Welcome To the Join Up Dots Podcast – Rental Income From Property with Eric Bowlin
Introducing Rental Income From Property with Eric Bowlin
Today’s guest joining us on the Join Up Dots podcast, is Eric Bowlin, a 33 year old and have over 480 doors of rental property.
I’ve travelled to over 14 countries and love to experience new cultures, food, beer, exercising, and improving myself.
I’m focused on creating long-term wealth for my family.
I sometimes will work for two weeks straight – waking up early and staying up late to get something done.
Sometimes I take a month or two vacation for no reason other than to have a new experience.
I’m free to travel or live anywhere I may want to go whenever I may want to go.
That’s the great part about independence, I am free to do what I want.
But how did this all start?
How did he find the passion to create an income and lifestyle that other people would simply die for?
How Eric Started Earning Rental Income From Property
Well as he says “It was an accident that I even got into real estate.
I almost made the classic blunder of buying a huge liability, but fortunately, I ended up buying a small multifamily property and the rest is history.
So is this something that takes a huge amount of investment to get going?
And is this something that needs a team to monitor rental, clients, and perhaps the bad clients that people fear?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the only and only Eric Bowlin.
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Eric Bowlin such as:
Why he has moved to Puerto Rico for the tax benefits and how it has made him be able to work less but achieve more.
Eric shared how he stumbled into rental simply because he didn’t hit the criteria to get a single apartment.
We discuss the crisis point when life becomes too easy for someone, after they gain the financial success. What do they aim for then?
Why it so important to surround yourself with the same kind of people that are doing what you are doing. Find your people as quickly as possible.
How To Connect With Eric Bowlin
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here– enjoy
Interview Transcription For Rental Income From Property Expert
David Ralph [0:01]
Once upon a time, there was a guy with a dream, a dream to teach jobs for himself online and have a kick ass life working when he wanted him where he wanted across the world. Little did he know that dream would lead him into a world of struggle, burnout and debt. Until he found the magic ingredient and knows drunk was became a thing of the past, of course, was bad person. And now My dream is to make things happen to you. Welcome to Join Up Dots.
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be but somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:56]
Yes, hello. Good morning, everybody. Good morning and welcome to Join Up Dots. Thank you so much for being here on the episode and it’s gonna be a good one today. The guests already connected about two weeks ago. But we had to reschedule because of earthquakes where he was based in San Francisco. And as you can hear, he’s got a lifestyle where he can move across the world and plunk himself wherever he wants to be. And today he’s speaking to me from Puerto Rico. Yes, Puerto Rico, and he’s looking at his window. He said, advocacy and everything is lovely. I’m looking at my garden at a couple of pigeons shagging on a fence, and that’s about as good as I’ve got. Well, his name is Eric and he’s a 34 year old and he has over 480 doors of rental property. He says I’ve travelled to over 14 countries and love to experience new cultures, food, beer, exercising, and improving myself. I’m focused on creating long term wealth for my family. I sometimes will work for two weeks straight, waking up early and staying up late to get something done. Sometimes I take A month or two vacation for no reason other than to have a new experience. I’m free to travel or live anywhere I want. And I go wherever I want to go as well. That’s the great part about independence. I’m free to do what I want. But how did this all start? How did he find the passion to create an income and lifestyle, but other people would simply die for? Well, as he says it was an accident that I even got into real estate while studying for my PhD in Economics at Clark University in Worcester. I wanted to buy a home. And I also I almost made the classic blunder buying a huge liability, but unfortunately, I ended up buying a small multifamily property, and the rest is history. Is it unfortunate? Is it good? Well, we’ll find out because sometimes it takes a huge amount of investment to get these things going. And is it something that needs a team to monitor rental clients and perhaps the bad clients that people fear? But let’s find out as we bring into the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Eric Bowlin. Good morning, Eric. How are you?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [3:05]
Good morning, David. I am doing great. How are you?
David Ralph [3:07]
I’m very well actually at the moment. Yes, the pigeons on my fence. They’ve gone. And my life is now good. what’s what’s happening outside your window so that we can share the picture of your life Eric
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [3:21]
or I am on a 15th floor of a nice apartment complex. And I’m overlooking the ocean, it’s probably about 50 yards 75 yards away. And I actually had to close all the doors and windows because the ocean sounds too loud to record to record anything with the windows and doors open because all I can hear is the waves all day. So that’s what I’m doing right now.
David Ralph [3:43]
Now, when you when you look back on it, let’s say two years ago, because two years is a good kind of good step by step approach. Was this part of your master plan? Are you to kind of entrepreneur now that will land at somewhere and actually actually I wasn’t planning this but i’d quite like to stay here for a little while.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [4:02]
It two years ago, I was in Plano, Texas, and I was just loving life over there. And in Texas, it’s very different flat, no ocean, the different weather, and I had no idea that I was going to be in Puerto Rico. Two years later.
David Ralph [4:19]
Now what way Have you done it? Let’s cut to the chase. Eric. Is it the weather? Is it the beach? Is it the cocktails? Is it the lovely ladies always? It’s something like tax evasion. Well, why are you there?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [4:32]
Yeah, so all of those are definitely good reasons. The taxes is the main thing. It’s a it is a tax haven, you can avoid paying all federal income taxes, and most state taxes by moving to Puerto Rico at least part time. And that is a huge draw. And a lot of entrepreneur type people are coming to Puerto Rico in order to avoid all those taxes and all of that so they can have their jobs and they can work their businesses. Then not pay taxes on it.
David Ralph [5:01]
So So when we talk about that, does it actually make it better for your bank account? Which is obvious, but does it actually make your life easier? Do you actually, you know, start to wind down because you think Well, actually, what I’ve got already is being multiplied so I don’t have to work as hard.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [5:18]
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Well, the I was actually just talking to somebody the other day about it, you can work when you live in a place that you really love and you enjoy and the environment is good, you can work less and produce more. So instead of having to work eight or 10 hours a day in order to get something accomplished, when you’re relaxed and mentally in the right place, you might get that done in four hours. So when you wake up, and you go to the beach in the morning, and you go for a swim and then you are refreshed. get some work done, whatever you’re trying to do. And then maybe you go meet some other entrepreneurs for you know, a late lunch, or hang out a little bit, go back, get another couple hours worth of work done. You get way more done in a shorter period of time and live a way better life and so It’s something I didn’t even realise until until I got here. But it’s absolutely does.
David Ralph [6:07]
I think it’s an absolute given really, because I know from my own experience, I worked less and less and less now. But when I do the work, I’m really focused on it. And I know exactly what I’m going to do. And it’s not just reading it to sort of fill the time I actually go right today is going to be this. And I come out of my office at the end of the day, and I’ve done it and I just sort of move on. And that is that that kind of creep. Is that something that people always go into where they allow the work to spread into the time available? Once they transition from corporate to entrepreneurial life? Do you think Eric?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [6:43]
Oh, that’s absolutely true. I was in the army for 11 years. And we would say that, you know, work works spreads out to fill available time. So if you give somebody 10 hours to do something, they’ll take 10 hours, if you give them three hours, they’ll probably get it done in three hours. So you got to know what it takes. Because it’s easy, it’s natural to spread it out and slow it down. If, if you got nothing else to do, and you have to be there, and you just have to do it, you’re just going to fill up a lot of time with really dumb stuff that you don’t even need to be doing. So it’s 100% true,
David Ralph [7:12]
right? Okay, so let’s get into the reason why you’re here. We now know that you’re having a lovely life and you’re walking around in your shorts in your sandals, and everything is good. But you’re still a young man, you’re still a young man. And a lot of people that I speak to, don’t discover their thing until, you know, late 30s, early 40s, when they start to realise that they’ve been trapped in a corporate gig for so long. Were you lucky? Was it a fluke? Or when you look back on it and Join Up Dots? Was there a path already leading to that decision of going into rental?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [7:45]
Yeah, so there was definitely there’s definitely a path but I didn’t know that that was the path. I had to learn those kind of each next step as I got there. I bought my first rental property only because I couldn’t qualify for a single family home. In in the us at least the rental income on your second third and fourth unit can get added to your income so you can qualify for a bigger loan. I couldn’t qualify for single family so I bought a three family it so you can actually qualify for more by doing that, that’s how I ended up in my first rental property. And then I’m like this makes sense. I’m going to do this and when I when I first got my first rent check from one of my tenants knocking on my door I realised that I didn’t want to have to grind for my money anymore that I’m like this is this is how I need to make money. That rent check was two or three weeks worth of work for me.
David Ralph [8:35]
Let me just so that the listeners understand so you were originally going to be getting a place just be yourself so that you could go home and kick off your shoes and you’d be good but you couldn’t get that but you could get one with additional rooms which you then found other people to live with you is that what you did?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [8:52]
Yeah, that’s basically there were three apartments is a three family that I bought. And I was able to get that because it for qualification purposes. Is the rent income on those gets added to your personal income. So it looks on paper like you earn more, which allows you to get a bigger loan and I was able to get a property.
David Ralph [9:09]
That’s kind of mad, isn’t it Really? Because I know it kind of makes sense. But it’s also hang on, you haven’t got the money, you’ve got less money really because you’re buying a bigger property.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [9:20]
Well, that’s that’s, that is true. And but it also does make sense that that rent income is income and they’re going to count they do count that toward your income for qualification purposes. Granted, you don’t actually earn that you got to manage your property. So I guess for some people could be the wrong move. But if you’re motivated, hard working entrepreneur type person like I am, though, I didn’t realise that I was an entrepreneur at the time. Then it did work out for me.
David Ralph [9:46]
Wow. Okay, so from what you’ve said, Now, it seems bleeding obvious, but just get more properties and get other people in there. Where does the hard work come? Is it getting the clients in or getting up to a certain stage? level of, you know, standard of living, where’s the hard work?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [10:04]
It’s all hard work. And it’s a lot of sacrifice. Real estate is a very slow moving thing. And when you put money into something or you get a project going, it takes months and months to see anything, any progress, any return on this. And so it’s just really challenging going day after day after day and grinding and working, especially when I first started, I didn’t have a lot of money. There’s times when I would have like $200 in a bank account, and I could barely even afford to buy groceries or put gas in my car. And you’re just working on these things all day. I was working 1012 hours a day, seven days a week for years, in order to get projects done, build up a portfolio and just make this all happen and and then it wasn’t until much more recently that I realised I actually had enough property. I didn’t have to do that anymore. But that’s what my first like six, seven years of real estate look like.
David Ralph [10:54]
And so it was seven days a week. Now that is something that would grind people into the ground and it Suddenly ground mean to the ground as well? Did you have any sort of health issues? Were you just like a Terminator, being able to plough through that kind of grind constantly?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [11:11]
Well, I was in my 20s. So I just had youth. Yeah, the the vigour that a late 20s person has I was able to do that. But that did catch up with me when I was like 29, or 30. And, you know, you start when you start to hit 30, things start to slow down a little bit, and I’m just like, I can’t do this anymore. That’s when I moved to Texas, was to get away from that grind,
David Ralph [11:33]
because I’m about to hit 50 and I’m having a kind of midlife crisis, and I’ve seen it when I was 30. And when I was 40, and I always say to people, you know, it’s only a number it makes no difference. But this 50 business I’m just about to hit has had a big difference on my my energy levels. I’m realising that actually I’ve got to start moving physically a lot more. Otherwise I can quite simply slip into Old man mode, you know what I mean? where you’re sitting at your desk all the time stiffening up, not getting that flexibility into your bones. So, is that something once you become an entrepreneur, you can literally sit on your backside all the time? Is that something that is a world apart from your life? Are you constantly on the go out driving around seeing you apartments and all that kind of stuff?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [12:22]
Yeah, so there’s kind of a little there’s kind of three phases right there. So when I was in Massachusetts, when I was in the Boston area, and I was doing real estate full time working 1012 hours, yes, I was driving around a lot, looking at properties, dealing with tenants, dealing with all the issues that come up, and I was doing it all because I didn’t have money, I need save money. So I was doing all the stuff that I could have hired other people. So I didn’t really have that issue. But when I moved to Texas, my life became very sedentary. And I just was sitting there most of the time at my desk, and it like I gained weight. I probably put on 1520 pounds over the course of a year or two and I really wasn’t happy and I didn’t realise it until just last year. And I was kind of going through a crisis to where I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do it, I just felt like life was too easy for me. And I didn’t have to ever work again. And I just sat there and I had nothing to do. And after coming to Puerto Rico, I’m out walking, I walk. I don’t even try to but I walk 456 miles a day because I just live in a walkable area. And I chose not to buy a car here. So I got to walk everywhere. And I lost those 20 pounds and I go to the I can go to the beach, I can go do anything I want. And I built that into my lifestyle. So now I feel way more fulfilled, having these things around me that I want to do and that I can walk to do so I can get the exercise and also get the work done. And so I’m kind of like that’s the third phase where I’m getting out of that kind of, like crisis period in my life.
David Ralph [13:51]
It’s interesting because most people out there listening to this podcast will go Eric crisis. I don’t think so. That sounds lovely. Is it just sort of that motivation slips away? Once you hit a certain point of success? Is it the case? You know, is it really a crisis? Because as I say, most listeners out there will go it sounds sounds bleeding good to me.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [14:15]
Well, absolutely, because money is not a motivating factor for everybody, you need certain amount of money and a certain amount of income to provide you have to live you have to have a place and that’s what most people are striving for. And that was my goal for years and years was to just have the income coming in from real estate that I didn’t have to work and my kids realistically probably never have to work their entire lives either. If I was to give that to them, which I’m not going to but I don’t like I want them to have to work and do their own.
David Ralph [14:47]
When I hear this, I now clued up La, la aware that they’re not gonna get it.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [14:54]
Well, you know, when I get older and want to pass on my assets, yeah, but in the next 4050 years, I You got to figure it out on their own. I’ll give them the tools to get there. But they’re not getting money and assets they need to they need to build it on their own. But you get to a certain point, that you have all that and then I achieve those goals. And I’m like, now what now? What do I do? I’m provide everything’s provided for why do I need to work? Why do I need to produce? Why do I need to do anything? And I had no motivating No, no motivation, no motivating factors, nothing and needed. And that’s when I kind of went through a crisis, like, What do I do? It’s like this middle area. I’m not ultra wealthy, but I don’t need to work. And it’s like, why do I need to go do another project? Why do I need to go earn another whatever? 50 or hundred thousand dollars on a project like Why? And so I didn’t. And it really sucks your life away. When you don’t have something driving you like what’s, then you start asking yourself existential questions like what’s the point of life and it’s really not a good place to go in. It’s just like, that’s the kind of crisis that I was in for a couple of years when I was over the last few years up until halfway through last year, actually,
David Ralph [16:07]
I’m intrigued by this point that we’re discussing, I don’t think it’s come up many times through the 2000 plus episodes of Join Up Dots. Because it tells the audience out there are other guys listening, thinking, I want something, I want something more. And and I don’t know what it is, and they’re looking around and they’re trying to make a decision. And more often than not, it’s right under their nose, and I can’t see it. But for somebody to had that driving passion, and then realised, but it’s not enough and they don’t need it. And go again, I suppose that is when the Uber wealthy start giving back and they start creating legacy work and start creating, creating, you know, giving all their money to museums and stuff. Is that something that you can reflect on and you can see why these rich guys give all their cash away because I get to a point where I go, well actually, it’s not me anymore. It’s about it’s about the world.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [17:03]
Well, absolutely, and I, I don’t have that kind of luck that I can just like donate it all to museums and stuff. But it I’m essentially doing the same thing. And that’s why I started writing about real estate online. It was just kind of a way to start talking to people about these things. And then I, you know, just started helping people and giving information and doing interviews and stuff like that, because it started to change for me when I spoke at an event and then three or four months later, somebody sent me a Christmas card. And like, they didn’t have my address. They had to kind of stuck me a little bit, I guess, to get my address, but they sent a Christmas card to my home. And it said, Eric, you changed our lives doing that speech. And I was just like, wow, I’m really impacting people. And I realised this more way more motivating factor for me, is impacting other people’s lives. And so that’s when I started to kind of started it developed slowly over time, but that’s when I started to get a new job. So I can definitely relate to, you know, those like people with $20 billion, which is like unbelievable. I can’t imagine what life is like when you literally have everything that you want and just snap your fingers and it’s there. I imagine like life must be very boring at that point.
David Ralph [18:18]
I know it sounds pretty good to me. Well, let’s listen to some words now. And then we’re gonna come back to Eric. He’s Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [18:24]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [18:51]
Now, these are the kind of words that we reflect on Join Up Dots because a lot of people aim to do something that they love. They aim to be build a business backed by love. And for many a year I was doing that. And when I realised a little bit into the process or about a few years into the process actually been different thing, and I’m going to ask you where it? Is it better to build a business that you love? Or is it better to do something that then gives you the lifestyle that you love? you kind of go, Okay, I don’t really want to do this, but I want to do all the great stuff. It brings me back, it’s going to make me happy. What do you think?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [19:31]
Yes, I actually I think about that a lot. And I and I talked about that a lot. I believe you need to start with the lifestyle you want in mind and then build your business around that lifestyle. So kind of a little bit different approach. If you want to like the way I related is in real estate if you if your dream is to travel the world, you’re going to start in your real estate business different than if your goal is to build a you know a legacy business of some type that is is very active. engaged with, you know, employees and stuff like that. So you’re going to approach things a little bit differently. And I was to start with the lifestyle in mind, and then work backwards to kind of create and craft the plan and how you’re going to grow your business, or investing portfolio or whatever it is, because
David Ralph [20:16]
I didn’t plan it at all. I just went from corporate land into building a job for myself. And now I am so controlled in my time, so I can travel every month, I can just switch off I can disappear. But when I’ve talked to people, Eric, they all say to me, no, I want to do something I love. And I go, you know, that comes a bit later. You know, if you’re lucky, if you can find that straight away. Why don’t you look at transitioning from a corporate gig to earning your own income that gives you two days a week off that you weren’t getting before? And then you’ve got a bit of breathing space and sort of move forward. Will rental do that for people can rental, the transition boom, or is it something that you’ve really got to love and you’ve really got to just plough into it.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [21:00]
Yeah, real estate is a means to an end for for some people and the people that you hear, often real estate is their passion. But for all the people, you don’t hear the thousands and thousands or even millions of people, it’s just a way to create financial stability, create a long term wealth or retirement plan for them. And that’s the way it should be for most people. And that’s exactly what it is. Now, you can’t you can’t hate it. You have to be okay with it. But you don’t it doesn’t have to be your passion. It’s a means to an end, not the end itself.
David Ralph [21:33]
Well, I think that’s wise advice, isn’t it? You don’t have to hate it. You just kind of go It’s okay. And for most jobs out there, especially in the corporate ones, I look back on the corporate ones I left. I now look at them. I think actually, the job itself was okay. The people were okay. It was the manager. It was the career progression. It was something but the majority of it was kind of you know, passable, and in entrepreneur world. postbox Okay, isn’t it? I’m really think possible is okay if it gives you what you want.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [22:07]
Absolutely, if you’re okay with doing it, and it provides a lifestyle, like for example, if you work four hours a day, and you can do it anywhere in the world, you can go work in Bali and spend your mornings working and then you get your afternoons to go travel and explore, do whatever I mean, that’s still a pretty good lifestyle, if that’s what you want. So as long as you’re okay with doing the work, and you can be location independent, if that’s your dream, or you know, whatever, maybe you just want to work for hours and spend the rest of day with your kids or family or whatever it is. You don’t have to love it. But if you hate it, I don’t think you should be doing it if you’re just like I dread it I hate it. I think you need to find another another path.
David Ralph [22:47]
Now with that path, but you’ve got now what is the starting point for somebody out there going okay, I’ve been thinking about rental but I don’t really know how to get about it. Is it something that your knowledge translates across the world or is your knowledge only American based for a start.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [23:06]
So there’s kind of two sets the the concepts, the ideas of using rental property as a passive income to using assets, putting your money into an asset that then provides for you living finance, getting financial independence, where you don’t have to work that transcends that’s just that’s just a concept and it doesn’t even have to apply all just a real estate. And all people everywhere I believe can do that. The the technical stuff like on how to qualify for loans and things like that, that’s very location dependent and what country you’re in on how like those tech really technical pieces do. But you can start changing your mindset and the way you approach your life in real estate, and your assets, all that that’s just a concept that it can apply to everybody everywhere.
David Ralph [23:49]
So what’s the first step when Eric for somebody out there and they’re on the bus and they’re going to work and I think to themselves, yes, this is the conversation for me. This is going to be life changing. What would be the First step,
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [24:02]
they need to find other people who are already doing it and have the mindset that they need to or want to have. Because especially with something like real estate or business in general, there’s all your friends and family and everybody they mean Well, usually, but they usually are negative and say, that’s kind of risky, don’t you think? Or if that was so easy to do, wouldn’t everybody do it? And you get these kind of negativity, and it’s in it sow seeds of doubt, inside of you. And the only way that I’ve discovered to get around that is to be around people, and to listen to podcasts, read books, but more importantly, be around people who are doing that already. Because then you can look at me like this is a real person that I know who is doing it right here where I live. I know it’s true. I know I can do it. And to surround yourself with those people. Because just being around them, it’s going to make you want to do it. But if you isolate yourself, and it’s just all the people you’ve always been around, then you’re just going to continue doing what you’ve always done.
David Ralph [25:00]
Right? Okay, so you got some person listening to this podcast. They’re in middle of Middle America and one of those little towns that you drive through and you go, what’s that town? I saw a sign, but I didn’t see anything at all. However you going to connect with the right kind of people?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [25:17]
Yeah. So there’s, they can go to the closest city and go to networking events, they can go to a conference, this conferences all around the world, all times a year. So they can book a ticket and go to a conference for 234 days, and just be surrounded by people for days and just get that energy and get that motivation. And that can last that motivation energy can last for months after after a conference or convention or something like that. So that’s what I would do if I’m in a really small place that’s kind of distant from, you know, major cities.
David Ralph [25:50]
Okay, right. So that’s the trap. Oh, let’s give them another alternative as well. Are there groups that I can connect with online that actually foster that same feeling? connection?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [26:02]
Oh, absolutely. There’s tonnes of groups online in real estate specific. There’s like a social media platform called bigger pockets. It’s a great way to get on some forums, talk to other people. There’s a lot of podcasts specific to real estate, but not you don’t just need to like a real estate’s mine starts with the mindset. So anything entrepreneur business related, that’s going to help you start adjusting your mindset and see, there are real people really doing this around. That’s where I would go. And in Facebook, too, there’s a lot of Facebook groups that just jump on. And I just search real estate or just search investing, and you’re going to find those and join them. So those are all great ways to do that. And you cannot you can read blogs like mine and, and others like that as well, which will help you with that information and knowledge and seeing that that’s all real
David Ralph [26:48]
because I’ve been doing podcasting for six years now. We started in 2014. And to this day, I’ve never personally met another podcaster in all my time and A lot of issues I have with it, Eric is I do it because I enjoy the process. But I don’t want to talk about podcasting. And so I don’t go to conferences. I don’t go to sort of networking because I think I don’t want to be there with him saying, you know, oh, what’s your favourite microphone and what’s best and what’s bad? You know, I just like doing the podcasting and getting my, my knowledge out. Do you think that that is that holding me back? Should I be out there sort of networking with the microphone lovers of the world.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [27:31]
So you can go either way with it. But I find that in real estate, conferences are the things that generally we don’t talk about real estate that much you there’s the information that’s provided that you go learn, but when you network with the other people, you might ask them what they’re doing in real estate, but that’s very brief. Usually, you’re talking about other things. The only times I talk about real estate or with usually the non real estate people, so I find myself talking less about real estate with real estate people.
David Ralph [27:55]
So did I come up to you and say the first role of real estate is we don’t Talk about real estate easy. Is it like a fight club thing going on?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [28:05]
Well, it’s just one of those things that I live and breathe and talk about real estate all day, every single day. And when I get to, when I find another professional who’s operating at a high level in the real estate industry, we don’t really need to, like build a relationship around real estate. We already know we have that foundation. Now we’re just more interested in do we do we get along? Do we like each other, you know, you just building that personal connection with people, because Real Estate’s a personal interpersonal business itself. It’s not built around real estate, real estate industry is not built around real estate. It’s about it’s built around those personal connections. You don’t build personal connections, talking about like, buying properties, you build that about talking about your family, talking about what you’d like to do and travelling and just your take on things in the world, seeing if you have similar philosophies and beliefs. And then maybe over time, six or 12 months later, you’re working with them on a project because you built that relationship on something else.
David Ralph [29:00]
Yeah, maybe I should look at it a different way. Because I remember about three years ago, I was asked to travel to America and be on around the table of experts talking about how podcasting was moving into business and how we can, we can seamlessly push it forward. And I thought, I can’t be bothered. I can’t be bothered to go and sit there talking about them. But maybe I should have thought about it in a different way. And four is about a personal connections. But let’s hear these words now. And then we’re going to be back with Eric very shortly.
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Unknown Speaker [29:50]
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David Ralph [31:03]
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David Ralph [31:28]
So as we’ve been listening to Eric talk, he’s now got to that point where he is living the easy life. But he’s also highlighted the fact that there was struggle, there was perseverance there was there was certainly a bit of stress moving forward. Now, when you lose that stress, Eric, do you actually miss it? Are you on a sort of hamster wheel sort of racing, racing, racing? And then once you settle back, you think to yourself, I’m missing something?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [31:55]
Yeah, that’s definitely true. I find myself every time I’m in a stressful situation. I revert back to the way that I was in my hustle and grind mode and I get, I just get stuff done incredibly fast and efficiently. And then as soon as that stressors gone on, it kind of gets lazy again. And it reminds me of when I decided to put my kids into private school. And I’m like, I don’t want to I don’t want to pay this monthly bill. I can afford it, but I don’t want to afford it. And so I’m like, What do I do? How do I maintain my income my lifestyle and, and I just reverted back to what I know. I’m like, Okay, well, I’m just gonna go buy some more property make to make the property pay for it. And I i tussled for like nine months and I made that happen and now they’re schools paid for with with some more real estate so anytime that stressful fact I do miss it. That’s where i know i’m i’m most on top of my game and I feel most alive when I’m like really working towards something.
David Ralph [32:53]
You know, I think what you just said is brilliant. And it’s something about people. It is the mindset shift when you realise that You don’t actually have to afford something. Because when we’re growing up and when we’re, you know, in our own jobs and stuff, I think most of us get into that save mentality where we’re saving. And I’m always saying to people, you’ve got to think about if you haven’t got the money, somebody else has got the money, what do you need to do to get the money from them, and it could be buying a property, it could be buying into coaching programme, it could be whatever, and the fact that you could afford the the tuition for your kids, but you’ve thought to yourself, I don’t want to use that. Let’s get it from somewhere else. That is fundamentally what entrepreneurship is about, isn’t it seeing value and finding value and giving it to somebody else to get the value back to you?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [33:42]
Absolutely, it’s 100% what it’s all about and that’s a major mindset shift. People, people don’t even really think about it, they think I’ve got to go work more. I gotta go work 10 extra hours a week or five hours a week or whatever in order to get this and it’s really not about that. I think that people should work hard to build an asset. Set that aside and let it pay you for however long the rest of your life hopefully, that’s how you should really be affording things you want. You want to you want a new car, get the new car, but get the asset first and have the asset pay. And that could be in real estate. But it also could be in business to you know, building an online business or whatever, get increase your revenue from a more passive source. So you’re not stuck grinding for everything that you want.
David Ralph [34:25]
If I’m going to pay for something now, basically, you know, I used to save up I was a big slave, oh, it was ingrained in me. But now in the United Kingdom, you can get interest free credit cards for about three years so you don’t have to pay anything. And all I do is whack it on the credit card. I think that now gives me three years to get it paid off. And I look at providing value to people and bang it’s done. And then I do it again. I never ever spend anything. I always only spend other people’s money now.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [34:54]
Oh, that’s great. I should go get some of those zero interest rate credit cards. I could use a few on my credit cards. Really high interest rates, but it’s the same concept. Yeah, you buy things you’re buying, like I do in a real estate, I don’t nowadays, I don’t put any of my own money and most of my deals maybe a little bit, just to if it if it needs it, but it’s all other people’s money, they’re putting it in, I’m making them money, that’s the value that I provide is I’m earning them more than what they can earn elsewhere. And iron in a in a low risk way because I have a track record. And they know that I have, like, just I bring low lower risk to it. And I give them returns on it. And then I can go buy real estate and I can make a lot of money for myself. But I’ve got banks money, I’ve got friends, I’ve got family, I got investors money. And that’s how I’m doing all I gotta do is bring my brain to the table and make it happen.
David Ralph [35:42]
So why don’t you consolidate all your credit cards into one interest free one?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [35:47]
Well, in the US we have interest free ones that you can get, but it’s usually much shorter term. And I use my credit cards to to finance projects. I mean, I pay my basic day to day stuff and then paid off for the interest is due. Yeah. So I don’t get charged interest. But like, when I’m spending 10 or 20 or $30,000, it’s, it’s something that that usually I’m going to have it on there for longer than that interest only period. But it’s fine. It’s funding a project. I put materials and stuff on projects. And I also like to get the travel points. I’ve travelled to a lot of countries without spending anything on tickets or sometimes not anything on hotels either all financed through my Real Estate projects. Now, the
David Ralph [36:30]
other thing that sort of comes through entreprenuer world and I’ll be interested in your journey on this as well, is the confidence that comes with going through the grind and doing the do now when you were younger when you was grinding was a lot harder now did you not exude the confidence and your ideal clients picked up on the fact that you was grinding more of a now where you can say take it or leave it? This is what I do. I’ll give you the returns and people flock to
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [37:02]
Yeah, so it’s actually people do come because because I have that experience now but when I got started, I think the plus also is my age I was I was 24 when I got started in real estate I didn’t even know that I didn’t know this stuff. So I just had the confidence of the young kid. And so I didn’t know that I didn’t know things and I would just dive in and and I just hard work and perseverance. I made everything work and it worked really well. Now, it’s like, I know that I don’t know stuff. So I’m actually more cautious now, really, and maybe that’s why people come to me but now I know I know my niche in real estate, but I know real estate, there’s hundreds of ways to do things. And anytime I’m approaching a new part of real estate, I’m like who I don’t really know much about that side of the industry. Maybe I should find a partner who knows about that stuff.
David Ralph [37:45]
So I said why we did this. It was the logic that you niche down and you become the master of your niche. Why spread into other areas?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [37:56]
Because my particular niche in the multifamily space is getting really saturated is a lot of people in it. So there’s other niches that are more difficult or just out more outside of the mainstream, I guess it’s not talked about as much that if an opportunity pops up, I’m willing to take it, but I’m not willing to take it on my own. I’m going to want somebody that is already an expert in that area, to partner with or to work with. And I think that’s true, just general in life. Every time that I’ve ever tried something new, I made less money than I if I just focused on my own thing. So in Plus, it’s also a risk thing. If my particular niche takes it takes a hit in the market. It’s good to have a more balanced portfolio. When we’re talking long term. This isn’t something somebody brand new, should be doing. It’s like any other business if you’re going to if you’re going to vertically or horizontally integrate your business and expand it by providing additional services. It’s kind of a similar concept as the
David Ralph [38:54]
value ladder isn’t it really, you know, how can you provide increased level of value to the slim customer.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [39:02]
Absolutely, you can definitely look at it that way if I have investors that want multifamily, but maybe they also want to spread their risk by self storage or by mobile, home parks or whatever, and have a variety of risk factors in their portfolio. So if one takes a hit, they still, they still have the value on the other side of it. It just provided that risk aversion is a value and of itself that very few people do.
David Ralph [39:23]
Now one of the things that I know people struggle with with the concept of rental is mental clients, the people that get into your property and they dis dis destroy it, and it’s a hassle to get them out and stuff. Is that something to be worried about or with your line of business now it seems but you’re finding the properties for clients and then they’ve got the hassle of dating women.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [39:48]
Now, so it is always an issue. It is always a factor that needs to be considered it but it’s no different than any other business where you’ve got this always something that As a hassle, and I don’t look at it is something to be afraid of. It’s something to plan for it’s in the army, what we do, we would identify risks and then identify, create plans to mitigate risks. So it is a risk factor. But with good planning and preparation, you can mitigate those risks. And that’s really what you need to do, rather than be afraid of them.
David Ralph [40:19]
So did you see somebody now and you think now they’re not going into my property? I can just tell or do you just sort of accept them? And then if I go in there and they start causing problems, you get them out?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [40:32]
I can definitely I’ve I’ve looked at probably thousands of rental application said probably more than I don’t know, it’s been a lot. And you can just look at a piece of paper now, after 10 years and thousands of applications you can just look at and be like yeah, that’s a there’s some bs going on here. I know. I know. They’re not what they say they are or, or whatever. It so you could just tell you can dissect those things because when people are lying to you, they’re not usually very good and consistent. Their applications when they’re lying to you, it’s just people. Most people are not expert at lying. Plus, you can dig into the history you can look at their eviction records. They’ll tell you they’ve never had an eviction and then you go look at this 12 evictions over the last five years. Like, it’s, it’s obvious if you actually do your research, but that’s where most property owners fail. They actually don’t do the digging.
David Ralph [41:22]
Well, and now with social media and stuff, it’s quite easy, isn’t it to someone, like look up their name get on Facebook and been see that they’ve been, you know, walking around with a cardboard box around them for three weeks?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [41:35]
Absolutely. And I’ve done that I do look on social media profiles. And they people don’t realise that they say everything out there and all I got to do is scroll through and be like, Oh, yeah, that time that you after your last landlord. Okay. I noticed that and definitely rejected.
David Ralph [41:52]
Yeah, and Google Earth. I imagine it’s a great one as well where you can sort of zoom into people’s back gardens and have a look around and stuff.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [42:01]
I didn’t even think about that. But that’s, that’s a good idea. A lot of it too is people put pictures in their apartments and you can see the way they live. You can see the trash and the messiness. And you’re like, I don’t, I don’t really want somebody going to bring roaches to my apartment. So, you know, you’re not clean.
David Ralph [42:18]
Yeah, I’d be on Google Earth all the time looking for their address and been thinking looking at old heap of a car outside and what’s going on in our backyard? And yeah, it’s like that outside. It’s probably like inside. No, I don’t want them there.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [42:32]
And more interestingly, talking about Google Earth, a lot of times people will put an address that they lived in, and you look it up and it doesn’t exist. It’s not a real place. And then you look up their phone number and it’s somebody with the same last name as them. And so they’re just creating fake. What’s it called? rough referrals? Yeah, fake references for prior placing like, yeah, this guy either has no history, which is okay, but now they’ve lied to me, or they’ve have a bad history. They can’t tell me about it. And so They’re making up a fake history and do you just go back with
David Ralph [43:03]
Liar Liar pants on fire in red right across the application or do you just subtly just move it into the into the rejections?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [43:13]
Yeah, you move it into the rejections in in, you’re required to tell them that they’re rejected so we say we’ve rejected it because your whatever your, your history your references didn’t didn’t check out as accurate
David Ralph [43:24]
you know, yeah, you did you did you scream at them? No, no, you don’t
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [43:29]
know I’ve dealt with so many thousands of people that it’s like it’s not worth my time. It’s I’ve realised something in business in general is anytime that I put mental energy into something that’s negative, it’s it hurts you. Yeah, as the person and there’s no reason like they’re just trying to get by in their own lives and find go do whatever you want your life but I’m not going to spend any of my energy on you because nothing I say is going to change you. So I just got to make my own personal decisions, my own business and the way that I do things and just like me Works for me. And if they want to lie on applications, whatever that’s that’s on them. That’s their, you know what they’re putting out the energy they’re putting out into the world. And I’m not, I just don’t want to take that energy because I’ve done that before I’ve had it where I go back and forth with a person and now and I’m like, yeah, this is whatever they like, No, it’s not. And then you end up in these, like, 10 email chains where they’re trying to convince you and then you get the sob stories. And it’s just like, why am I and then you spending 20 minutes trying to write an email to them and you’re like, why am I spending time on this? Like, it’s not going to change anything about me? Because I’ve already said no, it’s not gonna change anything about them. We’re just wasting time. And it’s dragging you down mentally and emotionally, getting involved with these people. And if it’s not a good fit, it’s not a good fit. It’s like that with your tenants. But it’s not like that with clients. If you’re working a business I I worked a lot of different businesses where you take our clients and I always shocked them when I say I’m not taking your project on I’m not doing that now. Like what you don’t want my money and I’m like, no your money. is not enough to make me want to essentially deal with you. I we don’t fit. We’re not good combination. So I’m saying no,
David Ralph [45:07]
it’s good to catch him out by the net. I love catching my kids out when you get older. You remember last Friday, you said you were around so and so’s house. I went past their house and knocked on the door and you weren’t there. So, where were you? It’s good to catch them out now.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [45:24]
Well, you know, it might be if they can learn a lesson from it and in a positive way that they know that it’s not it’s not appropriate to do that. And maybe they learn from it. That’s awesome. But I’m not going to spend time trying to prove somebody wrong. I usually just move on with my life and just focus on the positive things. I focus on the people I like working with and by investors or clients in my online business or whatever that I enjoy spending my time with. And I just try not to put I put as little energy into the negativity negative stuff.
David Ralph [45:58]
Yeah, brilliant advice. Well, let’s Half of the words of Steve Jobs, he said these back in 2005. And we’re going to hear them again.
Steve Jobs [46:05]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [46:41]
Now when you look at your life, is there a big.in your life that you look back on and you think yeah, that’s when it really started to join up for me.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [46:50]
I have a I have a few of those. It started by first dot that I really realised that my life was going to change is when I got my first Rent check. And it actually wasn’t a check was cash because I lived in a really bad area and I think the guy was a drug dealer, but I was sitting on my couch watching TV, and somebody knocked on my door and it’s like eight or nine o’clock at night. And like I said, it’s not a good area that I live in, because that’s all I could afford. And I’m like, I who’s knocking on my door this time of night. This is kind of sketchy. And I now went over and I opened the door and it’s my tenant, because his three family and my tenant was paying me the rent, I took the cash, paid them sat down on my couch, and I realised slowly that night, that I was going to do that for the rest of my life. And I was not going my I just realised I wasn’t going to finish my PhD. I wasn’t going to be a professor that was originally my plan. And I was going to do real estate and I was going to make money that way. That was my first big dot that I realised
David Ralph [47:49]
and once I have a phone call back to mum and dad saying enough, you know that university course that I’m going through Well, I’m not gonna finish it.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [47:58]
Yeah, that’s kind of funny because I didn’t get full time at the real estate for another two years because I deployed to Afghanistan. So I had to take a pause. When I came back, I dropped out. And I didn’t tell anybody for, I think, nine months, maybe close to a year because I was ashamed. I, I was everybody was so proud that I was working on my PhD. And then I was going to, like, do these things. And I felt like I was letting everybody down. And I got into real estate full time. And I didn’t tell them until I closed on my first successful deal. And I’m like, and it’s just kind of like a switch, and like, Oh, hey, I’m not in university anymore. But now I’m a successful real estate person.
David Ralph [48:37]
I took a long time before I told anybody I was a podcaster. I don’t know why I look back on it now. And it was quite easy to find that my voice was out there. But I just felt embarrassed in the early days, even though it’s what I wanted to do. It takes a long time to sort of build your inner competence isn’t it and as I say you win the inner game then the outer game takes care of itself.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [48:59]
That is a constant struggle always that feeling that? Why am I doing this? Why not somebody who’s better than me, there’s always the imposter syndrome, where you’re where you’re thinking about other people no more, they should be the ones doing it. I shouldn’t be the ones doing it or I don’t know enough about this or whatever it is always self doubt. And it doesn’t matter how successful you are is always that piece that may be a little bit embarrassment, or just fear or whatever, and it never ends. And so tackling that self doubt that inner struggle is something that you will do every step. least for me, every step along the way. That’s something I’ve always dealt with.
David Ralph [49:33]
So before we send you back in time on the journey that we call the Sermon on the mic, what would be the the four main things but a newbie needs to think about before they start entering into rental mastery?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [49:49]
For the four things, all right, well, the first thing is surrounding yourself with people of like mind or who have the mindset of what you want to have and they’re living the life that you want. Want to live? Someone who’s five years ahead of you, or 10 years ahead of you. That’s the that’s the absolute first thing. Second thing I would say is planning, create a really good plan because those fears will start to fade away when you every fear you have, if you plan a way to mitigate those fears, or get rid of those fears, you’re going to feel way more confident about what you’re doing. Because then when you’re like, oh, what about this, you like I already planned for that. This is what I’m going to do. Then I would say it’s building up a network and a team or what I like to call a team, get those people that you’re going to rely on, as you’re in any business, real estate included that when things pop up, you’ve got to have somebody to call to help you fix those problems. And in real estate, that’s going to be contractors, and that’s going to be real estate agents and mortgage brokers, that’s your team. But in every business, you need your team. And then I would just say it’s building a routine. A lot of people do all of that, but then they don’t go actually do the grind where they got to look at real estate every single day or Four days a week, or whatever it is, they don’t build that into their routine. And then they slowly fade off. And then they forget about that dream.
David Ralph [51:07]
Great advice. And I hope you all go back and jot those down and use them time and time again, not just for rental, but for anything else that you want to get into. Well, this is the part of the show that we’ve been building up to. And this is the bit that we call the Sermon on the mic when we send you back in time to have a one on one with the young Eric. And if you could walk into a room and speak to the young Eric, what age would you choose and what advice would you give him? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m gonna play the music and when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [52:00]
I’m going to go back to when I’m about 26 or 27 years old, and I’m starting to grind in real estate and I’m doing doing a lot of deals, and I’m making good money on them. And I’m going to go and I’m going to tell myself a few things. First, I’m going to tell myself to control my lifestyle inflation. And that’s when you make more money. So you spend more money. And I was spending a lot of money buying nice stuff, nice vehicles and things like that, because I was making good money, but I had to grind harder and harder and harder to maintain that. And it took me years to realise I didn’t need to live a life like that I could stop working and choose a different life. And I didn’t realise that it took me a long time figured out so I would go give myself that lesson up front so I can start building my real estate and my business around that. Because that’s what led me to kind of getting burnt out solid help myself avoid that. And I’d also say take your dreams, take your plans and 10 X or 20 x because Because my goal was, was to become financially independent, and I thought that was a lifetime goal. But I did it in like five years. And I think people often undersell themselves that they can accomplish way more than what they think. So I just multiply that many, many fold. And I would make financial independence one step on my journey. That way, I wouldn’t have that that last feeling for two years where I didn’t know what I want to do, where I wanted to go and solid, say, Take what you want to do, and multiply that and come up with something even bigger, something better, and then build your real estate around that. Those are the big things, the big lessons that I wish I learned. And the third thing, I would say, start building good relationships. Day one, it’s my number number one regret. I approach real estate is like a lone wolf thing I was doing on my own. I would go back and I say Eric, you need to build really strong relationships. Day one, don’t waste five or six years of your business. Just focused on yourself, focus on adding value to other people more. And that’s going to multiply your business when I did make that change, I grew more in one year than I had in a prior six years combined. I wish I did that, unlike year two, or year three. So I tell myself that
David Ralph [54:16]
right advice me, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [54:23]
Yeah, the number one best way to connect with me is to go to my website ideal Rei calm. And go ahead and get my real estate system, you can just download that you put your email address in. And if you reply to any of those emails, it comes straight to my inbox and I reply to all of them. So if you want to reach out to me, get on the email list and send me an email.
David Ralph [54:43]
Right We have all the links on the show notes to make it as easy as possible. Eric, thank you so much for spending time with us today and joining those dots. And please come back again when you’ve got more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures Eric. Thank you so much.
Rental Income From Property Expert Eric Bowlin [55:02]
Thank you so much, David for having me.
David Ralph [55:06]
Mr. Eric Bolin. So rental mastery, how to build a rental portfolio. And as he was saying, you know, most of the time, you don’t have to use your own money. You don’t have to use your own money for anything. There’s ways of doing it. And it’s the first I think big move forward into entrepreneurship when you think I want that, but I don’t have the money or I don’t want to spend my own money. How do I make that happen? And if you do that, more often than not, you can make make it happen. You know, it just naturally occurs, you’ve got that focus, to pay back that debt or pay back this or whatever, but don’t use your own money. Just don’t just just use other people’s money and it’s the way forward. We’ve got a course or podcast course coming on at the end of the month where you can I’m going to teach you how to make a six speaker people podcast. It’s what’s working in 2020. I’m aware but so Many people are teaching podcasting old school, it’s not going to work. come across, have a look at the podcast course at Join Up Dots if you’re interested, and then have a word with me, I will talk to you one to one to make sure that you’re a right fit for it. But I’m going to spend two days live teaching you guys how to actually make a six figure podcast, how to get the right customers how to get the right income streams or from podcasting. So that is create a six figure podcast at Join Up Dots come across to the coaching. I will speak to you personally as I say, and, and we’ll see if you’re a fit. But until next time, thank you so much for being here. That was David Ralph. And that was me. Cheers see.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life, head over to Join Up dots.com To download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.