Here’s a brief bio for those of you who aren’t familiar with me or my real estate investing experience.
I was born in Lubbock, TX and grew up on a cotton farm just outside of town. I had a very exciting childhood, spending most of my free time playing sports with my twin brother, Trent. My dad was a cotton farmer and my mom was a secretary. (No one in my family has a real estate background.)
When we were born, our family was lower middle class, but our parents always found ways to make ends meet. The consecutive years of bad crops led us to coin the phrase, “That’s just Smith luck” … which was bad luck of course. But fortunately, as my brother and I entered high school, our family became more middle class because my dad’s cotton crops had gradually become more profitable.
After high school, I decided it was time to “get off the farm”, so I went on to attend and then graduate from Texas Tech University. I was a Business Administration major and a Spanish minor. (That comes in handy in Texas!) After graduation, I moved to Houston, TX to work as a software developer for ExxonMobil. I planned to work my way up the corporate ladder like all good boys and girls are supposed to do.
But a few months later, I realized I HATED working there. I felt more like a prisoner than a “career man”. So I looked for other options and read in a few books that most millionaires either made their fortunes in real estate or regularly invest in real estate. So I resigned after one year to buy, fix, and re-sell houses full-time. I said to myself, “no guts, no glory!”
But my investing career didn’t go so well at first. After 8 months of putting out signs, putting ads in the newspaper, and cold-calling sellers, I hadn’t bought a single property. In fact, I was $5,500 in debt from my marketing expenses. I’m not a violent guy, but one night I was so frustrated that I kicked my trash can across the room. I actually still have that trash can and those shoes I kicked it with to this day…
But I didn’t give up! After becoming more educated about investing and discovering how to buy properties from wholesalers, how to get leads from the Internet, and how to do short sales, I FINALLY bought my first property. It’s true what they say. The first one really is the toughest!
I then went on a “frenzy”, buying 41 houses over the next five years. I was able to do this with no prior experience and using almost every creative purchasing method out there. I bought most with no money down and no credit check.
Looking back, I’m thankful that I didn’t give up on myself. My success in the field of residential real estate investing has allowed me to become “financially retired”. In other words, I don’t have to work anymore, but I do because I enjoy it.
My success has also allowed me to network with some of the greatest minds in business through my membership in Entrepreneurs Organization (www.eonetwork.org), which is an exclusive club for real estate investors and other business people who bring in at least $1 million per year in gross revenues.
In addition, I’ve been able to give back by sharing my investing knowledge to aspiring investors. To date, my investing tips and articles have been read by over 200,000 investors, and I’ve conducted over 25 seminars to investors throughout the nation, speaking to audiences as large as 800 people.
My profits from real estate investing also gave me the capital to start myhousedeals.com, which provides a constantly updated list of bargain-priced properties to real estate investors in 16 market areas: Atlanta, Boston, Central Texas, Chicago, DFW, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, NYC/Tri-State, Oklahoma, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, South Florida, St Louis, Tampa Bay and Washington DC. (Get a free membership here.) The company has a staff of highly-talented people who do a fantastic job providing the highest quality deals and leads to our members.
But I’m most proud that I’ve been able to transform people’s lives by giving them life-changing advice and access to highly profitable investment opportunities. And that this information has empowered them to make hundreds of thousands of dollars, quit their jobs, and most importantly, enjoy their lives with their friends and family.
When I’m not investing in real estate or overseeing myhousedeals.com, I enjoy traveling. I currently take about 12 vacations per year. I also enjoy softball, disc golf and playing the guitar.
Doug speaks at a real estate investing event.