Today we’d like to introduce you to Maxwell Baker.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
When I first started thinking about real estate I was a Trumpet Player in the Marine Band in San Diego from 2001-2005. I started doing hard money loans, and financing musical instruments for my fellow musicians that wanted to upgrade their instruments but didn’t have the cash. I really liked the idea of getting “mailbox money” so it really sparked an idea in my head that that was the route I wanted to take. My dad had recently purchased a small 15 unit mobile home Park in South Carolina and I saw how well he was doing with it and he asked me if I wanted to finance some homes for his tenants in the park. I agreed and saw that the industry was something I could really make a dent in since most of the people in it were not too tech savvy. I then went to work for a national brokerage firm that taught me the ropes on how to become a commercial real estate investment broker. I started building a database of mobile home park owners and after reading “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss I saw the opportunity to hire talent in India, Latin America, and Philippines. I first started with just one person then kept growing to where I am today with 5 VA’s or virtual assistants. It’s amazing the kind of talent you can find overseas for much less. I know a lot of people have different opinions about that but when you are a startup EVERY dollar counts and it was really a cheap way to learn how to manage people virtually. I still do it now because it’s just a more efficient use of money and the talent overseas is getting better every year. It’s tough to pass up on someone with a master’s degree for 5 dollars an hour you know? Since then, my wife Kathryn has come on board to help manage the VA’s and I hired an old buddy I met at the investment firm I started at to help with the sales part of the company. My goal is to create a mobile home park brokerage investment platform for people to come and work and make 6 figures within 24 months.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I struggled A LOT. I worked 3 jobs just to lessen the bleeding of cash I was going through. I had to sell my beloved jeep wrangler and by the time I closed my first deal of $2,500, I was $25,000 dollars in debt. The late nights of valeting cars and working at Ruby Tuesday’s and trying to run a brokerage business was hard. I remember seeing a fellow trumpet player friend of mine I met at Georgia State while I was working at Ruby Tuesdays and he asked “Max you have a degree what are you doing?”
I had so many fears, late nights of tears, and insecurities of whether or not I was going to make it. It REALLY sucked.
After the first year of this it started to get better and I started to make some money but it took me 2 years to get completely out of the hole I was in financially.
As the years went on I started making more and more money. I even had a family member approach me asking to see if he and his then current girlfriend could join me. I saw an immediate opportunity to learn how manage people “stateside” vs virtually and gladly accepted. After the first 3 months they began taking all of the years of research I had done and began their own database. When I approached them about it they said they were going to start their own mobile home park brokerage firm. I was DEVASTATED. After picking myself back up and getting back on the horse I looked at it as a motivator to work even harder. Not only did I have competition that I created, they were using my data. I hired 3 more VA’s to ramp up my research and after a few years of struggling I ended up pushing them out of the industry. It was an amazing experience of self-growth and just learning how to deal with a blow like that and I am grateful.
It’s been a long and hard journey but it’s been worth it because I have learned so much about what it takes to build a business.
Please tell us about The MHP Broker.
I help park owners buy and sell their mobile home parks.
I’ve also helped with placing debt to buy communities
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Going to Mexico to visit my family and camping on the beaches of Mexico eating shell fish and whatever we caught in the ocean.