Michael Dominguez on ‘The everyday Millionaire Podcast’.
Episode 128 – Passing The Baton To Future Generations
In this episode, Michael spotlights the gift that mentorship and education were for him, particularly in the beginnings of his real estate investment business. He credits the REIN team and the like-minded community for their part in the success he achieved. Michael talks about the importance of paying it forward now and being of contributing to others. As with his last TEDM appearance, Michael keeps it simple: follow the system, take action consistently, and build long-term wealth. Michael has been named Investor Realtor of the Year by the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) twice, as well as Canadian Real Estate Magazine Investor Realtor of the Year. He was also awarded a RE/MAX Jazz Mentorship Award. In his downtime, Michael is a die-hard Los Angeles Dodgers fan and an avid traveler who desires to have as many once-in-a-lifetime experiences as possible in his life.
Patrick introduces his next and returning TEDM guest, Michael Dominguez.
Michael Dominguez is an award-winning sales representative, a member of the Remax Hall of Fame, and the founder of Doors to Wealth Real Estate Group. After becoming a Realtor in 2008, Michael realized the opportunities in real estate investing and bought his first investment property, proceeding to add to his portfolio for ten consecutive years. When he entered real estate in 2008, Michael was drawn towards people who saw real estate ownership as a vehicle for building wealth and reaching their goals.
Many of his current and former clients were able to quit their full-time jobs, do more of what they want to do, and seek their passions. As an investor realtor, Michael discovered a Real passion for helping others build their wealth so they can experience the choices and financial freedom they desire. Michael has been named Realtor of the Year by the Real Estate Investment Network twice now, as well as Canadian Real Estate Magazine Investor Realtor of the Year. He was also awarded Remax Jazz Mentorship Award in his downtime. Michael is a diehard, a Los Angeles Dodgers fan, an avid traveler who desires to have as many once in a lifetime experiences as possible. Currently, he and his wife own eleven two-unit dwellings in Ontario, Canada. He just published his book, which we’re going to be talking about without any further delays. Let’s get this show started. Michael Dominguez, welcome to the Everyday Millionaire podcast. So excited to have you on the show. You’re a returning guest.
Michael discusses the diversification of his financial interests and how the real estate investing skillsets he has learned with the REIN community and other venues, have helped him up his game in all arenas.
Patrick: Well, you talk about options trading or value investing, so you’ve kind of diversified. I don’t know if that’s a recent thing or that’s something always you’ve played in, which is the equity market outside of real estate. Tell me, was that something that you’ve always done in parallel to real estate investing, or were you all in real estate? And then through just a kind of a natural organic transition, you started to say, well, listen, I got to take some of this capital and put it into a different environment. What got you to where you are today in that regard?
Michael: I’ve actually been in equities longer than I’ve been in real estate, actually, but I didn’t do it well. And it’s funny, the skill sets I learned as being a sophisticated real estate investor, I’ve actually started to apply some of those strengths in value investing as well. One of the classic things that I often say and I’ve learned from Rain is I want to be the smartest person in the room or at least do my absolute best. If I’m playing at a poker table, I don’t want to be the worst player at the table. And unfortunately, when it came to Equities, I really wasn’t that great at it. And I was winning as much as I was losing. And real estate, that wasn’t happening. So I’ve taken a lot of really good courses and learning kind of along the same path as what I did with real estate with Rain and other venues I’ve been doing with equities. And I’m doing a heck of a lot better, and I’m enjoying it, too. It’s nice to actually make some money for a change.
[07:36] The power of real estate investing started to trickle into Michael’s awareness when he became an active realtor. Once it was in his blood and saw the value of helping investors and creating credibility and wealth for himself. While the first couple of properties were a struggle, joining REIN gave him the education to become a more sophisticated investor. Follow the system!
Patrick: Well, it’s an interesting conversation to talk about real estate. And let’s go back a little bit and let’s talk about your journey as a real estate investor. You’ve been part of the REIN community for a number of years. You were a realtor, but I don’t recall, Michael, I don’t think you started out as a realtor. I don’t know when you transitioned into that space, but give us a little bit of background of how real estate got into your blood.
Michael: Well, actually, back in 2008, I actually became a realtor first. And prior to that, I used to work for a company called Pet Value Canada, and I was selling franchises for them. And I worked for a number of potential franchisees, helping them buy businesses. And so I really felt that was my strength is helping people really build wealth through in that time, it was franchising. And so when I went into real estate, honestly, I sort of gravitated to the investors because I felt like I was with my people. And fast forward a year or so, and I’d helped a number of people doing some investing. And I thought you know what? I should be doing this, too. And I think it was twofold. Not only did I see the wealth opportunities, but I also saw it as an opportunity to give myself some credibility to future investors. And I honestly didn’t know what I was doing. Just getting a real estate license doesn’t mean a heck of a lot. And I did what I was told to do, which was buying undervalued properties in mediocre areas and trying to fix them up. And I renovated them and I tried to make wealth that way.
And honestly, I struggled with the first couple of properties I bought. And the reason for that was I was just buying, in my opinion, the wrong properties. And I joined Rain, honestly, not so much to learn, but as a networking opportunity. I thought it was going to be okay. I’m going to start doing all kinds of deals. And I found although I did meet some people and I did some deals, the amount of education I got from Rain and all of a sudden I learned there must be a better way than there was. And all of a sudden I started to focus on buying quality properties in quality neighborhoods that offered the right market fundamentals, finding the right type of tenants, and then being able to hold on to those properties for a long period of time. And it’s amazing how when you buy the right type of properties in the right areas, they just simply go up in value as they become more and more in demand. And you look back in five or ten years and you say, Holy crap, it’s amazing how when I turned 40, I really didn’t have a lot of net worth.
[15:15] Driven to support others. Learning from and being inspired by the REIN team when he started his path, Michael now feels the opportunity is there for him to pass along the baton and to share his experience and knowledge with the next generation.
Patrick: Now let’s talk about this a little bit, because when we look at the fact that you got involved in creating that financial future for yourself through investing in real estate, I go back to one of the careers, which was on the franchise side of it, and I’ve heard it in your language a couple of different times, Michael, which is a part of what got you to where you are today is your desire or part of what lights you up is supporting the success of others. So you did that as a realtor, but then you also saw the door of opportunity for sharing with others that investing in real estate was good for them, that you actually started guiding and supporting people in doing that. And back in the days of years selling and doing your deals with franchises, really, you are supporting individuals in that franchise model, which was teaching them how to be business owners or getting them aligned with being a business owner. All to say that. And now you’ve written the book all to say that you’re really driven to support others. And whenever your contribution, I think just things come out of that.
What are your thoughts on that as you reflect back on your career over the years and where you are today?
Michael: Yeah, it’s one of those things that I actually had to tone it down in my first two years as an investor. And the reason for that is I sounded like one of those nighttime television shows where it was almost too good to be true kind of thing. It was like I was telling Ginsu NAI’s or something like that. And some of my friends actually even told me they say, stop talking about real estate. I’m not ready. I don’t want to do it. And so I had to actually I picked and chose my time to actually have the conversation. And it’s funny when people stand up on a stage and now that I’m doing that a little bit as well, you wonder, is there anybody even paying attention?
Hello? Is there anyone even watching this on your phone? That’s the reaction that I’m sure that you guys get from time to time as well. Are you really paying attention to this thing?
Well, I can tell you I was paying attention. I really was making notes most of the time and actually taking action. And the one thing I promised myself is that you guys didn’t need to be there out there hustling all across the country talking about stuff. You’re doing it because you were passionate about it yourself. And I always said if I could pay it forward at some point in the future and teach others to keep that baton going to that next generation, I’m going to do it. And that’s kind of where I feel I am right now. I’m just passing on the baton and I’m hoping that the next generation take action, and then they credit me and move forward and then they keep going from there. It just makes so much sense.
[25:18] Michael shares a story about a young couple who bought two properties, and how impactful it has been in their lives and their long-term wealth. Two well-positioned properties can be more than enough. Patrick follows up with a story about a couple who shifted their perspective just enough to also realize one property could secure the finances they would need to support their children’s education.
Michael: And how it’s changed their life. And a lot of people that I’m sure you interview have so many properties. But let me share a story with two properties. They were in their 20s. They were single. They had no children, but they just got married. And about three or four years later, they were able to buy the two properties, and they weren’t necessarily the best properties, but they were good and they had their child. And she told me about a year later, she says, I was thinking about the amount of money I’d be spending on education for my child in 1820 years, and it’s overwhelming. But then she thought, all I’d have to do is refinance one of my properties I bought and managed and his entire education is paid for. How’s that not a success story. That’s a great story. And they’re on their way to becoming millionaires just from two properties that are well-positioned. They may 1 day buy a third, but they’ve reached a point of comfort just and choices just from having those two properties alone.
Patrick: I got to share a story because you reminded me of it. One of the master classes I teach is in aligned with what you just shared, Michael, and that is the parents that go, I got to spend, I want to plan for my child’s education. And this was a lesson I learned. It’s not that I learned it. I actually came across a couple that worked for the Real Estate Investment Network. They had two kids, and they were one day in the lunchroom and they just started their real estate investing. They’re having coffee and doing their thing and they’re chatting and they’re talking about how much they were going to save for the kids’ education in an ESP. And I looked at them and I’m a good, good friend, of course, still am for this day and a bit of their mentor, if you will. And I said to them, I go, you guys, can I make a suggestion to you? Consider that you buy a piece of property and just allocate it to your children’s education in 20 years or 18 years. What do you think that would do? And they went, that’s really cool.
[34:15] What gets in people’s way of taking action? Michael shares his observations and offers another nugget of wisdom for first time investors.
Patrick: What do you think it is from your given how much work you’ve done with others? What do you think gets in people’s way? What are you seeing or are you seeing a consistent kind of block or challenge that people bump up against? I say it’s often fear and mindset and people just need to get the hell out of their own way. But what’s your experience out of it, Michael, when you look at it, people go, no, I want that, but they don’t seem to take action. What’s your kind of read on that?
Michael: You’re absolutely right. Fear is the number one reason for it. And I always say there’s usually two reasons why they’re afraid to take action. As they’ve heard it through the grapevine, I always say Uncle Larry, who heard it from a friend, said this is a nightmare and they had a bad experience. They purchased and they lost all their money. Uncle Larry said it wasn’t a good idea. And Meanwhile, Uncle Larry, he’s renting right now, but they’re listening to Uncle Harry versus actually doing their own research. That’s the first one and the other one is it’s fun when you talk to investors and you get a bunch of investors in a room together and it seems like we always want to one-up each other with our stupid tenant stories and we share our worst scenarios. I have a couple of stories that I even share in the book that could compete as one of the worst stories out there. I don’t need to get into that today. But there are some fun stories I do. And actually my wife Lisa has a fun game that she does, and she’s actually a realtor now as well.
And she said, well, we’re looking for listings now. If you guys are so unhappy, anyone looking to list their property. And of course, the room goes silent at that time. So the thing I like to share with anybody who’s actually even contemplating investing is to do your own research and talk to people who are actually taking action and doing a buy and hold because it’s really making a huge difference in their lives. I like to quote the Bill Gates quote, where he says people tend to overestimate what they can accomplish in one year and underestimate what they can accomplish in ten years. That means a lot because in one year you don’t really see the huge windfall. You’re not going to become a millionaire overnight. But if you follow the same practices and do the right things over and over, consistent success is going to lead to significant wealth.
[58:03] The practical real estate business he consistently runs isn’t glamourous, but it has given Michael the freedom of choice in how he spends his time now. Giving back and providing mentorship to those around him, has proven to be fulfilling source of fuel that keeps him lit up.
Michael: First of all, because my circle that I’m with now, in addition to me, they were real estate investors and they see the same uptick in property values that we’ve seen. I’ve got a bunch of friends of mine now through my real estate circles that are all in their mid-50s or early 60s and they’re all still working their nine to five jobs, kind of almost afraid to give them up. So I’m finding myself almost as a mentor for them not to help them build more wealth, but to convince them that they don’t need to work anymore or they’re nine to five jobs anyway. There’s so many other venues that they can build their wealth. And so that’s R1 it’s been a real thing for me as I’ve been really trying to find other interests and find other passions. In my case, I’ve been doing more mentoring than I’ve ever done before.
It’s funny you mentioned this at the outset that I really didn’t put my hand up as much. And that’s kind of true. Like I was the REIN realtor the year twice, but that’s just simply due to my nine-to-five job. But I honestly didn’t feel that it was appropriate for me to do that because there were such great people at Rain that I just said, well, who am I when these guys are doing all of these things? And it wasn’t until I reached a point where I thought I had a story to share that I felt that I should put my hand up and sort of say, okay. And I think that’s kind of the same message over and over again that I’ve been saying is that I found that although wealth is really important when you hit a certain point at the end of your life, a lot of people tell you over and over again that it’s what they accomplished and who they spent time with, which are the most important things. And if wealth was able to give me choices to do what I want to do and travel where I want to go and accomplish all of my bucket list accomplishments that I want to have done, isn’t that what real estate is all about?
It’s not like I woke up one morning and I said, Good, I get to be a landlord. That never, ever happened. It never came from my mouth. But what it did do is it gave me a tonne of choices. And again, it is running a business. It’s taking responsibility. But once I did that, it just gave me so much more flexibility and freedom to move forward.