Many people know Matt Andrews as a real estate investor, serial entrepreneur, growth hacker, film producer, and bestselling author.
What they may not know about is his intense desire to make a difference.
A native of Tampa, Florida, Matt started in corporate America right out of school. But it wasn’t long before he saw the intrinsic opportunity in real estate.
“What I loved about it then and still love about it now is that you can take real estate in so many different directions,” Matt said. “It’s a thousand businesses, and there are problems that need to be solved. If you can solve them, you can both help people and make money. I saw that potential, as well as the opportunity to build something from the ground up that was mine. For me, it was a chance to create freedom—that was the greatest attraction.”
An entrepreneur at heart, Matt longed to free himself from the classic nine-to-five. So, he purchased his first property and flipped it. He admits to “tripping all over” that “learning experience,” but he succeeded in turning enough of a profit to do it again. It also built his confidence, and ultimately, taught him about the world of business.
“I cut my teeth flipping houses, managing crews, and leading construction projects. If you’re wrong in that business, you lose money fast. So really, it was a great way to learn about the business world.”
But Matt has a bigger message to share: real estate itself is NOT “the thing”:
“When I’m talking to real estate crowds, especially real estate students, I always tell them that real estate is the thing that gets you to the thing. It’s the bridge, the conduit. It’s a vehicle for making money and helping people.
“To me, it’s what you can do with the financial benefits—with the freedom that comes from it. One of those things for me is charity. I do it because I love it. It fulfills me. We incorporate charity into our business in a mission-based way that strengthens our companies. It aligns us with something of a higher purpose. So, I celebrate the freedom that we gained from real estate by paying it forward in an effort to help others.”
Driven by an urge to interface with people and make things better together, Matt often pools his resources with others to do far greater things in the world than he feels he could do on his own. He truly strives to make the world a better place.
“As the leader of companies, mastermind groups, and communities, I think of myself as a conduit, as well, to those members and people… so they can do bigger things, too. That’s probably my highest and best purpose as somebody who can build communities—to offer the opportunity to do something bigger, somewhere else—whether that’s in Haiti, Jamaica, India, some other country, or America. It’s a beautiful thing to use influence to offer opportunity, and to pool our resources as a group. Real estate is the vehicle by which we have the freedom and finances to be able to do those things.”
To illustrate this type of confluence for a greater purpose, when Matt aligned with Frank McKinney, who works to build villages in Haiti, he decided to host a live event to raise money. In one hour, he raised approximately $150,000. He followed that up with a Clubhouse event, during which his community raised tens of thousands more.
Together, this will build 38 houses in Haiti.
“Frank has been doing this for 20 years. I love aligning with somebody who has a process down that works—that’s key for anybody who has a heart for charity. This way, you can not only learn from him, but come alongside him knowing that any influence or money you bring to the table is in good hands.”
And Matt isn’t finished, by any means. He intends to continue to use Clubhouse as “a great way to bring community together… and a fertile ground for fundraising and effecting change.”
He compares the platform to social media, in that both function as a “connection point”—a way to start the conversation. Then, Matt shared, you grow those connections further via phone calls, podcast guesting, live interactions, and more.
“You get to be purposeful about the relationships you ascend beyond that Clubhouse interaction,” he said. “Audio is a very unique outreach tool. The way we learn and are able to interface very quickly and share information on this platform and on audio-based apps is unlike anything I’ve ever seen from a speed standpoint. It’s the speed of the communication, of making a new connection—very possibly, one you might not otherwise make.
“Talking to good people, collaborating, getting out there, and interfacing is always going to yield good results. And by serving others first, great collaborators will find you. Clubhouse speeds up the whole process. I think we can figure out how to communicate better and better using these tools. It’s also a really good place to find innovative ways to serve existing communities.
“I’m not an influencer. I don’t have millions of followers on Instagram, and I don’t get endorsements to wear a watch. That’s not my thing. The time I spend on Clubhouse and the exposure it gave me started so many conversations that have become so valuable for me.”
Matt’s strategy clearly works: he is one of the few people to have more than 128,000 followers on Clubhouse and is able to consistently have hundreds of people in his rooms. He also points to connecting with influencers as a major driver of his success on the platform.
Matt’s next goal? To continue paying it forward with his charity work. He strives to come together with one of his real estate masterminds to raise enough to build an entire village of 50 homes in Haiti by the end of the year.
He also has plans to continue working closely with his mastermind groups on collaborative projects and efforts.
“From protection to lead-sharing, I’m always looking for ways to take a group of really great individuals and collaborators and say, ‘Hey, here’s something we could do together that none of us would have done alone, but that will give us a strategic advantage.’ When I identify those kinds of opportunities, I get excited. So, I spend a lot of time not only putting deals together like that, but also identifying what is useful to the group and providing it.”
In the podcasting world, Matt endeavors to create a real estate podcast network for real estate investors, utilizing the multiple businesses involved in his masterminds.
“There’s just a lot of cool things that we could do with the tons of amazing expertise we have within these groups. We have literally hundreds of businesses coming together—some that are multi-million-dollar flipping operations. As far as my sphere of influence, real estate is the most powerful circle I’ve got.”
As it is, Matt hosts The Real Estate Influencer Podcast with co-host Jason Hartman from his mini-studio in downtown Alachua. Its audience includes real estate educators, speakers, authors, coaches, and product creators.
“It’s for people already in my industry,” he said. “It’s almost like a club… a place for them to get to know about other people and their industry.”
True to his entrepreneurial spirit, Matt has quite a bit on the horizon, too:
“What I’m most excited about, going forward, is taking my collaboration to the next level. Collaborating in terms of going into larger-scale real estate deals, acquiring new businesses that feed into the ecosystem of companies I already own in a meaningful way, starting new businesses in that real estate world, and new product lines. I also want to learn how to be an even better leader and identifier of collaborative opportunities between members of the communities I build.”
He also intends to spend a lot of time with his wife Lindsey of 14 years, seven-year-old daughter, and three-year-old son in their country home.
“Remember Green Acres?” Matt asked. “That’s what we’re like. We’re city slickers turned country and cow fields. We love it out here. It’s beautiful.”
As Matt focuses on effecting change through collaboration, the world will continue to benefit—something his fellow entrepreneurs with a heart for making a difference can appreciate and aspire to.
October 2021 Issue