JF2474: From Beginner to Full Time Investor in 3 Years with Austin Glanzer
Austin Glanzer is the owner of Glanzair Properties and 717 Home Buyers. He began his real estate investing journey 3 years ago when he bought his first triplex. Austin talks about how he made his full-time real estate investing goals a reality by living below his means and making his money work for him, instead of constantly working for his money.
Austin Glanzer Real Estate Background:
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Theo Hicks: Hello, Best Ever listeners and welcome to the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show. I’m Theo Hicks and today we’ll be speaking with Austin Glanzer. Austin, how are you doing today?
Austin Glanzer: Hey, I’m doing really well. I’m happy to be here, so thanks for having me on the show.
Theo Hicks: No problem. Thank you for joining us. A little bit about Austin. He is the owner of Glanzer Properties as well as 717 Home Buyers. He’s been a full-time real estate investor for three years and he’s done about 20 wholesales, four flips, and two house hacks. He is based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and his website is realestatejumpstart.com. Austin, do you mind telling us some more about your background and what you’re focused on today?
Austin Glanzer: A little bit about my background is I’ve always kind of wanted to get started into real estate. My mom has always kind of had an idea of staging houses. Like when I was younger, she used to paint the rooms in our house quite often and rearrange the furniture. From a young age, I was like, “This is cool. I could get behind investing in real estate.” I used to watch House Hunters late at night as a kid, so I always kind of had an idea that I wanted to get into business, get into real estate. I went to Lancaster Bible College here in Pennsylvania for a business degree, and through that, I got a job at a ministry, just working specifically in the business side of the ministry. I just decided that I wanted to start trying to let my money work for me instead of me working for money.
I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which was a pretty influential book, and just started thinking creatively about how to do investing. I decided I wanted to get started in real estate, so I started to do a ton of research, bought a couple of properties with my wife, and now I’m full-time. Trying to wholesale, flip, buy rentals, buy and hold. I guess the goal of this conversation is to help people get started in either wholesaling, buying rentals, or house hacking really, just giving some advice for maybe the younger audience or someone who’s fairly new to real estate.
Theo Hicks: Thank you so much, first of all, for sharing that background. Yeah, that’s what I want to focus on today – you’re newer, and you have a website called Real Estate Jumpstart. Let’s first talk about your first deal. Was that a flip, a wholesale, or a house hack?
Austin Glanzer: My first real estate deal was a house hack. I told my wife I really wanted to get started in real estate and she was cool with it. She was like, “Yeah, let’s do this.” So I said, “Why don’t we try to save up our money and buy a house cash and try to fix it up so we wouldn’t have a mortgage? We wouldn’t have any payment on it except for the taxes and expenses.” That was my original goal. I wanted to do that. Then I started doing research on houses in my area, I realized houses are pretty expensive and it would be really hard in the long run for us to save up to do that. Then I heard about house hacking. A lot of people have talked about it on your show, but buy one unit, rent out the other or do it with a triplex or a fourplex and realize “Wow, we can achieve our goal of living for free a lot quicker if we house hacked.”
I started doing a ton of research on that and I told my wife, “Hey, let’s try to find something for 100,000.” Then it went to 200,000 and then all of a sudden, we’re buying a 300,000 dollars triplex. We bought that, it was turnkey, it needed some work on it. The guy who flipped it didn’t finish stuff as he told us he would, so we ended up having to put some more work into it. But we lived in one unit and rented it out two, and we were able to cover our mortgage payment, all of it, and actually cashflow 200 dollars to live in that unit for our first one. So we ended up making 200 dollars to live within the first year of setting that goal which was pretty cool.
Theo Hicks: Was there any pushback from your wife about doing the house hack strategy or was she on board right away?
Austin Glanzer: She was totally on board with it. My problem was I didn’t understand it well enough to really set good expectations for our marriage, the timing of everything, and the work that would be involved. She was like, “Hey, let’s do it. I think it’d be great for investing in our future.” Then I ended up opening up a huge can of worms. The guy we bought it from, as I said, he said he was going to finish some stuff in the unit and didn’t do it. We ended up having to pay I think an extra 8,000 dollars to fix some things up in our unit. That added a little bit of tension I would say to newly married, buying a property, fixing it up, just because I didn’t explain it well and because I didn’t have good knowledge. But we’re both very happy that we did that. And we did it again. We bought a duplex and rented out that triplex now. So I think things went well enough that we did it again.
Theo Hicks: That’s a good point. The issue is more along the lines of having to do the extra renovations while living in that unit and she had no issue living with other people?
Austin Glanzer: That was not an issue. I will say though, we inherited tenants. We bought it and there were some tenants in the two units. One was great and then the other two were two dudes that we had some problems with that I think, you run into your first rental and you just don’t know how to handle the little issues. That added some stress but we got through that. Now I kind of know how to handle things a little bit better.
Theo Hicks: I’m assuming that you were working at the time of this house flip at the ministry. Now as you’re a full-time real estate investor, does that mean that you no longer work that job?
Austin Glanzer: Yes, I’m full-time into wholesaling, into flipping, and full-time just trying to buy rentals for our portfolio. My wife works full-time still, she’s a children’s ministry director at our church. I was working at the Christian Gap Year Program and she was working at our church. So we were both full-time and that’s how we were able to build the capital to do our first deals.
Theo Hicks: Can you walk us through the transition from working full time to doing real estate full time? How did that come to be? Did it kind of just happen? One day you’re like, “Okay, I’m ready to go full-time.” Was it a planned thing or once you hit a certain number, I’ll leave. Maybe walk us through that.
Austin Glanzer: I had a friend from church that also house hacked. We didn’t know each other very well but he bought a triplex right around the same time I bought a triplex. We were talking, we got together for breakfast, and through that he said, “I’m pretty good at marketing and it sounds like you’re pretty good at sales and talking to people. Why don’t we just start a partnership and see if we can start getting off-market deals to buy more properties.” I was like, “Yeah, cool. Let’s just do it on the side.” We were both working full-time. Anyway, we built a website, we built 717 Home Buyers, which is our area, and started running ads to it, Google Ads, because my business partner, he’s really good at really all things SEO, PPC, those types of things.
No joke and this does not work out like this for everybody. But in our first 24 hours, we got a lead, we were able to get it under contract, and then we wholesaled that house for over 40,000 dollars profit. I was “Oh, okay. There’s actually an opportunity here to make some money.” So that’s how we got started. Really, we got lucky and blessed that we had that first deal to give us a lot of capital to expand the business.
Theo Hicks: Seriously? After that first deal, was that when you quit?
Austin Glanzer: No, I liked my job. I really liked all the people that I was working with. I think I stuck around… I was doing this on the side for probably 6 to 8 months, I was full-time working and doing this on the side wholesaling and trying to buy off-market properties. The reason I quit my job was one, I could focus on the business, but two, I was just busy. We were getting leads on our website quite a bit and I would have to drive out to look at houses and I just felt like I was cheating my job. Because I had a flexible job and spending more time on the real estate side and I just said, “Hey, this has really taken off. I think I should go full-time into the business.” They totally understood. That’s what happened. It was probably about, I want to say 8 months, then I went full-time.
Theo Hicks: Are you guys still house hacking?
Austin Glanzer: Yup. We bought the triplex, and then we lived in that for a year because we did an FHA loan, so you have to live in it for one year. Then it was right around the same time that we were able to do a conventional loan 5% down on the next one. That is still kind of difficult to do if you have an FHA. We were able to buy our duplex in an opportunity zone, which really most opportunity zones, people say our rundown areas, but ours was in a very fine area in our city. So because of an opportunity zone, there were some extra benefits to purchasing this house with less money down so we were able to buy a duplex then with 5% down. We’re currently living in that and we just had a baby so we’re looking for a single-family now.
Theo Hicks: Yeah, that’s what I was going to ask you. Is the house hack strategy done now and now you are just going to live in your own home and then continue with the flips in the wholesales?
Austin Glanzer: Oh, yeah. I definitely want to hold my properties long-term. I have a friend now managing my triplex and then I’ll have my friend manage my duplex as well so I can focus on the business. But I want to hold them for the long term. The Lancaster, Pennsylvania area, if there are any listeners from this area or even just the Philly area in general. It’s just appreciating very, very quickly and if I feel like if I can hold my properties for a while, they’ll be worth a decent amount and continue to cash flow for me. It’s kind of a long-term goal for me with those.
Theo Hicks: Okay, Austin, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?
Austin Glanzer: I think the best advice I can give somebody, I read the book The Millionaire Next Door and that was pretty eye-opening for me. Because in that book, they talked about how –I want to say it was like– 80% of millionaires you would never know they are millionaires. Because they live quiet lives, they live in modest homes and that’s the reason they’re millionaires. I think my best real estate or best investing advice would be to live below your means. Because if you have extra money, which is what my wife and I did, we were saving her income living on mine, you just don’t know what opportunities are going to present themselves to you. If you have that extra cash by living below your means, you can jump on some cool opportunities and expand your investing portfolio.
Theo Hicks: Alright, Austin. Are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?
Austin Glanzer: Yes, I’m ready.
Theo Hicks: Perfect. First, a quick word from our sponsor.
Theo Hicks: Okay. Hopefully, we didn’t get ahead of ourselves with the Best Ever advice but what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?
Austin Glanzer: I mentioned the Millionaire Next Door, but I actually go back and I’m sure so many people have said this, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. If you haven’t read that book, you need to read it, you need to listen to it. That’s the book that influenced me the most when it comes to just thinking about my money, having my money work for me, buying assets, thinking about your taxes differently. If you haven’t read that, you definitely need to. I’m sure it’s a cliche answer but it really is so good.
Theo Hicks: If your business were to collapse today, what would you do next?
Austin Glanzer: I probably would try to do the same thing in a different market. Because I’m having a lot of success just with learning how to talk to motivated sellers and learning how to negotiate on houses. If 717 Home Buyers collapsed, I would probably try to do it in a different market. Then if that didn’t work, I would probably do something ministry, I would maybe go back to my old job helping college students. That might be what I would do.
Theo Hicks: Tell us about a time that you lost money on a deal. How much you lost and what lessons you learned.
Austin Glanzer: The very first flip that I did with my business partner. My wife and I house hack, my business partner and I, we wholesaled some houses, we made a little bit of money, we decided we wanted to flip a house. I told my wife, I was like, “Hey, yeah. I think we want to flip this thing.” She said, “What’s the worst-case scenario if you were to do this?” I said, “The house burns down?” Well, it turns out the first house we flipped, a contractor caught the house on fire. I got a phone call from 911 and said, “Hey, it sounds like you’re the owner of this property. It’s on fire.” The house didn’t burn to the ground. I wish it would have, we probably would have made money if it burned to the ground. But it got burned just enough that we needed to redo a ton of stuff. The insurance payout wasn’t enough to cover up all the expenses and I think we ended up losing over 20,000 dollars on that when it was all said and done. Yeah, the first one, it was a big stinger, for sure.
Theo Hicks: Did you keep using the contractor?
Austin Glanzer: No, that was a sore subject. We were friends and a sore subject.
Theo Hicks: Let’s talk about a less sore subject and let’s talk about the Best Ever deal you’ve done.
Austin Glanzer: We’ve had a couple of really good wholesales. I mentioned that first one we did but we did another one. We got this house, they came through our website, they needed to sell really, really quickly. Honestly, we actually didn’t realize how good of a deal we got on this house. I think I got them under contract for 85,000. We were thinking about buying it ourselves at 85,000 dollars to flip and then we were like, “Well, let’s just see if we have anybody who might want to purchase this directly from us.” So we wholesaled it, sent it to a couple of buyers and the people got into a bidding war. I think our selling price on that was 123,000. We got it for 85,000, we bought it and sold it that day. and we sold it for 123,000. We stood a pretty good profit there and we didn’t do anything to it. We just bought it that day and then sold it that day.
Theo Hicks: What is the Best Ever way like to give back?
Austin Glanzer: I’ve mentioned this. I’ve worked a ministry job, my wife works at our church, and we’re pretty into giving to our church. We make sure we get to our church and then we give to a lot of missionaries and just single people who are going across the world to share about the bible. We probably give to maybe five different missionaries that are doing some cool projects in Europe and in South America. We’re pretty focused on those areas.
Theo Hicks: And then lastly, what’s the Best Ever place to reach you?
Austin Glanzer: I’m very active on my website, realestatejumpstart.com, and I’m actually pretty active on TikTok too. I found just some success and making real estate videos on that. If you just look up Austin Glanzer on TikTok, I’m pretty active and make a lot of videos on there. You could also reach me on my Instagram, Austin Glanzer, so you’ll find me on there too.
Theo Hicks: I wish you would have talked about TikTok earlier. I would have to ask you some more questions about that. I talked to someone last week who had a lot of success on TikTok. It was just fascinating to learn about that. So really quickly, what types of things are you doing on TikTok?
Austin Glanzer: I couldn’t believe that I grew on there as quickly as I did. I just started throwing little videos about things I was learning on there and I got a couple of videos that got multiple million views. It was right when coronavirus and lockdowns were happening so people were getting on TikTok. I got up to 80,000 followers on there and I’ve been pretty active ever since just posting simple real estate advice, a lot about wholesaling, how to get started in wholesaling. I know a lot of the people on TikTok are younger so I actually created a really easy course for people to follow on realestatejumpstart.com for people who want to get started in wholesaling. I post a ton of tip videos on there. A lot about what we’re doing in our business. My videos keep getting views so I think people like them, which is cool.
Theo Hicks: That is cool. Make sure you share your interview on this podcast with your 80,000 followers.
Austin Glanzer: Oh, yeah. I definitely will.
Theo Hicks: So, Austin, thank you so much for joining us today. We talked about your first deal, your first house hack, how you came across that. It’s fascinating that you went from wanting to buy a house all cash to getting a really low down payment option. I liked how you position it saying that the reason why you wanted to buy a house all cash was that you wanted to live for free, in a sense, at least had no mortgage payment. You bought the house hacking strategy that helped you accomplish that exact same goal faster, so I like the way you positioned that. We also talked about how you transitioned from a full-time W2 job to full-time real estate and we were able to do that through a business partner, someone who had complementary skill sets. You worked a job for about six to eight months and then essentially just became too busy with real estate. It got to the point where you had to make a choice between the two.
Your Best Ever advice, which was to live below your means. Then we obviously talked about your TikTok as well. So, Austin, thank you so much for joining us today. Best Ever listeners, as always, thank you for listening. Have a Best Ever day and we’ll talk to you tomorrow.
Austin Glanzer: Thank you very much.
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