BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast

BiggerPockets Podcast Show 91: Getting Started as a Real Estate Wholesaler with Ben Grise

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Getting your first few real estate deals can be exceptionally tough — which is why today we wanted to introduce you to an investor who is just wrapping up his first INCREDIBLE year as a wholesaler: Ben Grise.
During his first year, Ben earned more from wholesaling than most Americans earn from their jobs — all while working a separate full time job, getting married, and having a baby! If you find yourself stressed, overworked and unsure of how to fit everything into your life — this is a “can’t miss” episode!

Read the Transcript

Click here to read the transcript.

Listen to The Show on iTunes

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Listen to the Podcast Here

In This Show We Cover:

  • What is WholesalingBiggerPockets-Podcast-Cover 300 300
  • How Ben went from poker star to wholesaling newbie
  • Why Ben chose wholesaling to get into real estate
  • The one trait a person needs to have to be successful at wholesaling
  • Ben’s first deal and his regret about his offer
  • How to tell your motivated sellers about your wholesaling profit
  • Why wholesalers get a bad rap
  • How Ben manages his time
  • 5 automation tools Ben uses to streamline his business
  • The importance of being a great marketer
  • Ben’s plan going forward to grow his business
  • Using SEO to attract free leads
  • The most effective marketing technique for Ben
  • And lots more!

Links from the Show:

The 5 Automation Tools Ben Uses

Books Mentioned in the Show 

Blogs Mentioned in the Show

Connect with Ben

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Real strategies that work for real people seeking to build wealth through real estate investments. Co-hosted by Brandon Turner and David Greene, this podcast provides actionable advice from investors and other real estate professionals, who chat about failures, successes, motivations, and lessons learned.

    Matt Rodriguez
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Great podcast yet again. I am currently getting my marketing budget together and will begin marketing via direct mail soon. Hearing these episodes is very inspirational. Thank you Josh, Brandon and Ben. Market like a wholesaler and you will always find the best deals!
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Thanks Matt! We appreciate it.
    Ben
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Thanks Matt! Good luck with your direct mail campaign. Make sure you are ready for the calls to come in because they will!
    DangerMan
    Replied about 5 years ago
    I can’t seem to find the 10 year anniversary page, keep getting 404s. Link?
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Hey Danger, it should be working now – https://www.biggerpockets.com/10years Thanks!
    Rodney Kuhl
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Great stuff, Ben! Keep up the good work. I told you that you wouldn’t sound like a noob!
    Ben Grise
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Thanks Rodney, and thanks for all the help you’ve provided along the way. Looking forward to doing some deals with you!
    Tyrone Green
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Thanks for the awesome podcast guys. Great info Ben, very inspirational.
    Ben Grise
    Replied about 5 years ago
    I’m glad you enjoyed it Tyrone. I hope it inspires you to take action and start finding deals! They are out there.
    Anthony Bostic
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Hey Guys, Thank you so much for these I listen to them everyday. You guys have taught me so much and you keep me motivated. Ben Great Job very inspirational Thank you sir.
    Ben Grise
    Replied about 5 years ago
    I too have learned a lot from the Podcast and have been inspired from them. Keep on listening and implement what you learn from them. Reply Report comment
    Ben Grise
    Replied about 5 years ago
    I too have learned a lot from the Podcast and have been inspired from them. Keep on listening and implement what you learn from them.
    Ben Grise
    Replied about 5 years ago
    I too have learned a lot from the Podcast and have been inspired from them. Keep on listening and implement what you learn from them. Reply Report comment
    Kenneth B
    Replied about 5 years ago
    This was another great podcast Ben. I listened while at work yesterday and will be listening again tomorrow, this time with a pen and paper. I was left with one question for you. If you were to explain your three strategies to a seller and sign a contract, what would happen if you couldn’t find an end buyer and couldn’t pick up the property yourself? I suppose you haven’t come across this but do you have a plan if this happens? Again, great podcast and your an inspiration to us noobs.
    Ben Grise
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Kenneth, That’s a great question. My biggest piece of advice is to only get a property under contract if you think you can sell it to your end buyer. That means you have to know your numbers and know it’s a good deal. If you’re unsure, then maybe you shouldn’t use a purchase agreement. I know some wholesalers who use an option contract. If you do this you just want to disclose to your seller that this is only an option to purchase and doesn’t mean that you are required to purchase. Make sure the seller knows that there is a possibility that you may not exercise your option. Again, I know I stressed it on the podcast, rapport building and disclosing everything will save you a lot of potential trouble down the road.
    Cheryl P
    Replied about 5 years ago
    This was the best pod cast I have listened to so far. You guys gave a lot of great information and specific detail to get started in wholesaling. Outstanding job.
    Ben Grise
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Cheryl, Thank you for the kind words. And to think that I was worried that I may not be able to provide value to the community. It makes me feel good knowing that you got some value from it. Good luck with your wholesaling endeavors!
    Derek
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Great show. Thanks guys. Ben, curious to know more about your budget for direct mail, number of mailers per month, hit ratio, etc. I was surprised those topics did not come up. Thank you for any additional info you will provide.
    Ben Grise
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Derek, There’s only so much time they allow in a Podcast and with Brandon rambling on about his dog 😉 we didn’t have much time to cover those topics. In my first mailer I sent out about 950 letters and received around 60 responses. Of those 60 responses I closed two deals. I hope that helps! Keep in mind I’m still new at this and have only been doing it for a year. My sample size isn’t large enough to be reliable. I’m sure if you search the forums you’ll find valuable discussions surrounding your question.
    Collin Goodwin
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Ben, Great Info… I really appreciate the details of your processes. Since the Podcast I have really dug into Podio and realize what a great tool it can be. My question to you: are you able to set up your lead collection app in a way that it automatically populates specific fields (name address,etc…) with the transcribed email from Vumblr? Or do you simply use it as a platform to listed to the info and manually populate the fields? Thanks in advance
    Ben Grise
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Collin, That’s a good question. The answer is, I haven’t found a way to populate addresses from the voicemail from Vumber. I’m guessing that would involve some voice recognition software, and if you’ve ever used Google Voice you’ll learn that voice recognition software from voicemail doesn’t get transcribed too accurately. However the phone number and the MP3 file of the voicemail does get attached to the seller lead that is created in Podio. That article Brandon asked me to publish will be out soon, hopefully it helps you understand the process a little better. If not, feel free to PM me.
    Dave G.
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Great podcast guys. Would like to know if Ben has techniques for building rapport and sales skills. Might be a good podcast topic.
    Ben Grise
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Thanks Dave! The only technique I use, is to ask sellers about their situation when the house, their jobs, their goals, etc. This gets a good conversation started. There’s no magic recipe. Just get the sellers talking, listen, and respond appropriately.
    Kim Handelman
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Ben, Your business model is exactly what I am looking to do. My BIGGEST problem is systemization so this podcast NAILED IT! I will be looking into the different software you use and look for the post you said you were going to post on your process (no pressure;). As for Josh and Brandon, LOVE IT EVERY WEEK!
    Ben Grise
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Thank you Kim. It means a lot knowing that you took some value away from the podcast. I’ll be publishing the article soon. If you have any questions after reading, feel free to PM me.
    Zach
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Just catching up on my podcasts and I finished this excellent one! Did you guys ever put together a PDF of Ben’s automation process? I can’t seem to find it on this page but I might have missed it….
    Ben Grise
    Replied about 5 years ago
    I’m working on finishing the article as we speak. There are so many moving parts, that it was a little tough writing an article summarizing the process, but I’m almost finished. Keep in mind that it’s just a summary. If you have some higher level questions Zach feel free to PM me. Stay tuned to the Blog and Newsletter and I’m sure when it gets released you will find the link there.
    Laurabell
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Great podcast – I plan on listening again when I can write down key notes. I have been trying to get my REI business off the ground since April and having a tough time in So. Cal. My biggest desire is to help out those in tough situations, while building my business so that I can leave a legacy to my daughters, retire and be able to move closer to my daughters and grandchildren. Thank you so much for the inspiring words!
    Ben Grise
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Laurabell, I’m glad you enjoyed the show. Keep learning and applying what you learn by taking action. The best way to learn is to start sending letters and talking with sellers. Good luck!
    Shane
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Awesome podcast Ben and great to hear what you’ve been able to achieve in such a short period of time. I’m very much a tech head and once everything starts to take place for me, I’ll definitely be looking for tech related ways to streamline my business. How will we know when your blog is posted?
    Ben Grise
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Shane, Subscribe to the BiggerPockets newsletter and when it gets published you’ll know about it there. It’s basically just an overview of the systems. There are a lot of moving parts to many of the applications I’m using and of course it would take more than one blog post, if not a video presentation to understand it all. If you have some higher level questions after the article is published feel free to PM me. Ben
    Vanessa
    Replied about 5 years ago
    I love this podcast exactly what I needed. I will be listening to this again heard it on my drive to work. Thank you Ben,Brandon and Josh!! I just started investing in wholesaling and these system with save me a lot of time. Looking forward to the article coming out. Vanessa
    Corey Liepelt
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Ben, you mentioned that you always disclose to your seller that you are buying the property from them with the intent of making money on it, either by renting, rehabbing, or wholesaling. I don’t recall whether you mentioned this, but do you ask the seller to sign a formal acknowledgement of that fact? If so, would you mind sharing that document? Of course sharing such a document would come with the caveat that you’re not an attorney, and we should run it by our own attorney to make sure it’s in compliance with local laws. 🙂
    Stephen
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Great podcast. Love the way you guys broke it down for the people just getting started in wholesaling. Very detailed and basic…..I’m sure it will help them. Keep it up
    Billy Cones
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Enjoyed the podcast and tips on Whole Selling.
    Theresa
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Can I get a copy of the letter he mailed out? Also, how did he find his 3 buyers that he works with? What type of investors are they?Are they friends or people he marketed a service to?
    Ben G. Investor from Indianapolis, Indiana
    Replied about 5 years ago
    I networked locally and in person at local REIA meetups to find my 3 buyers Theresa! They are buy and hold investors and fix and flip investors. No they were not friends and family.
    Brian R.
    Replied about 5 years ago
    I can’t tell you how inspiring this was. I’ve been on BiggerPockets for less than a week and this was the first podcast I listened to. Although I don’t have the same career background as Ben, the similarities in our situations are uncanny. In the last year I got married, bought a house with my wife and now, too, have a 2 month old! Which is the main motivating factor in getting a business like this going. I have a steady 9 to 5 that I don’t plan on quitting any time soon, but I won’t get rich from it either. It’s good to know that solid success can come from part-time work. Keep up the good work, Ben!
    Ben G. Investor from Indianapolis, Indiana
    Replied about 5 years ago
    You are in a similar boat as me Brian. I encourage you to take in all the content you can from BiggerPockets and apply what you learn. Who knows? You may just quit your 9 to 5 sooner than later if that’s what you desire!
    William B
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Hey Ben, Awesome Podcast! Thank you for the systems information. I am trying to set up Podio and would appreciate knowing what Podio app you used to start the lead management system chain of events. I’m looking forward to the BiggerPockets Newsletters laying out the entire system. Thanks again, very helpful! William Tampa, FL
    Ben G. Investor from Indianapolis, Indiana
    Replied about 5 years ago
    I’m happy that you enjoyed the podcast William and took some value away from it. If you’re looking for more information about the tools mentioned in the podcast, you can find them here: https://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2014/10/18/7-intuitive-tech-tools-to-streamline-wholesaling-business/
    Jordan Solomon Investor from Westchester County, New York
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Hi Ben, Hope you’re still reading comments to this podcast. I, myself, am looking to get into wholesaling, and time management is a concern for me as well (am I’m sure it is for most people). The tools you mention certainly sound interesting, but one thing I will say is that they seem all basically involve pertain to taking calls from sellers and just plain-old organization. While that’s certainly a factor, what concerns me the most is things such as visiting and evaluating the property, and then showing it to my buyers once I get it under contract. What I’ll ask you then is how do you manage THAT aspect of the business while working a full-time job (and poker and a family!)? Thanks.
    Ben G. Investor from Indianapolis, Indiana
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Jordan, I apologize for the delay, I was no longer getting email reminders about comments. Better late than never. Your concerns did become an issue, and that’s why I’ve since quit the full-time job, and now I focus 80% on my wholesaling business, and the other 20% on poker. My free time is mostly spent with family and friends! You have to be real good at time management in the beginning, and you can sort of determine how much time you have to spend in the business, by staggering your letter campaigns. Hope that helps!
    Jonathan Orana from Santa Clara, California
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Just listened to this podcast and would like to thank Ben for sharing his automation process.. Great podcast… BP you are awesome!!!!!!
    Ben G. Investor from Indianapolis, Indiana
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Jonathan, I’m glad you enjoyed it, if you search the site in the top right corner for “Podio” I’m sure you’ll find even more valuable automation tools. Thanks, Ben
    Harry Zhang
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Hey guys, I’m one of the founders of Lob. Thanks for putting together this great webcast and thanks for all the referrals that have come as a result. We noticed that things were a bit clunky with integrations with Iduzzit, etc. We are getting ready to launch our Zapier integration that will be supported and are looking for users to help us test before we release it globally. If you are interested – please shoot me an email [email protected]. Thanks! Harry
    Ben G. Investor from Indianapolis, Indiana
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Harry, I want to thank you for all the help along the way, and I should be in touch soon to update my integrations. BP Users, if you’re looking for an easy way to send letters with the click of a button using your CRM, I highly recommend Harry and the rest of the team at Lob.com Customer service is excellent! Ben
    Brian Curran from Kew Gardens, New York
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    “I should see if I can get a robot co-host.” …too funny. =)
    John McConnell Information Systems and Cyber Security Manager – US ARMY from Nashua, New Hampshire
    Replied over 4 years ago
    This podcast is so amazing. This one in particular was packed with info. I keep asking myself if finding a wholesaler and working with them to find tried and true solid buy and hold deals. The automation tools geared for wholesaling are also super awesome! I’m sure they can be used for many other applications even outside of rei. Thanks for all of this!
    Ben G. Investor from Indianapolis, Indiana
    Replied over 4 years ago
    John, I appreciate the kind words. I’ve come a long way since then, and plan on sharing my story soon in the BP blog so stay tuned. I’ve since quit my job as an EMR consultant and am focusing most of my time on Wholesaling and the other 20-30% on poker. I love poker, so it’s hard for me to give it up, but I understand that the ultimate way to create wealth is through real estate investing, and I love it! Yes, Podio is great for automation. Ben
    Brian N. from Raleigh, North Carolina
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Ben, thanks for pulling together your experiance and writing out your processes. I am ~new to Investing and prefer buy and hold investments. Along the way I’ve come to realize that I need to begin using wholesaling techniques to locate properties for my portfolio. Since you’ve started this post have you changed any of your processes or have you come across other apps that reduce the amount of steps it takes for you to acquire properties. Also I don’t remember reading about this nor hearing it from your podcast, but do you use a list service to find properties, what categories if so? Thanks.
    Andy H. Investor from Stockdale , Texas
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Ben- Just listened to your podcast. Thanks for sharing the automation tools you use! So many times you hear people mention the importance of setting up systems and processes to simplify their business, but they never go into detail about what systems or processes they are using. We’re buy and hold investors, but are looking into direct mail marketing to start generating more leads. Regarding podio, are there some apps you can recommend from their app store? Or did you create your own apps?
    Ben G. Investor from Indianapolis, Indiana
    Replied over 3 years ago
    No problem Andy! Checkout Investorfuse.com
    Jessie Flo from Woodstock, Illinois
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Hi Ben! This was a great podcast! I took a lot of notes. I’m very new to BP and just getting ready to start on real estate investor so I’m trying to learn as much as I can. To me it sounds like you need to have a buyer identified, is that correct? If so can you talk a little bit about how you found the 3 buyers you work with. Thanks!
    Ben G. Investor from Indianapolis, Indiana
    Replied over 3 years ago
    You have to network. Do a keyword search on BP for the city you want to invest in and start to network with investors in your city.
    Joan Soto from Pembroke Pines, Florida
    Replied over 3 years ago
    WOW Ben I’ve listened to lots of BP podcasts and this is the one I can relate to the most! I’m just starting as a wholesaler with a full time job, a home-based business my wife runs, and homeschooling 2 children! Your story doesn’t only give me hope, but what gets me even more fired up is you taped this podcast with only 5 deals under your belt and still worked full time, so I looked you up and saw that you’re now a full time wholeseller! I’m looking foward to connecting with you and learning from you. Thanks!!
    Ben G. Investor from Indianapolis, Indiana
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I’m glad that this podcast has inspired you Joan. BP is an amazing resource. Take advantage of what it has to offer. Yes, I’m full-time now with two team members!