RG 343 – Getting into the Nuts and Bolts of IPOs and Buying Distressed Homes with Stephen Keighery

We’re thrilled to have a fellow Aussie on the show with us this week—Stephen Keighery of Home Buyer Louisiana!

Stephen Keighery is the Founder of Home Buyer Louisiana and Bald Eagle Investments, bringing in serious profits for both himself and his investors. But before building his business in the United States, Stephen was a prominent business partner at an Australian company hipages.

We get into a deep dive into Stephen’s IPO, including the challenges they underwent and how it paid off in the end. Plus, Stephen walks us through what they do at Home Buyer Louisiana, a home flipping company that buys distressed homes in New Orleans, providing a win-win situation for buyers who want to get fast cash for their properties.

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Stephen’s US companies are still quite young, but as an experienced entrepreneur, his endeavors are growing pretty fast. However, the journey hasn’t been easy. Find out how Stephen made a massive exit and got to where he is today.

Key Takeaways

  • Going the aggressive route in your business can either be dangerous or highly beneficial.
  • Exiting a company you’ve spent so long building can come with a big question—are you ready to do it again?
  • Work-life balance is not so ideal in the early days of building a business.
  • Apart from hard work, making a successful exit has a bit of something to do with luck.
  • Listening to other people’s perspectives can help you make the best decision.



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Podcast Transcript

Reed Goossens (00:00):

Good day Good day guys. Now, before we dive into today’s show, I want you to let you know that some of you may be aware that over the past eight years, I have built a substantial multi-family real estate portfolio here in the US worth over half a billion dollars. And in that time, my passive investors have received fantastic double-digit returns. And now you too can invest directly into my deals for as little as $50,000. So if you’re an interested investor, head over to reedgoossens.com to find out more. That’s reedgoossens.com. Now, back into the show,

Stephen Keighery (00:40):

You’re gonna have 10 ideas that you think are amazing, right? And nine of them are crap , right? You like, it’s just fact. It’s fact like yours. My ideas, they’re all crap. Like most of ’em are crap. And I think the mistake most people make is they’re convinced their one idea is awesome. Mm-hmm. , and they everything into it. They build all this stuff, they spend all this time working on it before they get any feedback. And the tech way is cool. You’ve got this idea. What is the simplest, easiest way to test it? Mm-hmm. , like, just don’t build all the bells and whistles. Don’t build the process. Like, let’s test the concept because it’s probably not gonna work. And if it doesn’t work, you’ll learn something and you go on to the next one and the next one. And then the thing, when it works, it’ll be you’re like, okay, now I’m gonna build that process. Gonna build that stuff.

Speaker 3 (01:34):

Welcome to investing in the US, a podcast for real estate investors, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into the US market. Join Reid as he interviews, go-getters, risk takers, and the best in the business about their journey towards financial freedom and the sheer joy of creating something from nothing.

Reed Goossens (01:54):

Good day good day, a ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another cracking edition of investing in the US Podcast from Los Angeles. I’m your host, reed goossens. Good as always, Debbie with us on the show now. I’m glad that you’ve all tuned into it. Learn from my incredible guests, and each and every one of them are the cream of the crop here in the United States when it comes to real estate investing, business investing, and entrepreneurship. Each show I try and tease out their incredible stories of how they have successfully created their businesses here in the us. How they’ve created financial freedom, massive amounts of cash flow, and ultimately created extraordinary lives for themselves and their families. Life by design, as I like to say. Hopefully these guests will inspire all of my cracking listeners, which are you guys to get off the couch and go and take massive amounts of action.

Reed Goossens (02:41):

If these guys can do it, so can you. Now, as you know, I’m all about sharing the knowledge with my loyal listeners, which is you guys, and there’s absolutely no BS on this show, just straight into the nuts and bolts. Now, if you do like this show, the easiest way to give back is to give us a review on iTunes, and you can follow me on Facebook, Facebook and Twitter by searching at Reed goossens. You can find the show wherever you podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google Play. But you can also find these episodes up on my YouTube channel. So head over to reedgoossens.com, click on the video link, and it’ll take you to the video recordings of these podcasts. But you can see my ugly mug, but the beautiful faces of my guests each and every week. All right, enough outta me. Let’s get cracking in into today’s show.

Reed Goossens (03:29):

Today, the show, I’m the pleasure of chatting with Stephen Keighery. Now Stephen is also another Australian expat entrepreneur and real estate investor, and he founded a company in Australia called Australian Home Improvement, and it iPod on the Australian Stock Exchange for over $300 million. Now, with those proceeds, he moved his family to New Orleans and founded home buyer Louisiana. His business acquires distress properties directly from homeowners. He flips them, he rents ’em, he wholesales them. And he’s built a rental portfolio spanning three different states, both here in the US and back home in Australia. And he’s looking to keep expanding his portfolio as he grows his business here, but without it, I’m really excited, pumped to get him on the show today to share his incredible story with us. But without further ado, let’s get him out here. Good. Steve, welcome to the show. How you doing today, mate? Good,

Stephen Keighery (04:14):

Reed. I’m really good. Um, really happy be on the show with my fellow Ozzie friend. I, I did read your book when I came to America , so, uh, you know, I’m really happy to be on your podcast,

Reed Goossens (04:24):

Mate. Shameless plug there, but, but awesome stuff. But, uh, I want to get into the story. We had a bit of a chat in the green room, but before we do, can you rewind the clock and tell me how you made your first ever a dollar as a kid?

Stephen Keighery (04:34):

That’s really funny. You know what? I think I made my first dollar at a job. I got a job at Kmart. And it is funny because, you know, I, I’ve never had a full-time job. We’ve only had a part-time job. So like, I, I very much see myself as an entrepreneur, but I am not that entre most, I always felt bad. Cause most entrepreneurs have this story of how they bought this when they were six and they sold, I don’t have that man. I, I, I was not on that path for being an entrepreneur. And, but I heard what Mck Kakkis speak in 2000 when I was a university, and he changed me. So like, I I, I didn’t have the entrepreneurial blood. I, I was an employee and I had a part-time job and, you know, uh, it took a mind shift in learning to become an entrepreneur.

Reed Goossens (05:17):

What you were at university, what were you studying before you stumbled across the, uh, the old Purple, purple book? Purple Man, so to speak. .

Stephen Keighery (05:24):

So I was at Macquarie University in Sydney studying marketing and economics. Uh mm-hmm. , you know, I thought I wanted to get a job in business. I didn’t really know what that meant, you know, I probably saw myself, you know, working in marketing for Coca-Cola or Unilever, and I didn’t even get the book right. My friend, his girlfriend worked for the promotion company that promoted Robert’s talks mm-hmm. . And he just said, come to this talk, you know, and I wasn’t in that stuff. He, he just convinced me it wasn’t something I would normally do. I just went, and honestly, like that seminar just bang changed. He opened my mind and then I read all the purple books, all the cassettes, ,

Reed Goossens (06:00):


Stephen Keighery (06:01):

Think, you know, I went down that path. But, uh, it just, it it was that one very serendipitous meeting, um, in 2000 that, that set everything off.

Reed Goossens (06:09):

And I, I, I’m gonna stuff this up. I don’t forget when the book was actually released. I think, was it the late nineties or was it around the early 2000

Stephen Keighery (06:16):

Release? Yeah, it was like 96. So he was pretty like, new in it, in it, you know, and, and you know, the book, the book was still like international. I think he’d been on Oprah. So like, it was, it was a big thing, but he was still, he was still pretty new on the circuit and, you know. Yep. He had cassette tape, so you had the book cassette tape, uh, which he would give out. Um, and yeah, I, I’ll listen, I listened to the, my friend, cause my friend, his girlfriend worked for the event. They had like all these actual like, you know, expensive cassette tapes, which I listened to and consumed. So I really got to like, inject a lot of it, you know, into my brain.

Reed Goossens (06:49):

Yeah. No, that’s, uh, it’s, it’s such a funny, because I, the same story as me when I finished backpacking in 2009 and 10 back in Australia, and I was just like racking my brain up against the wall. Like, I don’t want to be an engineer in a company that feels like it. I’m a small co and a big piece, you know, big machine. And it was just, you know, serendipitously as you said, you know, stumbling upon the book, which that port had. And to be honest, like you, I didn’t really know the, what the word entrepreneur meant. Right. It’s just a sexy word for a small business, right, . Yeah. So, um, but, but tell me, I, I mentioned the intro introduction iPod. What, how did that come about? Like, so Uni Robert, you know, starting at some home improvement company, where did all that come in? You know, marketing. Yeah. Uh, the economy doesn’t, doesn’t sell us. Have a, a string between it all. Right? So,

Stephen Keighery (07:36):

Uh, it’s all serendipitous things that happened. But it was Rob, so Robert, you know, that was 2000, I didn’t graduate to 2002, so it gave a lot of time to think and read and, you know, I was studying marketing. I also realized though, like starting to become more entrepreneurial that the marketing I was learning was, wasn’t really relevant for smaller businesses. Like, I, I, I felt this disconnect like that it was like it was marketing for Coca-Cola, but what would work for smaller businesses. And so I started to read a lot of books outside of university on direct response marketing. So, so that sort of led me on that path. And when I graduated, I actually started a marketing consultancy. So I would go directly to like small businesses, landscapers, carpenters, painters, hairdressers, like all just all different little businesses. And I would help them grow their business. I’d do a tactical marketing plan, and then I met someone doing something similar. Uh, we merged our businesses and we, we focused on one industry, the alternative health industries, like natural therapies. We thought an untapped market. People were like, they were a cottage industry. They loved where they did, but they didn’t have much marketing abilities. So it was really easy to help ’em out. Which then led me to a site. Cause we wrote a book for natural therapists on marketing and Wow,

Reed Goossens (08:45):

That’s very niche .

Stephen Keighery (08:47):

It’s very niche. And like we, we saw, we saw growth, it was niche and it was as well. So, you know, and then it led us to, there’s a website, uh, called Natural Therapy Pages. And it had like 400 therapists on it. It was all about natural therapies. And so we reached out to the owner to sell our book and we started speaking and talking and, you know, he wanted to buy thousands of them, but like, it was, it was, and we ended up just doing a deal. And we, we did, gave him a free report and would sell our book to his therapist. And we just started working together. And when I went into his business, uh, he had another business partner that was sort of like next to him, 5:00 PM And I, I was speaking to him and his other partner was Garage. He was like typing the other side. And he is like, you do anything besides natural therapies. And I’m like, well, we’re actually doing these things with tradies. I can say tradies to you cuz you’re ABO contractor,

Reed Goossens (09:35):


Stephen Keighery (09:35):

American people listening. Um, cause I had, I was also helping contractors just, we had this deal where a hardware store hired us to train their plumbers and carpenters when if they’d sell more, they’ll buy more stuff of us. So when I did that, the glad turn around, I went, I’m writing a business plan for home improvement pages. So it again, really serendipitous sort of would in the same space. And we ended up working together for about a year. And then we just merged our companies. We worked together so well, we had different skillsets, you know, mine was sales and marketing. One of my other partners, he was like, tech, you know, he’s like Mark Zuckerberg, smart other guy was a cpa, you know. Um, so he sort of all merged our companies. And that ended up, the home improvement business became, sorry, my dog going off. It became the biggest one. And, uh, we ended up listening on, on the Australian Stock Exchange. Um, we had like 300 staff, you know. Wow. 315 million. Um, we got to half a billion. Although the, the, the, the market hasn’t been kind. It’s about 130 million right now.

Reed Goossens (10:37):

And, and, and just when you say home improvement, just describe to the listeners what you’re meaning by the service you’re providing to get a product to go to IPO because that’s, I think it’s very important to, to, to, to, to, to, to get to the nut meat potatoes of that. So,

Stephen Keighery (10:53):

So I mean, we, we had a real system behind what we did. Uh, and we created a two-sided marketplace, uh, to the, any American listeners. It’s very similar to Angie’s List and Home Advisor, the business model we had. Gotcha. Yep. Contractors with homeowners mm-hmm. . And, uh, how we got to IPO was, I mean, a lot of hard work, uh, we, we really conscious of building a system. We knew we were in a race because those two sided marketplaces, like generally one business becomes dominant and the rest die. So mm-hmm. , we were really conscious and aggressive. We plowed most of our profits back, all our profits back actually into growing a business. And we raised money, so we went real aggressively. And that’s dangerous, right? Because like, you can, you can do that and get nowhere. And, and luckily though, we executed really well.

Stephen Keighery (11:39):

And so we’re able to grow to, once you start to get at scale, the brand gets known, it becomes cheaper to generate leads, you know? So we sort of built to that scale. Um, we’ve had NewsCorp they invested in, say they bought 30% of the company. So we had some like, wow, good backing, you know, and, and good players. And we just, the IPO was a great way to go. It helped, uh, some of us like cash out some of our funds. You know, some of our investors cash out some of their funds too. But also the ability to hold some of those shares, you know, into the future.

Reed Goossens (12:12):

And was that all through, you know, online back in the day?

Stephen Keighery (12:17):

Yeah, we were mainly online. And look, to be honest, like we , I, I can tell you when we started, uh, we were cold calling the tradies slash con mm-hmm. to get ’em onto our directory. And if, when we first started was really just a better Yellow Pages, to be honest. Yep. And we were telling, we get found on Google and the conversations I would have be like, Google, what’s that? Oh, Google. That’s the fat, like, these, these were the god honest, truthful conversations that, that we were having at the beginning of our business. Um, and you know, I think that helped us though. Cause Australia isn’t as, um, developed, you know, in terms of businesses, it was, it’s harder to raise money. It’s actually, I think everything we did was harder than the US and us, like mm-hmm. raised capital much easier. So, but that was good.

Stephen Keighery (13:01):

Cause we had, we pushed through all those hurdles. We were really like phone intensive. We, we really built a big sales force. Our sales was our first, like how we really grew, and no one else was doing it because it was hard. So, so it was harder for us to do what we did. The competition didn’t start chasing us for a long time, you know, and then we morphed into something better than just Yellow Pages. Like we became an app, you know what I mean? And, you know, basically you post your job and we send it out on the traders contact you. So it became a lot more sophisticated than that, but it started as a better Yellow Pages. Really.

Reed Goossens (13:35):

Yeah. Right. And, and when, when did you ipo?

Stephen Keighery (13:37):

It was like a year and a half ago.

Reed Goossens (13:39):

Okay. So only recently.

Stephen Keighery (13:41):

Yeah, only recently. Yeah. Yeah.

Reed Goossens (13:43):

Yeah. Great. Awesome, awesome stuff mate. And then, so talk to me about the, the, the move to America, because, you know, in the green room we, we spoke about, you’re in, you’re in Louisiana. What, what’s, what took you there, mate? Well,

Stephen Keighery (13:54):

So it goes back to Robert Kiosaki. You know, you probably see a theme. I, I, I talk like he’s influenced me a lot. Um, and he, one of his books is Retire Young. Retire Rich. And his book, he spoke about when you, when he sold his first business, he, he’s one of his friends who was a another business person, said, you have to take a year off, take a year off, do not do anything. Do not think about your next move. Like, just create that space. So that was my goal. I wanted to do the Robert Kiosaki. You know, I’d sold this, this is after news corporate invested. I’d sold a bunch of our shares. We hadn’t IPO yet. Um, but, you know, I sold some of my shares. I still had a bunch for the ipo, which is good. Um, but I’m like, I’m gonna take my year off and mm-hmm. ,

Stephen Keighery (14:34):

We love America. We’ve been in 28 states. We’ve traveled, you know, around it quite extensively. And New Orleans is our favorite city, you know, super farm. I’m a Saints fan, so, you know, like I want, uh, so we just wanted to come here. My daughter went to a school that had a sister school in New Orleans, so we just sort of went, shifted her, put her in for six months. I’m like, I only go to all the Saints games. I’m gonna eat all the good food. And that was really the extent. We did not expect to move. You know, my, my wife is also Australian. I had two kids. We’ve grown the same area for generations, actually. My wife’s side and my side. And we just fell in love with it over here. We just love the culture, the people. And my wife said, Hey, you know, we’re not leaving right .

Stephen Keighery (15:14):

And then I said, I went, ok, let me, lemme me think about that. Um, and then I started looking, cause I wanted to do more in property. I’ve done a little bit of property in Australia and I wanted to do more of that again, a Kiki thing. And I started looking at a property market key, and I just realized it’s so much better than back home. The’s property, so much cheaper to live, you know, Sydney’s a second least affordable city in the world based on income to value. So there’s a bit of arbitrage shifting from there to here. Mm-hmm. . And you got a much bigger, better, nicer house, you know, for cheaper. Um, so it all sort of worked out like that.

Reed Goossens (15:47):

Awesome. Man. No, it’s, it’s such a, it’s a weird, it’s a weird place to end up because I, I know most Australians, when they think you sort of go, coming to la, San Francisco, New York, you know, Miami, Chicago, like, Louisiana’s not really on the map, you know, but, but, but New Orleans is, is such an incredible city personally, haven’t been there and I need to get there. But, um, such, you know, steeped in history in terms of the, the deep south and all that sort of stuff, and the French, uh, influence down there. So, uh, that, that’s really, really cool. Talk to us now about what you are building, um, with Louisiana home buyers. Um, because I think that is such a, and how does that translate to what you built with, uh, your Australian improvement company?

Stephen Keighery (16:24):

It actually translated quite well, actually. So, and, and it was funny cause I didn’t realize it. So I, I, I knew I wanted to do more property. I wanted to invest in property. I had, I had, like, I had six rentals in Australia and I’ll buy more here. And I bought one off a wholesaler, right? And I didn’t know what a wholesaler was. Uh, I don’t know if they are in Australia, if they are met them, uh, or maybe wasn’t aware of them, but, but I’m like, okay, wholesaler, these guys have the deals. Let me learn what they do. So I did, uh, a little course on wholesaling and my intention was to be a customer. I’m like, I want to know the tick. If they got the deals, I want to get the deals. And then when I learned it, I realized it’s a sales of marketing.

Stephen Keighery (17:06):

Mm. And that was my, I ran the sales of marketing at our company. So, so when I learned how it is literally the same process, like pulling list, running the campaigns, selling, talking, negotiating, like it was my skillset. So I was just like, that’s my skillset. Like, that’s how I’m gonna get in the property. And I got really niche and went, I’m just gonna wholesale. I, the only thing I listened to was like wholesaling stuff. And, you know, I started wholesaling aggressively using my marketing skills, using my negotiation skills. And that was my, like beach head into, uh, real estate. And then after about a year, I, I wanted to buy more. And I, I became really confident because I’d like, I’ve learned all the values, I’ve met all the buyers. I, I’ve really understood the market. Cause I was involved in a lot of transactions at a wholesaling level that then I then started aggressing to be buying properties myself as well.

Reed Goossens (17:57):

For those of you who are interested in staying up to date with all the latest happenings in my business, or to learn more about passively investing directly into my multi-family value add deals, then head over to reedgoossens.com and sign up for my monthly newsletter. By signing up, you’ll automatically be notified about my new up and coming investment opportunities. You’ll be able to stay up to date with all the latest real estate news here in the United States and much, much more. So head over to reedgoossens.com and sign up today, now back into the show. And you now sell directly to or bring on investor capital to, to, to buy more deals.

Stephen Keighery (18:40):

I, I don’t, you know, people Thomas should get Russia raise funds from Australia cause the returns are so bad there. But I, I, I don’t really want the hassle to be honest with you, but, uh, I, I do burr, so I do a lot of bur, um, and I mean, you relate, cause I know you’re a syndicated, so it’s actually again, as a key saki thing. So, so key Saki talked about, uh, getting, um, uh, infinite return, right? So, and he does that through Ken McElroy, you know, obviously mm-hmm. that similar stuff to yourself. Um, and so that’s what I’m went, oh, I want get, I wanna do that. And I, I invested as an lp, you know, into a syndication deal, um, in, in Louisiana actually, to, through someone I knew. And, um, that was cool. But then I learned about the bur method and cause I’m, I’m ha like the LP and the infinite returns is also like, you know, like, I hands off, I have to do anything, I’m getting returns, but I am, I am a hands-on guy and I’m like, you know, I wanna do more.

Stephen Keighery (19:31):

So then I learn about the burn method and I’m like, it’s the same thing as syndicating, really. Mm-hmm. just small scale, you know, I can do that myself, you know, so I would look, so when I’m doing my, my wholesaling like deals, I need a lot of work. I, I assign those to another person. So I’m only like a fee on that deals. I didn’t need too much work, but it’s still a good price. I would then buy them myself. I did have some capital from my company, so I’d pay cash, fix ’em, put a tenant in place, you know, get it working and then six months later I’ll refinance out all my money. 30 year fixed debt, raise a America

Reed Goossens (20:07):


Stephen Keighery (20:08):

It’s right. But Americans don’t, Americans don’t understand how weight it is, how 30 year fixed debt does not exist in Australia. Yep. So, you know, to be able to do that, pull that 30 year fixed debt, I get all my money out, I own the property, the tenants painted down, I’m making a bit of profit, it’s an infinite return and I’m gonna sit on those. I’m, I’m not, I’m sitting on those for 30 years, man. I’m letting that Yeah. And that loan right out. So, you know, as just, so for me, I really was doing that. So I’m Paul Saling, Sam, I’m keeping Sam and just, I’m constantly marketing. I’m constantly looking at deals and, you know, analyzing deals and talking to sellers.

Reed Goossens (20:40):

That’s, that’s awesome. Actually, you remind me, and I pulled this book out earlier. I said the second book, you don’t have the second one, you’d have to send your a free copy. But Jeremy Heath, he’s uh, he’s an Aussie on the back here. He, he, he, he helped co-wrote 10,000 Mozzie American Dream. He has San Antonio home buyers and his brothers got Austin Home buyers. Okay. And he does a very similar thing, but more, not necessarily Burr, but you know, really buy around the sort of 70 to $150,000 price, sweep ’em out, get ’em back on the market, you know, flip ’em really quickly. And is has, has created a very, um, pretty, pretty big company that that does it now. And actually uses Australian super self-directed super funds as the debt, uh, for buying because, you know, he can give him 10, 12% because, um, you know, he’s coming in within three months, he’s got ’em back out.

Reed Goossens (21:32):

So he’s kept constantly churning money. So, and I don’t mean to digress here, but it’s as you are, yeah. Just the different ways of, of evolving a business into a machine, right? You talk about what you built with the Australian, uh, property improvement company around your marketing. It’s also then taking that next step to saying, well, what can we do to, to, if we’ve got volume, to then get it back out in, in, in the market. Um, my next question to you is, you know, you’ve been here for four and a half years. How’s the last 12 months been going for you? Because I know it’s been a big, you know, rocky road for all of us, even in the commercial space, you know, interest rates have shot up. Have you seen like people just pull back in terms of buying and, and and, and wholesaling all that sort of stuff

Stephen Keighery (22:13):

To a level? Prob probably not as much as like, you know, uh, new Orleans is mainly where I’m I am. And it wasn’t as roughy as some of those other markets. So not as much. But definitely a little bit. I, I personally did pull back a bit because the interest rate started going up to me like an up or down market, I actually don’t mind. And a bad market’s actually pretty good for me cause I’m buying distress. Mm-hmm. . But it was hard because it was obvious the market was turning mm-hmm. , but you turning too. So it was more uncertain. So I did a lot less bur last year. I did like three bur last year, the year before I did 15. So, wow. You know, like that was sort of where I was at. I still was still wholesaling though. I did start to adjust my numbers down towards the end of the year.

Stephen Keighery (22:55):

Cause we normally, as a wholesaler, I’m normally moving my deals in New Orleans at 70% of the after repair value minus the repairs. Like that’s how I’m pricing them. Cause that, that’s where the rehabers wanna buy them. Mm-hmm. and I, I move that to 65% towards the end of last year. Cause just they weren’t moving so much at the 70% as the prices down. So once I made that adjustment, they, the deals kept moving. So I’m still wholesaling, you know, I’m watching the market. It, it’s not, it’s not, it’s not too bad. It’s not too bad here. Uh, but again, we haven’t had the huge growth. So, you know,

Reed Goossens (23:28):

It, you, you don’t, you don’t, you don’t have the um, the ups and downs. You know, high growth means, you know, low lows. Yeah. It’s more slow and steady wins the race in, in those types of markets.

Stephen Keighery (23:36):

Exactly. Yep.

Reed Goossens (23:38):

Yep, yep. That’s awesome. So what does the, the, the, the plan and the future hold for you guys, you know, both personally and with the business? Where do you want to, where do you wanna be be growing to, um, coming here in the us?

Stephen Keighery (23:47):

It’s interesting cause when I first started the business, um, you know, I looked at a lot of the, like, wholesalers in different states. Like, you know, the Phoenix, the Florida, the Kansas

Reed Goossens (23:57):


Stephen Keighery (23:58):

You know? Yeah. Like, and they had pretty big operations and it, it, it resonated with me cuz that’s, you know, I had 90 sales people in my last company, and so I thought I was gonna build that. But I must say I’ve found that I don’t really want to do that anymore. Like, I’m trying to find balance because, you know, I’m lucky. I mean, I come did ipo, I still had a bunch of shares, so, you know, I have some capital and, you know, I’ve taken a bunch of res and I don’t really need to do that. Mm-hmm. . So, um, I’ve sort of settled on being a smaller company. I mean, I do have systems and it is a flow. I have, I have, um, a full-time employee. I got some VAs and some people that contract to me, but I don’t wanna, I, whereas I thought in my head, I’m gonna build this big company sales machine wholesaling.

Stephen Keighery (24:42):

I, I’m actually pretty happy just to turn along, you know, doing, you know, four to eight deals a month and acquiring good assets myself. Mm-hmm. So just mm-hmm. , you know, building, building some, some good income through like the, the assignment fees and then building some great assets as I go. And I, I’m pretty comfortable there, to be honest with you. And then, you know, it was a lot of long nights, a lot of like big days in, you know, I sacrificed a lot of time in my family building that company. Uh, and for, and for the record, the, the, the name is five pages. It was home improvement pages, Uhhuh, , and Five Pages was the name. Um, got it. Company. Um, so I, I’ve sacrificed a lot of like, time for that. Um, and I don’t wanna do that anymore .

Reed Goossens (25:24):

It’s, but talk about that because, you know, burnout’s real, right? It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s real. And, and some people, uh, was talking I on a mastermind group with, uh, a couple of other heavy hitters in the multi-family industry. Brian Burke, people who are listening to the show probably don’t know who he is. He’s been on the show. He sold 75% of his, you know, multi-family portfolio last year. He had a lending company that he sold. And one of the guys on the mastermind yesterday was asking like, you know, what’s, what does Brian Burke 2.0 look like? You know, and then similar to yourself, it’s like, he’s like, I don’t know, you know, like, I don’t , you know, maybe I don’t want to do, like, it’s, you gotta ask yourself, do you wanna saddle up and go again? Because that’s what, that’s what you do coming out of a big exit, regardless, whatever company it is, you’ve gotta truly ask yourself, do I want to get back on the horse and go for another ride?

Reed Goossens (26:12):

And, and how much, how many more, how much do I have legs in me? And know, he was saying that cups come of the guys that helped build his first company approaching 60, 65, they might not wanna do it again. So he is gotta go and like find new employees and all that sort of stuff. And it’s a, it’s a, it’s a big question to ask yourself. And it’s not necessarily a bad question to say, look, hey, I’m gonna not tap out, but I’m gonna take a different path. Talk to me about, you know, the mindset shift of that because, you know, we are also growth, growth, growth, growth growth. You coming from Australia, you know, that Americans are just like next level in terms of how they think. So how did, does that, does that, it must, it must sort of contradict one another, the, the, the, your old school and, and, and your new school stuff.

Stephen Keighery (26:52):

Yeah, I do find myself sometimes like getting aggressive and then be like, and like, so I will ebb and flow a little bit. But, um, you know, I, I’ve got a different view about work-life balance, right? So I think people want work-life balance. I think worklife balance is important, but if you really wanna be successful and have a lot, you, you, you can’t have balance from day one. You know? So I think my version of balance has changed in that like, you know, in the arly days of high pages, man, there was no balance. Like, man, I, I work my off. I was just super early. I was there super late and, you know, but then the balance, so the balance didn’t come in like, you know, having a work half and I have time off, it was here, but then I took a total year off.

Stephen Keighery (27:33):

Mm-hmm. , I came here, when I came here first, I wasn’t working. Literally, I took a year off. We ate out every day. You know, we went around New Orleans and just ate every good food there is. And there’s a lot. We, we got, got through about 10% of it. And so for me, like the balance is a little bit like that. So, and now I’ve been working a bit, but I don’t, I don’t wanna push too much that way. I’m just trying to keep it here and, you know, cause what’s the point? Mm. In right? Like, you know, I do love the, I love every minute of pip pages. I love the growth, but I’m like, do I want to saddle up again? Like you said, you know, uh, at the end of, I don’t wanna be super old and then try to relax, you know, like I, like, I want to, I wanna enjoy myself now, you know, and that’s why I like real estate again, Kiki like, build your business, use your business to buy real estate, real estate. You know, build that longer term wealth. So, you know, yeah. It’s, it, I do struggle with it. I do change a little bit. I do sometimes get more aggressive. I don’t think I’m ever gonna go all the way in. Uh, I did invest in a few startups. I mean, a few angel investments, you know, I mm-hmm. , I got with like local Angel Network here. And that sort of allows me to, I love touching the entrepreneurs

Reed Goossens (28:39):


Stephen Keighery (28:40):

I like, it’s sort of like being, um, it’s like being a grandparent parent, you know? You’re stuck with it. Grandkids, you can come in and give them some, have fun and walk out the door. . Like, I don’t want, I try to, that I want that to be my interaction. Yeah. You know, with Growth Enterprises.

Reed Goossens (28:54):

That’s awesome. No, I think that’s, it’s, that’s such a good perspective and, and probably I don’t talk a lot about on this show or all the founders that I speak, I speak to, we don’t talk about that. You know, like getting to that successful exit and what does the journey look like 2.0. And, and I think a lot of, now that I say it out loud, I’m thinking back to all the shows I have interviewed people with, been at that stage, which has been far and few between, to be honest. Who so congratulations to getting to such a big IPO and an exit so early on. But I have spoken to, um, another gentleman, uh, a British guy who, and I’m gonna stuff up the name, but he was in gaming, made a huge, like, massive exit, uh, and then started becoming an angel investor in commercial real estate. And he just looked a little different, right? And I think you, there’s a, a part of you that has the value part, like the, the, the, the, the, I needed to prove it to myself that I could get there. And you did, and you climbed that mountain and you’re like, all right, well I don’t, maybe I don’t need to have the foot the gas all the way to the floor and just turn in it like 200 miles an hour. I could probably ease up a little bit and, and that’s okay. Right? I I, there’s

Stephen Keighery (30:01):

A lot of risk in that. There’s a lot of risk in that too, right? Because there was, there was no luck in what we did, right. Because like, like we executed, we worked our off, but we were lucky to not have bad luck. Mm-hmm. , you know what I saying? Like, because lots of people can do all the right things. You can try really hard and then something happens in the market, a competitor or Google does something you get disrupted. Like, and, and we were plowing our profits into growth, you know, so we needed to get an exit to really make it worth our, while. It, it could have not happened, you know what I mean? So again, I like, I just don’t feel that I don’t, I rolled the dice. We did really well. Do I wanna roll again? Do I want like, I, I just don’t need to. Yeah,

Reed Goossens (30:44):

Yeah. No, I think as you’re saying, you’re still getting your hit from being the angel investor, being the grandfather, investor coming in. Give the kids some lo and off, you know, so Yeah. It’s, uh, that, that’s awesome stuff, man. Um, at the end of every show, we like to dive into the top five investing tips. You ready? Get into it.

Stephen Keighery (30:59):

Let’s do it

Reed Goossens (31:00):

Mate. What’s your daily habit that you practice to keep on track towards your goals?

Stephen Keighery (31:05):

So, you know, I, I’m, I’m big. I, I really love Miracle Morning. Mm-hmm. , also Elrod. So in the morning, um, I have, I, I sort of roll in the habits together. I meditate, I do some affirmations and I also, I do the one thing from, um, Gary Keller. Mm-hmm. . So every week I go through and I look and I have my one thing for five years, two year, uh, two years, one year, six months this week, you know? Mm-hmm. and sort of keep myself focused, uh, like that, uh, all, all the time. Awesome.

Reed Goossens (31:35):

Awesome. Question number two has been, who’s the most influential person in your career to date?

Stephen Keighery (31:40):

I think you know the answer. .

Reed Goossens (31:42):


Stephen Keighery (31:42):

But, uh, you know, besides that, um, you know, I had some really good partners at High Pages, um, you know, learn. We learned so much from each other with different skills, you know, so David vtech was one of one of my partners. And man, that guy just will push you the bar so high. He tho taughts me how to think big. My other partner, Robbie, Sharon Zer, man, he was an implementer, just operational. Amazing. I had Michael Pang who was just, he really did the big deals, charismatic. So, you know, I think, I mean, those people definitely, you know, we, we rubbed against each other the whole time and, you know, um, sometimes argued and some cause cuz by the way, is in business the best, the best decisions actually in the middle somewhere. Yeah. That’s what I look like. You have these different opinions and it’s like working them out. It’s, you get to that middle and it’s like, it’s a much better answer.

Reed Goossens (32:33):

Yeah. I completely, completely agree. When you’re not, not necessarily compromised, but it’s using, using other people’s advice to get to the decision where you need to go to. So

Stephen Keighery (32:42):

Different perspective, I think it’s different perspectives. And when you, when you sort of consider them more, you, you, you use a bit

Reed Goossens (32:48):

Of it all. That’s right. And it’s your ability as a human to take it on and as an entrepreneur, take on that advice, take on that perspective, put it in a blender where you’re gonna head out to. So, yeah. Yeah. Question number three is, what’s been the, what is the most influential tool in your business? When I say tool, it could be a physical tool, like a journal or a phone that you just can’t run the business without. Or it could be a piece of software that you just can’t run the business without. What is it?

Stephen Keighery (33:09):

Uh, salesforce.com is my crm. Um, yeah, I use it religiously. I probably use it different to most real estate people cause we use it at high pages. I mean, I know back to front, I built lots of processes through it. So I, I pretty much used the same style in my real estate business. And I think most real estate people would look at what I’m doing. I’m like, what are you doing? Like, cause cause it’s probably not how I would, I wouldn’t tell someone else to set it up like I did it, but because I spent so many years in it, it’s like, it runs everything. Leads, follow ups, just, it’s, it’s all dashboards. It’s all in Salesforce.

Reed Goossens (33:40):

That’s awesome. Um, question number four is, in one sentence, what’s been the biggest failure in your career? What’d you learn from that? Failure?

Stephen Keighery (33:49):

Man, so many failures. Um, you know, uh, they’re all lessons. I mean, uh, one’s not coming up. I mean, I, I’ve done a lot of failures. We’ve, we’ve launched new products, you know, that haven’t worked. Uh, I, I think, I think nothing is huge, but as a one failure. And there’s probably a reason for that. Like, cause we come from a tech world. Like I learned about mvp, minimal viable product. So the way the tech people think is, if you have a, I learned this like ages ago. It’s basically you’re gonna have 10 ideas that you think are amazing, right? And nine of them are crap , right? Like, it’s just fact. It’s fact like yours. My ideas, they’re all crap. Like most of ’em are crap. And I think the mistake most people make is they’re convinced their one idea is awesome. Mm-hmm. And they, everything into it, they build all this stuff.

Stephen Keighery (34:39):

They spend all this time working on it before they get any feedback. Then the tech way is cool, you got this idea. What is the simplest, easiest way to test it? Mm-hmm. , like, just don’t build all the bells and whistles. Don’t build the process. Like, let’s test the concept because it’s probably not gonna work. And if it doesn’t work, you’ll learn something and you are on to the next one and the next one. And then the thing, when it works a little bit, you’re like, okay, now I’m gonna build that process. I’m gonna build that stuff. So, so, you know, so I’ve had lots of mistakes, but, you know, nothing’s so huge that has hurt me, you know, and sticks out in my head as the one mistake.

Reed Goossens (35:12):

Yep. Yeah. Probably giving you a few gray hairs I could imagine along the way.

Stephen Keighery (35:15):


Reed Goossens (35:17):

mate, last question was, where can people reach you to continue the conversation that’ll be in your sphere? Where do they go?

Stephen Keighery (35:23):

Uh, I mean, you can check my website homebuyerlouisiana.com. You’ll find me there as a contact form. Uh, LinkedIn. I’m pretty good on LinkedIn. Uh, Stephen Keighery, um, you can even Facebook me. I, I really tried to keep Facebook as personal for a long time. I gave up on that about a year ago and , so, so you can Facebook me as well.

Reed Goossens (35:40):

Awesome stuff, man. Well, look, I want to thank you so much for jumping on the show today. I just wanna reflect some of the things that I took away from today’s show. I think, you know, your ability to be humble and thank you for being humble with the building, something that was, you know, that you saw had such a growth pattern coming from the, I think you were saying the herbal market space and it just sort of snowballed into this other thing and home builders and, you know, setting up the Angie’s List equivalent in Australia. Uh, kudos to, to, to sort of being curious enough about just following the yellow brick road until it led to something. Um, but then coming full circle, you’ve had the successes through hard work, but now realizing, do I need to go again? Do I need to saddle up and go again?

Reed Goossens (36:19):

Do I, can I take a few chips off the table and have a business that I’m still having a bit of fun with? And you still give, you still scratch my itch, but I don’t have to be as high risk. And I think that’s such a powerful lesson. Not everyone who listening is a show is at that stage yet, but it’s good to hear someone who has got to the other side and then what it, you know, what’s their perspective look like today compared to maybe 10, 15 years ago when they started that grind. Um, I think that is a, is a great perspective, um, to, to share with the listeners today. And definitely something I took away from today’s show. Did, did I leave anything out there?

Stephen Keighery (36:49):

I think, I think I think that’s pretty good. And, you know, awesome. I, I, again, when I thank you, like I said, I read your book when I was over here. Uh, it definitely helped me with the lingo and the differences, you know, uh, in America. So I, I appreciate you two

Reed Goossens (37:00):

Mate. Absolute pleasure to have you on the show. Enjoy the rest of your week. Enjoy Louisiana. We’ll catch up very, very soon.

Stephen Keighery (37:06):

Awesome. Thanks. Reed

Reed Goossens (37:07):

Well then you have another cracking episode jampacked with some incredible advice from Steve. If you do wanna check him out, head you open to homebuyerlouisiana.com. Check him out also on LinkedIn. Here’s your wealth of knowledge if you’re in that state and you want to learn a little bit more about the Burr method or what he’s got going on with his wholesaling business, but also just like understanding how he’s ticks as a bloke and how he’s moved halfway across the world with his family after exiting a massive company and his different perspectives that he has on life moving forward. Uh, if you do like this show, the easiest way to give back is to give it a five star review, view review on iTunes. And we’re gonna do this all again next week. Remember, be bold, be brave, and go give life a crack.