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Christian Peterson: The Journey From Attorney to Agent & Investor

Uncategorized Oct 30, 2020

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Christian Peterson began his career working as an attorney, where he eventually opened his own practice. Not too long after, he decided to get his real estate license so that he could gain more flexibility and serve a very specific niche in helping people both as an attorney and as an agent. He is now a highly specialized professional in the real estate space, and still serves clients as an attorney. In addition, he's taken on becoming a real estate investor over the past couple of years. Focusing in these key areas have now given him the vision and the plan to become a net worth millionaire. 

 

In this episode, hosted by Mike Swenson, we discussed:   

  • How Chrisitan's career got started as an attorney and led to becoming a real estate agent, where he now specializes in divorce real estate transactions 
  • As an expert, you can charge a premium for your services 
  • Getting involves in the M1 program helped him get thinking about investing 
  • As of this episode, Christian has now purchased three investment properties 
  • With investing, you don’t learn a lot of the stuff until you get in there and do it 
  • He knew he couldn’t do everything on his own and started leveraging things out 
  • How it's important to cultivate a winning, energetic, positive mindset in yourself 
  • Make sure you hang on long enough until your career clicks 
  • He wants to help people create wealth through real estate 
  • A goal of Christian’s is to be the first person in his family to have intergenerational wealth as well as having a $1 million net worth 

  

Timestamps: If You Want To Jump Ahead To Your Favorite Part   

0:00 - Intro and overview on Christian's career 

3:30 – What Christian’s future looks like 

5:27 - Why he got into real estate 

14:10 – How he got started in investing 

29:24 – How he gained leverage 

34: 50 – Advice from Christian 

 

    

Links Based On This Episode:   

Christian's website: https://christianpetersonproperties.com/

M1 Program:  RockThomas.com/M1 

Book- Secrets of the Millionaire Mind 

 

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Full transcript here:

Mike Swenson 

Hi, Mike Swenson here with REL freedom. And we are here to share another real freedom story. We've got a great guest today we have Christian Peterson, and he's going to share how he got into real estate, how he was able to leverage his past experience as a lawyer and how he's been able to build and grow that to where he's at today. And then he's also done, I got started with some investments. So he's going to talk a little bit about how he got started into that the progress that he's made some of the lessons he's learned already, and then where he wants to go in the future, ultimately, to earn financial freedom. So Christian, welcome today, if you want to just give us a little bit of an overview about you.

 

Christian Peterson 

Well, thanks, Mike, for having me, that sounds like a awful lot to discuss in 40 minutes, so I hope I can get as much as I can. Yeah, as you mentioned, I am a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty and Maple Grove, I've been a real estate agent for probably six years. And during that time, and prior to that time, like you mentioned, I'm a licensed and practicing attorney in Minnesota as well have an office in Maple Grove, and practicing criminal law, Family Law and some real estate and estate planning stuff.

 

Christian Peterson 

So I've been able to successfully mix kind of all that together into a compilation of businesses. As he said, I'm mostly a real estate agent. And I help people with the standard buying sell transactions. But my specialty is actually those kinds of transactions where I'm working with people going through a divorce, listing and selling their home and helping the buyer on the other side. And then also other legal issues that might come up as states, or people who have Hoa disputes along with their home sale and stuff like that. So just kind of the sticky stuff that maybe a normal agent might not know as much about

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, and you really can add a lot of value. Because I know for a lot of folks, like those are the tricky transactions, because, you know, sometimes each each situation is so different, you know, in terms of the different parties, like how much contact they have with each other how much of the decision making happens, all the other stuff that they're navigating outside of just as much as us agents hope that that's the only thing they're focusing on, they've got a lot else on their plate in terms of, you know, going through the door divorce and figuring that stuff out. So you really get to, to navigate like a, like an expert through that process. Because you have all of that knowledge and all that experience that you can bring and really add value to your clients.

 

Christian Peterson 

Yes, yeah, it's real. There's just an additional layer when it comes to those kinds of transactions, because there is that legal component to it. We have people who are either going through a court process or maybe just finishing one up or contemplating one, and you never know how that's going to go in terms of the parties involved. Are they going to get along? Are they going to need to work with their attorneys and go through any sort of litigation? And what are the implications of that on your home sale? It's, it's not really always that clear. And I, I tell a lot of agents when they're looking to do transactions like that just you don't know what you don't know right now, like you have no idea where the pitfalls are going to be. And if you don't have that background, can really flub something up really badly.

 

Mike Swenson 

So let's talk a little bit about then, kind of the big picture at the end for you. So when you think about financial freedom for you and your family, you know, for some folks, that's a number for some folks, it's an amount per month for some folks, it's, you know, a certain number of rental properties or income coming in. What does it look like for you. And I know, we'll dig into this a little bit later, you have an experience with an organization called m one that really helps you to bring that into light, and to focus on what your financial future looks like. So talk to me a little bit about maybe the end game for you and what that looks like?

 

Christian Peterson 

Sure, that's a great question. So I kind of think about it in steps two, I would say the end goal is a lot more ethereal for me if you want to, and I want to be the first person in my family to have intergenerational wealth. So I want to be the person who takes my assets and passes them successfully down to my children. However, that looks like you know, I would be the first person who does that we've had people in my family retire. But as they get older into age, and then they unfortunately pass away, you know, there's no estate left at that point. And each subsequent generation has to get whatever they're going to get on their own. So that's my ultimate goal. My I would say first step goal, and the thing we do and that one, the whole point of the organization has to get to be a net worth millionaire. So my first goal is to have that $1 million mark on my net worth. spreadsheet

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah. Fantastic, and would take a good attorney to know how to line up all this stuff to so that you can pass stuff on. So you're in good company, right?

 

Christian Peterson 

It's gonna be a little bit of talking to estate planning attorneys eventually like, that's that's kind of exciting, I guess. So maybe that's a lawyer thing that it's exciting to talk about. But yeah, it'll be it will get there.

 

Mike Swenson 

Cool. So let's talk a little bit about them. Let's back up. Tell me a little bit about your process of thinking about getting into real estate, you know, what, what is it that attracted you to real estate, and then kind of that process in those early steps, and then we'll, we'll kind of work through up until where you're at today?

 

Christian Peterson 

Sure, well, I first thought about getting any real estates, my my parents always used to take me to the parade of homes, I just remember from a really early age, going into all these houses, we had no intention of buying them, we just looked at them. And I thought it was really fun. And I used to go from room to room and decide which one was going to be my bedroom and stuff like that, and, and did that for a number of years. So it's just kind of been ingrained in me from a very young age. But then it's not something that I really went and explored. And that's mostly just because of my upbringing.

 

Christian Peterson 

You know, my, my mom was a very traditional, you go to college, you get a job, you work at that job for she worked there for 35 years without a change. And then she retired. And now she's been retired for a number of years. And that's just the way that life played out back then. And so that's how I went on my way as well, I thought, well, I got to go get a good job. And I got to work there for a number of years and do the same thing. Except that when I started working for the government, which was my very first job, as a criminal prosecutor and a real estate attorney for the government, I was let go in 2012, because of budget cuts during the recession, so my idea of doing that kind of got disrupted pretty significantly.

 

Christian Peterson 

And when that happened, I, I have been thinking about going off on my own and doing my own thing for some time. I just really didn't get along very well with normal corporate or eight to 430 kind of workflow and working for somebody else. So that was kind of my opportunity to go and explore some other things in life. So the very next day, I opened my my own law firm. And that's what I started doing from then on. Real Estate came into play, just because as I got further along with the law, and realizing litigation really isn't the thing that I ultimately want to do for the rest of my life, kind of searched back through my interests in life and found real estate again, and said, Well, you know, that's something that I thought about doing when I was coming out of college and just really didn't explore because I didn't think that that was what you were supposed to do.

 

Christian Peterson 

You know, that's that was a very highly speculative career, you know, you didn't really have a job per se, you had to go out and get your own work and make your own employment. That's just not the way that we did things. So it I guess it really took like a disruption of my of my kind of well planned life to get into real estate for the better.

 

Mike Swenson 

So you started out and talk through those those first few years, because you you've kind of transitioned a little bit where you've, you've done some real estate, you've done some work as an attorney kind of back and forth, both. And so talk through those these last couple years, and how you've slowly worked to doing more and more real estate and less than less of doing your attorney work here?

 

Christian Peterson 

Well, yeah, when I first started in real estate, and got my license, I was full time in my practice, you know, I worked, you know, I was, had a very profitable law practice, and worked full time in that. So at the very beginning, what I was actually doing was doing both jobs at the same time, you know, I'm working full time in law and full time in real estate. And that was, that was really, really hard. And I actually burnt out fairly quickly doing that. So I started, you know, kind of dedicating more time to the real estate work, because it's really what I liked the most in getting traction and there. And like many people, real estate, something that you have to spend time doing and as you spend time doing you gain traction and more clients and things like that.

 

Christian Peterson 

So as I worked towards that goal, more people started coming to me and through that I got to the point where I was working full time and you know, now I have the luxury of I'm doing enough real estate work that I can kind of pick and choose the legal cases that I take. how I've been doing it right now is I just decided that I'm not going to decide whether to be an attorney or to be an an agent. I'm just if somebody comes to me with a problem, I work out how I'm going to solve it, then sometimes it's going to require some legal tools. And sometimes it's going to require me working to sell their properties or help them buy a new one. And anything that I can do to help as long as it doesn't take me too far out of that, you know, I'm not going to be doing like a three week murder trial or something now, but if it's in my wheelhouse, I'm going to get it done for him.

 

Mike Swenson 

So you get to be the guy, you get to where to tool belts, then, and you get to decide Am I going to open up my realtor tool belt or my attorney tool belt. And the nice thing is, is either way, you can always refer stuff to other people, if it's not a fit for you. So you're really just picking the sweet spot of what works the best for you and your time. And anything else that for some reason doesn't fit in that mold, you can always refer to somebody else, either to another agent or another attorney.

 

Christian Peterson 

Yeah, and that's pretty much what it is to is, I give people options, and I let them know what my opinion is, until what I would like to handle is usually telling them, you know, I'd prefer to handle your real estate transaction, that's really where my heart is, but I'm happy to help on these other aspects, too. I mean, sometimes they want me to do more than one thing, and that really helps with the, with the client relationship, you know, you've already done good work for them. So now they're more willing to have you do it in the future.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, and so for you, as we talk about freedom, you know, there's, there's obviously, you know, kind of the financial freedom at the end, but what you're getting is, is time freedom in the sense of, you get to spend your time doing more of what your love what you love, versus feeling like I have to do this, or I have to do this, because it's gonna make money, you're slowly focusing that, that circle smaller and smaller to now it's really you're, you're getting the best time to spend on the stuff you're most excited about, and is the most profitable to in terms of, you know, dollar per hour activities for you.

 

Mike Swenson 

And then anything that doesn't fit in that you can refer out and still make some money off of that, too. So have you have you seen that where you're, you're really now spending your time doing more? What's your love on both sides of that?

 

Christian Peterson 

Absolutely, I am. And the thing about, you know, when even though I'm doing less, you know, I'm not chasing after every single lead or every single law client. But as I focus on those things that I do the best that people seek me out for, I actually find that I make more income, because those are the things that people know you for now. So you can actually charge a premium for those services. So I'm doing less work making more money for it. And you know, it's really the best of both worlds.

 

Mike Swenson 

And to going back to time, just because I know, you know, you have a good relationship with your daughters. Like, if you want to take some time off, you take some time off, if you want to go take a day and do something fun together, you go do that, or take them out for breakfast. Because you get to set your hours and you get to set who you spend your time with. And if you want to spend time with your kids during the week, great. You'd like to do that?

 

Christian Peterson 

Absolutely. Well, yeah, I don't have to when when you're sought after for certain things. And you know, in the in the real estate divorce field, for example, I think it's like me and one other guy. So, you know, it's not like I'm one of 10 people chasing after an expired listing or something like that, like I did in the, in the very beginning, I just realized that, you know, I have a set of skills that a lot of people don't have, so why am I chasing after the same stuff that everybody does. And when you do that, and you focus not only on the things that you're good at, but the people who want to work with you.

 

Christian Peterson 

You don't have to be working all the time. And, and if somebody has an unreasonable demand of you, like, I want to go see this house now at 8pm, during your kids dance recital, you know, you can say, Hey, you know what, I got a dance recital, happy to show you that property tomorrow, or I have a showing assistant who can show it to you tonight. You know, and just just having that ability, people respect that. And then also, you know, I'm sure we'll talk about it later. But you can, as you get more profitable, and you're doing more for more people, you have to get those systems in place anyway, so that you can continue to provide good quality service to everybody.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah. Okay, so let's dig in a little bit to the investment side. So, you know, what was it that really inspired you or really kind of pushed you over the edge to get started with investments? And then what were some of those key decisions that you made as you're looking to figure out, Okay, what do I need to do from a financing perspective or from choosing properties walk through that process for us?

 

Christian Peterson 

Well, I had my mind on it ever since I started in real estate. You know, that's a big thing that a lot of people talk about in the real estate industry, but I really didn't pursue it until probably 2018 2018. We, we'd always made a decent amount of money, both as a law firm and as a real estate agent and then both, but I was never, never really had the discipline to save that money. So every time we'd come At the end of the year, I'd pay my taxes, we'd have some leftover, we'd probably spend it on something we shouldn't have spent it on.

 

Christian Peterson 

And then the next year, you know, we're right back in the same place. So I really just got tired of every month feeling like I was starting from scratch, you've probably felt it where you know, you get a certain amount of income in a month, and you pay all of your expenses. And then the first of the next month, you're kind of starting over. And I didn't want to do that anymore, I wanted some guaranteed income coming in. And it really came to a head towards the end of 2018, where we had a baby, we had a bunch of medical expenses throughout the year, we really weren't budgeting for that, as well as for my wife not working and taking care of the baby.

 

Christian Peterson 

And we we really dwindled our, our reserves to the point, you know, what reserves we had, we really didn't plan those, but we had windell them down to we have a couple 1000 bucks in our account. And I hadn't been like that since I started practicing law. So I was really just doing a lot of soul searching around. what's the what's the answer to all of this. And around that time, a friend of mine introduced me to the m one program taught me all the skills that I I wouldn't say that taught me the skills, but it gave me the mindset and some basics to get started towards successful investment.

 

Mike Swenson 

So you were exposed to that. Now, how did you decide what when to dive in for how to dive in?

 

Christian Peterson 

Well, I knew that something had to change, you know, I wasn't going to be able to continue on in that path. And I was recommended to the program by by a friend of mine. And he gave me a scholarship. And he said, You know you, I know you don't have a ton of money, but you should use what money you do have to invest in this, I really think that this is the investment in the future that you need to make. And so I you know, kind of was like, Hey, what's the worst that could happen?

 

Christian Peterson 

I don't have any money right now. If it doesn't work, I still won't have any money. But if it does, you know, I'll finally get off of this kind of roller coaster of rat with the another the wheel or whatever you want to call it, and be financially free. And that's what I'm really after. So I grimaced real hard and paid my last several 1000 bucks in my bank account and started on the program. And you know, two years later, I'm doing very well.

 

Mike Swenson 

So what does that look like? Then in the in the past two years? You've had, you've had a couple properties that you've worked on? how did how did you find them? Were these sellers that you were working with? Or you just had searches set up? or How did the properties come to you to decide to invest?

 

Christian Peterson 

I really just so we've purchased in the past, since 20, may 2019, we've purchased three properties. So how I, how they came about is I really just wanted to be open to investing and just let let up. I always tell myself every morning that I'm going to be open to opportunities. And so I just wanted to anything that looked like a potential investment, I just wanted to kind of let it in and explore it and see what it was going to be. I didn't have enough in the beginning kind of idea of what specifically I wanted to do in the investment world.

 

Christian Peterson 

So I really just wanted to look at each potential opportunity for what it was going to be best used for. And if it was good enough to move forward on, I just wanted to do it. I was kind of tired of, of I had done some analysis on properties before but never went in and did it and missed out. And this time. And one one of the things they teach you about is just if it if it looks good, you know, don't spend time over analyzing, just take action, and figure out those little details that you might be worried about as you go.

 

Christian Peterson 

So the my first deal actually came, yes, as a person who has a listing client of mine whose deal fell apart at the last minute. And she still wanted to move at the same time. And there really wasn't a whole lot of options for her. So in running the numbers, you know, they weren't, you know, the best numbers that I had ever seen in my life, but they were pretty decent. And so we just decided to jump in make the investment. So we bought a single family home in South St. Paul. And now we have put some money into it and use it as a rental and it's actually doing quite well as that.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, so then you kind of took a look at, okay, here's, here's the potential rent income, here's what the the mortgage would be on it. And, you know, said, you know, close enough and then with that one, you know, I should say even kind of for all three of your properties, like how much work did you put in your own work versus, you know, hiring out to other people.

 

Christian Peterson 

We've done a little bit of both, you know, for example, we own a flip property right now that's actually going on the market this week. And we've done substantial work on our own, you know, we've pretty much painted a top to bottom, done all the landscaping and the stuff that's done by contractors is a friend of ours who we've been using for these projects. And he really manages that whole thing from carpet, and cabinets and appliances, and everything like that.

 

Christian Peterson 

So we tend to do the kind of grunt stuff that that's fairly technical, but still costs a lot of money. Most of the time, we're also quoting out these projects, and, you know, the paints in that project alone was going to be like $8,000. So it's something that if we can do it, and it's not going to take a ton of time, we're going to be responsible for for that sort of thing. But yeah, some of this other technical stuff, like, I don't know how to install cabinets, and stuff like that. I leave that to the professionals.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, I was gonna say, for those folks that don't know, you, or haven't seen you terms of grunt work, like, they're pretty good size, dude. So you know, you'd like to you like to work out, you like to stay fit. So it's a good opportunity to, to keep that figure looking strong, right?

 

Christian Peterson 

Yeah, man. Well, and I'm in charge of the landscaping, because I haven't they don't let me paint and landscaping as, you know, lifting bags and throwing them down and stuff like that. It's good work. I enjoy it. Yeah.

 

Mike Swenson 

So let's talk a little bit about the the financing piece for that. You know, how did you guys decide what to do? Was that a lender friend that you had that you reached out to? Because I think for some folks too, like they don't really know where to start? Because they know, they, you know, can't afford to buy a whole property. And yet they don't know necessarily what options that they have. So is it, you know, lender friend that you reached out to and said, Hey, what are my options? Do you know of somebody else that can help me? How did that process work out?

 

Christian Peterson 

Well, it's for me, I'm in the real estate industry. So I do have those kinds of connections. For two of our properties, I used a lender that miliar with that I've talked about investment properties before. With our flip property, we actually got that on a contract for deed. And how we did that was just by we just let the option be known. You know, hey, I noticed that you are accepting contract for deeds on this, would you be interested in working out terms, and that actually is what really made the whole deal possible, because now, instead of taking out a really expensive, you know, like hard money loan or something like that, and just having huge carrying costs, you know, where are for a fraction of the of the fee, we're in on a flip, just by having a down payment and fairly normal looking interest rate, it's a 3.5% interest rate on the on the loan.

 

Christian Peterson 

So it's pretty good. So yeah, it's just, it's just kind of seeing what possibilities exist. And then the other thing that I do frequently is through my in one group, we meet every week and talk on the phone, in a zoom call much like this. And if we're thinking about acquiring a deal, we're really talking through it and kind of masterminding it, and seeing what makes sense or not. That's why we decided to flip this place in the first place. After looking over the numbers, we realized that, you know, as a rental, it'll do, okay, but as a flip, given the market conditions, it's probably going to do even better.

 

Mike Swenson 

So then you guys, so then normally, for a contract for deed, there's a balloon payment that that comes up at some point. So the way you negotiated this then was, and just correct me if I'm wrong, so you're making your payments, but then obviously, you're selling it before the balloon payment comes due. So then you can just take the money from the proceeds, and then pay off that balloon payment.

 

Christian Peterson 

Yep, that's exactly how it's gonna work is we're gonna pay off. We've already talked to the seller, the owner, I guess we don't know yet. We've already talked to the owner about this, just our intent is to sell. So once we get that we're going to pay you off, you're going to write us the deed, and then we're going to deed it over to the next person. And so without all the closing costs of a traditional mortgage, we kind of have an easy end for a flip property.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, yeah, we actually did a contract deed on a property that we had fixed up and it was something where, you know, I can't remember it was it was maybe one or even two of the buyers had fell through due to financing. And so we were kind of in the same spot, like wondering, okay, what are we going to do, we'd like to sell this, you know, we'd fixed it up to a certain extent. And then, you know, thinking about the long term hold that would have needed new siding, new roof, new h vac stuff. And so we're like, you know, we got it to a certain point, but we don't want to be the one to hold this for the next five or 10 years. And so our agent at that time, I mean, this, was, gosh, probably 10 years ago said, well, I do have an investor they're interested in so they wanted to do because they had other investment property.

 

Mike Swenson 

You know, maybe couldn't qualify for a traditional mortgage? And so they said, you know, would you be interested in a contract for deed? And for me, like, I mean, short of googling, and at the time, because I wasn't even in real estate at the time, I was like, Okay, how does this work? And our agent explained it. And so because of the cash flow they had from their other rental properties, they were able to make a strong downpayment, whereas like, okay, worst case scenario, if something doesn't go, Well, we've at least had a good chunk of money that we've gotten, and then they put at that time up an aggressive interest rate on it.

 

Mike Swenson 

And then they said, You know, I think it was, was two years, they were planning on making the balloon payment. And I think we had written it into the contract where it was maybe, you know, three or four years down the road, we were going to do the balloon payment, but it worked out really well. And then yeah, we met up at a bank and closed it all out and received the check. And so, you know, I'm sure people have had times where the contract deed hasn't worked on yet, our only experience with it.

 

Mike Swenson 

It seemed to work well, and I, you know, it's one of those things where at some point, you just have to dive in and, and as a finance major, like, I kept doing the math, and I was like, okay, with this downpayment with this interest, like I don't see a point between now and when they were going to pay it off, where it was going to put me in a negative position. And so, you know, knowing that long term, they're going to, you know, hold the property, they were going to put some more money into it, I was like, okay, so even if it's six months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, like I still should come out ahead. And so that's a great way to be a little bit flexible than, you know, the traditional banks and to be able to do something like that, that maybe wouldn't, you know, it's, it's, everything's a risk, and you were able to mitigate that and get another property.

 

Christian Peterson 

Yeah. And it's, it's not, it's the ability to be flexible as an investor is a really important thing, I think, but you don't, for one, you don't learn any of this stuff until you get in there and do it, I think, right, I've learned so much about this is our very first flip. And I've learned a ton that I didn't learn from the, I've read every book on the subject that there is, and I've read every book on holding a property and all of that. And then once I got in and started doing it, I've learned a ton about each of those different fields, but I've also had, you know, setbacks or, or crossings in the road where I could do one thing or do another and it's really been my ability to kind of roll with it that has made the difference in whether or not we come out ahead or not, or make more money than then then another thing.

 

Christian Peterson 

So the contract for deed being one example, we had the loan all lined up and ready to go. And then they suggested the contract and doing the math on both, I'm like, man, we're gonna save like, $16,000 right up front. So I mean, it's, that's those two skills are vital, I think to, to good investing is just being able to react and being able to just get in there and do things and learn.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, and if you think about it, from you know, your, your experience as an agent, I'm sure your first closing wasn't perfect, right? There were some things that you learned some things that you had to adapt to. And your second one, your third one went a little bit better. And and now that you're quite a few years into it, you know, what you're doing? And it's the same thing with investments, you know, there's going to be some things that you change, and you know, it's it's risk mitigation, how can you limit as much risk as possible, that doesn't mean that things can't go wrong? And yet, you're not going to learn about property five or 10? Unless you start with property one?

 

Christian Peterson 

Absolutely, yep. I tell every, I have a conversation with a lot of new investors. And usually the difference between an investor and not is just that first property. Once once you get that first property under your belt, and you go and do it, it's it's by factorial that you're going to invest in more properties and do that quicker, and do it better, you're not going to make everybody thinks they're gonna just wait for the perfect opportunity, and then invest.

 

Christian Peterson 

And for one, I don't think the perfect opportunity exists out there. But to when you go and do it, you're just gonna screw it up, because you're new. And that's okay. It's you don't have to maximize, absolutely maximize your rate of return or anything like that. Real estate is really hard to screw up. Unless you just make a completely stupid decision, you're gonna make money.

 

Mike Swenson 

Okay, so thinking back then, as we have kind of talked about, you know, leverage and getting better at stuff and in succeeding through others, both through the relationships that you have, you know, people that you've hired, talk to me about how you've gained additional leverage now, these last few years.

 

Christian Peterson 

Well, mostly, it's just I've gotten to a point in the business where I know that I can't do anything, everything myself, you know, you know what that feels like when it happens when you start dropping balls that are important to you. You need leveraging things out and how I've done it so far in my real estate business. And in my law businesses, I hadn't been at the point yet where I needed to hire full time staff.

 

Christian Peterson 

And the great part about the real estate industry and starting to be in the legal industry is that there are really a great part time or by transaction assistance out there for you, I have a transaction coordinator that I've been using for the past year, and he handles all of my contract work all of my listing entering and then just that stuff that doesn't need to be done by me, that occupies a really big chunk of my time, paperwork is a huge part of the real estate practice.

 

Christian Peterson 

And if you can take that off your table, it's going to save 610 plus hours per week with the work and it doesn't cost that much money, you know, I pay him per transaction. So when I don't have any transactions, I don't have any additional expense. When I have a ton of transactions, I have a ton of additional expense. And I don't care because I'm getting paid, it's really easy to just turn up the volume on your real estate practice by just getting that first admin and having to be compensated differently than like a full time employee. And I do the same thing for law, I have a contract paralegal who steps in and does those paperwork, things that I can't handle.

 

Christian Peterson 

Then my second point of leverage is that, because I worked with so many people, I can't always be available to do showings and stuff like that. And I have a regular person who I use for showing assistant work to go out and open doors for me when I can't, I would like to be there for as much as I can. But if not, you know, I pay somebody per door plus mileage. And again, when I'm busy, I have money to pay them when I'm not busy, I don't need to use.

 

Mike Swenson 

And now that's somebody Yeah, like you said, it's somebody you have a relationship with, they obviously are hungry and wanted to get a little bit more business or get a little bit more income. And yet at the same time, you know, they understand that you're not paying them a salary, you're not necessarily committing to anything. So it's kind of like, you know, something from Christian is better than nothing. And so it makes sense for you guys to work together. And then you don't have this big huge payroll of people that you're writing out a check every month, regardless of how busy you are.

 

Christian Peterson 

Right. And I don't have the time on my plate right now until I hire additional probably full time help to where I can go and hire that buyer's agent or that Associate Attorney and have them on staff, right. I grew my business as an attorney to the point where I had the full time staff. And then I had to watch over them and train them and all of that stuff that I didn't have time for.

 

Christian Peterson 

I realized that after I hired them, and that's why they're not around anymore, because I didn't have the time necessary to work them into that full time employee situation, I didn't make the right hires at the right time. Your first hire needs to be a full time, all the time before you go and hire any additional staff because you don't have time to watch over those additional staff.

 

Mike Swenson 

I think you're you're very smart and how you're choosing to allocate your resources, because it allows you to run lean and mean when you need to run lean and mean. And it also allows you to scale up when you get busy. And so, you know, I heard in a in a podcast on the, in the past, they talked about, you know, so many times when people talk about scaling, they talk about, you know, going from something small to something really big. And what you don't realize is that there's times when you know, just with seasonality, or with stuff, life, stuff that happens, the ability to go big, back to small back to big back to small is really important too.

 

Mike Swenson 

And so you're somebody that's taking advantage of that leverage, where you know, you're not writing the big checks when you don't have to. And when you do need to write a big check, it's great because you're busy. And so it's it's allowing you to kind of, you know, almost like a little heartbeat that goes you know, back and forth that allows you to scale up scale back scale up scale back based on the size of your business, which ultimately, is now putting more in your pocket to help you feed future investments.

 

Christian Peterson 

Right on, and I don't really want to necessarily have a big business either, you know, I read a book called company one A while back and you know, sometimes they the whole point was sometimes we grow for growth sake. And what does that do except give us more expenses and more busy work and more stress in our lives. And you know, I'm pretty comfortable being my own boss in a company of one and it really doesn't my business doesn't necessarily translate into multiple agents or multiple attorneys either just because of the unique nature of my work.

 

Mike Swenson 

So what as you think about your your growth here, what advice would you give to folks, you know, looking to get in real estate looking into get invest in getting into investments. You know, just some of those, those little nuggets of wisdom that you've picked up along the way in your journey?

 

Christian Peterson 

Sure, the most important thing, I think, whether you're talking about real estate, or whether you're talking about the investment side of things, when I first joined at one, I expected to get all this great real estate investment, practical knowledge, like how do you invest? How do you do a flip? How do you do this. And it's really not about any of that. But we spent most of our time besides some kind of core concepts on how to save money and stuff like that.

 

Christian Peterson 

A vast majority of it is about mindset, and how to develop the mindset of the wealthy, how to develop the habits and tools of the wealthy. You know, they talk about what you do before eight, eight in the morning, and what you do after 8pm at night. So it's not like this, I don't have any like specific tools to give people but what I would tell them as the most important thing to do is to cultivate that that kind of winning energetic, positive mindset in yourself.

 

Christian Peterson 

To read books about it, like Secrets of the Millionaire Mind is one of my favorites by t harv. eker, was fundamental in developing that wealthy mindset. And once you do that, and once you start kind of practicing those rituals, over and over and over again, it just feeds off of itself, and it gives you the this, that's the seed to grow the big tree, because everything flows from there. I do the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod every morning, and part of that is reading. So I've read more in the past two years than in the previous 38 years of my life, and all sorts of stuff that I've learned from doing that, but it's it's all skills that I now put into practice, but I wouldn't have any of that if it wasn't for mindset and habits.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, one of the things that, you know, that I, I've talked to people about in real estate is, you know, as we know, you know, whatever the statistic is, like, 80% of people don't make it two years in real estate. And what I've told people that are newer is, you know, part of it is just hanging around long enough till it clicks, right? I mean, you know, I've said, If you, let's say you made $50,000 a year, and another job, or you made $50,000, a year in real estate, for some people, they might see, you know, for the first year or two, like, Oh, I'm not, I'm really not moving forward in my career. And yet, in another industry, you don't have a lot of the opportunity that you do have in real estate to build long term wealth.

 

Mike Swenson 

So part of it is just, you know, hanging around long enough to those, those those connections, click in your mind of like, how can I really leverage all the knowledge and experience that I've gained to really do something large or significant for your financial life, and then, you know, five years from now, it's going to make that time, you know, that one year, two year three year learning curve worth it, because then it's going to be a little bit more of that hockey stick growth. From a mindset perspective, you know, not necessarily, you know, net income perspective, which it can certainly impact.

 

Mike Swenson 

But first, you have to impact your mindset in a large way to really use those use your your knowledge and your experience in a way that's going to then impact your your net net income. And so yeah, part of it is just hang on, hang around long enough. And eventually, it's gonna click for people in terms of, you know, transactional growth or wealth building.

 

Mike Swenson 

But if you don't give yourself enough time in the industry, you, you get out and you go to something safe or something reliable, or something consistent, you know, you might kick yourself a few years from now, because you didn't really get to see that through because I truly do believe real estate is, you know, one of if not the best industry to build long term wealth and you know, you're gonna meet people, every all those connections you've made with people are just people, you're just showing up being a realtor. And now boom, you've got somebody that you can you can talk to for mortgages.

 

Mike Swenson 

Now you've got somebody that you can talk to, for helping with leveraging your investment properties. If you don't personally know somebody, as you start to get to those next steps. It's as simple to just say, call somebody up, hey, who do you know, that can help me with this? Like you're in the industry, with all the connections, it's just a matter of medium yourself or asking somebody? How do I meet them? And then now, think about your future and how much growth you'll have as a result of just hanging around long enough and the stuff starts to click and you put the pieces together?

 

Christian Peterson 

Absolutely, sir. And in all of my deals, in some respect, have gone from just being there when somebody suggested or otherwise just ran into that opportunity, which I wouldn't have had if I wasn't spending time and I liked that thing about being among hang around long enough. You know, that's, that's essentially what I do. I mean, real estate lead generation is just, I sit in front of my computer and make calls and emails and text messages for three to four. hours a day. And I've just done that for six years now.

 

Christian Peterson 

And, and just now, the opportunities are just different than you were in the beginning, when you're right in the beginning, you know, you got to hustle, a lot of people make a lot of calls to some folks, you might want to not want to talk to expireds and whatnot, because you don't have a big database. And as you grow, you get that database. And now, the levels of your calls are now much higher. You know, now most of my calls, instead of being those kind of outbound, cold solicitor calls are more inbound, like, Hey, you asked me about this opportunity, let me talk to you about it.

 

Christian Peterson 

Or, hey, I'm just looking for this, and I'm making connections with those people that you said that I know. And then, you know, people are bringing me opportunities to, you know, I've told them, I'm looking for this sort of stuff, and they're, they're approaching me with, hey, there might be this opportunity in this place. And so just the longer that you stay in it, and the longer that you work, those lead generation hours, the more opportunities you're going to have both in the sales side and investment side.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah. And I tell people to you know, the kind of the layup listing is the come listening from a past client. And so I said, you know, part of it is a, you have to help a client, and then be you have to hang around long enough for that client to sell, you know, and so, you're not going to get to come list me from a past client a month into being a realtor, and yet you will five years seven, eight years down the road when they're looking to sell again. And so when you've done a good job for them the first time now, they're just gonna call you up. And you know, all those hours of prospecting and cold calling all that to get that client that's just Hey, Christian. We've been friends for the last seven, eight years want to sell my house? Oh, sure.

 

Mike Swenson 

You know, and you don't get that unless you've put in those that previous time. So yeah, this hang around, do a great job for great people in this stuff starts to come back to.

 

Christian Peterson 

Yep, totally agree.

 

Mike Swenson 

Cool. Well, Christian, how can folks get a hold of you, if there's something that you want to plug here, whether it's, you know, your services as a realtor or as an attorney, and then also to, you know, investment opportunities for somebody that might be watching this on the internet a year or two from now, when they run across this video? What is it that you're looking for? Or what what would you like to plug?

 

Christian Peterson 

Well, my kind of my, the focus of my journey here, whether it's real estate investing, or the sales side, or the attorney side is really, I just want to have, I want to help people have a smooth transaction in real estate. And then I also just am really passionate about trying to help people build wealth through real estate, whether it's purchasing that home, whether it's coming out from under a bad situation and moving towards a better one in the future. And, and starting with a clean slate or whatever. I love to have those conversations.

 

Christian Peterson 

So the easiest way to reach me, my website is christianpetersonproperties.com and that's kind of a comprehensive, everything that I do in the real estate space. They can also email me at Christian Peterson at kw.com I'm checking email all the time, and they always respond to people, I will always give you the time to ask whatever questions that you want to cuz I, I know that even if I'm just answering a question in a five minute phone call or something like that, that kind of thing is going to come back around somehow like it all squares away. So I don't mind spending the time upfront with people.

 

Mike Swenson 

Absolutely. All right. Well, thanks so much, Christian. We really appreciate your time and your knowledge and experience in both on the real estate side and on the legal side. So thanks so much for coming on. We appreciate it having you.

 

Christian Peterson 

Thanks for having me.

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