BiggerPockets Podcast 136: Building an Incredible Real Estate Pipeline with Shawn Holsapple

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Having trouble finding good deals? You won’t after this inspiring episode of the BiggerPockets Podcast! Today we bring you an interview with Shawn Holsapple, a real estate investor who is dominating his market, having done over 300 transactions in just the past several years. You’ll learn how Shawn is finding consistent deals and opportunities to keep his deal pipeline flowing!

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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!

In This Episode We Cover:

BiggerPockets-Podcast-Cover 300 300

  • How Shawn got started investing out of the country
  • The certain book and seminar that spurred him to begin
  • How to overcome analysis paralysis
  • Where he gets his active income
  • What wholesaling and “wholetailing” are
  • How many deals he is doing
  • What his team consists of and how he maximizes the use of a VA
  • How to best take advantage of HUDs and the MLS
  • Tips for knowing what to offer when making a deal
  • How Shawn uses online auctions
  • How to figure out the cost of a fix up
  • Shawn’s take on getting a real estate license
  • What you should know about building your portfolio
  • Why Shawn believes you don’t necessarily need a cash buyer’s list
  • A glimpse into how he manages his business
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “You flip for quick cash so that you can buy the buy and holds.” (Tweet This!)
  • “If you can’t sell your deal, then you don’t have a deal.” (Tweet This!)
  • “If you’re not falling down and getting hurt then you are not trying hard enough.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Shawn

About Author

Thanks for checking out the BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing & Wealth Building Podcast. Hosts Joshua Dorkin & Brandon Turner strive to bring top-notch educational content and interviews to our listeners -- without the non-stop pitch prevalent around the industry. With over 180,000 listeners per show, the BiggerPockets Podcast has become the biggest real estate podcast in the world. But don’t take our word for it. We’re the top-rated and reviewed real estate show on iTunes — check it out, read the reviews on iTunes, and get busy listening and learning!


  1. Douglas Bourque

    Excellent podcast! One of my favorites! Shawn, you had some great ideas to share. I am wondering how you determine which properties to bid on on Do you have to do research on the deeds for the foreclosure auctions to make sure that you are buying the “full” property with no liens, encumberances, or former owners still in the houses? I really appreciate your willingness to share.

      • Michael Badin

        Shawn, thanks for taking the time to complete such a great podcast lesson! I have heard of but have zero experience with it. Have you found that the property condition reports/ needed repair costs listed are accurate? Also aren’t the properties on the auction site being wholesaled? Do you then turn and resell to another investor or are these properties usually ones you flip and or buy and hold?

        Thanks again for taking the time to educate us newbies.

        • shawn holsapple

          HUD has property condition reports [that are accurate] but doesn’t usually have any kind of report. Based on past experience, I can usually “guesstimate” the rehab costs and come up with an offer price that fits the worse case scenario.
          Yes, I usually resell them and only cherry pick a few to keep myself.

  2. George Chang

    Great podcast! Shawn, you were extremely informative and I think that this will definitely help other investors out there. I think that you said you disregarded the listing price when you made some offers, and that was based off of one spreadsheet from on of the companies out there.

    Is there another method to do that for a buy & hold property? What I’m thinking of is working backwards/inversing… Like starting out with my desired cash flow, then adding back expenses, then dividing by my desired rate of return?

    Thanks again for the awesome info! This has definitely become one of my favorite ones 🙂

    • shawn holsapple

      I know what a property is worth [rent ready] based on the rental amount it will bring in. I then ‘work backwards” taking in the rehab costs [based on the pictures and area]. This is how I arrive at my max offer price.
      It sounds like you’re on the right track. Good luck!

  3. Timothy Hollems

    Hey Shawn, thanks for the podcast. It was very informative. Your model and approach seems to be yielding some great results.

    We currently have 3 rentals and have generally stuck to the buy and hold strategy (2 of our 3 properties are owned free and clear — though we do have a home equity line of credit that we used to rehab and purchase those 2).

    Though I am not going to quit my day job any time in the foreseeable future (I actually like my day job), I do like the idea of getting my real estate license. I think the advantage of getting access to the MLS, letting myself in to view properties, and making a number of offers would be highly useful — even if I only obtain a property fairly infrequently.

    Could you be so kind as to explain to me how, in Indiana, I would go about getting a real estate license without being associated with a broker? From the little amount of research I have done, it sounds like generally one gets associated with a brokerage before getting a real estate license. We really don’t have an active REA in Muncie where I could pose that sort of question. Thanks for any advise you can lend.

    • shawn holsapple

      In Indiana all “agents” are now “brokers”.
      I would suggest getting your training through a local class provider like Tucker or another local school.
      Then, you would become an associate broker under a principle broker that is investor friendly. This allows you to do everything a broker does without the cost and liability of all the paperwork.
      Yes, you will have to share your commissions but that’s a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things.
      I hope that helps.

  4. Barry Smith

    Shawn, really enjoyed the podcast. I’m interested in speaking to you about issues that I’ve come across related to wholesaling and wholetailing (including on the MLS)… without involving my Broker. I’m an agent just for MLS access, and I am getting pushback from the broker/team leader about this… and wanted to know what you recommend… in order to avoid involving the Broker and having them take any of the wholesale or wholetail fee… state contracts vs. one-pagers to assign, etc. I’m in CA so the laws may not be exactly the same as IN, but I heard on the podcast you are your own broker, and those who are don’t seem to have the issues I am having as an agent. I also heard you say you usually close them first before wholetailing, which would make it easier. At that point, are you listing them on the MLS under your brokerage, or handing them off to another agent for a flat fee of some kind. Do you ever put them under contract and put them on the MLS before closing, selling contingent on getting clear title? Thanks for your help.

    • shawn holsapple

      I am an “associate broker” which is like an agent. This is less paperwork and expense for me – I can be a broker but choose not to.
      Since I own all the properties that I sell – I am selling my own property and there is nothing wrong with not paying my broker a fee for this. Your state might be different.
      I usually don’t list but instead send out to my buyers list to sell.
      If I do list on the MLS, I list it myself through my principle broker.
      I tend not to ever use assignments – I just don’t like not having full control of the property and prefer to use a State purchase agreement. I always close once I have under contract.

      I hope that helps.

  5. Rose San Filippo

    Hi, wow, what a fantabulous podcast! Really enjoyed! So much content. I am also a product of the Rich Dad Seminars…

    So here are my questions from the podcast:

    1 How are you closing on these properties you whole-tail? Private money? Hard Money?
    2. Are you saying you only offer 20 percent of asking price on HUD homes and you sometimes get accepted? Arent they limited to owner-occupant on the first few weeks on market?

  6. Daniel Cruz

    Thanks for the GREAT podcast. My question is:

    When you say that you are funding the HUD deals w/ private money, does that mean you are required to purchase the entire deal from HUD 100% w/ no financing if your offer is accepted?

    Thanks Again!

  7. Richard G.

    Great podcast Shawn- good info given and worth listening to again! Question though – I have been active on the website for my area and have noticed that some of the properties for sale state “Occupancy Status Occupied”? So is this another cost I should consider when making my bids (eviction/court cost) or should I have the mindframe of approaching them and working out a lease agreement or cash for keys, not sure what to think about this? Please advise –

    • shawn holsapple

      Yes, you should figure on several extra dollars to get them out and/or fix it up in case they trash the place when you get them out [I had a guy do $35k in damage to a $50k home!]

      I always try to be fair and offer them to restructure the loan or let them stay…they never accept.

      I usually offer “cash for keys” so they don’t trash the place. Something like $500-$900 if they’re out by next weekend and the place is left in tact and somewhat clean. Again, most don’t take this option.

      In Indiana, they only have 3 days to be out. I usually give them more of course.

      In addition, I’ve found that about half of the “occupied” auction homes are actually vacant…

      Make lots of offers and good luck!

  8. James Green

    Great podcast. I love your business model. I’ve been “looking” at making some offers on HUD homes to wholesale, but your podcast has given me a kick in the pants to stop “looking” and start DOING. I already have a Realtor who had offered to submit my offers.


  9. Sergio R.

    Hello my name is Sergio I want to be a real estate investor since 2013 I know it’s a long time I just been learning and learning and reading I have a question for you how can I invest without using my own money to find cash flow deals I want to buy and hold interested in apartments but I like to know more about the line of credit everyone’s talking about I was wondering if you can give me a little toward the big picture how do I start hope is a work do I just go to the bank and ask for a line of Credit.?

  10. Nicole Heasley

    Hey Josh and Brandon–just wanted to let you that, nearly 3 years later, your quick tips are still helping BP users! I just visited and followed every Ohio forum you have. I’m sure it’s going to speed up my ability to network with other Ohioians here on BP, and I’m very grateful and excited! Thanks for a great show, Shawn!

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