Quit Forfeiting Time for Dollars with Neil Timmins

Longing to quit forfeiting time for dollars, Neil moved into real estate investing. While he still owns a company that completes wholesale, novation, and rehab transactions, Neil’s passion is cash flow investing in commercial real estate. Like so many other investors, Neil began with single-family homes but has progressed into assets consisting of apartments, offices, and industrial space.

In today’s episode, Neil is going to share his story of what brought him into real estate investing, why he does what he does, and how to help you quit forfeiting time for dollars.

Listen to the podcast here:

Quit Forfeiting Time for Dollars with Neil Timmins

Shannon Robnett  00:37

Welcome back to season three of the Real Estate Rundown, I wanted to start this year off with the right kind of mindset and the right kind of people. And that’s really why brought on the next guest because the next guest has really kind of made his way through life, not necessarily winding up…wanting to wind up in real estate, but he’s really made a splash with over $300 million in personal or in real estate transactions. This guy this guy’s got a lot he can teach all of us and how his journey came about is really what I want you guys to clue on on. So help me welcome to the show. Neil Timmins. Neil, how are you, man?

Neil Timmins  01:18

Hi Shannon. Good. I’m glad to be here. Thanks so much.

Shannon Robnett  01:21

So Neil, you started out as a banker, which up until everybody started raising rates, we loved you big bankers, right? Rates are coming up. We don’t like you so much. But tell us a little bit about your journey. How you went from being a banker to being involved in commercial real estate, where you’re at in your journey? And what’s ahead for you?

Neil Timmins  01:40

Yeah, no, great. So yeah, you’re right back in 2002 I started as a as a banker with with Wells Fargo here and here in Des Moines, Iowa, and was here a couple of years worked my way through that from a traditional banking standpoint. So I did a lot of checking accounts, savings accounts. Second mortgages is really where my little niche was in that world. So very consumer focused, not so much… Our world today focused right on the business side of things very consumer driven. And learned a lot about what was going on about that, and largely about individual consumers I had never seen… and at the time, I just graduated college. And I was one of the… I played played football in college had always had jobs through college. And so I graduated without any debt. I had some money, a couple of dollars in my pocket. And it wasn’t until I got into banking that I realized so many people have so many 10s of 1000s of dollars in credit card debt. And I learned it by seeing these people, I’m gone. That’s never… I’m not signing up for that.

Shannon Robnett  02:47

Well, and you know, that’s, that’s funny, because you know, we’re back in that cycle, right? When did you get out of banking

Neil Timmins  02:54

2004. That’s, that was my first entry point to real estate.

Shannon Robnett  02:58

So you were in there when credit was easy. You know, if you could fog a mirror, you were getting a loan, and people were doing that. And you saw how just because you could borrow money, whether it was on a credit card or on your house or other assets didn’t mean you knew anything about debt, or real estate or investing or any of the things that we think is synonymous with, oh, you own your home, you must be a really smart investor. Right. Right. Yeah. So so as you began to make your transition out of banking into commercial real estate, I mean, what drove that?

Neil Timmins  03:33

Yeah, so you know, out of banking and then into real estate. So I’ll give you the high level, and then we’ll go back, I’ll let you drill down. So I transitioned into being a residential realtor, did that for lots of years, and then eventually finding my way into single family investments, and then find my way about four years ago into commercial real estate in, you know, knowing what I now know, should have been here 20 years ago, right? We should have done this a lot sooner, a lot, a lot faster. You know, I… What transition me, you know, I’ll give you all those iterations. If you like, what transitioned me out of being a banker into into real estate, I was going, you know, the theme of my life has been always at some point making a decision to go, what I’m doing now won’t get me to where I want to go. Right. And the requirement for that to change is I must change.

Shannon Robnett  04:25

You know, and as simple as that sounds, Neil, it’s amazing to me how few people look past Friday. Right? They don’t look at that and they don’t they they look at that from the standpoint that says my boss says I can’t. My spouse says I can’t therefore my limits are right there. Right. Yeah. When the reality is you can do whatever you’d like. But it’s going to take something different. Like you said, if I don’t change, nothing’s going to change. So I want more than what I current have so I’ve got to figure out what that change needs to be to go get more, but it’s mind boggling how many people get stuck in that loop and never see that there’s multiple exits to that.

Neil Timmins  05:12

That and, you know, I learned early on probably just before I got that role at Wells Fargo, you know, somewhere between college and getting a real job you learn Alright, well, it’s not it’s not really that easy. It took me a while to to land that first job is you know, I’m the common denominator, everything that happens in my life, I’m the common denominator, right? So if you don’t like what you’re doing, it’s you.

Shannon Robnett  05:35

It’s amazing, you know, whether it’s we don’t want accountability or we just don’t see that far. How many people do that? So when you got into residential real estate and you know, I’m fourth generation realtor, so I’ve been there done that too. You know, you really go from… so you are trading time for somebody else’s dollars and completely, you know, you were just literally showing up punching a clock you didn’t do any advertising. No, no really anything. You just waited for the business a walk in the Wells Fargo door. Now you’re out you got your own shingle. You know you went to real estate school you learned all the things you learned in your two week class you got your license, and then you realize that none of that stuff was ever going to be used again in your real estate life. That’s right. And you were immediately successful and everything was roses.

Neil Timmins  06:23

You know what? It’s funny is… my first my first year I got a kind of got an interested in the other side of the coin, if you will, is my first year I sold 32 houses I’m rounding 32 houses was Rookie of the Year. Second year I sold 79, 30 I sold 100 And something fourth year, fourth and a half year I was the number one REMAX agent in Iowa when I was 29 years old. Maybe somewhere maybe that was your five I owned a REMAX.

Shannon Robnett  06:53

Yeah, when you posted those kind of numbers, your four and a half your five, I mean, it could kind of blend together.

Neil Timmins  07:00

So but what happens? So all that look good. And you know, fast forward another year or two into it, and I’m coming home. I’ve got three little kids. I’m doing 68 hours a week. I’m working every day of every week, my second year in real estate to work 355 days of the year.

Shannon Robnett  07:19

In 10 days off for me. Yeah,

Neil Timmins  07:20

I know. I know. So I you know, I get six-ish years in somewhere in that range. I’ve got three little kids at this point, all in the age of four. I’ve come home at this point in the evening. And my wife’s got all the kids packed up in the car and she says she’s leaving for good. Yep. And everything I thought I was doing this all for right all the stories I would tell myself and I’m I’m the man I’m delivering this and for me it wasn’t largely about you know, stuff or the big house. I’m particularly flashy. It is just like I’m, I’m the creator, I’m the I’m the I mean, I’m the man who’s doing this for his family for everything that’s think I’m this is a story I’m telling myself, right? And all they ever wanted wasn’t a single thing. All they ever wanted was time. Time with me. And again, I was at another one of those moments in my life to go well, if I don’t change, nothing will change. I begged I pleaded with her. I said I will make a change. She agreed to give me a little slack. Not much. 45 days later, I sold my REMAX.

Shannon Robnett  08:25

Yeah, you know, I heard I was at an event this last weekend with Ken McElroy. And he talked about raising kids and half the time or half the money and twice the time. Doesn’t matter what you think it is. Half the money and twice the time. You know. And it’s so funny, you know, we as entrepreneurs, because it’s not just a man thing versus a woman thing. It’s as entrepreneurs correct. We get in our mind that ever says there, we have to go to the top. We can’t stay Basecamp we can’t do this. We can’t We can’t be content with 50 houses a year. No, no, no, no, we’ve got to sell all 80. They called. I gotta go, you know. And we turn ourselves into these machines. So you went for trading your time for corporate dollars, which very little? Yep, you got a lot of the shiny stuff. Now you’re trading all your time. For a lot more dollars, which is just enough. That’s just the way the devil likes it. Right? Just just right down the road of what you need. And you’ve got a crisis. That sounds like a big crisis.

Neil Timmins  09:35

Correct. Yeah. A real life… Real life one that you know, dollars dollars don’t fix right? What is the Jim Rohn? Maybe the one who says it right? If you can write a check for it. It’s not a problem.

Shannon Robnett  09:49

Yeah, you know, this is legit, but they’re pretty smart. That’s very true.

Neil Timmins  09:53

So I had a real issue a real a real problem. The problem ultimately was, you know, the path I was on and that’s what You don’t write a check to solve this one, someone’s gotta change.

Shannon Robnett  10:04

So, so now you’re you’re, you’re out of the real estate business. Build your business. Yep. And life was happily ever after you had more money, you know, what to do with life was good.

Neil Timmins  10:15

Took, took a handful of months off. I was absolutely. I mean, I don’t know what clinical depression actually looks like, but if I’m gonna guess I was awfully close to it I just completely, just totally down, you know, and that’s largely because how I identified myself was dead. Right, I identified myself wrongly so as being I’m only successful as a person if I’m successful in business.

Shannon Robnett  10:47

You know, but how often as as men, we do that? You know, I, it’s not that I don’t believe that women can. It’s just that as men, we do that a lot. But how often do we do we see that and then what we thought life was, you know, I mean, from what I’m hearing, you say, Neil, all of these constructs are your own. None of these. Somebody’s pushing you and saying, hey, you know, what, if you don’t give me a new Lamborghini, stationwagon, I’m leaving you? Right? And all of those things that these are self, these are self created. Delusions, are they feelings, you know, I mean, you’re doing this, they’re…

Neil Timmins  11:28

All the stories, we tell ourselves the identity that we form as a,as an individual, right? You know, the identity we form. And then the stories that, you know, we all see life, through, we all see life the same exact way. And then we run it through a filter. Right?

Shannon Robnett  11:43

Right. So now you’re clinically depressed, you’ve got all the money in the world, you got the wife and the kids and the families all happy, but you have not fixed you.

Neil Timmins  11:52

Yeah, well, well, I had to do two things. First, I had to fix me mentally, which meant, which meant deep diving, reading, getting out of this and identifying, constructing, you know, detaching myself from… as a as a person of success and a business person of success. One on one that goes, goes to work and you know, clearly has a door that one does comes through, right, they are two totally… Yeah, we’d like to say they’re totally separate things. And ideally, they need to be they blend as real hard. It’ll hard even even when you can identify this and yourself. It’s really…

Shannon Robnett  12:30

Yeah. So then, yep. At one point there, you’re now you had plenty of money. Now you have… I mean, you had a sale, that’s great. And exits, always good. But at some point that money runs out.

Neil Timmins  12:42

Yeah, I mean, I had money, I, again, I’ve lived fairly frugally over the course of many years. So I just wasn’t a big spender and always, always made a fair bit of money. But I was at a point where you’re gone. I love to work. I mean, I love creating love doing it is like practically like breathing. So it was time to get back in. And I was like, alright, well, how do I get back in this time? Or how do I go back in and still find a balance for myself? Right? So I focused on, you know, essentially two things. The first and the other realtor side the 80-20 rule, right? 20% of activities yield 80% of the results, I went back through and figuring out what is it that when I was doing it was doing produced my results, right. So ultimately, how can I cut my time, but, you know, helped my time dramatically, but only cut my results partially? So I focused on that. And then I stumbled into investing, which ultimately gave me a lot more time leverage in comparison to the dollars I was achieving, versus being a realtor. Right. And I went down that rabbit hole.

Shannon Robnett  13:50

So I want to back up and I want to hit on this. I don’t know that a lot of people do. You know, but here you are at this point your career sold? Sounds like about 400 houses.

Neil Timmins  14:01

No, I probably sold a lot more than that. Yeah. So I don’t know 7, 8, 900,00 at that point, somewhere somewhere in that range.

Shannon Robnett  14:10

So you’ve sold 1000 homes, roughly. And you just now light bulb going on for investing? Yeah. Now I say that because as a realtor, the only reason I got my real estate license, obviously my mom was a real estate broker all the way back to the Great Depression. My grandfather was a real estate broker. My grandmother, my mother, you know, always came on my mom’s side. And my son is also so we’ve got five generations of real estate, but it’s amazing and it’s mind boggling to me how many realtors don’t understand. So we talked about at the beginning of the show, you know how many people didn’t understand just because they own something or they had a second on their home or that they didn’t understand investing. Then you had realtors that their whole job was to sell. I mean to me that’s like going to go into the, you know, the Mercedes Benz dealer and watching the watching the number one salesman climb into a Datsun to 10. Right. And yet that was not what that is. That is a misnomer that most people think oh you’re you’re a Realtor you know all about investing. So you had to learn.

Neil Timmins  15:19

Yeah I had to learn there’s no doubt about that. Well think of you know my my job as a realtor you know where I made my where I made my money the bread and butter was average home first time homebuyers. Maybe the second time homebuyer just trading up market, you know, coming, you know, while 2006, ’07, ’08 was red hot, yeah, right. And then on the backside of that looked, it looked totally different best you ever had was 2010 when the government, when the market was not good, and the government was giving a whole bunch of money away for first time homebuyers because he gave 10 grand away to a first time homebuyer and in Des Moines, Iowa. 10 grand was a lot of money for a first time homebuyer. Yeah, that’s right. And so you’re absolutely right. Now, I’ve always been a student, I’ve always, I’ve always read a lot. So I’d read around these things over a period of years, and soak some things up and just put pieces in place. But it wasn’t until I was I was at a you know, I would say crisis, if you will, a spot where I had to create a new a new version of a new lifestyle that I actually have to confront that and go Alright, now I actually have to put this in place. 

Shannon Robnett  16:26

Yeah. And you know, I bring that up. Because I know personally in our market, I know that probably the top five agents and I know that three of them only own their own home and a second home.

Neil Timmins  16:36

I believe the exact same. Yeah, no, I know a whole bunch. Same way.

Shannon Robnett  16:40

So when you when you look at that, and I say that for the benefit of our listeners that you know, just because you’re in you talk to somebody that’s a realtor doesn’t mean that they automatically know what investors want what an investor might do, because they may or may not…and likely they are not an investor. So here is another reiteration of Neil’s change in mindset and learning a new skill, because then you become an investor. That’s right. Because your whole goal at this point, you’ve traded time for corporate dollars where you had, yeah, you didn’t they didn’t take all your time, but they shouldn’t leave you with enough money. Correct? You found enough to get away to get more than enough money, but they took all your time. Yep. And now you want to try and create a balance, right? So in doing that, you go into the field of investing,

Neil Timmins  17:29

Going in the field investing, I start with fix and flip, because that’s what that’s what’s on the television show, man.

Shannon Robnett  17:36

Well, those are the best, aren’t they? I mean, you can just get absolutely worn out.

Neil Timmins  17:41

That’s, that’s what’s on the TV. That’s what I saw. And I know guys who do things around town, and I know how to I know how to buy and I know how to sell I know how to price these things at each end of the equation. Really that it really, you know, I don’t know how to fix anything. I don’t know if any hammers up. I always say you know, if my wife ever does leave me I’m taking half of her tools.

Shannon Robnett  18:05

Well, my wife knows when I pull out tools, she better call 911 Because I’m gonna need it in a minute. Yeah, I like that. Yeah. So.

Neil Timmins  18:13

So it’s kind of a high level is, you know, flips and flips lead into single family rentals, and then stumbled my way into an eight Plex and a four Plex. And then eventually, one day about four years ago, I get a call for commercial property. And I have that little you know, we always tell ourselves these stories and for me, it was a conversation I had gone you know, what this industrial buildings 70,000 square feet. Largest grocer in town is the tenant, they’ve got a long term lease on it. And I’m sitting here gone. Man, I don’t know anything about commercial real estate. And I don’t it seems like it’s for somebody else. Somebody who’s got more money, better connections, went to school for this, study this. And so I have all these conversation in my head. And then again, I asked myself the same question this is a question I often ask myself is doing what I’m doing to get me where I want to go. And I’m going I want to live in a on a passive level as close to passive as I can get right buying up assets that are you gonna put property management in place or triple net, to where I can actually get too close to passive and what I learned across the buying dozens and dozens of single family rentals is those things are anything but passive. Those things might be the biggest thorn in headache that exists far more for me far more than any other flip that we would ever experience. And I’ve done hundreds at this point. So I pulled the trigger. I bought that deal. You know, closing the deal. Like 60 days into it. I’m like, You know what, I never hear from this tenant and I’m the property manager this thing. Triple Net deal. Never hear from these people. I’m gone. You know what? I’m onto something here. Yeah. And so now I’m you know, Fast forward four years. I’m seven. And we I think we currently hold seven assets I’ve done about 17 million in transactions in commercial specifically,

Shannon Robnett  20:05

And I watched my dad, luckily, I watched my dad do the iterations of single family and you know, and my dad used to build industrial buildings at, you know, he went from single family to industrial. And then I watched him own a couple of them. And I watched him retire at 50 with cash flow, you know, and I saw how, you know, we just had one of our tenants move out after 18 years. They, so they paid for the building. We walked into the building, we hadn’t been in the building in years, right? walked into the building, they’d added a second floor of offices, they re carpeted, they’d repainted they, they’d added another bathroom. And they never called us to say, Hey, can you do this for us? They never called they just did these things. And while you might be a little bit upset that they did that, at the same time, you’re sitting here going, Gosh, what in the world? Would that be? Like? You know, and the beauty of what you’re talking about what triple net is not, in my opinion, those things, it’s the fact that the triple net part means that when it snows, they pay for it. Yep, the property taxes go up. They pay for it, when the parking lot needs to be resurfaced. They pay for it. So what you’re getting is what you’re netting. When you’re looking at it, it’s $1, a foot for rent, triple net, you’re getting $1 A foot, and then the triple net are the expenses that the tenant pays. So the beauty of that is just an amazing thing. And it’s usually one of the last iterations that that an investor makes, right? I mean, everybody seems to want to go down the path of, and most of it has to do with the function of money and or understanding, right? So you’ve got enough money to buy a house. I know, when I started, I bought a house, I moved, you know, I moved into one, I built another one, I moved into it, I kept doing that until I had enough money to do an industrial building. And, you know, that industrial building I built in 2001. And I still have a business that’s still in it from 2001. They’ve been in there for 21 years, and their business is sold twice. But where else you get to make 2000 square feet of gelato ice cream, you know? So when you get to that point, you really have figured out how to get your time freedom.

Neil Timmins  22:28

Isn’t that why we all got into real estate in the first place? I think we were here for two reasons, money freedom and time freedom. And once you hit money freedom, the correct way, time freedom comes with it.

Shannon Robnett  22:40

Yes. And I think what you did the first time is you hit money freedom. Yep. That just about slammed into the wall and cost you everything. Correct. So then when you rebuilt, you created it in a way that created the lifestyle that you wanted, that allowed you the freedom to do with and what you wanted your time to be. And if there was something that needed to be done with your assets, either you or the current tenant will call and get it taken care of. Correct. Yeah. So I see where you’ve been able to do this and been able to create this. What do you think that is that really brought you that epiphany? I mean, you got the one deal is it was it? Was it just luck that you got the deal? You bought the deal? And then you realized eight months in that holy smokes, this is the unintended consequence, or did you actually read and research and and do it intentionally?

Neil Timmins  23:39

Yeah, good question. No, relative to buying the building? Yes, I did read and research because I want to know, if I’m, if I’m buying a place for real money, putting stroke and real check, I got to know what I’m getting into. And so I did that felt competent at that point. You know, and I’m going through, and it took me a lot, a lot of efforts. The one thing I’ve never been short of is my ability to put forth effort, which is you know, how I ended up in the in a challenging situation personally, from the get go. Because effort, effort I’m not short on. I dig in, you know, part of that part of the challenge when making that transition. And and this is this is part of what I help train folks on now is how to world to get into this into this industry into commercial real estate largely coming from a single family space, is that, you know, you go online and you Google these things, are you going to a forum going to bigger pockets, a lot of good resources, but sooner or later, you’re like dazed and confused, and overwhelmed. Like, oh, which one of these 26 spreadsheets do I use? Right? There’s just so much.

Shannon Robnett  24:40

Analysis paralysis, for sure. Sure. For sure. You wind up with the two people, right? You’ve got the guy that watched every good deal go by thinking well, there’s something wrong with it. It’s too good of a deal or it’s this or it’s that you’ve got the other guy that bought everything that went by with the inability to fix half of it. So he’s got a problem. And yet, somewhere in the middle, you’ve gotta take the action, you gotta make it work. And in that you kind of learn on the run. And that is the benefit of real estate. Right?

Neil Timmins  25:11

Yeah. And we’ve had to, you know, what has done on the backside of that, you know, knowing I did a ton of research, did all these things made a sound decision rewarded with a sound decision, found time freedom on the backside of this, I was like, I’m on to something. Now, how do we hit the repeat button now. And then, as I go through by the next one, again, learn as you go, put new system and new structures in place. And so ultimately, I put systems structure in place to build… to add team members to what it is I’m doing. And then just last year, I launched my education, side of things, my education business to share with four others largely for free. What in the world? How do you even do this? How do you get into this? So that has helped to build some additional structure and systems for the ability to train people and then we happen to benefit from all these things internally, because as we’re, as we’re helping other people get really good sound questions. It helps us, it helps us get sharper at what we do.

Shannon Robnett  26:07

Right. And, you know, the reality is, is when you do that, and I think that’s kind of the final thing that we see most investors do, is they get to that place where I’m doing this. Why can I show others how to do this? Right. And I think that that’s, that’s really a healthy place to be in. It’s in it’s an admirable place to be. But it really continues to hone you continues to educate you, because somebody’s going to come up with some goofy question, right? But at the end of the day, you’ve really come to a place where now you’ve, you’ve learned, you’ve grown, you’ve learned, you’ve grown and now you’re giving back on that. And on top of that, you actually found the time, or you have the time freedom, you’d have the time freedom to write a book.

Neil Timmins  26:54

Yeah. Yeah. Wrote a book here. In 2021, Unicorn Hunting, right?

Shannon Robnett  27:01

Unicorn Hunting, is it you have to get a permit for that?

Neil Timmins  27:06

I love it. Yeah. You know, grind for real estate investment companies. Ultimately, it’s the it’s the complete hiring funnel, it’s really exactly, largely if your SOP driven at all, about 80% of it is SOP based, how do we actually hire what I you know, some maybe some people may call them a players, I call them unicorns, that’s what we’re looking for. Right?

Shannon Robnett  27:28

Well, and, and for my listeners, if you will send me an email at [email protected]. Either mention Neil mentioned unicorn hunting, I will send you a copy of that book for free. So if you guys are listening this far, and you want to copy that book for free not to I’m gonna buy it from you, Neal. So don’t worry. It’s not like I’m still I’m not stealing, stealing your customers. But if you want to book, send me an email [email protected] and I will get that emailed out to you for, just for being one of our listeners. That is really, you know, one of the things that most people lack, I know that when my dad was building his business, everything hinged off of him. Right. There was no SOP when he talked about SOP, you know, he didn’t know how to build a system that was that made him replicatable or replaceable. So at the end of the day, there was nobody that could call in sick because if he wasn’t there, and nothing was happening,

Neil Timmins  28:23

Correct. Yes. The only, the ability to hire, in my opinion, the ability to hire and hire correctly is more valuable, it’s worth more money than the next building you buy.

Shannon Robnett  28:36

Yeah, yeah. Because there’s nothing that can help your business or hurt your business worse than good or bad employees. And we’ve all had both I think, I mean, I know I have.

Neil Timmins  28:47

I got nightmare stories which we’re not going into today. Read the book it’s it’s in there and about ultimately what what you know, why do I want to teach train and you know, commercial real estate and cheer people on hirings? Because this industry the real estate industry has given me so very much the the people like you and the people that connect with all across the country and masterminds and various things I plug into this because I’ve derived so much benefit personally and professionally from it. I feel an absolute responsibility to give back in any which way I can he just just as if so hopefully guys love the book. I’ll tell you what the reason you should email Shannon pastor free copy, you can go on Amazon and get it 49.99 why would why is it 49.99 on Amazon is because this book is worth 10s of 1000s of dollars. If you hiring wrong in the country today I wrote the book a wrong hire on average cost I’m rounding $16,000 is the average cost of a wrong hire today with inflation from two years ago from I wrote the book. It’s certainly higher than that. And so…

Shannon Robnett  29:54

I would disagree with you on that. I would say that it’s definitely and you know, depending on the person should obviously but I’ve never seen a hire only wrong hire only cost me 16 grand. 

Neil Timmins  30:05

Yeah, no, exactly. You’re absolutely right. You gotta you get a wrong hire in a sales role. I’ll tell you what a sales role. Imagine a blown deal the deal you didn’t land?

Shannon Robnett  30:16

Yeah, yeah. Well, and that’s and that’s really the truth of it. And you know, here’s the thing, Neil, and this is what I look at, you know, my dad was a builder and developer. My mom was a realtor and I’ve been able to take what I learned from them and 10x that right? I’m hoping my son’s can 10x that, right? But the reality is, at the end of the day, what if you didn’t need to have that legacy of parenting? You could just get the book that will help you hire the right people that put that together, right? I mean, there are reasons and there are ways to get around dealing with the issues. That Neil and I paid 1000s, hundreds of 1000s of dollars to learn that we did wrong, right? You remember, like we won’t go into too much detail. But remember that first day that that new hire started and you just had that euphoric feeling that oh, my gosh, my world is now going to be fine. Everything is going to be great. This whole project is going to turn around this is going to be so much better, versus the last day they were there in the in the in the in the yuck that was leaving when you had your almost as euphoric when they left? 

Neil Timmins  31:29

You mean 10 days later?

Shannon Robnett  31:31

Well, you might not make it to lunch.

Neil Timmins  31:34

Yeah. Oh, I’ve never had it. That’s fun. I’ve never had that. But we did have one. Yeah, we did have. I’ve had a couple inside of 10 days, I think just 2. Which is for us… You’re right. And to your point. Yes. I know those days. Yes. And our goal and it’s in the book, how do we get those people for you and me who are only going to last a launch only gonna last me a week? How do we get those people to say no, from the get go? Because I don’t want them in the front door. Right? It’s got to get them. We just got to get get weed those people out. And this whole book is about how do you generate? Literally, for us? And we’ve done it multiple times. I’ve just did it again, 1000s of applications? And how do I sort from 1000s applications all the way down to absolute the cream of the crop?

Shannon Robnett  32:24

Right? And you know, you always see that you always, you always see that there’s, there’s gotta be a better way to do that. You’ve always wondered how there’s a better way. This is the book that’s gonna get you that right. Yeah. So, So Neil, you’ve had an amazing career. You’re not done yet? Where is it that you’re going in the next 12 months? With your companies?

Neil Timmins  32:47

Yeah. Tw places on our…

Shannon Robnett  32:51

I mean, I know the beach and but don’t rub it in. Okay.

Neil Timmins  32:54

I tell you what I, I love I still love working. It’s just I have to get control over it. You know, if I was everybody has an A maybe I think everybody has an addiction of some nature so that you’re just you would do practically free you love it so much. Right. And some people that’s that is all a bunch of bad things that I’ve very tremendous, significant physical consequences, right? For me, I love working. And what does that mean? It means being creative thinking and creating impacting others. I love my team, I love who I get to do this with. And so the ability to put them in spots, create opportunities for them that have not yet been created. I’m excited about that. We’re going to buy more commercial real estate I’m excited about this year, and really the coming, you know, say one to four years, one to five years. For me in my lifetime. I will, I’ve yet to experience anything like this, I think we’re going to come see what potentially reveal, you know, look like the 19, early 1980s, mid 1980s, I was when I was a little kid back then. And so I feel like we’re in a position to be able to capitalize on what may be, you know, kind of a once twice or three times in a lifetime opportunity, but to have the knowledge, the skill, set the resources and then the connections be able to execute. I’m excited about that. On our education side. I’m excited about making deeper impact, educating people just like what you’re doing and I’m so appreciative of the work you do. Educating people bringing people into this industry trying to trying to be the me I wish trying to be the person I wish there was for me when I was when I was three, four or five years ago. Right.

Shannon Robnett  34:37

Well, and that’s and that’s exactly where I come from, you know, I mean, we all went through 2008 and that came from greed and inexperience. Greed on the corporate banker side. Thank God you’re a reformed banker. Yeah, and it inexperience and ignorance on the homebuyer side. And we were, you know, everybody was getting these arm loans and my whole goal is to is to do what I can to educate people so that we can have a smarter investor. Because if you build a better mousetrap, it’s not that Wall Street’s not going to come up with a different way to trick you or whatever. But if you understand how to evaluate deals, how to look at things, how to look at why you would want to buy a house, why you would want to buy a rental property, what real assets are all the things that Kiyosaki talks about in his book, all the different things that you see in investing and all the different strategies, if you’ve got the ability to make basic evaluations, at the end of the day, you’ve got a better pool of investors, which, if more people are doing the right thing, that means there’s less people doing the wrong thing, which means there’s less likelihood of a collapse, which is really what we saw in ’08, correct, you saw a total fall off the edge collapse, right? Yeah. And so I totally, I totally, you know, feel that with you on the education piece that the education is to, is to build a smarter investor that knows that that is not the right thing to be doing. So they can make sure that they’re in it to win it. And they’re going to be doing the right things, scaling properly, hiring properly, borrowing properly, you know, doing those things that are going to give them really what they’re after, without the mistakes that come with the learning curves that you and I have encountered.

Neil Timmins  36:16

Yeah, yeah. No, you’re you hit a spot on the head, that how to get to a also how to get to a result faster. Yeah.

Shannon Robnett  36:25

So my hair is long, because I have been hit the head enough times, right. You know, and I’ve actually actually use the phrase, I actually have earned $1 for every mistake I’ve ever made. Yes. Yeah. Because that’s how I made it happen right the second time, because, remember, I never got anything right the first time. Right. But, But now, here we are, and we are moving forward with education. So what is it that that you’re looking at? When you look at your metrics about what is going to make a successful 2023? You’ve talked about your education piece? Do you have numbers behind that of where you want to go? Where we can, I want to check in with you and you’re in a year and go, Man, you had some really great vision on the show the very first of the year? What’s that look like? 

Neil Timmins  37:14

Yeah, on the education side?

Shannon Robnett  37:15

just in your businesses.

Neil Timmins  37:16

Oh, yeah, in the businesses, well, you know, on the education side, we launched that in July of last year, July 22. And moving into this year, I’ve got a nice little cohort of people in my in my inner circle, if you will, who are, who are rowing in this in a very similar direction to what I’m on. I, you know, to say I want to, I think we could triple that this year compared to where we were last year. And for you know, for anybody who wants to check that out, it’s commercialprofitpower.com, we oftentimes run free challenges to get people up a learning curve real quick, totally free. So I think we triple that. And then on our on our buying, or on our commercial investment side, it’s the hold more assets, we’ve held a handful of assets. Last year on the commercial side, we flipped a handful of commercial assets. We ended up getting leads or various deal flow from various avenues from marketing standpoint, or partner standpoint, just didn’t line up in our Buy Box, but they were good deals. So we take a good deal down, we move it on to somebody else. Cash it pretty big paycheck, everybody high fives pop champagne, and then I’m like, Alright, cool. Well, that’s good. But like, next week, this thing? Will we want more cash flow assets? Yeah. And so for us, I want to buy seven cashflow assets this year, on our commercial side, it’s a pretty aggressive goal. But we’re and that meant we had to define it. And then we had to change some things meaning what are we going to buy? well defined? And that means what else? Are we not going to buy that and so that means no activity should be paid attention? Right? Right. No marketing activity, we need to focus our time energy effort on this box. And as a result, I mean, if you focus on this box, what are we gonna get? So my intake, and my expectation is, we’re going to be buying this inside this box.

Shannon Robnett  39:07

you know, and it’s funny, because I heard it this weekend. And I’ve heard it quite often for everything you say yes to you need to look at what you’re saying no to correct. Because there is only so much of whatever it is you’re saying yes to, right. So if it’s energy, if it’s time, if it’s dollars, all of those have have a reciprocal side to that. And it’s very important to look at that. And I think that that’s something that a lot of people fail to do this. So they wind up with, you know, a single family home, they wind up with a carwash, they wind up with, you know, an industrial building, and then they can’t figure out why the nursing home or the or the residential assisted living that they’re starting isn’t being successful, right? Or because they don’t have that box. They don’t have that clear definition. And it’s hard to find someone that can deal with all that they can manage all that they can underwrite that that can pay attention to all those things, you know. So that’s important too. And especially when you’re trying to grow, when you’re trying to grow, you know, just to make sure that you’re focused, and that you’re driven and that you’re, you’re being single minded in what it is you’re going after. Absolutely fits inside that box.

Neil Timmins  40:17

Yeah, yeah, you know, for us, I’ve got the benefit of… I’m in, I’m in a privileged position, and I’ve earned it, candidly, is to just like you, you earn your stripes along the way been able to build a portfolio over a period of time still have a fix and flip business, although I’m largely not involved in that, again, not a buyer, right? It’s in my backyard, I’ve been involved in 1000s of transactions now at this point in my backyard, not to buy right now to sell right now. But I manage that. And the construction crew, one construction crew. So two years ago, we took it down from three to one. And we’ve done hundreds with one construction crew, you literally will spend millions of dollars in construction with one crew pretty much a handshake, because everybody knows how everybody works. So it just got that thing in a pretty again, got in a box to very narrowly defined what it is that we do on that side of things so that we can focus our effort on the you know, the commercial assets we actually want to own want to hold want to make a generational so that I can be in your shoes someday saying the same thing going on. I hope my son my children are still in high school. So we’re not there yet. So to go, all right, it’d be it’d be tremendous if they could 10 Actually what I’ve done, it’d be, it’d be wonderful, right?

Shannon Robnett  41:37

Yeah. Well, Neil, I really want to say thank you for stopping by and being with us today. I mean, this has really been insightful. And it’s awesome to hear a fellow’s journey where you come from, you know, the corporate banking world, you did the different iterations, you found your way, I think, in my opinion to the final step, and that’s educating others and how they can do the same thing to avoid that total trading time for money that they can actually get that time freedom back, and they keep it in that box. So I really want to say thank you for swinging by and sharing that knowledge of the real estate. 

Neil Timmins  42:09

It’s my privilege to be here. Thanks so much for having me, Shannon.

Shannon Robnett  42:12

So guys, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to the Real Estate Rundown wherever you get your podcasts. Also, don’t forget to send me an email [email protected]. I’ll send you a copy of that $50 book that Neil has written that shows you how to hire and scale your businesses with the right people the right time the first time. And as always leave a review. I’d love to hear your feedback. Thanks again for joining the Real Estate rundown.

Important Links:

About Neil Timmins:

Neil hails from Des Moines, Iowa.

In 2004, Neil was a banker. That same year, his mother had her debut year as a Realtor. She made twice what he made. It was then that Neil knew he had to move to Real Estate. 

Neil’s entry point into the industry was as a Realtor with RE/MAX. His team was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as a Top 100 team and he was the #1 RE/MAX Agent in Iowa by 29. 

Longing to quit forfeiting time for dollars, Neil moved into real estate investing. While he still owns a company that completes wholesale, novation, and rehab transactions, Neil’s passion is cash flow investing in commercial real estate. Like so many other investors, Neil began with single-family homes but has progressed into assets consisting of apartments, offices, and industrial space. Over the course of his career, Neil has been involved in over $300,000,000 in real estate transactions.

In 2021 Neil published his first book, Unicorn Hunting for Real Estate Investment Companies: How to Easily Attract, Screen, and Land a Unicorn. The book is tailored to helping real estate investors find and retain top talent through the strategic systemization of hiring. Neil also hosts his own podcast, “Real Grit” where he pulls back the curtain on real estate investments through interviews with industry titans. “Real Grit” provides listeners with the tools they need to secure their lasting real estate legacy!

Recently, Neil and his team launched the Legacy Impact Partner Program where they partner with fix and flip investors from around the country. Neil’s team brings capital to fund and fix rehabs, operational expertise, and years of experience catapulting their partner’s business to new heights.



Email[email protected]