We've talked in the past about passive income real estate memes, so we were excited to talk with someone who knows what it's like to make it work. Pedro Meneses joined us for an episode to discuss real estate—and the work it takes to make it in his business.

Menesis is a realtor and real estate investor. His experience centers around his drive to succeed, and, while it's clear real estate has potential to provide ongoing income, it's not a walk in the park.

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Is real estate really an easy way to make money: Partial Episode Transcript

Jim Markus

This is Frugal Living. After a recent Frugal or Fiction episode, I wanted to find a real estate investor to talk to. That's what led me to this week's guest. I found someone who is passionate about real estate, and passionate about his own business. Our conversation started with real estate and how realistic it is to make a living with real estate investments. And to turn it into a conversation about work, and about how we look at work. Give it a listen.

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Pedro Meneses

My name is Pedro Meneses, and I'm a realtor and real estate investor in Dallas, Texas.

I believe that at the end, regardless of what industry you're in, you're the brand you know, people doesn't remember Tesla, they remember Elon Musk, right? Remember Apple, they remember Steve Jobs, people, when you hear Microsoft, the first thing that you think about is Bill Gates, right?

Because that's like, everything revolves around the person I believe, you know, so I'm huge into personal building your personal brand, and all that kind of stuff. And I always wanted to get into real estate, you know, my wife's also a realtor. And he was something that always caught my attention to get into it, you know, and I have, I think we have the ability to be so diverse and do different things.

Like I think we all have different talents and gifts, you know, that you can use in different areas. So I think for me real estate right now, man, it's just my platform to leverage capital, you know, grow my business, use that to grow other stuff that I'm doing.

And self-development, man, it's because I don't wanna be 60 years old and be sick, unhealthy, and not being able to enjoy my family and my fortune. You know? I think everything ties together, man, you know? That's something that I have learned from the past few years. Your, your health impacts your business drastically, you know? It's incredible.

So it's, it is not about only your health and business. You know, it's about your relationships. It's about the people you align with. It's about, uh, your faith. It's about, what do you put in your body? You know? So I think high-performers definitely need to focus on everything, not just business. You know what I mean?

Jim:

Are you familiar with Tim Ferriss?

Pedro:

Yeah. I'm familiar with him.

Jim:

He's probably the closest I've gotten into, like, that self-development world. He's the first person I encountered that was like what you're saying. Oh, he seems a little bit crazy. He's doing some stuff that's like, "Holy cow, why are you limiting yourself to, like, this kind of diet?" Or, "Why are you testing out these types of things? Why are you doing these types of workouts when nobody else is doing them?"

It seems like that's what you're talking about, where it's you've gotta motivate yourself. You've gotta push yourself. And you're doing this because you know the long-term vision is you wanna be ready for when you're an older person, you know? Like, you wanna make sure you're taken care of now, so you're taken care of then.

Pedro:

I think at this point, you really have to question everything, man. For this past two years, it's like been, for me, it's been like an awakening, you know. I realize, like, "Damn, I've been eating all this through my whole life. No wonder why I feel sick." You know, I haven't been working out. Like, I went really hard on my health and my fitness, you know, like four or five years ago. And, and now I can see the results and they weren't just, I operated just completely different.

Jim:

It's a frugal podcast. You know, we talk to people about saving money. But one of the themes that keeps coming up is one of the best ways to save in the long term is by prepping now. Yeah. It's by getting ready now.

So you wanna save in long-term healthcare? Healthcare costs aren't gonna go down. And insurance isn't gonna get any easier. But the reason I like talking to you is you're putting a little bit more of the onus on yourself. You're saying, "Well, I'm, I focused on my fitness and now I'm feeling better. I focused on, you know, being a little bit harder on myself so that, you know, hopefully, long term, you'll be able to take care of yourself in, in my mind for cheaper, you know, and more effectively." And I like that a lot.

We could probably do a whole podcast on that. But I do want, I do wanna jump into real estate though. You have this experience and honestly the change of careers is kind of perfect for this as well. When you jumped in, like when you started, this was like 2020, 2021, is that right?

Pedro:

Yeah.

Jim:

So you're seeing historically low interest rates. Like, you're talking about putting your money to work. It's kind of the perfect time to do that. Can you tell me what, what did it look like when you started?

Pedro:

Well, man, when I started the market was already crazy, you know, because, uh, I'm here in Dallas, you know, and the Texas market is insane. Like, uh, at that point it was already crazy, man. You know? So, uh, I think that actually obviously influences people get, getting more into buying a house and all that stuff because interes,t interests rate were low. But I think it's more things affecting that, man, because at that point, like, like I said, we were, everything was going to hell.

People was getting tired of what, what's going on and all that stuff. And then you see the opportunity like, "Oh, this is opportunity to buy a house." You know, which it was great opportunity for a lot of people that couldn't afford a, a house before, you know. Sometimes its the interest rate push people away from really getting qualified for a good amount or, or being able to find a property. That's pretty much where we are right now. Right?

Like, here in Texas, like, people that are looking around the five, $600,000 homes. They're being pushed away because interest rates are going high again. You know what I mean? So I think, I, I think the lesson there, man, regardless if you are on the real estate side of, like the, you doing real estate or, or at the consumer side. I think one of the biggest lessons there is that when the opportunity shows up, you have to take advantage of it. Like that saying, like, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years" ago and the best next time is today. Pretty much. You know what I mean?

Jim:

The, the reason I reached out to you is we have this series that we do. It's Frugal or Fiction. We see this stuff on social media and some of it seems too good to be true. And sometimes it is true. And the thing that came to our attention... The intern here, she found something on, I think it was on Instagram. And it was someone talking about a multi-unit property.

They were making, like, 40 or $50,000 a month of rental income. And they made it seem like the easiest thing in the world. Can you tell me a little bit about how realistic is it for someone with no real estate experience, a new person just entering the market, to get this kind of income from real estate?

Pedro:

Yeah. I mean you can do it. It's, it is true. I, I believe that you can do it and you can get to that level of success. Absolutely. It's gonna happen in the next 30 to 90 days? That's not true, you know. That is complete BS, you know, because uh, everything in this life takes time, man. And then I think that's one of the biggest misconceptions right now in all industries, not only in real estate. Whatever industry people is trying to get into it, man.

And it's like, "Oh yeah, get rich in 90 days. Make a hundred thousand dollars in the next 60 days," and all that stuff. If you wanna be successful in life, you're gonna find friction. Right. And things are not gonna happen overnight. You know, the problem is that you see all these people talking about like, "Yeah, you can make $40,000 over, uh, out, of a multifamily building," whatever. Yes you can. But you have to be able the skills and you have to build the experience to get to that point.

They can give you the blueprint, but you're gonna have to start from zero. You know, you have to build, you have to learn, you have to gain the experience in order to get there. Now, if you have the money to invest, it's different, right? If you can just buy cash, have the investors, have partners that you can pretty much move things forward immediately. That's a completely different situation.

But if you're just getting started, you know, you don't have a capital, you don't know nothing about real estate. You don't know nothing about investments. You really need to build those skills first. And, and really just the trial and error, you know. But people nowadays, they just want all this, this quick satisfaction, right? They wanna win quick, you know? And then you see all these people on social media. Some of them are lying. Some of them are real, you know. But both of them regardless, the overnight success that you see on social media, it probably is a 12-year, 12-years-old success.

You know, one of my mentors, he's extremely successful. But even five, four years ago, nobody knew who he was. You know? And now he's had built something big, you know. Like, there's over 1,500 people in, in our network. And, and it's just something that is, just keeps growing and growing. But he's been doing the work consistently.

Frugal Living: How do you beat inflation?

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