Brandon: This is the BiggerPockets podcast show 332.
‘Adam: As legitimately as I can say it, I started helping people regardless of what the outcome was for me and it is crazy because we bought more houses and made more money and we helped a lot of people in the process.’
You are listening to a BiggerPockets Radio. Simplifying real estate for investors large and small. If you are here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype, you are in the right place. Stay tuned and be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from BiggerPockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.
Brandon: Hey, what is going on everyone? This is Brandon Turner, host of the BiggerPockets podcast. Here with my co-host David Greene. David Greene, welcome to the BiggerPockets podcast, buddy. How are you doing?
David: Thank you, thank you. I am doing great. I just got back from hanging out with you in Hawaii. I got a nice tan going on.
Brandon: Yes, you did.
David: I am refreshed.
Brandon: Well, good. You have a great, what is the word? Farmer’s tan. You had a nice look and I took that picture, remember? I will not show to anybody. It is pretty great though.
David: It looks like I am wearing a white tank top when I have no shirt. It is bad.
Brandon: No, I think you smooth that out the last day. It was good. No, we had a blast. We had a lot of fun. Went to a Luau together. Actually, Kevin, who is our producer here, Kevin is actually on the call with us right now but he always hides his face but Kevin is here. Kevin was out, so as Jake. He is our new head of pro at BiggerPockets. He was out there and then of course Ryan Murdoch and the five of us went to a Luau together which was actually a ton of fun. Yes, it was great. Thank you for coming out.
David: That is why we love real estate because you can work from anywhere in the country and Hawaii is not a bad place to work from.
Brandon: It is not a bad place to work from. Yes, we had some good time masterminding on the future of the BiggerPockets podcast. Got some new technology, got some new microphones.
David: Oh, and we made a video. When do we drop them out?
Brandon: We made it. I do not know, soon. I do not know if maybe it is out, maybe it is not. Anyway, lots of good video content. We are pumping out a lot of stuff. Check that out, of course, over on the BiggerPockets YouTube page and subscribe there. But that is actually not our Quick Tip today. Now, it is time for our Quick Tip.
David: Quick Tip.
Brandon: Alright. Today’s Quick Tip is if you are a landlord, if you are somebody that owns even one rental property, BiggerPockets actually has a page on the site dedicated to help you with some different resources. Just go to the tools, like on the navigation bar on BiggerPockets, go to tools dropdown to landlord resources and you will find a links to different resources that can help you. Different companies, we have some partnerships with different people, tenant screening, property management, software, stuff like that. Again, check it out. There is also an ultimate tenant screening and guide that I wrote a few years back. We put that on there as well. Again, if you are a landlord, check that out. We just want to make life a little bit easier for you landlords.
Alright, now, before we get to the show, let us get to today’s show sponsor.
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Brandon: Alright, thanks to our sponsors always. Finally, lastly, before we get to today’s show, David, I just want to let you know something. I had a great time with you out here in Hawaii so thank you for joining me. I wanted you to know I appreciate you, dude.
David: Thank you, Brandon. The feeling is mutual and we would like to bring more people into this awesome circle that we have been able to build of using real estate to fuel a perfect life.
Brandon: Perfect life. I do not know if I will call it that but we are working there. Alright, dude. Well, thank you and I guess that is all I got. Make sure you guys rate and review this show, the BiggerPockets podcast. Make sure you are listening to the money show, the business show and hanging out on our social media channels. Without further ado, I want to bring in today’s guests.
Today’s guests are Adam Johnson and Brent Moreno. Two dudes that are just really crushing it down in Mississippi with their real estate. They have done almost over 60 some deals last year, on check for a hundred deals this year. Their systems are just phenomenal. You guys are going to be blown away by the way that they use things like text messages to get deals like in automatically.
They talk about why you might not want to look like a big deal when you are going to meet with sellers. They got some really cool tips. If you are a landlord, some really cool tips on and making sure your tenants pay on time, do some of their own maintenance, and changed their furnace filters, which is cool, and then listen closely for when they talk about the three foot rule. The three foot rule could completely change your real estate investing forever. I am not even kidding, it is really, really cool. Definitely check that out. Stay until the end because you guys are going to love the show. Just build more and more and more just meat and value. I think you will love it. Take some notes and with that, it is time to get to today’s show. Fellas, welcome to the BiggerPockets podcast. Man, so good to have you guys here today.
Adam: We are excited to be here.
Brent: Pretty pumped.
Brandon: Good, good. We have not got a two for a show in a little while so we decided to bring on two completely strangers to each other. You guys are partners, right?
Brandon: Okay. Good, good, good. Alright, we are going to go through how are you able to find each other? How are you able to work together? What you are doing? I hear there is some pretty fun stuff in there and we will start though prior to that. What did each of you guys do? You go ahead and like when… But when you… The first couple times you talk, if you think about it, say who you are so people kind of get an idea of what your voices are compared to who your name is and then let us know like kind of what your story is before real estate? Go ahead.
Adam: This is Adam. Some people call me Big Sip.
Brandon: Is that real?
Adam: That is a true story.
Brandon: Okay. Big Sip, I like it.
Adam: The funny thing is it is Mississippi. Big Sip just makes sense.
David: Oh. I thought you took like a really big drink of like sweet tea or something.
Adam: No, well, you kind of…
David: And it stuck.
Adam: You are close to what my mother thought which was the first time she heard it, she goes, ‘Have you been drinking alcohol again? You keep drinking alcohol.’ Clearly, there is a lot of confusion there but it is just because I am from Mississippi and I used to be a much bigger fella.
Brandon: Oh, alright.
Adam: I have been doing real estate 16 and a half years now. I think the first one was October 11th of 2002. I would have been 19 and some change. Done a lot of other stuff. In the meantime, some tax offices, insurance offices and other things but real estate is just always been right there at the forefront and it is something that I have always enjoyed the most.
Brandon: Because you are not a female and I do not feel bad asking you this. How old are you right now? Because you look like, I would say you are like 29? If you have been in it for 16 years, you were like a teenager. How old are you?
Adam: I will take it, I will be turning 36 next month.
Brandon: Okay. Alright, you got into the game early on.
Adam: Yes. I was very fortunate in the way I grew up. My dad has been doing this for 45 years.
Brandon: Okay, that is cool. Alright, you were kind of born into it. What about you,
Brent: Yes. I am Brent everybody and I was not born into it. I grew up on a small little family farm in Leakesville, Mississippi. I always tell everyone it is the only place you do not go through to get to somewhere else.
Brent: I grew up there, always kind of had aspirations to do kind of big things, to always do my own thing, what is the cause, play baseball, mess up, back up, screw this I want to do music, not play music or anything. I just wanted to work for a record label and move to Chicago. I started working for Guitar Center and doing like pro audio stuff and then just, started touring and then I found out that these companies were hiring people like me who had touring experience, do experiential marketing. What that is basically these major brands, if you ever been to a music festival or a sporting event, the boosts that are set up outside for like free giveaway stuff, brand recognition type stuff, I did that for 11 and a half years.
Spent a lot of time on the road, traveling all over the country, 49 states, six countries, doing marketing stuff. I did that for a while and got tired of being on the road. Was planning on getting married, found Max. Max and I actually met each other while we were out doing marketing gigs. We were good friends because we have the same mindset. That is Max Maxwell by the way. He had posted an Instagram photo of a house he bought for $17,000. Always had a curiosity about real estate and I was like, I always thought you had to have money, a lot of money. I called him up. I said, ‘Hey, next time you find a house like that, $17,000, let me know. I will be in. I will buy it. We can go into together, partner on it.’ He is like, ‘It would be easier to show you what I am doing.’ I go over to his office next time I am home in Winston, Salem. We sit down. He was just getting started.
He is like I have been doing this for two months. I have been making $20,000 every month. I was kind of like the kid in Wolf of Wall Street. Usually, a check with $20,000, I am quitting my job right now. He was like, no, I will tell you. It is wholesaling. I had never heard of it. I call Adam. I knew Adam for probably about four or five years in. I called Adam and I was like, ‘Hey, have you heard of wholesaling?’ He goes, ‘Yes, yes. I do it all the time.’ I was like, ‘Well, why you never told me about this?’ He. knew I had a business mindset. Like I wanted to open a business, I wanted to do my own thing. I have always wanted to, always wanted to kind of be involved in real estate. That is what kind of got me into it. Then when I moved back from South Carolina to Mississippi, it just made sense.
Brandon: Alright. Let me break here real quick because I want to make sure that, those who are listening, we have not actually talked about wholesaling very often lately on the podcast. We used just talk about a lot more than we do lately. Can one of you describe what exactly do you mean by wholesaling? Then people who are listening, wait, $20,000 a month. Like how is that possible? Can somebody walk me through? What do you mean when we say wholesaling?
Adam: Basically, what it is we do a little bit of everything. We do wholesaling, we do flips, we do buy and holds. What we try to do is focus on the acquisition side but the ones that we get creatively, we will typically keep for rentals. The ones that we cherry pick out, we will keep for our flip deals and then the wholesale ones are basically where we know we have got a deal on it, we just do not want to fool with it so we pass that along to another investor for a much smaller fee.
Brent: Essentially, wholesaling is this finding an opportunity, a property, getting a discount, putting that property under contract and then you are not selling the property, you are selling that piece of paper for an assignment fee. You are assigning your interest in that property to an investor who pays you, anywhere. I think our average is around $8,000 in Mississippi.
Brandon: Okay. You never own the property. You never or do you guys… I mean I guess just getting into the wizzle of it bit, but do you double close? Did you do assign, how do you typically do because there is a lot of ways to do it?
Brent: Yes, most of the time, 90% of the time it is assignment.
Adam: If it is a high amount of money, if it is a large amount of money and we have never worked with that buyer before, we will probably double close it.
David: Let me jump in real quick. Remember, Brandon, when we were in Hawaii? We were talking about how we think we own our phones but we do not really own our phone. We own the right to use our phones.
David: Yes, this is very similar to that. When you are getting a deal from a wholesaler, you are buying the right to buy the property at terms that they have already established where you are like it is kind of like hiring a professional negotiator that goes in there and gets you a really good deal on a house and then they get a cut because they negotiated. Which is not different than how we do a lot of other things in life. When you are a professional athlete, you have an agent who negotiates your salary for the team. If you are a musician, you have someone who negotiates your contract.
Real estate investing is the same way and I know a lot of people get hung up. They think wholesaling is dishonest or immoral or something like that, but it is not. It is the same thing that we do with a lot of other things in life. There is some states that have rules that say you cannot do it or you can only do it certain ways so they have to operate within those structures.
David: But it is really not different than anything else that we do in life.
Adam: Yes, that is exactly right.
Brandon: Alright, let us go back to your story. You guys… First of all, how did you guys originally meet? Like four or five years earlier?
Brent: I had, at one point in time, I moved back to Mississippi. Was living in a house with an old friend of mine who we played baseball together with some high school and he was actually dating my best friend’s sister at the time. He would come over every now and then when I was home. We would get together and he told me he owned all these businesses, H and R blogs and tax offices and stuff like that. I was like, well, he is fairly successful guy. Knows a little bit about business. We hung out, had a lot of good fun times together, became really close friends. That relationship obviously ended but ours did not. We kept in touch.
As soon as I found out about real estate and wholesaling, I called him and he suggested that I read a book which was Flipping Properties version 2, I forgot who it was written by. It is not like the greatest most detailed book in the world but it was like $4 on Amazon. But that was his test. This gauged how interested I was. I read in like two days and I came back and I had a bunch of questions and he is like, okay, this guy is serious. Then I took it another step further. Once I started, well I had a really good job, I was making close to six figures with my job that I was working. I was taking all the money I was making in wholesaling, putting it back into systems and marketing. Yes, that is how we met and we met that way. Then when I moved back to Mississippi, we quickly realized that would just make more sense to be partners versus working against each other.
Brandon: Okay. I think we, I think we can probably move to partnerships now at this point because this is something that I am a big fan of. I love partnerships in real estate. I am not saying they always work out great but especially when you get inside of it. Like you do not have everything you need. You might not have the money, you might not have the knowledge, you might not have the experience, might not have whatever, right? But you probably have something, like two or three of those things that you could bring to the table and then a partner can bring the other things and you can work together. Did you guys find that you have complimentary skills? Were one of you good at something, something else, or were you both get the same things?
Brent: We were. Very much so.
Adam: We were laser cut pieces of a puzzle.
Adam: Very different in our skillsets and what we bring. I mean, I guess with any partnership, you have got to have the same core driving principles and values which we both want to get to the same spot. I think that is very, very important, but we are drastically different in what we bring to the table, what we enjoy. Brent is actually a little more introverted, very phenomenal when it comes to anything tech related and how to do things on a big scale. I am the guy that put me in somebody’s living room. If there is a deal to be had, I will get it. But I still use AOL email address.
Brent: We did not have internet at his house until like what August of 2017.
Brent: But we are still knocking down like 40 deals a year.
Brandon: But, wow, that is impressive. I mean it is cool to see that the partnership work in this way. In that like one of you is a little more introverted. I think you said, Brent, you are a little more tech focused. You are at that side of things. Adam, you do a lot more of the, hey, I am going to get the deal. I am going to work these systems. I am guessing, are you both systems people? Or one of you feel stronger than that?
Brent: I would say I am more of a systems person, mainly because of debt. Most of the systems that we have now are all online and you know you have your Podio and stuff like that. I have been working on here for several months and when I came in, for me, the way I had things structured in South Carolina before I moved, I had an acquisitions manager, I had a cold caller, all that stuff. I enjoy the fact that if I am not there business is still running. Versus with him, he is still very much enjoys going out into an appointments and taking phone calls and stuff. I was like, well, I am going to make the phones ring so much the way you cannot handle it anymore.
It took about three or four months of me may just tweaking a few things, doing some Facebook ads, sending out a few more mailers and stuff like that before he finally realized that I cannot take phones anymore so we hired a lead manager. We were slowly kind of scaling to the point because my goal is I tell everybody like why are you so systems based? Like I want to be completely honest, I hate working. I love real estate, I love what it can do for you, but I love what systems can do for you as well. If I am gone and he is gone, I want business to still be running.
Adam: I would not say that you hate working. I think you hate to be obligated to work there.
Brandon: Yes, yes.
Adam: I think that is because, I mean, I think we both love working. I mean I cannot tell you a lot of times we are at 40 hours by Wednesday at lunchtime.
Adam: But it is nice knowing that you do not have to all the time.
David: I know somebody just like that. He lives in Hawaii, he is brilliant, but he cannot be tied down.
Brandon: I do not know who you are talking about. Whatever.
Brandon: No, that is the thing, not wanting, not being required to work. That is the thing.
Brent: That makes it completely different.
David: Systems to me are they take your normal skills, and things you can do, and they amplify them incredibly, right? It is like a Tony Stark’s armor. That is what makes them Iron Man. Those are your systems. You have it in your brain, you know what to do. You have the plans but you cannot actually execute it. The system is what super power to you so that every idea you have or plan you have can be put in place and can be working for you and your normal potential is like 10x.
Brent: Yes, absolutely.
Adam: I think that is kind of the goal in what we have seen in the last two weeks or so with our new lead manager. Is that she is coming in and she is actually doing a lot of my, it is not Podio, it is investor PO. She is actually doing a lot of my notes and setting all my appointments for me. Even on the back end, like I will come in, I will be like, ‘Hey, mark this as this and we are making an offer this on this property,’ and she has been taking care of it all but that is exactly right so that I can just go from living room to living room to living room.
Brandon: I love that. That is really like the core of what you are doing here is getting other people now involved who can do all those tasks that you can do what your superpower is, which is get me in the living room. Like that is what you are really good at it. You are like, let us build out the system that makes sure that I am consistently getting in the living room. Right now, I am building out this multifamily business so to speak, a mobile home parks and some other stuff. Anyway, and that is exactly what I am trying to do is like am I… Like what I am really good at is like running the numbers on a deal and make it an offer and negotiate. Like I love that part of things, right? But like I am not real big on the lead side of things, I am not real big on the like research of the area and trying to figure out exactly what makes it a great area. I am going to get somebody else to do that.
I just want a continual flow of awesome deals in my lap that I can go and figure out exactly how much I can pay for it and then go move on to the next one. It is the same thing. I know David do the exact same thing. David Greene here is like as an agent and as an investor. I mean, David is like, ‘I just want a good deal in my lap and I am going to go out and go get it,’ or I am going to… ‘I want a client like an appointment set. I am going to be in the living room convincing them that I am the agent to work with.’ Let us just work at what we are good at.
David: This is like a hundred times more important than we are probably actually conveying. It is literally the difference between being successful or not. If you look at why we are not successful at stuff, it is usually because it requires us to do too many things that we just do not like doing or we are not comfortable doing. Too much risk, too much discomfort, too much whatever. When you are a living room guy and what you know is you put me in front of that person, I will close the deal. You are a cheetah and you see that gazelle and you want to chase that gazelle down, right? If somebody requires to do to much stuff that is not cheetah like, hey, hook up the plow to you and make you drag it or climb that tree and survey the area, find the gazelles or something. You are just not going to do it.
That is why Brandon was saying he loves the people partner with real estate because we do not realize how much we get in our own way and hold ourselves back. When you get a partner who was like, ‘Oh, God. I do not want to have to sit in front of someone. That sounds terrifying. What do I say? What if they do not like me? What if I sweat? Where do I put my hands?’ Right? At that point, you want the guy who is kind of running interference for you and looking up the numbers, doing the research, getting you the information that you need to be successful during your job. That is what good partnerships are. They are not just to people that split up the work. They are two people that are doing different parts of the job because they enjoy doing that and they get to focus on that.
Brent: Yes, absolutely.
Adam: That has been a huge thing for us is because we are so different on the front end on what our skill sets are. As Brent is doing his thing, that is Brent’s thing.
Adam: Like I might have feedback every now and then or a couple of questions, but at the end of the day, that is just a partner. Vice versa, when we are working a deal, he will have some say so, he will have his questions, but at the end of the day, that is my side and it just, it works really well. It takes a load off plus we know that we will get our stuff done respectively, which is always nice.
Brandon: That is great. Alright, let us dive into the nitty gritty on the business. I want to know how you are finding deals. We will start with how you are finding them then I want to move to how you are like organized your business? I mean, what CRMs are you using? How do you get those come in there and then we will go to how you are funding your deals and then how you are managing your deals. Sound good? For four step process here. Alright, number one, how are finding deals? Let us go through all the different ways that you guys currently attract deals to your business and who and who is in charge of that?
Adam: You know, the first thing I have got to tell you is that good deals are created, not found, right?
Brandon: Oh, look at that. This guy has been listening. I love that.
Adam: We have a multitude of things that we work on. We pull several lists in which Brent, we will get into the technical side of this but we pull everything from divorce to probate to pre foreclosures, HOA Liens, tax delinquents.
Brandon: Wait, what do you mean waterless? What do you mean?
Brent: The shut offs? You can basically go to the water department and as long as it is the public’s own entity and request to have. What I normally do is I word it to where it gave me every property that had water shut off in the last six months. Let us have no service in the last six months. That is a clear definition of what is vacant for sure.
Brandon: Okay. I think that is fascinating because, again, you are trying to look for people who have some sort of distress there. You pull these lists and then what do you do with them? How about how are you pulling the list?
Brent: All of that is coming to the courthouse. The only time we do not is we are using REIpro or PropStream or ListSource to pull like absentee on 65 and older. Absentee, out of state, all that stuff. But everything else is coming directly from the courthouse. We have a courthouse runner that goes down there because we are in Mississippi. We are about 10 years behind everyone, our stuff is not available online. Actually, physically go to the courthouse and get all that information. The way our funnel works now is we pull those lists, we throw it into a skip tracer. We are using Sherpa, which is leadsherpa.com. Then that skip traces, skip traces everything, removes all litigators, potential litigators, and everyone from the DNC list.
Then it is a text blast, but it is not a text blast in the sense of I hit the button so it is actually legal because I am hitting the button every single time. It just merges their information into every message and that is our first step. We hit everybody with that and then the callbacks come back into our lead manager. She is actually handling all the text messages. Our AMs and other markets are handling their text messages, but all the calls are coming back to our lead manager who then screens them books, the appointments. If we do not hear back from them, they go into our cold caller’s list. Our cold caller then hits everyone that we did hear from, from the text messages. From there, we take all the people who said do not call or whatever the case or not, not interested in all, we take them off. If we still have not heard from you, then it goes into a mailer and then we will mail you.
Brandon: This is fascinating because we have not really talked about the text message thing here on the show but I know that is very… It is a new technology. I have always almost been reluctant to talk about it because I feel like this is really cool and I do not want everybody in the world know about this but we are going to talk about it anyway.
Adam: I got so mad because I knew we were going to have to bring it up.
Brandon: Yes, I knew, exactly. Alright, but it is a growing trend. You are saying you get these lists of people that have some indication that there is a problem going on.
Brandon: Then how do you get this, I mean, like this program like LeadSherpa I think is what you said, that will actually get their phone number? Like how does that work?
Adam: They have a tracing database or skip tracing feature inside Sherpa.
Adam: I think the first, I am not real familiar with that, I have never logged in, but I think the first one we did, what was our response?
Brent: We were at 56% response rate.
Adam: Yes, insane, right?
Brandon: Yes. Typically, DirectMail is like 2% or 3%. I do not know, some people get 10%, but yes.
Adam: I was feeling good at 18 to 22% with DirectMail and then he brought along the text messages and just blew that out of the water.
Brandon: What does this text say? I mean, ‘Hi. I want to buy your house?
Brent: No, it says hi so and so whoever the name is. ‘Hi, Charles. Apologies for the message out of the blue. I am contacting you today regarding the property located at such and such address.’ It merges all that. ‘I do not know if you have any interest in selling the property whatsoever, but if you do, you can give me a call or text back. Thanks.’ That is it.
Brandon: Wow, wow Why do you think that works so well?
Brent: People were glued to their phones and it is a lot of people who texts back and says, ‘How did you get my number?’
Brent: What is great about Sherpa is that it has, if you go over to the left hand side. It basically has a little dashboard where you can just automatic reply and it has features. Like it says, ‘How did you get my number?’, it already has automatic response. Just click on that and it sends it. Which basically says we use a software that matches public records that we pull from the courthouse to match numbers to people.
Brandon: Do People get upset about that?
Brent: Sometimes. I mean it is very rarely that they get too upset, they just wanted to know. Like it is kind of strange for them to get a random text message out of the blue which is how we lead. This is out of the blue, I apologize. We were very apologetic upfront and people tend to kind of take that tone a little bit better than just saying, ‘Hey, this is your property at this. Are you interested in selling? Call me back.
Brandon: Hey, looks like you are getting divorced.
Brent: We leave everybody the same message no matter what motivation. If it is a foreclosure or probate or whatever it is, it is the same message every single time. Even in our letters.
Adam: We have not tested it but I feel like we have had less abrasive responses than we typically do. It seems like the ones that are curious or kind of on edge about it or a little more balanced out.
Adam: As opposed to some of those that give you a call and they are just…
Brandon: Yes. Alright, you have got this machine that you are sending out these DirectMail, oh sorry, you are sending out these text messages to people. Some of them you get a text or call back right away and you start dealing with those and interacting with those. The ones that are like, ‘Hey, take me off your list,’ you take them off your list. The ones that just do not reply at all, the other half, let us say, that are not responding or 40 some percent, you are putting them into a DirectMail camp. Cold call then DirectMail or?
Adam: Cold call.
Brent: Cold call then DirectMail.
Brandon: If they do not answer or if they do. Alright. Then what are you sending for DirectMail? Is this postcard letter and then what is kind of your gist in those?
Brent: It is a letter.
Adam: It basically just has a few bullet points. What it says is, ‘Hey, I may be interested in purchasing your property at such and such address. I am not a realtor looking to list your home, I am a local investor wanting to purchase it.’ Then it does a few bullet points. No fees, no commissions, no hassle. We buy as is. If you are interested, give us a call.
Brandon: Cool. How many of these are you typically doing? I mean total like deals that come in a given year or month or like what is kind of your rate here?
Adam: I do not know right now. This is all fairly new. I mean like the texts last has been within the last four weeks.
Adam: We have been doing some cold calling, you would know what the response rates to those would be.
Brett: We were averaging about for… We are on a triple dialer, which is Mojo sales, which means it is just dialing three numbers at one time. wondering if somebody picks up and just drops the other two and leaves a voicemail. Our cold caller was doing that. For about every five to 600 dials, she would get anywhere from 10 to 20 contacts and out of those 10 to 20 contacts, we would get one or two leads every day. We would call, Call in worth of about $600 to $700 a day.
Brandon: Okay. You are focusing just on Mississippi, are you going all over?
Adam: Yes, just Mississippi. Now, we are spread out over the state. We have stuff from the north end to the south end and several places in between. I think last count, we have like 14 or 15 counties that we are working.
Brandon: I mean, I just think it is fascinating. It would be interesting to hear like where you guys end up in the next six months to a year? But let us say prior to that, if you just started that, what were you doing for deals before and then I give us an idea of your overall business right now. I mean how many deals have you done over the past how long have you been working together and what is your portfolio look like today?
Adam: I think we did 63 last year. Last I checked, we are on track to do well over a hundred this year.
Adam: The majority of up until Brent came along it was either DirectMail or selective cold calling. What I mean by selective is it was never on a massive scale. It was just pre foreclosures. Some of what I really thought were hot Driving for Dollars leads. Few of those I would go ahead and do a one-off skip trace and call, but the vast majority was DirectMail.
Brandon: Okay. Where you then selling? I mean like where you wholesaling most of these or what is your kind of rate in wholesale versus flip versus rental?
Adam: Probably 60% wholesale.
Adam: Atleast 60, give or take a few percent wholesale. Probably 5% to 10% buy and hold maybe, probably closer to 5% and then through some flips in there.
Brandon: Okay. Alright.
Adam: There is really not a standard operating procedure when it comes to when we actually get the deals because there is so many people that we work with that try to do so many different things and have so many different likes and risks, exceptions I guess would be the word for it that it is really case by case.
Brandon: That makes sense. What makes it a case by case one way versus the other? I mean people listening right now, I am sure they loved the idea of hey, I am going to start getting leads coming in and I am going to figure out what to do with them based on what they are. I mean it is a cool idea, right? Like it is like when you milk cows as much as documentary, was it like fed up on Netflix the other day or one of the shows.
Anyway, I was like talking about like dairy production. How they took all the fat out of the milk and they told everyone that skim milk was better for you, which is you could argue one way or another, but all that little fat left over and they are like well we just toss it. But no, why do not we just make cheese with it? Then that is why you go to the cheese out on the grocery store and it is like 500 rolls of cheese. Because like the government just subsidizes like cheese manufacturing now because we have so much of it. Because we are trying to get people healthier by not eating fat.
Anyway, you have got these deals coming in, this milk coming in, and you are like, alright, let us separate out the fat in the milk and then we are going to make some cream cheese out of this. I think that is fascinating. By the way, David, did you like that analogy? That is pretty good, was not it?
David: I was actually feeling so much pride that Brandon has stepped up his analogy game.
Brandon: Alright, you got all this stuff coming in. You are figuring out what to do with it. What do you look for to say that one is going to be a rental? Earlier you said something about creative, can you talk about that?
Adam: Our approach is drastically different. I will try to put this in a concise answer and then if you can let us know. Our approach is very much different in the fact that a lot of people worry about what their exit strategy is and a lot of people worry about how much they are going to make. We do not really do either. What we do is we go in, number one, figure out what the homeowner is trying to accomplish and try to fat up or shape a deal or an offer around what their motivation is because that is the most likely thing to get accepted. We put a lot of focus in on that. We do not worry about the money. I mean we could tell you deal after deal we have done this year that we did not make anything on.
We just got done because it needed to be done. What we do is we come in and try to shape our offer around what the homeowner really wants and what they have the ability to provide. That is kind of what we look for is the can and the will I call it, what can they do and what will they do and then find the blend of those. Then what we do is we take whatever would proposal we have come up with and then see which one of our buyers that will fit and then see if there is any room for us to make money. Actually, us making money is the last part of the equation every time.
Brandon: Yes, but you are a wholesaler and the wholesalers are only about the money and they are all about greed and ripping people off, right?
Adam: You know, I have seen that a lot, but usually those do not have any notches on their belt to say that there are wholesalers. They are trying to wholesale.
Brandon: Yes, there is a lot of that. Let us talk about that for a minute before we move on. Why is there such a negative view towards wholesalers? Like what causes that and how do you avoid that in your business? How do you keep a good reputation?
Brent: I think wholesaler is getting bad rep because of the fact that most of them had the inability to take serious action mostly on the education side and also the ability to be consistent and know what they know. The problem is that I see a lot of is that it is not necessarily that they are greedy, they just want to get their first deal done and they want to get a deal done so badly that they will inflate numbers and throw out a really high RB and then shoot for the moon to try to get the most amount of money as possible. That is where a little bit of that greed comes in. We have seen it several times. Matter of fact, last week we had a deal blow up the guy we are trying to help, blow up in his face. He had a $20,000 offer. He was trying to get $25,000.
Next thing you know that comes back and it blows up in his face because his buyer backs out because the mortgage was higher than they originally thought. There was a lot of things that were missed. He could have just took the $80,000 offer and got his money right then and there. But I feel like education is the big one. People see… They only say the big checks, they do not see all the sweat and the hard work and the education that goes in behind it. They see a $50,000 check and they go, oh, I can do that. Well, in Mississippi, I can buy like two or three houses for $50,000. Like you are not going to get those kinds of checks. One thing we see here locally is that we see a lot of people trying to get these 20 or $30,000 deals. They happen occasionally, they are just not every day.
Adam: I have only done a handful of $20,000 wholesales ever.
David: When you say $20,000, are you talking about your assignment fee or are you talking about the purchase price?
Adam: Yes, the assignment fee.
David: What do you guys find works better? To do a few deals with the high assignment fee or to do large volume with the lower one?
David: The volume is better. Okay. Can you go a little bit of why you think that is for someone who is thinking, hey, I want to be a wholesaler and how they should build their business to look.
Adam: Well, I am a firm believer in spreading that risk, right? That is why like even on our flip deals, we will typically have two or three people putting the money in because they want to spread their risk out and they are used to working with each other. Same for us. Well, there is a couple of reasons. I think number one is keeping the mindset that you need a consistent flow and because we are not knocking out $50,000 or $100,000 assignment fees, sometimes we make zero, sometimes we make $5,000, sometimes we make $10,000. But what that does is it really forces us to go in and make sure that we have got deal after deal after deal after deal because we do not know what they are going to make. I think that is probably the biggest thing for me on why I like that. I think those are just more consistent, they are more probable.
I had one deal, it would have been $40,000 some assignment fee that was supposed to be good to go. This is kind of my second reason behind that. But I got back from Phoenix, came in, should have been closing the week after I got back and the whole thing fell apart. That hurts a little bit. Like that can make for a pretty bad day. When you have really want this deal to close, you get emotionally wrapped up in it and then it falls apart. It is not just costing you that deal, but what else are you going to miss over the next two weeks while you are beating yourself up? If it is an $8,000 deal, not quite as big of a deal.
David: For somebody who wants to start like this funnel that you guys have built, what do you think is the first step they need to take? Do they need a buyer list? Do they need to build a system? Do they need to get out there and start putting stuff in contract and then from there, scale up?
Brent: Him and I have not a… There is this train of thought that there is a deal, the buyers will come, right? Which is very true. I like to focus, on the other hand as I tell everybody, I like to go and try to meet buyers. I go to the foreclosure auctions, I go to REIA meetings, something like that. I am telling you from a perspective of how I got started, I wanted to immediately find buyers because I did not want to waste time, money and energy in areas where I did not have, I did not know I had people buying. I would get really detailed with the buyers that would meet at the foreclosure auctions.
Ask them the questions like what is your perfect investment look like? Are you flipping or buying and holding? Where are you doing that? What is your general… What is your price range look like? What kind of returns are you looking for? That way I know I can spend my money and time and energy and a certain area. I know what price range I need to be at and I just needed to under that. There is a much easier process when I already know what the number, the guys are going to give me, I do not have to worry about what the ARB is or anything else. I just need to know where he needs to be at on return and then go spend my time, money and energy in that area and get him that deal.
David: Okay. That comes from just knowing your market, right? Knowing what buyers want, knowing what they want to pay, kind of like what the people that are coming to you are looking for, correct?
David: If we looked at your business and we said what is the one most important piece that makes this whole thing profitable, what would you say that is?
Adam: I mean I will tell you what I think it is. It is that when we walk into somebody’s living room, we used to go in with the mindset of I am going to buy this house and the day that that changed, it was 2016. I forget what happened. I woke up one morning and just had one of those epiphany’s and I said, you know what? I do not care if I buy the house or not. Like legit, do not care if I bought a house. I am going to go in and I am going to give them everything I have to offer and help them, whatever the case is, if it is me, great. If it is not me, even better because I got a lot to do today. I went in and just as legitimately as I can say it, I started helping people regardless of what the outcome was for me. It is crazy because we bought more houses and made more money and we helped a lot of people in the process.
David: That is really cool. It was the mindset shift from I need to make money to I need to help this person.
David: Yes, man, that is such a good point. Because I find this all the time. As a real estate agent, we were into the same problem, right? I want to help people but I also have to make money. You kind of got to balance this walk between bringing value to somebody, but you cannot just bring value because then you can be taken advantage of. Everybody is going to want you to sell their house for free. Everybody is going to want you to go find them a buyer that is going to pay retail price, but your buyers are looking to you for the deal while the seller is looking for how much money can you get me.
You have to be wise enough to know how do I convert this value that I have added to somebody into something that makes money so that I can run a business, so that I can be in a position to keep adding value. I think we all start off going one way or the other too much. We are too much focused on our profit in the business or we are too much focused on adding value and then you get burned a couple times and you start to realize how to find that, that middle ground. What have you guys found is your kind of like secret sauce with the combination of how you add value versus how you run your business. Was there a point where once you realized something that kind of kicked into place and you could really scale?
Brent: One of the best quotes I have ever heard, actually I heard it from his dad, I am not sure if he got it from somewhere else but the release of stress is often greater than price. A lot of times these people, we do not even talk price. We do not have to talk numbers a lot of the times until we get to like the nitty gritty. Basically, until we get to the very end. I want to know who you are, where you are from, what your family does, who is your favorite sports team, whatever the case may be, I want to try to build that rapport and relationship to where you start telling me everything you need in life. Where are you trying to go and how can I help you get there? Then it comes to, okay, well if I cannot get a number on them first, which it is going to happen 99% of the time, they are going to give me a number because we walk in, we would say we are helpers, we are not hatters.
If you give me a ballpark of where you need to be that you think is fair, that you think I cannot honestly make a little bit of money on, obviously I cannot do everything for free, where do you think we should be at? If I can make that number work, great. If I cannot, I will give it my best shot and I will explain why I cannot and go from there. Then I will give you some pointers on if you want to remodel your house, like what colors are working. Now, here is a good contractor to reach out to. Like all this stuff, I want to provide as much service as possible to where at the end of the day they do not really have a choice but to go with me.
David: Would you say that it is good advice for a newbie to understand as much as it feels cool to walk in there with a briefcase in a suit and sit down and want to be this wheeler dealer type of a person who is a professional and he can get stuff done and it looks like Gordon Gekko in the movies, you are way better off to come with an approachable, we are both people, you are in a spot, I am going to spot. Let us see if we can get those two spots to combine.
Adam: Yes. I can tell you that the best approach I have ever had. I am so glad you brought that up because that is a huge area of misconception. People will spend hours getting their logo where they like it and your logo is not going to buy any houses. Well, that is probably my biggest thing because until, when was it, July of last year I upgraded my car finally. Because my Volvo I was driving, I was taking the seller to the bank on a Saturday, which happened to be my birthday. It was an hour and a half one way and I was taking to go get him some money because we were supposed to close on Tuesday or Wednesday and he did not have money to pay his movers. I said, look, it is my birthday. Let me come pick you up, we will go to the bank, we will make sure you have got some money come back.
That goes into really truly trying to help somebody. Anyway, my car ended up… The radiator blew up. Got stranded with the seller and slide out for a few hours. But I drove a ’99 Volvo that I am bought for $2500. Before that, for about four or five years, I drove an ’02 Cadillac that by the end of every day, like my last appointment of the day, could always tell when I was pulling up because my power steering fluid had leaked out. You would get that winding noise. I mean like there was not anything tied to a fancy car. I never went in with any kind of paperwork ever. Half the time on the appointments, I am in tennis shoes and gym shorts. I do that specifically to tear that wall down because when you walk in really slick, slick people take advantage of people, right?
That is the mindset, especially when they are already in a bad spot. I do not want to be associated with an attorney’s office, a bank. I want to be seen as far from that as I possibly can. I want to be that guy that looks like they got lost in the neighborhood.
David: I believe 100% in that. I drive a Toyota Camry. Even though I am selling bay area real estate, because I do not want the person whose house I am going to sell to see me pull up in a Lamborghini and think, ‘Oh, so I am paying for that Lamborghini.’ That is what you are telling me right now, right? Right off the bat, you have created a hill for yourself that you have to overcome to build that rapport and you made it really really difficult for yourself to do. You want to make it as easy for yourself as you can, as you guys have seen, which means tailoring yourself to your audience. If these are blue collar people who live blue collar lifestyles, they are going to resent if you show up really flashy, right?
The opposite can be true in some cases too. I have seen some people who are trying so hard to prove that they are not flashy, that they show up in flip flops and sandals, and the person’s like, well, why should I listen to you at all if you are representing me in something more. If you had worn a suit, they would feel like you are taking them serious. It really just comes down to the audience that you have. What it makes sense to show up in a suit to the person who is losing their house and they feel like they are getting screwed and you are the one who is going to benefit from it. In that case, it might make more sense to take a much more humble approach but I love what you guys are saying is that you will do whatever you got to do to make the business work better.
That is what this is coming down to. If I got to drive a car that leaks oil, that is what I am going to do. If I got to show up in a clean but humble clothing, that is what I am going to do. That is what newbies need to understand. Like your guys’ audience, the people that are buying from you in Mississippi, are expecting a certain type of product. Like you said, you could buy three houses for $50,000. Your business model needs to be made to reflect that. That is the stuff you are going for. You are not going to be trying to put different things under contract and make $50,000 on a wholesale deal there as opposed to the maybe the guy in Beverly Hills who is doing the same thing.
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Brandon: Can you guys walk me through how when a lead comes in? Because I am fascinated by you guy’s systems, right? A lead comes in, they say, ‘Yes, I do not know. I might be interested in selling or whatever.’ Let us say it comes in from DirectMail, comes in from the text message, it does not matter. What happen? Can you walk me through the process of like what CRM do you use, who does what? How do you get to the closing table?
Brent: On the CRM, we use a IPO called Investor PO. The reason I chose that, one, the guy who built it was in a mastermind of mine and he built it on the back end all on Podio. I have built and worked inside of Podio. Most everyone I know also has the same kind of mindset toward Podio to where I hate it. I hate, I just do not like it. I do not like using it. I do not like it. I am trying to teach it to somebody, it is like might as well be trying to teach them French or something.
Adam: Especially somebody like me.
Brent: Yes. What I really liked about it is the fact that it is got its own dashboard, its own SMS, follow up, text messages, voice broadcasting and all that stuff that it just does automatically. It follows up for everybody automatically. What happens is when a lead comes in, whether it is through our website or through a phone call from any of our marketing pieces that we send out, it goes immediately to our lead manager. She answers the phone or respond to an email, whatever the case may be, tries to get them on the phone and then starts going through the process of figuring out what their motivation is, how much they are looking to get, try to get a ballpark and see if they are negotiable on that number.
If they have some like, yes, I can go a little bit lower. I have considered a lower offer. Okay, great, perfect. Then that goes to him and then he kind of goes like an extra level of qualifying before it goes on the appointment. Then once it goes on the appointment, it is then based on where they are at, what they want to do and how I can help them get there.
Brandon: Alright, alright. Then let us shift and talk about the deal comes in, you are moving through it. You want to buy it, you like it, everything looks good. How are you funding it? Let us say, especially if you want to go rental property here, let us say you want to keep this as a rental because the wholesale deal, you know that is easy to talk about how you fund them. But let us talk. Well, let us actually talk about all three because I think this is important because for me it is easy but maybe somebody learning is like, I have no idea. How do you “fund” a wholesale deal and then what is that look like for a flip for you and what does that look like for funding for a rental property?
Adam: I guess the best way is just to give you some examples of a few deals that we have just done. For just a rental, we try to use creative terms for our buy and holds. Like for instance, the last one that we bought for a buy and hold, which was really funny because this was a lesson in me for followup and why it is good to have a system other than yellow note paper.
Adam: We had one. We have made an offer on a property, it was probably a year and a half ago, maybe two years now, and the guy owned the property free and clear. It was a rental property which at the time was going well. A year or so later, the lead comes back to Brent through somebody he knew. Turns out it was the same guy. Put it all together that I had been there a year and a half before with my dad actually and this guy since then had a really bad experience with a tenant and had decided that maybe rental properties when it is going bad is not for him.
Adam: What we did is we went in and talked to him. We realized that, and again it is finding that what their motivation is. He liked the monthly income but turns out he was not fit to be a landlord. We bought it pretty much full retail, but we did it was zero down, 3% for 360 months. Now, we just keep it. There is no bank financing, there is no inspections, there is no appraisals, none of that stuff matters because we have got it. It is $155,000 house, we paid $140,000 for it but it is a cashflow machine.
Brandon: That is cool. Okay, so you get some creative strategies in there. What about like the flipping? If you are going to flip a house, how do you fund that?
Adam: We have got, again, we get creative with those two. It just depends. If the house is free and clear, we are going to push really really hard to have them do a short term, no interest, no payments, maybe for six, eight, ten, twelve months where we do not pay them until we sell the house. Then we are just bringing in the money for buy and hold cost. I should have said closing costs and holding cost and then whatever the repairs are. Then we partner up. We have, gosh, probably eight or ten guys that we partner with depending on the deal the area, how big the project is.
We will bring their money in but it depends on how we are getting that. If they go in for cash, typically anywhere from a 60-40 split on one side or the other. If they pay cash for the house and the repairs and everything. If it is creative. Like we did one where I think there were two payments behind. We caught him up, took the note over subject to, and we did a 60-40 split our way. But I think we were in 71 and I think the guy walked away with an extra 22 which he was thrilled about.
David: That is cool. It is a…
Brandon: It is cool. I have never actually done one of those where you partner with like with the seller. You were saying I have never done something like that before. But again, the idea of like bringing in other people. If you do not have the money, maybe it means you bring in a partner and you fund it Like they fund the deal and you do the work or you find the deal. Like again, a lot of this comes back to just like doing what you are really good at, what you have in front of you, and getting other people to do what they are good at. Somebody, a seller comes to you, and they have got the ability to hold the house for you, great. If they do not, you figure out another way. It is this the milk and cheese analogy from earlier, right? Like you are going to figure it out one way or another.
Brent: Well, I think…
Adam: A lot of times, you are able to give the settled a little bit more money that way.
David: Yes. Because we are looking at cash on cash return. It is really having to put 70 versus 175 and getting the same kind of return so that I can give you a little bit more money, right?
Adam: It is a really great opportunity for them. It is a great opportunity for us to get a really high cash on cash return but not a lot of risk involved especially for us when we go to private money guys. They assume all the risks of the project. We are just go funding them deal and we can take a percentage of it.
Brandon: That is it. Yes, I mean… Go ahead.
Adam: I will just go say I think that is also where a lot of newbies go wrong. You are talking about they want to get dressed up, drive the fancy car and show up in the briefcase and straight Gordon Gekko style. The truth of it is is that there is people out there that can do 100% of everything involved in a deal by themselves but there are not very many of them and they do not do many deals from my experience. But I think a lot of new people feel like that takes away from their pride or just…
Brent: It kind of takes money out of their pockets.
Adam: Oh, yes. Take the money out of their pocket, which is was is going in their pocket anyway most of the time. But I think people forget that investing is very much a team sport.
Brandon: Yup. Very much so. I have said it before, I have said it a hundred times before, like 100%… 50% of a great deal is better than 100% of no deal. Especially when you are first getting in the game. Like the first few deals do not even matter at all. Like who cares? You can make any money. Like get the knowledge, get the experience, start building your reputation, start moving that way. Yes, anyway, fantastic. Then third, if you are going to wholesale deal, you typically do not need the money, right? Because you just show up at the title company. You are not using anybody’s money, right? You are getting a property under contract, you are selling the contract and the person who buys it ends is the one that ends up funding their own deal. You are not funding. That basically how you guys do that?
Brandon: Yes, that is fine.
Adam: Correct. That is the sign that is saying double closes actually.
Brandon: Perfect. Okay, perfect. Yes, really, really good. Okay, last question before we move on to the deep dive, well, maybe about two more. How do you manage your portfolio right now? Do you have in-house property management, outhouse property management? I love that phrase. Or how do you deal with that?
Adam: Actually, we have what is called a Leon.
Brandon: Leon, alright.
Adam: That is actually my dad. He is a 20% partner in what we are doing.
Adam: Not of a consulting, like I said, he has been doing it 45 years. He handles everything on the back end and then he has been doing property management for probably for 45 years and he just got it down. Like he does not… It is just him. I think he is looking at hiring a bookkeeper soon. But we do a lot of little things, like for instance, on paying rent, we give them pre-made deposit slips with the mic megatoner on them and their number is just like a check number so they get 12 at the beginning of every year. They go deposit it at the bank. The bank gives them a receipt. Then when we log in, we say, okay, number 104, that is such and such address. Then there is another little tip, which is we give a discounted rent.
Let us say that market rent is $1,200, well then our rent is going to be $1,100 discount. What we do is the rent is $1,200, but if they do three things every month, they pay on time, like the day that it is due, not in the grace period. If they do any minor maintenance, basically treat that hundred dollars like a deductible so the toilet retail will call me and fix it and then change the air filter every month, then they get that $100 discount.
Brandon: That is cool.
Adam: Which seems to work out really well. People, I do not know what it is, they do not mind paying late fees but you take a discount away from them and they are limpid.
Brandon: How do you manage that process? I mean like how do you know they are going to change their air filter? I do just assume that they are, I mean you just tell them that they are and they probably are?
Adam: By the time we do all of our background checks and do a couple of phone interviews and then meet them and then a lot of times what I like to do, if it is possible, is a pop up inspection. Let us just say that somebody gets approved through the whole process. You have stalked them on Facebook, you have done all the background checks, and they get approved. I may show up at their house. Because if their house is clean and neat and they take pride in it, that is the person you want. If you show up and it is just a disaster and it is missing doors and kids have drawn over all over the walls and really you do not even have to most of time. If you tell them that you are on the way, their reaction is going to tell you whether or not.
David: I like that. Alright. Alright. I have to ask you guys something, our producer told me I need to ask. Apparently you have a super secret method for finding deals using Uber drivers in your service. Can you tell us a little bit about this cutting edge technique that you guys have developed?
Brent: That stemmed from me, right. When I first got started in the business, I was traveling all the time. At one point in time, I did over 300 days in a hotel in one year. I was traveling all the time. I cannot go Driving for Dollars. I did not want to spend too much money on marketing techniques. I already knew that mail is going to cost a lot if I wanted to do mail campaigns. I was always stuck on cold calling but I knew Driving for Dollars would be probably how I would get my first deal. But I was not there. Before I got into real estate, I was in South Carolina with my now wife. She was in law school there. When I was home, I might be home for a week, might be home for two weeks. I would drop her off at school, turn my Uber on, and just, hey, If I make a few extra bucks and pay the truck, note, that is great. Whatever. Unless it is going to kind of do it for fun, a little bit of side money.
It is better than staring at the walls. I created a Uber Facebook group for South Columbia, South Carolina. Lo and behold, people started finding it, joining it, and it was just really just kind of the network. Talk about events that were coming up. I did not really put much attention or time into it. Did not think much of it until I got into real estate and I went… There is over 300 people in this group. All they do is drive around. Like they can be sending me leads, they are driving around neighborhoods. They could maybe pictures of properties and the addresses and I can research them on the back end and start calling these lists. But they are sending me a scheduled appointments for when I want to be home. That is what I did. I just went into these Uber groups and started going, ‘Hey, would you like to make an extra $500 doing what you already do? Message me for more details.’
Then I would get probably like 10 or 15 people that would be all over it and out of that 10 or 15, you are really only get like one or two people that would really take it seriously. They were like they want to get paid upfront and I would have to explain it to them like I get paid once I closed on the deal. That is a little bit of trust in you, right? Once I got that first drill though, everything started becoming to the point where I was having like monthly meetings with my Uber drivers. Buying them pizza and teaching them a little bit about real estate and how they can go out and get their own deals and everything else.
They were sending me those deals. When I came here, I just, every time I hop into an Uber, it does not matter if I am here or in a market, I do not even work in, I am just like, ‘Hey, you ever seen any bacon houses while you are driving around?’ Just house yard is all grown up, roofs got tarp on it or anything like that. We are talking about it. One of our best bird dogs we have on my bachelor trip, we are leaving a bar, going to the casino, and it is down here in Biloxi, Mississippi which is the market where we work in. He picks us up and I immediately start talking about real estate and everybody in the car is like, ‘Oh, God. Brent is starting to talk about real estate again.’ I cannot help myself.
It turns out the guy had a few people that he knew that wanted to sell. Next thing you know, I started telling him how he could help us and how we could help him. Within like two weeks, he had already sent us over a hundred properties.
Brent: I was like, man, this guy is crushing it, right? It is not just Uber, right? We have talked about it all the time. It is like your inner circle, I call it the three foot rule. Anyone, that is going to be around me for more than a minute, within three feet of me, I am going to tell him what I do and how they can help me.
Brandon: That is great.
Brent: That way, we never miss anything because there is always somebody that knows somebody that knows somebody, so on and so forth. That like circle of influence is huge especially when you start telling everyone you have become friends with everyone. You start telling everyone how they can help you and how you can help them.
Adam: It sounds crazy, right? To do it that extreme but I have found that that is what has always created the craziest best stories.
Adam: Well, I mean just like stopping at a yard sale for crying out loud. We just did a deal last month that we got on terms. $1,200 market rent value on two properties that the lady forgot that she had because they were her husband’s rentals. They have been empty for two years, she did not want anything to do with them. We bought it for $40,000 on terms with nothing down, $900 a month. Yes, we rounded up to $300 a month so she could try.
Brandon: Wow, you guys…
Adam: The yard is for sale, but the house. She goes, ‘Oh, I want to hold onto the house for a little bit longer?’ Then her friends laugh at her and ‘What about those rental properties?’ Oh my gosh, I forgot all about those.
Brent: You mean my husband’s rental properties?
Brandon: Wow. Alright, you call it the three foot rule?
Brandon: Yes, I love that. That is fantastic. That is really good.
Adam: You can text and talk to them.
Brandon: There you go. Yes, I mean, like you said this might sound crazy or extreme, but what sounds crazy or extreme to me is working the same job until you are 65 or 70, retiring and social security, that sounds crazy to me. Pick your crazy.
Adam: I like a crazy story. I mean half the deals we do, I am just excited for the story to tell.
Brent: I mean it has gotten to the point where we can hardly go to lunch anymore without somebody coming up to us while we are at lunch. Like, ‘Oh, hey. I got this house for you.
Brent: You are going to love it, it is over here. It is works what? 150,000 people here is probably. It is not huge, it is not very big. It feels small. Everybody knows everyone. There is not a ton of like pop and lunch spots or anything. When we go out, usually there is always somebody coming up to us. They have a house where they have a situation or they know somebody that is in the situation.
Brandon: That is really cool, really really cool. Alright, well, speaking of stories. I want to go into another story. The next segment of the show was called the Deal Deep Dive.
What is going on, everyone? It is Brandon. Hey, I am going to take a quick break from this podcast episode to invite you to this week’s upcoming webinar. How to analyze rental properties from maximum cashflow. I mean, look, I think you all, we all know rental properties can be one of the best ways to build wealth and passive income, but if you do not have the right math, ohh scary word, go into a deal, you will never get the right profit coming out of it. Level up your analysis skills by attending this free Webinar. Just go to BiggerPockets.com/analysiswebinar. That is AnalysisWebinar. We will talk all about how to estimate the current future value income expenses, repairs, cashflow cap and more. Again, BiggerPockets.com/analysiswebinar and that is free. I will see you there.
Brandon: Alright. This is the part of the show where we dive deep into one of your particular deals. I hope you guys have some in mind and we are going to dive deep onto a number of different questions about that thing. I am going to just kick this off with what kind of property, but first of all, you have one in mind, correct?
Brandon: Alright. What kind of property? Go ahead.
Adam: There is two properties that make this deal that were acquired totally different.
Brandon: Alright, alright. It sounds complicated but those are the best stories. Let us go there. What kind of property or properties are we talking about here? Like what is this?
Brent: One was a single family residence and the other was a mobile home on three acres.
Brent: What makes this interesting is it was a tax delinquent mail out. The house was worth about $145,000, that is the ARB. They were asking $100,000. It was owned free and clear. Our maximum cash offer was probably going to be around $60,000. What we did is we bought it for $100,000 on terms. Do you remember there was $10,000 down yet. $10,000 down $500 a month at 180 months.
Adam: Which for those that can work with calculator is 0% interest.
Brandon: That is good.
David: Okay. How did you guys find this deal?
Brent: It was a tax delinquent and inherited property. It was all free and clear. We sent a mailer out.
Brandon: Okay. You send a mailer out, they called you back, put it in your system, started working with them and… now we are talking about the single family home here, right?
Brandon: Was, alright, you said your max offer was $60,000. Say that again real quick? What you actually, well let me… Let me just go do another question. You said that you find it. They originally asked, they are asking a hundred and you said $60,000, is that right?
Brent: Max cash offer.
Adam: Max cash offer.
Brandon: Max cash offer. Okay. Then in the negotiation, what did you actually end up with? Tell us that again.
Brent: We ended up with $100,000 purchase price with $10,000 down.
Brent: $500 a month for 180 months.
Brandon: Yes, that is where the 0% interest came from.
David: Okay. Now, how did you negotiate those terms?
Adam: We gave her what she asked for.
Brandon: She asked for a $100,000.
Adam: It was probably a two months process. She called us and then like a lot of people do, we were the first ones in the door. Then once we said, ‘Hey.’ We are probably in that 60 range, she put it on Facebook Marketplace and Craig’s List and there was probably eight or ten other investors that went by and said that they were in that 50 to 60 range. But it totally validated what I said and what Brent said. But we kept diving in like I wish there was a way we can figure it out, which we had it in the back of our minds. Well, we just kept, Oh let us try to figure that. Do you have any ideas? How can we pay a hundred and make this work? Then the last day when we got it locked up, because we knew that her, her two biggest things, right? You needed approximately $8,000 to move to Colorado and she wanted four to $500 a month to supplement her retirement.
I think we called up and said, ‘Hey, Ms. Wanda. I think we got it figured out.’ She goes, oh you got an idea. I think we got it where you can get that $100,000 and we will get you everything that you are wanting and we can put this deal together and make it work right now. She was all geared up about it. We have been working for a long time. She was already sold on the idea of moving, right? Because there is a lot of psychology from after that first appointment. But she would have been ready to move for about four weeks at that point. It was one of those things that just, it checked her boxes and she pulled the trigger on it.
Brandon: Alright. You funded it with seller financing essentially, correct?
Brandon: Then what did you actually do with it at that point? Just hold onto it. Rented it out?
Adam: Yes. Did the rehab on it. I think has rented out for $1,125 or $1,100 give or take a couple bucks.
Brandon: Okay. Then I am curious, where does the mobile home come into play here? Because I am…
Brent: Just putting that one.
Brandon: Okay. The question was what is the outcome? Like what happened next? But yes, go ahead
Adam: This is probably one of my favorite deals. There was so many moving pieces in this thing that it is absolutely ridiculous. But basically what we did, and I love this story because everybody talks about when we do deals this way, then we have people that hear about how we do deals. They say, ‘Oh, man. You guys really think outside the box.’ The point of this whole example is that there is not a freaking box. Like you can do whatever. You can imagine in your mind you can do it.
Adam: While this deal was going on, there was… It was a double wide that had been foreclosed on two acres. There was an encroachment issue. As soon as a realtor sent it to me, he said, hey, this one has got some issues. Maybe you can do something with it, right? I mean I do not know how we have turned into that, but apparently we are problem solvers. They send us the deal, there is an encroachment issue. The original goal was to get the two acres in the mobile home and figure that out. Well, what we ended up doing was, so you have got a two acre parcel in a three acre parcel owned by the same person. There is a double lot that is halfway on both of those. When the bank foreclosed on it, they took the double lot in the two acres. Three acres was free and clear but it has half a mobile home.
Adam: The bank is trying. They filed a lease pendent, they are working on trying to actively serve this guy to try to get the three acres back. Well we swooped in and bought the three acres for $3,500.
Adam: Now, the bank has got to deal with me. That took about a year trying to negotiate with the bank. We ended up redrawing some property lines. We ended up with three acres. They ended up with two but the double lot encroachment issue is taken care of. We put a mobile home on that property that is paying us $200 a month lot grant and there another mobile home that we just put on there that does not have an occupant in it. We traded the three acres and the mobile home for the balance of the note on that hundred thousand dollar house. When all the dust settled, we were in that house after fix up, rented out for $62,000. That is our cash out of pocket over the course of 18 to 20 something months.
Brandon: That is cool.
Adam: That is a lot moving parts but we got a smoke in terms deal on a house, smoking cash price on some land and within a year after both of those were bought, a year to 18 months, we ended up trading one for the balance of the other one and ended up in the house for $62,000. I can show you, I need some whiteboards. Right deal with that seller.
Brandon: That is cool. What is neat about this is this is what I try to convey to people all the time is like there is no book that you can read that is going to teach somebody how to do that. There is no podcast that you can listen to that is going to teach somebody how to do that, right?
Adam: Well, there is right now.
Brandon: Well, there is now. That one specific case, right? But real estate is not about like show me a blueprint and I will follow that exactly because real estate just do not work that way. It is too many variables. But what you guys have demonstrated is that you understand like the fundamentals, you understand how a negotiation works, how different options are there and you have the mindset of asking how do I get this done?
Not just saying, well, it does not fit with exactly what this book says so I am not going to do it, right? That is like a lesson I think people can take. I mean there is a lot of good lessons from today’s show but that is one thing I really hope people walk out of today with this is like just figure it out, get it done. Because like there is so many ways to pull off these different deals. There is so many ways to turn milk into cheese. That like they should be able to do this. I mean anybody can do this if you are just like thinking, how do I do this? Kudos to you guys, you guys did awesome.
Adam: Can I give one warning there to people?
Brandon: Please, please.
Adam: I think it is very important. People hear about this creative stuff and it is a very shiny object.
Adam: I think it is a valuable thing to have in your tool belt but I do not think it is necessary and I think people need to know that while we do get just insanely creative, that is just one of many many deals we have done that you almost have to draw out on a whiteboard. Our go to every time we go in somebody’s house is a cash deal. Like we only do the creative out of necessity. That is it.
Brandon: Alright. I think that is smart. That was cool. Yes, very cool. I am sure people are like, I am going to go back and listen. I am going to go back and listen to that again later. But I always liked the idea when you can pull in a couple of different deals, like kind of pulling together. I did a lot of cross collateralization is what they call it back in the day where I would like take the clutter on this property and use that as my down payment on this property and kind of like connect everything together. Yes, there is some fun ways to get creative there. But anyway, it is time to move on because we are almost out of time on today’s show. But before we let you go, let us head over to the Fire Round.
It is time for the Fire Round.
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Brandon: Alright. Time for the world famous Fire Round. Of course these questions come directly out of the BiggerPockets Forums and we are going to fire them at you guys right now. Let us go like this one. Hey, this is funny. This is actually from a guy named Josh Dorkin from Denver, Colorado. He actually put this on the forums a few years back. I wanted to get a consensus about those who buy lists for marketing purposes. If you buy real estate lists like probate, absentee properties with equity, et Cetera, can you let us know like, well, I guess what your favorite list is that you are doing? Where do you get the most deals from and then how often do you buy them? Do you have to like buy them every month or update your list every month or do you just buy them once a year? What do you think?
Adam: But we very rarely buy any kind of lists.
Brandon: That is alright. Because you go to the courthouse and just get it. Okay.
Adam: We go to the courthouse and get it. I mean why pay somebody else to get it two weeks later when I can just go get it anyways.
Brandon: There you go.
Brent: We do not buy in any list. As far as favorite list, everyone asks that question. They are all my favorite. They all generate income. I do not look at it. I can get really granular with it if I wanted to and track, okay, I will send this many texts to this many probate, how much my response, track all my KPIs, all that stuff. I have an overall KPI, that is all I really care about. It is all working and if you are trying to take it and getting to a point where you are asking everybody who is their favorite lists? My favorite list is I like pre foreclosures, I like, I mean, they are all the same lists.
There is no secret sauce out there. I mean there is people who talk about unknown equity and stuff like that when you start getting into list source. There is some crazy things and filters that people use. However, I am hitting everybody that fits a certain demographic. I know what my buyers want. If I have a buyer that loves three two’s, I am hitting every three two’s that is absentee owned. Absentee and owned and absentee out of state, right? It is really another favorite list. I do not have a favorite list. Do you have a favorite list?
Adam: Whatever our last deal closed.
Brandon: There you go.
Adam: We closed the next deal. I really saying as Brent, I could not care less where lead comes from as long as it comes in.
Brandon: Yes. I am listening on some of the… David Goggins was a guest on, Joe, what is his name? Joe Rogan’s podcast. Yes, I was listening to David Goggins who is like the fittest man in Earth kind of guy. Jose was having this conversation about people always ask them like what is your exact role morning workout look like or how many hours do you rest every time? He is just like jumps down their throat and he is like it is not like stop asking for a way out. Stop looking for these like little tiny tricks that are going to help you. He is like get out there and just run. Go put your shoes on and go right. Like just get something done.
If you are like sitting at home right now going, well, I do not know the exact list to mail to and I am not sure if probates is the right one or if I choose… Like stop, just stop asking that question. Like in the words of David Goggins, well I will use more PG language but like just go do something. Try it, right? Like get out there, like get working because that is the most important thing. Not do I have the exact list, exactly right the way that these two guys are doing that right?
Adam: That man is an animal.
Brandon: He is an animal.
Adam: But I mean that is my favorite quote from Richest Man in Babylon, right? Men of action are favored by the goddess of good luck.
Brandon: That is good. I do not remember that quote at all but I love that book.
Adam: I think it was Chapter Four or Chapter Seven.
Brandon: Wow, deep. By the way, if you guys ever listened to this has not read the richest man in Babylon, highly recommend it. It is fantastic
David: That is probably one of my favorite books of all time. That is like the one book that I will just read over and over and over and over. Every time I am like, oh yes, that is right. That is what I got to do.
Brandon: Yes, there you go. Alright, question number two.
David: From Gabe in Austin, Texas. What factors do you look at when you are deciding whether you are going to flip a property or use it as a rental? Does it depend on the area that the property is located or the shape that it is in? Maybe you guys could look at this from the perspective of the person buying it from you.
Adam: All of the above really. When we look at a property I want to look at, and I know this is always tough, right? Giving answers when there is no set mold. There is a lot of factors that go in. We want to know what the school district is. It is typically in our experience, the bigger the project, the bigger the difference between a rent ready Rehab and a retail ready rehab. It might be that the house that we were just talking about, right? That we bought on terms for a $100,000. To make it retail ready, would have probably cost us $38,000. To make it rent ready, it costs us a little over $17,000. That is a very big factor because that is, I mean, you are talking about a $20,000 difference and fix up costs. The other factor is going to be what kind of terms we are getting it on. If it is…
By the way, for those of you listening, all cash at closing is a term. It is just a very very short, but that is kind of what we look at. We are going to look at do we have to pay cash for it? What is the cash on cash return going to be when it is rent ready versus how much of a project is it? What can we sell it for and what can we buy it for with cash? Then we will try to weigh all of that out and some of it even goes as far as, well, if we buy it for cash, we can roll in and make x number of dollars and split it 50-50 with our guy. Well, if we do not, if we can do creative, then it might be that we can go creative with the seller. Well, partner up for the rehab money and do a 70-30 split because there is a smaller amount of money coming to the table. It really just, it all depends on all of those factors and then we start figuring out where we can make the most amount of money.
Brandon: Alright, alright. I like it. Alright, last question on the Fire Round. Comes from Frank from East Providence, Rhode Island, and it is actually one of those popular threads on the entire site. There is more than a thousand replies in just the past few months on this. I am curious what you guys think. The question that everybody asks is like it was a question to new investors who have not yet taken action, what is holding you back? I will tweak that slightly in two different ways.
One, you can answer it however you want. What held you back at the beginning? Like why did you not start earlier? Like what were some of the things that fears that held you back or things that held you back. Secondly, I mean you guys network with a lot of real estate investors, a lot of up and coming, a lot of newbies. What do you see holding people back? Maybe those are the same, maybe not.
Adam: I know what my two are.
Brent: Well, what held me back in the beginning is I had no idea there was this thing called wholesaling. If I had known 20 years ago, I would been dangerous right now. But I did not know anything about it but I was not one of those people that I am very quick to action. When it comes to something I am excited about, something that I am passionate about. As soon as Max kind of ran me through what he was doing, I called Adam. He said, ‘Oh, yes. I have done it several times.’ There I have my proof of concept. I know that it works. They worked for them, it can work for me. I immediately took about two months. Just study as much as possible. I was traveling all the time. All I do was listen to podcasts, audio books, read books, whatever I could do to try to catch up because I feel like I am so far behind everybody else.
Brent: I wanted to just learn as much as possible for the first two or three months. As soon as I just set a date, okay, by this day I am going to go start going on appointments. I am going to start calling. In May of 2017, I said, alright, I got my list, I got some Drive for Dollars list. I am going to call these people when I am in the hotel, take action and do it. What I feel like most people, their inability is analysis-paralysis, right? Some people go for it too fast, too soon, and mess up a lot of things, and that is okay as long as it is not messing up the sellers. For us, it is all about being helpful.
Adam: Like pre foreclosure situations and stuff.
Brent: That is really why we created the group that we have but we want to make sure everyone is educated. But education and consistency is what I feel like most people lack.
Brandon: Alright. Anything you want to add to that?
Adam: I think confidence because people have not been through the whole process, they are terrified. I mean essentially you are telling them to start a race and you are not mapping out where they are going. That is terrifying thing. But I think the main issue even behind that is that, like what we talked about before, investing as a team sport and you get a lot of people that are so dead-set on I have got to do this on my own but they do not have the confidence or the wherewith all to go through the whole process so they just get stuck in this loop. I do not know exactly what to do but I will not reach out and partner with anybody. It is just this never ending spiral or cycle or whatever you want to call it where it is just over and over.
You are vacillating between those two things whereas like take Brent for instance, when he first got started, I mean you were straight out of… I mean as new as you can get. But he studied a lot on his own and then what he was not sure of, he called and asked. Whether it was me or Max or whoever, he had people that he was hitting up which you did not have to but would have been more than happy to split a deal with somebody or whatever the case was just to learn that process. I think that is where a lot of people go wrong. It is because they think given up half a deal is the losing money when really you are making half the deal to get educated. I cannot think.
Adam: I would have probably stayed in school if somebody would have offered me money to teach me something.
Brandon: Yes, yes. Fantastic. Alright, well the last segment on the show, let us head over there. This is our Famous Four. Alright, before we get to the Famous Four, let us hear about what is going on this week over on the BiggerPockets Business podcast.
Hey there, Brandon. We have a big name on our show this week. It is Jay Papasan. He is coauthor of The One Thing and The Millionaire Real Estate Investor among several other books. Our conversation focuses on controlling your time to a strategic communication, networking and delegation. Now, Jay has totally changed the way I approach communication in business so we are going to deep dive on that subject. If you are interested, and you should be, subscribe to the BiggerPockets business podcast and check out the show on Tuesday. Okay, everybody go enjoy your Famous Four.
Brandon: Alright, let us get to this Famous Four. This is the same four questions we ask every guest every week. We are going to throw my two right now. Each of you can answer separately or together in one voice if you want to. Number one, what is your favorite real estate book?
Brent: Mine would be Rich Dad Poor Dad. That is what got me started.
Adam: Invest in Debt.
Brandon: Invest in Debt.
Adam: By Jimmy Napier.
Brandon: Yes, I do not even know that one.
David: Heard of it.
Adam: If you want to just be prepared because it will absolutely center your day up.
Brandon: Alright. Invest in Debt, I am going to look that one up right now. The how to book on buying paper for cash flow by Jim Napier. Oh, is that the one?
Adam: That is it.
Brandon: I know Jim Napier. I know the name but I have not read that.
Adam: Make sure you get the red copy.
Brandon: The red copy. I just want to look at it in Amazon. Yes, it is a $104 hard cover on Amazon.
Brent: Go to garryjohnston.com and you can get it there for like $25.
Brandon: Oh, nice. GaryJohnston.com. Fancy.
Brandon: Alright, next question.
David: What is your favorite business book?
Adam: I like play to win. It is kind of a mindset but applies I think just as equally to business and it just instead of go in the default route that most people go, which is playing not to lose, it really honed you in on everyday you go out there and just leaving it all on the table and play into when, regardless of what happens.
Brent: Mine would be Traction by Gino Wickman.
David: Yes, I got to read that one. Have you read it, Brandon?
Brandon: I started the first chapter and that was Kindle, right?
Brent: It is all about systems.
Brandon: Yes, I started it. Yes, I started it. I was not in the right place yet to finish it but I got to get there now because I feel like I am better now. But, yes.
Brent: Audio versions, I could not do the audio versions.
David: That sounded terrible. Like you were going through a bad breakup and you were not in the right place.
Brandon: No. You got to be like… You got to be like your soil has got to be fertile, ready for that seed to be planted, right? Like it has got to be ready until…
David: Also, more breakup time. But I was not… Like I did not have anybody on my team at the time. I did not have any reason to like… It really is about systems and building a team and being a good like leader. At the time I did not really have that. Like I did not get into it but now I am like, man, I need to read this because now I got like a team and I got people. I will get there.
David: Alright. What are some of your hobbies?
Brent: I like baseball. I am a big baseball fan. I have traveled, probably been in 27 stadiums and then just vacation. Actually, I drove up this morning from the beach. Going to the beach, hanging out, that is really… Just enjoy it, it is relaxing.
Adam: I like to fish on occasion when the time permits it, that is about it.
Brandon: Alright, that sounds good.
Adam: Yes, and we do a lot of real estate.
Brent: We are passionate about it and we are obsessed with it. Almost good. I would not say unhealthy obsession, but we enjoy it.
Brandon: Cool. Alright. What do you believe sets apart successful real estate investors from those who give up, fail or never get started?
Adam: I think just action. That is what we were talking about earlier, right? With David Goggins. I think people really try to focus on how to do things on the easiest possible way or try to figure out how to delegate everything, which is fine, but not from the get go.
Brandon: Yes, yes.
Adam: People do not… They do not put enough stock into paying the piper. In my experience, everybody has to pay the piper and interests is pretty high.
Brent: I am right there with him. I could not said that any better.
Brandon: That is good, that is good. That is going to make a nice little Instagram quote card. I like it. Alright guys, this has been fantastic, like really, really fun and you guys are just crushing it. I am excited to see kind of the future of where you guys had with the text message thing and hopefully we did not just make 250,000 people start doing text messages for real estate deals, but you know.
Brent: If that is the case, I am calling the guy and tell him I need a piece of the action.
Brandon: There you go, there you go.
David: Alright, guys. Tell us where can people find out more about you?
Brent: We do a weekly Live Q&A on Facebook inside of our group. That is where we try to educate as many people as possible. It is 100% free. You can find us by going into Real Estate Roundup on Facebook. It is a group, answer the three questions and we will let you in. Every Tuesday at 8PM Central Standard Time, we do a live Q&A.
Brent: Instagram. He is BigSip Real Estate and I am MisterSippy.
Brandon: MisterSippy. That is funny.
Brent: Got it from a touring days. My old boss called me that.
Brandon: Pretty good.
David: Alright. Well, thank you guys. This is some really stuff.
Brandon: It is, it is.
Adam: Thank you guys. It has been a lot of fun.
Brent: Yes, I appreciate you guys for having us on. We had a blast. We did not cut as many jokes is I thought we were going to be. We got a little serious about real estate.
Brandon: I know. Who would have thought we had a long conversation about real estate.
Brent: We did say cows and I missed the opportunity to go, oh no, brown cow.
David: Maybe it has been sitting there this whole time wishing that you could get a chance to redeem yourself and there you go. You snuck it in right before you go.
Brandon: There you go.
Adam: Well, I cannot wait on the opportunity to say that is utterly ridiculous to talk about cow fat.
Brandon: That is awesome, dude. Thank you very much. It has been fun.
Adam: Thank you guys.
Brent: Thank you guys.
David: This is David Greene for Brandon ‘Ready To Love Again’ Turner. Signing off.
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