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The REAL Reason Why You Didn’t Buy Any Houses This Month

by James Vasquez on April 26, 2014 · 14 comments

  
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This blog post is about much more than just a catchy title, although I am sure some will criticize the title and say “there are many other reasons why wholesalers & fix & flip investors don’t buy houses”, and they would be correct.

This post is meant to be more of an explanation of what had prevented me from calling myself a wholesaler for several years, and actually meeting directly with motivated sellers & actually buying houses.

8 months ago, I decided to stop buying deals from other wholesalers and on the MLS, because I knew that if I really wanted to cherry pick my fix and flip opportunities and wanted real control over my real estate business, then the only way would be for me to buy houses directly from the source: the home owner.

Fear May Have Control Over You

Fear is one of those things that can keep us from accomplishing anything meaningful, it doesn’t just grip real estate investors. Fear can and does stop us before we even get started. It can wake up with you in the morning and go to bed with you at night….if you let it.

One of the most important lessons that I have learned in my life over the past year that has catapulted me into the next level of real estate investing didn’t cost me any money at all. It is that I consistently need to take an inward look at WHY I AM or WHY I AM NOT taking certain steps towards achieving my goals. At some point as men (and women), I think we just get tired of spending so much time in a dead end relationship with fear.

What Is It You’re Afraid Of?

Like a lot of investors, I had read countless articles about wholesaling and flipping houses for many months (literally). I could write a book on “Wholesaling Houses for Dummies”, but I was the dummy, because I hadn’t taken any action, but more important than realizing that “no action” was a serious problem, I began to ask myself in serious thought and prayer WHY I was not taking action. Soon the answers where right before me, as clear as day. I was afraid. I was afraid of spending money on what I already knew has worked for thousands of investors alike. I knew the marketing budgets, response rates, call to deal ratios, and RIO’s, but still, I remained afraid.

Another aspect that I was afraid of was talking to motivated sellers over the phone and in person. I came to the honest realization as to why I could spend hours putting a mailing together, and thousands of dollars mailing it out, all to just freeze up when the phone finally rang. In all honesty I remember being glad when a caller hung up or told me they didn’t have a house to sell. That’s just plain ridiculous, but a real problem for a lot of investors.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Using Direct Mail Advertising to Grow Your Real Estate Business

How I Began To Be an Over-Comer

There were two very important things that helped me to solve the problem that had prevented my real estate house buying business from succeeding.

First, I had to get out of a position of comfort and put myself into a situation where I had some financial pressure. My wife and I decided that with her income supporting us month in and month out, there was no pressure for me to overcome my obstacles, and to achieve my goals, because even if I didn’t succeed, our mortgage would still be paid on time and our lights would stay on. If I didn’t make a dime all month, we still had plenty of food on the table, and the lifestyle that we had been accustomed to living. I wanted something to push me to accomplish my goals day in and day out, so subsequently, my wife and I decided that she would quit her job, and home school our kids.

Seriously, we actually made that decision, cold turkey. Bold huh? Risky, no doubt. But I had faith that we were making the right decision. At the time, I didn’t have a single deal in the pipeline, just some start-up capital and a passion for real estate and a much, much greater passion to succeed for my family.  From there on out, I put my nose to the grindstone. Every call that came in was about more than the fear that I had, it was about providing financial stability and well-being for my family. Put another way; The Fear of not being able to provide for my family became greater than the Fear of making a fool of myself with a seller or “wasting” money on marketing.

Lastly, looking back, I believe that rebuking negative thoughts of fear and disbelief and self-affirmation about who I was created to be were an integral part of overcoming the fear that held me back from growing my real estate business.

If you haven’t done any deals this month, really examine what it is that you are NOT doing daily to accomplish those goals and tasks, and then take a close inward look at what it is that is preventing you from meeting and exceeding every goal of yours.

Comments? Thoughts? Share ‘em below in the comments!

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Shariyf Grevious April 26, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Great article James but I would appreciate it if you stay out of my brain lol

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Sharon Tzib April 27, 2014 at 7:16 am

You do have a lot of courage to burn your boats like that! Once you prove to yourself you can do something, your fear is all but a distant memory. Congrats!

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James Vasquez April 27, 2014 at 8:05 am

That’s true Sharon…gotta build that confidence! Thanks for sharing.

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James Vasquez April 27, 2014 at 8:04 am

Shariyf, Glad you enjoyed the article, and yeah, I think a lot of us have gone through similar situations. Take Care.

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Clayton Brown April 27, 2014 at 11:55 pm

James, thanks for the great article! I absolutely enjoy reading articles like this because they are so encouraging. I’m facing a similar situation and about to make the full-time leap into real estate investing and leaving a good paying job. So much of what you wrote describes times in my life. (I completely understand the feeling of getting calls from mailers) Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more from you.

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James Vasquez April 28, 2014 at 9:37 am

Thanks for the comments Clayton….I’m glad that you found this article encouraging…cause I really believe that encouragement is the fuel for passion. Glad to hear that you’re about to make that leap in to full time real estate investing, it’s an exciting time for you, I’m sure.

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Lisa DuFaux April 28, 2014 at 7:14 am

I can relate to a lot of this and I’m glad to know I’m not the only crazy one who took the leap (maybe sooner than it was “safe” to do.) I left a 20 year corporate job at the end of 2012 to go full time. Now we are talking about having my husband leave his job too. I still don’t feel out of the woods yet financially, but we’re getting there :)

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James Vasquez April 28, 2014 at 9:42 am

That’s awesome Lisa! It’s great to read stories like yours of people who have been able to successfully make the transition from the corporate setting to full-time investing; It’s very encouraging to us all. Pretty cool about your husband possibly making that move too…I’m sure when the time is just right, you’ll know it ; )

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Mike April 28, 2014 at 11:21 am

Hi James:

Enjoyed the article. I am in a similar situation–I don’t have enough time to work my side business for it to get any traction, but I am to afraid to leave my job.

Curious–I have always wondered if leaving cold turkey like that would come across in my voice, demeanor, personality, etc. as desperate and if I would fail because of sounding desperate. Has this been your experience? Are you more or less confident now? How did you come up with a plan and schedule, and are you sticking to it and did it help?

Thank you!

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James Vasquez April 28, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Mike, thanks for your comments. To answer your questions, Yes, I think it’s absolutly possible that the pressure to put a deal under contract with a motivated seller can cause a person to come across as desperate. That was actually one of my major concerns when getting started talking with motivated sellers and knowing that I needed to close a deal fast. The reality is this. As investors, it’s the marketing that brings the leads that turn into appointments, that turn into offers, that turn into deals. We will stumble, we will make mistakes, we may even sound a little desperate, but in my opinion, none of that matters as much as the amount of consistent marketing that we do.

I say this because, if a seller is truly motivated, they don’t care how motivated you are. They simply want a solution to their problem. With a truly motivated seller, you will not be under the microscope, they will. That is what I have seen day in and day out. When you are dealing with a seller that MUST sell their house quickly, then you won’t need to care about sounding desperate.

The way to get in front of truly motivated sellers, is to market consistently and effectively. If the phone is ringing enough, then deals WILL be had, regardless of skill level. The key is to have a budget to market and to pay your normal expenses for at least 3 months, consistently. Just my experience.

Hope that helps Mike.

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Mike April 28, 2014 at 12:23 pm

That is awesome and makes perfect sense, thank you. What is your primary source of marketing, and what kind of budget are you projecting it will take for the 3+ months?

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James Vasquez April 28, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Mike, I don’t know what your market is like in your area, but when I got started, post cards to absentee owners worked best…$1,500/m was a good starting budget for me…Since then, I try to spend at least $2,000/m in Direct Mail.

Lisa DuFaux April 28, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Mike, to add to James’ response, your concern is understandable but I have actually found the opposite to be true. When you are full time, you are able to generate more leads and handle more deals. The more opportunities you have in the pipeline, the less desperate you feel. I have found it much easier to pass on those that don’t fit my criteria. When I was still working full time, I would fnd myself desperately trying to make a deal work just because I didn’t have anything else going!

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Mike April 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Very helpful, thank you all.

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