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.
Scott Smith is an Asset Protection attorney and real estate investor with experience in everything to flipping houses to buying notes. Scott specializes on how to make sure you never lose money from lawsuits.
Scott wanted to focus his business on giving people the top level of protection possible, without complicating anything or increasing taxes. “Is it possible to have the best of all worlds?” He asked himself. Turns out it is. And that’s how his business was formed. The types of protections offered, and the way people can scale infinitely with their help makes Scott’s law firm the most competitive in the country.
Scott has been a real estate investor for 8 years, which is why he exclusively works with real estate investors. Now you don’t have to hunt down a lawyer who might know some things about real estate investing. Because Scott’s law firm is so specialized, not only can he help with any of your real estate investing needs, but his team can help anyone in all 50 states. Don’t worry, we’ll have contact information further down in the show notes.
One of the biggest ways to lose money as a real estate investor is holding property in your personal name. Scott explains it like this:
“If you’re holding property in your personal name, what you’re really saying is that if anything goes wrong anywhere in your life, you’re ok with someone being able to attack anything and everything that you own.”
What Scott focuses on in his law firm is separating the assets from the operations. You should have 2 companies. One that holds your assets, cash, stocks, personal investments, etc. Then the second one is what Scott calls your “Operating Company”. That company handles the actual “business”. It’s the company that manages the hiring of new employees, dealing with contracts, handling your leases, etc.
“Lawsuits work because there has to be a connection,” Scott tells us, “between the thing people are complaining about, and the business people are complaining about.”
So if all of your operations are going through one company and someone has a problem with it, they can only sue that company. They wouldn’t be able to attack your assets because their relationship is only with the operating company you have. It’s a way to protect what you’ve worked so hard to get.
Let’s say you’re flipping in your personal name and you’re hiring all of the contractors yourself, basically acting as the GC. That means that if anyone has a complaint against you, or the property, or anything that extends to insurance liability, that whole property gets locked up if they decide to sue you. Once that property is locked like that, you won’t be able to do anything to it until the law suite is settled.
The way to get around that is by setting up your asset company as an LLC. the best place to set it up is in Texas, but there are about 10 other states that make it easy to set up. You can use that company anywhere in the US, just like any other LLC. This is your asset company. Then, from there, you would set up a local LLC for your operations company. This one has to be local because it’s where you’re doing your day to day operations of your real estate investing business.
So let’s say you get a contractor and he makes some terrible cabinets for you and you tell him that they’re not good and you’re not going to pay for them. Of course he’s going to be upset, so he decides to sue you. Well, since you hired him through your local shell LLC, he’s not able to attack your personal name or your asset holding company. That means that while the lawsuit is going on, you can still work on that property and get it sold, and all of your assets are safe in the process. Again, this is a great way to protect yourself, your assets, and your business.
In your worst case scenario, you wind the LLC down that got sued and then open up another one to act as your operations company. In the end, you might be out court fees and a settlement, but your properties are all protected. Plus, you were still able to conduct business while the court case was happening, meaning you still made money. This is a really efficient way of getting rid of issues like that.
Hey Flip Pilots! You know that book Danny wrote a few years back called “Flipping Houses Exposed”? It’s been a free kindle e-book for the longest time, but now it’s finally coming into print! How cool, right?
A lot of investors have told Danny that this book has helped them with their real estate investing business. This isn’t just any book that tells you the basics of flipping houses. No. What Danny and Melissa did was document every single lead and deal that they had so that you can see what they did, what they planned, what worked, and what didn’t.
And when we say everything, we mean everything. See, Danny had taken some time off of the flipping business so he could get his private pilot’s license. When he came back he knew he would have to wear a lot of hats to get his real estate investing business back on track. Keeping documents of every aspect of their business helped him to be able to plan better in the future. When these documents became a book, Danny saw that they were helping other real estate investors grow their business too.
In no time it was obvious to everyone reading the book that the majority of Danny and Melissa’s leads came from their real estate investing website. If you’re struggling to get the deals in your area, it’s because you’re doing the same thing that every other investor in your area is doing.
Now it’s no secret that online leads are better leads. I mean, c’mon, it’s 2018. You have to be online so that when people go to search for someone to buy their house they find you instead of your competition.
Now, this isn’t to try and promote LeadPropeller websites (even though they are the best), this is to let you all know that Danny will be hosting coaching calls to answer any and all questions that you guys might have. So many investors see that it’s possible to get leads online, but have no idea how to do it. Having a website just isn’t enough anymore.
If you want to dominate your local market, come to Danny’s coaching call. He’s going to be going over the best strategy to get online motivated seller leads. Don’t get lost in direct mail, don’t let your competition beat you in Google searches. Come make your real estate investing business stronger with Danny’s help.
No one thought Mark Evans would graduate from high school. Even his teachers thought he should probably just try to pass and then get a minimum wage job.
But Mark had different plans for his life! He did his first two real estate deals before he turned 19… and that changed everything.
Whether he’s sipping an ice cold beer on a Caribbean beach or walking the famous Camino de Santiago or riding on the back of an elephant in India, he’s also doing real estate deals.
In today’s episode, I’m sharing my favorite 11 books that I read in 2017. I read more but, these are the books that ended up with tons of dog-eared pages. Melissa also shares a bonus book she wanted me to recommend for the ladies.
Learn a little about each book and why it is recommended. At the end of the episode you will learn a process for getting the most out of these books. Find out how to take notes you can later find easily based on author and topic. This is a great way to make sure you revisit the key points from each book you read.
The Advantage -
This book is awesome for organization. If you need to focus on organizational health, this is definitely one of those books for real estate investors that you need to add to your list. Stop struggling with managing everything and focusing on processes but not actually getting anything done. Get organized, get working, build your team, and become the Flip Pilot you know you can be.
The Obstacle is The Way -
This is a book that's based on the ideas of stoicism philosophy. If you're trying to achieve change in your life, you're going to face obstacles. When you face them, face them. Embrace the obstacle to be able to overcome it so that you can grow and become a better person.
Bigger, Leaner, Stronger -
This book is more for the health and fitness crowd. Why is this on the list of books for real estate investors, you might ask? Strong mental health starts with strong physical health. Now we're not saying to become a body builder, we're simply saying that you need to be healthy. What's the point in growing old as a successful real estate investor if you've got poor health? This book is awesome because it breaks everything down into the science of healthy living. Definitely a great read to get you motivated and off the couch!
I've already talked about this book in another podcast episode. If you haven't listened to it, the link will be in the link section of the show notes. This is a must read for real estate investors. The tips in this book will help you eliminate what you don't need to focus on so that only the essential parts of your business remain.
We had a recent podcast episode where Steve Cook came on and talked about his book. Check it out in the link section of the show notes! This book is written as a story, so it's easier to process all of the lessons from it. I love this book because it helps you understand that the life that you want isn't always about getting the most money. As far as one of the books for real estate investors, this one is one of my favorites. This is an eye opening message about living the best life right now instead of always focusing on the future.
As a Man Thinketh -
This is a super short book (so it's easy to re-read). This is taken from some Biblical text and really helps you connect with yourself. A quote from the back reads: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he". This is a great book for keeping yourself motivated. If you think you're going to fail, you will. If you think you're going to succeed, then you will too. This book is all about keeping yourself in a positive train of though to accomplish your goals.
Leadership Axioms -
If you're struggling with leadership strategies then this is the book for you. In fact, Melissa has suggested this one to Danny and it really stuck. Every 3 or so pages of this book have an axiom on them so that you keep yourself going through the books. This is one of the great books for real estate investors because you can go back to it when you have a leadership problem that you need to address. Each axiom will help you accomplish your leadership goals and keep your team moving forward.
How to Win Friends and Influence People -
This is a classic. If you've heard of it, read it. If you've already read it, read it again! This book will help you to build relationships that are perfect for networking your real estate investing business. Definitely a must read.
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living -
Often times as real estate investors, we find ourselves worrying a lot. Didn't you become a real estate investor so that you could have the freedom your old job wasn't giving you? What good is that freedom if you're always worrying? Stop that! This is one of the great books for real estate investors because it will help you to take the stress out of your life so you can actually enjoy your financial freedom.
Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment -
In the beginning of this book there's a passage that tells you to focus on practicing for the sake of practicing. That's such a great lesson for real estate investors to implement in their business, but also in their lives. Everything you do you need to practice at in order to become better. Beyond that, though, you need to practice for the sake of practicing because it will make you appreciate the work that goes into mastering something.
Seneca: Letters From a Stoic -
This book is included because a lot of the problems that people face these days are basically the same problems that people were facing hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Things at their core don't change that much. That's why Danny has been so in to stoicism, because that philosophy keeps everything in perspective. The letters in this book survived thousands of years that are jam packed with philosophy. It's an engaging read, which is why it's one of the books for real estate investors on this list.
(Bonus) You Are a Badass -
Melissa specifically wanted all of the ladies out there to read this book. This is a great book for identifying and eliminating the self sabotaging behavior that a lot of people tend to have these days. If you're keeping yourself down, definitely check out this book to give yourself a boost. You're a badass real estate investor. Go be a badass!
Paul Del Pozo is an ex competitive bodybuilder turned real estate investor and entrepreneur. The last 2 years for him have been about personal and business evolution. He has learned to use his unique ability, his gym mindset, to drive and push forward through business failures to success. Listen in to hear about his journey flipping houses.
When Paul got his first deal from knocking on doors, he realized that real estate investing was a great opportunity for him. He made his own luck by starting with knocking on preforeclosures and hunting them down. When he landed his first wholesale deal, Paul started going after the next steps to call himself a real estate investor.
"I always had this idea of a rich guy buying buildings," Paul says, "so it was difficult to picture myself as that guy."
This seems to be a struggle that a lot of investors have when they're first starting out. When is it ok to call yourself a real estate investor? When do you start introducing yourself as one in networking events, or to potential clients? After Paul's first deal, he had the confidence to go to local REIA meetings and call himself an investor.
Paul got into real estate investing out of a need to make money. Originally doing wholesaling deals, Paul has continued down that path with the types of properties he has in his inventory. Now that he's more stable in real estate investing, he is hungry to learn more and build his business.
"Staying excited is what drives you. If you're not excited then what are you doing?" Paul tells us, "No matter what I'm doing in the business, I find it all exciting."
Staying excited is great, but staying focused is better. Knowing where to go and what's important for building your business is key to making your real estate investing business a success. Everything you do when running your business is about being intentional with what you want to work toward.
It's just like in the book "Essentialism". If you haven't heard Danny's response to that book, definitely check out that podcast episodes further down in the link section.
We'll be hosting a webinar about online lead generation once a week! Reserve your free seat to discover the secret to online lead generation at LeadPropeller.com/webinar!
Joni has an extensive career in administration working with Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike. Her career has spanned sectors including retail, automotive, and the legal field. She has been working with Quickbooks for 7 years. Joni has helped several companies start their Quickbooks bookkeeping accounts from the ground up. Joni holds a Bachelor’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Rochester College.
Kirk has worked for Fortune 500 companies and run small businesses. His expertise includes sales management, the automotive aftermarket, mortgages, and banking. He first worked with Quickbooks in 2001 and prior to that worked with Peachtree Accounting software. Kirk is skilled in P&L and financial projections. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising from Bradley University and a MBA from Walsh College.
Joni and Kirk live in Rochester Hills, MI with their two children. Together they have owned rental properties and know all too well, the ups and downs of being landlords.
Together, Joni and Kirk got in to bookkeeping for real estate investors when Joni did consulting work for Mike Simmons and his partner. When they were looking over the books, Joni and Kirk noticed that there was a hole in market because there weren't many people doing bookkeeping for real estate investors.
The biggest mistakes Joni and Kirk see when it comes to bookkeeping for real estate investors are:
The reason Joni and Kirk use Quick Books is because it helps keep everything organized for their clients. Quick Books makes it easy to see every aspect of bookkeeping for real estate investors. Which is why they say that not having any type of system is the worst thing to do for your business. Not tracking every single expense will end up costing your business lots of money in the long run.
If you're in the need of a good bookkeeper, Joni and Kirk are the way to go. The first step is building up a report for your real estate investing business that's broken down by property so that you know where your money was spent.
"You're not going to send us too much paper," Kirk says, half jokingly. The more a real estate investor can provide for them, the better. 6 or so months down the road of working with Joni and Kirk, there won't be as many questions. The more you two work together, the better their understanding of your business will be, and the more streamline the process will become.
Because clients want specific reports, Joni and Kirk keep everything categorized and organized. Want to know where your marketing expenses are? They have reports for that! Knowing where your money is going and what's being spent will help keep your real estate investing business out of bookkeeping trouble.
Justin Williams had a conference, Flip Hacking Live 2017, that Danny spoke at that got him thinking about the kind of growth he needed to take for his business to grow too. In 2016, Justin asked Danny to speak at this year’s event, so this was a long time coming. Between doing the Flipping Junkie podcast, and the videos, and being in front of people online, speaking in front of people in live events has always been a bit difficult for Danny. Never the less, Danny commit to it, overcame it that stage fright, and presented in front of 600 - 800 people.
In preparation for the talk coming up, Danny went to public speaking classes every Wednesday evening. After Flip Hack Live was finished, Danny was talking to the instructor who said something profound. He said:
“I didn’t think you would have any trouble at all. You know why? Because you are humble and hungry. You’re hungry because you’re willing to put in the work, and do what it takes, to make something you want happen. But you’re also humble. You’re willing to accept criticism and knowledge from others, and not go into it thinking you know more than you do.”
Those words stuck with Danny. When you’re willing to be humble enough to be open to learn something from anyone, you will be a success. When you’re hungry enough to drive yourself forward, you will be a success. When it comes to success for real estate investors, you need to be hungry enough to always keep going, but humble enough to take every opportunity as a learning experience.
You can learn how to do this from anybody, no matter how new they are in the business. The more open you are to getting knowledge on things that you’re struggling with, the better your real estate investing business will be. The number one key when it comes to success for real estate investors is knowing when to ask for help. That’s not a bad thing. That shows that you are both hungry for the opportunity, and humble enough to know you can’t do it alone. Saying “I don’t know how to do this and I need help” is a way to grow your business and make it a success.
You’re already taking a big step forward by listening to the Flipping Junkie podcast! The more you learn in these episodes, the stronger you’re making your real estate investing business. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please do, so that you can keep learning how to make your real estate investing business a success. And don’t forget to check out this video, and others like it, on the Flipping Junkie YouTube page!
This is basically just a review of a book that I re-read for the second time. Grayson (on our house flipping team) suggested this book to me, and it’s really been helping me deal with feeling overwhelmed with everything.
Sometimes you read a book at one point in your life, but don’t get all of the advice and actionable material. This book is called “Essentialism” by Greg Mckeown, and it’s just great. There are so many visual representations of how you get overwhelmed. The circle with all of the short arrows are definitely where I was at. Then, there’s another circle with a single long arrow that shows where the most essential things are, and should be going. This is where we should all be, and this is where I want to take Flip Pilot and LeadPropeller.
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what’s the most essential part the business, taking time to look at the big picture, to get a clear idea of what we really should be doing. What’s most important to us so that we can get rid of those little arrows. So many of us as real estate investors can tend to feel really overwhelming. If you burn yourself out, you’re not going to be running a successful business.
One story in this book is about journalism, but can definitely be applied to other aspects. When Greg was in a journalism class, the professor said to come up with a lead for a story about faculty meetings. Every student was coming up with stories about the different departments, and the goals from those meetings, and the overall impact on the university. The lead that the students didn’t take into account was that there wouldn’t be class on this day. The important take away was thinking about the audience’s point of view. The people reading this journal were the students - they didn’t care what the meetings were going to be about. The students reading just cared about if there was going to be class or not. So, thinking about things from the audience’s point of view helped to shape the best possible story about a subject that the students would have otherwise not cared about.
Seeing the bigger picture and coming up with a strategy that’s intentional is the best thing you can do for your business. The trade off should never be a detriment to your business. If you’re giving something up to do something else, make sure that something else is worth it.
Another clear point in this book is taking time to play. That’s so true. If you’re not taking time for yourself, then you’re going to burn out and give up. If you keep running forward, you’ll die. Taking time for yourself will help you get more creative in your real estate investing business.
I take my time on Sunday to plan my week, but I always start with scheduling the fun things to do with my family. Then, when I’ve put time aside for that, I add in the work stuff. If you’re not giving yourself time to have fun, you’re not going to be running a successful real estate investing business. Do it to get recharged.
If you guys haven’t read this book, do. It’s a great game changer for running the best business possible. Knowing what’s important and what’s not is difficult, but essential (hah, get it?). It’s like cleaning out your closet. If you see a shirt and think “I don’t wear this, but I might”, you end up keeping all of the close instead of clearing things out.
If something you need to make essential isn’t a clear “yes”, then it’s a “no”. Think about it like a scale of 1 - 10. If it’s not a 10, then it has to go. Plane and simple. That will keep you on the right track that your real estate investing business needs.
You can get this book in the link below! I highly recommend it if you need help with finding out what’s essential and what’s not. And don’t forget to join the Flip Pilot group on Facebook to network with other active real estate investors who have a 30k foot view of their business!
Kyle Burnett asks:
I've been full time in the flipping business for about a year and I feel like I need to get over the hump. I've done 4 deals in the last year and am behind on my goals. My wife and I have our first kid due in December and I have to ramp this business up to support our family.
Danny Johnson replies:
I've thought about this a lot and recently gave it more thought as I moved offices. Melissa and I switched offices in our suite and I went through a lot of my old training courses and meeting notes from years ago. What struck me was how many different things I got interested in and tried to learn.
I had books on land investing. Books on real estate taxes. Books on investing in IRAs. Books on raising private money. Granted all have been helpful but I realized that the success came from when we had focus. Focus on marketing. Focus on working the hell out of just 3 or 4 lead sources. Putting out bandit signs religiously. Driving for dollars religiously. Making the effort to get the phone ringing. Making a plan and sticking to it. Not constantly thinking about new ways to get leads. Just ways to being consistent and working the sources that have worked for decades for successful investors. Investors that struggle almost always do so because they didn't master a handful of marketing strategies that the stayed consistent with.
If you can't be consistent with your marketing and focused each week and thinking about what to tweak WITHIN that same marketing channel, you've got to hire someone even if just part time to do it.
This is the answer to a Flipping Junkie Podcast #Just Ask question. Erik Drentlaw asked what my exact direct mail strategy is.
While I think it’s true that you need to become an expert at one thing before moving on to another is a great strategy, with highly specific things like online marketing, it’s best to let the experts take over. If you need to focus on becoming the expert at direct mail, do it! But allow the people who are already experts at SEO and PPC to manage that side for you. That way, you’re getting the benefit of both online and off-line marketing without wasting your time trying to learn strategies for both.
Erik, I see that you mentioned you have a competitor website but would have liked to switch. You still can! In fact, we have a team of professional PPC and SEO experts here who would gladly manage your online marketing so that you can focus on direct mail. That way, your business will benefit from marketing on two fronts. These guys manage my PPC marketing, so I can promise you they’re great.
As far direct mail goes, we’ve done something like $80k+ on direct mail in the last 12 months. I have absolutely no problem sharing my direct mail strategies. There seems to be some level of secrecy when it comes to asking about direct mail strategies, as if some investors are doing things that no one else would think about. The truth is, direct mail strategies doesn’t vary that much.
What is rare is people actually doing it and sticking to it. It’s difficult to keep it up, but as long as you do it and stay consistent, it’ll pay off in the end. Just stick to what’s being taught, and actually do it
The biggest list we mail to is the high equity list. This is key. Mail to owner-occupied, and absentee-owner high equity direct mail list, targeting ages 45+ of the household. That demographic has been the highest converting as far as direct mail is concerned.
The next question becomes, “Where do you get that list?” You can get this information from ListSource.com, you can get your rates down by calling and asking. Definitely do that. You go into the site, and specify the types of properties you’re looking for in your target area. Look in your farm area, the spot where you expect most of your leads to come from. Choose the property value next. Don’t go high-end properties; you should limit the appraised value to just above medium home price to avoid the crazy expensive ones. After that, you target equity.
There are two ways to do equity targeting:
1. Mortgage Amount
2. Equity percentage.
Stick with equity percentage. We tend to go with 50% equity because you want the seller to have enough equity to actually be able to sell to you instead of needing to go through a 3rd party. This helps you to weed out any bad leads before you start pooling.
What it takes in direct mail is money. The people who are succeeding are spending lots of money. Just from this list that we have, and sending direct mail, we’ve got about 12 leads this year from direct mail. To make direct mail a success, you need to get a large enough number of calls to justify the amount you’re spending on it.
We’re sending out roughly 10k - 20k postcards a month, spending about $5k per deal (which is a little more than I would like to be spending). But we want the deal volume, so we’re spending it to get it.
The key to success with direct mail is to keep your list decent enough, but not too big. If it’s too big, you’re going to not be able to mail enough because it’s going to be too expensive. As far as what to put on your postcard, you need to include:
Branding is super important, and not enough investors know about it. You need to make sure your postcard is unique to your business and stands out to your motivated sellers. The reality is, you’re not the only one in your market mailing, so you’re probably not the only piece of mail that they get. Avoid looking like spam by making your postcards individualized.
On that same note, you need to have a large pool to mail to. Don’t just be sending out 200 letters a month and wonder why you haven’t heard anything. The minimum you should be mailing is 1,000/month, but even that’s a little low depending on your city and market size.
It’s very easy to make your own postcards. That helps your business stand out from all of the others that are just using templates. You don’t need fancy software, goto Canva.com and design your own for free. What we do to get them mailed out is we go to a local print and mail house, tell them how many we want, and negotiate prices from there. As long as you get it out and in front of people, you’ll be in the clear. Make sure you give them variable printing so that each postcard is individualized so that your leads feel like you mailed personally to them.
We mail roughly 45 days apart to the different lists. Remember, you have to spend money to make money. Direct mail is an investment, just like everything else. Work on your acquisitions skills to get them under contract. My friend, John Martinez, has a lot of sales training on that sort of thing. Check out his stuff in the links.
Don’t neglect online leads, either. If you want, reach out to us at Sales@LeadPropeller.com so that you can let our experts manage it for you. Or, call (210) 999 5187. Our pros here would be more than happy to help manage your PPC to get you quality leads online.
If you have a question that you want answered, post it in the group with the hashtag #JustAsk, and tag me @DannyJohnson. I’ll make a podcast episode to answer your question for you!
Thank you again for the question, Erik. Hope this helped!
I'm the youngest of 4 daughters and I grew up in rural Pennsylvania. Being the favorite child has given me an overabundance of confidence, which I use to my advantage quite often. (My sisters will kill me for saying that, but only because it's true. :)). I've always been an exuberantly tenacious person, setting stretch goals and moving on to the next one.
Looking back at my life I find certain experiences really stand out. I spent my junior year of high school as a congressional Page, working and living in DC running errands for Congress. It was a truly amazing experience and I'm sad the program doesn't exist anymore. (But the fiscally conservative side of me totally gets it.)
I went to WPI for mechanical engineering on an ROTC scholarship, where I met my husband and some of my amazing best friends. When I graduated I became a US Naval Officer. My dream was to be a pilot, but unfortunately my eyes disagreed; instead I served on an Aircraft Carrier. It was a great consolation prize, and even though it was incredibly tough at times, I will treasure it.
After about 4 years in the Navy, I got a job as an engineer working in the energy arena, helping to build a power plant to support aircraft carriers stationed in Japan, and then a bunch of other awesome projects. I felt way out of my league and also incredibly excited to be a part of something so massively cool. I worked with that company for 7 years, and again was fortunate to be around some seriously amazing people.
When my 3rd daughter was born, I decided to spend less time traveling and more time at home. We bought our first rehab, which was a hoarder house that we essentially gutted, and I was hooked. Making ugly things pretty is my favorite. The first year I flipped 3 houses, the second year I flipped 6, and then I moved up to one a month and started building out a team to support that. This year we're on track to do 20+ flips and a few wholesales, as well as venturing into the rental arena.
As an aside - It's crazy that I always feel like the little fish because I keep moving to bigger ponds. If you had told me 3 years ago where I would be now, I would not believe it. But here I am, and it still doesn't feel like "enough"!
Getting the Money - Susan Lassiter-Lyons
12 Week Year
Focus, focus, focus. That’s the key to success.
You don’t want to be distracted by your first ideas. You need to stay focused when it comes to growing your business so that you’re on top of your game.
The steps to staying focused isn’t that difficult. Here’s what we do to stay focused:
Hunting leads can be difficult to find, we know. Searching on the MLS can be exhausting. The biggest mistake an investor can make is staying in their comfort zone. If you only ever do bandit signs, how are you going to generate consistent deals?
That was just an example, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with bandit signs. But you need to focus in on at least one method - direct mail, bandit signs, PPC, SEO, online marketing, driving for dollars, etc. - and become an expert at that.
Send out as much as you can, be active. The more you do, the more you’ll learn. Stay hyper focused, gather data, find a way to turn it into a system, become the master at it. Only then should you move on to the next thing. In no time, you’ll be an expert at every aspect of real estate investing. At the end of the day, you need to be making progress.
In these podcast episodes coming up, we’re going to be having an open Q & A with you guys. Your questions are important to us. It’ll help you learn, but it will also help us to know what it is you’re struggling with so that we can make content that’s helpful for growing your business.
Have a burning question to build your business? Just ask! The steps are easy:
There’s no such thing as a bad question. Anything that you’re curious about, we’ll help you through it. Let’s stay focused, let’s become experts, and let’s make progress in building our businesses!
Danny and Melissa share the secret to the massive growth in their flipping business over the last year.
The story begins several years ago when they were wearing all of the hats in their business. They were killing themselves trying to do it all.
Danny shares how he met Justin and learned how to scale his business without having to do everything.
This episode shares the story and shows how you can do the same.
Ted Thomas, best-selling author and publisher is best known as America’s Tax Lien Certificate and Tax Deed Authority. Thomas has sat for more than 200 radio and TV interviews, most recently on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox and he has been recognized in Newsweek, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Ted Thomas is the go-to guy when people want to discover how to invest in secure government certificates that pay 16% and 18%.
Ted’s best selling Home Study Course titled, Quick Start to Buying Government Tax Lien Certificates & Tax Deeds, is considered the benchmark standard for the Tax Lien Certificate and Tax Deed industry. Thomas also conducts live tours of Tax Lien Certificate and Tax Deed auctions.
Houses with tax liens are a safe, secure investment because you won’t run the risk of losing large sums of money.
Ted’s number one suggestions is this: Start out buying vacant residential land. Most mentors won’t suggest this, but Ted does for this reason. He wants to make sure his students are staying conservative in their investments. Buying land is a low risk investment, and sell for 10 - 20 cent on the dollar. If you sell it for 50 cent to buyers then you’ve made a profit! Ted’s suggestion is to go slow, stay conservative, and watch your income build.
There will never be a shortage of properties. There are 100 million properties in the United States alone, and 2 - 3% of that will go into tax lien territory. Ted’s point is that there’s no reason to try and rush your business. Let it grow steadily. You’ll always have properties to buy and sell.
Ted answers these common questions:
Q: What is a tax deed auction?
A: A Public auction where real estate is sold on property that is delinquent in taxes. A deed sale happens after a tax certificate applies to the tax collector for a tax deed after the certificate has been held for the statutory period.
Q: What is a tax lien certification?
A: Tax lien certificates pay you guaranteed fixed rates of return interest per year.
Q: Which states are tax deed states?
A: Tax Deed States:
Q: Which states are tax lien certificate states?
A: Tax Lien Certificate States-
Rob leads property acquisitions for Holdfolio, a real estate crowdfunding company headquartered in Indianapolis. Under the name Buy To Renew, Rob leads a team focused on purchasing properties and gentrifying neighborhoods. Since relocating to Indiana in 2015, Rob and his partners have purchased over 100 properties for crowdfunding and wholesale opportunities. For fun, Rob and his wife enjoy traveling, soccer, and recently took up competing in triathlons.
Set For Life by Scott Trench
Relentless by Tim Grover
Jason has been in construction over 25 years. He started out of highschool working with his dad on misc projects and went on to own and operate a cabinet company for 12 years. After closing the company he started lending to rehabbers for Gap funding and learning about this thing called flipping and started flipping in 2010. Jason has been flipping ever since and joined up with Peter in 2014 and have flipped or wholesaled 50 + deals together.
Jason is married with a split family of 4 kids. All who are very active in sports, Competitive Dance, Swimming, Gymnastics, and basketball and football. They just moved into their new home they had built a couple weeks ago.
Jason and his wife Megan who is a Vancouver school Principal enjoy traveling together, are very active in Crossfit at their local Box.
Share your backgrounds and how you started flipping houses and working together.
Been in construction since 1993 owned a cabinet shop for 12 years build a few houses, Started in 2009 lending gap funding to a rehabber. Started doing all the work on flips in 2010-13 flipping about 15 in that time, Peter’s roofing company did all my roofs and we became friends during that time. We partnered on our first deal July 1st 2014 closed 3 deals that year together 2015 we did 11 deals, 2016 completed 22 deals wholesaled 10 and started a wholesale business we are partners on.
What are your goals for 2017?
Goals are 50 flips we have 25 on the books so far this year Plan is to wholesale 50 also min
Closing within 2 weeks 4
What are your favorite and/or most profitable types of houses to rehab where you are?
We love 2/1 800sqft houses we are in an out within 3-4 weeks
What do you do to prepare to start rehabbing before you close on the purchase?
We make sure we are ready to start the rehab the min we record we have a crew there to start and usually have house demod within a few hours.
Walk us through your rehabbing process from determining scope of work to lining up contractors to getting it ready for sale.
My business partner is my GC so he keeps our numbers in line.
What issues have you encountered when trying to sell rehabs?
Portland is a really hot market so our product sells within 2 weeks max most within the 1st weekend
How can anyone from the audience get in contact with either of you?
What are some of the things you do before putting the finished product on the market?
How to work with our Realtor Laura to get the property on the market?
With the real estate market still going strong here, how fast have the houses been selling?
How do you handle when we get multiple offers?
I know we’ve accepted offers before in the past only to find out the buyers couldn’t qualify. How do we now avoid this problem?
So a common situation is where a buyer will get an inspection and ask for tons of repairs. What is our procedure for handling which repairs we’ll agree to do and which we won’t?
On FlippingJunkie we get the question all the time about the FHA 90 day rule. What is that and how do we deal with it?
What do you do after acceptance of an offer to make sure all is on track to close?
What’s your top tip for being more efficient in this part of the house flip process?
Melissa Johnson has been flipping houses for 14 years, and man have they come a long way.
From brown (and one time green) carpet to sleek new tile, Melissa has been transforming the way she rehabs properties. But before you can make the houses look nicer, you have to have your team together.
Start with a contractor you can trust. Melissa has been working with her contractor for a long time now, to the point where they have an amazing working relationship. One of the key point of making sure you and your contractor are on the same page is to set the ground rules from the beginning.
Making sure you and your contractor have the same payment schedule agreed on will keep everyone involved happy. Melissa talks about going through the property with the contractors before hand and looking at every single detail of the house. That way, everyone is on the same page for what needs to be fixed.
There’s much more to your team than just you and the contractor, though. Melissa has been working with a realtor she trusts, and has become great friends with. It’s so important to work with people who are great at their jobs, and who are there for you.
For example, there was an issue with some buyers not being able to qualify for the property they wanted to buy and, instead of just closing out the deal, Melissa’s realtor fought and negotiated until all parties were happy. Having a realtor who will work with you, and also your buyers, is great for having your properties sold quickly.
All in all, Melissa has been working hard at showing what an amazing Flip Pilot she is. If you want to network with other Flip Pilots, join our closed FaceBook group by going to FlipPilot.com here: https://flippilot.com/beta-notify
This vlog, Danny talks about how important it is for you to do what needs to be done for your business even if you’re afraid. Don’t forget, all of the vlog episodes (and more) are available on the FlippingJunkie YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/FlippingJunkie
Making big steps is scary for just about everyone. When Danny was working on getting his pilot’s license, he would stop in the parking lot and think about two things: how exciting flying is, but also how dangerous it is. Even though learning was a lot of fun, there was still that risk involved.
The same is true for running your own real estate investing business. Especially when you’re getting started. When Danny and Melissa first started buying and selling houses and the first call came in he was so nervous to talk to the motivated seller that he threw the phone at Melissa so she would talk to them! And while that was scary, the reward to going through with the lead was bigger than any nerves they had.
So that’s the takeaway from this vlog. Knowing that being afraid is ok, but pushing past that to get to the good stuff is even better!
Stay tuned and be sure to subscribe to the FlippingJunkie Youtube channel: http://youtube.com/flippingjunkie
Geremy Heath is the owner and founder of Texas All Cash Home Buyers.
Geremy was on the podcast during the early days for episode 3 where we talked about <a href="http://flippingjunkie.com/episode-3-the-mindset-that-guarantees-flipping-houses-success/" target="_blank">The Mindset That Guarantees Flipping Houses Success - Click Here To Listen</a>
We talk about his Miracle Morning routine…which is incredible. If you want to find out more check out my interview with the author, Hal Elrod: <a href="http://flippingjunkie.com/episode-24-foundation-the-miracle-morning-whal-elrod/" target="_blank">Click Here To Listen to My Interview with Hal Elrod</a>
There’s a lot that goes on in between contracting and closing on a house. Especially when it comes to the numbers. You have to make detailed estimates of the labor costs, material costs, and other specific skew costs. If you’re not precise in your estimates, then you’ll run into some funding roadblocks.
Geremy makes the suggestion of not going through with a property if the exact estimate is higher than 10% more than the original estimate. When Melissa and I were doing it before we got our team, we would know if something was off when we got to the rehab (which wasn’t too fun).
This work does need to be done regardless. And Geremy makes the point that it’s better to get it over with sooner rather than later. It’s better to know what you’re getting into before you start the closing process.
To get your invite to the new Flip Pilot closed Facebook Group, visit the <a href="http://flippilot” target="_blank">Flip Pilot Invitation Page - Click Here</a>.
This vlog, Danny talks expands on what it means to be a Flip Pilot, and what it takes to make measurable progress with your real estate investing business. Don’t forget, all of the vlog episodes (and more) are available on the FlippingJunkie YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/FlippingJunkie
What does it really mean to have a 30,000 foot view of your business? You have to really take a deep look at it and where your business is going, but you also really need to take a look at yourself.
Staying in place without anything driving you personally will affect how your business expands. You need to take a closer look at why you get up in the mornings, what keeps you motivated, and how you’re growing as an entrepreneur.
The biggest concern is making sure you’re not overloading yourself with too many goals that aren’t realistic, or that are too distracting. “Shiny Objects” can get in the way of you developing what you need to for your business to continue to be a success. That’s something that we struggle with. Staying focused and on track, and completing one goal before you move on to the next one is essential for a healthy business.
Stay tuned and be sure to subscribe to the FlippingJunkie Youtube channel: http://youtube.com/flippingjunkie
This vlog, Danny talks about the beginnings of his house flipping business, and the learning curves it took to get the hang of it. Don’t forget, all of the vlog episodes (and more) are available on the FlippingJunkie YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/FlippingJunkie
Learning what to do to run your business the right way takes time, but mostly trial and error. There is a huge difference between running your business and working in your business, and what it takes to be the pilot instead of the crew.
So here’s a story. When Danny first started rehabbing houses, he showed up to his first demo site the day before to get it prepped. He went and personally started taking nails out of the walls so that the sheetrock could be laid properly, thinking he was doing a great job and showing that he has what it takes to be an investor.
And then his mentor showed up, mad. He started telling Danny that it’s not his job to be taking nails out of the wall. Not because he was somehow better, but because he was supposed to be running the business and not working in it.
The takeaway is that as an investor you shouldn’t be swinging the hammers. It’s your job to work on your business, not IN your business - that’s what it means to be a Flip Pilot!
Stay tuned and be sure to subscribe to the FlippingJunkie Youtube channel: http://youtube.com/flippingjunkie
This vlog, Danny talks about the difficulties that running a real estate investing business can cause, like attorneys talking sellers out of deals. Don’t forget, all of the vlog episodes (and more) are available on the FlippingJunkie YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/FlippingJunkie
You know what really grinds my gears? Attorneys. And thieves (but we’ll talk about that second).
Do you ever run into issues with attorneys? For the most part, they’re not too much of an issue, but when they start making sellers or buyers question the deal it gets a little frustrating. For example, the attorney mentioned in the vlog wrote the buyer’s contract in such a way that it, basically, made the contract null. Just a little frustration.
Ok, those thieves. Long story short, our entire website got copied and pasted. Word for word, code for code. Understandably, Danny wasn’t happy. But, after taking a step back and looking at how poorly this is being taken care of, these thieves aren’t as intimidating as they think they are. We won’t get too much into it here. Just know that if Danny isn’t worried, no one else needs to be!
This this vlog, Danny talks about the idea of being the pilot of your flipping business instead of someone working on the ground. Don’t forget, all of the vlog episodes (and more) are available on the FlippingJunkie YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/FlippingJunkie
Are you working in your business or on your business? That might sound like a small difference, but it’s more important than you’d think. If you started your business from the ground up (like most real estate investors have) then you’re the boss. And being the boss means you can’t be spending your time running around within your business. You need to be taking care of things from above - working on your business.
That’s where the idea of being a Flip Pilot comes in. You need to be able to see your business from 30,000 feet up to be able to take it to the places you want to go. So focusing on managing your business means that you’re going to have to give up some of the hands on work to take on the bigger issues.
Let’s break it down. If you’re working in your business, you have to wear a lot of hats. You have to be the marketer, and the hiring manager, and the sales guy, and the foreman, and the legal team, and the boss. It’s too much. If you’re spread too thin then you aren’t replenishing your inventory fat enough to continue to make money.
Take Danny’s example. When he and Melissa were spread too thin, they would focus all of their energy on one property at a time. Which worked, for a little while. But once that property was finished, there was nothing left on deck. So then the marketing had to start all over with nothing generating money in the meantime.
Basically what we’re getting at is, are you switching hats too much in your business or are you taking charge? Be a Flip Pilot, not the ground crew! Let us know what you think in the comments :)