BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast

BiggerPockets Podcast 137: How to Use Systems to Scale Your Real Estate Business with Sam Craven

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On this episode of the BiggerPockets Podcast, we want to introduce you to a real estate investor who has figured out the secret to scaling his business: systems. Sam Craven, who was last on the BiggerPockets Podcast back on show 33, shares with us the processes he has implemented that have enabled him to build a team, putting him on track to buy nearly 100 homes this year. You’ll love the humor, the advice, and the examples Sam brings to the show and will walk away with new ideas to scale your own business.

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This Show Sponsored By

We just waRealtySharesnted to give a shout out to our podcast sponsor on today’s show: RealtyShares. RealtyShares is a crowdfunding platform that allows you to invest in professionally managed properties without leaving your living room!

Learn more by visiting!

Fire Round Sponsorfreshlogo

A huge thanks as well to our Fire Round sponsor FreshBooks.
FreshBooks customers spend less time on paperwork, freeing up 2 days per month to focus on the work they love. What would you do with that extra time?

Learn more by visiting FreshBooks.

In This Episode We Cover:

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  • Sam’s progress since the last time he was on the show
  • What his business model looks like
  • Why he identifies as a “customer service business
  • The importance of building processes
  • What the people in his company do
  • The vital importance of systemizing your business
  • How to create a “franchise-able” business
  • Why you should start with the end in mind
  • How to use diversified methods in marketing
  • What exactly high equity mailers are
  • How they finance their deals
  • The worst deal Sam’s ever done
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “People call us because they have a problem that they need to be solved.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Anyone who joins our company always have to fill out a goal sheet as well.” (Tweet This!)
  • “One of the joys of growing a business is trying stuff and seeing if it works.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Sam

Sam’s Camping Photos

sam craven camp 1 sam craven camp 2 sam craven camp 4 sam craven camp 3

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 investo...
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    Stephanie Garcia from Sacramento, California
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Sam Craven from Houston, TX
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Thanks Stephanie! You forget about the sheer drop when taking in the scenery lol.
    Doug Markworth Investor from Rapid City, South Dakota
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Excellent podcast. I really like the business model around helping people with house problems
    Sam Craven from Houston, TX
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Thanks Doug, that’s our mantra we hammer home every day!
    Noah Brandon from Lafayette, Louisiana
    Replied about 5 years ago
    I like that everyone who joins your team fills out a goal sheet for themselves. I can see how it really helps them put things into perspective as they begin working there.
    Sam Craven from Houston, TX
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Thanks Noah, along with perspective, it also forces them to DREAM. Something i had to learn to do and has had a huge impact on my life.
    Pat Ayres Investor from Saint Louis, Missouri
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Brandon, You were asking for advice on your House with the bad window trim that is rotting out. You mentioned the homeowner is a friend & he makes molding and trim? Ask him to have a contractor, who buys molding and trim from him, to do the work, for credit for future molding or trim. Or ask that YOU get some credit on molding & trim. -pat
    Adrian Smude Rental Property Investor from Plant City, FL
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Great podcast! I love the business model of finding a way to help each person that contacts you. This is what I’ve been trying to become! I also love the community sign idea, I’d love to hear an update on how this is working.
    Sam Craven from Houston, TX
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Thanks Adrian, after 6 months we will determine if the Community Marketing Program worked.
    Jake Charles Rental Property Investor from Bath, ME
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Love the Landcruiser, Great podcast too!
    Karen A. from Houston, Texas
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Your dedication to “helping customers” is admirable. As I listened to the podcast, I appreciated hearing repeated references to your company’s commitment to providing excellent customer service. In my opinion, providing customers with excellent customer service is key. Your success demonstrates that it is possible to thrive in the real estate investing arena while maintaining a firm commitment to helping others.
    Sam Craven from Houston, TX
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Really appreciate the kind words Karen. We love it when we all win!
    Ivan Aceves from Anaheim, California
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Great show and even more amazing pictures. Wow!
    Sam Craven from Houston, TX
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Thanks so much Ivan!
    Eugene Ridenour Investor from Los Angeles, California
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Hi Sam.. Great podcast. you mentioned that you use a CRM tool for tracking your leads.. Can you share which CRM tool you use and any other tools that are helpful. thank you!
    Sam Craven from Houston, TX
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    We use Zoho. Its not one of their out of the box offerings, its taken a lot of work to adapt to our business as we grow but it works great now.
    Shane Rupe Investor from Grand Island, Florida
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Sam, What a phenomenal podcast and business you have established! You are certainly mastering the scalability of your business which will only make your organization more successful. The information you have provided is great and very helpful. I really enjoyed this podcast, thank you!
    Sam Craven from Houston, TX
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Really glad you liked it Shane and thanks so much for the kind words.
    Erika Carter Residential Real Estate Broker from Chicago, IL
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Great episode and awesome pics!!!!
    Sam Craven from Houston, TX
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Thanks so much Erika, glad you enjoyed it.
    Meghan Reed Investor from West Suffield, Connecticut
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Great podcast, Sam! I love that you’re passionate not only about scaling your business and making a profit but also about helping the homeowners. I’m also suddenly very curious about overlanding. It looks like a bit of a step up from the camping my hubby and I do with our pop-up. Thanks for sharing the awesome pics.
    Johnny Kang Specialist from New York, NY
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Sam, You mentioned you don’t send out yellow letters to high-equity list anymore, due to the competition. Can you share what list you do send these days? (probate, vacant, fire damaged, etc.; and also let me know where you get those leads from? I’ve been using List Source. I wholesale properties in NYC, and I’m looking to buy rental properties in smaller cities since I can get a better return on my money. I’ve also found sending yellow letters to high-equity is getting tough. (probably also has to do with the fact that this is a seller’s market as well.) Thanks. Johnny
    Patrick Roob Rental Property Investor from Mundelein, Illinois (IL)
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Hey there Sam! Great job on this podcast! I absolutely loved your drive to build a business that you can work on, rather than need to work in. I am currently in the process of working to automate a few things myself, when it comes to areas like tenant HVAC or maintenance issues, by setting up google phone numbers which route to subcontractors with pre negotiated rates, what are your thoughts there? Thanks! Patrick
    Oleg Shalumov Rental Property Investor from Teaneck, NJ
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Sam, Thank you for the great podcast (also the camping pictures are phenomenal). You mentioned about “building processes”, can you please give more details on the processes? Thank you in advance, Oleg