3 tactics a real estate rookie can use to scale up fast, from the 'clever investor' Cody Sperber who's flipped over 1,000 houses

  • Cody Sperber is a real estate investor and educator who started with nothing and has now transacted hundreds of millions in real estate.
  • From starting out with $30,000 of debt to now having flipped over 1,000 homes, Sperber has advice for real estate investors just starting out. 
  • Getting educated and finding the right mentorship are two critical factors that Sperber says play a role in finding success. 
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Cody Sperber started investing in real estate with no money to his name. Now, he's done hundreds of millions in deals.

Beginning his investment journey with $30,000 worth of credit card debt and a "hustler's attitude," Sperber did his first deal wholesaling, an investment strategy in which an investor finds heavily discounted real estate and then sells it to a cash buyer. He turned the deal into a $40,000 profit, and eventually began rehabbing houses, similar to what you'd see on home renovation shows.

Along the way, he would cherry-pick his best deals to keep as rentals, too. 

Sporting the nickname the "clever investor," Sperber utilizes a number of investment strategies from flipping to wholesaling to renting. He shared his top three tips for anyone who's just getting started investing in real estate. 

1. Get educated

It's critical that beginners equip themselves with the right tools to get deals done, according to Sperber.

For instance, Sperber said, he started his real estate investment journey flying all over the country, going to seminars and workshops, and buying dozens of courses trying to get started.

Attending a real estate seminar in San Francisco put on by a real estate guru named Jack Miller was a particular game-changer for him. "That one event changed my life. When I walked into that room, I knew instantly it was different than any other event I had ever gone to. Jack was the real deal, and his community was full of dealmakers." 

Sperber encourages real estate newbies to do everything they can to gain more specialized knowledge, whether it's watching videos on YouTube, listening to podcasts, or reading books. That way, you'll know your options when it comes to unique investing options you can take advantage of, from wholesaling to "bird dogging," in which an investor essentially finds and brings a deal to a wholesaler, to even more strategies.

2. Find mentors

"Get as much exposure as you can to people who are already successful in real estate at a very high level." Sperber said.

And the critical next step is asking them the right questions, he added. "How did you get your start in real estate? If you could start all over again from the beginning, what would you do differently?" and "What would you tell someone in my position about getting started in real estate?" are all questions beginner investors should be asking.

He credits much of his success in real estate with the mentorship of an "old-timer" named Lyle Wall, who quickly became Sperber's mentor after they met at a real estate seminar.

"I knew his mentorship was the piece I was missing," Sperber said. "I convinced him to take me on as a student, and over the next 30 days he taught me more than the previous nine months of books and tapes. When looking for a mentor, find someone doing exactly what you want to do and have them map out a blueprint for you to follow."

3. Trust the process

Sperber said pitfalls are part of the game, and not to let setbacks get you down.

His first nine months in real estate were all about trying to learn the ropes, but to little success. Nearly a year into his journey he was $30,000 in credit card debt and still hadn't done a single deal. But with persistence, a knowledgeable mentor, and the right education, he said the right opportunities eventually came his way. 

"Whenever you're doing something big and bold that's very profitable, like real estate investing, you're going to face rejection and get pushed around," Sperber said.

"Don't let that discourage you. Remember, you are one call or one deal away from changing the rest of your life."

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