Flipping America 541, Hiring an Accountant

podcast 541, Hiring an Accountant


If you’re going to be in the real estate investing business you need an accountant who knows real estate. I have one for you today, on Flipping America.

Matt Lents is a CPA from Jacksonville, FL and 40% of his clients are not in Jacksonville. Wherever you are, Matt can probably help you. We will talk to him in a few minutes, but first, we have some questions from you we need to answer. 

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Starr Has Questions: 

  • Arlene, Milwaukee, WI. “How do you find your contractors?
  • Brandon, Atlanta, GA “My new contractor wants money up front for materials. I know you say ‘no money up front’ but we have this trust thing going on. He doesn’t know me and I don’t know him. What do I do?”
  • Brittani, Decatur Ga, what happens when two people are on a deed and one is trying to refinance the property without the other’s permission…can this happen? If so, what can I do to prevent it? 
  • William, Macon, GA “I keep hearing about the foreclosure auctions at the courthouse steps. I think I might want to do that, but why not just buy foreclosures my agent is showing me from the listings? Are the deals any better at the auctions? How do you go about buying at the courthouse?”
  • Adnon, Long Beach CA, “Do you always hire a GC? What it the repairs are minor?”
  • Brenda, Elizabethtown, KY “Do you ever just do the work yourself? My husband and I kinda like doing the work and he’s good at everything.”
  • Ellen, Milwaukee, WI. “My husband and I just sold our home to downsize and we are trying to figure out what to do with the money — over $200,000. He’s semi-retired, bored, and handy. We’ve thought about flipping some houses. What advice would you give us?”
  • Kandra, Las Vegas, NV “I recently attended a seminar here put on by [a TV personality]. I felt like it was just a sales pitch for a $20,000 course. But I was here for a course and really didn’t learn anything. I’m concerned that if I paid the $20,000 I might not learn anything there either. And I don’t have $20,000 anyway. So I didn’t do it. But I’m back to square one. I really want to learn this business! I don’t have any money and my credit has a few dings. Is there any hope for me?”
  • D’Wayne, Louisville, KY “How do you decide whether you are going to fix and property and flip it, fix it and keep it, or just wholesale it? I figure there must be a way to figure out the best thing to do with a property. I have a deal under contract for 72,000. It needs updating and paint and carpet. I think I’ll get $150,000 for it if I flip it. Or I could rent it out for $900 per month. But another investor just offered me $10,000 for my contract. What would you do?
  • James, Lancaster, PA “I’ve been researching various REITs and crowdfunding platforms. REITs seem like less involvement from me, which I prefer, but the returns I’m seeing are at best around 6%. With crowdfunding I can get closer to 10% on my money but I have to be a bit more involved. While I’m thinking about it, do you have other options you would recommend?”
  • Ellen, Villages of Ocala, FL, “We are trying to maximize the returns on our self-directed IRA. We started a little late in the game and don’t really have enough money in there to buy and flip a house. Any suggestions?”
  • Karenza, Long Beach, CA “I want to dive into buying rental properties here in southern california. My question is, am I too late?”
  • Britney, Penn Hills, PA “My husband and I are finishing up our first flip — so exciting! We are having a discussion about interior paint colors. Our property is in an area that has a lot of investor activity with trendy styles and colors. I want a bold color scheme, but my husband wants builder’s beige. Can you settle the debate?”

Quote of the Day

Help others and it will come back to you — not always from the person you helped, but it WILL come back.

Expected Air Date: Fri 8/12/2022

Guest: Matt Lents mlents@taxadvantage.org


[0:00] If you’re going to be in the real estate business you need an accountant to knows real estate i’ve got one for you today coming up on this episode of Flipping America.

[0:10] Music.

[0:26] Show that teaches you how to make money in real estate wherever you are whatever your situation there is an opportunity for you and now here’s that flipping America guy Roger.

[0:37] Music.

[0:48] Kathy Curtis hello everybody.

It was good it was interesting,

Matt Lance is gonna join us in a little while. He’s a CPA from Jacksonville Florida.

And he tells me that 40% of his clients are not in Jacksonville because he works with real estate investors across the country. So, there you go. I mean, you guys need a CPA. You can’t have mine. He’s not taking any new clients. Sorry about that.

[1:31] I’d like the Reese’s commercial. Sorry, not sorry.

But wherever you are, Matt can probably help you and we’re gonna talk to him in a few minutes but first, we’ve got some questions from you. We’ve been promising that we would get to your questions and we’re gonna get to some of them today and before we do that, how to get in touch with a star, how did they get in touch with you,

You guys can get in touch with me at real estate is life Atlanta on Facebook

And Instagram. Alright, if you wanna follow flipping America, it’s at Flipping America on Twitter and Instagram and on flip on Facebook, it’s flipping America media and we’re posting stuff there from time to time and

It’s a good way to.

Get access to some of the stories that we review for the show and some of them we don’t even mention but I’ll put my snarky comments on them and we’ll post them on social media. Alright.

If you want to subscribe to the weekly wit stands for whatever it takes that’s our newsletter text the word wit upper or lowercase doesn’t matter to

Area code (205) 858-3547. That’s (205) 858-3547. Enter your email and you will be subscribed

To the weekly wit,

It has the week’s real estate in flipping america news and investing tip a joke and the blessing it’s usually about a 7 minute read with some optional links in there,

Including the links to all the shows that we do in a given week. Okay, you can also call our national comet line 877 55 Roger that’s 877557.

[3:01] 6437 press extension one and leave your message question that way and you can send your questions to questions at flipping America. Net okay without any further ado we’ve got questions.

And we got a lot of questions. We’re gonna get to him as many as we can. In the time that we have before Matt joins us. Ready? Go start. Okay, Arlene from Milwaukee, Wisconsin,

How do you find your contracts,

The waiter came over to the.

[3:43] Dad joke. Okay. That’s funny though. How do you find your contractors? I don’t know if that’s really funny but,

You know if it’s related to the subject you could be talking about right now. Yeah well you got a lot of bonus point.


Is when you have a good relationship with an experienced realtor in your market.

[4:24] And they can open up doors for you and I I tell you sometimes it’s it’s just a real godsend not only do the realtors know the contractors they know which ones are are gonna do you good they know which ones are trouble waiting to happen,

They also can.

The repeat business best price sort of thing,

Is go to the big box store and that would be and I don’t wanna say the brands but you know I’m going to anyway. One of them is gonna sponsor our show sooner or later but until then,

We’ll say Home Depot Orlos you go to the big box store and you go to the desk and you start looking through their contractors and they’ll have a list of them there.

You know, referrals are always a good thing. But what I’ve noticed is the contractors spend a lot of time hanging around at the rear meetings.

[5:25] They’re not busy.

[5:33] Okay.

[5:46] Unfortunate surprises with contractors for me by realtors too I have one contractor come out one time referred by a realtor,

And it was a female who ran this contracting company and she did the bid and everything she seemed to know she was talking about we went through the house and I already had my scope of work and my budget done and I figured it was gonna cost around 30 to 35 1000 fix this house

She came back with $85 thousand including 20 1000 to paint it,

Wow that was a,

She was driving a $60 thousand truck.

You probably won’t be able to afford them.


Don’t get a broke contractor please.

If a contractor’s broke, why are they broke? In this economy, there are only two reasons. Reason number one, they’re no good at what they do. Reason number two, they can’t handle money.

[6:59] Okay.

[7:08] And they’re delivered to the job site.

[7:18] What I want and what I insist on is the contractor,

Has them delivered to the job site and they still belong to the contractor until they are attached to the real estate.

Now they came took the shingles off the roof after they’ve been installed then my shingles got stolen so that makes the contractor a lot,

More security conscious

Pace for the materials and has them delivered and then we reimburse the contractor for them materials plus the cost of the labor to install them after the installation is done once those materials become mine because they’re installed on a house,

Then I’ll pay him for the labor and the materials and everything and if contractor says.

[8:15] Man, I can’t afford to go down there and get those materials. Well, then they’re broke and then there’s other problems. Now, I do make exceptions for this when I’m just.


And when a parent a handyman I know that I may have to buy the materials but we’re not talking about a $20 thousand framing package and we’re not talking about 10 $15 thousand worth of.

Give my handyman my credit cards they go down the Home Depot get what you need because I will inevitably buy him new power tools and Mt. Bays from the end cap and things like that.

[8:58] Does that answer your question? That does. Alright. Yes. Okay.

Brandon Atlanta, Georgia. My new contractor wants money upfront for materials,

But we have this trust this trust thing going on,

What do i do how do you have a trust thing going on if y’all don’t know each other well you,

It’s a I call it the trust dance.


[9:40] You know, my general rules are in my principal is i only pay for finished work.

However, to get this ball rolling I will front enough money for the first week that could be the trash out and enough materials gets to the first week.

And but then after that we’re gonna roll on with normal.


And I’m trying to figure out if I can trust you to do the work.

And I don’t wanna let you get ahead of me where I’ve given you thousands of dollars and then I just don’t hear from you again and they will always say oh I would never do that. Yeah. That was said to me by the guys that actually did that too.


When you show yourself to be trustworthy then i will trust you.

[10:44] It’s like heaven.

Way that much better. I think we can squeeze in one more question before we go talk to Matt. Britney, they cater Georgia, what happens when two people are on a deed and one is trying to refinance the property without the others permission? Can this happen?

And if so what can I do to prevent it.

[11:05] Two people are on a deed one’s trying to refinance.

[11:17] Yeah. Yeah. I could talk to an attorney but I I don’t see anything happening if.

The other person is still living and they’re both on the deed you gotta get both people involved so that that refinance is not gonna happen.

[11:34] Okay we got more mama question William Macon Georgia I keep hearing about the foreclosure auctions at the courthouse steps I think I might want to do that but why not just buy foreclosures,

My agent is showing me from the listing are the deals any better at the auction how do you go about buying at the courthouse a while.

Oh man, that’s that’s a complicated question. That’s right.

And so, you know, I tell you what, let’s do.

Let’s look at our schedule and I think it’s probably a week or so out before we can get to it but let’s just take some time let’s take maybe the first 10 15 minutes of the show and talk about,

Foreclosures and foreclosure option and it’s different what state was this person from?

[12:26] William,

Okay. So, William will get back to you on that and all the rest of you add non-brenda, Allen, we’ve got so many questions but we gotta take a quick break and then we gotta talk to Matt Lance.

[12:51] Music.

[13:04] Although my show is called Flipping America i don’t believe flipping houses is for everyone in fact it’s not ideal for most people.

But I do believe that everyone including you should consider real estate as a part of a balanced investment portfolio.

We’ve documented at least 86 career pads in real estate and real estate investment most of these have variations within different asset classes and strategies I honestly believe there are more than a 1000 ways to make a one 1 million dollars in real estate one of them.

Probably right for you.

I’ve also seen some of the people who failed at one thing do really well at a different thing and I’ve started noticing patterns among people who do well.

So, a couple of years ago, I started building profiles of successful people in different areas wholesales flippers, builders, rental investors, and lenders.

What we have learned is that successful people in each area tend to have certain characteristics and life situations those who lack those qualities struggle and usually don’t do well.

[14:12] But what if there was a way every person could figure this out before they begin?

This thinking led me to the find your fit course available at Flipping America. Net forward slash.

In just five easy lessons you’ll take stock of your life and perhaps pursue the best fit for your real estate career you can take the course it flipping America. Net.

[14:41] Music.

[14:47] Matt Lence welcome to the show.

You are a CPA who invested real estate and you also have real estate investors as clients right?

[15:02] That’s correct. Okay.

[15:07] Tell us just give us you know like a 32nd elevator beach on speech on everything that you do,

Definitely entrepreneurial CPA you know tax business is definitely the core bread and butter but I’ve also got some investments and other types of businesses as well some investments in real estate I do private money lending hard money lending,

Got a few patents if you trademarks. So, I’ve got my arms in several things. But my passion and my core business is obviously being a CPA.

Been doing that for about 14 years. Started at some of the more prestigious international firms, got a lot of experience, was on the road quite a bit. Got the see a lot of people, meet a lot of cool people, do a lot of cool business deals across the country, and even outside of the country on some vacations.

Got to a point where.

[15:53] Presented with an opportunity to make equity partner at one of the larger firms but decided that Jacksonville was my hometown and I love servicing the type of niche clients that are primarily rooted in my hometown,

So I took an entrepreneurial lead back in 2019,

And that client base is probably 80% in real estate in some way shape form or fashion,

Hey Facebook,

Is there a percentage of your client base that is nowhere in Jacksville are in state of Florida or are they all right there.

[16:41] So I would say it’s about 60 40 about 40% of my client base is spread out throughout the United States and across

The world.

Be unplugged in a different entrepreneurial groups throughout the United States it just you know doing the best to you know service clients and drive I where you can so you know worth the spread and we’ve we’ve got a pretty big client base cross United States.

Alright, yeah. You got a course and I’m putting on screen here. The Ecom tax guy.

[17:15] Yeah so I mean the way I view Ecommerce is kinda like digital real estate and it actually was a massive explosion after COVID-19.

You know, essentially, you know, being landlocked and kinda quarantined, a lot of people were looking to age, keep, you know, their houses and their families of float and,

You know, so they resorted to, you know, something that’s been around forever which is econom but,

You know kind of nicheing down and having their own story either on a huge platform or something smaller like Shopify where they’re basically buying and selling products,

To other end users throughout the United States and throughout the world. So,

What are the things that I was identifying in that as I have a lot of e-commerce clients because a lot of people that are entrepreneurial by passive e-comm stores that are fully automated but what happens is there’s a lack of an education process put between the buyer and the seller,

Inevitably tons of notices from the IRS in the state show up and so,

Because of the volume of that I was experiencing I found a solution for the clients to prevent that and it developed an info product and also gives an access to 10 calls with me,

Oh, oh, alright. One on one calls. That’s pretty cool.

Absolutely. Okay. So, it for those of you that are listening and not watching right now, it’s Ecom, E, C, oh, M,

Text Guy G U Y dot com that’s Ecom Text Guy. Com and that’s a course designed to help you get into the world if you commerce and by e-commerce you mean,

Amazon stores but probably more.

[18:45] Yeah, yeah, pretty much all things that are commerce related sold over the internet is applicable and covered in that course. It does go deeper into the retail space where you’re buying and selling actual products, whether it’s FBA,

Direct to consumer or just an individual store buying and seller that the major platforms these days are Amazon you can sell on eBay,

Hey facebook has a big marketplace and then Walmart tried to break in this base recently but there were some regulatory issues going on that I think there are ironing out as well but it is a major player in that market as well yeah.

Yeah, I wanted to create a website one time selling motorcycle.

[19:27] What?


I don’t know if I’ll ever be the best at it but you know I wanna be the best that I can be,

A wise man has said to me a fox that chases five chickens only catches one.

Thank you.

I probably would have turned into a hobby or a labor of love for you but maybe not the necessarily the biggest commercial business you’ve ever seen, right? Yeah.

And I’m not saying I won’t ever do anything else but I I really wanted to stick with real estate long enough to to master it and you know I see I see people coming and going you know,

1 week they’ll show up my beings will be really excited and you know 6 months later they’re selling used cars or cryptocurrency or bows,

Just trying to find a quick way to make a buck and I guess that works out for some people but I think,

I like the idea of getting knowledge, getting skills, building, building those skills, and then diverse buying after you’ve got something solid going.

[20:41] You know, it’s funny you mentioned that I was actually just listening to an audiobook yesterday that spoke specifically to that. I love that saying the fox that chases five hens catches one,

But Jen since Sierra’s got a book called Your A Badass and make him money and she spoke to,

The importance of how entrepreneurials that start business endeavors will make the mistake of two early in their entrepreneurial endeavor deciding to diversify and go into different types of industries and different revenues.

And having the importance of gaining that deep specialization and that mastery and scaling your business to the point where,

It afford you the opportunity to go and do other businesses only after that point but there are critical mistakes made early on by people who try to do that too soon.

[21:24] Are they got your Instagram handle up there right now on screen for those of you that are listening and not watching it’s at Matt Lence Ellion TS CPA,

And I’m sure you’re gonna get these little tidbits. Alright, let’s talk a little bit about diversification cuz you know, I believe in income streams and income silos but you know,

All of my income streams are real estate,

And for me it was single family flips and then after that I went to single family rentals and then after that I went to small multifamily rentals and you see,

These are different income streams. Well, the multifamily and the single family are pretty similar but,

I’m in the same arena I’m talking the same types of analysis and numbers and so forth so I can bring on these different things and,

You know, right now, go I don’t wanna talk about how many income streams I have, but they’re all real estate related.

[22:23] How about that.

That’s that’s why I love the real estate client base you know it casts such a broad net right in in multiple rivers of nickels make a dollar right so yeah you know you could say you’re in real estate but,

There’s also that’s a broad umbrella and there’s multiple facets under real estate. We’ve got clients anywhere from the agents based to broker space to,

Lending space, the buy and hold, fix and flip, wholesale, all types of different stuff. So, that’s the cool thing about it is that something that you’re very, very passionate about.

You could spend an entire life learning real estate and still die a fool in some regards because there’s no way that anybody’s gonna know all of it at the end of the run,

So, not only does it keep you learning, keeps you a student, it keeps you passionate but obviously, there’s great opportunities financially to benefit from that as well.

Alright, let’s back up a little bit, Matt. Sure.

I do. Okay. Maybe fifth or sixth grade of somebody.

They had a you know bring your parents to school and talk about their career day and and everybody talked about what their mommies or their daddies did for a living,

And sometime in there, you may have had your first thoughts about what you wanted to do when you grew up. I wanna know when you were a little guy.

[23:41] Thinking about what you wanted to be when you grew up what was it,

It’s funny you mentioned that cuz it triggered a memory I hadn’t thought about in a while my mother was pregnant and my sister at the time and I was so embarrassed that my mom was pregnant when she came into school and I remember telling her about it but.

Gosh, what did I wanna be back then? I think I wanted to be an artist. I was a very talented drawer when I was young.

But interesting twist of fate in life the spare paper that we had in the house

Was actually the old school general ledger paper that used to go with the two perforated edges and then the green and white ledger bars that you

Alright so one way you can say this is

You’ve been making up stuff to go on ledger pages for years,

That’s it brother. That’s it. He said, we’re not gonna say that.

With the tax code wow yeah.

Yeah, you know, it’s there’s a difference between putting numbers on forms and actually doing tax planning task consulting and restructuring within the confines of obviously the law also,

Yeah. So, the artist thing didn’t work out for you. Again, you’d never really seriously pursued it.

[25:04] No no.

But so when you went to college I guess you had to figure out something practical to major in and this is where you gravitated,

Absolutely, I mean, I was actually a business management major. When I first started and then, you know, I started working on a stock analysis problem, one of my classes in,

Was super passionate about it and went down and talked to the great councilor. She was like, oh, if you wanna be really successful, you can be an accountant and I was thinking the green visor, you know, at the parker protectors and all that. I was like, eh.

Aren’t give it a go and,

You know, I know, you know, taking that leap and a workout pretty well for me and I have been able to drive up a little bit of a different element to the profession. I mean, historically, it’s a very conservative, you know,

Inside the box thinking type world

It’s been great and refreshing to be able to tap into the kind of you know value that I’ve been able to add to people’s lives throughout the course of my career. So it’s obviously done well for me. You know another area is as well.

[26:06] Alright so well what do you like to do for fun.

I’m so,

I have been passionate about the sport of boxing since I was about 19 so I’m pretty dolled into the local boxing community and that’s old school western orthodox boxing which shout out to Atlanta Vander Holyfield of actually went far over his gym that he has,

I am very passionate about my entrepreneurial endeavors that does take a quite a bit of my time as well.

I enjoy very very much doing mindset things, entrepreneurial things, shout out to Brody Kern, Julian Rosen with the wake up wealthy brotherhood out in Austin, Texas. They’ve been a huge part of my life in that community as well.

So what they call the spiritual workouts. I love doing that kind of stuff. It’s surfing. Last but not the least, I really enjoy surfing being here in Florida. I think it’s kind of a must. Well, I thought there might be a reason why you had to surfboards there behind you.

Yeah. Alright, this is grab it and go. So,

That’s what we do.

[27:24] Motorcycles. Well, I guess time to clean the ground stance. Yeah, I’m sitting there and centrifial forest plays a lot of,

Skating, skiing, surfing, never been my thing.

That’s interesting cuz I am that I am the opposite. I have never had like this attraction to trying out like the motorcycle arena or whatever just for some reason it’s just not anything that’s been my thing. So, at least you tried it and decided that you didn’t like it. I had me would taken that leap yet to give it a go

Did some cross bike invert what is it motocross back in the day with nothing anything kinda seriousness.

[28:05] Yup. Alright. Well, our time is almost gone. I’ve been talking with Matt Lance and he’s he’s well, what’s your website? Are you, you want people to hit you up on your Insta.


Hey Facebook

Realistically it’s mostly in the off season during tax season I’m not the best at it just because of how limited the time is yeah.

Hey, I’m a valued client with my CPA and.

Yeah absolutely.

Alright. So, people can follow you on Instagram and also you’ve got the Ecom course and more stuff coming down the pike mat. It’s been great talking to you today. Thanks for joining us. Alright, thank you.

[29:02] And that’s all the time we have for today. Matt Lence, we thank you for joining us on Flipping America. Star, thank you for being here and we’re gonna get through those questions coming up in another episode very soon. Here is your quote of the day.

Help others and we’ll come back to you not always from the person you help but it will come back

Trust me on this. Love it. Alright, Star. Take us out.

[29:26] Music.

[29:32] Real estate investing for everyone. Listen three times a week on stations across the country or on the flipping America app free in the app store,

Be sure to like us on Facebook find and follow us on Twitter and Instagram and keep your eyes open.

[29:50] Music.

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