RetireBetterNow.com is a digital real estate startup founded in 2020. The company helps people find real estate and 55+ communities in Las Vegas, Nevada. For real estate agents, we provide qualified home buyer and seller leads.
My name is Matiah Fischer, I’m the Founder of RetireBetterNow.com. I currently live in Los Angeles, CA.
I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and went to college in Minnesota. Upon graduating, my girlfriend and I took a chance and moved to Los Angeles. My father had moved there a few years prior, but we didn’t know anyone other than him. We had no clue what we wanted to do and didn’t have a plan. But we figured, why not?
I met a man who owned a small local magazine and talked my way into a sales job. It was a 1099 contractor position, and I knew absolutely nothing about publishing, media, or marketing; I went to school to be a fitness trainer! But once I got there, I realized there was a lot of work that needed to be done and rolled up my sleeves. I was seeking an opportunity and I found one.
After a couple of months, the owner asked me if my girlfriend, Natalie, could be an asset to the company. At the time, things weren’t run very well by the existing staff and the business had a lot of issues. We needed Natalie’s organization skills to balance our creativity, and he hired her.
Long story short, after one year the owner wanted to retire and have us run his magazine. Around the same time, I realized that I should start my own marketing business and stop being a contractor. I talked with the owner, who by then had become my first business mentor, and he agreed to become my company’s first client. We would perform all the publishing, creative, marketing and management services for his company, and I could take on additional marketing clients. I had my first business!
I became the Associate Publisher and Natalie, the Editor-in-Chief of LA Dreams Magazine. Running a magazine with a small team wasn’t as glamorous as people on the outside thought; it was hard work and not always a lot of fun. But I learned many of the skills needed to successfully run a business. Additionally, I took on a few marketing clients and discovered the world of digital marketing and direct response marketing. I stumbled upon the works of Dan Kennedy and my life changed.
We ran the marketing company for nearly five years. Then the Pandemic hit. The magazine lost some key advertisers and the owner decided to shut it down. They were our biggest client and at the time, losing that revenue was devastating. I went from having a six-figure business to watching our P&L turn red and having to lay off staff. The first couple months were tough, to say the least.
But it’s funny how some of the worst things that happen to you become the biggest blessings. Truth be told, I was tired of the marketing business and dealing with clients. I realized that they were using my skills to make money for themselves. Nothing wrong with that, but I didn’t feel like a real business owner. I felt like an employee with several bosses, all who wanted my full attention. I wanted to build a business that could scale and not be dependent on a few clients. Losing my first business was one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
I decided to go all in and pursue the vision I had for starting a real estate company that utilize my strengths and passion for marketing. I dropped the remaining marketing clients, and we went off on our own and established RetireBetterNow.com.
Like starting off publishing a magazine, I didn’t know anything about the real estate industry. The first year was tough, but the hardships pushed me to get more serious about personal development, self-improvement and taught me the ropes of being a true entrepreneur. I went all in, personally and financially!
Despite the tough times that come with losing your first business, starting my real estate company allowed me to feel true freedom for the first time. There were no more late-night emails from clients or having to drop everything at a moment’s notice for someone else. I was in charge of what I did each and every day, and I loved it.
We spent months developing our website and creating our systems. At first, we didn’t really know what we were doing and weren’t having a lot of success. But you either give up or learn, and we decided to keep trying to improve ourselves and our business. Over time, we learned a lot and were able to continually refine our approach until we started having more success.
There’s a lot of competition in real estate, from large online companies, local brokerages and real estate agents. Our business model is to generate leads online, qualify them and refer them to local agents. There are big publicly traded companies that went into this business a decade ago that control most of the market. Additionally, there are many upstarts like us who enter markets and clutter the search results.
The other challenge is that once home searches went primarily online, many consumers started to value real estate agents less and therefore, can be less loyal to agents. A real estate agent might work with someone for several months to find a home, then one day wake up and find out their buyer closed on a home the previous weekend with a different agent. Since we collect referral fees only when one of our partner agents closes a deal, having consumers use a different agent then the one we referred them to means we don’t get paid for the work we did.
There’s a huge opportunity in the real estate industry and specifically for our company. For one, the Baby Boomer generation was the largest prior to Millennials, and they’re all in the process of retiring. This is the wealthiest generation, and many buy second homes or relocate for their retirement.
The Pandemic encouraged people of all ages to start their home search online. Older people are now comfortable viewing real estate virtually and even buying properties without ever visiting them in person. This bodes well for our business.
The first market we entered is Las Vegas, because it’s a popular retirement destination for people all over the country and there are some outstanding 55+ communities. However, the big opportunity we have is to expand into all major retirement destinations.
Places like Palm Springs and Phoenix are on our radar for expansion in the near future. The demand for real estate and massive migration of early retirees is just starting, and we’re uniquely positioned to capitalize on these trends.
The best advice I can give about business is to always be learning. Having a growth mindset is key to your development as an entrepreneur. There’s a saying that your business will only rise to your level of incompetence. I’ve found this to be true. I’m grateful that I’ve had my share of hard knocks early in my career because it made me discover self-improvement which in turn, becomes business improvement.
Every day, I read books and listen to experts on YouTube and podcasts. One of the biggest blessings we have today as entrepreneurs is the access to free or inexpensive information. There’s so much good stuff out there, all you must do is discipline yourself to learn from it. A lot of people think they need to go out and find a mentor; in reality, all you need to do is go online and take your pick of people who can really help you and your business with their information. The person whose books and seminars have had the most impact on my business career and mindset so far is Dan Kennedy.
The last piece of advice I’d give anyone about business is to take care of your physical and mental health. Exercise, healthy eating, and rest are all super important to performing at your best. There can be a lot of stress running a business and if you don’t handle it correctly, you’re going to get sick or potentially struggle with issues like depression and anxiety. If you’re sick or off mentally, it’s going to negatively impact your business and personal life. Maintaining a positive, optimistic mindset while staying grounded in the present to overcome challenges is everything when you’re an entrepreneur.
The best thing I’ve done for myself is to lift weights and walk daily. I don’t miss a day, it’s the constant in my schedule that I consider the most important thing I do. A year ago, I started meditating and have seen a lot of benefits from it, including better focus, clearer thinking and less anxiety. I also bought a standup desk for my office so that I don’t spend so much time sitting.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, but I do believe anyone can become an entrepreneur at some level, if they’re willing to have a growth mindset and keep at it. I’m excited for what the future will bring and to see RetireBetterNow.com continue to grow, expand and impact more people!