June 23, 2022

Introduction Episode - Scaling Real Estate & Businesses with Mario Dattilo

Introduction Episode - Scaling Real Estate & Businesses with Mario Dattilo
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Welcome to the Mario Dattilo Show Podcast, Hosted by Mario Dattilo. In this episode of the Mario Dattilo Show Podcast, Mario talks about the purpose of the show, what you will get out of it, Mario's story, and the importance of scaling commercial real estate investments and businesses. A big promotion is announced that you can take advantage of.

Mario Dattilo was born in Minnesota and now lives in Florida. He has over 16 years of real estate investment experience. He was previously a managing partner of a real estate brokerage.
Mario has co-managed Real Estate Acquisitions USA’s residential, multifamily, and commercial real estate portfolios since inception. His current role includes oversight of acquisitions and investor relations.

Additionally, Mario's YouTube channel, podcast, and education company are platforms he uses to give back to the real estate investment industry.​

Mario relocated to Naples in 2011 and enjoys boating, traveling, and volunteering his time with various charitable organizations.

Find out more about Mario at mariodattilo.net

Talking Points:
03:17 - How the show began and what to expect
07:29 - Mario Dattilo's Story
21:23 - Why long-term scaling of commercial real estate

SUBSCRIBE to the Mario Dattilo Show Podcast YouTube Channel:

Links & Mentions From This Episode:


 Hey guys, welcome to episode number one of the Mario Dattilo Show. In this episode, I'm going to be going through a review of kind of what the show is about. I'm going to talk to you about a cool promotional thing that we're doing to just launch the show. Also, why did this podcast as well as kind of my story and who I am along with, we're going to talk also about why scaling commercial real estate and businesses is so important. Now, I, I gotta tell you, I am really thrilled to have this show finally, launching. We've been preparing for it for several months. Now, been doing a lot of interviews and kind of preparing things, as you can imagine, any project like this takes a lot of prep work and a lot of people that have helped out. So I'm super thankful for that. I want to do today is just give you kind of an overview. 

 Like, what is this series going to be about? What's this podcast going to be about what are you going to get out of it? We'll talk about how you can benefit too. Let's first start out with the giveaway promotional thing. See, I'm just going to be really transparent with you. Like I always am on the show. I want to get ranked and on apple podcasts. I'm gonna push you guys and beg you guys plead with you guys, get down on my knees and just beg you to help me out here. What I do want to ask you for is if you could give me a good review, there's we're what we're going to do is we're going to give away either a 30 minute consultation, a site visit with me at one of our assets that we own, or are buying or an introduced introduction to a guest that I have on the show. 

 We'll do kind of a wrap up. We'll pick some people at random who helped me with this. There's really three things that I need you to do in order to qualify for this number. One, need you to subscribe to the, if you're a, if you're watching, if you're listening to this on apple podcasts, subscribe and write a review for me it and take a screenshot of that. If you're watching this on YouTube. Many of you already know that I've got a YouTube show. It's just Mario de Tillo. I am now creating a separate podcast, a channel on YouTube called the Mario Tillo show, where you're going to be able to see all the video versions of what you're hearing on apple podcasts. You can go there, subscribe, click, like, and comment on this show or one of my first shows and again, take a screenshot. 

 Just the third step is email that screenshot to Mario, to Tillo x@gmail.com. Again, that's Mario to Tillo x@gmail.com and you will be entered into the drawing. I promise you, I will make sure that the winners get a ton of value out of the giveaways. I just want this to be fun, but I also want to get ranked on the new and noteworthy list. That way more and more people can find out about the show. We can impact more lives, help people scale their businesses or investments quicker. Appreciate everybody who helps me out with that. That's going to be super valuable to me and to other people. Let's talk about why I did this podcast. I've been investing in real estate for quite some time. I have a YouTube channel I'm fairly active on social media and I've never really wanted to do a podcast, to be honest. 

 I, the reason why I didn't is I just feel felt like I didn't have the capacity. I didn't have the time, the availability to do that. It seemed like there were a lot of other podcasts out there and I was like, well, what can I really do that somebody else isn't doing? What can I talk about that other people aren't already saying? So, a few years go by obviously podcasts aren't new. I, what I realized is that, with my YouTube channel, it's very focused on mobile home park investing. Most of my content that I put out is mostly around mobile home park investing. I've got this fairly broad network of people that own businesses on different property types, outside of mobile home parks that are really impressive. That just super interesting people alter successful to have very interesting stories and have a lot to give. 

 What I found is that, I, I was limited in what I was putting out there and, and giving to people. So, all these people in the pot and in my masterminds that I'm in and these groups that I'm with, I wanted to be able to tap into those people and bring them to the table and introduce them to you, let you learn from them. Like I've been learning from them over the years. I mean, I think we all know that the people that you surround yourself with are who you become. Right? I feel like a lot of what I've become in business and entrepreneurship and real estate investing and things like that. Even as a person are really due to the people that I surround myself with. I, I really want to bring these people to the table and let you learn from them. Like I've learned from them, you might say, well, yeah, but I'm just interested investing in mobile home parks or just commercial real estate, or I'm just an entrepreneur. 

 I don't want to be involved in real estate. What I've found is that the longer that I've been in my craft or in my trade, the more I start looking at other industries, other property types, other ventures to learn from, and then bring that into my businesses in my investments. That has helped me to expand my understanding of things and also improve what I do so much better, because I'm not limited to just, I'm learning in the mobile home park investing space or in, these different businesses that I own. It's really important to broaden your horizon, learn from people who are successful in other areas, and then look at how you can bring what you learned from them into what you do. It'll take you to a whole nother level. And that's why I'm doing this podcast. I feel like I can add a ton of value by giving you introductions and tons of content learning opportunities from some, from the smartest people. 

 I know, period. That's what this whole podcast is going to be out, be about. I've already started doing the interviews. So I'm well in advance here. I can tell you that the interviews and the shows that I've already recorded are phenomenal. Every time I get done, I put, take off my headset. I walk out of the studio and I go and tell my wife, man, that was such a good episode. It's really been helping me and changing me. I'm learning a lot from it too, because this gives me the opportunity to really sit down without distractions and pick the brain of these people that I know, and that I've met that are just rock stars. I know you're going to get a ton out of it. Stick around and make sure you watch all the episodes. And again, I really appreciate your interaction. You can go to Mario tillo.net and you can actually interact with me there and see all of my companies and everything I've got going on. 

 Most importantly, take a lot of notes and have fun with this. I appreciate any shares and anything you can do to put it out there and make sure other people get this valuable information. Let's talk about who I am, my story. Many of you already know me, and that's why you're watching this or listening to this because you've heard about this show coming out for months now on my other platforms. If you don't know me, I'm relatively young. I'm in my late thirties, been an entrepreneur since I was 18 years old, I have never had a job past the age of 18. Didn't go to college and just really been focused on entrepreneurship and starting businesses and investing and things like that. And I'm married. I have a beautiful, awesome wife that is very supportive and helps me in many areas of my businesses. Yeah. 

 Her name is star. So, yeah, other than that, my business life started out really in high school. I was, well, let me jump. Actually back before that, my dad was in construction his whole life and he was in different facets of it. He was started out pounding nails, straight out of college. He eventually became, he sold construction material. He became a custom home builder and did all these different things in con in the construction world. It was never really interesting to me, I, I didn't really care for, the job sites he'd bring me out on them, I'd play around and, bang nails and do all this stuff, but it was never something that I wanted to get into. That's what I thought real estate was. I always thought of real estate as construction. Growing up, I kind of avoided that. I thought I wanted to go into technology. 

 Eventually I was into computers and learned programming at a very early age. This is going back into the nineties and everything where, that's old school technology now, but that's what I was interested in. In high school, I took some vo-tech classes where I was learning Cisco networking and all this stuff. Cause that's what I thought I wanted to go into. I wanted to go into security, cyber security and all that. What I realized is that I was very bored in those classes and I actually pretty much faded out of it. Didn't do very well in the last semester and just didn't care about it anymore. I learned quickly that technology, at least the network side, wasn't something I was super interested in. I joined the Marines or I, I should say I joined the delayed entry program for the Marines. I didn't know what I wanted to do. 

 I had no structure. I knew I didn't want to go to college. Cause I sucked pretty bad in school, barely graduated high school. I really needed some structure and my parents, weren't going to let me get away with doing nothing and sitting on their couch and I wasn't lazy. I saw it, like I said, I joined the delayed entry program for the Marines where I was going. I had like six, eight months to where I could, basically prepare. And then I would enlist in September. I believe it was September. Geez. What was it? Beginning of September of 2002, I would have enlisted and went off to the Marines at the same time, literally the same week. So I'm just turned 18. I, I, a buddy of mine comes to me and he says, Hey, do you want to make some money? Well, at that point, my life I was in hustle mode. 

 I wanted to make money. I was creative and this buddy of mine and I didn't have the most reputable background together. We had done some not so great ventures together. That I won't talk about on the show, but we were kids. We were in high school, you know? He comes to me and goes, Hey, you want to make some money. So Cheryl, let's check this out. And it's kinda, it was kinda mysterious. I didn't really have a clue what he was talking about. He just said, come on, I'll show you, we're going to have a business meeting. I'm like, all right, the business meetings I've had with you are not that professional. I met up with them, we ended up at an office and we basically, what it came down to is he was showing me a network marketing business where it was a tech, it was a telephone internet, cell phone, long distance company, whereas basically selling telecom services. 

 For the first time I saw a way that I could make serious money in, in business without having to have that college education. I started that business with him and we did really well with it. For sometime I ended up being one of the top 100 producers in that company for a short period of time. And, did very well with it until that company filed bankruptcy. At the age of what 20, I had, pretty cool lifestyle. As soon as they shut off my income, because they filed bankruptcy, I, I was like, oh crap, what do I do now? This is, this is all I know. As a young kid, I didn't really understand that I could pivot and do other things. It did wake me up quite a bit to understand that I need to be in control. Even if I have owned a business, I don't want to have one client or one contract that determines my success or failure. 

 I learned a lot from that and I feel like people who fail are actually positioned better to succeed long-term. I'm just very thankful that happened for me, that I was able to fail very early, very young, go through a lot of financial stress and learn how to be more financially conservative, very early on in life, because it changed the way I thought about a lot of things after that. We start, I started a company with one of our, one of my partners shortly after that, it was a real estate company in a mortgage company. It started out as a mortgage company. This is, 2001 to say 2006, started a mortgage company with them and did well. We decided that we wanted to start a real estate brokerage just to supplement the mortgage company because everybody would come to us and say, where can we get, where can we find a good real estate agent? 

 We decided to start the real estate brokerage. I felt like I was well qualified to run that real estate brokerage because I read a bunch of real estate investing books. I had bought my first home and what else? I had no real estate license, but I felt like I could run that company very well. It was more interesting to me than the debt side than the financing side. I did, I heard up got my real estate license partnered with, we partnered with an existing real estate broker to where we could scale it quickly and built a small real estate brokerage in the twin cities in Minnesota, Ron St. Paul Minneapolis area, and did well with that. By about 2008, the market had tanked and were helping investors buy short sales and, distressed real estate. And I loved it. Know I was heading more, a lot more fun with that than I did showing homes to consumer buyers, people wanting to live in them, owner occupants. 

 What I did is after a while, I'd helped all these investors buy and sell these homes that they are rehabbing. I went to my dad and I said, look, I'm helping these investors buy and sell, acquire and dispose of these assets. And they're making great money. You've got the construction background. Why don't we team up? Why don't you handle the construction aspect, I'll handle acquisitions and dispositions, and we'll make a business out of this and we'll take advantage of this market. And we did. Shortly after that, just due to other things, we shut down the real estate and the mortgage company. I went and focused with my dad on the single-family side, were buying rehabbing and selling homes in the twin cities later, I had an opportunity where we could go and buy a portfolio of single-family homes in Southwest Florida. I had a long time friend that I grew up with that is doing a similar thing in Florida. 

 He said, Hey, look, we can buy his 21 homes out of bankruptcy from this builder. Why don't you come down and take a look at it? I want you to partner with us. I did, I, I mean, I'd been down there before to visit them, but I'd never really focused on the real estate down there. And it really opened up my eyes. I mean, Fort Myers, Lehigh acres, Cape coral, this area is just devastated. Him is ground zero foreclosures, far worse than I ever saw in Minnesota. We ended up doing that deal with him. I started, we started investing with him in Southwest Florida a lot more and really got excited about it. There was a lot more opportunity here. I moved here in 2011 because I just enjoyed the weather. I enjoyed the lifestyle so much better. I had just gotten married and my wife didn't want to live in Texas or in Minnesota. 

 We ended up moving down here, call it about 2014 ish. A lot of the distressed assets had been dried up and a lot of single family homes were kind of going more back to a traditional transaction. You're sitting down with mom and pop at their kitchen table and, I just didn't want to do that. It wasn't as scalable as it had been in the past. We couldn't buy non-performing loans anymore. So we decided that we wanted to go into more of a commercial real estate buying hold strategy. We started looking at apartments, loved it, and struggled to find deals that I, well, at least what I thought were deals at the time. Call it about nine months after starting to look at apartments, a buddy of mine comes to me who happens to be a commercial banker says, look, I got this opportunity to buy this non-performing loan from this banker friend of mine over at XYZ bank. 

 I know that how to buy non-performing loans. I know you're looking for apartments, but this is an apartment building and it's in your backyard. We looked at it quickly, studied up on mobile home parks and loved the business model and bought it. We ended up buying it and did very well on that transaction. I'm sure in future episodes, I'll get into much deeper detail and you can even watch it on my YouTube channel on how that deal went and how we just, we sold it. We ended up selling it for 10 times. What we bought that for. It was just an ultra success transaction, which was thankfully my first after that we just continued to buy mobile home parks, started buying of self storage as well, kind of as a secondary property type. And that's what we've scaled into. We own a management company that operates the communities. 

 We own a dealership that sources new and used inventory for our communities. I ended up starting a, an education company with two other partners called the MHP tribe, which is actually a, an education company in a course that teaches people how to invest in mobile home parks. We've got a mastermind behind that. I mean, and really everything that I've been doing has been focused around manufactured housing industry and mobile home park investing in general. Again, fast forward now I want to start bringing in people who are in all industries, including mobile home parks to you, my audience, and I continue to scale. I think what's interesting about this show is it's also allowing me to interview people who are successful in other property types and other businesses, because I want to expand my portfolio. I want to build portfolios of other property types. I want to invest alongside with other successful investors. 

 I want to start more companies like I've already got some other companies that I'm working on with partners that all eventually tell you guys about on the show and on other platforms as well. I think we can all grow together. Now, my question or what, my question that I mentioned at the beginning that I would answer is why scaling commercial real estate and businesses is really important. Why I think this show is going to help you a lot, going back to that single family real estate world, where I was buying rehabbing and selling, it was really a transactional trading business, right? So really it was trading widgets. We'd find an asset, we'd fix it up, we'd add value and then we'd sell it. If I didn't have another asset to improve and sell I'm out of business and it became a job, it was very heavy lift. 

 It was constant grind. And really we got burned out. The timing of the market actually worked out pretty well for our, the timing of our energy and how were passionate about it because that passion started to dry up. I, I knew that wasn't how it was going to get wealthy. There's a, there's a friend of mine who runs the real estate investment association here in Southwest Florida. He came to me and this is, probably early, maybe 2013 ish. He goes, Mario, how many investors that, that are really wealthy? Like the wealthy investor, wealthiest investors, how many of them flip homes? I said, well, I had to think about it for a second while. Like, well, none of them they're all buy and hold and a lot of them were in the commercial space. What I realized is that number one, wealth is built through investing in not trading. 

 You can, you can buy assets, trade them out, make chunks of cash, and then take that cash and invest it in other things. Those investments are, what's really going to get you wealthy and build that super high net worth that I wanted. And, and also the ability to scale that is so much larger than, a trading model of any type. I'm not telling you not to trade. Like the, my version of trading is I own a real estate brokerage as well, but we trade commercial or we broker commercial assets as a way to generate large chunks of cash. Okay. The real wealth is built in that long-term investment where you've got that principal pay down. You've got that appreciation, both forced and organic. You've got the opportunity to add value and control the value of the property. We're in single families. You can't control the value. 

 It's only worth what the home next door is worth. We're in the commercial real estate world, it's valued on the cashflow. It was just so much more scalable. We could buy assets that were large enough to have on-site employees, where we could buy them around the country and not have to have clusters of assets. Like in single family, we really need to have clusters of assets or clusters of homes within certain counties because you got these guys running around rehabbing. There's a lot of project management where if we bought large enough assets, they could number one, have an employee onsite all the time. We had eyes and ears on the ground. And, and also we could, they were large enough projects to where we could hire general contractors or, larger contractors to come and do the large cap X projects. We didn't have to micromanage everything in those projects. 

 Also we could buy nationally because each asset could be standalone. We didn't have to have these clusters. I there's a lot of reasons why scaling commercial real estate makes a lot more sense than investing in single-family homes. I'm going to have some people on the show that have taken the single family home, both rental and flipping models and blown them up. I mean, that have just scaled them to massive levels. If that's your thing, don't think I'm dogging it. I'm going to bring on some people who have done it at very high levels, including wholesalers, but they're all people that have taken it and turned it into very large and scaled businesses that I think you can learn a ton from. Not just a one off two off flipping business. The other thing that I'll tell you is that there's, there's a lot of opportunity in businesses. 

 All right. I feel like businesses give you the, the multiples that you are going to have a hard time hitting in commercial real estate or commercial real estate really gives you a lot of stability. There's a lot more security in it. It's a lot more predictable. Especially if you're buying existing assets that maybe you can add value to. There's a lot less risk businesses. I feel like you've got a lot more downside risk, especially starting new ones. It's kinda more like new development in real estate, but you also have this opportunity to generate just crazy multiples where you can start a company for a relatively low investment and sell it for hundreds of times, that investment and really create just, billions of dollars in starting companies. We're building a development, you have a lot less chance of hitting the billion dollar mark or the high one hundreds of millions of dollars on a single transaction. 

 So there's benefits to both. That's why I'm going to have people on this show that have just crushed it in both worlds, business and real estate, specially commercial real estate. I promise you, the show will not be boring. We're not going to be dry. And, maybe you might be thinking that this episode so far is kind of dry, but I promise even the episodes that I've already recorded. I mean, I'm sitting back taking notes and having fun with it too. They're just very casual, laid back conversations, minimal editing. It's pretty much just being able to be a fly on the wall with some of the highest producers in the world for business and real estate. From there guys, I thank you so much for supporting the show. I thank you for checking it out and subscribing and, and following the YouTube channel as well. I promise you, I'm going to do my best to just entertain the crap out of you and give you a great time. 

 From there, guys, we're going to talk about business real estate, faith relationships, growth, hacking, life, hacking, all that stuff, but it'll be in the context of real estate and investing in business. So from there, guys, thanks again. We'll see. On the first, on the first real episode with an interview, take care.