BiggerPockets Podcast 236: From Tragedy to Broke to $400,000 a Month with Lance Wakefield

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How does one scale a real estate investing business to hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit in under two years? That’s the topic on today’s episode of The BiggerPockets Podcast, where you’ll hear just how Lance Wakefield, a real estate wholesaler in the Dallas area, accomplished that amazing feat. You’ll hear Lance’s powerful story of hitting rock bottom through numerous tragedies that hit him all at once and the devastation that caused—but you’ll also hear how he went from having just $3,500 to his name to earning over $400,000 in profit in less than 18 months. This show is motivating, educational, powerful, and moving—so don’t miss a moment of it. This is one show you’ll want to bookmark and listen to over and over and over again!

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • What Lance did before real estate investing
  • How he learned to flip homes at the age of 15
  • The concept of “house hacking” car dealerships
  • The life tragedies that led him to lose everything
  • Why stupid deals provide priceless teaching moments
  • How to achieve massive success in just 21 months
  • Why he teamed up with his wife
  • The story behind their first deal
  • What to know about the 2% Rule
  • What you get when you spend $50k/month on marketing
  • How to build out your processes
  • How to obtain the right mailing list
  • The software he uses to build his deal funnel
  • How he determines the needs of the seller
  • How to make real estate investing a business
  • What’s next for Lance
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Fire Round Questions

Tweetable Topics:

  • “It was stupid to do as a deal. But as a learning experience, it was priceless.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Our goal is to meet the need of the seller.” (Tweet This!)
  • “When you are not focusing on the revenue, you are focusing on the wrong thing.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Negotiation is everything. It is the key to real estate.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Lance

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. Gregg Hutton

    Listen to the episode during lunch, It was fire!! Personally, It was good for me as I strive for my goals during adversity (Episode 157 is next in my queue) . I appreciate the advice on negotiating while building my systems.

    • lance wakefield

      Thanks man, when things are tough you learn what you are really made of. It’s like in the movies when someone is getting their butt kicked in the fight but they keep getting back up and you’re thinking to yourself “stay down” The face that they get back up shows what they are made of. I wasn’t talking about being literally beat up, but I was ruined as a human in summer of 2014. It was really hard but I am so happy God helped me pick myself back up again.

  2. Agnes Kamau

    This podcast has really challenged me. The point to focus on one thing and be an expert at it was great advice….”Revenue first position” is now my favorite business phrase, really puts things in perspective.

    Random 6!

  3. Kim Stofan

    Thanks for another awesome inspiring podcast, Lance. I was wondering if you double close with your wholesale deals or if you just assign the contract and the end buyer closes. Do you give an earnest money deposit when you put the houses under contract? Do you require an earnest money deposit from your end buyers? Congrats on your success! Very inspiring!

    • lance wakefield

      Thanks I am glad you enjoyed it! We double close deals, we do assignments and we close and list on the MLS it all depends on the deal and situation. We do give our sellers earnest money. It is a negotiable amount. Generally is pretty low. On the other hand the earnest money from our buyer is very high. We want to put ourself in the best position possible, while treating others fairly.

  4. Jeromy Boutte

    Lance, congrats on overcoming your adversities that life threw at you, and for building such a successful wholesale business in such a short time! Thank you for sharing your incredible story and all the advice.

    Another informative and incredibly inspiring podcast… Great job BP!!!

    • lance wakefield

      Well thanks! Thats really kind of you to say. When we finished the recording my wife was like, “How did it go?” and I was like, “Good, I think, but I think I was a little too mean to @Brandon Turner”
      and she said, “Everyone is mean to Brandon so I am sure you’ll be fine.”

      BRANDON IS THE MAN haha thanks for putting up with me man.

  5. Ricardo Murph II

    I loved this podcast. The biggest part for me was the mindset shift I received. Referencing the book the “The One Thing” Lance has set a new benchmark for me. Over 100K in postcards, average 22K per deal and over 20 deals a month! I now have changed my mindset to match this new benchmark of achievement. I will have to change my business to I achieve this level of success and greater. I will be picking up Trump-Style Negotiation this weekend. Thank you Lance and the BiggerPockets team.

  6. Gustavo Munoz Castro

    I heard Scott mention that he compiles a list of the best cities for investors and that DFW was at at the top the last couple of years. Where can I see those lists?
    Thanks, awesome episode and amazing what Lance has been able to do. I want to be in business with him!

    • lance wakefield

      Thanks! I try to keep everyone winning and if that can’t happen i don’t engage in the deal. One thing we run into from time to time is people not holding up their end of the deal. I am also very very strict about that because people often mistake kindness for weakness.

  7. Rod Hanks

    Hi Lance, great story and congratulations on your success. I just listened to the podcast and I’m fired up and ready to go. I’ve received a number of your postcards on properties I own and it was great to hear your story. Much success in the future!

  8. Virginia F.

    Hi Lance,

    This is absolutely one of my favorite shows. Listened to twice already. I highly recommend others to listen to this as an important show. You really show strength in character by overcoming your adversities. I admire your company philosophy and the way you motivate your employees. Some people motivate their employees by fear, but I see you motivating them by success. I also like that you have compassion for your clients. You don’t accept a deal unless its beneficial for both parties. Great show, great energy, great human kindness in general. I wish was in business with him!

  9. Art Veal

    Hello Lance,

    Really enjoyed your podcast, it was inspiring. After listening to it a few times I had a question or 2.

    1. Do you usually fund deals to close them or do you just write the paper and sell it before closing?

    2. FInally, how did you “partner” with a direct marketer to learn best practices? Can you explain a little further?

    I was inspired by your story and it really resonated with me when you said people don’t focus on 1 aspect of the business. I sometimes have that same problem and find myself venturing into unexpected places. Your story was very candid.

    Thanks for the podcast and I hope you continue to do well.

  10. Matt Pulliam

    Great podcast. I have a question about one of the things Lance said and hope someone can help me wrap my head around it. I think I understand it, but want to be certain since it is crucial.

    @lancewakefield states at around 34 mins in, that (paraphrasing) “cost to build new in DFW was $65-85/sq ft, and there were properties you could buy that would sell for $100/sq ft and, after rehab, would sell for $200/sq ft…and to build new is 60-85, so there’s this money left here”

    So, did Lance focus on those $100/sq ft houses and wholesale them to others who could rehab for the 60-80 and make the 200/sq ft, i.e. the difference was where the flipper made great money? Or was he focusing on buying land there and selling to new builders who could build for 65-85 and sell for 200/sq ft?

    I’m just trying to figure out how he “exploited” this so I can figure out deal-spotting of this variety. Thanks in advance for any feedback.

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