Anyone can do real estate, provided that you’re not above putting on the work, learning, experimenting and making sacrifices along the way. Matt Evan Teifke, owner at Teifke Real Estate, learned this from his amazing mother who, despite not knowing a lot about real estate, dug her toes on the sand to support her family. Inspired by this sacrifice, Matt worked himself up to become a successful real estate broker in his own right. Matt believes that the only things that keep us from getting started in real estate are our excuses. Get this and a lot more practical real estate advice as he joins Jen Du Plessis on the show.
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The Long Game In Real Estate With Matt Evan Teifke
I have with me Matthew Teifke. He is one of the Co-Owners but the Founder of TRE Realty which is Teifke Real Estate company in Austin, Texas. He’s joining us for a couple of different reasons. One, he was introduced to me by one of my dear friends, Lou Diamond, who many of you have seen in a variety of different places with me and Lou. That’s the first reason. The second is that he is an accomplished real estate agent. I thought that this was a good time to bring him on. I brought on real estate agents before and I will continue to do that, as well as loan officers and other people. He’s been successful doing real estate and quite different than the average real estate agent. This is why I brought him on. He’s going to share his whole story with us. Welcome to the show, Matthew. We’re happy to have you.
Thank you. I have a lot of fun doing stuff like this. It’s an honor. I know it’s a lot of work what you do to keep this rolling. Thank you for having me on.
January 1st of 2020, it will be years that we’ve had this show. It’s the longest-running in this space. I guess I’m one of the veterans. That’s what they tell me. It’s a lot to do it and because I have two shows, it’s even more, but I’m always excited to do it. It is fun to meet many people across the United States and all over the world. I’ve interviewed real estate agents in the UK. You should read that episode, it’s interesting stuff. Not in the UK, he was in Australia, they do things differently.
Especially with property management, I’ve heard it’s a totally different system as well.
It’s different and real estate agents are either sales agents or listing. You can’t choose per deal, you have to choose what you’re going to be. He’s just a buyer’s agent. He doesn’t do any listings. There are only 2,000 buyer’s agents in the whole country. The rest are listing agents. He only helps investors. That’s all he does. He helps people with portfolios. It’s cool.
I’d rather he be in Texas.
I know. He’d do good there. You have some ownership in a management company, a real estate firm, and a construction firm, some development, and things like that. Tell us how you got started. Give us a background on how you got started in real estate and how long you’ve been in real estate.
It started at an early age, blessed to have been able to see how things work in the real estate industry. What I learned, you put a down payment, you get a mortgage, someone else pays it off. Twenty or 30 years later, you own it all. I was fascinated. My mom was a single mom. I was born in Cleveland, I moved to Round Rock, Texas, north of Austin when I was three years old. My mom was working in an asphalt and paving company. I still don’t know how she raised my brother and I. She worked a full-time job and bought real estate. She worked hard. I saw a lot of sacrifices. I saw what it took.
Over time, she bought two properties, it varied a little bit. Per year for 8, 9, 10-year span, she did well. She made a lot of sacrifices and also was fortunate to be in a great market. I grew up working at the asphalt company that she worked at, and I was doing the paving, the striping, and the asphalt, the hard labor. I enjoyed it. I felt good after putting in a day’s work like that but it wasn’t enough for me. I always had this. I want to do my own thing and want to be my own person, be entrepreneurial. I saw that real estate could allow that if you did it right.
I remember being 16, 17 doing some evictions, doing some of the actual work on the houses, and opened my eyes to this. I’ve come to a revelation. I used to say I’m passionate about real estate. I’ve been doing this since I was seventeen years old. What I realized is I’m not passionate about real estate, I’m passionate about what real estate can allow. I was around it. When I graduated high school, I told my mom, “I want to get my real estate license and not go to college.” She said, “Absolutely not. You’re going to college. You can do that but I’m cutting you off.”
I was blessed that my mom was able to pay for my school. I didn’t have to get student loans. If I did, I honestly don’t think I would have gone to school. Not that I am recommending that one way or another. I went to school in Corpus Christi, South Texas. I still decided to get my license. In my sophomore year, I got my real estate license. I remember literally crying. It sounds funny saying it now, but it was such a big deal for me to get that. I usually don’t dress like this, sometimes I do. I’m casual, like flip-flops.
I’ve seen it on YouTube.
You can get away with it in Austin. It’s a different environment here. I was dressing like this and going to school. I could not wait to get out of class to work at my brokerage. I’ve always been an extremely dedicated hard worker. I’m going to be the first one in, last one out. That’s what I was doing for a local brokerage in Corpus. I got the Rookie of the Year. I’m proud of that because I was a full-time student. I hustled and I loved it. I was the TAMUCC realtor, “We’ll help you find your apartment. It’s totally free.” Seller pays my commission. I was one of the few people that was doing that.
I was able to get a good number of clients. I was just working with all the students. My grades started slipping because I was only focused on real estate. What happened was, my junior year of college, I learned about a Master’s degree in real estate from Texas A&M University in College Station. I was at Texas A&M in Corpus Christi, which is different. I wasn’t able to get into any prestigious schools out of high school, I was more focused on sports. I did decently but didn’t have a super-high GPA.
I’ve always wanted to do things as good as I possibly can. I’m competitive in a lot of ways. In my mind, I was telling myself, “I want to be the youngest and the best. If anyone’s my age and has done more than me, that’s going to piss me off.” I wanted to get this Master’s degree because I knew I wanted to be in real estate. I was like, “This is going to help me be a step ahead and push this to the next level.” I started focusing my junior and senior year, still doing real estate, just not nearly as intense as I could. I had to get my grades up because getting into A&M is somewhat of a prestigious school, it’s not easy.
I was thinking I’m coming from an affiliate school, but there are people that go to that program that come from way better schools. I was like, “I’ve got to get my grades up,” and hopefully, me having this experience and this background will make me a little bit unique to get accepted. What happened was when I graduated, I had an eight-month wait to see if I got accepted into this program in College Station. I went back home to work for a commercial brokerage called Don Quick and learn. To back up a little bit. The one thing that I’ve always been good at is finding mentors. At the brokerage I was at in Corpus, I had a guy who was 75 years old. He sat down with me for one hour every single day and we talked about real estate. When I went to Don Quick, I did the exact same thing with the broker and he’s got a good name here in the Austin area.
I was committed to learning from people to doing deals. I then found out I got accepted into the Master’s program. That was a big deal for me. It’s an intense program. It was people that were a lot smarter than me. I got in and I’m like, “I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know how I’m going to get through this.” I had to grind. I had to go into the teacher’s offices after every single class but it was such a good foundation for the rest of my career. It’s all commercial real estate. Everyone that goes to that program has 100% job placement. They work for Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan and they become analysts. I got that skillset but I didn’t want to be an analyst. I wanted to do my own thing.
That sounds a lot like my son because he went into finance but didn’t want to be an analyst. He worked at Deutsche Bank up in New York but said I don’t want to talk to people. He worked in Ritz at BB&T. It has a similar background. I want to back up a little bit. I want to talk about your mom’s investing because some people don’t realize the type of investing that she did is called step investing. I’ll give you a quick rundown of what we did. We did the same thing, at least one property a year, sometimes 2 or 3 properties. A lot of step investing, we were always making money, being loan officers.
Both my husband and I were loan officers. I was, he still is a loan officer. We made money. All of the proceeds, the positive cashflow from each of the properties went into snowball to pay them off. Tell us a little bit about her step investing because someone who’s reading may say, “I’m not a two-income family. How can I possibly invest if I’m a single person,” male or a female? “How can I get started in this and buy a house every year?” What would you be telling people to do that in order to start step investing?
I’ll try to do my best. Obviously, you should be the best one to talk about this. It’s hard to say blanket statements but I believe that anybody can buy real estate, it just takes a tremendous amount of sacrifice. My mom was on 2 to 3 phones at any given time, all the time. I have two kids and I’m married. It’s still hard to do what I do with kids. She worked in the construction industry as a female, raised two boys, and bought real estate. It still blows my mind. I ask her about it sometimes. She says it’s a blur and she did what she had to do.
Did she do traditional financing when she bought them or did she immediately go into some creative situational financing?
She primarily did traditional. She did some hard money, some line of credit. She had a good job so she was making good money and literally taking everything she made and putting it into real estate. She told us, “I’m doing this for you. These are your properties.” I was fortunate and blessed to be in that situation. The thing is, it’s not like these properties made her a ton of money all the time. They paid for themselves. It was a different time in Austin where it was more affordable. You can buy a property and cashflow $400, $500, or $600. Now, it’s almost impossible here.
She was doing that at a good time. She got some appreciation. She then got the snowball effect of being able to refinance and leverage. All of a sudden, she had an amazing banking relationship. She had leverage. She could buy houses cash with lines of credit. She kept doing that, her biggest strong suit, in my opinion, and it’s funny because I still don’t think my mom knows that much about real estate, she did a great job of getting a great team. She had a realtor that would knock on people’s doors. She had a contractor and a management company that were good friends of hers. They were the people that talked her into doing it. She relied heavily on them and trusted them. Even to this day, they don’t make her that much money but she’s ten years from paying them off completely and having a good amount of money that’s cashflow.
That’ll help her for retirement. That’s what we all do this for, right?
Absolutely. It’s a long game. There are many people that think they’re going to get rich quick in real estate. I’m sure you can but for the most part, I look at it as anybody can do it, sacrifice, play the long game, do things the right way, do your inspections, build great teams. It’s hard to make blank statements, but I strongly believe that most people can save $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 a year if they want to make that sacrifice. If they don’t want to go to the bars, if they don’t want to go out to restaurants, if they don’t go on vacations, and that’s not for everybody. If you do that, you can start buying one a year, or one every two years and get tremendous benefits.
Which is exactly what we did. When we bought our first house, we weren’t even married. We were both nineteen when we bought our first house and we still have our first house more than 37 years later. We’ve accumulated multiple properties over the years. We did step investing, traditional investing, and then it got too much because you get into commercial and you can’t do traditional financing any place. I don’t want to say quirky but you have to find alternative solutions. I want to go back to what was your first home. When you get your license at seventeen, you’re not technically legal enough to buy a property. You could with cash, I suppose, but you couldn’t get a loan because you weren’t old enough to get a loan. Tell us about your first property that you purchased.
It was good the way it worked out. I bought my condo owner finance in College Station. I put $10,000 down, it’s $61,000. I had a $520 total payment, which is amazing. The mindset that I was able to develop because of that owner finance put me on this creative route of understanding what’s out there. At this time, I had done well. I made money. I had good credit but I couldn’t get a loan after that from anybody. It didn’t make any sense to me. I started in 2011. I was on the back end of what I hear was easy to get loans and all that stuff. I’m a big risk-taker. I often wonder what I would have been like in that time period.
If you would have lost it all.He or she who experiments the most wins. Click To Tweet
I would have probably taken out a lot of loans, hopefully, and I do believe I would have been smart about it. I started learning about hard money, private loans, all these non-traditional ways. Now, I have a good understanding. I have hard money loans. I have private lenders. I have a line of credit. The traditional is my backup plan for refinancing.
This is one of the things that perplex me the most, and we’re going to transition into helping loan officers help realtors. The realtors that are reading to jump in this game, because I’ve been around for a long time in this industry, why do you think it is that many mortgage loan officers and real estate agents don’t own property? They own their own home, they might own a second home maybe, because they had a good year, they bought one and they don’t rent it, which is crazy.
Why do you think it is that we don’t buy our own product? It’s like saying, “You should buy a Tesla,” because you mentioned Tesla. By the way, my son just gave away a Tesla in his business. It’s like, “I drive a Chevy, but you need a Tesla.” When clients say, “Is this a good time to buy?” We’re bobbing our heads going, “Yeah, it is.” You should buy but I’m not buying. Why is that? Why is it we’re not buying our own product?
It takes sacrifice. It is something that anyone can do but it’s sacrifice. That’s number one. Not everyone wants to make these sacrifices and do what it takes. There’s nothing wrong with this but they’d rather go on a vacation once a year than buy a house.
Buy watches. I’m seeing a lot of loan officers buying expensive watches that aren’t going to appreciate. They’re killing it this year.
Things are easy in some ways. I tried to simplify everything that I do. If I hadn’t given an answer, it’s maybe too simple. It is because they don’t want to. That’s not what they desire. They may think that they do, but they don’t. I do believe everyone can buy real estate because I know multiple people that came from nothing, that had nothing and they had everything against them. Female, black, illegal citizen, all this stuff, they own multiple properties now. My thing is, if anyone has done it that’s come from a worse situation or the same situation than you, then you’ve got no excuse. I fall back on that as my default. I just think they don’t want it.
It’s amazing. I’m baffled by it because it is what we do. We’re trying to help people create wealth and yet, we’re not creating that. A lot of people aren’t creating that wealth for themselves. Let me ask you this question related to real estate agents. I know a lot of real estate agents that are realtors but the only type of real estate that they do is looking for the first-time home buyer and the move-up buyer and maybe they’re selling a house because they’re going to move. It’s almost like a whole universe. It’s the earth, they work with the earth and there’s this universe of real estate out there. There’s commercial. There’s land. There’s multifamily. There’s fix and flip. There’s tax lien. There’s so much out there.
What advice would you give to real estate agents that are doing well because the market is, but when they aren’t, because some time ago, everybody was singing the blues? What’s going to happen when COVID leaves us and we are out back in the market, rates start going up, people start changing things? What are some things that some real estate agents that you would guide because you have a real estate company of 60-some realtors who work for you? What are you guiding them to do to ensure that they’ve got some revenue streams to get them through the next time, to tap into and start looking at opportunities?
We promote it hardcore. We have four free training calls. We tell everyone to come to join, anyone from around the country. We’re doing these calls at 10:30 on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We’re going to promote making money on every aspect of real estate. You’ve got to diversify, play the long game. I heard this quote and I love it, “He or she who experiments the most wins.” I like trying things out, and you’re diversifying in that sense. You have to step back and realize like, “The reason that I started a property management company was because I hated the idea of I’m going to be a real estate agent and make commissions here and there.” That was scary.
I wanted to start with creating something that was stable and consistent, and then take some risks on top of that. We got about 750 doors that we manage. It was a lot of work. I compare management to being in the trash business. It’s the job that nobody wants to do. It can be good money. It’s a thankless job. You have to step back and strategize. How do you perceive to live when you’re only selling real estate on referrals? You can only be an agent, and people are great with that but, you’ve got to think and try to get a lot of things going.
Think and Grow Rich. This is something that is prevalent in every industry, it’s not just in this one. It’s looking for the different revenue streams that could come in. We know that we should all have seven revenue streams, working and trying to figure that out. I do a lot of subject to. I’ve introduced the real estate agents that I used to work with, as a traditional lender, to this concept. I couldn’t do it when I was a loan officer because it would be a conflict. Now that I’m not licensed, I go to those same real estate agents and say, “When you’re meeting with a client that has less than 6% equity or has to close her house quickly.”
We’re going to be exploring that here because people got FHA loans with a 3.5% down rate before COVID and have lost their jobs and now have to sell. They don’t have enough equity to do it. That’s where I can come in and help out and be a win-win for everybody. I pay referral fees for that. That’s perfectly legal to do, paying them commission or finder’s fee to be able to do that, but I’m floored every time I talk to a real estate agent who’s going, “What? You can do that?” “Yeah, you can do that.” It’s interesting because I find that many people aren’t as versed in real estate as loan officers who are versed in mortgages. A lot of loan officers are versed in mortgages, it’s expansive. Having said that, there are loan officers that have no clue about the type of financing I now do, which is all for investment properties.
There’s a whole massive world out there. I’d love to give insights on what is valuable for lenders. The more knowledge you can get around and the people that you’re around that know what you’re doing and have those options. I’m the biggest believer in having as many options as you can. Anytime I put a property under contract, I explore, “What would it look like to wholesale this? What would it look like to bring on partners? What would it look like to flip this, to rent it, to Airbnb it?” Every option is on the table for me. The more options, the better, and it sounds like that’s what you have on the lending side.
I do that lending. It gets back to the comment that you made about the fact that you had all these mentors around you. We know this phraseology, “You are the sum of the five people that you hang around.” That’s the same thing with this. You are the sum of the different strategies that you have available to you and that opens up opportunities. There are many opportunities that are left on the table just because of the ignorance of not knowing that there are these other things out there and living in a bubble.
You have exemplified that by your property management and by your real estate company, as well as your construction company and your development company saying, “I can tap into everything.” I love that you said Airbnb because I Airbnb the house that I’m sitting in, my primary residence. I Airbnb some of our properties that we have said, “We’re not doing as well with plain rentals. Let’s Airbnb this.” It gets such a better return and the property is in better shape because it’s getting cleaned every week or so.
There’s no excuse because everything is out there. You’re talking about it. I’m talking about it. We’re two people. My wife and I lived in eight houses in 2.5 years. We owned all of them and we still do. What allowed us to do that is back to the sacrifice. Nobody wants to pick up and move every two months but we did it. It allowed us to acquire properties and get good loans. Fix them up and then turn them into rentals. There’s so much info out there. There are many people doing it and that will do it for free and guide people. Listen to that and get out there. I’m probably the biggest risk-taker that you’ve ever met or anyone’s ever met. It used to be a problem, big-time gambling. I’ve tried to channel that risk-taking into what I know and understand. It’s worked out well.
What’s ahead for you as you’re thinking about 2021? We have loan officers and realtors thinking here. What are some thoughts that you have ahead of everyone else? I then want to leave with the final question of, if a loan officer is reading this, how would you recommend that they introduce real estate agents to work with them and be partners with them? To explore things together so that they don’t feel like they’re on an island by themselves. Let’s start with what do you think is happening in 2021 and then what advice do you have for loan officers to help real estate agents?
My goal for 2021 is to keep our businesses growing, construction, management, brokerage, wholesaling. I’m trying to get two big properties. I have one under contract. It’s a fourteen-unit mobile home park. I want to do one more. The goal is specific, which is not usually that way for me. I’m just running my head to the wall, “Grow,” and talk about things later. My goal for 2021, on the ownership side, is I want to get $10,000 a month in cashflow from two properties. On the lender side, it’s interesting to me, people reach out to me all the time. We have a ton of agents and rarely do I see lenders give referrals to agents. My understanding is that’s hard because the clients usually start with the realtor for the most part.
I don’t understand that.
Yeah, but that’s the way it is. I see this every day. We do these training calls and I get lenders to come on and join. I’m a huge massive member, coffees or lunch with anybody. I strongly believe that 90% of people play the short game. I can’t tell you how many lenders come on our calls and promote themselves on a one-hour call. I’m like, “Do you think that would work? You’ve got to show up every day and add value every day.” Don’t be the lender that calls someone and wants to be their lender and buys you coffee one time and that’s it. It’s short-sighted.
You’re speaking to the choir because everyone has heard me for years. I can’t stand that. We call it show up and throw up. There’s no rule that says that loan officers can’t do client acquisition on their own and give business to realtors. From my perspective, why do loan officers wait to get business from realtors when most realtors do twelve deals a year? Why am I waiting for you? I don’t mean it badly against you, because I know you’re doing more volume.
For me, as a loan officer, I’m not waiting for real estate agents. I’m going out and I’m doing my own client acquisition. This is the way that I had phrased that question. There is an opportunity for two people to get in the same boat, instead of each person being in a different boat and throwing fish back and forth. To get in the same boat and move together, learn together, invest together, and partner together so that they can learn different ways to manifest each other’s business.
That’s the key. A loan officer is saying, “Realtor, have you ever thought of doing something totally different than just selling houses? Have you thought about doing wholesaling? Have you thought about investing? What things have you thought about? Let’s find some resources so we can learn together on how to do that so we can help each other grow, not only our businesses but our portfolio.”
I’m sure people feel different ways but I don’t think you have to do that with only one realtor. You can do that with ten realtors. Lenders are in an awesome position because it’s challenging to become a lender. It’s easy to become a realtor. There’s less competition, there’s a little bit of a moat, and then I always fall back on, how are you being different? Back to experiment the most. What are you failing at? That’s what’s probably going to be exciting on what’s coming next. Are you doing everything you possibly can? Are you experimenting? I can’t think of any of that I know in Austin that are doing these exciting, cool things. I have great lenders and people that I trust and like, but nobody that I feel like is pushing the limits. That’s what I always want to do, like how can I push the limits? If you can think of ways to do that and be creative, Facebook Live, YouTube channel, test things out like what you’re doing.
Many people are afraid of failure, but when you’re failing, it’s demonstrating that you’re trying.
I don’t like people not thinking I’m a little crazy. My family is like, “You’re moving again?” “Yeah, I love it.” If they think that I’m being normal, I don’t like it. I want to be pushing the limits on anything and everything I’m doing.
It’s an example of why you’re successful because you’re shining a light on what makes you different. I talk about this all the time with my coaching and students all the time. What makes you different? Why should I choose you? I coach realtors too. “Why should I choose you?” “I’m going to put your house in MLS.” That’s expected. What makes you different? Why should I pick you? There’s a lot of that, so I’ve helped people brand themselves to be a little bit different.
This investment piece is one of the things that I’m teaching my entire group of students. How to be an investor yourself and how to explore these other opportunities that are out there. That when you have something that comes across your desk, you can bring something new to the real estate agent and say, “I can’t do this traditional, but there is a way to get this done. Here are the people that can help you get it done.”At your core, feel good about trying something out. Think about the money later. Click To Tweet
The other thing is, you can be different to make money. It’s being different to just be different. Nobody wants to be the same. At your core, feel good about trying something out. Think about the money later. You’re absolutely right, there are many ways to approach it. Depending on your market, you could be a lender in 50 states, get all these different licenses, but what do you want to do that’s going to make you different?
I have this in front of me all the time, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” It sits here on my desk every day. If I’m excited about something that’s just crazy. I’m excited about it, it doesn’t matter. Matthew, it’s been absolutely fantastic. Thank you for taking time with me twice this day because we also did a Facebook Live. Check out my business page, it’s @JenDuPlessis22. Like us and follow us. In there, I do something called Getting Real with Realtors. We do these little quick things with real estate agents so that we can get to know them a little better. See why they tick and how they tick. It’s for you too so that people can see you out in the big bad world because I share it all over the internet to help your business grow as well. I want to say thank you. If someone’s reading this and they’re in Austin or they’re not in Austin, but they want to get on these calls, or a real estate agent saying, “I want to work with this company,” what is the best way to get in touch with you?
TeifkeRealEstate.com. My email is MattTeifke@Gmail.com. I’m on Facebook and Instagram. I want to be a resource here in Austin, Texas, Central Texas. The last thing I was thinking about is, just impress people. If you’re going to impress a realtor or a client, things are going to work out well for you. People can get a hold of me on my cell phone if they want, (512) 914-4806. I would love to support your readers, you, and play the long game.
I absolutely loved that. I was smiling when you said impress because one of the things I teach both to realtors and to loan officers is something called a Partner Impression Program, PIP. In it is, instead of showing up and throwing up, instead of one and done, you have a meeting. Now there is a process behind there to impress that partner for a period of time and stay in touch. It’s exactly what you’re talking about. I love that you said that because that brought it all in. Thank you again, Matthew. I wish you the best of luck going forward. It’s the sky’s the limit. You’re young, you have all these ahead of you. Thank you for being on the show. I appreciate it.
Thank you so much.
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About Matt Evan Teifke
Teifke Real Estate was founded by Matthew Teifke in 2015. Alongside his better half, Lexi Teifke, they built a property management company that was a leader in the Austin, Texas market. Eventually, he merged the property management side of his business with another leading management company in January 2020.
This free’d Matthew up to pursue his goal of building a unique, revolutionary real estate brokerage. Matthew partnered up with a long-time friend, Alex Coffman. Alex was an experienced entrepreneur and real estate investor at this point. Together, they are building a brokerage that has no limits to what their agents can do. Pushing the boundaries with the mantra “all ships rise with the tide”, Matthew and Alex are focused on educating agents and investors.
Our Vision is to enhance the standard of living for people across the world! Our Mission is to educate people on every aspect of real estate! We are Trusted. We are Revolutionary. We are Entrepreneurial.
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