BRRR Method: Stacking Rentals With Austin Rutherford

Episode 540: BRRR Method: Stacking Rentals With Austin Rutherford

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REIS 540 | Stacking Rentals


How do you build wealth from real estate ownership? By stacking rentals, of course! In this episode, Mitch Stephen teams up with investor and entrepreneur Austin Rutherford as they talk about generating passive wealth via rental properties. Austin shares his experiences in real estate and his strategies in getting deals and stacking rental properties. Tune in for more great tips on real estate success, right here.

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I would like to thank LiveComm.com for sponsoring this episode. It’s all about smartphone numbers that capture the incoming caller’s cell phone number and put it in the text distribution list. It’s just the beginning. I use LiveComm and don’t even use any signs in front of my houses anymore to sell them. I have 10,000 people that have called my signs in the past. Plus, I put out other generic signs and a free list of owner-financed homes that I was hell-bent to collect a bunch of numbers. At around 3,000 numbers, I was averaging 9 days on the market and a 10% minimum down payment. At 6,000, I started averaging 4 days on the market and was close to 15% down.

I have 10,000 numbers. I don’t even send out to all of them because I’ll overload my sales guy with calls. We send out about 6,000 of the 10,000.

I can send out those text messages for $0.2 per contact in the distribution list. There were so many ways to use it. I’ve been exploring it with a lot of them and trying new things all the time. If you want to know how I’m doing some of the tricks of the trade and how I’m using these smartphone numbers, go to LiveComm.com Watch the videos on the homepage and start getting a feel for it.

In this episode, I have a special guest. He’s over in Columbus, Ohio. It’s Austin Rutherford. He’s a BRRRR Method investor. He’s stacking rentals. That is what we’re going to talk about in this episode and how to keep stacking them up.

I don’t know if Austin is doing what ours is down here but if all your houses are appreciating like the ones around me, you are becoming a very wealthy man if you have any houses at all.

The market’s been a wild, crazy appreciation, which is good if you’re on the ownership side. It’s 100%.

People say it’s tough to buy houses in these good times of the market but I’m about to set a record if it keeps going the way it is. I have over 50 acquisitions already in the 1st quarter of 2022. I usually do about 100 deals a year because that’s where we leveled out and where the office structure and everything can handle the load.

It’s 100 deals coming in but then you also got to sell them. It’s 100 deals going out and then you’ve got 52 weekends in a year and a couple of holidays. There are a lot of closings per day.

Give us a little background, Austin. You’re in Columbus, Ohio. For the people that haven’t heard us speak together before, bring us up to speed. How did you find real estate or how did it find you?

My first original dream was to be in the NBA. That didn’t work out. I fell out of love with the game of basketball and then fell in love with the game of real estate. I read Think and Grow Rich. That turned me on to the opportunity of creating what you want out of life and then fell into real estate. I started flipping houses.

Years ago, I flipped a whole bunch of houses and then realized true wealth is through ownership. I started stacking rental properties along the way as well, anything from wholesales, flips, new construction, and condo conversions. The goal is to stack as many rental properties as possible. Also, real estate rentals and building the brand on social media as big as possible.

Do you stay local to Columbus or are you spread all over the place?

Luckily, I was born in a very great rental market. It has entry-level prices, $100,000 to $200,000 houses. For me, it was my backyard. All the houses that I own are in or around Columbus, Ohio. I moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2021. I haven’t bought anything down here yet. I might pick up some Airbnbs or something, but the rest of my real estate operations are back in Columbus, Ohio.

It’s a little different in Florida. It’s a little racier there. You got to bring a bigger bag of money.

There are different types of money down here.

Were you born in Columbus?

True wealth is through ownership. Click To Tweet

I was born and raised.

When did you move to Florida?

In 2021.

You were there all that time. You know the town. You were born there so you had the boots on the ground and set up the office. You got everything and then you decided it.

Tell me about backing out of that business and going to Florida. How did you back out and get the confidence to say, “I can drive to Florida and not have to worry?”

It’s something I battled for a couple of years of my life. I have always wanted to go to Florida for the lifestyle. What always kept me back was, “Austin Rutherford has to be in the business. He has to be the one walking job sites and meeting sellers.” It’s an internal battle that we fight with ourselves. Finally, a lot of things led up. There are some internal team issues and desires for lifestyle. A lot of people in business get into business, become “successful,” whatever that definition is, and then forget to go back to the why. My why is freedom and to do what you want and how you want it.

There are a lot of things that lit up. I made a move to Florida. There’s the lifestyle, beach, tax reasons, and weather. As far as how the team still operates in everything, I have the team back in Ohio. We’ve got project managers, boots on the ground, property managers, and acquisitions that still all operate there. The beautiful thing is we have Zoom calls, FaceTime videos, and text messages.

It’s the year leading up to me leaving. I never went to the job sites anyway, so it wasn’t that much of a difference in taking that leap. It’s more of a mental barrier that a lot of people go through, thinking that they have to be somewhere when they don’t. If you build the right teams and systems, you can do it anywhere from anywhere.

It’s all about our limiting beliefs of what we think is possible. I struggled with that for a long time. I haven’t seen the last 450 houses I bought and the people who bought them from me. I do the seller financing strategy. There’s always another level to grow to another level of understanding. It will never end if you keep growing. Imagine you could sit down and make it. It doesn’t matter where you are. There’s always another level.

I always got that vision of the millionaire boat and the billionaire boat.

“I’m a billionaire now. What will I do? I guess I’ll become president of the United States.” There’s another level. How often do you go back?

REIS 540 | Stacking Rentals

Stacking Rentals: The market’s been a wild, crazy appreciation, which is good if you’re on the ownership side.


I go back for more family, like weddings and friends and stuff.

You don’t go back to check on the business per se. While you’re there, you might take a look. Do you?

When I’m there, I’ll be in touch with the team. Some of my friends and business partners rent office space for me so I’ll go hang out with them, but I don’t have to go back personally to check on properties anymore.

May I ask what your portfolio looks like? How many units?

It’s almost 100. The biggest apartment building is an 8-unit, 2 sixes, and then a whole bunch of singles and doubles on top of that.

When did you get the idea that you might be able to own 100 houses one day?

During my first entrance into real estate, the idea of passive residual income came into my head. Passive is money that you make without working residually and continuously. I was like, “It sounds pretty good.” I ended up buying a duplex. It is my first ever real estate deal. I loved it but then I got caught up chasing money. I got into the game for passive income, but you start chasing money, flipping and wholesaling houses, and making a lot of money. It feels great.

I did that for years. I bought six rental properties over the next few years and flipped the wholesale. I finally realized that the markets could change. Flipping a wholesale is great. It’s what you are doing to build long-term generational wealth. I still flip and wholesale a little bit but our first exit strategy is rental properties. When we got a deal come in the door, the goal was to BRRRR it, Buy, Renovate, Rent, Refinance and Repeat without any of our money and then keep it as a rental property. If for whatever reason it doesn’t fit those criteria, we’ll then flip it or wholesale it. The goal is to keep as many rental properties as possible.

We owner financed about 70% of our properties. With all the money we make, I buy both mini storages, which is my forever play.

Your forever play is the property itself. Mine is I’m making as much money flipping. I don’t wholesale but maybe 3%. I wholesale things I wish I wouldn’t have bought. I seller finance about 70% of 100 houses a year, give or take. I then retail about 27% because my acquisition guys need some jingle in their pocket. The best way to get them a big hit is to go retail something, yank $40,000 out, give them their share of that $40,000, and then they’re good for another 6 months. I was a horrible landlord. Do you manage your properties or do you have a management company and you’re managing your own and others?

I do not have a management company, nor do I manage the properties. I did from my first three and I hated it. I used a property management company for my long-term rentals and then I have some short-term rentals Airbnbs that I had boots on the ground to manage the in-person stuff. Somebody on my team handles the operations and a virtual assistant manages the day-to-day communication bookings and things of that nature. Long-term rentals are 100% outsourced and for the short-term rentals, some of my internal team manages those things.

If you can't raise money, wholesale it, if you can raise money, but you need money today, flip it. If you can raise money and you want money in the future, then keep it as a rental property. Click To Tweet

A lot of people and I are under the impression because of my experiences but I’m wondering what you’re thinking. It’s difficult at 10, 11, 12, 13, or 14 rental houses because it’s not enough to have a stellar management company. I always thought you had to have at least over 50 to get critical mass and be able to absorb the fees and all that stuff. The fees are the same if you have 1 rental house or 50. They’re charging you so much for the rent.

I usually pay anywhere from 5% to 15% of gross income to the management company. I’m with you. The first 1 to 10 is very difficult because if you get one bad rental out of those first ten, for the whole year, all income is gone. We had a property in 2022 where we lost about $20,000 on it from non-payment to renovate one house. If you only have one and that’s the one that you get, it’s important

As you grow, it becomes a lot easier to manage things. Even at this point, I’ve thought about bringing management 100% in-house because we would save money at that point with the number of fees that we’re paying to the property management company. It’s out of sight and mind for me. I don’t like to live on the income of my rental properties. It’s a long-term wealth play for me. If that can be managed and hold onto it for the next couple of years and I can go out and build a bunch of other businesses and build that at the same time, it’s a win-win scenario for me.

If you don’t live off the rental income, what do you live off?

We flipped the wholesale a little bit as well.

If you’re building a portfolio of rentals, it helps if you flip your share of houses or wholesale throughout the year because you have those $10,000 and $20,000 prices. You got to get enough critical mass to get on top. I used to have a couple of commercial buildings like 2 to 3-story little buildings. I finally said to myself, “I either got to get in this business and have 25 of these buildings or get out of this business and funnel all this effort to my seller financing business.”

I did have to create a note servicing company. I had to buy the $27,000 note servicing software because about 300 of my notes at the end of the year reporting were killing me.

My whole office was paralyzed at the end of every year, trying to get it done. I said, “I’m either going to ship this off to a note servicing company or get the software that makes it easy and open up my note servicing company because if I can service 300 notes in the snap of a finger with this software, I can service 1,000 and make them pay for the cost of my people that are servicing my notes, my software, maintenance on the software and the dues on the software of about $2,000 a month.”

The training was $5,000 a month. I have $30,000 in the software. I was thinking, “It makes it easy but I got to hire a person.” We’re about to hit 1,500 people. We only service notes in the state of Texas but it turned out to be quite a business. It turns out if you have about 300 notes of your service, you can sell it for 7 or 8 times. I didn’t even know that when I started it. I was trying to get enough notes so that the people working on my notes were paid for by someone else. I was just along for the ride. Entrepreneurs have more than one business.

Ken D’Angelo told me one time. He was the Founder of HomeVestors. He lived here. His first franchisee was his daughter. He wanted me to be the second one. We spent a lot of time talking. He told me entrepreneurs rarely end up with a business they start. They always morph to the path of least resistance to the most money. It’s hardly ever the idea that they started with. I look at people and say, “Where did you come from?” You then figure out that they did that. They zigzag around until they found a crack they liked and took off through it.

What’s a day in the life of Austin Rutherford that he has boots on the ground and manages or operates from far away? You’ve done tremendously well for years. Hats off to you. You are a sophisticated, driven man. I talked to a lot of people. I’m not blowing smoke up your butt, I’m telling you. That’s a good clip. I’m old. You’ll probably be waving at me from Trump’s plane or somebody is playing while I’m down here still piddling around because you have it going on. Do you teach?

REIS 540 | Stacking Rentals

Stacking Rentals: The markets can change, flipping and wholesale are great. What are you doing to build long-term generational wealth?


Real estate is my baby. I made my money and got what I had. It leads to building a brand on social media as well. I have over one million followers across different platforms. We have coaching programs and affiliates. I have spun up other businesses off of it. It’s a day in the life. A lot of my time is built on the brand. There are three opportunities in this world.

One is real estate. It has created the most millionaires and is going to continue to create millionaires. Two are eyeballs. Eyeballs are currency, in my opinion, like social media and cryptocurrencies. A lot of my time is invested in building a personal brand. We’ve all seen it, the Kardashians and Paul brothers. If you have a big enough brand, you can start a business tomorrow and it would be an overnight success if you have enough people following, believing, and loving you.

I like to write songs in my spare time. I’m writing songs with an artist named Chris Cagle. He has about 750,000 followers after an 8-year hiatus from a record label. He gets paid $500 to do a 20-second video to say happy birthday to someone’s husband or wife. I said, “How often does that happen?” He says, “I have 400 of them to do when I get home.” You got $500 for 400 times for, “Happy anniversary to my lovely wife, Donna. This is Chris Cagle.” Maybe I should have picked up a guitar.

On that subject, I have no idea what I’m saying. In June 2022, he will be dropping his first single we co-wrote so listen for Even When She’s Off, She’s On and another song called Take It Like A Man. We’re on our way to writing an album together. I hope we finish together. It will be fun as far as it goes. He’s a great guy and fun to work with. It’s fun to have the chance to ride his coattails into an industry that I don’t know anything about. I’m enjoying the hobby. What’s your brand specializing in?

The brand is anything business finance and real estate. A big portion of it is the real estate side. A big reason I’ve had the success that I’ve had is a lot of people come in just wholesale, flip or buy rental properties, whatever it is but have the ability to do any of the above. If you can go out there and find the deal, which is the most important part, and if you can’t raise money, wholesale it. If you can’t raise money but need money today, flip it. If you can’t raise money and want money in the future, do the BRRRR method and keep it as a rental property. Those are the four topics, wholesale/finding deals, private money, flipping houses, and buying rental properties.

I have an opinion on that too. You got to become good at least at one of those things first. The reason why you need all those tools or strategies in your tool belt is that you are spending all this money on advertising and not every deal fits one strategy. If you had 5 strategies, you got 4 extra chances to make some money on a lead that you might’ve passed on if you were like this. This is my opinion because my way is not the only way to do anything. I always tell these guys, “Let’s get a leg up and become a real pro at wholesaling.”

We’ll learn how to raise some private money or do something like, “Let’s get some money in the bank and your spouse off your a**, telling you that you need to get your job back. Let’s get all that stuff shut down.” Stay focused on one thing. Don’t listen to that thing again and get spread out with the Shiny Object syndrome. Once you’ve knocked the bottom out of that, say, “I got this under control. I know how to do this in my sleep. Let’s pick up another method and another method.” That’s how I see it.

If you were associated with a team or a coach who could guide you down either path, I could see how that would work too. I don’t think a person could go out there on their own or just do the internet and think they’re going to become an expert at five strategies all at the same time. You’d be setting yourself up to get kicked in the teeth. It’s like those contractors. When the contractor says, “What do you do?” “I do it all. I do sheetrock and plumbing.” You’re not good at anything.

I grew up with the saying, “Somebody that chases everything never becomes great in anything.” I agree with you 100%. I started out flipping, became great in that, and then started buying rental properties.

It's not the cost of the money that's important. It's the availability of the money that matters. Click To Tweet

I was wondering if you might have had a different philosophy. I agree that the more mature you get in the business, the more avenues you can open. It’s like, “I’ll even open avenues that I don’t even intend to study.” I’ll buy a course for someone else and say, “You’re going to be my guy that chases pre-foreclosures. No one’s doing it in my office. You’re the guy that does that. Here’s the course and the whole thing. I’ll pay for you to mentor this guy for virtual wholesaling.”

I don’t do virtual wholesaling. I want to make some more money in a different vein. I’ll open up that vein. I’m not going to learn how to virtual wholesale. I’m old. I’m going to do shows and shoot pigs at my ranch. If I want to open up that avenue, that’s how I would do it. Without the funding, you’re stuck in wholesaling or getting the short end of the stick.

My private money course is called Private Money Changes Everything. It’s named that for a reason. You can go out. Anytime you find a deal, you can take it down or pick up the phone. Within a day or two, you have the money at the table. That changes your whole life. There are no limitations on how many houses you can buy that year. That’s a game-changer. Talk to us about how you first started funding your deals and matured into funding your deals.

Private money can 3X to 4X your business without changing anything overnight. It’s getting access to money. When I got into the game, the first property I bought was a rental property. I got a regular mortgage from a bank, put a down payment on it, and realized that might not be the smartest way of doing things. From then to now, it’s all been privately funded through private money. My first flip was a $74,000 purchase and $140,000 rehab. It’s $250,000 raise to fund the deal. People are always like, “Who’s your first person? You can’t borrow money if you don’t have experience.” That’s false, number one. A year before that deal, I met a lady at REIA, networking at a real estate meetup.

We’re like, “What do you do? What do I do?” We talked like, “I retired. I’m rolling my IRA to a self-directed IRA and using that money to invest for myself.” I was like, “That’s cool.” We exchanged numbers and moved on. That deal came about. I called my family and cousins. Honestly, nobody would lend me the money. I was like, “What do I have to do?” It then clicked. I was like, “Let me call this lady from a year ago.” I ended up calling her. She ended up funding the deal at 12% on 2 points, which is crazy because I was 21 years old at the time. I’ve never been through this before. We agreed with the deal and the rest was history after that. That was my intro to private money.

Some people would say 12% in 2 points is very expensive money but it’s all relevant. Were you buying a $1 million house for $250,000? Who cares what the interest rate is? That was an exaggeration. I helped a lot of people raise a lot of private money. On the first of every month, I will pay the $26 million that I have out. I have a few qualifications. I’m not Donald Trump level but there are a lot of people who like to be at my level. I have other levels to go to too. The biggest thing I have to do is get these people out of their heads and squash their limiting beliefs.

Why don’t you think you can get private money? “I’m too young. I don’t have experience. I have a bankruptcy. I’m too fat. I’m too skinny. I don’t speak English very well. I’ve only been in this country three years.” The list goes on and on. It’s like, “Are you done now?”

All of that is s***. It doesn’t matter about you. Charles Manson should be able to get the money from prison. It doesn’t matter how many people he murdered.

If he’s got a $400,000 house and he’s going to give someone a first lien for a $200,000 loan because you can buy this house for $200,000, the people are either going to get paid as agreed, in your case, 2 points and 12%, you’re going to get your $200,000 house, which is a lot better than getting the 12%. Who cares who you are? What is the deal? What does this guy get? What are you promising him to get? What does he get if you don’t make it? The answer to those is good enough in both cases and then you get the money.

I get the same pushback. I always say, “It’s not the cost of the money that’s important. It’s the availability of the money that matters.” I paid her a lot of interest. I made $107,000 net profit on that deal. I was 22 years old. That changed my life forever.

Let’s go through the three scenarios. You don’t have the money and pay 12%. You make zero. If you had the money, what would you have made? $127,000, $147,000 or you could just make a measly $107,000 because you had to pay 12%? When you have no money, you’re a professional deal finder. If you have the deal, paperwork, and the contract in your hand, you’re in control. You can demand to get paid.

When you don’t have money, you’re a professional deal finder and contract writer. You’re going to trade time and expertise because you don’t have any money. You get a lot of money now, like Austin over here, that he doesn’t have to trade his time anymore. He doesn’t even have to trade his money because he has the connections. He has the tie to the private money spigot.

REIS 540 | Stacking Rentals

Stacking Rentals: You have to get on top. You have to get enough critical mass to get on top.

The amount of deals I’ve been able to do from buying from other wholesalers is because I have access to money. You don’t even get to bust your head finding those deals, making the 10,000 phone calls to get that 1st deal. If you can have access to private money, you can flip houses off of that.

That’s a good point. It’s how much it costs you wholesalers out there because you haven’t taken a course in raising private money and haven’t mastered raising private money. It’s costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars per transaction.

You can assign a deal and make $10,000 to $20,000 or you can flip it and make $40,000 $60,000 and $80,000.

That’s what I do in my scenario. Let’s say I sell a house owner financing. I’m getting $10,000 or $12,000 down, which is equal to whatever the assignment for you would be. The guy who wholesaled his contract is done. He made $10,000 or $12,000. I got $10,000 or $12,000 down and then they still owe me 360 Payments, of which I profit net cashflow of $500 a month. That’s $180,000 owed to me in the future. That’s how much that wholesaler lost. He lost $180,000 in the future because he couldn’t find the private money. Have I made you a wholesaler sick yet?

I don’t mean to make you sick but I’m trying to impress you. Go to someone who knows how to do private money. Go to me or anyone. I don’t care who you go to. The goal of this show is to help the people out there who haven’t found their financial independence figure out how to quit their job, live, and be the person they’re supposed to be. I don’t care if you pick him or me. I’d love to work with you. If we don’t fit, I’ll tell you and send you to someone else or help you find the right person. Do you teach people how to raise private money?


It doesn’t matter who you learned it from. What matters is that you figure it out. It’s awesome if you have hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions of dollars in a career.

You need to learn it. That’s the key. Raising money can multiply your business without changing anything. You don’t have to send out more marketing, make more phone calls or hire a bigger acquisitions team. All you got to do is get access to private money. To put into perspective, I’ve raised tens of millions of dollars. It’s usually 1 or 2 text messages and the property is funded.

This is the first time I have in years that I’ve had to work to raise money. I probably texted 10 people and called 10 other people. I was like, “This is the first time I’ve ever had to try to raise money before.” I was scrolling through my Rolodex on my phone. I was reaching out to anybody that I thought could potentially have money. People say, “I don’t know anybody.” You know somebody. You just need to reach out to them.

You call anyone you know and say, “Do you know somebody that would like to loan me X amount of dollars on 2X worth of property?” You don’t have to ask that person if they want to do it. If they want to do it, they’ll tell you. For me, there are some people I can ask directly because I know them that well or because I’m that confident. If you ask someone, “Do you want to loan me? Can I borrow some money from you?” They get in the boxing stance. If you say, “Do you know somebody who wants to do this loan?” They’re like, “What about me?” They were like, “I know someone. It’s me. Can I do it?”

Raising money can multiply your business without changing anything. Click To Tweet

There are ways to talk to people to get them to ask you the question that you want to be asked so that you can talk about it. They’ll walk you into the room where the conversation you want to talk about. It’s NLP, scanned responses. Let’s do an example of one. Let’s say we meet in an elevator and I’m going to ask you what you do. You say anything but real estate-related. You’re a sharp-dressed man. May I ask what you do for a living?

I’m a doctor.

What kind of doctor?

I’m a brain surgeon.

Do you have a card? Do you take clients?


I know some people that are having some issues like that. Let me have your card. I get the card so I’m in control. I decide whether we will ever talk again because I have the card. You got to look at the card real intently and go, “I almost struck out to be a doctor but I chose a different path.” You then shut up and stare at him. It’s like, “What did you do that was better than a doctor? How come you didn’t do what I do?” “I buy stock. I’m rich.” “What did you do?”

They’re going to ask you. I made you ask me. “I help people invest their idle money and pay them above average rates of return. I give them very valuable Texas real estate as collateral.” I wanted to tell him that if I walked up to him and told him, I needed him to ask me, “What do you do for a living,” so I could do my elevator pitch.

They’ll say, “You’re one of those house flipper guys?” Everybody wants to tell you about that. I’ll say, “I pay rates between 8% and 12% depending on what we got going and what the risk level is.” None of it is any magnitude of risk. If they show any interest at all then I know to call them. If they’re not interested at all, it’s okay. I still might send them a deal like, “Do you know anybody that wants to loan $500,000 on this $1 million apartment complex?”

They didn’t sound as though they wanted to but I’m going to take a couple of potshots at them with some real deals that are ready to go. I’m going to ask them, “We met in the elevator. I got this smoking deal. Do you know anybody that would want to do this? It’s a 50% or 40% loan to value.” I like to do that when I know there are wealthy and successful people.

REIS 540 | Stacking Rentals

Stacking Rentals: There are three opportunities in today’s world. One is real estate.


I may need $0.60 on the dollar. I may need to borrow $60,000 on a $100,000 house but I want this guy to do business with me. I’m going to put $20,000 of my money and ask him for $40,000 and the first thing position on $100,000. I want to do business with him for a while. That means I’ll have excuses to go to lunch with him or take him a check. I need to get to that other $10 million that I know he has.

Create no-brainer deals. Put some of your money in to meet the big boys. Right when he says yes, I start pitching the same deal to someone else. If they say yes, I pay him off. Walk the same deal around town to as many people as you can. I love the art of raising private money. That’s what I do for my company. My responsibility is to make sure that I have enough money to close whatever comes in the door. Do you have other people in your organization that help you raise money?

I’m with you. I’m that guy that raises the money and builds relationships. We have a similar path. You have to say something interesting for somebody to be interested in what it is that you have to say. My response when somebody asks me what I do is always something along the lines of, “I’m a real estate developer. I teach other people out of potentially earning double-digit returns.”

“I help average people achieve above average rates of return on their idle money and give them very valuable Texas real estate as collateral.” They either get paid as agreed or they get rich. There’s one reason I was curious about your answer. As the head of my company, I have a partner. I never wanted to teach anyone in my organization how to raise the money because they don’t need me per se.

If there’s one piece that could get anyone to walk, it would be that piece. If they could get their hands on all the money they want at the right terms and rate then there’s a real high likelihood that they already know how to buy the houses and sell them. There’s always this one piece that keeps them tethered to me. It’s that they don’t have the money.

We tested our acquisition guys and kept our acquisitions separate from our sales because we didn’t want to even teach 2 pieces of the business to 1 person. Not that it worked for the longest time but we don’t go there fast. For the longest time, I was training people how to do everything and they always left me. They always went broke because Austin made it look easy and then they go out and try to do it. They don’t understand. They saw three balls in the air. Somewhere in the background, there are another ten balls in the air besides that. They don’t understand that.

It’s like, “You made $100,000 this month.” “Yes but you didn’t see how we got there.”

You bought it for $50,000 and sold it for $150,000. They didn’t see the rehab, the office staff, and the insurance payment. All they see is that big check coming in. They don’t see the subtraction. Do you take interns?

I haven’t but I would.

Do you use VAs?

It's never a matter of if something works, it's only a matter of when that thing is actually going to work. Click To Tweet

We use VAs.

I use a lot of VAs. They’re great. I’m using them in my storage business. Mostly the VAs have the easiest job in the world. They don’t have to cold call or anything. They answer the phones and separate the tire kickers and the people who want to shop price from the person who wants storage. If they have a person who wants storage, they send it to my manager. I use it to take the heat off my managers.

I used to try to find VAs myself but I started using a company. I’ll give it a plug. It’s 1000Houses.com/VAHelp. They’ll find whoever you want for whatever business you want. The girl that I worked with, I worked with her for a week. I assumed she was from the United States. She wasn’t. She was in the Philippines. I thought she was from Dallas. I picked up a southern drawl.

People think VAs are super cheap and don’t know what they’re doing. There are a lot of very intelligent virtual assistants that you would have no idea that is not from the US and you can pay them $5 to $10 an hour max. They can be incredible people that will help you with your business. I 100% agree.

If anyone’s interested, you could get a little interview with these guys. They’ll flick whatever you want and talk to them. They’re very affordable because of the exchange rate and all that. These companies even offer them insurance and steady pay. We got a couple of rules. There are regular days off and a couple of holidays. It’s freedom like a human. We talked to some VAs to find out what was important to them.

They can always get someone to offer them an extra dollar an hour. What they wanted was to know that they were going to have a job years from now, if they did a good job and that they were treated not like they were disposable but as a part of the team. Part of that means you have to engage them every week with a contest or some coaching. You got to make them part of the team. How many VAs do you have?

At peak, we have 7 or 8, including cold callers. That’s what we use most of them for but we only have one now.

At the end of the year, we made our three acquisition guys, who all did very well. The youngest guy, who’s only been in the business for a few years, made $220,000 and the least guy made $180,000. It’s a good living. They’re their own person. No one tells them to do anything. They get paid for their success. They’re pretty free but they have to have the discipline to make a living. In 2022, they were supposed to be making cold calls. You can see they were going from 200 a week and then down to making 50 calls a week. It’s a hard, relentless job to do year after year and week after week.

I told them all like, “All of you have to get a VA to do your cold calling. Starting in 2022, you will all make money and we’re going to make you all do it at least for a quarter and then we’ll sit down. If you don’t like it, we’ll change.” It was going to be this guy going to have his VA and this guy was going to have that guy. They said, “Let’s get three of them. We’ll all pool them.” They did 12 deals in the 1st month of training. The VAs are in and out of state. These guys are happier. I have a lot of VAs. They’re very loyal. I like them a lot. Where do you vacation?

REIS 540 | Stacking Rentals

Stacking Rentals: They’re their own person. No one tells them to do anything there. They get paid on their success. They’re pretty free, but they have to have discipline to make a living.

I love Mexico. I’ve never been to Europe. We’re trying to go to Europe in 2022. It’s not necessarily Mexico but the Caribbean on any beaches. There’s the short answer.

I used to go to Playa del Carmen. It was a fishing village and it was wonderful. You were there by yourself or not too many but now it’s blown up. I got to go to Tulum but even Tulum blew up. Are you part of any masterminds?

There’s a guy named Mark Evans called the DM Fam. I’ve been with him for a couple of years.

What’s your theory? Do you get with one and stay or move around?

I get with one and stay. You can build better relationships like that if it’s the right one.

I go to the one because I want to accomplish a task. I want to get myself out of my business. How do I do that? I pick one for that. The other one has some other issues so I went and stayed for two years with that one. I’ve got that issue solved. With 2 to 3 years, you’re pretty bonded with the guy. You then go to the next one and meet another set of people with a whole different set of talents and probably focus on a whole different thing. At least that’s how I’m doing it. What would you say to the young guys coming up where this is a dream for them but they don’t know what they don’t know?

The biggest thing is the internal mental battles that we play with ourselves, whatever the excuses. You didn’t grow up right, are too young, don’t have experience or money. They’re all excuses. Always go back to the saying that it’s never a matter of, “If this works.” If you look at you and me, there is plenty of success and proof of concept but people still think, “Does real estate work?”

It’s never a matter of, “If something works.” It’s only a matter of when that thing is going to work. When I would say, “No one gives up,” it took me 16 months to do my 1st deal. Had I quit anytime between then, it wouldn’t work out but 16 months later, I made $107,000 net profit and my life was changed forever. It’s never if. It’s only when.

It’s not a question of, “If it works,” the question is, “Do you work? Are you going to work at it long enough and hard enough to get it to do?” We’re two guys. There are hundreds and thousands of people there with all different strategies. I like what you said about Think and Grow Rich. That’s one of the books that changed my life. I had an a-ha moment. You have a college degree probably because you played basketball.

I dropped out.

I went to two semesters in college. I was starting to get down on myself at about 28 years old because all my friends had these jobs. I came to find out my greatest blessing is that I didn’t have that $100,000 a year job in 1970 because they all still have those jobs. I passed them because I didn’t have a choice. I had to figure out how to make some money. The cool thing was when I figured out how to improve the money-making process, I was a 100% beneficiary of the increase.

REIS 540 | Stacking Rentals

Think and Grow Rich

It’s Think and Grow Rich and Nothing Down by Robert Allen, in which the man had the audacity to suggest that I could be rich in real estate with no money. I got to read this book. If being broke is a requirement, I can buy the whole town tomorrow. The other one was what you alluded to, which is Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. It’s all about what’s between right here. That’s the only thing in the world that’s messing you up. You don’t think right.

It’s 90% here and then 10% out to you. You got to believe and be confident in yourself.

You got to convince yourself that you can. There are ways to trick yourself into things. It’s repetition. There’s a reason why, in Vietnam, Hanoi Jane was over the speakers at the POW camps telling our American soldiers they were a piece of crap 24 hours a day on loudspeaker. It’s because you can’t listen to a message constantly and keep it out of your system. Very few people can do it.

If they know that works negatively, what works in a positive is flipping around, bombarding yourself with them, and hanging around people that can show you how, are enthusiastic, get you to flip that around, and make your mind take a different path. Those are three good books, Think and Grow Rich, Nothing Down by Robert Allen, and Psycho-Cybernetics on how this thing’s working right here. You got to watch yourself talk. Who do you think you talked to the most in your whole life?


You got to be real careful about how you’re treating yourself. Do you ever make it to San Antonio?

I don’t. If I do, I’d be in touch 100%.

We’ll do anything but play basketball. Let’s talk about your course and what you have to offer. I’m going to send everyone to 1000Houses.com/StackingRentals. Tell us about what you’re teaching and how your program works.

It’s got four topics. It’s how to find deals. There’s nothing without finding a deal so that’s the most important part and then how to wholesale that if you want to, if you’re starting and looking to start stacking some money, and then if you want to grow and build wealth, how to raise private money, flip houses and buy rental properties. It helps you grow in the real estate business.

It’s a super logical pathway. If you sat down to figure it out yourself, you’d probably take that exact path because there’s a reason why he named them in that order. Please go to 1000Houses.com/StackingRentals. Get over there and find out what’s going on with Austin Rutherford and get involved.

You got to take a step. If you don’t take a step, you’re going to stay where you’re standing. That’s not going to work. What’s the worst they can do to you? They can’t take your birthday away. You get out there and take some chances. You’re going to fall down a couple of times. It will be all right. Get up and dust yourself off. You might even get a black eye or a tooth knocked out. Guess what? They can put them back. It’s all going to work out. Thanks, Austin. I appreciate you.

I appreciate it.


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About Austin Rutherford

REIS 540 | Stacking RentalsAt the age of 20 years old Austin bought his first rental property in Dec 2013. He then went on to flip his first house making over $100,000 in profit and since has wholesaled and flipped hundreds of houses.




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