Back on the Horse

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Melina: Did you say, "My clip?"

Dave: We're starting now.

Melina: All right.

Dave: Here we go.

Narrator: Welcome to Flippin Off, a purpose driven podcast about flipping houses and making a difference. 

Dave: All right. Well, we're back. Dave Boswell here with my wife, Melina Boswell, founders of New Wealth Advisors Club. And today we have a fantastic guest, a friend, and quite a journey we're gonna go down here with Oscar Solares. And Oscar, thanks for coming out today. We're looking for...

Oscar: Thanks for having me. This is gonna be fun.

Dave: We're looking forward to this. It's a whole new experience, yes?

Oscar: Yeah, absolutely. I thought being on camera was weird, but this is very different.

Melina: You're on camera and recording. 

Oscar: Wow, no pressure.

Melina: It's a whole new world. Right, exactly.

Dave: No pressure.

Melina: Yeah. 

Oscar: I'm good.

Dave: We're just here having a conversation. It's been a number of years since our very first conversation. I think...did you guys have a conversation before me? I don't think I was involved in your first conversation. I think you might...

Melina: I think that's right. I feel like...because we met in Arizona. 

Oscar: Yeah, it was...

Melina: I feel like we met at the bar.

Oscar: It was near the bar.

Melina: Okay.

Oscar: It was lunch time. We're on a lunch break.

Dave: In the vicinity of a bar. 

Oscar: And it's, you know, typical for me, right? So I meet Melina. We sit down, we start talking and we ordered lunch.

Melina: Yes.

Oscar: And we're talking and talking, and I realized that one, I have to go. And two, my lunch never got there.

Melina: Right. Oh my gosh.

Oscar: Remember that?

Melina: I do. 

Oscar: And I was like, "Do I leave? I guess I'm outta here." 

Dave: Did you eat his lunch? 

Melina: No. No, I don't think our lunch ever came, and I think...yeah, yeah. And I think we both had to leave.

Oscar: That's funny.

Melina: Yeah, it was really funny.

Dave: And you realize in Arizona that we're from Corona Riverside and Oscar is in Murrieta/Temecula.

Melina: Yeah. Temecula, yeah. Yeah.

Oscar: That's pretty funny. We were at a seminar. 

Melina: He's, "Yes." 

Oscar: Yeah, coincidentally. It was a real estate seminar, yeah. It was all the way down in Arizona to kinda finally find ourselves I guess. 

Melina: Yeah.

Oscar: Gonna find each other.

Dave: Which is pretty cool. So, you're in Arizona. And that is back in, how many years ago is this now?

Oscar: I'm gonna say that was '09-ish, end of '09.

Dave: End of 2009?

Melina: Yes.

Dave: So here we are...gosh, time is flying. Seven plus years later, and we're now...been working together for a number of years. We 'll get to that in a minute. Oh, I just wanna kind of paint a picture because you're, I don't wanna say stereotypical, but there's a lot of things about your story that I know a lot of people can relate to. 
You're a driven dude, like, you're a man's man. There's a, you know, there's nothing, you know, you're a manly guy who's like, you know, driven to succeed, driven to provide for your family, and you have a track record of doing that over your lifetime.

And so back us up a little bit, tell us a little about that history. And then we 'll get into, like, how things are radically different for you today than what they were many years ago?

Oscar: Yes. So my background, if I go way back, I started working when I was 13.

Dave: Okay.

Oscar: So from that point forward, it was...I was always doing something to earn money whether it's busing tables, what have you, right, whatever it was, that's who I became. Once I finished high school, I joined the Marine Corps, and then spent about 14 years in the Marine Corps. So, I like to say that I grew up in the Marine Corps, that's really where my core values were developed, where my ethics, my morals, all that stuff that makes me who I am today, really came about.

Dave: So 18 years old?

Oscar: Yeah. I'm right about 18. And I was...18, I already married. 

Melina: I was just gonna say, and you got married there.

Oscar: I was married before I joined the Corps, yeah.

Melina: Right.

Dave: Yeah. To Rebecca...

Melina: And still married to this day with the same person? 

Oscar: Yeah.

Dave: I was gonna say to Rebecca who just not here with us.

Oscar: Yeah, yeah. And for Rebecca, we've been married 31 years.

Dave: Wow. So, 18 to your early 30s, you're in the Marine Corps?

Oscar: Yeah. 

Dave: Thank you for your service, by the way. Appreciate that very much.

Oscar: Thank you guys. It was fun. I enjoyed it. Learned a lot, did a lot. And I had a lot of success. It was, you know, meritorious promotions. I got accelerated promotions. So, I get a lot of things that went on in my life while I was in the Marine Corps that allowed me to really grow again, even being thrown a pen, forced to teach a class over that pen, right, to describe it and what do you use it for and all these things. And it's so cool, you know, it's all great stuff. But it reached the point where, for me, it's really important to be having fun doing what I'm doing, right?

Dave: All right.

Oscar: No surprise I guess but...

Melina: That's why you married Rebecca. 

Oscar: She keeps the fun, yes. She keeps the fun in.

Dave: I can relate. 

Oscar: Exactly. Yeah.

Dave: For sure. 

Oscar: It got to a point where it wasn't fun anymore. So, I needed to really figure out what I was gonna do. And I had the good fortune of being trained in Information Technology while I was there. And so my career essentially became that. I came out, I became a consultant for a number of years, did that for a while, enjoyed it, and that transition to becoming a permanent Corporate America employee. 

Dave: Permanent, that's a...I don't know if...

Oscar: Yeah, it's a...

Dave: You thought permanent.

Oscar: It felt permanent.

Dave: Yeah.

Oscar: It felt like a forever thing.

Dave: Okay.

Oscar: Once that happened, it got into some challenges with some of the managers when I was consulting. They wanted me to...we were proud of being what we called vendor agnostic.

Dave: Right.

Oscar: We didn't push a specific vendor, we pushed the solution. And whatever that solution was, I just had to make sense. They wanted me to push a very specific vendor. Done, I'm not doing that. It wasn't right for the customer, it didn't make sense, they just want to make money on it. It didn't work for me. So that forced me to take a job on with that customer into cellphone manufacturing business. 

From there, I eventually transitioned to the golf industry, which is like polar opposites, right? And now I'm going from making cellphones to making golf clubs. And it blew my mind how more golf clubs were being made than cellphones. It was just nuts how much we were doing. So fast forward from that point, I started looking into investing, oh, I guess '97-ish when we bought our first house. And then in '05, I started really looking for something, right? It made sense.

Dave: '05. Uh-oh.

Melina: Right.

Oscar: Yeah.

Melina: Everybody feels like '05 is like, "Oh, the happiest days in my life."

Dave: Until tomorrow.

Oscar: Yeah.

Melina: Because everybody was rich.

Oscar: Yeah. I had a pulse and fogged a mirror so you can get a loan, right?

Melina: Right.

Oscar: And so I did, I fogged the mirror, and...

Dave: A couple times?

Oscar: Yeah, a few times, and plunged into it, and realized that...the thought was I know what I'm doing now, right? I've got this figured out. I've been through classes, I had gone through other educational programs, I 'd done things, so I'm diving in. Problem is that the pool was very shallow. And I kind of hit my head at the bottom, right? And kind of shook me up a little bit and started looking again. How do I really do this because I'm not doing it right?

Dave: You had bought some rentals at that point, right? 

Oscar: Yeah. It was buy and hold, yes, some rentals. And it's, you know, in hindsight, right? It's like, "What was I thinking?" They weren't where I could see them. We have to fly out there to check them out and do the whole thing. They were new build, so that was cool because less headaches a little bit. But it still wasn't a market that I was familiar with, it wasn't a town that I was familiar with, it wasn't a state. It was like demographically nothing I could relate to or associate with. 

Dave: So all the things we...

Oscar: Everything we tell people not to do. Yeah. Check the box, so...

Melina: Yes.

Dave: So you're doing that. You're working for a company that's producing golf clubs. And you end up being...what's your role inside that company when...because when I meet you, you're...I mean you talk about not only skeptical but maybe one of the toughest conversations ever talking about this and going through and rightfully saw it. 

So you got a Marine Corps background, right? So, you've been there, seen that, done that. So there's a lot to overcome there. Then you've got, you're in Corporate America and you're starting to feel the burn of Corporate America, and the dog-eat-dog world of...it's all about numbers and not relationships. And, you know, we're meeting and we're talking all about like this is a relationship game and this is...you got to create relationships, and that clearly was not landing right and when we first started maybe. And like as you say, you know, my BS meter is going off and what's going on, and this doesn't feel.

So, then you're working what at the time? 

Oscar: Twelve, 14 hours a day. 

Dave: Every day?

Oscar: It felt like every day.

Dave: I think we saw you maybe once a week at some point.

Oscar: Yeah. It was probably late in the day if I could get out of whatever it was I needed to be doing, or it just happened to be one of those fluke days where nothing blew up, and it was good. So it's just the way it went. Yeah, it was 12, 14-hour days at definitely five days, sometimes six or seven days a week.

Dave: Right. And so, the company is primarily or its headquarters I guess is here, but it's in Japan and Korea, and all over the world, and...

Oscar: Yeah, it's a global operation, yeah.

Dave: You're in charge of...

Oscar: The data centers.

Dave: The data centers. So, you're the man, if something happens, blows up whatever, call Oscar. So that doesn't matter if that's noon here or 2:00 in the morning here.

Oscar: It didn't matter.

Dave: It didn't matter.

Oscar: Oftentimes, I found myself on conference calls at 2:00 in the morning because everybody else was already at work by then. So I got the short end of the stick.

Dave: Got it. So, you're doing...and you're doing well. They're paying you well?

Melina: So you're making good money.

Oscar: Yeah. I mean, you know, it's...I was salaried though, so there's that catch, right? And there's bonuses and all but, yeah, you know, six-figure income with 20, 30% bonuses, it was nothing to sneeze at. It's a pretty decent living, and it's providing for the family, and it's exactly what I needed to be doing, right? Provide for the family. I have four kids. Putting them for school, and then eventually college, and everything else. So, yeah. 

Dave: And you've only got one in the house.

Oscar: Yeah, one left. 

Dave: One left. And he's a senior in high school. 

Melina: Yes.

Oscar: Yeah.

Dave: Soon. Soon, Isaiah, soon if you're listening to this. So what happens? I mean for about maybe a year, I would guess somewhere in that ballpark, you're kind of in, you're kind of out, we see, we don't see you. And every time I see, you're pretty much like, "I can't make meetings," or club events, or training or different things that we have going on, because you're at work. And, you know, the text of like, "I'm stuck at work still." So what happens? I mean you're on salary, you're handling all this, and then boom.

Oscar: Yeah. Boom is probably a good way to put it. There was some friction that started building up between myself and my boss. And that friction, from my perspective was that the...or I guess the challenge, is that I believe in managing while walking around, right? I talk to people. I build relations in the different departments, where he didn't. He was the numbers guy. 

So when I knew things that he didn't, it was always the, "Why are they telling you that?" I don't know, maybe because I treat them like people. I don't know, maybe that's something to do with it, right? So anyhow, there was a friction. And what...I guess the tipping point was Rebecca had to be admitted into the emergency room. The day that she was admitted to the emergency room is, had such a vivid picture, it's...she was in Fallbrook. And I get a page that the server system is down.

At that point, though I had pushed against the servers being moved to Germany, they move the server system to Germany. Now I have to depend on different time zone, different expertise, people that are on contracts that only work 35 hours a week. Anything above that has to be pre-scheduled two weeks out. How do you support an operation doing that? Long story short, my boss calls me and says, "What are you doing," yada, yada, you know, this long spiel. I'm like, "Well, right now, I happen to be sitting in the emergency room." 

"Well, you need to make a phone call here," and not a single bit of concern, right, of the situation. So definite red flag for me that, "Okay." So I thought about things needed to change, that was the nail in the coffin that things absolutely need to change. And shortly after that, it really became a downward spiral in the relationship between us, and it was just...I need to go. I need to...whatever it is that I need to do, I need to get out of here, I need to move on and I just go do something else.

Real estate was kind of there. Like we said it was half in half out mostly because I didn't have the time. Desire was there, it was a time issue.

Dave: Right.

Oscar: So that led me to look for another opportunity. That materialized, and it became a...it's another...it's like interesting story after interesting story in my life. So, I get this opportunity, and I'm like, "Man, I'm so tired of this place that I'm willing to take a $30,000 pay cut." 

Dave: This is an opportunity in the IT...

Oscar: Still in the same industry that I was in. And so now, picture, I'm giving up 30% bonus and a $30,000 pay cut. And if that's not desperation to get out of something, right? That's what it was. So I find this gig to work back on base. And part of it was that I was going to be...

Dave: As a civilian.

Oscar: As a civilian working with Marines again. But my role would involve going out to Afghanistan periodically. Periodically, meaning be out there for six or eight months at a time, come back for a couple of months, go back up. 

Dave: Yeah.

Oscar: So then...

Melina: Bad idea.

Oscar: Great idea at the time. But obviously, there were other plans for me. And so, my last day came about. It was September 9th of 2011, last day at work. And as things would work out, there was a blackout, so we had to shut down the data center. And me, being who I am, I stay there the whole time until 10, 11:00 at night hanging out with the guys that were working for me. We take care of the systems, we bring everything back up, we're eating pizza, laughing, joking, and I cart my stuff out of the office, and done, ready to start my new job the following Tuesday. Gave myself three days off.

Dave: He said Saturday, Sunday and Monday is my mini vacation.

Oscar: Then Monday comes around and they tell me, "Hey..." The new employer tells me, "Hey, sorry we can't bring you on because there's an issue with your security clearance." I was like, "Hold on. I've got top-secret clearance, are you kidding me right now?" It's like I get on the phone with DC and DC verifies everything that I'm saying. So, I don't know what happened. I don't know why it transpired. I don't know why it is. 
And at the end of it all, it became a phone call to you, Dave, and saying, "Hey, I'm kind of not working right now, so I guess I need to get hot doing something." And I remember that conversation completely, right, because you had that same little chuckle. And I thought I heard you, Melina, doing cartwheels in the back.

Melina: You did. I was celebrating.

Oscar: So that became, I guess, the real beginning of my journey in this business I'm with you guys.

Melina: Yeah.

Dave: Yeah. So, the chuckle, just so we're clear, wasn't about oh this guy got laid off. It was it was, "Okay, finally." Like, you know, for us, you know, having done this a long time and seeing a lot of people come and go, and the people that stick and certain traits and qualities about people, you have it all. I mean you've been successful in everything you've put your mind to in every aspect of your life, you know. 

You're married for 30 plus years, you've got amazing kids, and an awesome career in the military, and you came out and kicked butt at this company and, you know, it...so it's always that, "Man, this guy is really, at the end of the day, like life's gonna pass you by living a job for somebody else." And then us being able to be on the outside looking in going, "Man, he really has what it takes. He could do this business, and he could do this really well, and..."

Melina: If only he wasn't so comfortable.

Dave: Yeah. 

Melina: That's why I was doing cartwheels because I knew that you were too comfortable. And I knew that once your back was against the wall, you were gonna...it was gonna happen for you.

Dave: Yeah. So boom, it implodes. We're saying, well, there's not, you know, six-figure jobs sitting on the sidelines waiting for you. So it's about time you get serious, right? And so there lies the next problem because it also identified...it helped you to identify one of your go-tos or maybe even a weakness that you have. 

So, tell us about...so you're done, and I know about some of the details or most of the details if you want. I know Melina knows a lot more than I do about your first deal that comes to you from pretty much outside the club, somebody brings it to you. And then what happens?

Oscar: Yeah. So lessons start, best way I could put it. So there's a guy that brings the deal to me. There's an agent involved. And I've learned some things, and I'm thinking, "All right, I need to replace a six-figure plus income, and I need to do it now. I don't need to wait a year. It needs to happen, like, overnight," right?

Dave: First problem.

Oscar: Absolutely, the first lesson for me, right, is though I wasn't...my bank account wasn't empty. But in my mind, it was empty, right? So my mindset went into scarcity mode, I guess, the best way to put it.
So that led to a lot of different things taking place. The biggest thing is that I looked at something, reviewed the documentation that was provided to me, you know, the agent gave me a CMA, Comparative Market Analysis. And I reviewed it, looked good, everything looked fine based on what I knew. Now what I didn't bother doing was having another set of eyes take a look at it, right? So the lesson number two.

Dave: Always...

Oscar: Two-and-a-half I guess is for this, right, because...yeah, always...lesson learn, have everything looked at once, twice, three times if necessary just to make sure. And from that point, I learned that I need to be able to find the reasons not to do this deal first. If I can't find that then cool, then it makes sense. Let's really look at it and move forward. 

So long story short, took the word of an agent, reviewed the CMA that was provided, numbers looked good based on all that, jumped into it, threw a bunch of my own money into it. And I was, at a point, once it was done because it was a fix and flip, it really left me in a position where I was going to lose right about $21,000 when it was all said and done.
Melina: Right. So I think it's important for everybody to understand that when you say you took the agents word for it, the CMA was based on...it was her, or it was her selling you on what you could turn around and sell the property for. It was about the ARV, the After Repair Value.

Oscar: Right.

Melina: She provided you a CMA on the ARV. I just like to use, you know, fancy language.

Oscar: Yeah, right. 

Dave: Yeah. I think the...anyone who's listening to this, it's really important thing that we see quite a bit. And this is not to bad-mouth agents in any way, but agents are not trained to be investors. So I know this is a really hard distinction we get asked all the time, like, "So what's the different...should I have a real estate license? Should I not have a real estate license?" And I know you do a really good job of explaining that all the time, like, the differences between the two and what that means. And so I 'll let you...

Melina: Right. Well, real estate agents, and I am one, so, I can say this with confidence and that is that real estate agents are taught how to represent buyers and sellers. We are not trained on how to make investments. That's a completely different world. So when you have a real estate agent...I think it's a big mistake that people make is they believe that investors depend on real estate agents to bring them deals. And that's not what real estate agents are trained for. 

Now that's not to say that there's real estate agents out there who can't find deals, of course there is, but that is going to be few and far between. And they have to intend...they have to purpose themselves to understand what it means to be an investor. One has nothing to do with the other. Agents get paid on commissions, and commissions on the sale of a property. They don't understand what it takes to invest. They look at a deal and go, "Oh, this could sell for 300. You can buy it for 250. You can make $50,000," which of course is absurd. So none of that works, but that's just not what we're taught how to do.

Dave: Right. And based on that commissions it's also...there's an inherent conflict because the commission is based on the purchase price. And as an investor, we need to be able to get a discount on that. 

So, Oscar, in his haste of, at the time, of, "I got to get this done. I need to get deals in the pipeline. I've money in the bank account today, but it's gonna be gone tomorrow. So I took the CMA prepared by the agent who needs to also put money in her bank account, and feed her family just saying, 'Hey, Mr. Investor, buy this property, you 'll be fine, '" and turned out by the time you got done rehabbing it you stand to lose 20 grand. 

Melina: Yeah. And I think it's important to note that the reason the numbers all made sense was that when I looked at the CMA and I could see why, if you didn't know what you were looking at, it absolutely made sense because she was using comparables in...that were within one mile of the subject property.

Oscar: Huge key.

Melina: Yes. And this was absolutely...this goes back to your, you know, not buying in a place that you don't understand or getting a second set of eyes because when you looked at the numbers, you looked at the paper, it all made perfect sense.

Oscar: Yep.

Melina: It wasn't like there was comparables that were, you know, far away. They were within one mile. The key was that, that one mile, there was one street, and I just happened to know the area very well because it's my hometown. So as soon as I saw the property address, and then I saw the comparables, I said, "Oh, no, no." 

Dave: Those aren't comparable.

Melina: No, not at all. Like, there's one street that truly divides the neighborhood and it is, you know, I don't know.

Dave: Your street.

Melina: Yeah. It's literally in there, you know, within, you know, one-tenth of a mile. But that one-tenth of a mile is a completely different world.

Dave: Probably a $30,000 to $40,000 swing. 

Melina: Easy.

Dave: Yeah. 

Melina: Yes.

Dave: All the profit. One of the things that we do inside the club and why we have the club is exactly for that. Everybody lives somewhere that can have that exact same...in other words, wherever you live, you know on this block, this block is good. If I cross the railroad tracks over here, if I get on that side of the freeway, if I'm in this school district, everybody knows something different about their neighborhoods that we can't get when we're on the internet looking for demographics. And somebody sends us a CMA, they can paint that CMA to look any way that they want it to look. 
And so novice investors oftentimes make the same mistake. So it's not like...you know, what Oscar experiences is relatively normal.

Melina: Yeah, common. 

Dave: I mean we actually see a lot when people come to the club. They get excited, they may have some money, some reserves, and then they kind of shoot, ready, aim, right?

Melina: Right. 

Dave: And so they go out there and then say, "Melina, fix it."

Melina: Yeah.

Dave: "Melina, help."

Oscar: That's what I did. 

Dave: So fix it, help and it couldn't all be fixed. You ended up losing how much on that?

Oscar: My loss was about 11,000. 

Dave: So loss of 11,000. So lesson learned.

Oscar: Many lessons learned. 

Melina: I was gonna say, it was a win of 10 grand. 

Oscar: Yeah. I mean in the long run, it was part of my journey. And that has enabled me to really help others avoid those traps. So it's...I look at it now, it's just, "Okay, cool. It's done. It's behind me. It didn't kill me. I survived it, and I learned from it."

Melina: Right. 

Oscar: Yeah.

Dave: So one of your...I wanna talk because you've had some...that was one of your first lessons. So you learned some things about yourself. Number one is you have a tendency to, "I got this," right? In other words, you're a sharp guy so I can look at it, and I'm not gonna burden other people, right? So I'm gonna provide for my family. I'm gonna do whatever I got to do. 

And so your MO, if you will, is to go back to that at different times. And I've seen that through the last several years. You've had ups and downs, and, you know, I got this, things are good, and then, "Oh, crap I made another silly choice or decision," but you're here. And so I commend you for that at the same time. 

We've been to some really crazy houses. We've had some really...

Melina: Well, I think it's important to kind of from there, instead...Oscar, you could have quit at that point in time. You could have been like, "Okay, so I'm out of this game." and you didn't. You just said, "I'm gonna pick myself up, and I'm gonna go, and I'm gonna move forward." And I feel like that was kind of like the opening of the floodgates for you.

Oscar: Yeah. And I look at it as a kind of a litmus test, right?

Melina: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Oscar: Yeah, I kind of got thrown in the fire. I threw myself in the fire actually because I volunteered to jump into the lava, which was cool. I mean like I said, it helped me get to where I am today. And the lessons that were learned are...they were great. But it's different now.

Dave: So you get back on the horse. 

Oscar: Yeah.

Dave: And then you go out, and one of your next deals was just, like, ridiculous.

Oscar: Yeah.

Dave: It's got to be one of the most ridiculous deals.

Melina: In terms of success.

Dave: Success is just like night and day.

Melina: Yeah.

Dave: It's hardly even...

Oscar: It's ridiculous.

Melina: Yeah.

Oscar: I mean...

Melina: So share it.

Dave: When you talk about it, you're like, "That really happened?" 

Melina: Yeah.

Dave: Yes, that really happened. 

Oscar: And, you know, we always talked about warm market, right, and referrals and things of that nature. And there were a couple of other club members that brought this opportunity to me. I looked at it and I was like, "All right, that's cool, you know." If we can get it for 65, 70 grand, we're in a really good spot. 

It was a rundown house. It was a detached condo, fairly decent sized, attached garage. There was a master bedroom downstairs, bath, two or three bedrooms upstairs. So it was decent size, decent size house. What was cool is that it was detached. It had no neighboring walls that were...you weren't gonna hear anybody or anything from. So, you know, 70 grand makes sense. We can sell that for 190, 180, it already sounds ridiculous, right?

Melina: Yeah. 

Oscar: So we're going back and forth. And I'm telling them...I'm asking them questions, them being the club members, saying, "Hey, look, I need to know about these things, the condition of the property, right? Give me some good pictures. What is the..." you know, everything looked like...electrical panel. "What's the condition really of the house? Is it just dated? Is it just, what people say, paint and carpet?"

And so what really transpired is that, that was a warm market lead for those club members, somebody that she had worked with in the past. And the owner had fallen ill to the point where she needed to get rid of the property to move out to go somewhere else to live with, I think kids or something like that sort to really get away from the situation. 
And as it turns out, the condition of the house was...it had a pinhole leak in a couple of the lines, the water lines, that had literally taken over the bottom floor with mold and so forth. And the master suite, as you can imagine, that's where she sleeps most of the time. Now she has to...she's ill, she has to go upstairs to get to the other bedroom so she could not be around the mold. 

So we went back and forth quite a bit. And all she wanted to do was be done with it because she wanted it off her plate, she didn't wanna deal with it, and just, "Get me out of here." We paid for that house $15,000.

Dave: One-five.

Oscar: Yeah. It's like the price of a used car.

Dave: Right.

Oscar: Like really, really good used car though, but a used car nonetheless.

Dave: Wow.

Oscar: And we threw in some money. We threw in about 67, 68,000 into it. When it's all said and done minus the fees,
the holding costs, money costs, all that other stuff that goes with it, we walked away with a little over 136,000.

Dave: Wow, wow. 

Oscar: So now that $11,000 loss is like, "Whatever." It's a write off. 

Melina: Yeah. Exactly you need the write off. And I think we had forgotten about the $11,000 loss. I forgot about it, maybe you didn't, but I forgot about it because it was...I don't know, so many years ago. Oscar's like, "No, I didn't forget." 

Oscar: It's that pebble between my mattress.

Melina: Yeah. So it wasn't about the money.

Dave: This house is trashed, you go in there. And how long did that take you?

Oscar: It was right about eight weeks, eight weeks to get it done.

Dave: Eight weeks, and you went in and solved someone's problem. And we get that a lot where people go, "Why would someone sell their house so cheap?" I mean, you went from 60, 70. How did you get it all the way down to $15,000? Why would somebody do that? 

Oscar: The beauty of it is the relationship, right? That particular relationship was really, really close between the club member and the seller. It's awesome when you have that type of relationship. But in everything we do, in any type of deal that comes across, it's always about the relationship.

Melina: Right.

Dave: Sure.

Oscar: Nothing else matters because as long as you treat people like people, and you really put their needs first, good things happen, and it's just proven time and time again. And the interesting thing, thinking back, the friction that I had with my old boss was because I was a people person and he wasn't. And so now, its skills that I acquired through life that I bring into this business now and apply.

Dave: Wow. Wow, a hundred and...another disclaimer, we don't have very many people who can say, "I've closed a $100,000, net profit out of a deal." We've talked about this before, honey, with...I mean maybe we should try to count one day but what do you think, 10, 15 deals total?

Melina: Probably. Something like that. I remember, there was one person who had held the record, nobody had made more than $125,000 in one deal. And so I just remember Oscar was the first person to take the lead on the largest...

Oscar: Take and break it.

Melina: Yeah, the largest net profit...

Oscar: And I reminded him all the time.

Melina: I know, which was amazing. 

Dave: You guys work together, and that made to be...

Melina: It's like his son, but anyway, that's not the point. That's actually half the point. But, yeah. So, which is cool. Well, that 'll be another story for another day I think. But, yeah, I think it is not the norm. I believe that now it's being more common. I remember it like that was the record for a long time. And then over the years...just on that note, last night, we had a club meeting, and one of the things we did is we broke up the club members into small groups. This is kind of an aside, but I think it's key back to, you know, going back years ago when Oscar did this deal.

Last night we had groups of, I don't know, several groups of anywhere between 12 to 15 people. And more than half of the people sitting in every single group had either closed a deal or were in the middle of a deal.

Oscar: Yeah, it was...

Melina: That is extraordinary.

Oscar: It is. It was pretty cool.

Melina: I don't even think we knew. I don't think we had an interview.

Oscar: I was surprised the things I've heard from the club members and where they're at, what they're doing, and success they've had and all that because, you know, we get along really well.

Dave: Right.

Oscar: But we're not around each other 100% of the time.

Melina: No, no. Yeah, we celebrate each other's success but we don't...we know people are having success, but we're just not ever really tied to the success. I think we're more tied to the people, and the membership, and the relationships, and what we do and the things...the bigger things that we're about. We don't ever stop to think, "Wow, there's a lot of transactions that have closed inside of our club."

Dave: A big key and inside of that is, when you and I decided that we were gonna start this...like, one of the things that we had to do is we had to create leverage for ourselves, right, because we can't be all things to all people all the time. So we have to have the people like the Oscars, and the Mikes and the Tims and Franks and Peter, and all the different people inside of our club that make all this work. 

And last night was really key, at least for me, when we're up and we're training a large group of people that, you know, we do...every month, we're doing training. And it's always that challenge of, "Gosh, we're training again. We're training again. We're training again," and at the same time, like, we need to build relationships with each other and how do we put that together. 

And so last night when we broke up into these smaller groups, the really cool part for me was being able to hear some of the interactions that's happening in these small groups in these other areas that we have no idea about. Like, we've zero...I had no idea that this person is out working with this person, and this person knew this person. And they all met at the club. 

And, you know, hearing them talk about, "Oh, we have this deal in the pipeline." And, you know, hearing Lloyd last night talk about how excited he is for his wife who just joined our club a few months ago and she's getting ready to cash it, you know, I think they're making right around 50 grand on that deal.

Melina: Yeah.

Dave: And so, you know, he's smiling ear to ear as he comes in as her help mate, but nonetheless, those were exciting things for us to be able to hear.

Melina: And he's a believer now. 

Dave: Yeah, now...yeah. Comes in as a skeptic and then...

Melina: He's like, "Holy cow, this works."

Dave: Yeah, this works. We get asked that, you know, some of the newer people that were there last night, they're like, "So what's the key? What's the key, like, break it down." One of the questions I was asking the group was like, "What's the real key?" And the key is this, you have got to be around people that this is what they're doing. And when I say doing, they're actually doing it. They're not out pretending, talking about it, getting ready to get ready, they're not sitting at home in their underwear on the internet trying to find a lead, you know. They are actually out doing it. 

And so I think that's like a really, really big key for anyone who's listening to this wherever you're at whether you're local to us and wanna come down and check out the club, or whether you're...wherever you are in another state or whatever, you've got to find local people that are actually doing this that you can plug in and figure out how you can bring value to them and their business because that's the key. You know, when I mentioned Lloyd and Carrie, that's exactly who Carrie is, right?

Melina: Yes.

Dave: She has just come in and said, "How can I help? Where can I help? I don't care if I'm taking the trash out. I don't care if I'm sweeping the floor. I don't care what you need from me, I wanna be able to be here and..."

Melina: Yeah, she's in four deals now.

Dave: Yeah, that's what I'm saying. And she's there at everything.

Melina: Absolutely, she is.

Dave: You know, with multiple things in...

Melina: It's been two months.

Dave: You know...

Melina: One thing I 'd like to just...getting back to Oscar really quickly because it's interesting, we talked about we go way, way back with Oscar and being with us from the very, very beginning. Interesting point is that you had maybe not jumped in full time in your own real estate investing business. However, you were really committed and connected to what we were doing and what we were about based on, I think, your history, and you really believed in what we were doing. So you were an integral part of the creation of the club as we see it now in terms of curriculum, and systems and the structure that we have. 

And so I think it's really cool that we shared your first and second deal, like your first deal being a loss and your second deal being like a ginormous win. But before we end, just how many deals have you done? You know, because I know you've done very, very well over the last several years.

Oscar: Yes. It's probably 20 or so mark.

Melina: Yeah.

Oscar: And just looping back a little bit to you were talking about Dave, what are the key things, what's the key thing, right, what's that secret sauce. The dynamics for me changed when I did a couple things. Forget the bad house, right?

Melina: Right.

Oscar: But it was when I...because I already bought in...I had already bought into what it was all about. I understood all that. But it was when I was willing to no longer make it about me, no longer get in my own way, and be fully committed to the journey, and understand that opening up is not a weakness, asking for help is not a weakness, that it actually is a strength because it takes a lot more to do that than it does to not. 

Melina: Absolutely.
Oscar: So that's the encouragement I have for people. It was really cool last night to watch and listen and pay attention to what they're saying. And the growth that everyone has gone through just by being associated as people forget real estate, as people how much they've grown and changed, all that does for them is they become much better people. 
They care about others before they ever put themselves first. And inevitably, every single one of those people that stay connected go through that transformation, get into the business and actually have a success. And so it's not about the money, it's not about the deal, it's about becoming who you need to be first to enjoy the benefits of this business.

Dave: Yeah, that's...

Melina: Boom, drop the mic.

Dave: It's pretty awesome, which leads me on another tangent only because I just wanna give credit where credit's due. But, honey, you...what Oscar just said is really key, like, we have everything inside of our group as far as to put real estate together and all the resources to put the deal together. But a lot of the times, and a lot of people I've seen have the most success, or the people that really needed some of the most work in their own lives if you will, right? 

And a really big key, like, inside the club is that we focus on that first, right? And we've talked about this, like how can we put this backwards? Like, how could we teach real estate after we teach personal development, and mindset, and interpersonal communications, and getting out of your own way, and identifying those weaknesses and finding your core purpose? But I think we do a really, really good job. 

And I say we, I say I'm really looking at you, honey, saying you do a really good job of being able to balance that because we're both married to really great women. And, like, if it was just Oscar and I, we wouldn't have the success without our wives for sure. And you just do a really, really, really good job of helping blend that whole mix of...we need to work on what's, as you say the in between your ears that's stopping you from having the real success. And the journey has just begun. Oscar and I just appreciate you being here this morning and helping us to really kind of reminisce too.

Melina: Yeah, it was very cool. And I think that's my favorite thing about Oscar right now is that watching you...I've watched you have great successes, some failures along the way and failures in the success, right? Not really failures, just growth I think. And just to have you here today for us is...it is just confirmation of that we are going nowhere. It's interesting they say once you've, you know, our mentor told us, I don't know, a while back whenever it was when we hit our seven-year mark, you know, you're a real business now. And I was like, "What?"

And now I realize, like, we really are. We really are long-standing no matter what. And I feel like you're the...you're like the pinnacle of that.

Oscar: Appreciate it. Yeah. Give you guys 100% of the credit. It's been eye-opening, it's been great, it's been fun, and I'm just looking forward to whatever else is in store for us and where we're gonna take this. And how it's gonna change lives.

Melina: It is exciting. Very, very exciting. Changing lives. 

Dave: Amen to that. So we 'll catch you guys in a couple of weeks, and...

Melina: We are flipping off. 

Dave: There you go with your flipping. You're always flipping something. The life for the party.

Melina: A flip a day.

Dave: All right. Well, catch you guys next time.