We had the good fortune of connecting with Andy Saintilus and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
In life, I find that those who take risks live a life with fewer regrets. That is why I believe the best time to learn about taking risks is as a child. Children are not born knowing about fear and danger, it is something that they learn throughout life, from their parents or their upbringing. Growing up I was fortunate to have parents that taught me the importance of taking risks directly and indirectly. I observed the trials and rewards associated with my parents making unconventional decisions in their lives and it helped shape my mind at a young age. Subconsciously, my risk muscle was being built during this time and throughout my life, I’ve had to exercise it on many occasions.

What should our readers know about your business?
It’s 2015, I’ve been working at my Corporate America job for 4 years. I feel unfilled in my life. I’m making a decent living but I knew that I was not operating at my potential. I start looking for growth and development my job takes notice and starts grooming me for leadership. During that time, I take a chance and enroll in a two-year MBA program.

While In the program I still feel like something is missing in my life. Since I had already made a huge financial commitment towards my MBA I decided to continue. I start attending business seminars and find that I like being around entrepreneurs. I keep hearing people discuss financial freedom, passive income, and owning their own businesses. I knew instantly that this was the path for me but I was going to have to take another big risk. This time I was going to have to take a chance on myself.

After searching, I came across a Real Estate event that is happening the same evening about investing in Real Estate. I register and attend the presentation by Lex Levinrad. It is about buying Investment Properties and becoming a Real Estate Investor. I am instantly sold! He mentions during the meeting that he has a coaching program but it’s going to cost around the same thing that I paid for my MBA to train with him one on one. He mentions that he is only offering it to the first three people who signs up that night.

While I didn’t have the money, I had just opened a credit card. In order to sign up for the program, I had to max it out the same night. I am afraid and excited but I don’t really know what to expect. Filled with excitement I start talking about it at work. My coworkers tell me I’ve been scammed and tell me that I am crazy. At that moment I was filled with emotion, doubt, and a feeling that I’d made a mistake. I start to think to myself, is this worth the risk. I’m already in debt from my MBA and now I’ve just doubled my debit signing up for real estate mentorship. I look at my coworkers and think to myself I wouldn’t change lives with any of them and they definitely did not know what they were talking about. I start training with Lex things are going great I find out that I will need a little more money now that I am training with him to actually buy the investment properties. I think throughout the week about where I can get the extra money but my pride would not let me ask anyone for help. A leadership position posts at my job everyone says that I’m not ready but I apply anyway but I don’t get the position. I remember that I had a little bit of money in my 401k, but it would be another big risk.

I get my first opportunity to purchase a house I use the money from my 401k as a down payment the plan was to Fix the house and Flip it but the house needed a lot of work. Once I finish the renovation it made more sense to keep it as a rental property. The house is rented I make a small profit. I start saving to pay back the money that I borrowed from my 401k.

Another leadership position is posted at my job, this time I apply and I get the position. I go from an hourly employee to a salaried employee. The bump in pay allows me to get my second rental. Now I am sold on the Real Estate business and start building my exit strategy from my 9 -5. I graduated from Grad School and I’m doing very well in my new position. I am now on my fifth rental in addition to purchasing my primary residence. The business is doing well. Three years have now passed I managed Grad School, a full-time job, and started a business. I hear that a Manager position will be posted at my job, I figure that it will give me another bump in pay. I see it as an opportunity to pick up more rental properties.

My coworkers tell me to not apply they will never consider me, I didn’t have enough experience, I am too young. I think to myself these are the same people who told me not to join the Real Estate mentorship program. I take the risk I apply and start working towards a plan to secure the position. It takes a year they finally post the position. I go through a rigorous interview process and I’m promoted to Manager. I pick up 2 more rental properties. It’s now the end of 2019, I am getting ready to wrap up a house that I was working on. I have a tenant ready to move into the house once I am done. A few months prior a coworker approached me telling me about someone that they knew that was doing Airbnb and that I should give it a try. I asked him to set up a meeting with me and this person but the meeting never happens.

It’s now the beginning of 2020 the Super Bowl is in Miami. The house is finished. I decide to rush and furnish to try Airbnb. The house is listed the night before the Super Bowl. I go to sleep and leave it in God’s hands. I wake in the morning and the house is booked for the weekend. The Super bowl ends and people continue to book throughout the month. Things are going well I decide to buy another property specifically for Airbnb. The week prior to closing the world is going crazy due to a new virus called COVID-19. It’s now the day of closing I have a huge deposit on the house everyone is telling me to cancel the contract and not buy the house the world is collapsing. I take a risk and decide to buy the house. The world is sent into lockdown and travel comes to a stop my Airbnb dreams go down the drain. The house sits for 3 months I don’t know what to do with it. I decide to start working on it and figured that travel would explode once we figured out how to deal with COVID. It’s now 2021 the house is completely remodeled. The travel restrictions are lifted. People are dying to live life again. I decided to convert my portfolio to short-term rentals. In my first year, I double the income from my 9 -5. The house that I purchased right before Covid also doubles in value.

It’s now 2022 and I am a Full-time Real Estate Investor who coaches’ people on how to leave their 9 -5 to obtain financial freedom.

I share my story to help people understand that I believe that taking risks is a skill that you must either grow up learning or a skill that you train yourself to have. I encourage everyone to try not to live life with regrets, choose to exercise your risk muscle in your life. Remember that the reward is in taking that leap of faith and not allowing missed opportunities to haunt you for the rest of your life. You don’t want to be that person who is always bringing up that opportunity that could have had but didn’t because we all know that person just make sure it’s not you. In life, you have to be willing to risk everything for a dream that only you can see.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
South Florida is such an amazing place. There is always a new restaurant or venue popping up so there is never a shortage of things to do.

Places to eat Komodo, Capital Grille, Papi Steak, Novikov, Yardbird.

To name a few but South Florida is such a melting pot that depending on the vibe we can go to Little Haiti or Little Havana to experience some great authentic local spots.

Places to visit: Hollywood Beach, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Wynwood, Brickell City Center,

Places to hangout: Wynwood, SW 8th St, City Place Doral, Tootsies, Las Olas, South Beach, Bayside Miami, Brickell City Center

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Lex Levinrad for opening my eyes to opportunities in life, business, and Real Estate.

Website: https://www.airbnb.com/users/325068958/listings

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andysaintilus/?hl=en

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andy-saintilus-real-estate-investor-0bb751133/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asaintilus

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