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Rick Hale | Wish I Had? Or Glad I Did?

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On this episode of Investing for Freedom, Mike talks to Rick Hale. Rick is an Atlanta-based real estate expert who can help you get into the game. Mike and Rick discuss Rick’s background and what got him to where he is today. Enjoy!

“There’s two thoughts at the end of your life. You can say I wish I had, or I’m glad I did. And I’m convicted in the belief that it’s a beautiful thing when you’re glad you did.”


0:00 – Intro
2:37 – Mike asks Rick who has had the greatest impact on his life
9:52 – Mike asks what one thing has had the greatest impact on Rick’s life
12:42 – Rick explains that he’s blessed because he hasn’t had many setbacks in life, but talks about a setback that he had with an investment deal where he had about 2.2 million invested in 2008
20:46 – So many people would hear Rick’s story and be filled with fear, but fear and faith can exist together
24:09 – Rick shares the piece of advice he finds himself sharing the most
28:42 – Rick explains what he sees as the 12 areas on the wheel of life, money is one of them
31:02 – The Atlanta real estate market is on fire right now
34:39 – Mike has had great success with some mobile home parks in Atlanta
40:28 – You have to determine the purpose of your investments, it’s all about intention


Phone: (404)-735-4444


Mike Ayala: Thank you for joining me on the Investing for Freedom podcast. Today I’ve got Rick Hale on with me and I have such a soft spot in my heart for this guy. You know, I don’t know, a few months ago I had the opportunity with my son to go spend some time with Rick and his family at their lake house. And my heart was just expanded during that time. Just such a great time, a great time to get away with my son, but then just the way that they opened up their home. And you know, I’ve known Rick for a couple of years now through GoBundance, which we talk about a lot, but anytime that you can, you know, get invited into someone’s home, you really see what you thought you were going to see most of the time, but then it’s even expanded, and my impression and love for Rick was just expanded during that time. And just such an amazing family. I’m really excited to have Rick on here because I think Rick exemplifies something that’s really important to me and his compass and his North star is pretty strong. None of us are perfect, but at the end of the day, I’ve always realized that Rick, he’s really clear on what he wants and he’s pretty focused on that and he has had a ton of success too. But when you look at just the way he shows up in life and his friendships and the things around him, it’s something that I really look up to. So, Rick, I appreciate having you on the show and I think my guests are really going to enjoy talking to you or listening to you.

Rick Hale: Yeah, I appreciate it. It’s an honor to be here, Mike, you’re a special guy. There’s no question about it. And what you bring to the world aligns well with who I want to be and become. So that’s why I think our synergy is so good. So, thank you for the kind words and back at you.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, I really appreciate it. And we were joking before we started recording and we’re, you know, we’re going to post Rick’s lakehouse address so that you guys can all join him because he’s an amazing cook. And so is his wife and I don’t know, they’re building a cottage there that I’ve nicknamed the Ayala cottage, because I like took claim to it. But anyway, yeah, it’s just, just an amazing place. Yeah. So, Rick, let’s dive into the questions. Who’s had the greatest impact on your life?

Rick Hale: You know, there’s not like one, but you know, what’s interesting. I think every season there’s probably somebody that really puts their DNA into your world and shows up in a way that makes you better or helps you recognize things about you, you want to either embellish and improve or change. And I’d say, you know, I spent, when I was 12 years old, I spent a year in a military school and it was a really sad year for me because I had three, you know, my mom and dad had been married and divorced to two or three different people each. And there was just a weird phase in life where I ended up, you know, where nobody really had space for me. And at 12 I felt vulnerable. And to go away to a boarding school, really part of me, you know, believes that it was the greatest thing that’s ever happened. And then there’s a piece of me that recognizes, it Wasn’t happy for a while. And so, when you say impact on my life, I’d come out of that season. And my mother was dating an international business guy who was doing offshore corporations and she was living in Aruba and I visited for Thanksgiving. I think it was. And his commitment, we became fast friends, and he was this single guy, just, you know, doing international business and creating deals. And he came at the perfect time where I really need someone to just care about me and give me hope. And his commitment to me was that if I finished the school year strong, that I could come back and live with him and his parents. And he still, he had a vacation home, but his parents were, he traveled a lot. So I ended up living with a Polish family in Massachusetts for seventh and eighth grade, so 13 and 14, and the impact he made on me was the impression of, you know, it was undeniably amazing. And although back to your point earlier, there’s nothing that’s perfect and he wasn’t perfect. And in fact, ended up in trouble with the law or, you know, the semantics of tax. And there’s a whole bunch of things that happened, but that season, he opened my eyes to a few things. One, the world is bigger than my circumstance and that staying positive and hope is a beautiful thing. And he gave me hope and he helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. And I think, you know, I love the Zig Ziglar statement that, you know, how do you know when someone needs an uplifting statement or needs encouragement? And the answer is they’re breathing. And as a kid I’m so, you know, just vulnerable, I think to lots of influence. And thankfully this fellow showed up, his name was Jeff. He showed up at a time when I needed some real positivity. He also helped me understand the power of money and the power of thinking big and outside the box. And so those were probably the biggest lessons, stability, love, and then thinking outside the box. And again, I spent a couple of years with his family and it was the first stable family I’d had in a while where I really felt grounded and connected.

Mike Ayala: You know, I’ve watched you and you spend a lot of time with charity and, you know, you often tell stories about, you know, families that you actually bring out to the lake house and spend time with. And do you think that is that why you do that? I’ve often wondered, like, you know, Rick’s, heart’s just so big, does it stem from that? Or is there more to that?

Rick Hale: No, it does a direct correlation because what I’ve learned and even watching my kids, man, the right thing at the right time can change everything. And when I say the right thing, I mean circumstances or the right experience or the rite of passage, or just, you know, sometimes it’s as simple as somebody you respect and love telling you you’re okay, and that you’re good or that you’re capable. And because I had that happen at a time where I’m not sure I knew I was okay or that I was good. I didn’t feel a lot of love truthfully for myself or for my family. And, and again, they weren’t bad people. They were just in weird circumstances and somewhere in their minds, they thought that going to a boarding school would make me a better human being. And in the end, it was, I think they were right. It’s just not the path that didn’t work the way I think they thought it would work. I didn’t, I left out the part where I was failing all of my classes and hated everything until the day Jeff told me that I could come live there if I got good grades. I think third quarter I was kicked out of the month and had straight A’s. So, you know, we all have our love language and our fuel and mine is, I also learned about me that I love achieving and for the right reasons. And so yeah, that was pretty impactful. And I just also realized that another kids, you know, and the kids I really, really want to serve and I’m working towards is supporting kids in homeless situations, you know, single women with kids and, you know, fatherless situations too. I have some friends that run some amazing nonprofits in Atlanta that Taylor, you know, the effort and focuses directly on that group. And it it’s inspiring. And there’s a lot of hope in me that I could give the gift that was given to me.

Mike Ayala: Man. It’s probably apparent already, you know, for our listeners in our audience, but just, this is why I love being around Rick. It just, I was listening to you a few minutes ago and when I’m with you, like, I feel like everything’s going to be okay and you said it, but it’s like part of your DNA. And that guy actually taught you that the world is bigger than your circumstances, but you’ve become that person. And you emanate that out into the world. And I so appreciate you for that. Don’t you guys just love him? I mean, this is awesome.

Rick Hale: Hey, I have lots of flaws. We should talk about those too.  But I do have a heart for service, and I have a heart for, you know, becoming my best. And you know, one of the conversations I have with myself is what is the real driver or motivator behind that passion for self-development and giving back. And you know, and it’s an interesting dynamic when you stop and really look inside your soul and your heart, you know, how much of this is ego, or am I trying to prove something I’m trying to impress someone and, you know, hopefully the answer is no, it’s really just because, you know, higher powers put us here for purpose. Then when you realize that it’s invigorating and then the scary part is living into that real story. If you really want it and you really see it, you then you have to have the courage to act on it. And I’m in that phase now where I’m trying to find outlets and opportunity.

Mike Ayala: And for the listeners, you know, obviously when we have guests like you on the show, we’re talking about, you know, lessons learned and tips and tricks and secrets to your success and all that. But a lot of times you know, the other side of that does come up, but what I really want to point out, and you just said this, I mean there’s like, there’s that book by Ryan Holiday, ego is the enemy. And I think people like Rick, like you spend so much time working on yourself. Of course, we’re not perfect. And of course, there’s negativity, but if one of the success habits that I’ve really seen having so many guests were we’re at episode like 75 now, which is crazy. But yeah, one thing that I’ve seen over and over is you know, the humility, the humility is almost always there. And I think a lot of this is because, you know, I’ve watched you with this, but we’ve been in rooms where we’re doing some deep work and the more success people have, I think that comes from the amount of deep work that they’ve done. And you’ll always see that humility and guys like Rick just pointing out the flaws and everything else. But I think it’s because we spend so much time working through our crap that it’s still there. It still exists. But yeah, I don’t know. You’ve done some amazing things. So, if you could narrow it down to one thing that has had the greatest impact on your success, what would that be?

Rick Hale: That’s a great question. And I don’t know that there’s one thing other than a willingness to take chances and embrace my journey. I think the saddest thing on earth is to have big ideas and then never really know if they’re fathomable or possible. And so, I’d say in my world, I figured out early on, you know, on my first job, really my second real job, but I was in college, was knocking doors. And I found out things about myself and that really revealed my gifts or my talent. And one was connecting with people. And when you knock a hundred doors a night trying to sell subscriptions to the newspapers, not glamorous, but you know, I’d sell five, six, maybe out of a hundred, the conversion ratio was terrible, but those five or six was amazing when they’d invite you in and all of a sudden want to know your story and you’d ask their story. And you could peer into kind of like you said, when you break bread or invited into someone’s home, the dynamic of the relationship changes. And I just think that I realized early on, I had this ability to connect and more fun if whatever your gift is, that’s your superpower. I think, you know, two things happen if you don’t exhibit or exercise that superpower. I think it turns cancerous and it’ll eat you. And it’s like, you got to go use it. And once you get it, you’ve got to find a career path that feeds and fuels it. So that every day is not drudgery. It becomes part of your natural state or you’re kind of symbiotically connected to your flow. Everyone’s heard the term flow. And for me, it’s people and I get energy people, I get energy teaching, I get energy learning for the purpose of teaching and giving it away. I don’t think you can give away what you don’t have. And so back to that self-discovery of, you know, I’m only as good as my, you know, what I have inside my heart and mind. And so why not make that the best it can be intentionally?

Mike Ayala: That’s so good, man. What was your greatest setback? Oh, go ahead.

Rick Hale: I was just going to say, but it has to be intentional. I mean, it’s easy to get caught up on Netflix and other shows that are like never ending 17 series, you know, 400 episodes and I’ve been there and you just kind of go, all right, what’s my space center role, my pattern interrupt, or maybe I live and die by my day planner. You were laughing at me cause it’s still, I have a huge 8 by 10 paper day planner. And it’s the week at a glance for me. And I can tell you, it invigorates me to know that I’ve stacked up all the good stuff in advance of a week and, you know, built into that has to be self-development strategies and an investment financially and an investment time. And, you know, we’re the average of the three to five people we spend the most time with. So, making sure that you’ve gone inner circle with the people that matter first and let the rest be so that’s good.

Mike Ayala: I like it. The ability to connect on a deep level, that’s powerful. What was your greatest setback, Rick? And what did you learn from it?

Rick Hale: You know, it’s funny because I’ve been blessed. Like I don’t have like this long list of like failures. I think it, again, back to that, I know what I’m good at. And I really work hard to be as the best at what I’m best at, you know, the best at anything out earns the rest, like by a tremendous percentage difference. You could be a basket Weaver and if you’re the best of the best and create you know, model systems or a tool or a you know, web channel, you’re going to, you’re probably going to crush it, but you have to be in the top two or 3%. And for me, I love real estate. I love sales. I like building teams that all played out well. I mean, I’ve had failures for sure. And I’ve had failures with, you know, relational failures and I’ve had but I’d say the biggest one was thinking, I knew more than I did about the market early on and thinking that, you know, one of the, my dad said this once he said, son, you have a distinct lack of failure in your life. And he shared this with me when I was 25 or 26, and I had just bought a house. I’ve had a car, I had a motorcycle, I was in a band. I had long hair. I was living this life that I thought was like, I’m a bad-ass, this is good. And it was all superficial. That’s the funny part is I look over my shoulder. I’m almost embarrassed to say it, but you know, among my peer group at 25, it looked like I was crushing it. And he broke my heart when he shared that, you know, wisdom and the wisdom was, you know, you have a distinct lack of failure and at first I took offense and then when I let it seep in and really hit my core, I realized what he’s really saying is I hadn’t fully explored my potential and I was playing safe. And so, it wasn’t soon, you know, soon thereafter I switched from a corporate job to straight commission, real estate sales. And then it was only a few short years later that I opened my first real estate brokerage. And, you know, one point I think I had 1200 agents and we did 3 billion in volume and all the cool stuff, but it’s, you know, the power of team and taking a risk. I will say, So I’ll answer your specific question. I did an investment deal in 2006, that rolled into seven. If anybody remembers 2007, it rolled into eight. And if you remember eight that’s when it hit the fan. And I was into it about 2.2 million, and I learned a really good lesson around contracts and around bank documents and loan docs. We signed a document as a partner. We were, you know, and I was just an investor in the deal. I wasn’t really working the deal. It was an assemblage of houses into lots in a burgeoning area that when the market shifted, it became less burgeoning. It went back to being the slum that it started out as we were hopeful. And in the end man, there were, I was hit with the debt. And so there’s, there’s language jointly inseparably that was in there that later my banker and their lawyer made me aware of as we were defaulting, that I was on the hook for the entire debt, even though there were actually three of us in the initial investment. And so, the total liability was just, just under 2.5 million. And I woke up with you know, basically a judgment for two and a half million dollars. And it was a time when real estate brokerage was not flourishing, obviously. The market was tanking and it wasn’t challenging season to wake up, not knowing that my financial, all 10 years of building, you know, it was in the balance and potentially about to go to zero or a negative number and my credibility, my ability to borrow. There were deals galore as you know, in the next three- or four-year run. And I had nothing to show for it other than a massive, you know, hole in my credit and financial [16:41 inaudible], I remember writing it. It was, I paid my way through it. We did the right thing. We settled and I ended up selling it, no commission. The people that bought it, of course now crushed it because their timing was better than mine, but I wrote a hundred thousand dollars check, you know, and it was, I’ve had friends, you know, and people that know, you know, say all that, that must’ve been awful. And you know that the funny part, it was the most liberating, awesome most awesome day I can remember in my business life. Because it was the day, I bought back my freedom and that mindset of capacity again, and that no one can hold me down now, I’m just going to play a little smarter. So, I learned some lessons along the way, who you partner with matters. And, you know, don’t think, you know, more than you do, and it’s often best not to be the smartest guy in the room, especially when it’s self-professed.

Mike Ayala: You know, there’s just such an interesting package I want to open there just a little bit, because it’s funny, and this is a recurring theme that I see, you know, with guests on the show, I had a guest on earlier today, that’s actually going to air after your show. But you know, just talking about the greatest setbacks and a lot of times, you know, as people like people in your shoes that have worked through so much, and you’re constantly trying to focus on the good in life and find the value in everything. It’s funny how many times, like it takes a little bit of time to really not talk about our setbacks. Cause you’re an open book. I mean, you’re, you’re always open and honest, but to really have to dig in there to find the negativity because we work so hard, that that was, you learned a ton from that and you moved on from it and you took away the experiences and the examples, and it made you a better investor and it made you a better real estate person and it probably made you just a better person.  And so sometimes we don’t look at those as setbacks. And so, the question is a little intriguing at times because it takes a little bit to really look at that as a setback. You don’t probably see it as a setback really.

Rick Hale: I mean, in that moment, it was. Just because I was in a precarious spot where literally everything I owned was up for grabs. I mean, you’ve probably never had a judgment levy that went through personally, but they can raise your accounts. They can literally start skimming your, I was on the verge of trying to figure out how I could move money to other States or, you know, how do I cash out of things and have it under my mattress? And so there was a season of uncertainty where I was genuinely had an element of fear and, you know, and then my core business, again, the real estate brokerage business, the lots of uncertainties man, I was losing, we went, one of my offices had 190 agents in it and it went to 60 inside of about nine months. And that’s a massive, unexpected detriment too, but I agree with you. One, I think a trait of successful people, it’s a common theme for sure is that you convert all of that into silver linings. And you know, when we came out of it, I became a much better broker. I became a much better advisor and counselor. When people come and say, you know, they’d ask, what do, I want to develop, I want to build, I want to, I’m like, well, here are some things you don’t want to do. Like if you were going to script a failed scenario, I can speak with integrity and you know, it’s not hypothetical and it’s not textbook knowledge that you often learn in college. So that’s the silver lining. I feel like life’s lessons prepare you for a bigger opportunity and without those you’re going to miss it, or, you know, maybe fail when it really, really matters. And at the end of the day, does it really, really matter? I mean, how many people do you know that have, you know, that are you, you look at how many, you know, even Thomas Edison figured out what 900 ways not to invent a light bulb. And, you know, you just keep leaning in, head down, lack of, you know, I think a lack of failure in your life probably indicates a very underachieving self-image and potentially attached to your self-worth.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. Well, and that goes back to something that you said in the previous answer, you know, a willingness to take chances and embrace the journey. That was one thing that you said, you know, you could kind of narrow your success down to that. And that’s so valuable because I think, I’ve been having this conversation a lot lately, I keep finding it coming up. And I think the first time I heard it was actually at the champions event where you and I were together in Austin a few weeks back, but well, it’s been two months or something now/

Rick Hale: Feels like yesterday.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. Somebody there, I believe it was at that event. It might’ve even been you said that fear and faith can exist together at the same time. Do you remember hearing that?

Rick Hale: I do remember that.

Mike Ayala: And it’s been such like a, I just keep finding that ringing and just bringing it back to what you’re talking about right now. Like, so many people would hear your story and be gripped with fear. And by the way, I know you don’t want to go back through that again ever. And I understand that, but at the same time, so many people are frozen and they’re just, they live in fear. And so, fear and faith can’t exist at the same time. And what you said, a willingness to take chances and embrace the journey. I don’t want to live a life where I didn’t, you know, I wake up 20 years, 30 years, 40 years down the road. And I realized I left so much on the table because I was being driven by fear. And that’s like, all this tied together is just so enlightening and empowering to me. So, I appreciate you sharing that.

Rick Hale: Happy to, and, you know, I love the concept of playing the, what if game and the, what if game for me is just a blank sheet of paper and some sacred space that’s not, you know, full of noise and just play the, what if game and figure out holistically, like every aspect of your life. What if it were a 10 out of 10? And, you know, I don’t think that’s, I think it’s a noble goal and pursuit to have 10 out of 10s. But I don’t think it’s a reasonable human experience for most of us, you know, but the idea of what if puts you somewhere between here and there and here and there maybe glorious and, you know, it’s about progress and not perfection. And it’s about intentionality and failing forward is part of the equation. I don’t know anybody that has massive wealth that can’t stack up a lot of failure and I’ve had them.

But to your point, it’s interesting. I don’t know that I’ve stopped and really own the fact that my failures are part of the success path and I don’t label them as failures. I lay there and experience there a moment, you know, it was just, it was a step closer to what I ultimately wanted. And I learned it door to door. If I was 50 doors into a night, I knew I was five doors away from two or three opportunities because the law of averages just favors the person who’s keeps trudging along the journey with intentional energy.

Mike Ayala: I love the way that you said that, you know, you don’t really look at them as failures because you’re looking at, you know, that, well, I think John Maxwell wrote a book called failing forward and you’re right. So many successful people have had so many, that’s kind of why I term it as the greatest setback, because I mean, obviously, 2006 went into 2007 and 2007 went into 2008 and then you get, you know, that set you back a little bit, but you don’t see it necessarily as a failure. It made you a much better person. It’s so amazing, what a story.

Rick Hale: Well, when the market shifted. And so, we pivoted, that’s the other part of it. If you’re cognizant and you’re a student of the game I quickly realized that foreclosures were the, you know, was the real bread and butter of that season. And so, my team dialed up a lot of an essential behind Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Wells Fargo, bank of America. And we were selling where we were selling a hundred houses a year, just my personal sales team. We elevated to over 500 sales, two years in a row. So that was towards the end of the shift, but those were two of my best years in that quadrant. And again, it’s kind of, even though the holistic approach to life, you’re not going to win in every quadrant. You just don’t want to deny all of them at the same time nor stay in one so long that you forget the importance of that balance piece. And so, but there we pivoted and it turned out to be, you know, again, if that market hadn’t done what it did, I wouldn’t have the expertise, but foreclosures and investment properties that I earned, you know, the old fashioned way, you know, with bumps and bruises.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. I love it. What is the single piece of advice you find yourself sharing with people the most?

Rick Hale: I’ve alluded to it a second ago, it’s time or money. You know, we chase time, we chase money, and you can exchange money for time and buyback freedom with leverage and building a powerful team around you. But it seems like these days we’ve had most everybody. And COVID excluded. I recognize this year has not been favorable for everybody. And COVID is a weird thing. And in March, it almost felt like my mom told me go to your room. Your dad’s going to deal with you later. And I’m sitting in my room waiting on, what’s perceived a whipping and I’m not even sure what I did wrong. And like, I feel it coming, it’s coming. And then dad walks in and gives me a hug instead and tells me I’m great. And you know, that’s a made-up story that just landed in my head and heart an hour ago. Somebody was asking me how this year went. I go, that’s how it felt on the front end and the gift in this year has been amazing for me. And I have to be careful. I have to watch myself and trying to tell everybody, this has been a great year because it’s not, not, everybody’s had the, you know, for me, it’s been a blessing. It’s been a blessing. I’ve reconnected with family at an extremely high level, spent more time outdoors than I ever have. I’ve learned to take advantage of technology like this and, you know, zoom and connect, you know, even from afar in, in some ways it’s better, some ways it’s not, but it’s been a good year. So, remind me of the exact question. I think I took a left turn.

Mike Ayala: The piece of advice you find yourself sharing the most.

Rick Hale: It’s meeting people where they are and trying to find out what the, you know, so it does tie together. I lost my train of thought. And so, it’s usually about figuring out their counterbalanced, purposeful self. It’s usually, you know, they’re good at something. So, people tend to do what they’re great at a lot. And then they deny the things that take work and effort to really create a holistic view. And what I mean is, and we’ve talked about this, I have a workshop I do called your perfect future self. And it’s designed to help you craft a five-year vision of not just business success, not just self-development success, but all aspects of a healthy, big life. And it includes spiritual. It includes physical, it includes travel, recreation, family, friends that includes business of course, and finances and retirement. And anyway, it’s a really cool way. You rate yourself one to 10 on this wheel, and then you figure out where you are. And I’ve shared this too, the GPS, you know, it only works when you have two coordinates. And so, step one for anyone’s journey. And to answer your question specifically, it’s that people aren’t aware of where they are. And they also don’t recognize the full extent of the disconnect between what they want to be. And so, when I consult people often, it starts with what they think it’s going to be as about how can I make more money or build something bigger, better. It ultimately ends up being a conversation around how do I have a more fulfilling experience while on this planet? And the only way I know to do it is to break it down into bite sized pieces, and then build that awareness into a plan that is holistic that’s intention based that’s, you know, how do I really want to feel when it’s my last breath, probably won’t be clutching my spreadsheets around, you know, my empire or my, you know, anything business related. And so, make sure that in your mission to fulfill certain quadrants, the others don’t get ditched or lost. And you wake up with regret. I mean, this is the greatest gift on this earth anyway. At least a version of minimal regret. I don’t know that anyone can live without regret. I mean, we’ve all said or done something that didn’t play out as we thought, but it’s not what happens. This is what you do with it. So, I find, you know, the way I help people the most is help them recognize, kind of open up the lens and see it a little bit bigger and broader.

Mike Ayala: I love it. And you know, there’s a lot of alignments in the way Rick lives and operates. And I do too. And I talk about this all the time at investing for freedom, but just a five-part questioning series that I go through over and over. But what do you really want? Why do you want it? What are you going to do to get it and measure results and adjust? And I think the adjusting is so important. And you said this, because what do you really want? I think a lot of times when we start really working through this process, what we think we want and what we actually want are not always the same thing and they could be completely disconnected. And you were talking about that, you know, as you first start talking with people in this workshop or through the process, a lot of times they think it’s about money. I think that’s how you said it. And there’s really some deeper drivers there, right?

Rick Hale: For sure.

Mike Ayala: So, on the wheel, on the wheel of life, that’s kind of like 10 areas that you focus on. Is that true?

Rick Hale: It’s 12 totals. And yeah, and money is one of them. And I think it’s important. I mean, you can’t have a big life without funding a big life. But I’ve also early on I figured out, money only matters when you don’t have enough to do or have the things you really hold, you know, value in. And I’ve also had many nice things and I’ve had less, you know, amazing cars as an example. And ultimately, I am bored, I become bored with all of it eventually. It’s just the pursuit is the fun part. And so be careful what you’re chasing and make sure that when you get there, you know, you’re not either alone or not fulfilled again in what you thought it was going to be.

Mike Ayala: I like it. So, you were talking a concept about how many people can you bring into the umbrella? This is one thing that I love about spending time with Rick Hale. Cause he’s always just bringing people along and I had the opportunity to be on your show, which is real estate rock stars, right?

Rick Hale: Yeah, Rock Stars in action.

Mike Ayala: And that’s just your people, right? That’s not a show that goes out to the world, right.

Rick Hale: It’s just for my peep. Yeah, it’s a special, what I’m trying to do is feed big fish, big fish food, or people that want to grow into something bigger with inspired people like you, who’ve kind of walked the walk, done the journey and, you know, make it real, you know, it’s hard to project a successful end game until you see yourself actually living it. And in the vicarious piece, I think of role modeling is extremely powerful. I’ve had some amazing people in my life that I literally just it’s like baking a cake. If you know, the ingredients, the time, the size, you know, the pan size, the amount of, and you just follow the directions, you’ll end up with a great cake 9 out of 10 times.  And so, I don’t think life doesn’t have to be complicated. So that’s why I created the show to bring people like you to go hey, so what? You know, what do you want and why? And who’s done it that you could emulate?

Mike Ayala: Yeah. Just thinking through this a little bit and knowing you and your experience and what you’ve been through, nobody has a crystal ball. And you know, I have people on the show from all walks of life and all theories and, you know, from the sky’s falling to, you know, we’re just going to keep printing money forever and everything’s going to be fine. Obviously, the real estate market is on fire, right. Is Atlanta still just crazy?

Rick Hale: It’s out of control, man. The problem is there’s not enough inventory, but what it is for sales sells quickly and there’s usually multiple offers. And yeah, it’s been good. Again, if you told me in January or February or even, you know, March, [31:39 inaudible]  when it really hit home for me that we would finish the year on par with last year and in some cases beat it. It’s just unfathomable to me, but it’s on some level kind of a weird, perfect storm.

Mike Ayala: So what’s your, and again, I’m not, you know, I’m not looking for the crystal ball, but what’s like your, I mean, you’re an optimist on real estate and your team’s on fire. It’s going well, inventory’s low. They’re not building fast enough. What, like, I guess number one, what’s driving this and number two, is this, do you see this slowing down anytime soon? Or are we going to have a few couple good years?

Rick Hale: I mean, I think we’ve got a couple more good years before something settles. I mean, it’s common that cycles happen 8 to 10 years and we’re about eight years into this cycle. So, it’s historically it’s got to happen, and things have to reset. I think affordability is probably the number one driver for our local real estate market. Supply and demand always reign supreme and then supported by affordability because that affects, you know, the ability for the number of buyers relative to inventory. And as it stands, a few things are favoring is one interest rates are insanely low. I just cash out, refi the lake house in fact, to build the Ayala cottage and I locked down at 30-year fixed for like 2.8. I mean, that’s stupid. Like that’s amazing. And I didn’t need to do it. I had cash in the bank. I could just write a check, but why not leverage the system and maximize ROI and put that money to work in income-producing areas. And so, I do see a shift in the way people work, the workplace perspective. And I think some companies where people, you know, historically felt they had to come into work, were learning to operate differently and that may affect the commercial landscape. In fact, it is already, you know, giving backspace and subleasing space is starting to become a little more prevalent here in Atlanta. But the advantage we have in our market area is also immigration. We’ve got roughly 50, 60,000 people a year that moved to Atlanta and they’ve got to live somewhere. So, whether it’s rental or owned, the variable really is available money and the way the world sees credit and capacity. The last piece of the equation that, you know, there’s a lot of political energy going on right now.

And you know, some racial unrest. I mean, this is a complicated season, I think when the hearts and minds of most people who are paying attention. But I think we do settle on some of that energy. And I think consumer confidence with a vaccine changes. And the interesting thing is consumer confidence I thought was going to, wouldn’t lock up the markets this year, where everybody would just say, all right, it’s like freeze tag. I’m going to wait and see what happens, hold it. And then I’ll play it out. But people, you know, part of what the gift and what’s happened by spending more time at home and starting to recognize the power of a beautiful environment to connect with the people they love and people are making lots of quality of life moves. And they’re, you know, if I’m going to spend more time here, I want to pool, if I wanted to spend more time here, I’m going to get what I really wanted because you know, it’s not just a stop and go sleeping spot and that’s part of it.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. And it’s interesting too, because I think sometimes when we start talking about the real estate market, or any market for that matter. We think of it in terms of like a macro conversation, right. But I’ve been reading a lot and really trying to keep a pulse on this. As you know, we’re in the mobile home park investing space and our applications are double and there’s more money chasing mobile home parks right now, Rick, this is no joke. We bought a portfolio of parks last October. So just a little bit, we closed a little bit over a year ago and we just got a broker’s opinion and evaluation of double what we paid for it. Now that’s not normal and that’s not common. And I’m like really questioning why, and if this is even legit, but we’re seeing 3.5% cap rates in the mobile home park space, like that’s crazy. And so, when we think about real estate, we generally think about it in terms of macro conversations, but even just thinking about Atlanta or certain pockets. And there are a lot of real estate investors that listen to my show and up and coming people that want to get into real estate investing. And I wonder if you agree with this, I think we have to be really careful about macro conversations right now and get into micro economies. Because even like Atlanta, it’s a big Metro, but there’s a lot of people moving there, but then there’s other metros where people are just flying out too. Right. So are you seeing Exodus in Atlanta or influx.

Rick Hale: Influx, man. I feel like Atlanta is still got tremendous upside. I feel like the quality of life we have here, we’re extremely balanced demographically. There’s lots of diversity. There’s also art, music. We’ve got great sports and, you know, parks and it’s a real green city, you know, it’s just, and the seasons, we have real distinct seasons, but they’re not devastatingly painful when they, you know, some people claim the hots too hot, but I’m used to it. But our cold by the time you’re tired of cold, spring hits and you have that 70-degree perfect, you know, sunny spring day in March. And so I think there’s so much here that’s a magnet for opportunity, but even inside of it, you make a great point, Mike, that micro-markets are still,  remember of the deal that went south on me, the $2 million, $2.5 million failure. I bought just outside of the obvious purchase. And so, when the market shifts just be careful, the concentric circle that looks like the next best thing when you’re not certain and you’re a little more embarrassed, you should be careful. And I would be more laser-focused on your micro market and know that you’ve got a safety net somewhere and that all of a sudden it doesn’t become, you know, the prize cow.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. It’s such an interesting time. And that’s why I think having conversations like this and just expanding your network is so important and listening to different viewpoints because we’ve sat at tables where even within our GoBundance circle, there’s 10 different opinions on whether it’s the fed or whether it’s wall street or whether it’s real estate. So, it’s really important to have these conversations. And I just saw a report that 23% of the influx in Arizona is coming from California over the last 12 months. And yeah, and I thought like, it’s just crazy. And like you said, you know, COVID has really, it’s created opportunities, but it’s also disrupted a lot and created a lot of disruption in a, in a good way and a bad way. And so, there’s just a lot to think through, and I can’t appreciate guys like you enough to be able to have these types of conversations and just have the mirror. You know, the Bible says there’s multitude, there’s wisdom in a multitude of counsel. And so just having your insight is powerful. So, I’ve had several conversations with friends of mine that are in the Atlanta market and just talking about great things. So, if somebody wanted, if somebody is considering the Atlanta market, I mean, you’re the guy, right? Well, your team is the team.

Rick Hale: If it’s not me, I know the guy. So, you know, I love the idea of not always being the source, but an incredible resource. So certainly, I’ve got an amazing Alliance of people. My group alone, again, we have almost 1200 agents in seven locations and I’ve got investments and other groups too. I did want to add one thing, by the way, just to close out the topic before. It also matters, whether you’re short or long-term and whether your cash flows, you know, is it a cash flow decisions or equity play, you know, I don’t know many real estate deals that if you project out 10 to 15 years, that you don’t win no matter what, even if it’s just paying off the mortgage and become, you know, you’ve got a debt-free asset and a form of forced savings. So just pay attention to what is the real outcome and goal you’re after and will desperation create a panic sale. And if you can avoid that, you know, what do they say that the best two times to buy real estate is yesterday and today, in the past and now.

Mike Ayala: I love that. And, you know, even for people, I’ve found myself having this conversation a lot recently. Inventory’s low, interest rates are low. I think a lot of people, I’d be interested in your take on this that maybe weren’t buyers for, you know, they were thinking hey, we’re going to rent an apartment or stay in our rental for another year. I’ve had a lot of conversations with people that have moved their search for a home up. And I think that’s why we’re seeing an influx on the manufactured housing side even is because people that were living in apartments, they’re on the third floor of an apartment building. They’re stuck at home with their kids who they’re having to tell to be quiet all day. They can’t go outside and play on the playground. I think that’s created even more demand. And so, I’ve had, this is the, you bring up such a good point. When my wife and I built this house we moved in, in January of 2018. I told my wife, then when we went under contract six months before that, as long as we’re going to stay in that house for 10 years, I’m comfortable buying it because I thought we were at the top of the market in January of 2018. So, nobody can time the market. Nobody knows what’s coming, but your wisdom was so valuable, even if it’s just your personal residence. As long as you can afford that payment and it’s not uncomfortable and you’re comfortable riding through, it’s okay to, if that’s what you really want is to have your own house in that pool. And I don’t think there’s ever care. And I were thinking about selling this house because the value’s like crazy now compared to even what we paid. But when you look back at the last 12 months and having this Haven and this environment where our family was able to just be together, that’s super important.

Rick Hale: It is, well, you have to determine the purpose of the investment. It goes back to the intention. You know, if your intention is to build wealth through real estate, that’s awesome. But if it’s co-aligned with having a more family-centric experience where you can, you know, draw friends and bring in and have a safe haven from not jumping on elevators with strangers and you know, you’ve got your, that could be way more valuable than even the upside potential. But the good news is those can co-align and then it’s magical.

Mike Ayala: Wow. That’s awesome. Well, Rick, I hope that someday you’ll bring your training from outside of the umbrella and maybe turn it into like a virtual class that we could all participate in. And that would be cool.

Rick Hale: Yeah. That’d be delightful. I’d love to do it.

Mike Ayala: So, if anybody is interested in the Atlanta market, how do they reach out to your team?

Rick Hale: So is a good place to go to. That’s my, you know, where else email. I’ll put my cell phone out there. You’re welcome to call me (404)-735-4444. My, if you’re interested in brokerage in a sales career, which we’ve got some amazing people impacting people’s lives, helping them transact sales, and it’s just a wonderful time to be in Atlanta and have a real estate license. And, you know, you get to serve people, make a difference and also find good deals and also help people find great wealth-building opportunities. But Heart of Atlanta group is, are, if you Googled the Heart of Atlanta Group Keller Williams, you’ll find my group of offices. And I can certainly point you in the right direction if it’s not my specific geography or area of expertise you’re after.

Mike Ayala: Well, I can tell you just, you know, having the privilege of being in your life and around you, if I was looking to move to Atlanta and I was going to be an agent, I’d want to be part of your team.

Rick Hale: Thanks. Well, we’ve got great models and systems at my company. I’m blessed to have, you know, I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. That’s how it feels.

Mike Ayala: That is awesome.

Rick Hale: You included my man. I love what you’re doing. I appreciate you.

Mike Ayala: Thank you. I appreciate you. And any final words?

Rick Hale: You know, there’s two thoughts at the end of your life, and this just popped into my head. This was, you know, you can say, I wish I had or I’m glad I did, man. And I’m convicted in the belief that it’s a beautiful thing when you’re glad you did. So, whatever’s in your heart and in your mind, man, you’ll never know until you do. So, I wake up every day, you know, pointed towards glad I did.

Mike Ayala: Wow, that’s amazing. Appreciate your time, brother. Thanks for being on.

Rick Hale: All right. Love you, man. Take care.

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Episode 80