Category: Investments

In today’s episode of Ritter On Real Estate, we interview Eric Martel. At the young age of 18, Eric purchased his first apartment building while still at university. After graduation, in his position as an actuary, he was dismayed to see hundreds of company pension plans being rolled over into 401(k)s shifting the retirement risk to employees. This made Eric reconsider traditional beliefs about retirement saving and question his role as an actuary so he joined the lucrative technology industry.

A few years later, Eric lost a fortune during the dot-com crash of 2001 and he started looking for ways to earn passive income and stop trading time for money. He started various businesses, including a gourmet sauce company, but eventually came back to his first love, real estate investing, and formed MartelTurnkey.

After just four years of rapid success, he was able to retire from his day job. Today, Eric wants to share what he has learned through his own experience so that we don’t make the same mistakes he did. Financial Freedom should be everyone’s #1 goal because it is inevitable and the best way to achieve that goal is through rental

properties that generate passive income. Welcome to the show Eric!

Key Parts From The Episode:

  • Eric’s upbringing, growing up in a middle-class family. Getting introduced to real estate investing.
  • Finding mentors and learning from other real estate investors.
  • Finding and investing in his first deal at only 18 years old.
  • How to overcome limiting beliefs. Moving away from a traditional way of thinking.
  • Why investing in rentals is a better form of retirement saving, than traditional plans like Roth IRA’s.
  • Inflations negative impact on traditional forms of retirement investing.
  • The barriers people typically face when trying to achieve financial independence.
  • What is Martel Turnkey?
  • Why it’s important to build multiple streams of income.

Books/resources mentioned:

  • What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith


[00:00] EM

The importance of what the rich people do is they take that money and they invest it in real estate or hard assets. Because that’s going to be that asset is going to appreciate over time

[00:00:13] KR: Intro 

Welcome to Ritter on Real Estate, the show about how to passively invest like a pro. On each episode, I interview real estate experts who give their top investing advice, strategies, and tools that break down the insights into practical steps to avoid the pitfalls and make better investments. I want to help you passively invest like a pro. This is Ritter on Real Estate, and I’m your host, Kent Ritter.


Hello fellow investors Welcome to another episode of Ritter on real estate where we teach you how to passively invest like a pro. Today, my guest is Eric Martel. And Eric purchased his first apartment building at the age of 18 years old while he was still at university. And he upon graduating and became an actuary, he was he was there during the times when pensions started switching over the 401k is and saw that risk shift over to the employees and thought that he better be better put a plan in place to make sure that that he’s gonna have a plan for retirement, he actually joined the tech industry kind of beginning and then during crash, I’m sure has an interesting story. And then went into a whole host of other businesses, ultimately forming Martel turnkey, and helping others now really achieve their own financial freedom through real estate investing, which is you know, mine and many of our investment choice. So, Eric, very interesting story. excited to hear some more about it. And thanks for joining today. 

[00:01:37] EM

Well, thank You Kent. Thank you for having me.

[00:01:39] KR 

Yeah, you know, if you will just elaborate a little bit, you’ve got, you know, quite an illustrious career. And I’m sure a lot of lessons learned to go along the way. So, you know, tell us a little about who you are and how you got today?

[00:01:51] EM 

Well, it doesn’t feel illustrious, I must say it’s it was a lot of work, a lot of pivoting a lot of changes, a lot of you know, kind of adjustments. And, you know, it took years for me to get to where I am. And this is, you know, this is why I’m talking to you today to kind of like help other people shorten that duration, it doesn’t have to take, you know, 30 years to get to where I am, you can do it in 10 years. So unlike to shortcut that for a lot of people. But yeah, I started when I was 18 years old, you know, my parents were just like regular, you know, lower middle-class kind of people working nine to five paychecks to paycheck, you know, nothing too special there. Except that I was I didn’t like, I didn’t like that I knew there was something better. I knew there was for them. I mean, they understood kind of like the punching there for hours and then paying bills. But there was a whole universe of things that they didn’t, didn’t know how that works, something as basic as banking as financing, how money works, and all that in business. So, there’s just like, so I knew there was something more out there. When I ended up at university, I met through some friends, someone that was a real estate investor. And I knew that was something that I was interested in. And, this guy was not nothing special. Like he was, he was just as smart or as on smart as my parents, who are uneducated, I should say. He was, you know, so he was nothing special, a community college teacher, he was working still his job. But he managed to build a little like a 36-unit apartment building. And he was building a real estate empire. He was working last time I talked to him. He was working on a on a shopping center, nursing home and all that kind of stuff. So very entrepreneurial. And when I met him, I knew I had to kind of latch on latch on to him. And then kind of like, you need to teach me everything you know. 

And through him I met like I met through other investors, I met kind of like how they add value to properties and all of that. And then I decided to invest also, even though I had no money, and I told him that up front, so I have no money behind. In the back of my mind, I was thinking that maybe if I find the right opportunity, he’s going to invest in my project. But it turns out, they didn’t even do that. So, I ended up I found a deal. It took a long time to find a deal a lot. I had to analyze lots of deals. The realtor that I was working with or that was supposed to work for me to find that deal was in his mind, he saw us thinking that what I was looking for didn’t exist. So, he kept confirming that belief by showing me deals that don’t work instead of keeping finding something that would work. And so eventually, just like he was tired of me and he said Well why don’t you look yourself You know, and so he gave me like, in those days, there was no internet. So, if any of your viewers can relate to that, what that would be like. But yeah, so he basically gave me binders of paper and stacks of papers with the, you know, opportunities or not opportunities, but properties that were for sale. And as this crunched the numbers, spent a whole week weekend and kind of crunched the numbers, and then found like a few properties that would actually work for that. And but of course, I had no money. So, we started kind of looking at where, where am I going to get the money, and we needed to have someone that would be willing to do seller financing, at least for part of the deal. And so yeah, so found, found one guy that was willing to do seller financing, and then was an even after the full financing. So, he was the property with cash flow, so that that’s what I wanted. And that’s what I ended up buying. So that was, but it was quite a journey, it was pretty complex. To get to that it took a lot of effort and all that. Eventually, I graduated, as you mentioned from So, university, and it started working. So, it made it very difficult for me to find another property like that. So, so that’s kind of like, and I was in different cities and big cities, and I couldn’t find deals in there. And yeah, so that’s, that’s kind of, so that took me a while to get back basically into So, a real estate.

[00:06:32] KR

Well, I think there’s, there’s a lot to unpack there, though, I mean, being 18 years old, that takes a hell of a lot of initiative to go out. And like one you found a mentor, right, you were able to kind of leverage their experience. I mean, it sounds like a little bit kind of, you know, kind of learn at least have a representation of like, hey, this is what I want to do. Right, and you had enough wherewithal to go after it 18 years old, while you’re in college, which is definitely not what I was doing in college. So, I think that, that that’s, that’s pretty awesome. And then, you know, having that I’m sure having that property still set you up for a certain level of financial independence, even at a young age and at least gives you more options. Right?

[00:07:12] EM 

Well, what gave, what really helped me there is that it showed me that it was possible for me to do that, to do that kind of investment, and to basically have something that would cash flow. You know, so that that was a big, that was a big thing, confirming, you know, a belief like that is very important. Because you have always you have always had all these people that say no, say no, if I hadn’t found this property, if I hadn’t been able to close on it. My, my experience or my belief would have been potentially that it can’t be done. And then I wouldn’t even you know; I would try to find something else or just stick to my day job. But yeah, so that, that that’s was That’s the important thing. lesson from that is that I knew it was possible. And then the question was where how do I find the next opportunity?

[00:08:03] KR

Yeah, I mean, no matter what level you’re at, you’re gonna have kind of limiting beliefs that are keeping you in a certain place, right? Whether it’s, you know, you’re getting started, and I can’t find a property or it’s too, you know, the markets too saturated. There’s too much competition, you know, I don’t know enough. I mean, there’s always something that you can tell yourself to prevent you from moving forward. Right? And if you listen to that broker, and said, yeah, now there’s nothing like this. I mean, you may never have before, so even people that are in it, and can benefit from you buying a property you’re telling Yeah, no, no, no, no, no. Right. So, you got to be able to see through that I think even no matter what level you are, there’s always a limiting belief around that next level up. So, if you’ve acquired 100-unit properties, and maybe it’s No, I can’t go after a 300 unit, it’d be too much money. You know, there’s always that next level. And so, I think just being able to, like you said, see through that and push forward and take action, which then you proved yourself that you can do it, because you took action. And then and then you crushed that limiting belief. So, I think that’s awesome. You did that at such an early age. So, something that was unique. That was reading in your bio, you were talking about, you know, being there from kind of this shift from pensions to 401, Ks and kind of what you So, saw the writing on the wall and shattering of what that was going to become so, so talk a little bit, I guess about that, and how that changed your perspective and your, your path.

[00:09:31] EM 

Yeah, I mean, so I think, basically, for people who don’t know, I mean, in the old days, people would work for the same company for a long period of time and get a gold watch. That would work 25 years and you know; they would get a watch for their service or a gift like that. But the other thing that they would get would be a defined benefit pension plan. So, they would have a pension plan and that was very usual for most people. My father, even though he was working nine to five at minimum Implant, he was got a pension plan. And that was basically the White was called defined is that they would tell you upfront that what you’re going to get is basically 50%. I’m simplifying here, but you get 50% of your final salary at retirement. So, if you make $100,000, when you retire you the company, through their pension plan would give you $50,000 a year, then you have your Social Security on top of that, and then you have your savings that would kind of like finish the whole thing. And then you should end up around like 80 to 90, maybe 100% of your final salary, still at retirement, so you can enjoy your life. But you know, when I started working as an actuary, I mean, already there was, every day, every week I was I was what’s called winding down, I was closing these plans, and then moving them into not these plans, these plans, and then converting them into 401k. The problem with 401k is that now the employee is responsible for determining how much savings they need to do in order to have enough money at retirement, they have to decide how they’re going to invest that money, you know, and then at retirement, and then they have to figure out how that money is going to be converted that retirement into a stream of income. 

Most workers are my father, certainly, and most people that are in that situation that have a 401k, I’ve no clue on any of these things. So, you know, so the and this is what we’re seeing today is that people have don’t have enough savings, people have savings, and then they don’t have, they don’t know how to convert that, that saving into a stream of income. So, they go to life insurance and get an annuity, which is probably the worst type of conversion that you can do. Or they do like a bond ladder or something that that which is in this low interest environment is also not a good idea. But you know, so that’s why I’m kind of on the bandwagon of, you know, probably the best investment you can do would be real estate rentals in order to convert that, that stream of income. And that’s, that’s what I’ve been doing. And that’s what I’ve been like preaching, or communicating to a lot of people to make them aware that this this investment vehicle is ideal for So, people who want to convert their So, retirement savings into a stream of income.

[00:12:30] KR

Yeah, well, it’s So, such a mind mindset shift for people, right? Because we’re taught from the very beginning and your parents sound very similar to mine. And even through school and everything is, you know, save, save, save, save and we’re not taught a whole lot about investing. And so, what you’re talking about is that shift from a saving mindset to an investing mindset, right? The difference is, when you’re saving, you’re just trying to get as big a pile of cash as possible, and then you’re gonna burn that cash down over the years and, and hopefully those who died from cash runs out, right. But that but that cash is not replenishing, versus an investing mentality where you’re taking that, that pile of cash and that pile of cash, you’re put, you’re investing in something that then produces cash itself and actually creates an income stream for you that you can live off of like to replace your salary or whatever it was in retirement years. Or, heck, if you if you want to retire early, and you want to be, you know, you want to retire when you’re 45, or whichever. But it just the mentality shift, I think is so important for people of that saving is So, not enough. I mean, if you look at the environment, we’re in right now. Right? You go to a bank, I mean, the environment, interest rates at banks are laughable. Right? And

[00:13:45] EM 

you get interested at your bank? 

[00:13:49] KR

Well, it’s definitely not enough, especially when you look at where inflation is, right? So exactly. If inflation is outpacing your interest rate by a by 100 times, which has been happening the past few months, then you know, you’re not you’re not making much money. And so, it’s not enough just to save, I think is where we’re at, that’s where you’re saying, got to shift to investing mindset. And it is a mindset shift is getting comfortable with the idea of instead of instead of just piling your cash, putting it into something and I think where people a lot of people get held up is risk or perceived risk, right, that they perceive having the money in the bank is safer than having their money in a real estate investment, but maybe you can help some folks, you know, explain how to get over that hump and how I mean explain how that’s not true how it’s not really safer to save in that bank then put it into a real estate investment.

[00:14:45] EM 

Yes, I mean, inflation I mean, you hit it on the nail, hit the nail on the head here on the inflation. I mean, it does feel like it’s so, it’s safer to put it in the bank because you know, you can look at that number. And you can see that the number is so, the same, unless you have some bank fees, then you can see the number go down every month. But, you know, but yeah, I mean, it does feel safer. But the problem is that this inflation thing is very, it’s kind of hidden, you don’t you don’t really feel it, I mean, I, you know, I go, everything kind of goes up like couple of pennies here a couple of pennies there $1 there and stuff. And we’ve seen the effect with the pandemic, we’ve seen the effect of inflation, the Fast X or higher inflation in a short period of time. And you can see it on people now can see that, oh, the price of this two by four was $3. Nuts is $12 is like, wow, this happened in like, in a short time. So, this effect, the same effect of inflation, even though it’s happening only maybe like four, right now, it’s like 6%, pretty, pretty high compared to what it was like last couple of years ago, which was around 2% or 3%. So, it’s double or triple what it was, and is going to continue too So, be higher and higher. So, as you know, as we as the economy and some of the things that haven’t been factored in yet to, into that inflation number, like rents and like the cost of housing in general. And some So, things have increased by 20%. So, construction material, we’ve seen like also, oil and stuff like that has also increased by the third 20 to 30%, I forget exactly what the number is. And that has a ripple effect on the cost of goods because everything needs to be shipped. And if it costs more to ship from point A to point B, then it’s going to be it’s going to be reflected in the price of milk and the price of meat and vegetables and all that kind of stuff. So that’s why it’s very conspicuous to see that and the importance of what the rich people do is they take that money, and they invest it in real estate or hard assets. Because that’s going to be that asset is gonna appreciate over time. And so that’s why rental real estate rentals are ideal for that, because then you have a piece of asset, you have a hard asset or like a real estate. And then not only that, but it pays for itself. So, you don’t have to worry about it is positive cash flow, and then you this this asset keeps growing. You know, again, the problem is here is that you don’t really see it increase in value. Because, you know, you just see that the house is the same and you have to maintain it and all that kind of stuff. But yeah, I mean, this is this is a difference. And people need to change the focus you mentioned also like the So, savings in this accumulation mindset, people have to focus, change that accumulation mindset, and then convert it into more like a cash flow, a cash flow mindset, you know, as you know, Kiyosaki and Rich Dad Poor Dad, I mean, this is basically his message is that don’t focus so much on accumulating money, focus on what this money is doing is doing for you. Another one thing that really helped me kind of, like get off and do more and really pay attention to this is I had equity in my house, I had, you know, all kinds of things. And I, every day, like I would work like I would come from So, work. And I would imagine all that equity sitting on the couch, having watched TV the whole day, when I work my, my tail off at, you know, at a different job. And it’s just like, you know, this is wrong, this equity, this, this capital needs to work for me, like I say for it, it needs to work for me, and visualize it as an as a person if you want or group of people and say, okay, your different job guys off the couch, it’s time to go to work. And, and this is kind of if that helps you visualize kind of that whenever you go, you go home after work if their heart is work, look at the couch and imagine your equity and your capital sitting there. Having watched TV and asking you if the if you made dinner yet.

[00:19:19] KR

Yeah, I mean, I think the that’s a great point. It’s a good way to visualize mean that the core principle is your money should also be working for you. Right? And if it’s in if it’s sitting in a bank, while it’s perceived as safe because you don’t feel like you’re losing money or there’s not that risk of losing money, right? Each day, each day. It’s being chipped away at right from an inflationary standpoint. So, each year that money that’s in there is worth less than it was the year before. And so, and, you know, it’s like this idea of, you know, if you’re, if you’re taken from taking buckets of water out of out of a swimming pool, right, eventually that swimming pool is gonna run dry and that’s the savings mentality versus if you’re taking money out of a, you know, out of a spring, right a spring that continues there to refill that that’s what the cashflow mentality is, is like, you can take the money out and spend it. But because you’ve invested in something that the pool continues to refill; it continues to refill that spring is regenerating. And so, I think that’s, those are important concepts, I think to understand. And I think that’s the only way, at this point you so, really prepare for retirement, right to be able to retire the way the way you want is by putting that money to work. So, you’re multiplying your effort, you’re working hard, and your money is working hard. Right. And I think that’s all.

[00:20:35] EM 

Exactly. And in terms of risk, I mean, you know, you, it feels risky, to kind of like invest in something. But just because you don’t know exactly what the outcome is going to be. Right. But if you leave your money at the bank, you know, 100%, what the outcome is going to be, it feels less risky. But the outcome, unfortunately, is negative if you just leave it in the bank. So, the worst thing that I can do I mean that that’s what I do every day is that I don’t want money in my bank. So, I work very hard every day to get the money out of my bank, bank So, account and have it worked for me and I have invested in different properties. That’s what I do every day.

[00:21:17] KR

Yeah, look at your mentalities not to not to save a bunch of money in the bank, that should get all the money out of the bank, get it out, get it out, get it working, right, I can still hear tickets, but off the couch,

[00:21:27] EM 

get off the couch. Exactly.

[00:21:28] KR

So, you know, just kind of around where we’ve been talking. I mean, one thing that I know you had outlined before are just kind of, you know, the barriers to achieving financial freedom. And we talked about mindset, sound, right, but are there, there are other barriers that you see commonly, as you’re talking with folks that you can help folks who have overcome?

[00:21:50] EM 

Yep. And the biggest one that I’ve seen is, is alignment. So, I think your number one goal, everybody’s number one goal should be to achieve financial freedom, there’s no doubt in my mind that this is what you need to do. So that you can retire, but you can also maybe retire early. And so that that should be your number one goal. And then after that, you look at different strategies, and across all the different asset classes, different strategies that would give you this, you know, this, this kind of cash flow that will help you achieve that goal. Right. And some of them are, you know, yeah, they would work. But is that really something that you want. So, like, you know, one of them, for example, is that the 4% withdrawal method, I don’t know if you heard about that one, but you basically you invest your money in the stock market, you know, and on average, the stock market is going to make, you know, 9%, or, you know, over the last 50 years or so much is made. And then then you take 4% of that equity out every So, year to pay for your bills. So that, that’s how you convert that saving into a stream of income, you need a significant amount of money to do that, right, you need 20 times the amount of money that you want to make. So, if you want to make $100,000, you need $2 million in that, that account to make that work. And so that’s one way to do it. The thing is that when you run some numbers on that, there’s a 20% chance that you’re going to run out of money before you pass away. So, you know, are you willing to risk that 20% That’s why I’m focusing a lot of attention. And I’m telling a lot of people that really real estate rental is the ideas, the ideal method, the ideal investment for, for doing that.

[00:23:39] KR

So, in your perspective, then, you know, what is it about real estate rentals that it’s made it your weapon of choice, let’s say? 

[00:23:49] EM 

Well, I mean, you could, you could start from a blank piece of paper, and then kind of like, identify the things that you want to see in the perfect investment. Right. So, you want to have something that that I can use leverage, I can put a little bit of money, and I can control a bigger asset. I want something that has positive cash flow that has good return that has tax benefits, that would adjust with inflation. You know, all these all these good things, and then you say, well, that investment doesn’t exist, you know, but that’s real estate rentals for you. So, it has all these advantages. It has all this tax benefit all the tax deferral that you can do, it has positive cash flow as in depending on the market you’re in, you’d have excellent return some of the markets that we’re in right now are investing our investors are making 10 to 12% cash on cash return on their on their money they invested. So, all that is this is real estate rentals. And what happens when we talk about the biggest problem that I’m seeing investors do Is that the kind of like, go from all kinds of different types of investment strategy in this era? Yeah, I’ll be this guy made, he made $10,000. And I only made $7,000. And you know what I’m gonna go, I’m gonna switch my strategy. And I’m going to go do that. And it takes time to ramp up. So, you kind of go and then you ramp up, maybe that’s going to be successful for you or not, depending on the time you have available that money you have available. So right. So that’s, that’s the thing. I think alignment is the key thing and focus on So, the right strategy for you, based on the amount of time you have available and the amount of money you have, Bill.

[00:25:39] KR

Gotcha. So, you’re sort of we’ve gone over that, you know, just the 401k savings approach doesn’t work. We’ve gone over that the all the benefits of real estate and why that is, you know, one of the best investments out there for all the reasons that you mentioned. And, and as you can easily imagine, there’s more as well, I mean, probably make a list. So, if we know all this, then Then why aren’t more people investing in real estate?

[00:26:09] EM 

Yeah, so I think we, I’m dealing with a big marketing machine at Wall Street. People they make, they make a lot of money doing that, and the, they have their own TV, then they everywhere. And they So, if have your money already, your 401k money is with them already. So, all they have to do is convince you that you need you need more money to save, to give it to them so that they can invest for you. And they can make a more fees off of you. I mean, it’s a way to do it, but it’s just not as efficient. As you know, like I said, if you want to make $100,000 a year, you know and adjusted with inflation, you’re going to need like $2 million in in savings in order to do that. If you’re using something like the four the 4% withdrawal method, and you’re still going to have a chance 20% chance of running out of money. Real estate rental, different money. Real scenario you have, you’re building a business that’s going to last and it’s going to outlast you. And it’s going to be something that you can leave with your children after that.

[00:27:22] KR

Yeah. So, money. Real talk to us, then about what money. Real you’re doing with Martel turnkey, and talk about what an investment looks like with you guys.

[00:27:33] EM 

Yeah. So, Martel turnkey, actually, we were not planning to start this business, we were building our own portfolio. So, our own family portfolio, I was building a rental portfolio with my So, sons. And that’s what we got we, that’s how we got started. And we basically looked at different markets, we looked at where to invest. And even though we live in California, we say, well, that doesn’t make we try to invest here in California, I tried to invest here. Numbers don’t make sense. For my type of investment, which is cash flowing investment with a good return at least 10% return, you can find you can’t find that here. So, I started looking outside. We ended up in Memphis and Cleveland, and we started buying there. Eventually what happened is that friends and families and other people started to under know what So, we’re doing. And you know, we So, go to meetups and talking about what we’re doing. So hey, I want to do that I want to invest with you, I want to, I want to lend you money. I want to do joint venture out, I want to buy one of those houses, how can I do it and blah, blah, blah. And so that’s So, when we So, ended up in a situation where say, well, maybe there’s a business here for us. Maybe we should be doing turnkey rentals, even though there were some other turnkey rental providers out there. Yeah. And that’s how we ended up there. Yeah. So, we basically now are buying distressed property, renovating them, renting them out and reselling them to investors, who want to build their passive income portfolio and achieve financial freedom.

[00:29:10] KR

Gotcha. So, you’re doing the heavy lifting, you’re turning it into a turnkey, and then you’re selling it back to investors. So, they can just suffer the cash flows. And they don’t have to put a lot of time and money into rehab. Gotcha. 

[00:29:26] EM 

Exactly, so we removed basically all the risks. Well, not all the risk, but we remove like most of the risks so you don’t have to figure out what market is going to cash flow. We have that figured out. You don’t have to worry about the risk of you know, rehab, costing more than expected and finding things were taking care of that. You don’t have to worry about finding a tenant How long is it going to find take me to find a tenant that is going to be qualified and stuff like that. You don’t have to worry about that we’re going to give you is going to be tenanted by the time you close the new closed and also the rent. How do I know that I’m going to get the rendered it I’m going to, I’m going to, I should get for the market and stuff? So, all these risks are done are taken care of, we also connect you with property management company with a lender, all of that insurance company. So, you don’t have to find a property management company that that’s qualified. we’ve vetted these property management company is the same property management companies that we’re using ourselves.

[00:30:25] KR

sure. So, it’s interesting, because I mean, my story is somewhat similar. I mean, focus more on the multifamily side. But this idea that I mean, I did the same thing. I started investing, for personal reasons. And then, as more and more people started to hear what I was doing, and yeah, I said, hey, what are you doing over there? What’s happening? What do you make on that? Oh, really? You know, how do I start to do that. And then I mean, that it’s kind of organically how my business evolved as well. And so, I think it’s something where, like, I usually view all that we were talking about before, as perceived risk and things of stocks for verse real estate, etc. A lot of it is just that’s perceived risk, because it’s unfamiliar. And as you start to familiarize the people around you with what you’re doing, I thought was pretty incredible how people get it, and they start to jump so, on board, and then the better you get at telling people about it, and the more people start to jump on board, and I kind a have that same moment where it’s like, oh, maybe, like, Man, I think this is a business here, I think this is something we can do. And, you know, you gotta like doing it. And so have fun doing it. But I just think that that’s interesting, as people get educated by just being around you than they understand the value, and they start to really want to jump on board, right?

[00:31:36] EM 

Yeah, exactly. I mean, you know, and the value really is got to about is about, I mean, we’re really changing lives. I mean, we have some people that, like one of them was like, I think it was like 30 years old, and all that. And you know, he’s has a good job, nothing extraordinary. But after that, I talked to him that we put a plan together, and he’s buying a couple of houses a year. And in like, I think it’s five years or something like that, he’s going to have enough cash flow to pay for all his living expenses. So, he’s going to be financially free. And he’s not going to quit his job, but he’s going to be financially free. If he wants to, he can just take like six months off and do whatever or a year off. And so that’s the kind. So, it’s really changing lives. So that that’s what I really like it because the life changing event that’s going to happen is going to be retirement. And for most people, most Americans, it’s going to be a very unpleasant experience. Most of them didn’t have enough savings. And, yeah, so and so people don’t know when they’re going to retire either, by the way, so people think they’re going to retire at 65, and stuff like that. But most people like I think it was 80% of the people didn’t retire at the age the they thought they would retire. Because things happen in life, right? You get sick, you get quit and you get laid off early. And it’s getting hard to when you get older, it’s hard to find another job.

[00:33:08] KR

Yeah, and I think when you talk about risk, I mean, that, to me is the biggest risk is only having one stream of income, that is your primary job that requires you to go to work every day to get paid, because yeah, I mean, a lot of things can happen, right, you know, bad thing. Bad things happen all the time. You never know if you’ll be able to work out right or continue working or something could happen. And so, I think the way you mitigate risk, in my mind is by creating multiple streams of income, rental properties, whether its multifamily mobile homes, single family homes are a great way to do that. And, you know,

[00:33:42] EM 

because you said multiple streams of income. So, this book, this is not my book, right? So, this is a book that I read, I think, in 2000, or something like that. Yeah, it’s multiple streams of income by Robert Allen. And this is the first time that he said, hey, yeah, this is this is what you need to do. You need to build that. And I bought, I bought into that, that idea. And that’s, that’s how I ended up building. Yeah, multiple streams of income. any of this, this and this, right. So

[00:34:11] KR

very cool. Now, I think that’s hey the right way to do it. Right? Because I mean, you never know, you never know what’s going to happen. The best way to prepare is to have a plan B. Right? And that, that plan B is having other sources of income. And I love that idea. Just having that flexibility. You can still work if you want to, but hey it’s nice to have the peace of mind and you don’t have to. Right,

[00:34:30] EM 

okay. And I think as we’re going, we’re going more and more into a gig economy. I think the fact of working from home and being able to move to different cities, that’s going to change people’s lives in different ways. I think there’s gonna go more and more into a gig economy. That means you may be working on a project, let’s say at Google for A year or two and stuff like that, and then the project runs out, then you have a couple of months where you don’t have any income, because going, you’re waiting on a project at Facebook, and then you go work there for a little bit, and all that kind of stuff. So, this gig economy, I was an independent consultant for many years. And that’s kind of how it is you have kind of these ups and downs, and having that other stream of income coming in and filling the gaps is very, very important and gives you that security, that you don’t have otherwise.

[00:34:11] KR

100%. So, the to wrap it up, the biggest risk is that we are the biggest risk is that, you know, you’re not being proactive with your future, right, you can’t put your financial future on autopilot by just shoveling money into the 401k. We know that strategy doesn’t work, you see people retire every day, that don’t, that have to go back to work have to take a second third career, right, because they just don’t have enough. And so, we know that you can’t just put it on autopilot. But a lot of us are busy. We can’t, you know, we can’t necessarily go out and be hunting for houses or hunting for apartments, right. And that’s where I think you have to look for alternatives, you have to look for alternative investment options, you know, with so, folks that, you know, whether they’re like Eric, or you know, or like myself or others where folks are creating these so, investment opportunities, I think it’s important just to educate yourself, and to do your due diligence and learn what’s out there. But so, no matter who you invest with or what you invest in, you can’t put it on autopilot. You can’t save your way to retirement, you got to invest. Right. Yeah. So. So Eric, before I let you go, I want to take you through our keys to success round four questions I want to ask you, the first one is, if you where you know, somebody who’s investing, you know, with you or with somebody else, and they could only ask one question that person, what is the one question that they should ask?

[00:36:48] EM 

For me, I would say track record, I think you want to look at their track records, how much investment and the invested in that particular sector? How successful were they? And then, so I think that this is very important. You want to confirm their ability to execute, deliver. And then yeah, I think that’s, that’s the most important thing.

[00:37:10] KR

Perfect. What are you most proud of in your career?

[00:37:15] EM  

I think it’s my family. I think we’re; we’re running a family business. And it’s just, it’s just amazing to be working together. I mean, my wife is working next door in sales. In her office, my son is actually, you know, he has his own apartment on the same floor here. And you know, so that’s, that’s great. My other son is in Memphis, and managing the construction projects there. So, to me that that was my dream to be working with my family. So that’s, that’s my, my best achievement. I would say.

[00:37:51] KR

I think that’s awesome. I hope in you know, 13 or15 years that I can be doing the same thing once. So, what’s a book that everybody should read? 

[00:38:04] EM  

Well, one book that I think beside my book, stop trading your time for money. Plug it in some shameless plug? No, but I think to me, the book was, is called What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. And this book was really about talking about that mind So, shift is that you work you worked full time for, for a company for 20 years, and you have a lot of experience and blah, blah, blah. But there’s more, there’s something else that you need to sum for most people, there’s some other skills that you need to have. There’s other mindset that needs to be set in place in order to be successful in the invest on the investing side, when you start to invest in real estate and all of that. And it’s not, it’s not complicated, but it’s just the help you realize that there is this there’s a gap here and that you need to be aware that, you know, whatever skills you had, yes, some of them are transferable to this, but you’re going to need to develop new skills and be willing to do that.

[00:39:13] KR

Yeah, that’s a great read. And last question, what is your number one key to success?

[00:39:18] EM  

My number one I think is has been taking action. I mean, I’m, I take action on a regular basis. That’s why I was able to buy this this apartment building eight-unit apartment building when I was 18 years old, because I took action. It doesn’t mean that I’m eight-unit careless about the actions I take, I do measure the level of risk and I make and I take small bets and I take you know, I take a small risk and then I grow from that. Once you get, it’s kind of like something that just come to mind now it’s kind of like diving is, you know, at the beginning, you start with the little, the little diving board and then you go to the bigger diving board and then go to the platform. And then you start doing some tricks and all that it gets more complicated. You don’t start on the platform, doing all kinds of tricks, you start small, and you build your skills as you go. And you take more risk and all of that. So, I think it’s the same is the same thing with investing. You start small, you start with something that is just a little bit maybe outside your comfort zone, but not way outside so that you can you get more comfortable with bigger risks and bigger projects.

[00:40:35] KR

Yeah, I mean, each time you step outside your comfort zone, all of a sudden, your comfort zone widens. And now that’s your comfort zone and you keep moving and moving and moving. And you’re amazed when you look back and say Wow, look how far I’ve come like how big my zone is now.

[00:40:49] EM  

Yeah, yeah. I really like that diving board analogy. I just came up with that just now. You write that down on the fly. I was definitely gonna write that down.

[00:40:59] KR

Yeah. All right on Well, Eric, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story with the listeners. If, if folks do want to learn more about you Martel turnkey, how do they get ahold of you?

[00:41:08] EM  

So, on Instagram is E_Martel I’m also on Tik Tok. E_Martel there as well. I have my own personal website and of course my turnkey business

[00:41:23] KR

All right, very good. We’ll make sure all that’s listed out so folks can reach you. And once again, thanks for being on the show. 

[00:41:30] EM  

Thank you, Kent. 

[00:41:31] KR

Thanks for listening to another great episode of Ritter on Real Estate. Hit the subscribe button to make sure you don’t miss out on the content that will make you a better investor. Also visit for articles, videos and tools curated just for passive investors from next time. This is Kent Ritter with Ritter on Real Estate and go out and invest like a pro.