Cody Sperber, also known as The Clever Investor,” is a Real Estate expert, mentor, and educator. He has written four books, two on investing in real estate (including the Clever Investor guide) and two on investing in cryptocurrencies.
He speaks internationally and has the most-followed real estate account on Instagram.
Cody’s own Success Story
Cody grew up in Mesa, Arizona, wanting to be a marine biologist. Arizona is not the best state for such an ambition, so Cody joined the Navy in his teens, but there was a problem. Cody was violently sea-sick whenever his ship went to sea.
Despite that, he served for four years and was awarded several service medals. From there, Cody went to Arizona State University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Finance and Accounting. Having abandoned marine biology with his seasickness, he wanted to teach, but the pay levels were off-putting.
While at University, Cody saw a friend flip a house and make $80,000. Cody thought if Jeremy could do it, he definitely could. Jeremy explained the wholesaling principle he had used, which didn’t need a load of capital on the back of a napkin.
Cody started to research how to become a real estate investor, flying countrywide for every seminar available. After nine months, he had failed to make a deal and was flat broke from the courses he had done. Cody gave up the dream and went to work as a bookkeeper. He hated every minute, feeling he had given up on the thing he most wanted to do.
His friends saw him becoming increasingly negative and tried to persuade him to go to more seminars. Eventually, Cody was induced, on the principle that at least it would be a good vacation with a best friend.
Jack Miller, a real estate specialist, was running it. Miller was an old-timer and a brilliant storyteller. There were three hundred people there, all real deal makers, as opposed to the type Cody had met at other seminars, merely trying to sell books and tapes.
Cody had a sense of belonging at last. At the bar, he met another quirky old guy named Lyle. Cody hired Lyle to mentor him. Within a month and a half, Cody had made his first real estate deal, profiting $40,000, more than he would have earned in a year as a bookkeeper.
Cody was working out of his girlfriend’s kitchen. With his profits, he bought an engagement ring, reckoning she had put up with him all through that; she was definitely a keeper. He quit his job and helped his parents out with some money, and Kliver Investments was launched.
Initially, the goal was to pay the bills. Cody says he was never good with money and had these horrendous credit card bills to catch up on. But every level you develop, you start to realize that a little more, learn from other challenges.
After that first success, Cody flipped over fifty houses in his first year. Cody then started SellQuickForCash.com. He built his own web site for this, and it led to a passion for online marketing. His real estate websites ranked #1 on Google for all major search phrases.
The Clever Investor
In 2010, Cody founded the Clever Investor LLC. The Clever Investor sells real estate courses, mentoring, and software, and part of the success is the sense of community he created for it.
As Cody got to teach people real estate, he says it pushed him to be a better entrepreneur. People ask questions about how things are done, and you then go back and sort out the systems to make them more straightforward and explainable.
The Clever Investor teaches everything, from how to start the business, marketing, deal analysis and acquisition, funding and strategy, and how to close the deals. They also emphasize that this is not a get rich quick scheme and teach proven strategies.
Starting Clever Investors was a massive success, reaching 648 and 685 in the INC.5000 lists of 2015 and 16 and winning several awards.
Cody’s Future Plans:
He lives with his wife in Arizona and two kids and has an estimated worth of around $200M. Cody remains an extremely active real estate investor doing around 10-15 deals per month alongside about 14 rehabs.
In total, he has now flipped and consulted on more than 1,000 properties. He also develops and builds. Real Estate markets swing up and down, yet Cody’s trends remain upward. He says he has a great team enabling it all to happen.
For Cody, the money is never the motivator. When he had children, it became about setting a standard and leaving a legacy. He is the first millionaire in his family. His Dad works in the business, and he hopes that his son or daughter both may in time. His 11-year-old son often comes with him now when he teaches, has been in some of the videos on some of the real estate projects.
Cody believes the world is at an interesting stage of evolution, with lots of powerful shifts happening. People are starting to realizing they need several streams of income. They see that jobs are not secure. Pandemics can happen. Most people are not, by nature, savers, and do not have enough put by to weather storms.
Cody developed a strong mission to teach first the real estate and then create a place where people could learn how to start and scale a business online.
The 100 Million Academy
Cody still loves to teach
Cody has co-founded the 100 Million Academy, with Joel Marion, an exceptional marketer who scaled to $100m in his first year, and Dan Fleyshman, a brilliant networker. They have between them the connections, marketing, and educational skills.
The Academy launched in May 2020 for people who are serious in wanting the very best instruction in just about anything you can think of, including real estate, to make yourself recession-proof. They teach 20 different verticals in total, and students can choose what they want to learn and chat live afterward to the faculty entrepreneurs.
The faculty are all business titans. To name only a few:
- Marcus Lemonis, star of CNBC’s “The Profit” and Legendary Entrepreneur;
- Jordan Belfort – the original from the Wolf of Wall Street;
- Neil Patel – the world’s no 1 online marketer;
- Jim Kwik, brain and memory coach to Hollywood elite;
- Brian Norgard, former CRO of Tinder;
Initially, the Academy was going to hold seminars and classes. With COVID-19, they quickly pivoted to everything being online. Access is by subscription, with only costs $100 a month. Cody wants to help as many people as he can and make a real difference.
Real Estate Advice
I asked Cody for some insight into making money from real-estate. He told me the first thing you need to do is decide if you want to be a passive investor or an active one. If you decide on being a passive one, it is relatively simple to go out and buy a suitable property to rent out.
If you are going to be active, you need to learn every aspect. You have to understand the structuring, how to negotiate, how to source deals. In addition to that learning, your education must include working with someone local, who knows the particular markets.
Doing more creative real estate deals are not quite the same in the US as in the UK or Australia, but they are similar. Flipping property can simple mean buying low and selling high, or it can be a situation where you arbitrage, making a deal with both seller and buyer and gain on the price difference. You have to use the strategies that you like best.
In the US, one of the creative ways of getting a real estate deal is to find a seller in distress. That may mean they are going through hard financial times or a divorce, or the property itself is distressed and in need of money spending on it. The seller is, therefore, usually willing to sell for a chunk under the market value.
At this point, exact deal legalities vary by country. In Britain, you can do it through a leasing option set up, but in the States, real estate law gives you control of the property from the moment you sign the deal. Therefore, you can then take that property and sell it to a local buyer you have accessed via your local contact before completion time is up.
Flipping in this sense is, therefore, like playing matchmaker on a deal. You don’t require a license because you have an equitable interest in the real estate you are selling. If you did not, you would be an agent, but you have signed as a buyer, you then have that interest.
You then have a gap of twenty days to sell before you pay for the property. In the event of not having sold it on, you can have de-risked the deal by putting in escape-clauses.
For example, right up to the day before completion, you might retain the right for a full inspection and thereby the ability to pull out without any financial penalty if you did not like what that inspection finds.
Cody regularly stresses that it is not something to do without ensuring you are educated and know what you are doing. Be it with real estate or trying a business online, when people don’t know what they are doing, they get hurt.
Right now, no-one is telling people that the world is changing. There were only ever two ways to gain wealth: as an entrepreneur or as an investor. He is giving people the skills they need to protect themselves, and that is something positive that will come out of everything that is going on in the world today.
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