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Success Story Podcast

Cody Sperber – Entrepreneur, Author, Philanthropist & Real Estate Mentor | How To Be A Clever Investor

By July 28, 2023September 25th, 2023No Comments

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About The Guest

Cody Sperber aka The Clever Investor, is widely acclaimed as one of the most successful real estate investors and leading educators in the U.S. today. Starting with nothing, he spent years learning the real estate game. By  2010, he founded Clever Investor, LLC, a prominent Real Estate Education Company based in Arizona. The company’s exceptional growth earned them recognition on the prestigious INC. 5000 list in 2015 and 2016, ranking #648 and #685 respectively. 

Clever Investor received various accolades, including being named one of the Top Education Companies and Top Phoenix Companies by INC. in 2016, as well as being honored as one of the Top Companies To Work For In Arizona by in 2017. Cody Sperber’s dedication to empowering aspiring real estate investors through education and mentorship has made him a respected figure in the industry, and his achievements continue to inspire others on their entrepreneurial journey. He is now a best selling author, global speaker and teaches millions of individuals globally, how to succeed in their own entrepreneurial journey.

Talking Points

  • 00:00 — Intro
  • 02:58 — Origin Story: Cody Sperber’s Journey to Real Estate Success
  • 09:48 — Breaking into Real Estate: The Challenge of Getting Started
  • 16:42 — Mentors vs. Courses: Unraveling the Path to Real Estate Deals
  • 34:45 — Sponsor: Nudge Podcast
  • 35:30 — Unleashing Your Potential: Mastering the Human Element in Real Estate
  • 47:39 — The Simplest Path to Real Estate: Getting Started from Scratch
  • 1:05:32 — Sponsor: The Kelly Roach Show
  • 1:06:44 — Marketing Mastery: Unlocking Cody Sperber’s Secrets
  • 1:28:24 — Finding Alignment and Purpose: A Key to Early Entrepreneurship
  • 1:33:35 — Words of Wisdom: Cody Sperber’s Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
  • 1:37:23 — Connecting with Cody: Where to Find Him Online
  • 1:38:33 — Defining Success: What It Means to Cody Sperber

Show Links

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Show Summary: From Trauma and Addiction to Building a Real Estate Empire: The Inspirational Journey of Cody Sperber

Cody Sperber’s incredible rags to riches story reveals that with determination and passion, anyone can achieve success in real estate.

From humble beginnings rife with adversity, Cody built a multi-million dollar empire by always finding creative solutions and never giving up on his vision. His journey teaches universal lessons about defying the odds to follow one’s calling.

An Improbable Introduction to the World of Real Estate Investing

Cody grew up in a middle-class family in Arizona without any exposure to real estate or investing. His parents weren’t entrepreneurs and didn’t have business backgrounds.

The idea of generating wealth through property ownership seemed reserved only for the wealthy elite in young Cody’s mind. He reflects:

“I thought you had to have a license. I thought it was only for rich people. The average person doesn’t understand how regular folks can invest in real estate.”

But seeing a local real estate mogul’s name emblazoned on countless buildings as a child first planted the seed in Cody’s mind.

He remembers wondering even then:

“I thought, wow, how do I get my name on a building one day?”

This early glimpse into the world of owning and developing property activated Cody’s intense desire and drive to build something bigger than himself.

Theceral of a self-made businessman shaping the city’s skyline represented deeper longings for freedom, control over his future, and leaving a legacy.

These dreams would fuel Cody’s persistence once he finally got introduced to the possibility of real estate investing.

That pivotal moment arrived after Cody’s stint in the Navy, when his directionless path finally found its North Star…

Though Cody lacked a clear career plan after the military, his father gifted him the landmark book Rich Dad Poor Dad. The concepts around leveraging real estate to build sustainable wealth immediately struck a chord.

Cody reflects on this serendipitous breakthrough moment:

“Reading Rich Dad Poor Dad was a life-changing moment because I flashed back to Michael and I’m like, wow, when that’s cool to be able to do real estate.”

Soon after, another catalyst occurred – a chance conversation with a friend getting rich flipping houses. He drove up in a flashy new Mercedes and explained how he was making a fortune in real estate with no prior experience.

Cody reflects:

“He said ‘I sent out 54 million emails and made $10 million just clicking a button! I flipped a house and made $80k without needing a license or my own money.’”

This was Cody’s “aha” moment. Hearing how someone could create life-changing wealth through real estate without needing college or capital flipped a switch in Cody’s mind.

Two decades ago, the creative finance and wholesaling strategies his friend described were not mainstream knowledge like today. Cody felt like he discovered a glitch in the matrix.

He became obsessed with uncovering the secrets of this unknown world, determined to pave his own path to success.

The Rollercoaster First 14 Months Grinding Towards His Goal

Armed only with foundational education and a beginner’s naivete, Cody dove headfirst into the world of real estate investing.

He began obsessively reading books, attending expensive seminars, watching training videos and trying to network with professionals. Cody wanted to soak up as much information as possible about wholesaling, flipping, rentals and creative financing.

But for the first 14 frustrating months, Cody failed to complete a single profitable real estate deal. He also earned zero income, causing mounting stress.

Cody recalls this difficult period being filled with overwhelm and crippling self-doubt:

“For 14 months I failed to do a single deal or earn any income. I was pissed and I couldn’t figure it out. If this is possible, how come I never heard of real estate investing growing up? It made me question if I was capable of doing this.”

Between informational overload and discouraging doubts, Cody struggled to translate theoretical knowledge into tangible results.

He pitched countless sellers without successfully closing a deal. Many prospective deals painfully fell through at the last minute after countless hours invested.

Cody recalls thinking:

“I’ve been close to pulling off a deal 45 times but they keep falling apart! I’m clearly doing something wrong but I don’t know what.”

As the months dragged on without progress, Cody felt mounting pressure from his girlfriend, family and creditors.

Cody remembers:

“My parents told me I was making a huge mistake and to focus on college instead. My girlfriend kept insisting I just get a normal job. I was racking up credit card debt to keep my dream alive.”

The first 14 months were a true trial by fire. But Cody credits one thing for pushing him through massive obstacles without tangible results or income to show for it…

His “why” for pursuing real estate went deeper than getting rich or proving people wrong. After years of adversity and instability as a child, Cody yearned for the freedom and control over his life path that eluded his parents.

This soul-level purpose fueled Cody’s unrelenting motivation to put his head down and power through paralyzing doubts, outside criticism, and repeated failures.

Cody refused to abandon his vision. A voice deep within told him real estate investing would ultimately create the life of meaning he desired.

He explains:

“I just knew in my core this was my shot. Real estate felt right even when everyone told me I was wrong.”

But after 14 painful months of pushing uphill, Cody accepted he desperately needed guidance from experts who already traveled the path…

How a Mentor Unlocked Cody’s Potential in Just 2 Months

After his first 14 months ended in frustration, Cody realized he couldn’t rely on books and courses alone. He needed hands-on mentoring from professionals with experience executing actual deals.

Cody reflects on this humbling epiphany:

“I’m out of resources. I have to make this work. Finding a real estate mentor was the game changer for me.”

He found a local market legend named Lyle to mentor him. Though strapped for cash, Cody invested his last bit of savings to gain Lyle’s insider expertise.

The game-changing advice Lyle gave Cody was surprisingly simple: stop getting overwhelmed trying advanced tactics and instead just focus on mastering real estate fundamentals.

Cody explains Lyle’s guidance to simplify:

“He said ‘Put on blinders, simplify and just master the mundane basics first.’ At first I didn’t want to hear that but Lyle was absolutely right.”

With Lyle’s masterful step-by-step coaching demystifying the complex process, Cody finally gained the confidence and clarity needed to complete his first deal.

Just 2 months after starting with Lyle, Cody successfully wholesaled his first property and earned over $40k in profits!

Cody remembers:

“My first deal was complex with divorce and bankruptcy involved. But with Lyle guiding me, we figured it out. I wholesaled it for a $40k fee which was life-changing money for me at the time.”

Earning $40k in a few weeks through real estate investing proved to Cody that he could make this dream a reality. After painfully long days and nights filled with doubts, Cody felt the rush of validation from tangible results.

He was on cloud nine realizing:

“This is my shot. If I can do one deal, I can do a hundred deals. I will become a successful investor!”

With his first profitable deal under his belt, a massive burden lifted from Cody’s shoulders. His future was wide open rather than a hazy question mark.

Cody credits his experience with Lyle and the breakthrough of his first check for unlocking lifelong confidence in his abilities.

Just as crucial, Cody developed a priceless new mindset around overcoming inevitable obstacles on the entrepreneurial journey…

Rather than let setbacks destroy him, Cody learned to stay tenacious and leverage failures as stepping stones. He reflects:

“Before that first deal, doubts would stop me in my tracks. Afterwards, I got mentally tough. I learned to fail forward and persist through any circumstance to win.”

With self-limiting beliefs and uncertainty fading, Cody gained an unstoppable drive.

This relentless work ethic and problem-solving creativity would prove invaluable when an unprecedented catastrophe soon threatened the entire real estate industry…

Rapidly Scaling His Business in the 2008 Financial Crisis

With his swagger and confidence restored, Cody diligently grew his real estate wholesaling business after the breakthrough of his first deal.

But only a few years into his journey, the catastrophic 2008 housing collapse and financial crisis suddenly ruptured the economy.

While this implosion devastated Main Street and Wall Street alike, Cody spotted opportunity amidst the chaos.

He recalls:

“I was at ground zero in Arizona where real estate got obliterated. But now distressed properties were everywhere selling for pennies on the dollar.”

Instead of panicking, Cody’s entrepreneurial instincts kicked into high gear. He quickly realized he could rapidly expand his business acquiring undervalued homes in bulk and wholesaling them to investors.

Cody remembers the urgency he felt, along with the soaring possibility:

“I knew I had to move fast and buy as much discounted real estate as possible before opportunity dried up. This was my shot to build a fortune.”

In a dazzling display of audacity and resourcefulness, Cody devised an unconventional strategy to gain almost unlimited capital…

He flew up to Canada and recruited private real estate investors from Toronto, promoting the riches to be made from Arizona’s crashed housing market.

Cody reflect on his bold initiative:

“I hosted a seminar showing how dirt cheap foreclosed homes in Arizona could make Canadian investors a killing. I convinced several to give me money to buy auction properties in bulk.”

Using hard numbers on undervalued homes, Cody passionately pitched win-win partnerships. The Canadians would provide startup capital to purchase and renovate distressed homes. Cody would then sell the flipped properties and wire back profits. His fee was a percentage of the gain.

By pooling capital from multiple sources, Cody could scale his deals exponentially. Within months he gained access to hundreds of thousands in funding.

To make the deals work legally, the Canadians had to cut Cody large checks upfront on blind faith before seeing any houses or contracts.

Cody remembers the pressure he felt to quickly deliver results:

“These guys sent me $50k, $80k, $100k wire transfers with zero paperwork or guarantees on pure trust that I would buy properties and split profits.”

Fortunately, Cody’s wholesaling skills were up to the task of finding deals and moving inventory. Within weeks, he put the Canadian money to work purchasing underpriced homes in bulk at auctions.

Cody’s crew rehabbed each property just enough to rent or flip. He assigned Canadian investors as legal owners, transferred over deeds, and sent them rental income or sale profits.

Rinse and repeat. Using the Canadians’ upfront capital, Cody rapidly scaled his volume while collecting handsome wholesale fees.

This ingenious win-win arrangement made the Canadians millions on discounted real estate and earned Cody a small fortune in fees.

Reflecting on this period, Cody concludes:

“I wholesaled hundreds of properties from 2008 to 2013. The crash let me earn millions because I moved fast and used other people’s money.”

But after a few lucrative years wholesaling, Cody realized this model had limits. He couldn’t scale wealth forever flipping properties or churning quick fees…

True generational wealth meant owning tangible assets like rental properties for the long-haul.

Pivoting from Wholesaling to Rental Properties Changed Cody’s Life

Though wholesaling kickstarted Cody’s success, he knew achieving sustainable wealth required a shift.

Flipping houses could produce quick lump sums. But without assets producing passive income, Cody’s business and finances remained fragile.

He explains the realization:

“Wholesaling alone won’t make you rich long-term. To become a multi-millionaire, you have to own rental properties generating cash flow.”

Cody also credits focusing on rentals for teaching him about leverage, debt, appreciation, and tax advantages. Commercial leasing introduced even higher margins.

But this stage brought its own steep learning curve…

Cody had to evolve from simply assigning contacts to now overseeing renovations, property management, and dealing with the bills, maintenance and tenants that come with rentals.

He admits making costly rookie errors in the beginning:

“When I started keeping homes to rent I got taken advantage of by contractors and property managers. I lost so much money from hidden fees, inflated bids, scams…it was frustrating.”

Once again, Cody had to balance faith in the vision with patience as his abilities caught up to his ambition.

After living through exploitative contractors, neglected tenants, and maintenance disasters, Cody finally got seasoned.

Today Cody owns almost 300 rental units just in an Atlanta commercial property, along with dozens of vacation rentals and single-family rentals spread across the country.

Cody estimates this portfolio’s worth in the tens of millions and credits the passive income for funding his current lifestyle.

He explains:

“Now I don’t even focus on active deals. My rentals pay all my bills, provide capital to invest, and give me location freedom to focus on teaching and impact.”

But Cody stresses his greatest satisfaction comes from paying forward knowledge to help aspiring investors avoid painful mistakes…

Educating the Next Generation of Real Estate Investors

Now an elite player in the world of real estate investing, Cody focuses his energy on equipping the next generation with the strategies and mindset needed to secure financial freedom.

He founded Clever Investor as an educational platform and thriving community of support.

Cody provides free resources to give new investors a solid foundation, like:

Creative Real Estate Success Kit – A digital starter kit covering topics like wholesaling deals, acquiring rental properties, raising capital, and Cody’s creative financing tactics.

Top Podcast – The Clever Investor Podcast where Cody and expert guests share practical insights and success strategies.

YouTube Channel – Step-by-step real estate video training breaking down complex concepts visually.

The goal across all Cody’s educational platforms is empowering students with real tactics rather than just motivation or theory.

He teaches wholesaling first because:

“You need very little cash to get started with wholesaling. It’s the fastest path to make real money while learning the ins and outs of real estate.”

But Cody stresses the “soft skills” matter far more than technical knowledge alone. He urges new investors to master the art of influence and emotional intelligence.

As Cody explains:

“To close profitable deals you need to master relationships first, then finance. Rapport is the real skill that unlocks opportunity.”

Cody aims to give aspiring investors the complete package – building financial acumen while nurturing character.

He concludes:

“Help enough people get what they want and you’ll have everything you need.”

This “abundance mentality” guides Cody to keep giving back as his legacy grows.

Dissecting Cody Sperber’s Keys to Defying the Odds

Cody attributes his against-all-odds triumphs and millions in net worth to a few key mindsets and strategies:

Tapping into passion and purpose – Cody’s deepest why went far beyond get rich quick schemes. He yearned to take control of his future after childhood adversity. This fueled motivation to endure 14 months of failures without income until gaining traction.

Leveraging mentors – Hands-on guidance from experts like Lyle unlocked Cody’s potential much faster than trying to learn solely from courses. He avoids pitfalls having a map provided by those who have gone first.

Committing long-term – Get rich quick schemes fizzle. Cody focused on acquiring assets like rental properties designed for decades of cash flow. Thinking long-term builds true wealth.

Mastering leverage – Cody advocates leveraging other people’s money and abilities to scale deals. Wholesaling demands little personal capital but generates volume for investors with cash.

Solving problems creatively – Rather than follow stale rules, Cody innoveted. Sourcing global investors and negotiating win-win deals solved his lack of startup funding.

Helping others – Cody stresses that giving back creates meaning. Passing knowledge to the next generation fosters a legacy beyond personal gain.

Embracing mentors – Searching out expertise allowed Cody to shave years off the learning curve. A mix of courses and real-world guidance provides ideal training.

Persisting through failures – Cody credits failures for growth, not letting them stop progress. Each setback provided lessons to come back stronger.

Outworking obstacles – When tough times hit, Cody simply decided to outwork challenges through relentless drive, bold ideas and grit.

Having compassion – Cody builds rapport by leading first with empathy and emotional intelligence. Making money flows from making connections.

Thinking outside the box – Instead of following tired formulas, Cody came up with creative capital solutions like sourcing global investors. Imagination and problem solving separate achievers from dreamers.

Reinvesting back into people – Cody dedicates time and profits to lifting up others through training. A generosity mindset leads to reciprocity and support.

Crafting win-win solutions – Whether working with sellers, partners or students, Cody structures mutually beneficial deals that let all parties profit. This sustains long-term relationships.

Owning mastery – Cody made it a rule to fully master fundamentals before attempting advanced strategies. Strong foundations support exponential growth.

Having an abundance mindset – Rather than view deals as zero-sum, Cody expands the pie so everyone profits. This attracts ongoing opportunities.

Leading by serving – Cody puts student success first not profits. He aims to empower others with a hand up, not get rich off their dreams. This earns trust and loyalty.

Staying humble and hungry – Despite his success, Cody maintains beginner’s humility paired with intense drive to keep growing. The day he stops learning is the day he fails.

Bringing positivity and solutions – Cody handles challenges with optimistic problem-solving, not pessimism. This resilience converts obstacles into fresh opportunities.

Having bulletproof confidence – Unwavering faith in his abilities gave Cody strength to dismiss naysayers and power through rejections on the journey.

Being authentic and transparent – Cody builds connection through straight-talk and humor. He doesn’t pretend to have all the answers. Relatability breeds engagement.

Walking the walk – Cody only promotes tactics he’s proven through experience so followers have full trust. His integrity earns referrals.

Measuring wealth holistically – Though driven to earn millions, Cody defines success by fulfillment, not just money. He balances ambition with staying present.

Having a compelling vision – Cody fuels momentum by constantly connecting daily actions to the inspiring future vision. This raises energy and motivation.

Maintaining work/life harmony – Rather than hustle nonstop, Cody invests just as heavily into mental, physical and spiritual health to avoid burnout.

Evolving with the times – Cody continually educates himself on market shifts and new opportunities that may disrupt or enhance his investments.

Term limits build trust – By giving Canadians built-in exit points, Cody eased concerns about locking up money with a stranger. Smart contingencies provide control.

Tackling fears head-on – When intimidated as a novice, Cody pushed past discomfort to engage mentors, meet with private lenders, negotiate with sellers, etc. His confidence grew through exposures.

Simplifying takes mastery – Cody’s ability to explain complex real estate strategies in simple, engaging ways comes from his deep understanding. Less is more.

Every deal is personal – Even at scale, Cody approached each deal as an opportunity to positively impact lives and strengthen his community, beyond just making money.

Cody Sperber’s journey reveals that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary success if determined to master a craft and serve others. He made bold choices at key moments, took massive action despite lack of experience, and turned disaster into opportunity.

But most importantly, Cody never lost faith in his potential or larger purpose. He generously kept pushing forward to clear a path for those to follow.

Cody overcame childhood adversity and beat long odds through equal parts grit, imagination, and heart. His story offers blueprints and inspiration for anyone daring enough to believe.

We all possess untapped greatness within. But destiny never unfolds by holding back out of fear or false limitations.

Cody Sperber represents the embodiment of fearless courage, service, and tapping into the power of human potential. We’d all do well to follow his lead.

The time to start is now.

What is the Success Story Podcast?

On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups, and entrepreneurship.

The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.

Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures, and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas, and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their stories to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategies for business professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between.


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