks. I’m working in the hospital. I was by myself and I worked through the whole thing. It distracted me from it but here we are. I survived it and I’m thriving. If I look back, I was sick for about four years of my life. After the cancer, I hurt my back really bad. I went through some bad surgery. Right after that, I went through that public divorce. The 5, 6, 7 years of my life were awful but I kept going.
I want to stop you about the thyroid thing because I can empathize. I’ve never had thyroid cancer but I do have thyroid disease. I have hypothyroidism. For those who are reading this and don’t know what that is, a lot of people don’t realize your thyroid is the master gland of your body. If it’s not working correctly, it affects every single operating system of your body including your brain. I do think that in moments of stress when you have the thyroid issue, it can bring it out.
For me, when I launched my coaching program, I’m like, “I got this great opportunity to be with Wholesaling Inc. I coach and I host the show so I have to do all these videos.” It’s the first time I ever did videos or anything. All of a sudden, I gained 10 pounds in a day. You’re like, “What’s going on?” I had thyroid disease for a while but it was so minute and manageable. I was just taking the tiniest bit of levothyroxine. All of a sudden, with stress, my thyroid shut off. I’m still healing from it and undoing the damage because it does so much damage. I had the worst brain fog. During a show, I couldn’t come up with words. I always was like, “What’s the word for that?”
I remember being on The Doctors TV Show in the middle of an interview and forgetting where I was at. I was looking around the audience and I was lost. I’m like, “I’m on the TV show right now.” It was so bad. Here’s the thing. I worked my ass off on it to make sure my levels are good. I’ve been to multiple doctors. The amount of meds I take versus years ago, I take three times the amount of medication. I was undermedicated, hyperthyroid, brain fogged and the doctors didn’t care. I’ve had a lot of issues with doctors. I’m telling everybody out there, go to multiple doctors. You want to make sure you get the right advice.
Do you know who saved my life? I don’t want to be dramatic. I was in hypothyroid hell where I was very undermedicated. It started all where my thyroid went to sleep. Your ex-wife does a live. I’m a year into doctors making me sicker. Your ex-wife posted something. I know she’s doing more of a lifestyle wellness brand. She said, “We’re doing live and I’m going to talk about my Hashimoto’s disease and thyroid disease.” I was like, “She looks good. She clearly has it under control so I’m going to take some time and listen to what she has to say. Hopefully, she’ll name-drop her doctor.” I know I live in the same county as you guys. I listened to the whole thing. She named drops her doctor in Huntington Beach. I get on the phone, call that doctor, literally scheduled the first appointment I can get in, and the rest is history. I’m doing a ton better but it is a slow ship to turn.
Fire yourself from everything. Do nothing other than things that will make money. Hire out everything else.
You took action. That’s my biggest note to everyone that I’ve talked to. You got to take action and do it. You’ve listened to that podcast, you got that doctor’s name, you did it, you feel better, and it was worth it. Most people wouldn’t have done it. They would have stayed in that situation where they feel like crap. You fought for yourself. That’s what I always tell people. You got to fight for yourself always.
It’s crazy to me that you filmed a TV show in that condition.
It was awful. If you watched my show on season two, I went from 185 pounds on camera to 240 pounds. I had a 38-inch waist on TV. Seriously, if you watched my show, I’m not a 240-pound build guy. A year later, I had a terrible back injury. I went from 240 to 168 pounds on TV. I had bones sticking out of my chest. I’m not an under 168-pound guy either. I documented this whole thing and it was rough times.
A lot of people make excuses. I hear all sorts of excuses like, “My iPad died. I had a bad day with my kids. My mom upset me. I’m going through something with my family.” I’m telling you, when it’s your health, especially with thyroid, I can relate because it does affect your brain. You can’t think. You have such bad brain fog. Something that would take one minute will take ten minutes because you keep forgetting what you’re doing and it’s hard to organize your thoughts.
I went through some hell and then I got to that. At first, I thought I felt like crap because I needed testosterone and then I got on testosterone, which made me crazy. There are so much. I’ve been through medical hell. I’m smiling. I’m having fun but I’ve had years of misery. You just got to keep fighting.
You kept fighting and so here you are. I want to get into and I will. I promise about Tarek Buys Houses. You’ve got a million businesses and a show, Tarek Buys Houses where you’re buying a bazillion houses a month all over the country.
You know about my new show Flipping 101. Flip or Flop is the OG show. We’re on season ten. Flipping 101 is where I teach rookie flippers on TV how to flip houses. It’s a lot of fun. We’re on season two. I shot a digital series on Discovery Plus called Tarek’s Flip Side, which is a closer look at my personal life.
How are you so effective in your day? I want to know when you wake up, what you eat, what do you do? Take me through a typical Wednesday in Tareks’s life.
On a typical day, Heather and I will wake up at 5:00. We’ll go hit 6:00 AM yoga, which is early. By the way, I hate mornings. All of you out there, I don’t want to hear any excuses. I’m a night owl. I hate the mornings but here’s the trick. If you forced yourself to wake up at 5:00 in the morning, you will fall asleep at night, I promise. I wake up at 5:00 in the morning and go hit hot yoga from 6:00 to 7:00. After hot yoga, come home, get a shower, change, eat breakfast. Normally, the workday starts around 8:00. At 8:30, I will be with calls, podcasts, meetings or whatever it is. Typically, my driver shows up around 10:00, 10:30 in the morning.
What do you eat for breakfast? I want to know.
Here’s the truth. I don’t run my own life. My life is run by Heather, Alicia and Anette. The three ladies control my life. They’d tell me what to do, where to do it, when to go and how to go. They lived on my calendar by the minute. Every single day was scheduled. I do whatever the girls are telling me. I have three assistants. It’s crazy. They told me, “You got to go here,” so I live on the calendar.
Does each assistant have a certain role in your life? How do you break that up? Whose job is to do what?
I let them figure that out.
They all handle certain aspects. I’ve always wondered how very highly successful people do this.
One of the keys to my success is I fire myself from everything. I don’t do anything. I do nothing. I don’t pick my clothing or buy groceries other than things that will make money. Everything else I hire out. I don’t do anything if it won’t make me money. That’s something I learned years ago, if it’s not going to make me money, I’m not going to do it. I’m going to hire someone to do it. That means with that free time, I’m going to go do something that will make me money. It’s not even the money. It’s something I enjoy doing. I like investing in real estate. I love chasing deals. That’s what I enjoy. I like building companies.
Every morning, Heather makes me breakfast. I found out I have celiac disease on top of everything else so we have gluten-free tortillas, some regular eggs with vegan cheese, vegan sausage, and some solid stuff. Every morning, it’s the same breakfast. My driver picks me up around 10:30. I’ll get picked up in a big Sprinter Limo. It’s a mobile office for me. The second I’m in the van, Alicia, my assistant normally has more calls or Zooms booked. On the way to set, I work. Once I get to set, I film. As soon as I’m done filming normally around 3:30, I get back in the van, and then I normally had some more meetings. On the way to those meetings, I have more calls and Zooms. Normally, my meetings, workday, that type of stuff, if I don’t have the kids, it can go as late as 8:00 at night. If I have the kids, I make it a priority to be home at least 5:30 PM.
Let’s talk about kids. How do you juggle being a single parent? What’s the day look like when you have your kids?
I have Heather helping me. She’s amazing. We have a nanny and great grandparents that help. We get a lot of help. We’re a big family and we’re all involved.
It’s worth it to wait longer and spend more money to find a rockstar employee because that one good person will change your business.
It sounds like you prioritize family time after 5:00.
If I have the kids, I have no meetings. I’m home and I’ll be texting, emailing and working but I’m there with them.
Work-life balance is hard.
That’s the thing. When I was in my twenties, I would go to work at 7:00 in the morning and I leave the next day at 2:00 in the morning. You can do that when you’re 24. You can’t do that when you’re 39. I have kids and I’m engaged. That’s why twenties are important but there’s no age barrier to get into this business. I coach people that go to the business. I’ve got 50 and 60 that are crushing it.
I love the advice that you only do things that make you money. My life has changed quite a bit. I used to have my investment company and it was just me. It grew very slowly and then I got this Wholesaling Inc. opportunity to coach. I own a second business that is completely different from this other business. I’ve had a very difficult time. I call this my year of growing pains. I’m trying to do both businesses well. I feel so stretched very thin. What kind of advice do you have for me? I’m right at that beginning maybe where you were.
I’m with you and I kept adding. I’m working on nine different ventures. I’m at my breaking point. I’m going to be honest. Here’s my next move. For three of my companies, I’m bringing in a CEO to help me. For three of my other companies, I’m bringing in a COO to help me, and then three of the other companies, I’m bringing in a new director. This is my newest thing and I came up with this. I want to turn my businesses into huge companies. I’m going to create a corporate atmosphere. I’m going to hire CEOs, COOs, CTOs and CMOs, and I want to take all my brands global like Australia, UK, Canada, all around the world. That’s my next move.
Your secret to managing growing businesses is hiring people.
Here’s the key. Hire people but hire the best people. These are lessons I’ve learned in the last few years. It is worth it to wait longer to spend more money to find a rockstar employee because one good person will change your business. If I have good people, it would change my life. This is a people business. If you find the right people to support you and work with you, you will be more successful than you ever thought. It’s all about your team.
Tell us about Tarek Buys Houses.
Tarek Buys Houses is our house flipping and wholesale company. We are flipping houses, wholesaling houses, and buying properties as rentals all across the country. If there’s anyone out there that has a house they want to sell to me, you can go to TarekBuysHouses.com. We would love to work with you. It’s a big country. I have a lot of work to do but I got this crazy idea. You’re going to like this one, Lauren. You can talk to Forrest about it.
I couldn’t sleep, it was 2:30 in the morning and I was like, “Why don’t we make money when we sleep?” I do make money when I sleep because of all the rental properties I have. I sold over 100 houses, we got some apartment buildings, some commercial real estate so I make money when I sleep. I’m like, “How do I make a lot of money while I sleep?” I googled it and I’m like, “What time is it in the UK right now?” It was the morning in the UK. It was 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning. I was like, “Why don’t I flip houses in the UK?”
What I did is I started researching house flipping in the UK at 2:30 in the morning. It turns out it’s the exact same thing. We have TarekBuysHouses.uk. We’re setting up a company in the UK. We already found a team to run it in the UK, and we’re launching. We want to flip and wholesale in the UK. I’m excited about it. This is more of something I want to try to prove that anything can be done.
I have virtual coaching programs. Everything I do is out of state because, in Southern California, it’s so hard to flip houses. I can’t stress enough how hard it must have been for you to come up with things to shoot because it’s hard to buy flips here. I’m all about virtual stuff. It does always intrigue me how virtual you can get. I’ve hired people from South America to work acquisitions for me. It’s something to prove that you can do it. It came from my coaching program and seeing the different people. I have students in Spain and India so it came from seeing my students. They were able to do it. I thought, “Why can’t I have virtual assistant employees.”
I am so excited. I want to flip houses in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and take it all around the world. My mission in life is a few different missions. 1) My homeschool education, I want to take it all over the world. 2) I want to buy real estate all over the world, and 3) I want to raise money from people all over the world to help them invest in real estate. Those are my three life goals.
For people that are reading this, if they have a house under contract that they might want to sell to you, can you repeat the address?
You can go to TarekBuysHouses.com and the message you say is you’ve heard me on the Wholesaling Inc. show with Lauren. We’re buying deals all over the country. We’ll get you an answer within an hour. We got a great team. We locked up ten houses and a week before that, we locked up eight houses. Forrest knows I’m not happy. I want ten houses a day to start. That’s my goal. I want 3,600 houses a year. That’s the math, close to it.
Tarek, thank you so much for coming. Honestly, this episode was so good. I’m sure anybody that’s reading this is going to be obsessed. Thank you so much for sharing all your wisdom and your stories. You made a huge impact I’m sure on a lot of people so thank you. It was great having you.
Thanks for having me.
If you want to learn more about virtual real estate and investing, check out my program at www.WholesalingInc.com/virtual. Thanks. Have a great day.
- HGTV’s Flip or Flop
- Flipping 101
- Mike Ferry
- Tarek Buys Houses
- Tarek’s Flip Side
- Virtual Investing Mastery
About Lauren Hardy
Lauren Hardy is a Virtual Investing expert and Real Estate influencer who owns multiple companies in the real estate industry including real estate investment, coaching, and software companies. She is also a Wholesaling Inc coach and co-host of the Wholesaling Inc Podcast.
Her experience in the last decade has been focused on real estate investing and creating products and services to serve the real estate investing community. If you are interested in investing in real estate virtually, house flipping, or virtual landlording, Lauren’s your girl.