Erick Miller, Owner
El Investment Group
Real Estate Investor and Inspector
Cleveland, OH

Interview Highlights:

  1. Managing mindset during wide-spread panic (4:46)
  2. Opportunities available in the real estate market (9:02)
  3. Leadership, positivity and using this time wisely (13:56)
  4. Morning prime to help stay focused (15:48)
  5. Maintaining healthy habits (16:17)
  6. 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


Click below & listen to the full interview and don’t forget to subscribe to our Podcast


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.

Okay, okay.

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

or something.



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

had before.

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

just okay.

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

business model.

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.

You’re headed.

I’m so even though that’s a little bit of a shift for your business.

Are you?

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

you navigate.

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.

Just relax.

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

will consume.

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

things up.

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

figure out.

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

this time.

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.

Yeah right.

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

comfortable feeling.

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


That’s awesome.

Thank you so much for your time Eric.

I really appreciate you helping.


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