Let’s Get This Party Started …

Cody Sperber
By Cody Sperber |

codyHey, gang!  Cody Sperber here, and you’re looking at my fancy, new real estate investing blog.

Pretty nice, huh?

Let me start by saying, welcome aboard.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

If the term “real estate investing” gets your heart racing with excitement (as it does mine), or if it makes you cringe with anxiety (as I used to do), or even if you’re only slightly intrigued by the whole process – then rest assured, you’re in the right place.

You see, I’m a man on a mission, and I’m here to share with you as much valuable, tangible, life-changing information as possible.

And just so you know, I’m an open book. The way I see it, this whole blogging process is really quite cathartic, because it allows me to really focus my thoughts while sharing my heart-and-soul with some great people who care…

…so I’m here to share with you my triumphs, my mistakes, and all the valuable investing lessons I’ve learned (and continue learning) along the way. No fluff, no junk, just the goods.

And if the success of my previous blog has taught me anything, it’s that other people are often able to benefit from learning and growing with me – which really makes this whole thing a “win-win” situation, as far as I can tell.

So saddle up, partners, ‘cause we’re in for a fun, informative, and sometimes bumpy (but always exciting) journey to the very heart of successful real estate investing!

pinocchioThe Real Me

So despite the therapeutic benefits of this blog, some skeptics and cynics may still complain that “The last thing the Internet needs is another ‘fake’ guy talking about himself and his ‘fake’ business”.

Hey, I get it.  No really, I do.

And who can blame you?  (Not me.)  After all, the web truly has no shortage of fake-outs with fake stories – and, yes, sometimes even fake businesses. Or maybe guys who used to do real estate deals, or did one or two, and today consider themselves an “expert”.

So let me take this opportunity to briefly introduce “the real me”, for any readers who may not know me already.  I’ve got nothing to hide here – zero, zilch, nada. And I’m actually quite happy to lay it all out on the line for anybody who cares to take a peek…

From a business perspective, I’m a full-time real estate investor from Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve been actively doing real estate deals since 2004, and I’m hooked! Truth is, I’m hopelessly addicted to doing deals…and I am not ashamed!  🙂

I’m also a Navy Vet, which has helped shape who I am today. My time in the Navy was a truly formative season in my life, teaching me about the core values of commitment, honor, and integrity – each of which has had a huge impact on how I conduct my business and my personal life.

Cody and familyAnd speaking of my personal life, I’m happily married to my lovely wife Shannon, and we have two pretty cool kiddos named Hudson and Brynlee.

Admittedly, the kiddos may be a handful at times, but Shannon and I agree that the good times far outweigh the bad times, so we’ve decided to keep both of ‘em around for the long haul!

They’re pretty darn awesome actually. Quite possibly the best family on the planet. It’s like I won the family lottery.

Why “The Clever Investor”?

Oh, yeah… So regarding that nickname…  “The Clever Investor”

First, I didn’t give it to myself. But in retrospect, it has served me quite well, so I’m not going to complain about it . But I do want to set the record straight…

I’m still a little uncomfortable with both of those words, even after all these years. To proactively anoint thyself as “The Clever Investor” would be not only cheesy but also rather arrogant and narcissistic. And I’m just not that guy.

But the fact is, someone else pinned it on me one day, as he noted that I seem to be rather adept at thinking outside the box, and cleverly structuring winning and profitable real estate deals — deals I guess other’s don’t quite so “cleverly” see.

What can I say?  It stuck.  And truth be told, there are some benefits of having a “sticky” nickname like that, so at some point  just rolled with it.

You see, when I first started investing, I had next to no money or credit to speak of and, ultimately, no leverage to do any real estate deals.  So, what did I do?  The same thing any new investor would try to do – I got creative.  And although many young investors aren’t able to muster enough creativity to get their businesses off the ground, I had the good fortune of creatively clawing my way up to the next level.

I learned very quickly that if I was going to make any money in this real estate game, I’d have to bring “something more” to the table, besides cash or credit (which I didn’t have at first by the way). And that “something more” was the specialized knowledge I worked hard to acquire through self-education, combined with heavy doses of massive, purposeful action.

Essentially, I was forced to be very “clever” and creative early on, and I’ve basically stayed that way ever since.


What Started It All

During the earliest days of my real estate career, I tried to figure out all the different no-money-down investing techniques I could, but I didn’t truly “see the light” until the day when I stumbled upon the mind-blowing concept of wholesaling houses for quick cash.

Even today, though there is no shortage of other dishes to sample at the proverbial real estate investing buffet, I almost always recommend that rookies should start with wholesaling first…

…because it represents the quickest and easiest way for most folks to get their feet wet and really make some decent cash, right from the get-go.

In case you don’t already know, wholesaling is all about:

  1. Controlling a property at a notable discount
  2. Quickly selling (“flipping”) the property for a higher (but still wholesale) price to another buyer
  3. Typically selling the property for 100% cash, in “as-is” condition (no repairs, no mortgages, no Realtors, no fuss…)
  4. Calculating your profit by subtracting your original wholesale “buy price” from your eventual wholesale “sell price”

When I was first introduced to this very simple (and very do-able) concept, my entire perspective began to change.

Until that moment, I had incorrectly assumed that I needed decent credit and lots of cash in order to make a dent in the world of real estate investing. Needless to say, this was a huge wake-up call for me – and a pleasantly surprising one at that!

From that time onward, the previously mysterious and undefined idea of “making money through real estate investing” began to crystallize for me in a new and very powerful way.  And I’ve never looked back.


Taking Things To The Next Level

Once I knew I could be a player in this real estate investment business, it was “no holds barred”.  I closed a ton of deals my first year, and essentially doubled that amount during the next year.  Soon thereafter I made my transition to creative real estate investing, at which time I started my own firm.

This is when I started learning how to be a “market whisperer” – which is basically the art of (i) understanding what the market is asking for at any given time and then (ii) positioning myself in front of such trends, in order to take advantage of the disparity between supply and demand.

If you just had to re-read that last paragraph, wondering “What the heck is Cody talking about?!”, then perhaps an analogy could better explain my transition from entry-level wholesaling to the next level of real estate investing…

So think about it this way:  If the only tool you’ve ever used is a pair of scissors, then you can sure learn how to cut some serious paper.  But what if one day the lumberjacks quit cutting down trees to make more paper?  Now you’re surrounded by trees, and you must learn how to use an axe.  Fortunately, once you’ve learned how to cut down trees with an axe, you can then use your trusty ol’ scissors to also cut the resulting paper that is created!

That’s essentially what I did with wholesaling and real estate – and that’s why some people started calling me the clever investor 😉

So I began learning how to “read” the market and focus on whatever it was telling me – and this is how things really got kicked-up to the next level.  As one thing led to another, I started learning how to do lease options, sandwich lease options, wrap-around mortgages, a whole bunch of subject-to deals – and I even started building a small rental portfolio.

Then I learned how to play the courthouse auction game, and how to do short sales.

And I even stumbled into a basically untapped niche market hidden right in plain sight – a little something I like to call “reverse short sales”, which I am still very excited about.  (More on that in future blog posts!)


Here & Now: A New Chapter

During recent years, my business has enjoyed the good fortune of almost exponential growth.

Truth be told, it’s all been a delightfully surprising evolution, built upon a diverse foundation of fix-n-flips, foreclosures/REO’s, multifamily investments, short sales and reverse short sales.

Each day my team of fellow real estate addicts and I aggressively market, research, and uncover the best discounted real estate we can find and wholesale our deals to other investors within our network. We buy at auction, we do REOs, short sales, reverse short sales (of course) and we have an absolute blast doing it.

Truth be told, I’ve been blessed with many, many wins – and I feel extremely grateful for the “real estate dream” of a life I’m now able to enjoy. But I didn’t get here without some battle wounds along the way.

And I guess that circles back around to one of the main reasons I’m doing this new blog: to share some of these stories with you – old and new – so that you can become a “Clever Investor” too (albeit with a better nickname than mine!).

And, heck, maybe you can even enjoy a nice shortcut or two in your own journey through this world of real estate investing.

partyLet’s Get This Party Started!

So what’s next?

Well, in the next few posts I’m going to “dig in” and write about a few specific topics that have really had a powerful impact on my own success as an investor.

And in addition to helping me relive some old memories (as well as brushing-up on some rusty brainwork), I really think these upcoming posts could be helpful for you, too.

At this time, I’m thinking about the following line-up of near-term posts:

  • How to Wholesale Houses for Quick Cash
  • Dissecting My Motivated Seller “Marketing Funnel”
  • Various Strategies for Highly Effective Online Advertising
  • How to Avoid “Dealer” Status When Flipping Houses

These concepts have been very important in equipping my own personal career, and I am certain that they can seriously change the shape of your own real estate investing endeavors as well (if they haven’t already begun to do so).

I expect to maintain this approach for at least my first few months on this new blog.  Since I’m kinda starting “fresh” here, it seems like a good time to begin compiling the ideal “starting point” for anyone else who wants to begin a journey similar to mine.

So thanks for reading my first post here on the new site!  (Hooray for modern technology’s ability to bring people together online!)

I look forward to really digging into the good stuff very soon.

Until then, take care.

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