Real Estate Nerds 47: Best Deals

How to Spot an Impending Market Crash

Sean Yesner

Bankruptcy Attorney

Listen to the Podcast Here:

On today’s Best Deals episode of The Real Estate Nerds Podcast, Scott chats with fellow attorney-investor Sean Yesner. Yesner was investing to get to know his clients’ situations and frustrations better. And he made a great deal that survived the Recession specifically because he avoided it. How? He got out of real estate investing just in time. If you’ve ever wanted to hear a couple of real estate attorneys talk shop in a way you can understand, this episode is for you.

Sean Yesner on The Best Deal That Helped Him Survive the Recession

Sean Yesner joins our host and attorney Scott Smith. The two attorney-investors chat about one of Sean’s best deals.

[1:00] Sean, like Scott, practices law and also invests in real estate. He finds his experience with owning real estate has helped him related to his clients: “As a real estate attorney representing real estate investor clients, I need to have some kind of frame of reference for what they’re going through. To practice without having owned real estate would be a disservice to them.”

[3:45] Sean also hosts a podcast, the Crushing Debt Podcast, which is informed by his practice of consumer law. Both attorneys capitalize off of attacking the “business end” of lawsuits and briefly share their experiences.

[6:30] Sean rented out his first home, placed inside of a Land Trust with an LLC as its beneficiary. When he saw the crash coming, he sold his investment property in 2007. He points out that one of the harbingers of the crash was “people who weren’t in real estate giving me investment advice.” He recounts a story of meeting an IHOP waitress who owned a $300-400,000 house and knowing it was a bad sign.

[10:00] While he sees fewer ill-advised loans in today’s market, Sean explains why he believes that not everyone should own a house. He does feel banks are loosening standards a bit at the moment.

[12:00] Scott pins Sean down on what exactly persuaded Sean to pull out of the market before the crash. “You make money when you buy, not when you sell,” Sean explains

[13:37]. If you make the purchase right, it should not matter when you sell.

[15:00] Sean points out that he and Scott have the benefit of their clients’ collective experience as well as their own.

[17:00] Sean was also getting married around the time he sold. His lifestyle was changing in a way that no longer lended itself to being a landlord. He also is just conservative by nature.

[18:20] In addition to being Sean’s hero, Sean’s CPA father has also influenced his career. Sean started his law firm in part because of his father’s inspiration and because of his experience working on the other side of the equation in foreclosures. When his law firm shut down, he did the same thing his CPA father did and struck out on his own.

Sean Yesner and Scott Smith Chat Mentorship, The Value of Professionals, and How to Solve Poor Decision-Making in Investing

The two attorneys shift focus and give us some great legal points to keep in mind about asset protection for real estate investors. These guys learned real estate law so that you don’t have to. Tune in to hear the full inside scoop on how you can make the most out of your professionals, what good professionals do for you, and the importance of proactivity with asset protection strategies.

[21:00] Scott and Sean touch on the importance of mentorship in building good decision-making. Scott points out that who we listen to can be a huge factor in developing the right mentality for real estate and business success.

[24:00] Sean shares about a client who always has a “deal pending” that will fix everything, and how this is the same type of gambling logic that gets people in trouble with investing. He points out that we hire professionals to remove emotion from our decisions, and shares an example of when he had to do exactly that for himself with a creditor. Fortunately, he also had his legal structures in place to keep his assets protected.

[28:00] The two attorneys share on the importance of being proactive with asset protection.

[30:00] Circling back to the importance of impartiality, Scott speculates that sometimes the best question isn’t how you feel about an investment, but how someone smarter or more experienced than you feels.

[31:30] Sean points out the value in hiring a competent professional: “One reason to hire an attorney is to let us do what we’re trained to do while you go out and make money.”

Lessons Learned From Sean’s Story

Sean and Scott wrap up the show with their favorite takeaways from Sean’s story.

[32:50] Scott’s biggest takeaway from Sean’s story is to check your motivations.

[34:00] Sean sums up his biggest lesson learned with a quote from his father: “If opportunity knocks, you don’t have to let it in, but you’re a fool if you don’t answer the door.”

Connect with Sean Yesner

Connect with Sean via his website, You can find links to Sean’s social media accounts, arrange business with him, or reach out with your questions about his areas of practice. A good real estate attorney is easy to find. But a great one is more difficult–and we believe those who have walked the investing walk bring both their professional skills, such as legal practice, and their personal experience as well as experience with clients.

Listener Resources

Thank you for joining us on today’s episode of the Real Estate Nerds Podcast.

For even more free educational resources on real estate investing and the law, check out the Royal Legal Solutions blog. You can also reach our host Scott Smith directly, connect with him on LinkedIn, subscribe to the Royal Legal Solutions YouTube channel, or join our investor community on Facebook.

Don’t forget to subscribe to stay up to date and have the most current episodes of the Real Estate Nerds Podcast directly in your listening library. Every subscription helps us create new, custom content for you. What did you think of today’s episode? What would you like to hear more about in the future? Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section below, or leave us a review in the iTunes store. We love hearing your feedback, so fire away. Join us again next time for another fascinating conversation and compelling story with experienced investor Trevor Robinson. Thanks for listening and joining us on our journey to become better investors!

Hosted by Scott Smith, Lead Attorney and Founder of Royal Legal Solutions. Schedule your personal consultation now. If you have questions about our content or suggestions for future episodes or guests, reach our podcast team at [email protected].

About Sean Yesner

Sean Yesner is an attorney who specializes in real estate, bankruptcy, and debt law. To view his full resume, ask him a question, or learn more about his services, check out  Sean currently practices in the State of Florida, but can be helpful to clients from all over the country on real estate matters. Get in touch with him using the contact form or by emailing [email protected]–and don’t forget to let him know The Real Estate Nerds sent you.