OWNER- EL INVESTMENT GROUP
- Managing mindset during wide-spread panic (4:46)
- Opportunities available in the real estate market (9:02)
- Leadership, positivity and using this time wisely (13:56)
- Morning prime to help stay focused (15:48)
- Maintaining healthy habits (16:17)
- Encouragement and advice (20:20)
About Our Guest:
Erick Miller is the founder and owner of El Investment Group. He is a real estate investor and inspector based in Cleveland, OH.
Connect with Erick Miller at www.elinvestment.com
So in light of The Changing Times with the covid-19 virus were doing
something a bit different.
So we’re doing pivot of where we’re having real talk with real
business owners on how you guys are navigating via the very a rapidly
changing environment that were all in a summer working really hard to
keep the doors open some are even actually thriving and their
businesses up at times like that.
So what what we’re doing today is we’re bringing people on on that are
talking about their business.
And again this very Dynamic.
This is raw off the cusp exactly the way you’d probably wanted in this
My guest today is a client turned friend Eric Mueller.
She was the founder and owner of el Investment Group out of Cleveland,
Thank you so much for joining us today Eric and taking taking time out
of your around.
No doubt busy schedule and ever-changing schedule to talk to us.
Well, it’s hectic but I do have more time to talk to schedule freed up
a little bit.
Tell us about your business tell us about what you do where you do it
give us a little background primarily what I’ve been in the business
of doing for close to twenty years.
Now while y’all are investment groups only been around about 6 years
is I go in and I help out distressed homeowners people that are losing
their house because they lost a job which is uncanny in this
environment and no or they’re going through divorce situations or they
just can’t keep up with the repairs on the house.
So basically what we do is we help home or out of a bad situation.
We take these houses.
We Revitalize them and we package up a turnkey home or a new buyer
that doesn’t want to have to do any repairs or work on the house.
So we’re helping one person at helping another still helping the
original homeowner out of a bad situation.
And we’re putting a new homeowner in the house and the ready to go and
happy because it’s been freshly renovated.
Yeah, I can see now that is that interesting and timely right now your
Free kind of get in the mechanics of the business.
How how are you guys coming right now?
I mean obviously things have changed as they have for all of us.
How are you guys?
Are you guys coping?
I think mildly everybody that works for me is freaking out a little
bit but they’re mostly men.
So they’re not discussing it in there.
Just keeping busy.
I’ve tried to reassure the guys that there’s plenty of work and we’re
going to move forward no matter what and if we go on a strict
quarantine that we could just quarantine them in the houses are so not
to worry that the text will keep flowing, you know, I was fortunate
enough and as you know, I closed three properties right before the
pandemic so luckily we have a little more cash to operate with moving
We have a little bit of cushion.
We could sit tight without any cash coming in.
A little bit sure, that’ll be helpful.
You know ya office on a field virtual a combination of all three this
Obviously my construction workers are not exactly virtual but they’re
their local contractors that do the work on the houses and I have one
assistant that works virtually out of Florida.
Mostly she helps out with the inspections.
I do on the side with Camelot Home Inspection, but then I have a new
manager in the mix only two weeks in the mix in training in
Philippines that I’ve been trying to bring up the speed with our
construction business and this is just made it a little more Curious
on how we’re going about it.
So that’s fun.
But that’s basically how are structure works and we have a a mobile
bookkeeper which soon will be virtual at some point.
Your office is closed down for the most part.
Is there anybody currently working in the office right now?
You know, we had some changes we used to have an in office manager.
We no longer do so besides the bookkeeper.
I’m the only one that uses the office actually means I can come in
here and get work done.
If I need it’s a blessing in disguise.
What’s the main?
What’s the main hurdles that you’re facing right now?
I’m going to mindset because I know that there’s a lot of opportunity.
That’s that’s coming up.
But right now I think the even myself a little bit.
It’s like okay got to go to the grocery store.
Make sure I have enough water in toilet paper and supplies just in
case and you know it if you take a step back and look at that at the
most of the worried a little silly.
We all have enough supplies in our home quite a while.
I don’t think there’s a need for all that concerned but it carries
through to the workers, you know, they’re concerned.
They’re thinking I’m not going to get a paycheck.
You don’t even know you’re telling him today.
Are there thinking, you know giving him a little bit after this might
go over and do a little more visitation and talk to the guys and boost
their morale a little bit.
Just let me know.
It’s going to be okay again, you know repetition is the mother knows
I’m going to go repeat that a few times and bring him a little snack
That’s a really good point is just you probably can’t emphasize that
enough is that you know that they’re their role is safe because there
are a lot of rolls out there that aren’t safe right now.
So the fact that you’re able to do that for your team is really an
I’m really glad that you guys are in a position.
Do you feel like you’re in a position because you feel like you’re in
a position for that or just some degree.
Do you feel like you kind of prepared to weather a storm should one
arise this business feels like 1 months.
You’re either in the middle of a storm or you’re laying on the beach
enjoying yourself just bouncing back and forth a lot.
So I’m used to that.
I know that the last time my business Thrive the economy was tanking.
I know that that exact same opportunity is going to present itself
again and most likely I think it’s going to surpass what it did in
07080 grams and usually when the government offers programs they
screwed up left and right and somebody has to be there to clean up the
message by the houses fix them up repurpose and Salim, you know,
should I think that there’s going to be plenty of that opportunity
moving forward the shopping with this good economy going into it that
we rebound have as much of a lawless we did.
Do you feel like this is very similar to the housing crisis that we
So I see the analogies between the two and that was a real upswing for
for your business again, not everyone’s business in the same
But you feel like this is going too closely mirror that that I’m the
same kind of effect.
I don’t think they are even close to being the same but they’re
they’re they’re causing the same things people are going in
foreclosure, you know this time.
It’s not because of all the risky lending.
It’s just the fact that people are going to be out of work.
They’re giving it they’re going to give a free pass.
I think that a lot of house payments free pass.
They’ve already know you can’t file foreclosures in Ohio.
You know, so there’s going to be a lot of responsibility there that I
think a lot of people are going to just for lack of a better way to
put it there going to blow it off when it’s time to pay back.
They’re going to move on and you know, that’s not everybody but it
will be a significant percentage sure.
That’s where I pretended he comes in for us and that was my next
question is talking about the opportunities that do exist because
obviously we talked about this extensively.
So what’s what’s wrong is always available but so is what’s right and
so you’re intentionally training your eye on and just even in our
conversation I can hear it where there’s definitely downsides going
on, but you’re very much training your eye out of Hill.
What’s the upside?
Like, where’s the opportunities that exist out of this?
So it’s interesting that you said you’re hurting his mindset because
everything that I’m hearing is is around that you’re successfully
managing your mindset to talk to you about some of the opportunities
that you’re saying that you’re looking for and you’re staying is it
Well on the when this is all said and done there will be more houses
The market is is that primarily it and also talks about if there’s any
Hibbetts you’re making in your business.
Like all right, we’re going to move away from maybe this traditional
We were using and I were looking at the mother opportunities that
won’t say that I’ve gotten away from any models, but the opportunities
that I’m looking for as I’m looking for more investment capital.
I think it’s going to become more available as it did in 08 because
people were somewhere to put their money besides the stock market
after it crashed sure did the other opportunities that I’m looking for
a possible refinances of existing loans because the mortgage industry
is is relieved right now.
So interest rates are really low if you’re prepared to get a new loan.
You know, I’m looking at positioning myself with properties that are
free and clear and having Capital available to act on even more
opportunity moving forward because the way I see it is there’s
probably only 3 months to prepare for the opportunities coming up and
that’s when it’s going to start.
You know, we start slow and the next year there going to be a ton of
opportunities out there.
So you have to position yourself you’re ready to act on them exactly.
And so and so the business that you’ll be going into it’s it’s just
more an extension of what you’re doing.
Are you looking at anything additional beyond scared of you said you
were looking for more investment Capital your positioning for what
this looks like at 3 months.
Is there anything additional that you’re going to be doing with your
Well, I am starting to phase out the inspection business a little bit.
I may be looking for an entrepreneur that wants to step into that role
has consumed a good amount of my time by the condition of the current
I’ve been relieved of his many inspections just because I think the
pandemonium has fires up there either slowing down and sitting on the
fence where they’re trying to hurry up and get their house purchase
being both sides of it.
But overall we slow down I’m taking more time to look for the
opportunities the short sales.
You know, what we don’t know is we don’t know what the judges are
going to do with those situations moving forward if they’re going to
freeze things, which should they do that are rarely and that’s where
I’ll have to Pivot a little bit and maybe consider renovating some of
my current rental stock flipping knows and also keeping an eye open
Commercial investment of course, that’s been something I’ve been
looking for for the last few years and haven’t found the right
opportunity and or partner and or had the right Capital position to
take advantage of a little bit of all the above.
So I think we’re going to be in a better position to move in on those
opportunities when they come up and I think they’ll be some
opportunity there too.
I think the commercial I think some deals are fall apart of people
will get cold feet because people don’t do anything until they were
I know we have some commercial investors and wholesalers and such that
our listeners of pivot me give him specifics on what you’re looking
Just put it out there.
Ideally, I’m looking for that distress situation with a 5250 unit
building where there are definitely some value-add to Major rehab,
which I know a lot of investors don’t like the major rehab I would be
willing to tackle that kind of a situation sheriff and of course if
there’s any participation which we don’t see much anymore, but if the
buildings in bad shape, I would think that the seller would be willing
to participate and help that happen perfect for that.
I’m so even though that’s a little bit of a shift for your business.
Okay making that shift into the commercial space despite the changing
economy or do you see the says?
Hey this is the exact opportunity for us to to make the step in the
People that live somewhere they do.
I’m actually provide for people manage one large box than lots of
little boxes sense.
That makes sense.
You’re just saying that it kind of speaking kind of to the leadership
Are you finding?
Let me rephrase.
How are you stepping up for people whether that’s your team your
family your community.
Just knowing you obviously we’ve worked together for quite some time
lot of people look to you for for guidance for leadership.
Probably for a bit of a harbor in the storm.
Are you finding that and how are you handling how you managing that?
I find myself in numerous conversations and I tend to end them all
with it’s going to be okay because I think that there’s a lot of
uncertainty out there right now and not everybody’s equipped to handle
I’m not saying that I’m perfect either.
You know, I worry I’m human but you have to you have to focus on what
you can do.
What can I control it?
What can I do for my business?
Will right now I can work on making my system better I can do I can do
those to do that have been on my list for 6 months that I just never
get to you because well not have the time to study a little more.
You know, I can fit those things in that are going to help me rebound
Help me recover more Capital later.
I make less now sure.
It’s a great way to approach it.
They have more time to do those things those two.
Call the things that are on the to-do list for maybe work on
strategies or goals and things like that, but they’re having a hard
time staying focused on that.
Is there a trick or a technique that you can share on how and that
might just be mine as your mindset as well.
But how are you able to focus on those things in for the Mixed of all
that is going on.
Well, I will admit I’m just a scatterbrained as anyone else right now.
So my thoughts are bouncing around, you know, and the home life is the
same thing and all the families nervous and shoes I’m getting phone
calls and text messages.
So it’s a distraction.
I run to the grocery store at lunch time to call just to pick up the
things that are needed for myself.
I just I try to visit it first thing in the morning, you know, I I
build a priming exercise that I learned from Tony Robbins and I try to
be grateful for everything is going well and I try to focus on what I
need to do for that day and you know, you can’t beat yourself up for
what you don’t get done.
But you know at the end of the week, you’ll find you got something
accomplished if it seems like a small thing and keep building, you
know, you ultimately get $40.
It was their habits like you mentioned in the morning.
Is there some habits that you’re still doing today that are helping
It’s whether it’s you know, I always do this not just continue to do
this or I’ve developed this new habit that’s helping you right now.
Well dividend have it, you know because they’ve closed down the gym
Oh, yeah, I started going hiking and I can’t I can’t seem to get a
hike done in the same amount of time.
I could be at the gym stuff that one hour workout at the gym has
become a two-hour hike which is awesome.
It’s in a place that has to clear your head and stay out.
What are we trying to accomplish here direction?
Are we heading with the business?
Which direction do we want to stop going in with you.
It just becomes a little clearer when you exercise.
I think exercise is a good Catalyst for getting clear on what you’re
trying to accomplish.
Yeah, what has the upside been?
So there’s always gifts in any situation even tough times.
So you were saying hiking is it is it may be more
I’m with the family or with your son’s what’s what’s been some
blessings that have come out of this time.
All the blessings would definitely be I’ve done some more projects
around the house with my with my boys are staying up later so they
don’t have to get to bed early for school.
So we’ve been working together a little bit more and then we’ve had
more time because I’ve taken them hiking with me, you know, we had we
had more time for discussions, you know, having those man father to
son talks right now letting him know, you know, things are a little
crazy right now.
But again, it’s going to be okay and if you don’t mom gets upset,
you’ve got to be a little bit of a rock for her and get up having no
socks and it’s been awesome.
You know, I got some fantastic lessons that they’re getting and great
time with their dad to
What dirt there’s always an outside, right?
There’s a there’s always a silver lining to every cloud.
So you don’t want to have it that you are doing what about habits that
you stopped or maybe even things that you say, I’m absolutely not
going to do this soap.
For example, I seen some people limit the amount of news that they
So I’m going to take 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night
and then everything between I’m not going to touch the news.
Do you have anything that you’re like, I’m absolutely staying away
from this so I can stay focused on what I need to stay focused on.
Well, I probably dropped from a couple hours a day on Facebook down to
maybe 15 or 20 minutes.
You know, I don’t I don’t pay much attention to the news on Facebook,
you know, it is a connection with friend.
So mostly I’m just checking to see who commented and he’ll make
baguette my interactions with my friends in an in and I tried to
ignore the rest because you know, I see I see people freaking out, you
know, reading all that stuff even my son started during I start doing
too much research, you know watching the news articles.
I’m like, you know, you can’t do that.
They can only give you so many updates a day.
That’s a really good point cuz your kids some you know, that my kids
are obviously younger so they’re not able to get on and look look
So everything they’re getting is fed through us, but that’s another
it’s another level of complexity when your kids are older and they can
just get on a read the news themselves so you don’t get to filter what
they’re getting exposed to.
I’m considered that as a parent must be challenging.
13 year old pees and all kinds of stuff that I’ll probably never even
Rite Aid certainly true that makes complete sense.
What what piece of advice what resource what words of encouragement.
Would you give to other other businesses that are listening to this
right now or or even just anybody but me listener that’s whether
that’s looking for some hope or some opportunity or something that
they really should wrap their arms around that might help them through
First of all, just don’t freak out, you know, it is going to be okay,
but what you can do yourself as you can focus on what you can do you
how you can make things better.
What can you improve?
Can you help your neighbor who need help?
You know, when you help people makes you feel better.
Now there’s people that are not able to get out there probably
watching the news and they’re in their seventies and they’re freaking
out afraid that they’re going to die if they you know, and that’s not
too exaggerated at the far end.
Quarantine because they’re just they’re that worried that they’re
going to get some sort of cross-contamination and end up with weird
So do what you can do.
Everybody’s got work on their business.
Give me a complex and I know
I know when the rug being pulled out from under you that is not a
There’s a way through it, you know, take you sometime relax.
Go hiking go hiking think about Solutions don’t think about the
problems as much give the problems this much thought give the
solutions this much thought and you know, go follow your heart at that
point, you know, what’s really good advice really good because if you
look at what what’s mostly being talked about and what’s really
focused on Elise in social media space a lot of it is problem-focused
or or what ifs and that’s not really controlling what we have the
power to control.
That’s really good.
The other thing I here to is that you don’t talk to your kids and
frame this for your kids.
Don’t let the kids frame it for themselves be there either Rock for
them and help them understand this and frame it for them in a way
that’s going to serve them because the truth is we don’t really know
exactly what the next you know few weeks.
Like we got it.
We got to choose what we’re focusing on and if especially when our
kids are young enough really influence what they’re focusing on his
Thank you so much for your time Eric.
I really appreciate you helping.