Episode #256 – Growing a Massive REI Business From Scratch With Dave Seymour, Part 1

In this episode, Dan chats with real estate maestro Dave Seymour. You’ll hear about Dave’s amazing journey from firefighter to successful business owner, facing tough times and coming out on top in the real estate world.

His story is packed with great lessons and cool insights that will inspire and guide you through the ups and downs of the real estate game.

So, don’t miss this episode filled with a genuine success story that shows how to overcome challenges and thrive in the real estate industry. Tune in now!

Show Highlights:

  • Discover this inspiring rags-to-riches journey of a real estate pro. [01:34]
  • What are the two ways of looking at a real estate transaction? [03:16]
  • Here are some surprising insights from the fire service. [05:42]
  • Find out how investors can rescue distressed homeowners. [07:34]
  • How can you elevate your social surroundings? [08:26]
  • Learn the transformative power of consistent repetitive action. [09:40]
  • Know more about this immigrant’s journey to financial freedom. [12:48]
  • The shift from retail security to the world of real estate. [14:43]

For more information about Dave Seymour:

To get the latest updates directly from Dan and discuss business with other real estate investors, join the REI marketing nerds Facebook group here: https://adwordsnerds.com/group

Need help with your online marketing? Jump on a FREE strategy session with our team. We’ll dive deep into your market and help you build a custom strategy for finding motivated seller leads online. Schedule for free here: https://adwordsnerds.com/strategy

Read Full Transcript

You're listening to the REI marketing nerds podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of AdWords nerds, a high tech digital agency focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition and live a freer, more awesome life. And now, your host, Dan Barrett.

0:40 Welcome to this week's episode of the REI marketing nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett's here from AdWords nerds.com. And look, if you need more new leads and deals online for your real estate investing business. You know where to go. It's AdWords nerds.com. We have been in the game for over a decade now. And there's a reason for that. So come and check us out AdWords nerds.com. All right. This week, I have a truly excellent interview with one Dave Seymour. Now, you may have seen Dave on the show flipping Boston, which is pretty wild to me. But Dave is much more than a TV investor. He is an incredibly thoughtful person. He's got a truly amazing story of pulling himself up by his own bootstraps, creating his own real estate investing company becoming successful in an incredibly trying time where everyone said it was impossible was too competitive. All those things that might sound familiar to you today, he has gone through them and has gone on to create a really interesting company which is Freedom venture.com Freedom venture.com You can go and check out what he's doing over there. Dave is an incredibly gracious guest. He's a very free with his life lessons and his experience and you're gonna get a ton out of it. So without any further ado, let's jump into my interview with Dave Seymour from freedom venture.com Dave Seymour, welcome to show man. Happy to have you here.

2:15 Hey, Dan, pleasure to be here, brother. Thanks for having me. Thanks for asking. Let's do this. All right. Well, it is it is my pleasure. You know, I always say like the podcast is like probably the most selfish thing I do now. At least in terms of the business because I get scared to bring on people that I think are doing cool stuff are gonna be fun to talk to. So I'm really looking forward to it. For people who don't know you and don't know freedom venture. Do people like the 30,000 foot overview of you and what you do? Yeah, sure.

2:42 Look, real estate's been a journey. I started in the, in the single family business after 16 years as a firefighter and a paramedic. I worked just north of Boston, the accents a little bizarre. I was born in London, I emigrated in 1986. Following my first wife of three, if at first you don't succeed, try try try that. Eventually got it. Right. Right, you got it right. But the crash of 2005 678 drove me into real estate even. And I learned you know, from being in the construction world, I learned that you know, there's two ways to look at a real estate transaction. You can look from the buy sell side of a Mr. And Mrs. Smith buying a house Mr. Mrs. Jones selling the house, which is okay, if you're a broker, highly stressful for the buyer and the seller. And then there were these guys and girls who showed up in nicer cars than me while I was digging ditches in Boston. They showed up in nicer cars were nicer clothes. They were they were drinking a hot latte while I was on an iced coffee in January on a construction sites. And they seem to have some smiles on their faces. I remember like it was just that I was talking to one of the guys on the job. I'm like, oh, Bobby, who's that? And I'm pointing, right? She's got the high heeled shoes on and she's driving the Mercedes Benz and the light means that he goes, That's whatever I can't remember.

She's the investor. I know the what the investor you know, well, what's that? When she buys the house, when it's crappy, we fix it up. We make a little bit of money. She makes a lot of money when she sells it. So I kind of sidle up to her. I'm trying to be by my smooth possible self and I'm asking questions and I'll let you in on a little secret my friend it was when when the you know the light bulb came out because I realized I realized this lady wasn't that smile. She wasn't and you know, put me on a trajectory to learn this business. I learned it through through the seminar world 2008 910 11 everybody else's running away from real estate and running towards it's kind of like a firefighting analogy. But mass just propelled me into what I do today in private equity doing larger projects, private holding down in Florida, ground up development work. So I've touched it all I've touched lending singles, Maltese, you know, I've been a private lender, a hard money lender, and today I'm a real estate developer slash repositioning So I've apartment complexes primarily, like I said in the Florida market. So that's the that's the succinct version that I do not that that was a bad summary, like five minutes. Oh, that

5:08 was very compared to most other people. It shows very succinct. And there's a lot in there when obviously, we're going to get to the real estate development piece, the part that you're doing today, kind of, you know, the current business that you're doing over at Freedom venture.com. But I wanted to take a minute to ask about your background before you got into real estate. So you mentioned that you're doing firefighting, you're doing paramedic? So I wanted to ask about that experience. Obviously, you're not doing that anymore. But my sense of that kind of work is that you're going to learn things about the way the world works, how people are just generally that you're going to take into your life today. I'm curious, like, looking back at that time, was there anything from your time as firefighter as a paramedic, that you kind of still take with you today? Either wasting the world or like, I don't know, what did you take from the experience? And

6:00 that's a great question. It's like going in spraying it as well. Because you know, everything that we do, and everything that we have, and everything we aspire to be is a result of what we did yesterday, the day before the day before the day before, right? So I believe God is good, it gives us like these lessons, these these are use a term incipient quite often because incipient is what we use in the fire service, which means beginning or start, right? The incipient phase of a fire, what was the spark that lit the fire. So you know, the fire service was was a fantastic playground, if you will, our learning facility for for business and real estate, in a sense of, you know, I got to see that we can go from the emotional side of people, right. And then we can also go from the side of, of construction and the actual sticks and bricks of real estate, you know, I learned that there are a lot of Mickey Mouse, do it yourself homeowners out there, who you know, they watch an episode on HGTV, and you know, the wife wants or the husband wants to put it that new fan box in the ceiling in the bathroom. So they, they started the project. And they're feeling pretty good up until the point where they're supposed to put a vent in the attic to the outside to take the hot air out of the bathroom. Then they quit and they go off again, and they just leave the bed, the attic. And you know, for us as investors later on, they create that that magical world word of mold, because mold is gold, right? We know that?

So that seems like a silly answer to a deeper question. But it's like, I got to learn that we can bring a lot of value as investors to a homeowner who's in a period of distress, when they've you know botched their home, they haven't pulled permits, they haven't you know they've done things the correct way. And then we can come in as investors with some intelligence of the right team, fix old problems, either take it off their hand, maybe run a construction arm of the company, so that you can help people in that concept or that aspect of the business. So that was always good. But for me, one of my mentors said to me early on in my in my career, he said, David, stop looking for deals and start looking for people. I know the money's in the deal. The money's in the deal, he goes more it's not he said, still looking for people. You said find people who can mentor coach help and guide you, He said and then once you've got that solidified once you build that team around you, he said always be in a room with people smarter than you don't ever be the smartest person in the room. Always try to elevate your your surroundings, he said and then go out into this marketplace as real estate investors to look for people we can help. And it's a self centered, self centric world in which we live that I you know what I mean?

specially you get on social media and you compare your insides to somebody else's outside. So there's, you know, it's just a shitshow it really is. So if I can keep it down to the simplicity of how can I help with the skill sets that I have, you know, then I'm able to go out and do some good work. So it was, you know, short sales, loan modifications, and, you know, the massive amounts of work we did 2009 10 You know, when the when Wall Street came in and decimated, decimated era housing economy. So I bring that again, framing around your question of Fire Department. I love the camaraderie of the fire department. I love being the big bug, right? I like to be the first guy in the building. I wanted to be the last guy out, but nothing I did was was solo. You know, in the fire service, we have a rule that says two in two out right, two men and two men out you never leave somebody behind, you don't go along. And then you carry a lot of the amount of repetitive drilling that we did in the fire service evolutions, right? Consistent, repetitive action, so they become second nature. So you bring those kinds of ideas into business and into especially into real estate investing. For example, who can I help? How can I help them? Do I have the team has the resources and the skill set to help them help them and guess what the money comes afterwards? People First profit setting. So that's, you know, again, I don't want to get too, you know, too out there on it. But it really is. It really is a philosophy that's that served me well, I wish I could tell you it served me well, every single time, I'd be lying to you. But one thing that fails in any mechanism is human beings, brother vacationers. They just, they just fail miserably. God bless them, you know, and I choose as best I can not to get upset with it today, but help people have the ability to help execute on that help, and the Money Follows afterwards. Does that make sense? Yes.

10:35 Yeah. And I totally agree. I think I had a friend who he also used to say, it was like, the weakest part of any system is the part that's human behavior, right. So it's like, you know, people, people will work all this time on changing their diet plan, or do you know, whatever changing the structure that they're in, but they don't really ever work on the extent to which they actually stick to that plan or to whatever they're supposed to be doing to be consistent. Let's find motivated seller leads online but don't know where to start. Download our FREE motivated seller keyword report today, AdWords nerds have spent over $5 million this year researching the most profitable keywords for finding motivated seller leads. And you can grab these exact keywords when you download our report at www dot AdWords nerds.com/keywords.

11:32 I wanted to ask you about. So when you decided to get into real estate, you mentioned there's a basically during the crash, right? So you've mentioned a lot of people away from real estate you were getting into it. What was that experience? Like? Because that, you know, for me, I've had a lot of investors on the show, most of the investors that are successful to I won't say a lot of investors that are very successful today with through that period. Right. They've been doing it for a while, right. And a lot of people will talk about, you know, okay, you know, I was doing X deal structure before. And when the crash happened, that wasn't possible. And I had to switch to y and see a be right. For you. You were kind of getting into that part of the industry during this huge period of upheaval, where everything was kind of changing. So like what was that experience like for you? Was it you know, you were here pivoting a lot trying to find the thing that was going to work for you did it just kind of seemed normal to you? Because that's where you're coming up in? So like, that's just how the way the world is? What was that experience?

12:28 Yeah, that's that's a great question. So so there's a term that I use in life called I was beaten into reasonableness. Right, beaten into submission and beaten into reasonableness. You see, like I said, I think we said it before. You know, I came from a different country. I came from a really blue collar background in England, right? My My dad was a heating and air conditioning guy my mom worked in I worked in a bank as a teller slash secretary. So for me, when I came to the States I bought with me or culture around, there's only one way to make money and that was to trade my time, right? A doctor is still just an employee, he might earn 5000 bucks an hour, but if he doesn't trade his hour or her an hour, they don't get that five grand it's a job right with financial illiteracy, which I was was absolutely a card carrying member of. In that period of time, I found myself about $70,000 in unsecured credit card debt, cars, boats, leather coats, keeping up with the Joneses. 401k the program's following the rest of the sheep, right. I'm in the herd. And I didn't I didn't pick my head up at any point. I figured this is America is what everybody does. And I'll never forget this there. I called my dad, I'm like, Dad, I got you know, you ain't gonna believe I'll worry. He said, What's that? Boy? I said, in America, you can spend more money than you could walk, because that's illegal.

I go not that is America. We're alive. So I noticed his humor in the delivery of that line. But think about it for a second. That's the majority of this freaking country brother is like, just worry about getting there. You can now do a seven and eight year column. Because cars are so expensive. And everybody's got to get a Tesla. We got to get events and we got to get it right drove. So I had the cancer, right. I had bad cancer. I had the cancer more. So when you asked me what was it like getting into real estate, but me I had no choices, bro left. My house was in pre foreclosure $70,000 In unsecured credit card debt. And I wasn't just working as a firefighter and a medic. I was working full time construction. And I was working nights and weekends, retail security part roles. Police as I call it today, working security and driving about 120 hours a week of my life for somebody else's money. So I said earlier on wife of three right? If at first you don't succeed, well there's a price that gets paid by brother or only being able to go one way. And that was the price and two marriages, there was a price of a relationship that I'm blessed to say I think that a which was remote now I'll lose boy. And so now going into real estate, how did I end up today? Yeah, it was on a construction site.

And yeah, I met those people. But I was screaming and shouting, but my God walked by it. I'm like, I'm in my f150 pickup truck. And I'm like, I'm losing my house. I'm working all these hours. I've got wreckage everywhere behind me. I'm like, you gotta help me out, dude. You know, I'm screaming that don't wrestle with God. By the way. It's not it's not a good bet. I'm wrestling with him. And I'm like, what? You know what's going on? I'm doing the right thing. And I said, you know, helped me. And it was probably the most genuine prayer I've ever prayed in my life down, frankly, because it was a prayer of being beaten into reasonableness. I was beaten. I was a beaten man. And nothing. I didn't hear anything. No whispers on the wind. No lightning bolts, not then I'm crying like a baby. And I'm like, Alright, I gotta go home and tell my wife, we gotta leave. We gotta go. I got I got no answers. And straight up, dude, I turn the ignition in my key. And I was on a news radio station. And a commercial came on teach me foreclosure, a free one and a half hour seminar coming to you and into the woods, learn financial literacy from stock investing in real estate and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I crumbled brother frickin crumble and went to that seminar. And that was the journey. So when I came into real estate during that period of time, when I make a decision, get out of the way, it's my DNA, it's kind of like that, again, that firefighter mentality that like failure is not an option.

I believe I've got God on my side. So it's called baby girl, right? That's just how I feel. It's who I am. And I went to any and all conditions and lengths to be successful in this business. And it was chaos. I mean, without exaggeration, somebody would say to me back in those days, you know, I'm doing it part time while I'm not working in a firehouse, etc. And they'd say, Yeah, so what do you do? I'd say, I was taught I'm a real estate investor, I we have real estate solutions to real estate problems where solutions provide a company we can help you Baba Baba bog down. Everybody's got the chat. Yeah. And people go real estate. I'm sorry. And they leave they walk away from you're like, Yeah, it's like the COVID before the vid was even around, but something just pushed me man, I kept going. And it really was also the support of my incredible wife. And she said to me, she said, I don't understand this. He said, But I see you. And she said, It's a phrase that we keep in our house all these years later, she said, Go get them baby, I'm proud of you.

They go get them killer. I'm proud of you. I love you. I support you, whatever it is you want to do. And fast forward three years later, I'm sitting in the presidential, the Hilton Hotel in the Caribbean, on the island of St. Thomas doing a podcast and I'm saying that exact same line, right. My wife was my first private lender, you put 20 grand on our credit over the last credit card that whatever it was. And as I was delivering that podcast line on a video, my wife looked behind me in a bikini, a floppy hat and a glass of red wine was perfect. And I'm like, I guess she she approved of the decisions that we made. So this tenacity, it's a nasty, not giving up weakness. And again, looking for people to help. And there are a lot of people to help out. Back in 910 11 really was a lot of people to help and there was a lot of money that was made like transference or wealth was massive, massive during that period of time. I personally believe we're seeing again in the next three to five minutes, so I was just getting ready for the next cycle.

18:40 Hey guys, hope you enjoyed part one of this episode. It's just too good to limit to one show. Join us next week to hear the rest

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