Roger Mansourian is Kristen’s husband. He is also the CEO and owner of Vantage Realty and Home Loans. He's also a real estate and crypto investor.
“ If you really want to be successful in Airbnb and stand out, you have to brand the property a certain way.“
How did you get to where you are today?
Roger: I help people buy homes or refinance their home. So the majority of my business is mortgages, so helping people get a loan to buy a house. And actually I work with a lot of investors, entrepreneurs, who may not qualify maybe for a traditional loan if you go into a bank, but I have a lot more products that I can offer my clients. And also I'm a real estate agent, real estate broker. I'm licensed in California and now in Arizona. So even though I'm not physically in California, I have agents that work for me. So the majority of my business is helping people buy houses, or if they own a house to refinance, lower their payment or take out equity and do other things with that. I started in the mortgage business when I was 22, so 2009. When I started in the mortgage business, I was on the backend. So I was doing paperwork just processing the loans. I was dealing with a lot of clients, but not my clients. I was just kind of like a customer service manager. And then in 2015, when I started my business, I had to learn how to do sales. So that was a whole different ball game, obviously from backend paperwork to doing sales marketing. Growing the business relationships. So I had to learn all of that starting in 2015.
Where would you say that you got that drive for making money?
Roger: I think that started from a young age. My parents were immigrants who came to this country with not a lot of money and worked kind of just blue collar jobs. They worked for what felt like 9, 10 hour days, 6 days a week, both my mom and my dad and I saw how hard they had to work to make money. I went to a private school. I saw a lot of my friends, parents who had businesses who own homes. We didn't own a home growing up, we always rented. We had a chance to buy a property, but it didn't ever happen. I was around 10 years old, but being around a bunch of maybe middle class, higher middle-class people in my high school kind of motivated me, showed me that anything is possible. That you can create wealth, success and so on. And that's kind of how it started. Just seeing other people have successful businesses. My friends’ parents motivated me to do the same for myself because obviously when we become parents, you don't want to work 6 days a week, 10 hours a day. When you have kids, you want to be able to spend more time with them. That was where my motivation came from.
What kind of advice can you give people who want to have the type of mindset to create more wealth?
Roger: I think it has a lot to do with your environment, who you surround yourself with. It's actually funny, I grew up going through a private school, like essentially from second grade to high school. There were times where I was very resentful of my friends and classmates, because there were 16 year olds who on their 16th birthday got a Hummer, and I was driving like an old beat up car. So even though I was resentful back then, I'm grateful because it showed me that it's possible. These people were not that much different than my parents or myself. I worked at Wells Fargo for a little bit, but then I got fired and then my cousin hired me. He became very successful too. So I was somewhat surrounded by a little bit of success and it kind of opened my eyes that it's possible. Like these are normal people. They don't have any outstanding skill more than I do. It just showed me that if these guys can do it, why not me?
What are some tangible tips that you can give people that maybe don't have as strong of a belief system as you in terms of success and making money?
Roger: Read the book “Think and grow rich,” and follow every single step in that book. Honestly, I had a lot of doubts too. Before I got to this level of success, I was in debt. I was in the same place as you guys. I had a lot of doubt. I was in debt. I was lost. I was looking for shortcuts. I was paying a whole lot of money for leads. I was turning my gears, not getting anywhere. And that book changed everything. So if there's one thing I can recommend is read that book religiously. What I did was I listened to the audiobook, 10 hours long, it's on YouTube. And I listened to it an hour a day for 10 days. And then I did that over and over. I think I listened to that audio book three times in a row. And because I was in such a bad place, I was like, “I have nothing to lose. I'm going to follow this book to a T because why not?” And it propelled me into where I am today.
What are your thoughts around debt?
Roger: I love debt. And again, not debt like buy a bunch of Louis Vuitton bags that you can't afford. Look at famous people who filed bankruptcy. You're talking about Walt Disney, Ford, Abraham Lincoln, all these great people who filed bankruptcy. Debt is a tool. You got these credit cards, you can use that to invest in yourself, invest in your business if you have no money to start a business. There's no shame in racking up debt. Obviously don't spend all of that money. Don't spend it on things like fancy dinners. I went into debt because I was buying leads. I was buying courses. I was buying sales training and it just compounded, compounded, and I didn't make enough money. And I ended up $50,000 in debt at one point. And it was a really tough time. There's no shame. If Henry Ford and Walt Disney racked up debt and filed bankruptcy and look at them now, I mean, Walt Disney or Ford is a name that's going to live in legacy forever. And they filed bankruptcy because they took that risk. You have to have the guts to take that risk.
How did you make $17,335 in your first month on Airbnb without any prior experience?
Roger: First of all, you’ve got to put yourself in the position to be able to buy a property. So we were able to do that. We were able to have a down payment, setting yourself up to be able to buy a property like that. After you got the property, then I think it was the vision which was Kristen’s department. What's the vision of the property? What is the vibe? What is the essence? How do you want it to look? How do you want it to feel? Because if you really want to be successful in Airbnb and stand out, you have to brand the property a certain way. So part of the vision is who's your target audience. If you don't know who your target audience is, if you don't have a vibe, you don't have a niche, you don't have a vision of what you're trying to accomplish, how do you get there?
Kristen: And our niche is that we are targeting people that are in the more luxury level. You have to understand your market essentially. We know the types of people that we want to attract and we definitely know the types of people we don't want in our house too. And because of that, we're very intentional with the things that we put into the house, the way that we describe the house, because for us, we don't want someone that doesn't fit the vibe of the house. For us, our ideal client or our ideal guest is someone that meets all of these things. And that would be a win-win situation. It’s a win for us because they will take good care of her house and then it would be a win for them because they found the space for whatever it is that they're hosting or enjoying for that time being,
What else do you feel helped in the first month of your Airbnb?
Roger: Another thing that is talked about in the book, “Think and Grow Rich” is going above and beyond. Like customer service. I'm responding to messages right away. What can you do to go above and beyond? What can you do to exceed the value that you're providing to a client?
Kristen: Roger is someone that's really on top of messages. I actually don't respond to guest messages at all because it’s his role and we're very clear on what our roles are and that is what works for us. Like imagine if I was also messaging a guest and he was messaging guests, there'll be a lot of confusion. There was one instance that I remembered that we did go above and beyond, and I felt like that was really helpful. So what happened was that we made a mistake, we linked Airbnb to another third party and then it kind of messed with the calendar and then one of the guests double booked. So what ended up happening was that there was confusion. We had to call the guests. We apologized. But what I also did was that I knew that it was his parents 55th Anniversary. And so I went to Hobby Lobby, and I bought the “55” numbers and I express shipped it to Sedona and I had our cleaning lady set it up, make it look real nice, but that's that personal aspect to it that I really think that people appreciate. The guests were so excited. They were posting all these photos and they actually became pretty cool people to us.
Roger: Kristen went above and beyond to make up for that mistake. She could have just said, “Oh, I apologize.” But she didn't just do that. She went to Hobby Lobby and created this thing, shipped it out, and had our cleaning lady put it. Every single guest that we have, we give them a bottle of wine. We put a personalized message on the bottle. Besides the great photography, great house, great design, going above and beyond to exceed where just wowing the customer, wowing the client. That's how you get good karma. You get the referrals, you get the outstanding reviews. It just snowballs.
What is your self-care ritual and how has it helped you in your business?
Roger: So recently I started doing maybe like once a month, when I get a haircut, I do a face shave. There's something very relaxing when you are in a barber shop and he sits you back and you close your eyes, he lathers your face with the shaving cream, there’s something about the knife or the razor that they use. It just gives you like the cleanest shave and you just feel so refreshed and good after. So that's something I enjoy. Self-care just lounging out, watching sports like football, basketball. That's my self care. I guess I would compare it to a Mani-Pedi. It's the feeling you get when you walk out of there. You feel like on top of the world, you look good, you feel good. And that translates into your next phone call or next project. Let's say you're recording a YouTube video. That feeling of feeling good, the endorphin, whatever it is carries onto your relationship, carries onto your whatever work you have going on. Don’t put a condition on pampering yourself. You can, but sometimes you've put yourself on the back burner so long. Just put yourself first. Make yourself a priority. It's good to reward yourself after an accomplishment. That's great too, but don't take too much time in between taking care of yourself. Actually if you do that first, that might help you achieve your next goal.
Learn more about Roger
Follow him on Instagram: https://instagram.com/rogermortgageexpert
His Website: https://vantagehomeloans.com/
Other links/offerings: https://taplink.cc/rogermortgageexpert
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