EP 242 – Birmingham Real Estate, A Blooming Hot Market with Maureen McCann

NCS 242 | Birmingham Real Estate

NCS 242 | Birmingham Real Estate

Having a one year redemption period after foreclosure is one of the great things that are happening in Birmingham real estate. You can overcome this growth by having the borrowers sign the rights away. Maureen McCann helps investors with this notion and helps them create a passive income portfolio. She figured out a way of creating wealth through real estate because she wanted to be a role model entrepreneur to her kids. Maureen explains the catalysts that have just exploded in Birmingham, making it a hot market for real estate investors.

With this episode, we’re starting a series called the City Series. What I’ll be doing with the City Series is bringing on different experts in their field in specific cities. For the most part, it’s going to include a few turnkey providers who are going to answer questions about market values, market numbers, growth, median values, median rent rates. We wanted to make sure that if you need some help with an asset in a specific city, you’ve got a point of contact that can reach out to you. They can put you in the right direction and even help you with that. We do have some great relationships across the country from our extended note family. Some of the cities that we’re looking at, besides Birmingham, is going back to Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, just to name a few, and a few others along the way that will grow as we get into the series as time goes on. These will be spread over the next two months and intermittently fit into our other episodes, as our speakers free up their schedule to allow us to be able to interview them in a timely fashion.

As always, we value our guests on here. If you disagree with some of what they’re saying, that’s completely fine. You’re allowed to agree to disagree on some things, but one of the things that we’re highly likely to make sure of is the quality of our guests. If you have somebody in a specific city you’re interested in, please let me know. We’re always glad to take this on and listen and talk with people outside of our circle. The only way that you grow as an investor is to expand your circle, expand your comfort zone, and branch out to different markets. The note market and real estate markets are changing out there. Values are going up across the country and a lot of people are getting squeezed out there.

We want to make sure and help find great markets that you can still make money at in a variety of ways, whether it’s notes, rentals, turnkey, or wholesaling stuff. We want to make sure and add value and quality episodes every week that we can help you find your way to the top. On our first episode, we have Maureen McCann. She’ll be talking about the Birmingham market, how amazing it’s growing, especially in some of the numbers as far as the median price range and the rent rates. Maureen delivers an amazing story of how she got started. Maureen does a great job with investors as well.

Listen to the podcast here:

Birmingham Real Estate, A Blooming Hot Market with Maureen McCann

I’m so honored because we have our special guests joining us all the way from California. My good friend, Maureen McCann, joins us to talk about the hot market and what’s going on in the blooming city of Birmingham, Alabama. Maureen, how are you doing?

Scott, how are you?

I’m doing wonderful. We’ve been exchanging emails over the last couple of weeks. I know you’ve got a very busy schedule. Things are really rocking for you with everything going on, and you are juggling being a full time mom along with being a solid investor, making high returns for people out there with their turnkey stuff in Birmingham. We’ve been friends for awhile. I actually met her online through different friends. We ran in the same circles, and had an opportunity to meet after cracking up at each other at Aaron Young’s event. Maureen, tell them who you are and why they should listen to you?

By day, I wear my super cape being a mom of three kids, but what I really do for my investors is help them create passive income for their portfolio. My most important role is a mom. I do everything for my little ones, especially being what I want them to be. If I want them to be entrepreneurs and thinkers, then I have to show them what that looks like on a daily basis. I was W2 wager for fifteen years. I was in the medical device world and made the leap ten years ago into entrepreneurship. Scary when Richard Branson said, “Jump off the plane, say yes and build the plan on the way down.” That’s exactly what I did. It was not the most beautiful flight, but I landed and built an amazing company here in Birmingham with also being a really good role model to my kids on how to be an entrepreneur.

With being an entrepreneur for ten years, what happened to cause you to dive into and jump off the plane and hopefully not come up crashing?

I am originally from Jersey so I have a little bit of an attitude. I don’t like people telling me what to do. When I have to ask permission to take two weeks off to go hang out with my kids, I think that’s ridiculous. I didn’t want to be 50 years old someday having to ask permission. An opportunity had presented itself to take the leap, and I thought, “If I don’t do it now, I’m never going to do it.” In the back of my mind and in my heart of hearts, I always thought of wanting to do something on my own and be a business. An opportunity presented itself and so I took it. I started off as a 1099. All of a sudden, the car benefit went away, the health benefits went away, the steady income check every two weeks went away. That’s where you find out what you’re made of when you have to make stuff happen.

What attracted you to real estate? Is it calling your own shots and stuff like that? Is that the biggest thing that you just mentioned? Is it the money? Ten years ago was a bit of a rough time to be getting into real estate for a lot of people. There were people that were in and they were leaving and fleeing like rats in a sinking ship.

Let’s go back there. 2008, everybody knows that was a very pivotal year for them, and for me as well. At that time, I was still in my W2 job, frustrated, getting bounced around from different pharmaceutical companies through mergers and acquisitions. That’s when I was like, “I had really better just jump out and bird out of the nest. I just got to go.” What I realized is that 50% of my portfolio disappeared overnight. Here I was working all of these years and I would get my little fidelity statements each quarter. It was in the black, in the black, and kept going up, I was like, “This is awesome.” Until it wasn’t, until it was quarter one red, quarter two red, quarter three red. I’m sitting there hemorrhaging and I don’t know how to stop it. I had no control over it. I made the decision that I was going to figure out how to create wealth through real estate. When I lived in California, there’s this exclusive neighborhood called La Jolla. When you drive past it, you see these gorgeous homes way up on the hill with these 360 degrees views of the Pacific Ocean. I’m like, “What did they know that I don’t know? How are they able to live up there, and I can’t?”

NCS 242 | Birmingham Real Estate

Birmingham Real Estate: Invested in coaches, invested in education and just learning from the people that are doing this so that you can get better.

The majority of people that had wealth were either rock stars, politicians, real estate investors, business owners. I knew I’m not J-Lo, I can’t shake it. I’m not Beyoncé, I can’t sing, but I knew that I could figure out real estate and I knew that I could be a business owner, Out of the categories, I said, “That’s what I’m going to do.”I invested in coaches. I invested in my education, easily probably now because I still invest in my education. It’s easily over $125,000 just learning from the people that are doing this so that you can get better. I pursued that vigorously and it led me to the opportunity of turnkey real estate, first as a consultant for a company based in Memphis, and then in the last five years, as an owner with my own company, Spartan Invest. Clayton, Lindsay and I have been building this for the last five years. To put it in perspective, we went from $175 million in revenue to $24 million at the end of 2017.

Let’s talk about what’s so exciting about Birmingham. The reason I will throw this out there because we have a lot of note investors that’s like, “What’s so great about Birmingham?” Doesn’t Alabama have a long one-year redemption period after foreclosure? It’s true, they do, but there’s still a lot of growth going on in Birmingham, and you can overcome the redemption period by just having the borrower sign their rights away. It’s a really great market. Talk about some of the things that are going on there in Birmingham.

Let me tell you about the two economic drivers that are the catalyst that have exploded the growth in Birmingham. The first is the foreign investment capital. There’s a very colorful history in Birmingham. Even myself when I was accepted an invitation five years ago from Clayton to come check out Birmingham, I literally am on a flight from San Diego to Birmingham. I’m like, “What the heck is in Birmingham, Alabama?” That was just my attitude. I had these false beliefs that I had carried from the past to present day, not knowing what was actually really happening there. There are seven counties in Birmingham. Jefferson County is the largest. They had the largest municipal bankruptcy in the United States, until a different city took over two years later. We have these blemishes in the past.

A lot of people think about those things instead of focusing on what has been the change that’s been happening and what’s been the catalyst for change. The good news about the bankruptcy is that it wasn’t because of obsolescence. It was because of a loan that we had defaulted on for new infrastructure. All new water systems, new sewer lines were put in for Jefferson County. We basically got all new infrastructure for half the cost. Brilliant move. I don’t think they planned it that way, but it worked that way. There’s the little blemish. Those city officials at that time in 2011 knew that they had to do something different and they had to be radical on something that they did. They needed to create jobs. If you create jobs then things get better. If you look at the cities that have the largest foreign investment capital, Birmingham is in the top. It is because the city officials and government officials went out to international business and looked for those that wanted to have a foothold in the United States for their business operations.

They made it super sexy and super attractive to bring those businesses here, and they did in droves. Predominantly in auto manufacturing, you’ve got Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, and then recently Mazda. They just announced a $1.6 billion auto manufacturing plant that will be opened in2021, bringing with it 4,500 new jobs right in my backyard where we’re investing. Those foreign dollars were a catalyst for the renaissance that’s happening. The second biggest point and the second largest economic driver in Birmingham is the historical tax credit. It’s a refundable tax credit offered by the Alabama Historical Commission. When you’re offering a refundable tax credit, what that means is you’ve got properties that if they’re 60 years or older, whether they’re residential or commercial, you are going to get a tax credit on revitalizing those infrastructure and buildings.

Anyone could go onto Birmingham Business Journal. It’s going to cost you $115 for the year, but it’s worth it. Go on there and what you’ll see is an interactive map called Crane Watch. Any city that has a segment in there, Birmingham in their journal called Crane Watch, it’s like, “Why do you have a crane watch?”There’s so much activity going on that it’s mind boggling. Essentially, what you look at is an interactive map with a bunch of different pins all over it. You click on the pin, up pops up the name of the developer, how much they’re spending on the investment, what they’re purposing the building for, when it’s supposed to open. You see everything from luxury apartments in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. There are $40 million to $50 million projects happening on every street corner revitalizing the city.

We have something similar here in Austin with a Crane Watch because we had pre-approved projects going up and things like that, and it’s starting to come back here with things. There’s a lot of growth going on, a lot of construction going on in the downtown area. Let’s talk about the residential side of things. What’s an average price point on a single-family house in Birmingham?

The range is between $80,000 and $125,000, median’s $104,000. You’re looking at rates of return on leveraged money between 15% and 20%.

That’s a really affordable housing in an up and coming area compared to other areas of the country, right?

Very much so. I’ll give a little bit of an insight here because the city of Birmingham, the southeast predominantly, has been known for very modest year over year appreciation rates. I’m in the cash flow business. I’m not in selling and speculation, whatsoever, but it’s important to note that the cherry on top is always really nice. What is the trend that we’ve been seeing here in the last five years, and predominantly in the last two? Year over year, it’s usually about 2% to 3%. In the last two years, we’ve seen it 5% to 6%. If you look at the 3% and the 6%, it’s double. You’re going, “What’s going on there?” That’s where the renaissance and revitalization is happening. It’s becoming just another note to the net migration into Birmingham right now. Millennials with degrees are coming for the white collar jobs. We have a lot of blue collar jobs in manufacturing and some diverse industries, but the in net migration numbers show it’s the millennial with a degree who wants to live downtown, not drive a car, rent with nice amenities. That’s what Birmingham’s building for them, and they’re coming.

That’s very affordable compared to Austin or even where you’re at out in California, too. It’s hard to make any money unless you’re a rocket scientist for the most part. You’ve seen an influx of educated people. You see growth going on. What do you see in your rent rates roughly? That’s really a valuable number to look at, too, when you’re looking at buying property. I use rental rates to identify opportunities when we’re buying loans, non-performing notes, to see, “What’s your existing payment versus market rent?” If your rent is higher than what your existing principal and interest payment is, you need to look at reinstating. If it’s the opposite way where rent is less than their principal and interest payment, then I have to look and realize I’m going to modify that to keep them in the house, so there’s really no motivation for them to stay. What do you see in rent rates?

NCS 242 | Birmingham Real Estate

Birmingham Real Estate: That’s where the renaissance and revitalization is happening. It’s becoming just another note to the net migration into Birmingham right now.

Our rent rates are following that 1% rule with our purchase price. It is getting pinched a little bit. We have seen it, even in other markets as well, it’s harder to reach that 1% rule and keep it. Five years ago, it’s easy peasy. You’re starting to see it’s getting a little bit harder. In some markets, it’s really tough to get. We’re not there yet. We’ve still got a low barrier of entry, a higher rate of return, and solid cash flow that’s attracting the attention of a lot of investors.

One of the things that we have done in some of the other areas, we focused on Detroit in the past and Columbus. My guys that do turnkeys up there always say that aiming at rents for $500 or less is a two-gun alley basically. You might make some money but you may end losing it when it gets stolen. Is there a flooring when you look at decent neighborhoods of what market rent is there for those that are looking that they can use as a rough filter when they’re looking at assets and things like that in their emails?

Yes. We like that $800 to $1,300 a month niche, that’s the working class neighborhood. If I were to take these investors on a tour through the neighborhoods, you are essentially looking at pretty much nothing during the day. There’s nobody around, there’s no stray dogs, there’s no graffiti, there’s no ten cards on the front grass. That’s just not the way we roll. It’s a solid B class neighborhood. You’re looking at median income, $50,000 a year. You’re looking at low crime, no burnouts, no vacant lots. These are just very boring, nondescript, safe and steady income-producing neighborhoods.

When you say median, it goes about $50,000. That means if you work the numbers back, when you look at an income, people shouldn’t be spending more than roughly around 34% or 33% of their income. They’re making $50,000 a year and a third of that is roughly around $16,000, $17,000 for the most part, and dividing that by twelve months, you’re seeing that $1,400 a month basically number range when you figure in rents plus utilities and things like that. That leads pretty good stuff when you look at getting $1,200 plus a month times twelve. It’s $14,000 over a$100,000 value on a house. That’s a pretty decent cap rate with just those rough numbers like that.

That’s why this works. I’ve seen it. I’ve been in this business long enough, ten years now. You find a market like this and it hasn’t been on the hot list, even though in 2014 CNN Money looked at the Top 10 investment markets and Birmingham was listed there at number eight, but it wasn’t like people came here in droves. If you start putting this jigsaw puzzle together of third party articles written by Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Travel channel, CNN Money, if you start clicking these pieces together, what you find is it’s not only a hot market, but it’s emerging. It’s just starting to percolate a little bit among the different investor groups.

What I’ve seen happen in a market like Memphis that really became hot is that you have mom and pops, house flippers, hedge funds, equity groups, everybody trying to make money. People are just coming out of a class that learned how to wholesale or flip are all going here, “It’s a hot pocket. We’ve got to go there.”Everyone’s competing with the inventory that starts dwindling, then the prices start going up, and then everything starts getting pinched from a returns perspective, both for the seller and the investor. We’re just not there yet. We’re just in that upswing, that emerging market status. Once we hit hot, we’ll see what happens five years from now. The returns that I can offer now are just not going to be the same five years from now.

You are doing this on a daily and weekly basis out there. You are buying property, fixing them up, renting them out, and bringing investors for turnkey stuff. You are invested heavily on it. Do you have a rough number? With what you are doing, what’s your median price point on your turnkey stuff that you’re having really good success with?

First of all, I’ve got a waiting list. There’s a demand rolling. It doesn’t really matter what the profit is, it’s getting into a market. Basically, when you create wealth by beating inflation, I don’t care what the investment is, if it’s oil and gas or wastewater treatment or real estate, as long as the return on equity is higher than your inflation, you’re creating wealth. That’s what investors are really seeking, and I’ve seen that over the last ten years. It’s only going to take an 8% to 10% and they’re fine with that. You can diversify your investment capital into other markets that can produce higher yields. I don’t have a specific answer. There’s not someone coming to me saying, “I have to have a 3-2 with a 15% return.” We’re building them a variety of properties that suit a variety of tenants so that they can keep their portfolio occupied.

Are you building from the ground up? Are you going in and buying foreclosures or REOs? How are you finding deals?

Distress. We’re sourcing our properties from a variety of sources, but we’re mostly doing distress. We do have raw land where we will be building new properties for investors. We’re just not doing that right now. We don’t really have the need to do that. It’s just there for when we’re ready to start doing new buildings.

How many turnkeys are you doing on an annual basis for the last five years? I know numbers obviously increased as profitability is going up for you. It just got up since we last talked at the Laughlin with the Growing 2017 event with Aaron. Do you have any numbers that you want to share?

When we first started, I remember my business partner asking me. He’s like, “Maureen, do you think you could do like ten a quarter?” That was when we were first starting out. I was like, “I can do that.”All of a sudden, I’m like, “How am I going to do that? I have no idea.” Say yes and jump. Just build your plan on the way down. The majority of our growth has really happened in the last three years. Those numbers are probably better. We’re averaging about 75 a quarter now.

That’s for 300 a year.

Yes. We just want to keep going to 400 and 500. You have to scale up. You got to do it the right way. You don’t want the construction to suffer, the customer service to suffer. I could probably be selling 100 houses a quarter right now if I wanted to. The quality and the customer service would suffer if we try to blow that out and go that fast.

NCS 242 | Birmingham Real Estate

Birmingham Real Estate: You have to scale up but you’ve got to do it the right way. You don’t want the construction to suffer or the customer service to suffer.

You are not out there doing everything. You’ve got a great team that has three or four segments that handle the different aspects of it. You have somebody handling the marketing, somebody handling the property management, somebody handling the fix and flips, others are handling acquisition, correct?

Yes. If you ever come into our office, there’s no one that says, “I just do this.” We all are wearing each other’s hats. There are times I’ve had to fly back and lease properties, because we just had so many properties that we needed to get leased but we didn’t have the manpower. You roll up your sleeves and do what you need to do. As we’ve grown, we just hired a transaction closing coordinator to help people get from contract to close because of all the steps that are needed to take there. My assistant handles everything from sending the properties out to property selection to sending the contract out. We have Stephanie Divine who runs the property management department. We have Rebecca that does the collections. Everyone has a very specific job. This gets so complicated and so big because as you get bigger, there’s more bodies and more things that need to be managed more tightly. We’re in the process of hiring. We just hired seven last year and we’ve got some opportunities available if you want.

I do want to vouch that I have seen you jump on a plane and you guys are doing tours and investors coming in, and going back and forth there. I got a question from an investor asking, “How are you finding investors? Are these more passive investors? Are they local investors? Are you getting people just in Birmingham or do you have people outside all of California? How are you finding your investors for your deals?

Mostly coastal. These investors are pretty much on the coast. There are not too many people in Birmingham that are doing this. It’s usually those high-equity markets. You’ve got investors that have a lot of equity built in their home. They’re looking to deploy that capital and get it to working capital for them. Actually, they find us, seeking a lot. We do a lot of marketing online. Social media sites is the way to go, Google searches, but mostly podcasting. There are so many people that tune in. They use their cars as virtual universities. They plug into the podcast of the day. They pick up a really interesting point or they hear something that’s new that intrigues them, and then they wind up going to the contact page, filling it out and saying, “I’m raising my hand. I want it a little bit more.” Podcasts are very powerful.

Instead of talking one on one, you talk from one to the thousands and really make some things happen. That’s phenomenal. The thing is not being afraid to get out there. You are doing social media, you’re doing AdWords, you’re doing a variety of different plays to help boost that marketing engine, which is great. I’m sure you see this all the time to talking to investors, “I only want to do this, or I’m scared to do anything.” What’s the biggest advice that you can give on couple of things? Getting into or leaving your job to be a full time investor. Do you regret any of that? Were there always roses or were there peaks and valleys along your journey?

You can’t have the really good without the really bad. It was the best decision I ever made. You do find out what you’re made of when you make the leap. Everything that you want is on the other side of everything that you fear. Fear is just a construct in your mind, because once you walk through and get on the other side, you’re like, “This was so much better than staying fearful and living small,” when you could cross the threshold and live really big and find out what your potential and your capacity is. I’m happy to share with you the bad because it’s easy to sit on this side of the camera and everything looks really great. Let me tell you about when we first started and I was commission only. I left my little two-week paycheck and all the security of the false comfort of all the benefits and stuff that I had. I had to sell a property at base commission only. I didn’t make enough, and all of a sudden I’m one month behind on my mortgage.

Then the second one happens, can’t catch up again. I’m two months behind on my mortgage. The notices start coming. I’m three months behind on my mortgage. Mortgages in California are pretty expensive, so I’m looking at these thousands and thousands of dollars tick up. I’m hustling, I’m trying, and your mind starts messing with you a little bit like, “Can you really do this? Are you really made of this?” You just keep taking the next step forward. You make the next call. You show up to the next event like you’ve got it all together. You don’t go there like, “I’m behind on my mortgage payments. I really need you to buy something from me.”No one’s going to do that. No one’s going to buy from you. I fell behind on my tax. I couldn’t pay my tax bill so I set up an installment agreement. My card had gotten stolen, forgot to call them and say, “Use this new card.”

After four months of non-payment, there’s this thing called a tax levy which I experienced. Whenever you give your information, your account information for the automatic deposit, for the refund you’re expecting, the money can go in the opposite direction and four accounts siphoned. I’m at the grocery store trying to buy groceries for the kids. First card denied. I’m like, “I know there’s money in there. That’s weird.” Second card I slide, denied. These are debit cards, I’m like, “Something is up.” I go home, look online, and I have $0. I have no money in the bank, I’m three months behind on my mortgage, and I racked up a $30,000 credit card bill just for living expenses. When you talk about your back’s against the wall, is it rosy when you take the leap? Do you skin your knees a little bit? Do you sleep with your eyes open, staring at the ceiling, with a lump at the back of your throat going, “How am I going to make this happen?”

Then what happens is when you start having some success, when you start getting the sales, and you’re starting to pay these creditors, you’re reducing your credit card debt, and you’re starting to have some success, you know what the weird thing is? My parents were blue collar workers, always worked for money, never knew how to make money work for them. I was changing this mindset for myself. You’re always busy working hard, and then all of a sudden you’re having this success, but you’re still working hard. You don’t feel like you can stop because that’s all that you’ve known for decades before. All of a sudden you’re like, “Wait a minute, I can relax and just enjoy this.” You’ll never be able to get to that point unless you face your fear, walkthrough it, take the jump, buy your first rental property, buy your first note. Do the thing that scares the bejesus out of you and watch what happens to your life. It changes drastically.

That is so awesome and I appreciate you sharing all that. I know a lot of people out there appreciate that. I went through tough times. The juice isn’t as sweet without the squeeze. A lot of people are going through that. They’re getting out-priced in their market where they’re living, whether in other areas of the country or California and things like that. They’re not making as much. They’re going to keep working on that hamster wheel and not getting anywhere, but they’re also scared to take that leap to work for themselves or to become an investor. I don’t care whether it’s fixing, flipping, turnkey rentals, notes, tax liens, whatever it is, as long as they get focused and knock those negative thoughts in the back of the head, reaching out to people. I’m sure you’ve had some really amazing mentors along the way that have helped that.

Yes. I used to be the one that was like, “I’m not hiring someone to do that for me. I can figure it out. I’m smart enough.” I stood on the sidelines for so long saying that I was going to figure it out. Once I actually paid for someone to help me with their expertise, it’s worth the investment. I’ve spent thousands upon thousands on coaches, and continue to do so. I’ve got a coach right now. I pay him handsomely because he elevates my game. Those little nuggets when you go to these Traffic & Conversion conventions, FortuneBuilders boot camps, or whatever it is, you pick up some little nugget that if you just implement it, it changes your business. It starts with some little nugget inside your mind. It’s like that little, “I can’t, I’m afraid, I’m scared,” I won’t let my kids use the word can’t. They say can’t, I’m like, “I don’t know what you’re saying. I don’t what that means.” Then they know, they go, “It’s challenging, mom, but I know I can figure it out.” Now your brain is rewired so instead of saying you can’t when you hit a stop sign, you say, “It’s challenging, but I can still figure it out.” There’s a way around it.

NCS 242 | Birmingham Real Estate

Birmingham Real Estate: You pick up some little nugget that if you just implement it, it changes your business.

Removing the can’t from your vocabulary is a great thing. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re correct.” It’s all about mental aspect. We’re all really blessed. Whether you like the guy or not, seeing what Elon Musk is doing right now with all the stuff people tell him he can’t do. It’s a brilliant way to get rid of all the lemons and the Teslas out there. Just shoot them all to space. David Hartman is a buddy of mine. You may know him as well too. He was so excited about getting his Tesla and drive it from California to Vegas, to just sit there and let it drive. About month later he’s like, “I want to kill this,” and finally got his money back on stuff like that. The idea it all comes down to is if Elon Musk hadn’t thought about doing things in place, he wouldn’t be where he is today. He’s had plenty of massive failures along the way. I see people that are afraid just to even open their mouth at the local REIA club or send out an email to their database. It just drives me bonkers because they’re the only ones that are holding them back from success.

I heard an interview by Sara Blakely. For those people that don’t know who she is, she created Spanx. She’s the first single owner woman billionaire of a company. I love what her dad said to her every day when she was little. He would say, “Honey, what’d you fail at today?” She tells the story about like, ” I didn’t fail at anything.” We all have that image like, “I’ve got it all together. I don’t fail, I do everything right all the time.” He said, “Honey, you didn’t fail. You fail because you didn’t try anything new.” The conversation goes on over the years that she shares, it’s like, “Honey, what’d you fail at today?”

She’s like, “Daddy, I was playing soccer and I totally missed the ball and I fell. I embarrassed myself in front of everybody.” He’s like, “What’d you learn?” He’s like, “You don’t fail because you learned the lesson.” I say that same thing to my kids. They come home, we sit down, do homework, and go, “What’d you fail at today?” I don’t ask them, “What did you succeed at today?” but, “What’d you fail at today?” It turns that failure into negative, internalized it into, “I have to try this. I learned something, I made a mistake, but I got the lesson. I’m moving onto the next thing.”

 If you could go back and tell the little younger Maureen McCann from ten years ago a lesson, what would it be?

Fear is always going to be there. Just ignore it. It’s never going to go away. You’re never going to feel ready. You’re never going to feel comfortable. You can’t wait for things to feel comfortable and then do them. You have to walk through the fear and be uncomfortable. When you do get through that fear and you do live through that discomfort, it wasn’t as bad as you thought it was.

A couple of questions I like to ask people starting a new segment called Five and Five, what’s the book that you’re reading right now?

Tax-Free Wealth by Tom Wheelwright.

What’s the most recent song you listened to in your iPod?

Bruno Mars. I’m a huge Bruno Mars fan, 24K.

If you were a superhero, who would you be?

I like having X-ray vision and being invisible. You get to hear what everyone’s saying about you when you’re invisible. I like when someone tells me, “She can’t do that.” I’m like, “You just better believe. That’s an assurance right now that it’s going to happen.” If I had to pick one superhero, I would say Wonder Woman.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Continuing to build Spartan Invest but also building my own personal brand on how to help people create wealth in their life, not just in dollars but in spirit and in contribution.

What’s the website for Spartan Invest?


Maureen, thank you so much for joining us.

Thank you.

Once again, it’s Maureen McCann with Spartan Invest. Check it out if you’re investing in the Birmingham looking for hot market. Maureen will take good care of you on aspects, especially if you’re looking for passive returns. Maureen does walk the talk. You were out in Texas a while ago looking at oil?

Oil wells and waste water treatment.

At Gonzales, Texas or something like that?

It’s about diversification. From commercial real estate, residential real estate, Angel investor and startup, oil and gas, wastewater treatment, Piccolo farms, coffee beans, you name it. I’m invested in it or looking to invest in it.

Thank you so much, Maureen. You have a wonderful day, good luck with the kids, and we’ll see you at the top, all right?

Yes. Ciao.

Once again, check out Spartan Invest and Maureen McCann. We’ve got lots of great stuff going on. We kicked off the first episode of our special City Series that we’re running. Going forward, it will be highlighting ten markets across the country. Maureen’s a great start to what’s going on. Go out and do something. We’ll see you all at the top.


Important Links


About Maureen McCann

NCS 242 | Birmingham Real EstateMaureen McCann, Co-Founder and Principal Owner of Spartan Invest, operates as the VP of Sales and Marketing for this boutique type real estate investment company. Spartan Invest is a small real estate investment company that specializes in providing investors turn key real estate for monthly passive residual income. Maureen brings with her 9 years of sales and marketing experience in the turnkey marketplace. Having served as an Investment Property coach for years, Maureen is skilled at helping clients build turnkey cash flow portfolios for her clients. Maureen has helped hundreds of investors build the type of rental portfolios necessary to reach their short-term & long-term monthly passive income goals. Investing in the turn-key real estate for long-term wealth generation is something Maureen understands intimately. Whether clients want to replace their current income with passive income or clients are simply looking to supplement their retirement, Maureen custom designs the right portfolio with the right end goal in mind. With an incredible work ethic and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, Maureen helps provide a peace of mind experience investing in premium income generating properties. She spends time coaching her clients on the wealth building principals that will help her clients and their families protect their capital and mitigate the loss of their capital while investing in real estate. When you are looking for a trusted, reliable, knowledgeable consultant to assist you with building your real estate portfolio, Maureen is the best in the business and has helped Spartan Invest grow to a $23 Million dollar company in just 4 short years.

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