“Your problem is to bridge the gap which exists between where you are now and the goal you intend to reach.” -Earl Nightingale Why are you reading this? Why are you listening? Learning? Taking action? It’s simple- FREEDOM!! We’re all doing this because we want the financial freedom that comes with being your own boss and real estate investing. We want to be able to spend time with our families and friends, not with the stacks of work that are probably sitting on your desk right now. Melissa and I wanted the same thing, but once we got started we realized it wasn’t so simple. As our business grew, our need for new technology that could support us grew, we quickly found that everything that was already out in the market just wasn’t cutting it anymore. We had all of these systems that were supposed to be making our lives and business better, and all it was doing was adding stress because of the impossible upkeep and hours of analyzing required to get any true insights for our business. They were just work-arounds for other work-arounds, and we knew that our technology was holding us back. We were absolutely not living the life that we thought we would be once we started investing. There was a clear gap between where we were in our business and where we wanted and needed to be, but nothing in our entire arsenal of programs we were using for our business were going to get us there. I had years of investing experience at this point, and in combination with my background in software (#tbt to my corporate America days) we decided that if we wanted it to happen then we were going to have to do it ourselves. Thus, FlipPilot was born. FlipPilot is more than a CRM. There’s not really a single word or phrase to describe what it does, because it really is the very first of its kind for real estate investors. It is everything in one place. We were evolving as investors, and we needed a software that was going to continue to evolve with us. All of the existing technology only allowed us to work IN our business, but it wasn’t giving us the freedom that we wanted. FlipPilot changes all of that. No more Podio, CallRail, MailChimp, Globiflow, NOTHING. FlipPilot has it all. Everything. One place. It is actually that simple. You’ll finally have a system that doesn’t require 20 integrations to work, a system with KPI’s you should be tracking and other data so you know what’s actually working and what isn’t. You can automate your follow up sequences, establish systems and processes, manage your team and tasks, and our brand new Dashboards give you a quick view of how your business is doing at any moment like no other software has been able to do so far.
Jordan Lagrassa is a real estate investor in Texas who’s been in the game for about three years now- on top of running an entirely separate roofing business! In partnership with another investor, he has established a small business wholesaling houses part-time, and has also accumulated a few rentals along the way. Jordan started with his roofing business, and moved into investing after trying to find different opportunities and ways to support his family and make money (sound familiar?). Jordan shares with Danny how he balances the two jobs, mentioning how it really depends on the season when deciding where he can and should focus his attention. Due to a slow down in the rainfall and other harsh weather in Texas, his roofing business has not been as busy and he has been able to dedicate more time to establishing himself in the market. He says an average day would consist of about 4 hours working on his wholesaling business, and about 2-4 on the other. While right now this method works for him, he sees a value in being able to shift all of his attention on wholesaling and hopes to be able to move toward that direction in the future. When talking about how he got his start, he talks about using PPC via his LeadPropeller site, and how that process worked out for him. They mention their concern with the sentiment that simply signing up for a website will bring you the leads that you are looking for and express the importance of quality over quantity. “With direct mail you might get more leads, but the number of actual qualified leads that become appointments, that then become deals, tend to become a little bit worse than [those] from PPC,” says Danny. Jordan shares that it was a mix of direct mail for the first three months, and then PPC for the following three that brought him his first deal after 6 months. They also talk about what training programs did for them as beginners, and both Danny and Jordan urge investors to make the investment. “You’re using your money to gain more knowledge that’s gonna help you make more money as long as you’re willing to take action and make it work,” expresses Danny. Moving forward, Jordan shares that at this point in time he’s working on building a buyer’s list as he begins to see how the market is starting to change. He hopes to keep wholesaling houses part-time, but wants to shift more toward rental properties in hopes of creating a passive income so he can commit himself where he feels his time is best spent.
Lee Taylor is a real estate investor in the Middle Georgia area. Like many, he had a corporate job in transportation managing a trucking company. His career in investing began after he reached out to a friend of his who went on to help Lee with his first property. Lee bought his first investment property in August 2016, his first flip in August 2017, and was able to quit his job and begin investing full-time. With over 34 properties purchased already- most of those with some type of partnership- he has big plans for house flipping in 2018. “It was a challenge but we scraped and hustled and made it work, and we’ve just taken a lot of action,” says Lee. Lee shares with Danny the ins and outs of his business and how he decides which options are the best for house flipping in 2018. He explains that one of the most proven methods for finding deals and private lenders is networking and relationship building, and contributes much of his success to these methods. “I don’t believe in competition, I believe in collaboration.” He now focuses on lead generation, and later goes into detail about his various exit strategies depending on what is the best option for the given property. After establishing himself in his market, Lee made the decision to co-run his local REIA with a fellow investor, and dedicates a great deal of his time to helping and educating other investors in his area. He is appreciative of the opportunities that came to him from different events and groups, and wants to be able to share what he learned with others in a collaborative effort, rather than strictly competitive. As the market appears to be beginning to change, he hopes to one day expand into other areas of the industry such as property management and construction.
This week’s FlippingJunkie podcast episode begins with a FlipPilot update!! We’re so excited as we get closer and closer to the launch, and we appreciate your patience. “We’re working to make sure that when we do launch, everything that you need to run your business is in that minimum viable product,” says Danny. In the meantime, check out our FlipPilot Key Feature Videos on YouTube and join our private FlipPilot Facebook Group, and know that we’re working hard to put out the best product that we can!
Brad Woodall’s real estate investing journey began all the way back in 2005, when he was only 21. The market crash led him to a job in corporate America where he worked in fraud prevention and investigation for about 10 years. When his first son was born in 2015, he knew he wanted to be able to be around and involved in his children’s daily lives and knew that going from part-time to full-time real estate investing would provide him with the lifestyle he wanted.
Along with a new baby came a new mindset, and Brad dove back into investing while still working full-time. Like many of us, he binged on every podcast and book on real estate investing he could find. That same year, he set up his LeadPropeller website and now uses LeadPropeller Fuel to handle his site’s SEO (Brad mentions that he once got a lead from a blog post, and one even from a YouTube video thanks to his site ranking). In May of 2016, he sent out roughly 300 pieces of direct mail and in October of the same year he landed his first deal.
Fast forward to January of 2018, Brad was able to quit his job and go from part-time to full-time real estate investing. He goes on to discuss his typical walk-through method and what he’s found has worked for him in the past. With an offer already in his head, he tours the house with the seller and gets to know them and try to learn their motive for selling. Brad and Danny emphasize the importance of building rapport with your sellers. “Just be conversational, just be a real person. They just want a real person there to talk to,” says Brad, who prefers to take the time to sit and get to know the sellers and establishing a relationship beyond just the numbers.
Mike Hambright has been investing for a little over 10 years and operates FlipNerd.com where he educates real estate investors. After losing his corporate job due to downsizing and with a newborn son, Mike decided to dive into real estate investing. “I didn’t want to work really hard for somebody else anymore,” said Mike. He got into the business right before the market crash in 2008 (despite everyone’s advice not to), and he and his wife found great success in the downturn. When he first began, Mike was a little naive to the market. He had no interest in networking because he saw others as competition, but after a year of building his business he realized the value of networking and building relationships with others in your market. After doing a deal with another investor, he had the realization of, “why wouldn’t I want to be around more people like me?” Mike discusses with Danny how he formed his relationship with his bank in the beginning. While at first the lenders were hesitant, once he showed them his past deals and the transformations they went through it was much easier to get their support. He also mentions his “rehab live” method, where he takes people through the house at 3 different points: beginning, middle, and end. This is to really showcase the transformation that takes place in his rehabs and talk about the work he was doing, and through this he established many relationships and really built up his network. Mike also stresses the importance of laying your business’ foundation before anything else. Without systems and processes, your business will not be able to grow like it could. He mentions that while you may have gotten into the business for freedom, it’s going to take work to get there. After coaching other investors for almost 9 years, Mike says that those who have trouble finding success are the people not willing to put in the hours and work, and realize that the business is so much more than the glamour that you may see on tv.
Frank has done 38 deals using LeadPropeller Fuel.
Frank Heron from Naples, Florida. He covers the Southwest Florida market which is Naples, Florida, up the coast to Bradenton. He is married to his wife and business partner Jazmin of 12 years. They have two beautiful little girls, Valentina who's eight years old and the youngest Francesca who's two years old. Who often drive around saying, “Daddy that house needs money.” He has been in the business since 2012 and been a part of over 1,000 transactions. Now he just concentrates on 100% wholesaling.
This week’s episode is about the real estate success principles necessary for you to build your best possible business. Danny is joined by James Steffy, listen along as they talk about following up, making offers and the importance of understanding your sellers. James Steffy first got into the real estate investing industry 4 years ago after returning home from South Korea where he and his wife taught English classes. Taking the decision into their own hands, they took a mini tour across the U.S. to cities like Atlanta, Houston, and Sacramento so they could make the best decision about which market to dive into. Ultimately, they decided to stay in the Tampa-Bay area of Florida and it was there that Steffy started his own real estate investor business. Steffy started out by listening to various podcasts and the FlippingJunkie blog, but like many people, he was overwhelmed and unsure of where or how to start. “I was brand new to real estate investing at that time. I had been reading a lot about the business and knew it was what I wanted to do, but was feeling overwhelmed with actually taking the first steps to get started,” says Steffy in an email to Danny. After following a course offered by Danny at the time, he was able to find the courage to take action in his journey. His first deal was less-than-perfect and in a rough part of town, and while he put almost all of his money into it he soon realized he couldn’t sell it. At the same time, he began going to local investor meetings and networking, which pointed him in the right direction to take his business to the next level. Steffy also discusses his experience with cash offers versus owner financed offers. After finding that he was not having as much luck with his cash offers, he began offering the two options to sellers at the same time. “You never know what someone is after,” says Steffy. He goes on to say it’s important to know where your seller is coming from financially, but more importantly, emotionally, so that you can really understand their situation and better cater to it, which will in turn mean a better turnout for you as well. “The more appointments you go on, the easier it gets.” Danny and James go on into further detail about the importance of following up even after a no, the importance of making an offer, how they’re adjusting to the changing market, and more of the real estate investing success principles involved in building a successful real estate business. While there are some key steps you can take to set you apart from your competition, both agree that there is no “magic answer” to it all.
In episode 120 of the FlippingJunkie Podcast, Danny is joined by Mike Cowper to discuss how he got into real estate investing, his rapid growth, and how he did it all with the help of a CRM software. After tossing the idea around for many years, Cowper jumped into the industry in 2014 when he realized that it was time to stop talking about it and finally make it happen. He started out by trying to obtain as much knowledge as he could by joining every group and attending every meet-up, constantly surrounding himself with people who were better than him at what he was trying to accomplish. Through the help of a mentorship program, he quickly bought his first house. Cowper went on to work for Mike Simmons, a real estate investor who at the time was moving toward wholesaling rather than flipping. With a strong sales background, Cowper had a skill to offer Simmons so it became his responsibility to acquire properties. Now the two have a division of labor that allows for a system of checks and balances and really pulls to each of their strengths, and both credit their success to “creating systems, processes, and hiring people,” which ultimately pushed their business from earning $250,000 a year to $1,000,000 a year. Cowper later discusses his hiring process with Danny, and how he’s found a great significance in systemizing the entire process. He compares it to his LeadPropeller website, saying “We always want to find leads, you have to do that with people also.” This leads to a conversation about the necessity of a software to help your flipping business. Danny and Cowper discuss the problem with the automation softwares available now, and Cowper shares how his current systems are unreliable and often make mistakes that have potential to cost his business money. He states how this is not just an issue of liability, but an issue of credibility in how his business is perceived by the public. Ultimately, he hopes to find a CRM software for his flipping business that will make him feel confident that things are going to be taken care and can trust the system and let the stress go, and mentions his eagerness to see how FlipPilot will solve any problems he’s currently facing in running his business.
Darren Smith has been into real estate investing since 2003, and throughout that time his business has been through a series of dramatic changes via the help of a solid team and business coach. After spending many years in the army and later in IT, Smith became attracted to the idea of real estate investing through a good friend. However, not long after taking action he realized he was in over his head and his business shortly crashed. After deciding to go back to school to get his masters, Smith shifted his focus back to his job in computers, but he found that his love for real estate never left so he decided to jump back in about 5 years ago. After signing up for every wholesalers website he could find, including LeadPropeller, he got a call from someone in the market who took Smith under his wing. While he made next to nothing, he was able to learn things like rehabbing, contracts, and more without any of the financial risk of losing his own money in the process. Smith and his wife moved to Colorado shortly after and he began his own business there- Sell My House To Smith. At the time, he was running the entire business himself as he always felt like he just wasn’t there yet and was concerned about the added stress that came with being responsible for others and their livelihoods. With the help of the Mastermind group that both he and Danny are apart of, he finally found the courage and within 30 days had hired 3 new team members to work for him. He found himself surprised at the talent that came in to apply for him and the experience helped him to realize the, “huge difference between having someone who’s good at their job and having someone who is just so much better than you at what they do.” Aside from a strong team, Smith and Danny also discuss the guidance and the peace of mind that a business coach provides for their real estate businesses. “I wouldn’t be here today without him,” says Smith in regards to his own business coach whom he met at via The Alternative Board, which offers business coaching and advisory board services. All it took was one session for Smith to realize what his business coach had to offer him, his real estate business, and his team. In fact, Smith is so confident in the help that his coach provides him that he meets with him himself every two weeks, and his operations manager meets with him monthly, as well as a team session that Smith says helped to really bring his team together and form a stronger unit. Smith also discusses his excitement for the upcoming release of FlipPilot, and mentions how his own team was blown away after the chance to sit in on an hour-long demo with Danny. “We love all your other products you’re doing for us, so we can’t wait to get FlipPilot going.”
In a few short years time, Henry found himself transitioning from a single lifestyle- where he only had to worry only about himself- into a married man trying to provide for his family. That’s why one year ago, Henry Washington decided that taking action and pursuing his real estate investment journey was the next step, and it’s been a whirlwind ever since.
Even with a full-time day job in IT Project Management, Henry was unsure how we was going to be able to take care of his family. Desperate, he began looking into his options and decided that the financial freedom that comes with real estate investing was the best option for him. Still though, the fear of spending it all for nothing in return kept him from making the first leap. This fear was essentially keeping him from taking action to achieve his dreams. “We wouldn’t have had as much success that we’d had if my mindset wasn’t in the right place,” says Washington.
Entirely unsure of where to even start, Henry starting taking action and began by reading books and listening to the FlippingJunkie podcast. This education led him to the decision to take action again and create his own real estate investment website using LeadPropeller. After first taking action, in his first year alone, he has acquired roughly 30 deals, including flips, wholesales, and rentals and his business only continue to grow. Listen along as Henry and Danny discuss taking action and how Henry was able to get over those fears with creative problem solving, the first steps he took to get into the industry, and how he’s expanding his clientele and establishing credibility and trust in his area through networking and maintaining relationships!
Dave Rose has been flipping houses in San Antonio, Texas, for over 8 years. He is a firm believer in keeping it simple. His plan is to build a huge rental portfolio that will allow him to achieve true freedom. Dave has been interested in real estate from the time he was young. He started as an adult with wholesaling, then started picking up rental properties in any condition and has continued to grow his real estate portfolio. He occasionally does flips to bring some variety into his routine. Dave talks about being a pioneer and using the BRRRR Process, (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance and Repeat) that helps you be in with little to no money on the deals if you buy them right. Danny and Dave talk about how the deal volume and how the wholesale market is being driven up by competition and watered down product raising prices that caused Dave to shift from wholesaling to focusing on building a rental portfolio and doing more rehabs. The power of networking is what helped Dave get started in the industry and when the opportunity presented itself, Dave wasn’t scared, didn’t hesitate, he jumped in and hasn’t looked back. He started on a 100% commission based structure working as acquisitions for both buying and selling. This experience helped him understand the industry and that many people don’t “think like he does” and are willing to take different offers on their properties. He learned a lot about making offers and ultimately that you don’t know what people are willing to accept, especially when they are treated with respect and care. Dave says, “we aren’t here to make their decisions, we are here to solve their problems.” when it comes to talking with potential sellers and before he goes about making an offer on the property. Danny reflects on how important it is to connect with motivated sellers to understand where they are coming from to really serve a need and help them. Only around 10% of people they buy homes from are in a really sticky situation where they need their homes purchased right away. A small percentage of the overall. Understanding these components can really help you understand how to convert to more deals when making offers. They discuss an example of a property where Dave worked with the seller to give an extended closing date and how things like help with moving, help with finding a place to go are factors in the seller’s decision making process. Dave takes a more personal approach instead of a cut and dry business approach when making offers and conducting his business. Money isn’t everything, there’s a lot more to the business than just making money - they discuss how they are in the business of truly helping people and how this factors into every offer they make. Dave still goes on appointments and discusses his approach to this more personal than business approach. He talks through several examples of how he’s able to connect with the different sellers he meets with on a regular basis. Danny and Dave talk about strategies to still be able to spend the time with potential sellers rather than just treating the deals like a conveyor belt and how this has helped him when making offers. . Especially when you have a team working for you and you aren’t on every call. Dave speaks about how majority of his business at this point is repeat, word of mouth and referrals, he credits a lot of this to the personal connection he’s making with the sellers and his ability to hear and help them. Danny asks Dave for any predictions for the changing marketing upcoming and how that might affect them making offers. They discuss how their strategies and integrity can help them weather the storm. Dave predicts the market slowing and prices dropping, he predicts that certain areas that are really overpriced will come down and will be helped by the interest rates to bring that down. He doesn’t expecting anything like ’08-09 but more of a healthy dip in the market. Dave is wanting to buy more rentals and do more flips moving forward, isn’t as interested in owner finance. Dave is more interested in building his portfolio so he has a steady stream of regular income. He feels like rental properties are the path to creating his true freedom. He’s looking to bring in around 120 rentals in 5 years and wants to be at 300 rentals in ten years. Dave and Danny talk about different types of rental properties he seeks out and what is in his portfolio. His portfolio carries a blend of different types of properties including multi-unit and single family homes in all different areas of the city. Dave talks about what materials he uses in his rentals. He uses IKEA cabinets in all of his rentals and actually uses quite a bit of materials from IKEA. He buys higher quality materials that are used every day like door handles, and even uses solid doors. Even though they cost more up-front they end up saving money in the long run. He recommends to make sure there’s a clean out on your sewer line because they will always back up. They talk about how the process doesn’t change from a flip to a rental, putting in floors is putting in floors. Take it room by room and follow the process. Dave talks about how he doesn’t want a big business so he’s not looking to bring in a big staff but is looking to hire someone to help with property management and possibly some sales and acquisitions. Dave had a first look demo of the new FlipPilot software so he reflects and gives his first reaction to seeing the system. He says that what’s out there to manage REI businesses isn’t really that great, and says he saw a very well polished system. He said the system was thoughtful and seemed to include a lot of functionality. Dave mentions the value of what you will be getting with all of the different parts at the cost and that at first glance if you utilize the program it should make you 10 fold what you pay for it if you use it properly. For more information on FlipPIlot, sign up for our emails on flippilot.com and get ready for our beta launch in September. Dave’s contact information: 210-632-1432
Listen as Danny and Melissa talk about their parent company, FreedomDriven LLC, what it entails, why they started it, and how they even got to this point in their business.
Danny and Melissa have an open and honest conversation as they talk through the journey of their house flipping business. From starting out part time and doing everything themselves, to now having a team, and providing quality tools for other real estate investors to be successful.
Danny and Melissa talk through their business journey. From first starting out part time to now having a company with multiple facets to help other real estate investors.
They talk about what the company means to them individually and how they came together to achieve the goal of helping others.
It all started driving around on evenings and weekends with the kids to find properties, Danny and Melissa remember how it all started with bandit signs and discuss their fears when starting early on and laugh through some of the early bandit sign bloopers.
Of course, after hanging the signs, the first call has to come in. They reminisce about not knowing what to do when that first call came in, Danny’s phone is ringing from the bandit signs they put out, he freaked out and threw the phone at Melissa to answer. They talk about how after some time, they got pretty good…3 or 4 phone calls and knew essentially what to ask. Even they didn’t know what to do when they were first starting.
Then once they got their marketing going, there is the story of signing the first contract. They remember how it took 6 or 9 months to get the first property under contract. Melissa and Danny talk about how their hands were literally shaking and how they called their mentor to get advice on what to say to even say to the Title Company.
After getting through the early learning curve of flipping came their next chapter. Moving from flipping part-time to full-time. They continued working on nights and weekends and flipped part-time for about 3 years. Danny got laid off from his job (what he attributes is the kick in the butt to start flipping full time) and Melissa stayed on full-time at her job for about 6 months before she joined Danny full time.
The next milestone was figuring out how to flip full time being that the business was still just Melissa + Danny at this point. They talk about how they started to systematize the business a little bit with the additional time they had to focus on their business instead of their day jobs. In 2008, during the housing crisis they stayed determined together that they were going to be successful and not go back to full-time day jobs.
Ultimately, they trusted each other and their vision and go through the storm that was the housing crisis of 2008. Fast forward to 2010, their business made it through the housing crisis. In 2010, their family took a three week vacation on the west coast. Part of the trip, Mcminnville, Oregon to see an old wooden plane, it was here on this trip that Danny decided when they got back to San Antonio that he was going to get his pilot’s license and chase his passion.
Slowed down on the house flipping business to focus on Danny’s passion which offered them a hard lesson to learn. Most of the deals you are doing now, come from your marketing from 3-4 months prior. They were at the end of their lead pool and hadn’t spent the time over the last few months marketing the business.
Back to square one, with no leads built up in the pipeline. They started the FlippingJunkie blog to support the process and creative energy Danny needed to jumpstart hitting the pavement again for leads. Little did they know this would serve as a platform for their creative outlet as well as creating a community for people looking to learn more and grow their own businesses.
Danny blogged for 34-weeks, showing everything they did, marketing, analysis, everything behind the scenes of rebuilding their pipeline. Showed people how to get the deals and how to profit from them. Danny later turned these blog posts into his best-selling book “Flipping Houses Exposed.”
Just recently published the book in print, should be available for purchase soon. It’s always been available digitally but now it’s a physical copy. www.flippingjunkie.com/book
Danny and Melissa wanted to help people have something that can help fill more of the gaps when starting your house flipping business, wanted to help people get into flipping. Most people mentioned a lack of capital starting so they started developing Freedom by Flipping, a Wholesaling course for people starting out without the capital.
Danny talks about his software background before he started house flipping and how he had naturally made systems for their own business to be successful. It was at this point in 2013, when Danny and Melissa got serious about creating REImobile (a CRM system for real estate investors) to help other investors outside of their own business.
A conversation with Brandon Turner from BiggerPockets helped Danny realize how most of their deals come from online and how many investors don’t have a tool to help them build their own online presence. This conversation lead to LeadPropeller being born and launching in 2014. LeadPropeller is a way for investors to have a website built for them that is mobile-friend, SEO-optimized, without needing any coding skills or developers. Piggybacking off of Danny and Melissa’s experience.
Danny and Melissa learned by experience that first contact usually gets the deal so they added text capabilities for every lead that comes in, plus other features like automated follow ups, etc.
At this point, Danny and Melissa were still doing everything themselves. Right before launching LeadPropeller, they realized they needed help and hired their first employee.
Danny and Melissa met Justin Williams around 2014, he was a master delegator and team builder. Danny visited him in California to see how he had his team structured and how he was able to not be involved in every bit of the day to day.
After this meeting, they started hiring people to help with the day to day operations, starting with an Acquisitions Manager to take some of that weight off Danny so he could keep developing the software side of the company. Melissa also stepped in to be more involved to offer Danny more time on the software side.
May 2015, REImobile finally launched.
In October 2015 Danny and Melissa started the FlippingJunkie Podcast. Loved the idea of interviewing other real estate investors rather than just having the singular perspective on the blog.
In November 2015, they started doing more with LeadPropeller. Started managed online lead generation with LeadPropeller Services (Fuel). Started with Josh managing the internal SEO, lead generation, AdWords, Facebook, PPC for Danny and Melissa’s business. Now taking the knowledge gained from internal promotion to offer to other investors. Because of demand the company only takes on a certain number of investors in any given area, that’s why there’s a need to check availability.
In October 2016 they got serious about building the house flipping team. They both joined Justin William’s master mind group to continue to grow their business with motivation and like-minded investors…Melissa had an idea after their first experience, to split the company into two focuses. Danny would focus on the software side and Melissa would focus on the house flipping side of the company so they could both grow.
They learned that building a team is more than just hiring a team, it’s what are you doing it for and really building the right company culture as well. Melissa has kept the flipping business up and running if not more successfully now that that’s her sole focus.
Fast forward to 2017, most leads for the company are coming from online, they had LeadPropeller sites but were missing comprehensive blueprint to build the lead generation machine for online lead generation. Danny spent his time creating this blueprint, Danny put together outlines and scripts and eventually recorded over 16 hours of video training called Seller Lead Hacks.
After the road map was done, Danny started working on the updated software to replace REImobile. It’s called FlipPilot and it’s so much more than a CRM, it includes automation, call management, task management and KPI dashboards to name a few.
Danny and Melissa created FreedomDriven to help busy real estate investors achieve true freedom by building businesses that run without them. FreedomDriven is the parent company that includes subsidiaries: FlippingJunkie (Podcast), LeadPropeller (Sites + Lead Generation Services), SellerLeadHacks (Digital Marketing Training) and FlipPilot (REI Business Management Software).
In this episode, Danny sits down with Don Costa from the Flip Talk podcast to discuss how he has built a successful team that is flipping over 200 properties per year. We will walk through the ups and downs and lessons learned along the way to building the right team, the training that goes into making that team successful, and ultimately how to trust them to make their own decisions and go their own way in their positions.
Don Costa is a married father of three incredible kids and has the popular podcast Flip Talk. He has been in the real estate business since 2003. He started by knocking on doors and wholesaling properties, and then quickly moved into flipping houses. Fast forward to 2018, and Don has built a successful flipping business that will flip over 200 properties this year. Today, we go in depth on how Don built his team effectively and what lessons he learned along the way.
Don talks about starting out as an investor and trying to grow the business and realizing that he was the bottle neck. Trying to do too many things himself and not necessarily trusting the employees he had around him. It didn’t take long to realize this model wasn’t going to work.
Don talks about rebuilding his business in 2012, he still had a lot of the tendencies to control everything but this time around he had learned the lesson to release some control.
Danny and Don talk about how as entrepreneurs it’s easy to be a “control freak” and to think your way is the only way. They talk about how they still catch themselves in old habits of not wanting to give up control even though they know better. It’s something you have to work on daily.
Danny asks, “At what point did you decide to start building a team?”
Don’s answer? Right out of the gate on the second go around, he used the mantra “hire for where you want to be.” A good friend asked how he could be involved and Don knew he needed a property manager so he was his first hire.
After the first hire, he reached out to a “broker” and asked him to come join their endeavor and he decided to come on board.
Don remembers how it was just the three of them for about a year and half or two years and how they sat on the floor in the office they still have today to put the furniture together.
Building a team definitely didn’t happen overnight, and it wasn’t perfect, Don remembers.
Don talks about having his a-ha moment on an afternoon when he was spread too thin. He was supposed to be at school to pick up his son and was also supposed to be at a property to pick out paint color and so he thought “it’s time to get out of the way and let them make mistakes, it’s okay they’ll learn from it - I make mistakes every day.”
Letting your team make mistakes is one of the hardest things that Don has had to do.
Danny asks if there’s a good way to transition your knowledge into new team members. Don mentions that a lot of times hiring managers and business owners make the mistake of not spending enough time with their new hires. According to Don, this is on the key components of building a successful team.
He says, when you’re hiring someone you can’t just dump the entire job on them or they’ll be overwhelmed and potentially not stay on with your organization. Don recommends to give new employees a piece of the puzzle, educate them on how the process works and advise them to come back when they have time available. This ensures they learn the process and are able to execute to the right standards and build their knowledge and skill set strategically.
Don mentions how when hiring you want “plug and play” someone to just step into the role and start running but really that’s one of the worst things you can do for your organization because you won’t have stability. Taking time to train is key.
Want teachable and coachable employees, to put this into action Don is looking to hire an Admin Assistant to develop into a TC, give me a blank slate and let me build upon it. All of our best employees have been the “blank slate” who are teachable and coachable and who have good attitudes.
Danny asks if Don has any specific interview questions to help him find the right people. Don mentions specifically asking what motivates them and to really get to know them.
Danny talks about a new strategy at FreedomDriven LLC where they are doing group interviews of three people. They talk through the strategy and experience and how it’s been a really great strategy for the company.
Don talks through his vision of the company and then strategically planning how to get there. He knew he wanted to be a 100+ flip company and that kind of set the tone for hiring and what that meant to the bottom line. Being able to paint the picture of the vision is what helped him hire when the company was young.
Don mentions looking outside the books and finding strategic ways to get what you need, from hiring part-time employees to looking at people with skill-sets that fit a job rather than looking for someone with specific experience for a job.
Danny mentions if there’s not a mission or a goal for what you’re doing how can anyone, including your employees be excited about it? He recommends to include language around your mission and vision on job descriptions so people can connect with the bigger picture and who are truly passionate for the vision and not just the work.
Danny and Don talk about what it really means to “trust your gut” and how that plays into the team. Don reflects on how the instincts come from making mistakes and learning and if you want your team to have that instinct as well they will have to learn from mistakes and making their own judgement calls. It’s not something you’re born with.
Danny asks, “How do you monitor the progress of your team and the success of your team?”
Don offers several examples of how this works in his organization and how to use mistakes as teachable moments so the employees grow and learn how to more forward successfully.
Don talks about how they fine tune their internal systems to be more successful. He mentions 40% of the contracts they’ve received this year has come from follow ups so this is an extremely important part of the business model. He monitors stats and looks at the big picture to focus on the right areas to grow the business efficiently.
Danny and Don talk about how sometimes focusing on getting new leads is the easy narrative and something all businesses get caught up in. Don speaks more to the fact that 40% of their deals this year have been through follow ups. Don mentions that 50% of their appointments now are from follow up contact with leads and that this is currently the best converting audience he has.
Danny talks to Don about the automated follow up functionality in the upcoming software launch of FlipPilot, Don will be beta testing the software starting next week.
Don talks about changing his business model over the last year to really focus on the follow up. He speaks to the fact that his business has close to doubled because of their effort on follow ups. They talk about the right technology to support your team and your operations.
Don concludes with how important communication is and how important leading the team towards a vision as the owner is extremely important. Don meets with him team informally each week to make sure they are all on the same page.
Matt Recore first started working in the tech industry but realized it wasn’t his calling. He then began inviting in the pre-foreclosure world, focusing on houses that were on the way to auction. Matt would negotiate deals with sellers just before they would bring their houses to foreclosure auctions. “It’s not a great way to get into buying houses because of how stressful and emotional it is for the seller,” Matt says, “but you have to really put a lot of trust and look out for people in those situations. It was challenging, but that’s how I learned.”
The market began really heating up in California in the early 2000’s. This made Matt nervous. He sold all of his rentals and stopped flipping to try and avoid the crash that he felt was coming up. Matt got back into tech and had gotten out of the real estate industry just before the deep decline in California. “The peak season for us was in 2005,” Matt says, “But I got back into real estate in 2012.”
Once Matt got back into full time investing when the market began to get back to a safe place, Matt started building a strategy that was safer for the future. He wrote a book titled “How to Purchase Real Estate at 0% Interest” (the link is in the link section below). This book was written before the housing market crash with a strategy that’s been working for him. Let’s talk about what the strategy is!
There are benefits on both ends. Buying at 0% interest means that every bit being paid is going toward the principal which means you’re building your net worth a lot faster than a normal 30-year mortgage loan. A 15-year loan is much better because you begin to see the principal paid out sooner. Basically, your net worth is going to be much better when you buy this way.
The benefits to the seller are avoiding capital gains taxes. In California, the capital gains tax includes a state tax. When you sell with an installment sale, you can completely avoid paying those taxes. “It’s amazing how many sellers don’t want to pay the IRS,” Matt remarks, “The 1031 strategy is great, but you have to find another property that way. With an installment sale you can skip all of that.”
There are a lot more details about the strategy that Matt’s been working on in his book. The link is in the link section below. Check it out so that you can start buying houses with a 0% interest rate too!
Brandon Turner is the janitor at BiggerPockets.com, stumbling around in the dark looking for stuff to clean up. He also writes books. And he's a slumlord. Jokes aside, this episode goes over the books that all real estate investors should be reading as well as Brandon’s adventures in mobile home park investing.
Today’s book is “High Performance Habits” by Brendon Burchard. Brandon has been devouring this book and talking about it every chance he gets. This book isn’t specifically a real estate investing book, however it covers topics that are applicable to real estate investors such as staying on track with your business.
“Most books tell you ‘hey you’re a moron, do these things’ but what I like about this book,” Brandon tells, “is that it tells you you’re already doing well, here’s how to make it work for the long haul.”
One of the biggest risks with real estate investing is how volatile the market can be. While it’s been a good 5 or 6 years for real estate so far, what would happen if there was another housing crisis? How would your business be able to handle that? That’s where the lessons in this book come in. Knowing how to build a long-term successful plan for your real estate investing business will keep you on top, even if the worst should happen again.
“When things are going good we tend to ease off the gas a little bit,” Brandon says, “That’s when people get burnt out and quit. This book shows those high performers who maintain that status for years and what they do differently.”
There are six things that Burchard identifies in the book that will keep your business successful; threes personal habits and three social habits. They are…
What books are you reading? What books do you suggest? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to check out the BiggerPockets Podcast and website to learn from more active real estate investors!
Seth Williams is a land investor and residential landlord, with nearly a decade of experience in the commercial real estate banking industry. He is also the Founder of REtipster.com - a real estate investing blog that offers real world guidance for part-time real estate investors.
Seth got started in land investing in 2005 while he was in college. He had first learned about real estate investing from the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. “I was fascinated by the book,” Seth tells, “It totally changed my perspective on a lot of things.”
The book wasn’t specific about how to get into real estate, though, so Seth dug into the MLS to find houses to flip or rent. He learned how to calculate the numbers to figure out what a good deal was, but then the housing market crisis hit. In 2007 he couldn’t find anything that made sense for him to make a profit with.
Because the market was so hostile and Seth was a beginning investor, he went into the work force after college. In 2008 he took a course in land investing where he got the information he was looking for. With that course Seth began finding motivated sellers by using delinquent tax lists. Land was a more simple type of real estate for him to get into with a much lower risk than house flipping. Seth found that you could buy land from people on the delinquent tax lists for pocket change.
“I could buy these plots free and clear with the money I had in my pocket,” Seth says, “When I realized you could do that I was like ‘Whoa, this is a game changer’!”
Without needing to deal with loans or mortgages, Seth was able to build a safe foundation for his land flipping business. House flipping takes time to learn the safe way to invest. For someone who’s been in the industry for a while, it’s not as risky for them to invest in houses because they know what they’re doing. When Seth was was just starting out, he knew nothing about how to safely invest in houses, which is why land investing was so appealing to him.
“With land, I could set myself up with these deals,” Seth explains, “and no matter how the cards fell I would make money from it.”
For example, if you buy a plot of land that’s worth $5,000 and you’re only paying $500 for it, it’s a no-brainer that you’re going to make a profit when you sell it in return. Because this made so much sense to Seth, he started looking at counties that weren’t densely populated and buy land there.
There are three counties in Detroit that are very densely populated, which makes those plots not desirable. The problem with buying land “in the armpit of town”, the only use for it is to build another house. It has less market appeal. On the other hand, land near those densely populated counties has more potential, which is what makes that land a better investment.
Husband and father to a 4 month old baby. I started investing about a year and a half ago. Ended up with a loss of $700 for 2017 but the first half of 2018 we will gross over $125,000 with a goal of $250k for the year.
Kyle started out in real estate investing just like most investors do. He was unhappy at his desk job and wanted a way to achieve financial freedom. There were some learning curves he had to overcome, though. When he and his wife got married they used the money from the condo she sold to buy their first house to flip. Unfortunately Kyle ended up losing money in that investment.
One of the biggest learning moments in that first house was figuring out how to manage contractors the right way. Kyle found that the contractors weren’t showing up to the property frequently, they were taking other jobs while still working for him, and were spending too much money on supplies from hardware stores. “That was a learning experience,” Kyle says, “Now I check in with my contractors every day to make sure everything is going smoothly.”
Luckily for Kyle he had another property already being worked on by the time the first house was sold. This property went smoother, getting him a decent profit. “You have to stumble a few times before you get the hang of it,” Kyle admits. That’s so true. Starting your own real estate investing business is a learning experience.
Once the first two properties were done with Kyle started getting in the groove with his business. As far as marketing goes, Kyle has been doing direct mail and managing leads on his website. He has his phone number on the postcards he sends with a call to action to text him if they’re interested. “I haven’t gotten too many texts,” Kyle admits, “but a lot of people go to my website from the postcard.”
A mixture of direct mail marketing and having a websites for people to go to has been working really well for Kyle. “I think it’s from people not wanting to make a call, but feeling a lot more comfortable filling out a form online,” he tells. To be honest, that’s what we’ve found works best too. There are so many motivated sellers who get nervous about talking to someone asking to buy their house. The detachment of filling out a form online is more comforting for them.
So what made Kyle get into real estate investing? Well, the condo his wife sold when they got married gave the couple roughly $20k. Initially Kyle wasn’t planning on getting into real estate investing. In fact, it all started with a Google search for what to do to invest the money. “I knew I didn’t want to spend it or just put it in retirement,” he says, “Honestly I just Googled ’ways to invest’ or something like that and real estate kept coming up.”
Kyle knew he didn’t want to build a renting portfolio. “Flipping was more appealing to me. I didn’t like how long you have to commit to renting,” Kyle says, “I didn’t start with Rich Dad Poor Dad or anything. I just searched in Google and did research there.”
It just goes to show important it is to appear online. If you want to get in contact with Kyle you can reach him on his website or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Rios has spent about 30 years of his life in Las Vegas and entered the real estate industry there over a decade ago after graduating cum laude from Pepperdine University with a degree in Business Administration. He started out as a traditional Realtor before transitioning into the investing side several years back.
Mr. Rios is familiar with a wide array of investing strategies and enjoys utilizing his entrepreneurial skills along with Alex to help expand their investments. His goal by 2020 is $100,000/month in passive income. In his spare time, Jason enjoys time with his loved ones, attending sports games & concerts, traveling, thrill-seeking, playing softball and giving back as president of his local alumni chapter.
Alex Wentland was born and raised in Chicago,IL and has been living in Las Vegas for 3 years. Prior to getting into real estate he went to a community college and was planning to work in the medical imaging field. He was waiting tables for the last 7 years and finally decided to pursue an entrepreneurial path after reading an impactful book despite most people’s opposing opinions. He chose real estate as it seemed like the most traveled path to financial success.
Alex's goal by 2020 is also $100K/month in passive income and to become a millionaire by age 30 with the help and teamwork with his partner Jason. Alex loves spending time with his fiancée and 2 dogs, taking hikes, going to movies, sporting games and traveling.
Their dissimilar paths brought them to the same REI circles, leading to a partnership in 2016 that started as wholesaling and has evolved into a multi-faceted investing approach. Their first deal together closed in 2017 and has since led to over 100 completed transactions. Alex and Jason feel this is truly just the start of what they will accomplish together.
Danny was casually watching YouTube and found a video of the growth and collapse of civilizations in Europe. What he found especially interesting was the huge expanse of the Roman Empire and its eventual decline. Similarly, Dan Sullivan’s program called “Pure Genius” talks about self improvement and growth. In the last CD, Sullivan talked about how great civilizations started on top of the world but still fell apart. Why is that?
Sullivan puts it like this: take something like the Roman Empire and and scale it down to you and your business. When an individual is at the top of their game at some point, inevitably, something is going to happen that makes you take a tumble. Whether this tumble will cause a downward spiral or not is entirely up to how you manage the situation. Sullivan says, “Progress stops when people stop being grateful. People come to a point when there’s so much success that they start losing touch with what got them there.”
That’s such an important lesson for anyone, let alone a real estate investor. When you’re so used to looking far in the future and achieving huge goals that you’re not noticing what you’ve accomplished, you’re going to start getting overwhelmed and fall apart. Celebrate your wins more! After you close a deal, celebrate it. After you covert a lead, celebrate it! Take a second to see how hard you worked to get to this point. Look at all of the effort you put into a deal that you profited off of. See how far you’ve come and know that it took you time and effort to do it. You didn’t get where you are now overnight.
The most important thing to keep in mine is that you’re doing well. You have a successful business that you built. Don’t always look so far ahead that you lose sight of where you came from. You did it, and you’re going to keep on doing it.
What’s your best win? Let us know in the comments, or in the Flip Pilot group on Facebook! Join for free by following the link in the section below :)
Learn how to get unstuck. Move from dreams, ideas, hopes to fulfillment and action.
Melissa Johnson has been on the Flipping Junkie Podcast multiple times (she and Danny run the business together and are married, so it goes without saying she’s an important member of the REI community). She runs the house flipping side of their business and does a great job doing it!
After years of running their real estate investing business, Melissa made the decision to cut out direct mail marketing at the start of 2018. Their yearly goal was to stop direct mail marketing all together. But why?? Hasn’t direct mail been working for so many investors?
The truth is…direct mail is dead. Real estate investing direct mail marketing has been declining for years, so much so that Melissa said it’s time to stop. In it’s place, Danny and Melissa are going to be focusing on online lead generation.
Melissa didn’t make the decision to cut out direct mail overnight, though. At the beginning of 2017 she had noticed that their direct mail wasn’t consistent and wasn’t performing well. Instead of cutting it off then, she decided to go all in and get that marketing strategy back up and running.
“We started a bunch of mailing campaigns and the year went on, and we were getting some deals, but it wasn’t performing the way I hoped it would when I looked at what we were spending on it,” Melissa tells. “I started looking at the numbers half way through the year and was pretty disappointed.”
Melissa’s direct mail plan started by mailing to high equity for most of the year, then they started adding in unknown equity. The unknown equity didn’t produce any leads at all, so they quickly stopped that campaign.
“We had about 30k addresses in our mailing list, based on our criteria,” Melissa explains, “We were had them separated by zip codes so that it wouldn’t be so much at one time. Every mailing was between $2400 - $2500 per week.”
The criteria for the high equity lists was anything under $250k with more than 50% equity, at people over age 40. The criteria for the unknown equity lists was just not stated how much equity the homeowners had. The equity could be unknown, unstated, they could have some, they could have none; it just means that the equity field wasn’t filled in. This list did not produce leads, so Melissa stopped that campaign.
“About half way through the year I took a look at the numbers,” Melissa says, “In September I said ‘look we’ve been spending a lot of money on this and it’s not getting us leads. We need to stop what we’re doing and reevaluate all of it’.”
The mailing lists were the same addresses, but it was all sent in a cycle. Each address would get a piece of mail from them every 4 - 6 weeks. With 30,000 addresses, that adds up.
Once Melissa looked deeper into the process and the direct mail findings, she learned that direct mail just isn’t enough to keep a business at this scale going. There’s a huge difference between a high quality lead and just another throw-away lead.
Melissa sat down and took about 8 hours just looking over every single lead from 2017 to see which ones were high quality and which ones weren’t. She read all of the notes on every property to see where that lead went, how far it got, and if it turned into a deal or not. And if it did turn into a deal, how profitable was the deal?
Overall, Melissa found that the cost of direct mail wasn’t worth the kinds of leads that they were getting. Their higher quality leads were coming from online marketing strategies and their website. The leads that came in through direct mail either weren’t quality leads or weren’t leads that converted to deals.
So when the question is asked: is direct mail dead? Melissa’s answer is, “For us, direct mail died about a year ago. We dropped it and moved to online lead generation.”
Ryan Robson has been helping sellers sell their homes for the last 8 years. He has averaged 100 plus flips since that time. He has experienced a lot of ups and a lot more downs on his journey a long the way. From these experiences he has built a real restate empire flipping houses in 3 different markets.
Ryan didn’t start in real estate right away. Right out of college his father suggested he go into accounting and let the real estate knowledge come to him. So, he did that. Ryan quickly realized that sitting at a shared desk with 6 other people was not his idea of a perfect job, so he decided to get his feet wet in the real estate investing market.
First Ryan started working other real estate investors, using his experience and knowledge he had gained from his previous accounting job. All was going well for a while, but on his return from a trip to Europe the investor he was working for had to let him go because of the housing market crash. This devastated Ryan. He spent two weeks spending his time doing what he had thought was fun, watching TV, playing video games, and so on. Ryan quickly got restless and though, “This isn’t fun. I need to do something!”
That’s when Ryan started his solo real estate investing journey. With the housing market the way it was in the early 2000’s, Ryan had to buy and sell fast. “I had to be careful about what I bought the houses for,” he says, “because tomorrow it’s not going to be worth as much, you know?” As time progressed and Ryan started getting comfortable with short sales and flipping houses. As a result. Ryan began to grow his team. For a long time everything was working smoothly. “I had about 10 or so acquisitions managers, or sales reps,” Ryan remembers, “I had a good sized team.”
Things were running smoothly, that is, until one of his employees turned out to be a bad seed. Ryan describes it like this:
“Most people are trusting. I’m a trusting person. I want to believe that everyone is doing the right thing all the time, but that’s not always the case. This person…he ended up taking 6 of my people with him, then after I had to end up firing 2 more because I didn’t know where they stood on the issue. I’m not mad that it happened, I’m mad because I let it get to that point. I mean, we ended up shouting at each other in the office, right in front of everyone. It was a big blow out. It should never have gotten there. That was my mistake, but I learned from it.”
This caused Ryan to need to transition his business. Because of the way short sales were going at this point in the housing market, Ryan admits he was needing to let a few people go anyway. They had gone from closing about 100 deals a year to a slower decline. In the end this shift wasn’t all terrible.
“I really enjoy investing in people,” Ryan says, “I’m at that stage where I like to see them grow. It’s fulfilling.”
Now Ryan is a very successful real estate investor with a wife and three children. He has been able to keep his business alive despite getting it started in a very volatile time for buying and selling houses. In fact, Ryan has transitioned again to online marketing to make sure his real estate investing business is bringing in high quality leads.
“I use LeadPropeller PPC,” Ryan tells us, “I know I’m not on here to give you guys a plug, but it’s great and what you and Josh are doing is amazing. It was in 2016 that I made the dive into PPC and it’s been great!”
It’s awesome to hear from Ryan Robson and see the success of his real estate investing business!
Danny spoke at this year’s Flip Hacking Live event! His presentation covers lead generation for real estate investors and how the market is shifting. Are you staying on top of it? This is the audio from the presentation, but you can watch the video on Flipping Junkie’s YouTube channel, check it out in the link section of the show notes.
How many people are sending direct mail? When that potential seller gets your postcard or letter, what do they do? They go online. The next thing they know, they can’t find you online. If you’re not online, you’ve just missed a lead. If you are online, but not optimized, then they’re seeing you beside your competition. You competition has more reviews than you, and looks more accessible to the seller. If you were in the seller’s position, who would you pick? It’s pretty obvious you’d go with the one that has the better reviews.
That’s why you can’t just have a website anymore. You have to have a fully optimized, built out, lead generation machine. There’s no way you can compete with your competition if you get a website, set it up, and then do nothing with it. It’s an on-going thing.
You need a website online that’s credible, trustworthy, and that builds you recognition. Danny and Melissa have generated thousands of leads and deals through their website, but it didn’t happen over night. It was a long road to building their website and grow their ranking. Search engine optimization takes time and practice.
If you’re not at the top of page 1, you’re missing leads. But how can you get it to rank that high? Keyword research is the first step. As a real estate investor, it’s obvious you need to rank for keywords like “sell house fast”, or “sell my house for cash”. Those keywords are what all of your competitors are using as well. So how can you beat the competition when it comes to ranking?
You have to set realistic expectations for yourself. You’re not going to rank for these keywords in the first month. You’re just not. You have to constantly keep working on your website, you have to be adding content that’s going to keep helping you rank, and you have to be patient. SEO can take 6 months to a year to start showing progress in Google. That’s a long time, but it’s worth it. Why?
SEO is the cheapest was to generate leads. How much does it cost to optimize your website? Time. That’s it. You have to invest the time into building it right, but once it starts ranking you’re going to start getting in organic traffic that converts.
The next step, after you have your SEO set up to start getting you organic leads, is marketing. PPC, or Pay Per Click, is a pay to play marketing strategy but it works. Danny uses a combination of PPC platforms, but the one that performs the best is Google AdWords.
Google AdWords places your ad, website, or landing page as a search result that appears above organic results. So if a seller is searching the phrase “sell my house for cash in San Antonio” and your AdWords campaign matches that search, you’re going to appear as 1 of the top 3 results on page 1. Why? Because you paid for that spot.
Now, yes, PPC can get expensive. But the cost per deal is worth it. If you’re spending a few thousand running an ad and it gets you a deal that nets you tens of thousands, is it worth it? Yes! Because you put yourself above the competition who doesn’t have the time or the money to run ads.
Starting to get a taste for online marketing? We don’t blame you. It’s worked for Danny and Melissa, and it can work for you too. That’s why Danny hosts weekly webinars to teach you about the latest online marketing strategies that work. You can get your free seat by following the links in the section below!
Hillary and Marco got married and became pregnant in 2015. In an effort to build the future they both wanted their family, they both quit their jobs that same year. Since then, they have built their real estate portfolio and build a wholesaling company that closes numerous transactions each month. With a team of six people in Hilco Homes, they look to grow strong in the new year of 2018!
Marco and Hillary got their start like most investors do. They were looking for a way to generate an income for their growing family and needed something that worked. Having already known the business, they decided to go for it and start their real estate investing journey. Hillary started studying up on everything she could. She read all of the books she could find on real estate investing and dove in. Marco helped her with some concepts, and together their wholesaling team was born. Now the two are unstoppable!
“I’m learning the best that I can,” Hillary says, “But Marco has 10 years on me.”
They had two major focuses.
1 - Marco and Hillary wanted to generate cash flow, or a passive income. This consisted of getting houses to rent. Marco points out that, even though the rent is paying for the house, that’s not a huge passive income for a family to live off of.
2 - Marco and Hillary needed an active income. This came to them through wholesaling houses. While they were building up their rental properties business, the two focused on finding wholesale deals to keep their lifestyle afloat.
Their wholesaling houses team started when a gentleman named Juan contacted Marco and asked for guidance in the real estate investing market. He was let go of a previous position and was looking for a job in the real estate market. Marco taught him how to bring in wholesaling deals with the profits being split between the two 50/50. The rest is history! Juan became a part of their team, and everything grew from there.
“We refined all of our systems and processes,” Hillary says, “It’s all about finding the people who work best with us.”
Their wholesaling houses team is up to 7, including their virtual assistant, and is still looking to grow. “We’re bringing on an eighth next week,” Marco says, “It’s a constantly evolving thing. Some people work out, and some people don’t.”
What are some of the lessons learned from hiring and letting people go?
Marco and Hillary have the idea of not hiring good people, but hiring great people. “We don’t just want to hire to fill a seat,” says Hillary.
Hiring high quality team members will only strengthen your wholesaling houses team over the long run. In the past, they required that applicants submit a resume, but have recently changed that policy. Seeing the pen and paper resume as an “out-dated system”, Hillary has decided to do video resumes instead. Marco and Hillary ask that applicants answer 3 questions in their 2 - 3 minute video submissions.
“I feel we’re a pretty good judge of character,” she replies.
If an applicant makes it past the pre-screening questions and video application, then they move on to a full interview with Juan. At that point, if Juan thinks this person is qualified and a good fit for the company, then they get moved on to Hillary for the final interview. This process has taken Marco and Hillary a few years to work out, but they’ve found it’s the most successful for finding people to add to their wholesaling houses team.
After meeting his mentor Josh Rudin started buying and flipping houses 6 years ago when he was 19 years old. He went through a lot of negative experiences and learned from them and grew in the process. Now he’s making positive cash flow and doing flips. He primarily focuses his flips in 4 cities near Victorville, Ca. He hired a project manager double his age to handle all his deals and having the help has given him the time to focus his efforts on finding deals and even traveling the world.
My name is Josh Rudin, I am 25 years old, and I grew up in a small city called Agoura Hills, CA in the suburbs of Los Angeles. The way I got started in real estate is my dad introduced me to a mentor he had heard about through a friend. Every Tuesday my mentor was holding meetings at Red Robin. He would bring a board game every day called the millionaire maker by Laurel Langemeier. The point of the game was to grow your balance sheet. I learned about assets, liabilities, income, and expenses and how to account for every dollar. The game really opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking. One day I told my mentor I want to start doing this in real life. He let me know I am ready and that I need to be up at 4 am Saturday because he is picking me up and taking me to an area he’s been intrigued with the growth. That Saturday morning after driving for 2 hours we had made it to the “High Desert”. We would drove around all day asking questions to locals and writing down addresses of vacant properties, so we can really understand the market and the area. After a few months of driving out there almost every weekend I decided I feel comfortable with the area enough to make my first offer. It was accepted and at age 19 I owned my first home. It was one of the best feelings I have ever felt. Ever since then, I have slowly grown my business to where I am now, buying over 10 houses a year for the past couple years.