So many of us are looking for passive income. That’s the thing that really unites us all. We’re looking for passive income to leave our jobs, have a better life, or retire as early as we want to. But that’s not something that can be achieved by having a job. No matter how high your salary is, you will never be paid your full value and chances are you’ll be stuck working for other people. And that’s if your job isn’t taken away by someone (or something) else. This is something that today’s guest has hacked for himself. Dustin Heiner is an expert and investor who quit his job at 37 years old after having achieved financial freedom by building passive income through real estate investing. Tune in and learn why an outcome like his is not an impossible dream but an opportunity within arm’s reach.
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Mastering Passive Income: How To Be “Successfully Unemployed” Through Real Estate Investing With Dustin Heiner
In this episode, I know that so many of you out there are looking for passive income. That’s the thing that really unites us all. We’re looking for passive income to leave our jobs, have a better life, retire our spouses or kids, or retire ourselves. This episode is about an expert and investor who quit his job at 37 years old with financial freedom and passive income from his real estate investing.
He’s a coach. He’s also the creator of an amazing event that we’ll talk about that you probably will want to circle on your calendar and look at attending. If you know me, I love talking about planning for next year early. It’s this time of year in the fourth quarter that you have to be planning for next year. You’re getting a lot from this episode. Who am I talking about? He is the man, the myth, the legend, Mr. Dustin Heiner out there.What’s going on, Dustin? How are you doing?
I need to talk to you every single day. I feel so pumped up. I feel so excited. I feel like I’m ready to take on the world. I’m really blessed. Thank you so much for having me on the show. I love real estate investing because it’s not necessarily real estate, which is great. Don’t get me wrong. It’s what it affords me to do in my life. I don’t work for somebody else.
I like the term successfully unemployed as opposed to retired. People say, “What do you do with your life?” I changed it to successfully unemployed because I found another way to make money to provide for my family without working that dead-end JOB or that Just Over Broke job. I go to the gym, hang out with my family, drink coffee, and then come on podcasts and talk to great people like you. Thank you so much. I appreciate you having me on the show.
It’s good stuff. I like to say that I’m successfully unemployable from being an entrepreneur for many years. That’s the thing. Many folks want to make that leap or want to figure out a plan, especially now more than ever in the world. They want to find some way or another. We see the birth of so many side hustles. People want to do stuff. They try, but they aren’t successful.
What made you successful? Maybe you can spend a little bit of time and talk back about what you did and the plan you put in place. That’s the biggest thing that we like to teach. If you’re working, that’s great. There’s nothing wrong with having a JOB, but if you want to go and be successfully unemployable, you have to come up with a plan of action and a runway to get there.
I’ll explain to you how I got started investing. I’ll tell you a quick story of what shoved me or catapulted me into becoming a real estate investor. I was taught this exact same thing. We’re all taught that you go to school and get good grades. You take those good grades, go to college, and get thousands of dollars into debt. You take that piece of paper they give you, a degree, and go and shop around to different companies to hopefully get a “career” there. You work 40-plus years of your life and then hopefully retire on what you managed to save that entire time working that Just Over Broke job.
I’m doing that exact same thing. In fact, I got the most risk-averse job you could ever think of. I was in California at the time working for the local county government and doing technology for the local county government. California’s not going away. The government’s not going away as well as technology. It was the most risk-averse. At the same time, following that entire path, I’ve always been entrepreneurial. When I was young, I had a newspaper route. That’s where you’re riding a bike, throwing newspapers at 5:00 AM, and banging them on doors to wake people up. I had a graphic website design company, a skateboard manufacturing business, a pizzeria, and a convenience store. I started these from the ground up but always was following that path of the “career.”
What happened? I bought one rental property and started investing back in 2006. I got that first check from my property manager. After everything was done, it was $317. I remember that in my brain. I realized, “This is amazing. I didn’t work. My property worked for me. Other people did the work, too. I made money in passive income.”
I knew I needed to be an investor, but you know how it happens. Life started getting in the way. My wife started having children. We have four kids. I’m blessed. My wife’s pregnant again with our fifth child. Life started getting in the way. By that time, we had our fourth child. This is the story of what really shoved me into real estate investing. We had our fourth child and I went on paternity leave. That’s where the dad stays home with a mom, changes poopy diapers, and all that good stuff. I was bonding with the baby.
I got back two weeks later and I got back to work. In that same week that I get back to work, at 3:30 in the afternoon on a Friday, I get a call from my boss’ boss’ boss’ secretary, the top dog. She says, “Would you please come to the office?” I said, “Sure.” I hung up the phone. I thought, “Why in the world did they call me the office? This isn’t normal.” I’ve seen plenty of movies. Friday at 3:30 in the afternoon is not a good sign.
I started remembering. A couple of months before when I went on paternity leave, there were rumors. There was some rambling going on there could potentially be layoffs in the county. I immediately shook that off. I said, “No way. I’ve got twelve-plus years of seniority here. My boss is saying I do a great job.” I shook it off. I get up out of my chair and walk down the hallway to my boss’ office. This hallway’s not very long, in fact, it’s short, but with every single step I took, it felt like the hallway got longer. It felt like my feet became lead bricks because the weight of potentially losing my job was starting to rain down on me.
I get down the hallway, turn the corner, and see my boss’ door. His door is closed. I see a secretary there, a super sweet, nice old lady. She says, “Would you please have a seat?” I go and take my seat. She’s trying to console me with her eyes and sheepishly grinning at me because she knows everything about what’s going on. I know nothing about what’s going on.
I go and take my seat. I sit there and think about my life. I was like, “If I get laid off now and lose my job, everything that I work for that I was told to follow, did I waste my life doing this?” I realized, “We had our fourth child. If I can’t feed my family, what does that make me as a father and as a husband? Am I a failure as a father? Am I a failure as a husband or as a man trying to provide for his family?” As I’m sitting there, my hands get all clammy and my forehead gets all sweaty because the nerves are crushing me.
The door to my boss’ office opens up and out walks a lady, a coworker of mine, with a piece of paper in her hands. She’s not necessarily crying, but you could tell her world has been devastated. Her world’s been rocked. She passes by me. My boss says, “Dustin, would you please come to the office?” I get up, go into his office, and get laid off. Remember, this is a government. Nobody gets fired or laid off by the government, but I did.
The reason why I tell the story is because of the two things that I realized. I took that layoff notice and I went back to my desk. I sat down and realized the first thing was, “I need to get another job. I need to provide for my family.” I was really blessed, Praise the Lord, to find another job. In the same county, a different department did not have the same money issues. I got that done.
Sitting in that chair and getting laid off, the second thing that I realized was, “I need to make sure that this never ever happens to me again. I need to make sure that nobody has the ability to take away my ability to feed my family.” Right then and there, I realized anytime anybody would ask me the question, “What do you do?” which we always get that question, I replied like everybody. I’m like, “I do my job. I work for the local county government doing IT.”
When we answer that way, and I realize this, I’m projecting out to the world that the value that I put on myself comes from my job. My value doesn’t come from my job. My value comes from my God, myself, and my family. Right then and there, because I knew I needed to be an investor but life got in the way, I said, “No longer would I ever let life get in the way.”
I started telling everybody, “I am an investor,” right then and there. I was like, “It so happens that 100% of my money comes from my job. That’s not my part-time job. I’m a full-time investor.” Fast forwarding the story, I started buying rental property after rental property. Each one was making me $250 a month in passive income from every single property. Eventually, I had 30-plus properties. I realized, “Even though I’m making $75,000 a year here at this job, I’m losing money working here.”
This is the last part of the story. I went to my new boss. He was a good boss and all. I was there for a few years. I said, “Boss, here’s your layoff notice. I’m laying you off.” We laughed and he said, “What are you going to do?” I said, “I don’t have to do anything. I own real estate. It works for me and I make money passively.” For the last part of the story, if you remember that hallway that got longer where my feet became like lead bricks, I walked from my office to my car a mile and a half every single way, both ways. I’ve done it 1,000 times. This last time, I felt like I was walking on clouds because I knew I would never ever need a job again.
Everybody reading this needs to realize that you will never be paid what you are worth. What you are worth is worth so much more than anybody could ever pay you. This is how you’ll know your boss is paying you just enough to keep you working without quitting but not so much money that takes money out of their pocket. If they paid you what you are worth, they would go broke.
Instead of relying on somebody else, which I believe is more risky to work for somebody else because they could take that job away, it’s so much less risky where you put the value in yourself. For me, that’s real estate investing. That’s investing in apartment complexes, hotels, or notes. We are making our money passively and continually.
What I decided to do was take the money and invest that money. With that, I have 40-plus hours of my life back and I have 5 businesses because I have time. I love building businesses, and all these businesses make money. They’re streams of income but they go into my river of income, which is my real estate investing. I’ll pause the story because you probably have plenty of questions there.
It’s a great story. I love that because one of the biggest things that people don’t realize is the more senior you get and the more you make, the bigger the target on your back is when layoffs come around. It’s no longer about the best man. It’s about, “Do the numbers work? Can we replace somebody who’s been at the company for 20 years than somebody who’s been in the industry for 2 months and saved 50% of the salary and income?” It’s the bottom line. That’s the thing that so many people don’t realize. I’ve heard people, “I work for the state. I work for the government. I’m safe. We have great benefits.” It isn’t. It’s indentured slavehood in a lot of cases out there.
I can be wrong. We’re not talking to those who are tuning in to this show and loves what they do. If you love what you do, it’s a different story. It’s fine. We’re not telling you to do that. For a lot of folks, people don’t like what they do. It’s the hope of owning a business. 95% of people want to own their own business. It means they want to control their own schedule, their own life, and their own income, right?
Absolutely. What I found is if you want to work your job, then that’s fine. My goal was to be financially independent so I had the option to not work my job. I didn’t care for my job very much. In fact, I got tired of doing it for fifteen-plus years. I was like, “I’m done doing it.” It’s the option that financial independence or financial freedom gives us. If you want to work, then please work for a job.
Here’s the thing. I love serving at my church. I love serving in general. I have 40-plus hours of my life that I have the option to do whatever with that time that I want. If it becomes an option to work, then you could dictate your life around that. It’s having that financial security and that financial independence that comes from being successfully unemployed and having a passive income.
I don’t have to work one hour and make money. I don’t want to do that anymore. In fact, after reading the book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, it opened my eyes like, “There’s such a thing as passive income? What in the world?” From that point forward, I thought, “I want to quit my job in ten years.” I was 27 years old when I read the book. I said, “I’m going to quit my job in ten years like Robert Kiyosaki did.” I was blessed at 37 years old. I had enough money coming in from all my properties.
Since have 40-plus hours of my life back, I have options to do whatever. If I want to go to work, I can. If I want to build a business, which is what I love doing, I build businesses and then hire awesome people to do the work, or I want to go serve my church, that’s the biggest thing about having passive income. You have options with your time. If you want to spend it with your family, then do that.
Thinking back to that time that you got laid off and then you were lucky enough to stay there, that’s eye-opening. Not everybody always gets that second opportunity to, “I need to put some stuff into place.” How long did it take you from the time that you were first laid off to the time that you said, “I’ll see you later. Take this job and shove it.” What was that timeframe? Can we dive into maybe some of the things that you put into place or your plan of action to get you to where you wanted to go?
It took me about 4 to 5 years, or I take that back. It’s probably closer to six years. I remember, at the time, I was ready to quit but I didn’t because I was getting financing on a few properties to pull the cash out. Banks don’t like it when you quit your job, so I had to wait a little longer. I started investing back in 2006. The process to get to where I am was not at all how I got started. I’ll quickly share how I got started, but then I’ll also share with you the process to scale your business.
Anybody could buy one rental property. Anybody can do that. To scale at 30-plus properties, 40 properties, 50 properties, and more, it takes work. It’s a business you have to build. This is what I was doing. It was back in 2006, I was watching TV late at night. One of those late-night infomercials came on. The guru said, “We’re coming to your town. We’re going to have a free seminar for you.” I said, “That’s awesome.” I went to that. I was so excited. It was all hype and all sales pitch. They said, “Now run to the back and go give us money.” I ran to the back and gave the money.
It was for a two-day seminar. This two-day seminar was more hype and more sales pitch. They said, “Run to the back.” It’s $80,000 for this course. Another course is $100,000. I didn’t have the money, so I took what little they taught me and did what they said. Here’s how I started. My property manager started stealing from me within six months because I didn’t do it right. I did what they were telling me to do, but I didn’t do it the right way. I’ll quickly tell you the wrong way. Quickly, you’ll forget that and jump right into the right way.
For the wrong way, this is what gurus say, “Find a property anywhere in the country. Run the numbers,” which means make sure your expenses are lower than your income from your rent. Remember. This is 2006. They said, “Break even on that. Make sure you’re getting appreciation because you’re going to love appreciation.” We know what happened in 2008. Everybody got crushed. I didn’t want that. I wanted passive income, so I didn’t invest for appreciation. In fact, all of these properties, I will give them to my children as generational wealth and teach them how to do this.
They say, “Don’t worry about passive income, but you get $50. It would be great, but you want appreciation.” They said, “Spend thousands of dollars to buy the property, then spend thousands of dollars to fix up the property. Find a tenant in there to pay you rent and then find a property manager.” In my opinion, that’s backward. I did that exact same thing and my property manager started stealing from me within six months. If I would’ve hung my head and said, “This doesn’t work. It is proof that it doesn’t work,” I wouldn’t be here.
Remember. I said I’ve always been entrepreneurial in my life. I’ve started many businesses. I said, “I’ll approach this from a business mindset. If I were to start a business, would I grab the first person off the street and have them manage my property? I wouldn’t.” This is what it looks like. You’ll hear me say this all the time. On my podcast or my coaching, I say this all the time. We build the business first. This does for anything. From note investing to real estate to any business, we build the infrastructure first.
This is what it looks like. Let’s say you are going to start a convenience store with candy bars, soda machines, and all that good stuff. You wouldn’t sign a lease on a location, open the doors, and set a box of candy bars on the ground. You wouldn’t do that. You’d go out of business in two seconds. What you would do is build the business first. You get the gondolas, those shelving units that all of the candy bars go on. You would get the countertops, cold storage, bank accounts, cash registers, insurance employees, and everything in the business before you buy any inventory.
Once the business is built, then you buy the inventory and put it into your business. It’s the same thing with real estate investing. We build the entire business. We find the property managers, contractors, inspectors, plumbers, roofers, and realtors. We find everybody in the business. Once that’s set, that’s when we buy the property.
One quick last thing because I know you probably have lots of questions. The reason why I was able to scale my business and not go bankrupt and broke is because I had the business and experts on the ground doing all the work for me and making sure that I did not do it wrong. How much worse is it if you call up somebody and say, “Property manager, I own this house on number one Happy Street. Will you manage it?” They say, “No. I won’t manage it because I’ll get shot there.” You no longer have an asset anymore. You have a liability. How much better would it be if you built a team, called the experts, and said, “Expert property manager, I’m looking to buy this property in number one Happy Street.” They say, “No. I won’t manage it because I’ll get shot.” You don’t buy it. You don’t go through all that hassle.
Instead, let’s say you bought number two Happy Street. It’s a different address. They say, “I am an expert.” They’re going to say that. They’re not going to necessarily those words, but they’re the experts. They’ll say, “This is how much you could rent it for. This is the vacancy factor. This is the type of clientele you’re going to get. This is how much I’m going to rent it for,” and all that stuff before you buy the property. That is how I scale the business. I stopped doing the wrong way and then figured out the right way, which is building the business and getting the experts to help me buy the right properties. They make sure I don’t screw up. That’s how I scaled to 10, 20, to 30-plus properties.
It’s so true and smart. Most people go to the local RIA, take a class, and are like, “I can do that all myself. I can buy it. I can rehab it. I can list it for sale. I’ll do the open houses myself or I’ll go and find the tenants.” You are setting yourself up for failure when you do not run. We do the same thing in the note business. We’ll say, “Get your servicing company. Have an attorney. Know what states you want to buy and what markets you want to buy before you go buy anything willy-nilly.” I have to ask you a question. You call the Phoenix area home, correct? Is that where home is for you?
Were you buying rentals all in Phoenix or buying them all across the country? What was your market?
I lived in California in 2006 at the time. Remember. In 2006, prices were skyrocketing and rents were still low. I knew I could not invest there. What I did was I went to Ohio of all places, found a property manager and a realtor, and put them together. After building the business and after my property manager started stealing for me, I did it right. I hired slowly and found the right people. I am in Ohio, Texas, Arizona, and Missouri as well. I love Monopoly. I’m blessed because, in Monopoly, you try to get to hotels. I’m blessed that I invest in hotels as well, which is great. It’s Ohio, Texas, Arizona, and Missouri at the moment.
Good stuff. I was thinking if you were renting stuff in Phoenix from 2008 to 2010, it was like an atomic bomb went up. I can remember when we were buying stuff. $300,000 houses were being sold for $30,000 or $40,000 from the bank in a lot of cases. It’s good to know your markets. I love Ohio. The Buckeye State is one of the most undervalued markets because rents are higher compared to the cost of real estate in a lot of cases. Arizona and Texas are very landlord-friendly states as well, too, for the most part.
That’s key, landlord-friendly. That’s a good point.
When you are looking at where you want to get to, and we’ve talked about putting the team together, most people have some sort of income goal or they need to replace their income. What are some of the things that you teach people or share with them that they need to be putting in place to reach those goals? Is it budgeting a timeframe, trimming their fats off a little bit, or adding more time to their work schedule? What are some of the things that you like to teach people out there to achieve success maybe faster than they expected?
We’ll start with the money aspect and then we’ll also change a little bit about mindset. For the money aspect, for me, I asked my wife, “How much money do I need to bring in from my properties to cover expenses?” I remember the number plain as day. It was $4,200 for the mortgage, food, insurance, and all that good stuff. I said, “Okay, $4,200.”
I don’t work. I don’t do anything. In fact, a lot of people have read and heard of The 4-Hour Workweek. It’s a good book at all, but the premise is to change your life where you only have to work four hours a week. In my opinion, working four hours a week is for suckers. I don’t want to work four hours a week. I don’t even want to work four hours a month. I work 30 minutes a month on all my properties because I have the business systems, procedures, and processes in place.
Getting back to the numbers, if I bought 1 property at $250 a month in passive income, that’s $3,000 a year without working. Remember. I hire experts. They do all the work. 10 properties is $2,500 every single month. It’s $30,000 a year without working. 20 properties is $5,000 a month. It’s $60,000 a year. You keep multiplying it from there.
Remember, this is the minimum. I don’t buy a property unless I make a minimum of $250 a month in passive income. In some that I bought back in 2006, ‘07, ‘08, and all the way up through everything, I make more. I make double if not triple that amount because, over time, market rates go up. Rents go up as well as appreciation. There are so many great things about properties.
With my students, we help them to understand, “If your goal is to become successfully unemployed or successfully unemployable, if that’s your goal, we need to have that number. We also need to have you get out of debt. That’s going to keep digging you in a hole, which is not good. Increase your income by trying to get a raise or getting a side hustle.” I love doing side hustles. In fact, that’s how I scaled my business so much faster.
I was figuring this out on my own. Back when I first started, there weren’t any podcasts on this. There were very few coaches. In fact, the coaches were charging $100,000. I said, “That’s ridiculous.” This time, there are so many other great things. My students are quitting their jobs in 2 and 3 years because I’ve helped them to fast track it. We have done it before. We know all the pitfalls. We know all the landmines and how to jump over the hurdles. With that, we help you to fast-track the process.
You’re either going to pay with your time or your money. I’d much rather pay with my money because time is the one commodity you can never make more of, never earn more of, and never get any more of. If you could pay with your time and fast-track it, how much better would it be if you could quit your job in 3 years as opposed to 40 years? All that to say what I do with my students is help them to get financially stable, invest, and then scale their business. That’s the big thing I love. If somebody already has, let’s say five properties and they’re like, “How do I get to 30?” It’s so much easier than you think. That’s something I love to show everybody how to do.
Once you’ve closed on that first one, you’ve learned a lot from it. If you have the teams, the probability is going to exponentially grow over time because you’re not the one hand that manages everything. That’s why I always say it’s just not ROI. It’s ROT. You’ve got to get a good Return On Time versus Return On Investment.
You could make a ton of money, but if you average what you spend and you’re making less than what you’d be making at McDonald’s flipping burgers, you didn’t do anything good there. You lost money for the most part. How are you buying your properties? Are you buying off the MLS? Are you doing subject-to deals? With interest rates being where they’re at, I’m assuming you’re not buying traditionally and getting bank financing in all this stuff. What are some of your favorite ways to buy real estate in those markets?
I’ll add to it. From my podcast to my YouTube channel, the most popular videos and podcast episodes are about how to find properties and how to fund properties. That’s what people want, but what they need is how to manage and how to continually grow the business. Let’s go ahead and answer that. That’s what I always ask because I know that’s where our audience goes.
First, how to find properties and fund properties. There are so many ways to find properties and fund properties. Think of it like a tool belt. You have a tool belt with a bunch of tools all over you if you’re working around the house. This tool belt is filled with other people, other ways, and other processes to actively do this.
Let’s start with finding properties. I use realtors. The MLS’ are great. I also love using wholesalers. I do subject-to deals, direct mail, and phone calls. I talk to wholesalers and they send me deals and other investors. Even title companies send me deals. I talk to property managers. I have so many people and so many ways to get properties that deals are not a problem.
In fact, a lot of my students, when they first get started, they’re like, “I can’t find any deals. I’m looking on the MLS.” I’m like, “There are more things. We have to utilize these tools that we have in our tool belt to get these properties or get these deals in front of us.” That’s one. There are lots, and I can show everybody how to do that.
The second thing is how to finance the property. It’s the same thing. It’s a bunch of tools in your tool belt. I get students that say, “I have $40,000 or $20,000. I have this much money. Should I use it to get financing as a down payment or should I use it to get another property somehow with private money?” They always use these ors. They’re like, “Should I use this or this?” My opinion is no. Get that thought out of your brain. It could, it should be more of an and.
I’ve done fifteen different ways to get financing for my properties. In fact, one of my most popular YouTube channel videos is the 15 Different Ways to Get Financing. I’ll quickly go through a small list off the tip of my head. All cash and you could refinance, pull that cash out, and buy another property again. Private money, hard money, and signature loans. You can go into a bank and say, “Give me an unsecured line of credit.” They say, “Great.” Home equity line of credits, home equity refinance, portfolio loans, and commercial loans. I’ve done all these.
Here’s one that is a very advanced strategy. I’ve even used a credit card to cash out and then buy a house. I did that. Since I knew my business and I knew I was going to make money every single month even with those payments, I knew without a shadow of a doubt I’d make money. Here’s the thing. All these 14 or 15 different ways to actively do the financing, they’re all creative ways of piecing it together.
Let’s say you’re buying a property. You had a bunch of people send you deals and you eventually boiled down to one. That’s great. You’re like, “I need financing.” Whatever the deal looks like, let’s say you take private money, your home equity line of credit, and also a mortgage. You might need some private money, so a family member. These are creative financing. You’re piecing all these together. There are 4 different tools to get this 1 job done. It’s not nearly as hard as you think. We need to learn how to implement it.
Here’s the fun thing. You and I, in our businesses, know exactly what to do and we can share with our students and everybody options on how to do this. We’re like, “I’m going to show you all the ways to get this done. You pick what’s the best for your risk tolerances, goal setting, and all that stuff.” With that, we give them the fast-track version. We’re like, “If you’re going to go this route, this is what’s going to happen.” We’ve already done it.
Everybody, if you have done something before, it makes it easier for you because it’s like, “I’ve already done this.” What’s fun with all my students that I coach, and I have about thousands of students that I coach, is when they buy the first property, it takes a good while, maybe 1 or 2 months, of working with me. At the most, it’s two months. The second one comes so much faster. It’s 1 week or 2 weeks later. In fact, one of my students has been trying for five years to invest. He started working with me, and then within a month and a half had six properties and is closing on more. Once you have the business built, it’s a system. You have to keep moving forward. Does that answer your question?
It totally answers the question. You have to have that open mindset to so many people. It’s almost drilled in their heads, working for a job where it is like, “You can only do this. You can’t do this,” or, “Stick to your lane. You can’t do any of that stuff.” It’s a process of breaking those shackles to have an open mindset that there are so many different opportunities and ways to find deals. There are so many different opportunities to raise capital or to fund a deal. What you don’t know, you don’t know, but you need somebody there to guide you along that process to open up those strategies or solutions to the issues that you’re dealing with in buying, selling, or financing, right?
Absolutely. Let’s say you go to college. College, in fact, is a waste of money. Personally, my kids, I’m not going to pay for them to go to college. I have a YouTube video where I blew up my college degree. I got some Tannerite and got gasoline on top. Tannerite, by itself, if you were looking at it from a video, doesn’t look very impressive, but the fireball that came in blew up my degree because I wanted to prove it to my kids. I found my degree. I was like, “I will never use this ever again. I don’t need it at all.” I blew it up.
With that, what I realized was college is good for some people. I’m not knocking it in general, but if you need it, then absolutely, but it’s not necessary. For me, it is getting the idea of, “I’m making now passive income. I’m now trying to make my money work for me. My assets work for me,” or whatever it might be and even utilizing other people’s time. I love the return on time.
I’ll give you an example of another business I created. You mentioned it a little bit earlier. It’s the Real Estate Wealth Builders Conference. I have a conference. I want it to be all about community and the opposite of those sales pitches, “Run to the back.” In fact, you’ll never see that. If you do, I’m going to kick somebody’s butt if somebody ever does it because it’s my business. I created this business. It’s all about community and all about investors helping each other. I have 50 plus of my friends getting together to coach. With that, I hire people to actively run that business.
Every business that I create is all about passive income, making sure that I am actively making sure that it is running but other people are doing the work. If we have that perspective of how we then take our time and best utilize our time to make passive income, working one time and getting paid over and over again, I love being able to do that.
In fact, I’d love to have you on my show. We need to get that set up to where you share about notes because it’s another way to make passive income to free us up and have more options. With our students, giving them all these options and fast-tracking them to success is by far the best thing. If you’re going to pay for college hundreds of thousands of dollars, you might as well pay for a coach who’s done it. We’re going to hold your hand through the entire way and then you get success instead of a piece of paper that says, “You accomplished going four-plus years of giving somebody money and sitting through what they told you to do.”
You go through 4 to 5 years of school and then go to the workforce and try to find something that’s not going to pay you enough to pay for your student loans in a lot of cases. We have people with MBAs here in Austin, Texas that are waiting tables because they can’t find anything. The whole education system needs to be revamped. It’s distressing in a lot of ways, but we’ll talk about that later on. It’s a whole different rabbit hole we could run down there for you.
I wanted to ask you when you were talking with your wife. A lot of folks out there have spouses that are maybe pseudo-interested. They like the idea, but a lot of times, the spouse is maybe not supportive. How supportive was your wife when you started? I guarantee she’s 100% on board now, but did you deal with any struggles in that facet of having to get your wife on board and explain what you were trying to do and trying to accomplish?
In fact, her mom was a stay-at-home mom. Her dad was a schoolteacher. They were the most risk-averse people ever. After we got married, we were married for six months, I said, “Honey, I read the book. Rich Dad Poor Dad and went to that seminar.” I said, “Honey, can I take the money that you saved?” I was never taught to save. I was taught not to go into debt, but never taught to save. I was like, “Can I take all the money that you saved, which was $15,000, that you saved your entire time? Now we’re married, can I take the money and invest in real estate?” Those are fighting words. It was really tough trying to help her to realize that we were going to make money.
I love this question. I had so many students or people listening to the podcasts. They would ask me the question, “How do you get your spouse involved?” What I did is I interviewed my wife and put it on my show. The interview is so successful because it helps two dynamics of people where one is more risk averse and one is more aggressive. We balance each other out. We help each other.
What I had to do with my wife was to prove to her, and not prove like I need to get her approval, but I need to show her that this is possible. She wants to make sure that nothing’s going to get lost. I walked her through the process, how we’re going to manage it, how we’re going to make money, and all that stuff. Getting your spouse on board is not that easy if you don’t know what you’re doing.
What’s really fun is I’ll have a lot of students and they’ll say, “I was able to convince my wife, my husband, my spouse, or whatever. I was able to convince my spouse because I said I have a coach who’s going to show me how to do it to not do it wrong. He or she listened to the episodes and they get it now. As long as I have you to help me, then I can invest.” I’m like, “That’s great.” That’s why I put out that episode because I got that question so many times.
What it really comes down to is it’s the fear of the unknown. That’s not just for our spouses, but even for ourselves. I get a lot of people that have what they call analysis paralysis. There are too many options or too many deals. They’re in their heads. I had done it before, number one, but I am a third party saying, “I’m objectively looking at it.” Outside of the entire process of looking at these deals, I can bring my expertise as well as my fresh perspective and say, “This was good. This is bad,” or, “This is what I would do. This is what I would not do.” Getting somebody on board with you is really helping to get the fear of the unknown out of the way. That’s honestly through education.
That’s why you and I both have our shows. My podcast is The Master Passive Income Podcast. We’ve been doing our shows as long, which is fantastic. I love meeting other great podcasters that’s been doing as long as I have. My podcast is all about giving and helping people to realize that regular everyday people like your next-door neighbor can do this. In fact, I try to share with people like, “I’m your next-door neighbor.” Think of that. I’ve done this. I’m not driving these fancy cars. I’m not flying in these amazing planes and everything.
I live in Arizona. I moved from California. I sold our house and moved to Arizona to be closer to my wife’s family. We had a rental property here. It is 1,250 square feet. When they were moving out, I said, “Let’s move into there.” It has been a few years. We’re still living here. We’re going to buy something as soon as something happens with the prices, which will eventually come down, in my opinion.
It’s all that to say I’m a regular everyday person. Down my street, they have no clue that I’m fairly wealthy, and I don’t want to be where I’m flaunting it. It’s all that to say getting somebody else to get into investing either with you, a private money lender, or your dad saying, “I want you to invest with me,” it’s getting that fear of the unknown out of the way and proving that it’s possible. You and I are success stories as well as all of our students.
I agree with that. A lot of it, too, is I like to ask. It’s like, “What have you not done in the past that’s got your wife or spouse thinking that?” I often find people start something and then they quit. They aren’t truly invested in that strategy. They give up before any marketing or any fruition of the seeds that they’re planting has grown. You have to give things time.
We live in such an instant gratification, no patience society. You’ve got to realize this is not a get-rich-quick. This is a build wealth over time strategy. If you’re looking for get-rich-quick, go scratch the lottery tickets or the idiot taxes, I like to say. If you want to build wealth, this going to take time. You’ve got a coach or somebody who’s been there that is going to hold your hand and be that safety net. You’ve got a team where you’re not the only guy going out there doing rehab.
You’re raising capital to talk with family. Our family members and friends think of us as Scott the IT guy or Dustin, the banker. They know what we’ve done. They identify us. They don’t understand that we are evolving. We’re growing into something different than what we’ve been before and going that route, I also like to say the first check you give should be a shut-up check to your spouse. Give it to the spouse and say, “Honey, I made this. Go and have a day at the spa. Go play golf. Shut up about complaining about things.”
That first property took me so much effort and time to get my spouse on board or my wife on board. The second property didn’t take as much, but I still had to pencil everything out. By the time I got to my 30-plus properties, I came home one day and said, “I bought three single-family homes and a duplex.” She goes, “That’s good.” She knows the business works because I’ve proven it.
Exactly. Let’s talk a little about the conference that you put on, the Real Estate Wealth Builders Conference. How long has that been going on? You shared a little bit with me beforehand, but I want you to share with our audience the passion behind that.
I love investing in real estate and I love connecting with people. I love meeting people. You and I go to a conference called FinCon, the Financial Content Creators Conference. It’s where we meet a lot of people that are great people. It’s a community. I’ve been going there since 2017. I go every single year. It’s a reunion every single time. It’s so much fun. My business grows.
I thought, “I’ve got a lot of people in my audience from my coaching students to my podcast, YouTube channel, and social media. I’d love to connect them.” I’ll be completely honest. A lot of conferences you go to that are in real estate investing are going to be a sales pitch. They say, “Now run to the back and go spend money.” I hate that. I didn’t want that. I said, “Maybe I can create a conference that’s the opposite of that like a FinCon” FinCon is all about content creators coming together. This is people coming together. I said, “I want to create something for investors and bring investors together. This is all about helping each other and all about building a community of investors.”
With my students, we get on Zoom calls. We’re all friends online. They said, “We want to meet up.” I said, “That’s a good idea, but let me see if I could do something a little better.” I started calling a lot of my friends who have their own YouTube channels. They’re influencers. They have their own students and everything. I started calling all of them and said, “This is my vision. We all want meetups for our people, but it’s so much work to put those on. How about I do all the work? We bring all of our audiences together, meet with everybody, and then have a fantastic party together?”
Fast forward, it’s called the Real Estate Wealth Builder Conference. It’s a three-day conference where it’s all about helping people to invest and connect with these experts. We have 50-plus experts and investors and we’re all bringing our audiences together. With that, the goal is to help you, the individual person, to become a better investor and scale your business.
If you haven’t even started, we’re going to show you how to do it. If you want to scale, we have the right people for you that are not selling. If you want to work with us, please go right ahead. We’re there for you. That’s the vision. This will be the third year in 2024. It’s going to be from March 14th through the 16th in 2024 in St. Louis. I am super pumped about this location. It’s so central to everybody and people flying from all over the country.
It’s a great location. I’ve been down in St. Louis and spent a lot of time there. That’s a great location. I was talking to somebody else. You’ve got to do the ghost tour that goes around there, too. It’s such an old historic building, but it’s a beautiful hotel, a beautiful location, and a great conference center. I’m sorry, I had to share that with you. I’m excited about your event.
The hotel that we’re at, I picked this one because in March 2024, there might be hopefully some spring breaks, Easter vacations, and stuff. I picked a mini theme park because it was an old Grand Central Station-type thing. The Hilton refurbished it into a hotel and theme park. I’m bringing my family. Everybody’s bringing their families.
My vision was creating a community, not necessarily a conference. A conference is great. That’s where we meet and get together. All year long, everybody’s working together. Every year, everybody comes back and it’s like a reunion. We’re coming back together, seeing how you’ve been successful, and talking to other people like, “This is working for you? Maybe I can implement that into my business.” At the same time, we invest in all types of asset classes.
My bread and butter is residential four units and below. I love those. I do those in my sleep. With that, I also wanted to invest in hotels, mobile home parks, storage unit facilities, or Airbnbs. I wanted to have all these ways to invest. I want to bring the experts together and expose my audience or all the attendees to all these great ways to invest in real estate. These are genuine people.
In fact, there are a lot of people who want to speak at my conference, but it’s my conference. I’m guarding the community from takers. In fact, somebody asked me, “I want to come speak and I’ll get this out of it.” I could tell it was all about them. I didn’t invite them, number one. I didn’t tell them the reason why. The big reason for me is I want people who are givers.
I have a membership where I coach lots of people on how to invest in real estate. At the end of each coaching call, they thank me. They say, “Thank you so much for spending the time to coach us how to do this.” They even say this, “Even though we’re paying you money, you’re giving us your time. You don’t have to be doing this. We really appreciate that.”
I make my money through real estate investing. All of the streams of income go into my real estate investing, which I love, but my passion is no longer to quit my job. My first goal was to quit my job. In an immediate, I made a goal to make $1 million dollars a year in all my businesses. I’ll be completely honest. I was so bored. It was a deterrent. I’m not driven by money. I was like, “I don’t care about this goal.” I changed my goal to be focused on people. It’s to help one million people to invest in real estate or become financially independent.
My podcast, conference, and coaching, all this is an iteration of my way to reach out to many people and show them how to invest in real estate. Like coming on the show, I want to give all this stuff away because I feel fulfilled in my life. When my students invest, buy their property, quit their jobs, or somebody comes to REWBCon, the Real Estate Wealth Builders Conference, and they connect with somebody and start investing, I feel fulfilled in my life because I’m serving other people.
I echo that. The most successful people in real estate education stuff have that in mind. They want to help people. There’s this old guard of what’s in it for them, not what’s in it for the students. In this world with podcasts and YouTube channels, there’s a wealth of information out there. It’s not so much about, “What’s in it for me?” You have to keep in mind what’s in it for your clients. If you have a servant leadership mindset, first and foremost, you’ll get taken care of because you’re helping people. All boats rise with rising tides out there. That’s the valuable thing. I did a little research before I reached out to you guys and stuff like that. I was like, “This is a guy who’s got a big passion and a big heart.” That’s the important thing.
I agree. It’s the same thing when you bring people together that are like-minded. It’s about building communities and building a network. You have so many folks all across the country that may be, by themselves, they don’t have those warm connections to reach out to. We all get bogged down by what’s going on in society and negativity in the news.
It is about having a community, somebody you can reach out to that are like-minded who can help you get over those humps, help you get through those narrow times, or help you even find deals or funnel deals. I’m sure you’ve got a million folks that are working together on deals or funding each other deals, or bird-talking and sharing resources at these events that you’re putting on, correct?
Absolutely. That’s the goal, is to create a community. Everybody networks together. We have so many different events party-wise. We’re like, “Let’s network. Let’s help each other out.” We also grow in mindset, too. We have keynotes that are all about mindset and growth. We have 50-plus breakouts that you pick and choose what you want to go to. These breakouts are all about real estate investing.
We want to help you as a person to be whole as well as an investor to be whole, and then get around the exact same people that you need to be around. It’s such a blessing to have a community that I can reach out to. As an investor, I’m like, “I know this person.” Even though they’re an attendee, I could reach out to them because we can help each other out.
Exactly. It’s so key. It’s great. Like-minds think alike there. The best way for folks to learn more is REWBCon.com, like Real Estate Wealth Builders. REWBCon.com is the website for the event. It’s March 14th, 15th, and 16th, 2024. That’s in St. Louis. It’s right around spring break for you guys out there. They got discounted tickets here. Go to the website and check it out. Get RSVP for it. It’s a great event to circle in your calendar, especially in the first quarter of the year. Many people want to do things in January and February. Get out there. If you want to do some bigger things this 2024, this is a great event to look at attending and expanding your community exponentially for your warm market and stuff like that.
I want your audience to come. How about I give them 10% off because they tuned in to your show? What I could do is if everybody reads this, the promo code is PODCAST. Use that promo code. I’ll know you came from Scott’s show. I want to help people. It’s REWBCon.com. We want to be there. It’s a community. If you don’t mind, I could also share with everybody a free course that I teach how to do all this investing.
This is another way that you can learn how to invest in real estate and expand on everything. I have people who from getting this free course invest in real estate. Text the word RENTAL to 33777. It’s super simple. I’ll give you this course and show you how to find an area anywhere in the country to invest, how to build the business, and how to scale the business to quit your job. You can even go to MasterPassiveIncome.com/FreeCourse. You could even find me on my podcast, The Master Passive Income Podcast. I like getting DMs on Instagram. If you want to reach out to me on Instagram, it is @TheDustinHeiner. It’s so fantastic helping people like you and your show. I really appreciate you having me on.
It has been great. We could talk for hours about this. People would have to laugh because you and I both get excited. Our volume goes up. You can tell somebody’s passionate about something when they talk fast and they are excited about stuff. You really see that true leadership and a true servant mindset shine through when you want to help people in making things happen. That’s what we need more of in the world and in real estate. Thank you so much for coming on. Thanks for sharing your successfully unemployed story with us and your passion for helping people.
Thanks, Scott. I appreciate you.
That’s going to wrap it up for this episode. Check out the event. Check out Dustin’s podcast. Hopefully, we’ll see you in St. Louis. Make sure you use the code PODCAST to get your extra 10% off. That was really nice of Dustin to do for us. Go out and take some action. Learning is great, but if you don’t take action, you’re never going to grow and never accomplish the goals that you want to exceed. When you do, that’s when we’ll see at the top.
- Dustin Heiner
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- The 4-Hour Workweek
- The Master Passive Income Podcast
- Dustin Heiner | Master Passive Income – YouTube
- @TheDustinHeiner – Instagram
About Dustin Heiner
Dustin Heiner is a real estate investing expert and Founder of MasterPassiveIncome.com and the Real Estate Wealth Builders Conference (REWBCON). Being Successfully Unemployed at 37 years old by investing in real estate rental properties, he is now on a mission to help 1 MILLION people to invest in real estate and achieve financial freedom. Through his work at MasterPassiveIncome.com and REWBCON Dustin Heiner has become one of the leading real estate rental property experts.
Dustin started MasterPassiveIncome.com from his home in 2015, while being a full-time employee, married with 4 children, owning and operating 2 other businesses, and being a full-time investor. He is very passionate about his mission to help others become successfully unemployed and never need a job again. Since then, Dustin Heiner has helped countless numbers of others to start investing in real estate rental properties. Even if his students live in very expensive cities, he shows them how they can invest all over the country.
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