This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Peter Vekselman. Peter is known as a real estate legend. He has been a leader in the real estate industry for over 30 years and has done over 3600 deals.
Today, Peter leads a team of real estate professional doing deals all over the country through his company Partner Driven. The company is unique in that Peter provides the system and even the capital for his partners on the ground in the markets where they do deals. Partner Driven does all the support and works with partners through every stage from identifying the right real estate opportunities all the way through to sale.
But I did not invite Peter on just to talk about this unique model and real estate, I had to have him on the pick his brain on everything he’s learned in such a successful entrepreneurial career.
Peter is an immigrant. His family escaped the USSR during the cold war. He was young and did not know he even coming to the US until he was on the plane. His parents taught him that he had to make it happen for himself. He grew up pretty normal, but had a lot of trouble in school. He did go to college, but couldn’t get a job. He turned the only thing he could do, his own thing. He got into the vending business, then network marketing industry. He had his first big success in merchant services. This is where he really started to understand entrepreneurship. He felt like kind of an imposter, as he didn’t know much about the industry. He just hit things at the right time with the right people. He sold his shares of the business to cash out and then go into real estate investing.
He learned the lesson of making sure to understand the industry and initially got started in mobile homes and did well. He became the larges mobile home broker in Georgia until the bottom fell out and financing dried up. He then pivoted to investing in real estate. He thought he understood it because of his experience in mobile homes, but he didn’t and within about 6 months, he had lost everything and was living out of the back of his car.
That is when he met his first real mentor. Two years from that point, he made his first million dollars. Over that period her learned the value of alignment and the ins and outs of real estate investing. Now 22 years later, he has succeeded doing over 3600 deals.
What was the catalyst that took you in two years from living in your car to having a million in the bank? What did the mentor teach you?
- He learned his most important shortcut to success – the value of alignment.
- The key to learn, grow, prosper, make money, etc. is in alignment.
- It is not just up to you. We all have certain skill sets and abilities. We must align those with complementary skill sets and abilities with others.
- Creating win-win synergies for those involved that have complementary skills that align is the secret.
Take us through your business model and how you create alignment…
- Real estate has an awful success rate. About 3-5%.
- The industry is very dislocated and disorganized. Things are all siloed and all over the place so it Is hard to pull everything together to even do a deal.
- With Partner Driven, Peter brings everything under one roof.
- They train their partners, spend money generating leads in their cities, become their back office handling all the closings, rehab, realtors, etc., and they provide the capital for the deals.
- They split the profit 50/50.
- Peter financially backs the partners putting up all the money to do the deals.
- Peter’s problem that he solved is how to do more deals, by empowering others with a system that he funds and then takes a share of.
What are the risks in the model?
- The risk in real estate investing are time and money…people run out of both.
- Peter eliminates the money risk by providing the money.
- If a loss happens, Peter absorbs the loss.
- By having the capital for his partners, it buys them time.
- The only real risk is if the partner sticks with it to become successful or not.
What do you look for in a partner?
- They go through a process.
- They ensure alignment.
- They look for those that are hungry and willing to put he time and effort in to succeed.
- If someone isn’t motivated, they are not a good fit.
Thoughts about the real estate market in general? Where are things going?
- We are entering one of the best markets ever for investors.
- It is becoming a time to buy low again.
- Things are falling off a cliff pricewise.
- No one wants a crash, but it is happening and this is the time get incredible deals.
- There is a lot of false motivation. People who are scared because of what they hear out there and are liquidating.
- If you know how to position yourself, there are great opportunities everywhere.
- At the 29 min mark, Peter shares the story of a deal happening right now in the middle of a crash that is profiting 6-figures.
Talk a little about perseverance and what you can teach us from your experience.
There is no journey that happens without misfires, dead-ends, massive challenges, etc.
- Peter just came to grips with this and accepted it early on.
- He also speaks to the fact that coming from a place like the USSR, it is much easier to appreciate the opportunity that exists vs. taking it for granted.
- He didn’t know anything better. Hard was what he knew.
- The best thing that ever happened was doing bad in school because it forced him to have to find a way.
- His biggest negatives turned into his positives and what he needed to fuel his success.
- Even in his darkest moments, he never blamed the tracks of success. When he was failing, he never blamed it on outside factors. And because of this, there was always light at the end of the tunnel.
- You also need to understand how to evaluate progress. In the beginning, it’s never pretty. In the beginning, you evaluate on your activity, your growth in knowledge and understanding. If you evaluate just on “making money” you will fool yourself.
Best and most important habits that you have developed that help keep you successful?
- Create time. You can create time out of thin air.
- Get in the habit of waking up 1 hour earlier.
- You are not going to sleep your way to success. By giving yourself an extra hour per day, and invest that one hour into you in some area. A true investment into you. What happens in a year with 365 more hours invested into yourself? Pretty big advantage.
- Ensure alignment in all areas. C
- ompetition. There are two ways to compete. One is head-to-head and be better than your competition. The other is to compete by creating your own playing field. Learn to do things that are unique and that your competition is not doing.
Any advice for entrepreneurs just starting out?
- Start out! Don’t be a “wannabe.” Don’t overthink or overanalyze. Get going. Potential means nothing unless you act on tapping it.
- It won’t be easy. Embrace it. Embrace the challenges. Congratulate yourself because you are not “thinking about it,” you are doing it.
- It is absolutely worth it.
Best Quote: Creating win-win synergies for those involved that have complementary skills that align is the secret to succeed.
Peter's Misfit 3:
- Pursue something that you love.
- Identify skill sets. Position yourself to capitalize on yours.
- If you are not where you want to be or happy with where you are – do something. Take action and get going.
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