Brandon: This is the Bigger Pockets podcast Show 346. What’s going on everyone? My name is Brandon, host of the Bigger Pockets podcast here with my cohost Mister David Greene. What’s up buddy?
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David: What’s up Brandon? I’m doing great man. Just got back from Austin, Texas. I was there for [inaudible 01:21:44]Mega Camp at one of our GoBundance events. Got a bunch of sun, had a bunch of fun, got to hangout with real estate people. I’m off-
Brandon: Did you throw axes again? I saw some pictures of ax throwing, did you do it?
David: I didn’t do that because I went out there on about two hours of sleep. And I didn’t think it was a good idea to be that sleep deprived with weapons throwing [inaudible 01:22:01]. That was the one thing that I skipped.
Brandon: That’s funny. That’s one of the things that I remember last year. I had a ton of time in Austin. A ton of fun doing was ax throwing.
Brandon: If you’re listening to this show, and you’ve not down ax throwing you should probably do some ax throwing.
Brandon: Anyway. Cool. All right, well before we get any further into today’s show, which is an amazing show with an amazing guest who’s just 20 years old, but is clearing six figure wholesale fees on stuff that we’ve never really even talked about on the show before. He’s got a bunch of rental properties at this point, just crushing life at a young age. He’s going to totally inspire you to do a lot of cool stuff as well, everyone listening. But before we get there, let’s get to today’s quick tip.
Brandon: All right. Today’s quick tip is very simple. Check out a new book. Readers are leaders, right? I’m just a big fan of reading, I just like reading an awful lot, and I thought me and David would both take a chance here real quick for our quick tip to recommend a book that we’ve been into lately.
Brandon: So I’ll go first. I don’t know if, David, you have a book in mind yet, but I’m reading one called Will Power Doesn’t Work by Benjamin Hardy right now. And I really like [inaudible 01:23:02]at GoBundance thing actually a few years ago or a year ago, and I kind of read it quickly through it, but I’m going more deeply through it now that it’s… I’m underlining, there’s just so much in there that I’m just blown away by, just a lot of studies and things of what makes people successful. And kind of the point of it is if you’re just relying on willpower to change anything in your life, it’s not enough. You’ve got to change your environment. Environment is what matters more than anything, which is everything from where you’re working every day, where you’re getting your stuff done, who’s around you, who you associate yourself with. All that stuff. So Willpower Doesn’t Work. Great book.
Brandon: What about you, David?
David: Awesome book. I love it.
David: I’m reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s kind of a book about how to make very quick, snap second kind of decisions, learning how to read your gut, trust your gut. Like a lot of people you and I know that are on Bigger Pockets they get caught up in analysis paralysis. And there’s this point of diminishing returns where you just keep thinking about something and you’re not moving. If you can prevent yourself from ever getting into that state at all, you’re going to have a lot more success [inaudible 01:24:03]that book.
Brandon: Nice. I’m sad to admit, Malcolm Gladwell is the most famous business author ever, and I’ve not read a single Malcolm Gladwell book. I think it’s just because… I’m sure they’re great, and it’s one of those everyone tells me I need to read them, so then I’m like, “No. I’m not going to.” But actually [crosstalk 01:24:19]
David: That’s you. That’s totally you Brandon.
Brandon: I know. I’m a rebel. What can I say.
Brandon: All right, well speaking of great books, if you haven’t yet picked a copy of the Intention Journal from Bigger Pockets that we launched a couple weeks ago, there are still some copies available. They have not completely sold out yet. And if they have sold out, then I’ll edit this later because I don’t think they’re sold out. We’re recording this a month early. Go pick up a copy at biggerpockets.com/journal.
Brandon: I think that’s all we got. So today’s guest is Josiah Pott. Josiah is a real estate investor out of South Carolina who is, like I said, just 20 years old, and the guy is just crushing it. He’s got such good advice. For example, he goes through five ways to get a phone number and to get the contact address for motivated sellers, really in depth. Five really, really good ways to do that. He goes through this idea of not necessarily starting with why or starting with how, but starting with who. And you’ll see what he means by that in a second, and then he tells the story later about making over 300 grand on a wholesale fee on a huge deal. It’s super inspiring. His entire story is inspiring. You’re going to love this today.
Brandon: So without further ado, let’s get to our interview with Josiah Pott.
Brandon: What’s going on Josiah? Welcome to the Bigger Pockets Podcast, man. Good to have you here.
Josiah: Thank you so much for having me.
Brandon: Yeah. So let’s get into this. I want to cover the elephant in the room first, and unveil the elephant. You are going on your 70th birthday, is that right? 75th?
Josiah: Yeah, about that.
Brandon: Okay. How old are you?
Josiah: I’m 20. So I’ll be 21 in November.
Brandon: All right. Before we get into your story let’s just get an idea of where are you at? What do you do? Where are you at today with your real estate? What’s that look like? What kind of real estate do you do and what kind of levels are you investing at?
Josiah: I invest all in residential, and I don’t have anything against any other areas of real estate, but I love residential because I figure it’s an absolute need for everyone to have a roof over their head. Where I’m at right now is I’m doing a lot of development here in Greenville, South Carolina and I have a group, and I kind of act as the acquisitions manager if you want to say that. I make a lot of fees from finding property and setting it up to be developed, but I don’t usually stay in the deal. So that’s kind of how I’ve made my money, and then I use it to invest.
Brandon: That’s awesome. So we’re going to unpack al that. So why don’t we begin at the very beginning. How did you get into real estate?
Josiah: Okay. I know we didn’t talk about this before, but my start in real estate was very, very young. I had a dad who… I have a dad who is really into real estate, and who was really into real estate. He was never the biggest over, or shaker, but he was huge on compound interest and stuff.
Josiah: So the earliest memories that I have, I have home schooled, so I spent a lot of time with my family. Most of the time I learned from my mom or other teachers, but sometimes I had the chance to sit with my dad. I remember specifically long car trips where we would be driving 12 hours, or 14 hours and my mom would take a seat in the back, and I would get in the front, and my dad and I would just do big, Excel sheets of amortization and compound interest. He’d be like, “Okay. If you invest $2,000 for this many years at this interest rate what do you have? I would just sit there with my eyes wide. So I became really obsessed with compound interest, I think, is what started it all. He had used real estate as a tool to realize interest, so I kind of saw that as my first go to.
Josiah: Basically, by the time I came around to high school, I had kind of lost sight of the whole real estate thing. It just didn’t seem realistic for me because I was a high schooler. So of course I did the normal thing. I went and applied at a local restaurant, and then I applied at another one. I didn’t make either job. So my dad being very kind and generous, he owned a commercial property and allowed me to be the landscaper. So I got this little gig making… probably in profit I made five or $600 a month doing landscaping, and it was just enough to kind of get me by with the car payment and everything.
Josiah: Basically, after I did that for a little while I went to college, and my dad actually retired for half of the year, half way retired I guess. We were able to start dabbling in real estate with some of his retirement. So we did a ton of stuff. We did contracts for deeds, lease to own kind of deals. We did a flip, which completely failed. We invested in tax liens. We did foreclosures, and it was all kind of… I mean, I didn’t ever really make money doing it, but it was more like I knew that I wanted to do real estate. I was at Clemson and I had my minor in a real estate emphasis area of finance, so I just wanted to kind of get out there and try stuff. So we worked together to kind of dabble.
Brandon: So you started by kind of working for your dad, I guess, almost in a way. [inaudible 00:06:51]landscaping and then working in some of his deals?
Josiah: Yeah. Exactly. I always acted of some sort of acquisitions kind of manager. He said, “I want to do contract for deeds. Here are the parameters, and here’s what I want to find.” So I would put out bandit signs, and do little advertising things here and there to try to find him deals. Then we did a house flip together. He paid me two grand for it, and then we ended up… he asked for it back because we realized later that we lost money after accounting for interest. We did a lot of failed things. It’s kind of sad for me to even think about talking about all of them, but we did tax liens. We invested $1.2 million in tax liens, and we ended up with four properties and three of them we paid more than we should’ve, more than they’re even worth. One of them took eight months to evict the people. It’s been crazy. Not everything has been fun, and that’s how I came across land development, and wholesaling. It’s because things sucked. Everything that I touched was terrible. I just completely failed.
Josiah: Once I finally got some traction with learning how these guys were making half a million or a million dollars a year just setting up these developments to be taken with pretty much a zero risk, I knew that that was something I wanted to be a part of.
Brandon: So when did all this… I mean, you went from landscaping for your dad, and then in college kind of doing work for him to eventually, at some point… now you’re doing deals on your own, it sounds like. Is that right?
Brandon: How did that transition happen? I’m wondering one how the transition happened, how did that… Was he like, “All right, I’m kicking you out of the nest. Go fly?” How did that work? What’s the story behind this, going from [crosstalk 00:08:54]
Josiah: That’s a good question.
Josiah: Without getting into personal stuff too much, my wife and I, we started dating in September of 2017 and we decided to get married pretty shortly after. We got married in April of 2018. It was awesome, but it was also really difficult, and one of the biggest things that I was facing in that decision making process, of course, was how in the world am I going to make money and support a wife? So we got married, we moved in with my aunt. She had a guest room. So we had a little room to ourselves. She was amazing, and let us stay there for probably about two months and then we actually moved into my grandma’s trailer. All this time we had… I’m not going to lie, we had received some generous gifts for getting married, which is kind of funny how that goes, but we were able to save up about $10,000 between… We both had some money saved. I had planned to put it towards college, but ended up not. Then we received some gifts from getting married, and we were able to kind of use that $10,000 and say, “Okay, this buys us about six months.”
Josiah: So we knew, if we could either live with my aunt or at my grandma’s trailer and have a roof over our heads that we didn’t necessarily have to pay for that we could live on canned fruit and chicken and rice for six months. So that’s kind of how we set ourselves up to have the freedom to either massively succeed or massively fail. So we dedicated all of our time to pursuing real estate and development.
Josiah: When we got married I sold the landscaping business, I dropped out of college. It was April and the day after we got married it was a Monday, I was supposed to go to class, and I just told her I couldn’t. I was like, I got to do something because she was a server and one thing I want to do, I want to make sure that everyone knows we did not have it. Looking back it sounds like it was a plan like, we give ourselves six months and it was all planned out. It was totally not. We got married and I could not stand leaving her at home and knowing that I’m going to college spending money on my education, which by the way is not a bad thing but I just personally couldn’t handle that. It was really difficult for me to know that she was making two or 300 bucks a week serving at a pizza restaurant and I wasn’t bringing anything to the table except spending her money.
Josiah: So that was really hard for me, and the only way I could really handle it is by trying to do something to provide I guess.
Brandon: Yeah. That’s an interesting story. I like that you looked at it and you just like, hey… just because the script for life is go to high school, graduate high school, go to college, get $50,000 or $100,000 in student loan debt, then go and get the job. You’re like, that might be fine for some people but it’s not right for me.
Josiah: Exactly. My wife always… whenever I talk about our story she always has to remind me, “This wasn’t always your plan” because of course I would love to sit here and say that this was my plan to be 20 and not have to go to work, and be where we are now. For me, I was in college when we were dating, my plan was to get an MBA, so not just four years but actually six years in college and then get a decent job and buy a house a year because I had been listening to you guys for a long time. I wanted to get a house a year, and then retire by the time I was 50 or 55. She was the one… To be honest with you, she was definitely the one who kind of switched that up and said, why wait? So we started investigating ways to get started earlier.
Brandon: Very cool.
Brandon: Well, walk us through that. So you got 10 grand, you’re like, “All right. Well, that’s going to last me a few months.” What did you do? How did you get your very first deal on your own then?
Josiah: So we used the first couple months to… Let me start by saying, I think I mentioned this to Kevin, but basically we always start with who. Of course, you start with why because that’s… not to say that’s obvious, but I feel like it is. You definitely need to have meaning behind what you do, but when we’re actually going after a deal, if we want to make $100,000 fee, we start with who. We don’t start with what or when. We start with who are we going to serve?
Josiah: Nowadays that might be a big national builder or a small, local builder. We have these clients now who we know want specific things, but back then we only had really one contact who was a friend from church. [inaudible 00:14:07]builder, a really good guy, Christian dude, and we just said, “What are you looking for?” And he happened to be a custom home builder. Custom home builders are a little bit more comfortable paying higher prices for lots. So we went after certain areas that we knew they wanted to be in because they don’t make phone calls. They don’t do cold calling. So we were like, “We’ll do it for you, and if we find you something we’ll sell it to you.”
Josiah: So Christiana actually, my wife, she was calling on this little… It was probably a little group of 20 or 30 houses, and she found two lots because they had said, “We’re interested in either houses or lots, but in these certain areas.” So she started calling and she came across two lots, and the guy said, “No. No. No” and he didn’t want to sell. So long story short, it took her three months and probably a dozen phone calls to finally get a meeting with him. So we went over to the property, and we met him. It was a long process, but that’s how we ended up wholesaling our first deal and making $20,000, which got us maybe out of my grandma’s trailer.
Josiah: So that was kind of our first, first baby step and then we used that to start buying rentals, and buy ourself into more financial freedom.
David: You know what I like about what you said is rather than saying how do I find a mentor, how do I find someone that will be my mentor you went to a potential mentor and said, “What do you need?” And they said, “Well, I need lots to build on.” And you said, “Okay. I’ll go find that for you.” And you made yourself $20,000 and, I’ll bet you, learned a ton from that person like a mentor. That is the perfect example of how the right way to approach somebody is, is you went and made that person money, made yourself money in the process, and still got the education you were looking for. There’s not a business man that’s successful in the world who’s going to say, “I don’t want your help helping me find the piece that I need to be able to make my business run.”
Josiah: I strongly believe that. I mean, I know you guys talk a lot about givers and getters, and how the most successful people are actually givers not the getters. One thing that I always try to do, it’s almost like a pack that we’ve made with ourselves, me and Christiana, is that if we’re going to do business with someone we want to serve them before we ask for anything in return. I’m going to make them money before I try to make myself money. I’ve gone as far as saying… I’ll bring someone the deal, and we’ll run the numbers and they’ll say, “Man, it doesn’t work.” And I’ll say, “Okay, does it work without my fee?” And they’ll say, “Yeah, I guess we can make it work.” And I’ve just said, “Okay, go ahead and take it” because for me longterm is just so much more important. Relationships are more important than any amount of money.
Brandon: Yeah. That’s-
Josiah: Easier to say that now, but…
David: That’s a really good point because really if they didn’t buy it at all, it doesn’t benefit you. So whether you let it go without a fee or you don’t sell it at all it’s the same result. You might as well get something out of it even if you’re not getting money, which is appreciation and a lot of reciprocity [inaudible 00:17:24]they’re going to come back. And at least this person now cares about you and your business because you showed that you cared about theirs because the alternative would be, “Fine. I won’t just sell it. No deal.” And you did all that work for nothing.
Josiah: Yeah. Exactly.
David: So tell us a little bit about what do you have now? What’s your portfolio look like today?
Josiah: I guess I can start by saying once we made that $20,000 fee we didn’t go on a buying spree. We went pretty slow and steady, and I think that was due to me still kind of having my thoughts of a house a year kind of thing. So we went and I cold called a guy. It’s always cold calling for us, but I cold called a guy and we found a duplex near downtown Greenville and we bought it. We probably bought it a little bit high. We bought it for $115,000. One side me and Christiana actually personally got it and replaced the cabinets, and we did a lot of the work ourselves just kind of looking on YouTube. So that was our first rental. I don’t know how far you want me to go into that, but that kind of was what started for us the rental experience, I guess.
David: Well, we’ll ask you about each individual deal, but I’m trying to get an idea for your overall portfolio. So if you-
Josiah: Yeah. Sure, sure. Okay. I got it. Okay, I have this. So what we have now is we have two duplexes near downtown Greenville, we have a couple single family homes in and around Greenville. We have an eight unit that we recently bought in April. We have a 16 unit down in Macon, Georgia which is kind of our cashflow property and most of the rest are appreciation based mostly. And then we have a duplex in Greenville, North Carolina which Kevin mentioned. Then we have the home we currently live in. And then, of course, we have a handful of other properties that we haven’t under contract. But that’s kind of where we are right now.
Josiah: Honestly, I did not add up exactly how many units we have, but I think it’s 34, which is actually a funny story. I was listening to the podcast and it was the first time that I had heard about the 90, I guess you called it, a bee hag [inaudible 00:19:42]. That was about 30 days ago, maybe 45 at this point, and we had 16 apartments, and I said, “I want to get to 32 before 90 days from now.” And now we’re at 34. We’ve already [crosstalk 00:20:00]
Brandon: That’s awesome.
Josiah: It’s been a really fun experience, and that was kind of something that I got from y’all.
Brandon: That’s cool, dude. I find that when you have that… So many people don’t achieve their goal because they don’t have the clarity on what it is they want. So when you just define your goal like, “I want to get 16 more units. I’m going to buy another apartment building. I’m going to buy it, whatever. I’m going to flip this many houses, wholesale this many deals.” And you have that clarity, and then you put a deadline on it that’s shorter than people think. Everyone likes to do annual goals, but I’m a big believer in the 90 day goal because you can accomplish anything in 90 days.
Josiah: Yeah. You’re up to what? A thousand mobile home units?
Brandon: I think we’re at 500 right now, but the goal was 50 pad.
Josiah: Oh my gosh.
Brandon: [inaudible 00:20:43]500 because why not? Because once you have that clarity you can move so much faster. So I would just encourage everyone out there to try to get some of that clarity. And speaking of that, the journal… we are relaunching the Intention journal. A new edition comes out. I’m not sure what day this episode comes out, but it’s either just before or just after this episode that new journal comes out. Make sure you pick up that at biggerpockets.com/journal.
Brandon: So what it sounds like is you are basically wholesaling vacant land to developers and then using the cash to both live and then invest in rental properties. Is that a good overall, arching view?
Josiah: Yeah, sure.
Brandon: All right. So the wholesaling vacant land, that’s a cool thing. You kind of talked about your first time you got into it, how you found that deal for him. Should we start a few minutes talking about that because we’ve never really, I don’t think, in 300 and some episodes… can we talk about what does that even mean? What does it mean to wholesale vacant land? How do you make money off that? And then we’ll go into how you’re finding those, and stuff like that.
Josiah: Vacant land, I’ve always liked it. The main reason that I started with vacant land was because I had people who knew how to do it. I knew people who knew how to do it. I knew developers just kind of mainly from church and mutual relationships and stuff. I always… we did our first wholesale deal, we did the lots on Traxler Street and we made 20 grand. And that was great. But honestly, it was a terrible process. It was long, it was annoying, it was hard to get in touch with them, the closing was difficult. I said, “If I’m going to do this, rather than doing this deal 10 times, why not do a million dollar deal and make one free for $200,000 and go on vacation for the rest of the year.” Not really, but that was the thing that started the idea of doing land because… Maybe not in Maui, but here there’s actually a pretty good amount of vacant land. If you go on the outskirts of Greenville there’s a lot of land. We’re not landlocked, so that kind of helps.
Brandon: Yeah. That helps. There’s a limited amount of land out there, out here. We’re a little limited.
Josiah: That’s kind of how I got started, is that I started calling on land and I started getting an idea, it was a long process and a lot of failed attempts, but I started working with a lot of builders who could tell me what they were looking for and how much they would pay per acre. And then I started looking for land and trying to find things that worked for them. The issue is that it does require a skillset. Wholesaling a house, as long as you can get it under contract you don’t even need to know what you have to wholesale it. I mean, really all it takes is someone who’s knowledgeable to come in and say, “Wow, that is worth what you’re asking. I’m going to buy it.” But when you’re talking about land, builders don’t want to see stuff until it’s been bedded. So what that entails is a process that I call the entitlement process. It’s almost like title work, but just on a little bit bigger of a level.
Josiah: There’s a lot of things that have to do with the developability of a property that I can run through if you want me to.
Brandon: Sure. I’d love that.
Josiah: It depends on the type of the property. If it’s custom homes, like big lots, of course you can do septic, but most of the time you’re looking for sewer accessibility and capacity, which means that there’s sewer lines in or around the property. You’re looking for water lines. Obviously [inaudible 00:24:22]lines. You got to make sure all the utilities are there. That’s huge. But then probably the next biggest thing is going to be zoning. So you can go find a huge 100 acre piece of property. You can do all your math, and run your numbers, and say, “We can do 500 houses here,” but if the county won’t let you or the city won’t let you it’s just a pipe dream.
Josiah: So you have to actually go take some steps and spend a lot of money to… Well, not a lot of money, but some money to get an engineer to look at the property and even go to some zoning hearings. So it can be a longer process. When you wholesale a house you can get it under contract and say, “Hey, I need to close in 15 days” and the right person with the cash who’s willing to do it can do it. But with the entitlement process with land you’re looking at a couple months even on the smaller projects, you still have to make sure that everything lines up with zoning, and utilities, and there’s some other issues that you can run into like wetlands, and flood zones, and all that fun stuff.
Josiah: So it does take a little bit longer, but on the flip side land owners are willing to give you a lot more time. So you’ll get something under contract and rather than them giving you 30 days to close the deal they’ll give you 180 or 240 days. So it’s just kind of… it gives you more flexibility and a lot more time to market it to people.
Brandon: Here’s what I like about that and it’s similar to what I’ve said recently about why I’m really digging mobile home parks right now. It’s because it’s hard. Basically what you’re saying is, this is hard. It’s a lot of work, and 99% of the competition out there, let’s be honest, doesn’t want to work hard. 99% of people out there they love those stories, and I love them too, but they love the stories of, “Yeah, I was driving by this house, it looked vacant, I sent a postcard to the owner, I said I can close in 10 days. So we closed in 10 days. I flipped it and made 40 grand. Easy money, and the whole time I was actually sitting on the beach getting my toes waxed.” That’s what people want to hear, and that’s what everyone envisions, but you’re like, “You know what? I like… You went into land development, wholesaling, whatever you want to call that because you’re like, “This is hard work.”
Brandon: We’ve interviewed 350 people or whatever on the show and I don’t know anybody else who does what you’re doing, which means it’s hard and you got to learn it, and there’s all these steps. So people are listening going like, “Well, that sounds too complicated.” Yeah, that’s why very few people do it.
Brandon: [crosstalk 00:26:58]you figured it out, you asked questions, and you figure it out, right?
Josiah: Yeah. And all it takes is meeting one guy who can kind of run you through it. For me, it’s all it took is meeting one guy, a friend of mine named Doug who’s just an absolute saint. I love him. He is one of the most caring and generous people in the world, very generous with his time as well. He was able to… He was also mutual friends through church and some other things. He was able to kind of walk me along and say… Honestly just say no to a lot of opportunities that I brought to him and tell me why, not just say no, but actually tell me, “Here’s why this one doesn’t work,” and then helping me along the way.
Josiah: I think at the foundation of why I chose this path is because I knew that I wanted to make money. I wanted to make a lot of money, so that I can invest in a lot of properties, but I wanted to have time to do both. So what land development offers is I could work two hours a day on that stuff and just make sure that my emails are checked, and that approvals are in place, and whatever, our permits are pending and then I’m fine. That gives me time to know that I have 100, 200, $500,000 in the pipeline and go ahead and now start looking for properties to invest that money in.
David: One thing I love about your business Josiah is you didn’t say, “Do I want to wholesale or do I want to be a single family investor, or a multi-family investor?” You said, “Yeah. I want to wholesale. I want to own multifamily, I want to single family. I want to own small multifamily.” And what you’ve done is you’ve taken skills that you’ve used to earn money to wholesale, converted that into properties wherever you find them, and you probably, I would bet when you chose what properties to buy, it was based on contacts that you made through your wholesaling business with these other investors, and agents, and brokers. The kind of people that you rub elbows with.
David: So you immersed yourself into this world. You make yourself valuable to all these people in it and then you get the benefit of all their collective wisdom and knowledge that guide you to what you should buy. Here’s a deal, you should go buy it, and you have the capital to do it. I think it’s brilliant, especially at 20 years old, that you’re able to do all this. But it all starts with you earning capital through wholesaling so that you can buy it. And I think a lot of people try to skip that step. They say, “How do I get into real estate without having to save money or work harder?” Earn money, and then just make it really hard [inaudible 00:29:25]for you. You need the hard work to earn the money and then the investing part probably comes easier.
David: Tell us-
Josiah: Yeah. And… Sorry. Go ahead.
Josiah: I was just going to say I think that really that all goes back to what I started with saying is that I’ve always been obsessed with compound interest, and you can’t experience compound interest unless you have capital to invest. So I’m not trying to be the next [inaudible 00:29:49], just create a new product. I’m all into modeling, like you guys always talk about. So for me, I know that other people are doing this, but I’m doing it too. And I’m just huge on getting my money to work for me.
Josiah: That’s what this all started with, it’s just the idea of compound interest. So I’m very traditional in that sense. I’m not the guy… In fact, I actually have a story of how I turned down [inaudible 00:30:15]financing, one of our first deals because I just didn’t know what it was and I wasn’t comfortable with it. And I’d rather invest my own money. I realized looking back that’s dumb, and it was dumb at the time, so I won’t hide the fact that I am more of a traditional investor, but for me it’s just what I’m comfortable with.
David: Well Brandon is really into modeling too he’s actually hitting the gym every day. He’s working on Abercrombie and Fitch catalog [crosstalk 00:30:44]
Brandon: It’s what I do.
David: Bringing back the beard.
David: Okay. So because the whole things starts for you with earning income, tell us how you’re finding the owners of these lots that you’re contacting to wholesale. How are you getting the contact info?
Josiah: So one thing I like to tell people about is… Well, okay. In the history of making cold calls there is one guy in all of Greenville County that I cannot get in touch with. I know where he lives, but it’s too far to drive, so i don’t want to drive to him, but I haven’t been able to get in touch with him, but everyone else I have been able to reach out to whether it’s by text or phone, or email, or calling their office and tracking them down. So I’m really good at it. And I will say that there’s not many things that I think that I’m really good at, but I know that I’m good at tracking people down. So what I use, I use five main tools.
Josiah: Number one is… and you guys might be familiar with some or all of these, is the GIS systems for counties and for cities. Most counties and cities, if they’re bigger than a couple thousand people they’re going to have something called a GIS system, which is short for something. And it’s just a mapping system that has a ton of information on there, and you can look at a property. If it’s a good system, you should be able to look at a property and see where it is, and who owns it, and when they bought it, and how much. You can even look at deeds and mortgages, and all this fun stuff. So that’s what I’ve used.
Josiah: Honestly, I’m going to run through these five and I’m not going to tell anyone how to find these things. You really just got to dig. If you live in any sizeable city you should have all these things accessible to you.
Josiah: So the second thing is the Secretary of State website. When I find LLCs or entities, in ever state there should be a Secretary of State website. So for South Carolina it’s scsos.com. That’s where I can… And by the way almost all of these, I think all but one is free. So you can look up any entity and it’ll show you the members name, and their address, and if the member has changed throughout the years it’ll show you that. When it was created, all that fun stuff. So you can use that to track names, actual names of people who own the entities because a lot of people get to the point where they see an entity, and they see a PO box, and they’re like, “Crap. I’m never going to get to him.” But I actually go the extra mile and spend five minutes to find the person’s name and where they live.
Josiah: The third thing is the Registrar of Deeds. So a lot of times if something’s really difficult, if I can’t find it just by doing those two things, the GIS and the Secretary of State then I’ll use the Registrar of Deeds, which is also a website most of the times. Sometimes, in really small places, you actually have to go to the office and look at all the deeds. But most of the time people are required to put their actual mailing address on a deed, and a lot of people feel uncomfortable doing a PO box and stuff. So you can. Almost 99% of the time unless it’s a huge corporation, you will find someone’s actual mailing address on the deed. Typically, it’s very easy to find. You’re on the deed, it’s four or five pages long, you scroll until you see [inaudible 00:34:08]and it’ll just have a little colon and there’ll be a blank, and typically they hand write their address. Sometimes even if I don’t know their name I’ll search their address and I’ll just call the names that are associated with the address, and most of the time it’ll be one of them.
Josiah: The fourth thing is White Pages. There a ton of these out there, the number finding websites, but I typically use White Pages. It’s just what I’ve always done, and I think premium is 20 bucks a month or something. And I can look up as many people as I want, and just find numbers, and find addresses, and relatives and all that fun stuff.
Josiah: The last thing, if all else fails, and I cannot find anything on anyone… I think I found this out in high school. This is weird. If you don’t know about it, it can be life changing, but there’s something that you can do on Google where if you search something, and you put quotation marks on it, around it, it will only bring up things… I mean, because you search some stuff, even if it’s a paragraph long, it will pull up a million things, but if you do quotation marks around one word, or one phrase it’ll pull up only those things that have those words in them. So that can be super helpful because they might be doing business in another state, or another county, or maybe they even got an award for something that they did, and you can just find out, “John Smith, member of this LLC got an award for being a good steward of whatever.” And then you have his name.
Josiah: Those are the five things that I use. The GIS, Secretary of State, Registrar of Deeds, White Pages, and the Google quotation marks.
Brandon: That’s cool.
David: Now you’re doing a lot of reaching out, which is great. We call that lead generation, but most successful people don’t just excel at lead generation, they excel at lead follow up. How are you keeping track of all these people, the notes, the conversations you’ve had, reminding yourself to follow up? That stuff.
Josiah: Yeah. Growing up, I mentioned I was home schooled, shout-out to my mom. She’s amazing and had a lot of patience with me, but one of the things I really learned and excelled in as a home schooler was just scheduling and planning. You pretty much start out, and you’re already in college because you have to do your own thing or else nothing gets done. So you’re not in a classroom of people and you’re kind of just following along. Because of that I’ve always been really good at scheduling.
Josiah: So after we got married, I remember like yesterday, we went to Barnes and Noble and Christiana had to beg me to buy this thing because it was $20. At the time that was our life savings, but I bought a schedule. It was a normal, college schedule, and every single time I called someone I would count the pages. Oh my gosh, I was so annoyed, I would count the pages, and say, I’m going to call them back in exactly four weeks. So I would write it on the schedule. I would look through that, even two or three months in advance I would flip 20 or 30 pages and I would have two or three people to call back every, single day. That’s how I managed follow ups basically.
David: Is that still how you’re doing it?
Josiah: Honestly, that is not still how I’m doing it. I’ve just changed how I do things a little bit more because at this point I’m doing a lot bigger deals. So most of the time, if it’s a mom and a pop, if they say no you have no idea if they’re going to change their mind. But most of the time with these larger corporations they’ll pretty much tell you, “Hey, we just refinanced. We’re not looking to sell for another 18 months.” And then you got your followup. I use apps at this point like Calendar, and I use a ton of alarms. In fact, I’m surprised none of them have gone off yet. I have probably… legitimately you could scroll on my alarms for maybe 30 seconds or a minute. I have so many alarms every day. I don’t know why that works for me, but it’s kind of morphed and changed over time. I’ve always followed up with people. And all of the deals that I’ve done, literally, all of the deals that I’ve done to make fees, I’ll say this, I don’t think we succeeded in getting a contract signed without at least half a dozen calls, at the very, very bare minimum.
Josiah: Like I said, I’m not trying to be the next innovator in this space. I am traditional in that sense too, and I’m not scared to say it. I know a lot of people don’t want to make phone calls because they have these… “Hey Josiah, don’t you know?” I’ve had people say, “There’s this program where you can dial 200 people’s phone numbers at once and when they answer there’s this automated thing.” I’m like, yeah. That’s cool, but I want to actually be able to have a personal touch, and I can’t do that. If I’m calling saying, “Hello. I’m interested in your property in Greenville.” It’s like, you might as well just send a letter. For me, I like calling because I’ve had people thank me for calling them rather than sending them a letter. They’ve literally said, “I really, honestly, am not interested, but I just wanted to say thank you. And if I’m ever interested in selling I will call you first because you called me. You put in the extra effort.” To me that’s worth the world, to me. So that’s why I’ve always done cold calling.
Brandon: Well, [inaudible 00:39:47]out there. There’s a lot of stuff I can pull out there, but one is that a lot of people think they have to build this massive system. They hear a guy or a lady on the podcast, and they hear somebody say, “Yeah. I’ve got this system, and this, and I use Podio that interacts with this thing, and it automates this email that goes out to this thing.” And people are like, “Man, I don’t have any of that. I don’t understand it.” So then they turn on the TV and they watch their Dancing With The Stars every night, right? Because they don’t have the big thing.
Brandon: But I love that you just said, you went to Barnes and Nobel, you got a planner, a calendar thing and you just flipped over 90 days, or 50 days, or 40. Who cares what you use? Just use something that works for you, and you can get better over time. Now you found that alarms work better. Some people love the Podio stuff. I just cannot figure out Podio. I’ve tried it 100 times. That’s one of the more common, really complicated things. My brain is just not smart enough to handle it, so instead I use Pipedrive today. I found that I have a lot of success with Pipedrive because it’s a little more simple and I also use Trello, which I love Trello because it’s very…
Brandon: Anyway, it doesn’t matter what you use as long as you’re using it, as long as you feel like you’re having success with it. So start somewhere and stop thinking you got to get to the guy who’s doing 400 deals a month level.
David: We literally just heard someone say, “I use a note pad calendar that I write on, and notifications on my phone and he did a six figure wholesale fee with that system. That just goes to show that CRM doesn’t matter. It’s whatever your brain likes. Brandon, I think that’s so well said. I’m the same with Podio. I look at it and it just doesn’t make any sense. And I put so much effort into figuring out Podio that I don’t actually do my business that I’m supposed to do.
Josiah: You guys are making me feel as old as you are.
Brandon: Wait a second.
Brandon: All right. So-
David: That’s the first time anyone’s ever called us old. [inaudible 00:41:34]
Brandon: I know.
David: Well done Josiah.
Brandon: Very well.
Brandon: You said bigger deals, and so I want to know what does that look like? What does a good deal look like? What do you get under contract for? What do you sell it for? What kind of profit are you making? Do you have any examples?
Josiah: Yeah. That’s a great question. And I do have an example. On that’s upcoming. It’s a property right down the street from my house, and it really didn’t start as anything big. It was a guy with five acres. And five acres by the way is kind of on the lower end of what you want to be doing if you’re very… in fact, it’s probably too small if you’re looking to do a deal with a big builder. They’re looking at, probably, anywhere between 10 and 20 as their sweet spot. Anything bigger you have to do in these big phases, anything smaller they just don’t want to touch.
Josiah: So I started out by calling them. It’s just this old, run down house. I didn’t even know but it’s only 150 feet of frontage, but it actually goes back 2,000 feet or something crazy. So it’s five acres. So I called them. One of those times he said now, he said no, and then I finally got a price out of him. We got that under contract, and I was in the process of going around to people asking for sewer easements, which is a whole other conversation. We basically have to buy access to part of someones property just to run the sewer through their property. While I was doing that, I actually came across this family, they came this commune. It’s kind of interesting. And they own this street. So it’s right next to it. And you would never know because they have all different last names, but they’re all a family, and I talked to the guy. I was asking about the sewer easement, and he’s like, “What if we just sold it to you?” So they threw in… long story short, they threw in another 10 acres.
Josiah: So we now had a 15 acre property that, by the way is in super, super central Greenville. There’s no 10 or 15 acre track around me. We just pieced it together. That wasn’t anything on my part. That was totally a blessing. We got that one under contract. I have it under contract for 100,000 an acre, which is a pretty high price, but we found a local builder who recently signed a contract with us to buy it for $125,000 an acre. So we’re making… I think it’s 14.9 something acres. So it’ll end up being… I think it’s $355,000.
Josiah: So I’m splitting that with my friend Doug. He’s awesome, and he’s helped me through the process. I don’t want to come across as somebody who knows everything because before I did that deal, which by the way was only a couple months ago that I really started on that, I had no idea what a sewer easement was. I didn’t know what wetlands were, I had no idea what I was doing, but I got it under contract, and I made… like you guys always talk about, I took the first action to get something done, and it could’ve totally fallen off the face of the earth just like the 10 other deals that I had under contract at the time, but it’s just the one that’s kind of been really successful.
Josiah: So I’ll walk away with 165, 170,000.
David: If that’s not a good endorsement for taking action. I mean, you literally just said, this is awesome, “I didn’t know what a sewer easement was” and turned that into a $355,000 deal just because you went out there and did the hard thing.
David: I guess, Brandon, the point you made, which we should circle back to it, this is only available for Josiah to do because other people aren’t doing it, and the only reason other people aren’t doing it is specifically because it’s hard. If it was really easy, and you could automate this, and you could just blast out a phone number, or a text message to everyone that owned that land and they would just reply, that opportunity would be available for about two months before Google figured it out and then none of us would ever have a chance to do something like that. It’s because of the [inaudible 00:45:27]entry that makes that possible, and that is so encouraging that you don’t need to even really know very much about what you’re doing. You just got to go find a person who wants to sell, that’s motivated, find a person who wants to buy, find out a way to bring those two people together, and make your money.
Josiah: Well, and I’ll be the first one to say also that I’m… This is the third I’ve said this, but I’m very traditional, and I’m also just… I don’t like change. It took a long time… I got even comfortable in my grandma’s trailer, didn’t want to move from there. I’m very comfortable wherever I’m at. So for me and for Christiana, and for our business that’s actually been hard because I don’t want to do different things.
Josiah: I say that because there are a lot of people who say, “I’m just not like that. I don’t like doing different things. I’ll just do what I do, and I’ll be successful.” And that’s fine. It’s totally fine to do what you do, and be successful, and a lot of people do that, but what really got me from making 20,000, 30,000 in these little deals to now making six figures on pretty much every deal that I make or that I do was just doing something extremely uncomfortable. So I know that sounds cliché, but-
Brandon: No. It’s so good. It’s so good. That’s where success is usually found, big success. You can get little success with luck and [inaudible 00:46:53]stuff, but big success is doing the hard things, and dong the things that you’re uncomfortable with. So kudos to you for doing that.
Brandon: Now, you’re doing this at 20 years old. So I’m wondering, there’s people listening to the show who might be 20, 25, 30. Everyone’s young compared to somebody, right? But have you found your age to be a benefit or a hurdle in your investing?
Josiah: I have a story about that. When people asked me how old I am, I always say something… I don’t have a one liner necessarily, but I always say something along the lines of, “I’m old enough to buy your land,” or, “I’m old enough to develop it,” or, “I’m old enough to sign this contract.” And then I’ll tell them later. I’ll tell them I’m 20, or if they really push me I’ll say I’m early 20s, but I do find it to be… not that it is, but it definitely, for me, I’m thinking if I was a 50 year old or a 60 year old or something, I would probably not want to sell my land to this 20 year old kid who just dropped out of college.
Josiah: For me, it’s more of a projection upon them, and maybe they really don’t care, but I care. So I kind of keep it a little bit of a secret. But it really hasn’t been too big of an issue. I don’t shave very often, I try to keep it that way. I try to look older when I can, but thankfully I haven’t run into too many issues with the whole age thing. And I would’ve expected more honestly.
Brandon: Well, what I think is interesting is there might be some people who don’t want to sell to a 20 year old, right? That is very well possible, but what I think you probably are getting, and you probably noticed or maybe you haven’t realized it, but the fact that you track these mentors into your life that want to help you… you mentioned a couple of them, you’ve given shout-outs to them on the show already, that’s awesome. They want to help you. That’s not because you’re 50 years old. It’s because largely you’re 20 and you’re excited, and you’re taking action. So if you’re young, listening to this show right now know that you might have some hurdles, there might be a little bit of difficulties somewhere because somebody might have a problem with it, but if you can solve their problem they’ll get over it. But the real benefit is the fact that other people want to help you when you’re young, and they’re excited to see it.
Brandon: Have you found that in your life where just people like helping you?
Josiah: Yeah. I found a lot of… In fact, we just recently bought a duplex near downtown Greenville from a guy, and he was a really, really nice guy. He was actually a financial consultant, and he would go on and on when we would get together and talk. He would go on and on about how he just wished that he would’ve gotten started as young as we did. So I think, to be honest, at least in that case that definitely helped the deal a lot because he was excited that someone like me was getting started as young as me and Christiana have.
Josiah: So I think in some cases it definitely helps, and if you ever… at first, I’ll be honest, it was hard when I hadn’t done any deals, but if you associate yourself or if you get someone to just allow you to drop their name whenever you want. If you’re just like, for me it’s always been Doug, “Hey Doug, can I just drop your name whenever?” So if it ever becomes really difficult I’ll just say, “Yeah, I’m 20 but I work with a guy who’s done this since he was 20 and he’s now 55. So I’m really just kind of a liaison for him.” And then it feels more like, this is just an employee and they don’t have to know I’m getting a 50% cut. They can just feel like I’m just a little paper pusher, and it doesn’t matter to me.
Josiah: You can always kind of use people’s names if you want to as well, if you get their permission. I’ve learned that the hard way.
Brandon: Is there a story there?
Josiah: Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know if I want to talk about it.
Brandon: You don’t have to. You don’t have to.
Josiah: I’ll go ahead and say it. Basically, there is this gentleman who I’m sure he’s a great guy. He’s a pretty renowned developer, and we were, at one time, associates not working together necessarily, but I was trying to find him stuff. I called on a property that was very close to one of his, and I mentioned I actually know the guy. I said, “I know the guy who’s doing this stuff down the road,” and that deal actually fell through. I guess he followed up with them a couple months later, and they were like, “You’re that guy? No we’re not dealing with you because your friend or coworker, he didn’t close the deal. So we’re not working with anyone associated with him.” It’s definitely backfired sometimes, and I got a lot of flack from the guy who I name dropped, of course because he lost a deal because I just felt like mentioning his name because I didn’t feel like I could get the deal on my own.
Brandon: Yeah. Yeah. Well, you win some you lose some. It’s good that you recognize what works and what doesn’t.
Brandon: Where do you see your business headed in the next few years? Are you sticking with the wholesaling land, development deals? Are you growing the rental portfolio larger, and larger? Where do you want to go?
Josiah: I had a goal to double our units, like I mentioned. Again, I’m very step by step. So once I get one place I just want to kind of hang out there for a while. So once we got past 32 or whatever the number was after doubling our units, I just said, “You know what? Why don’t we just hold off, and stuff.” Oh my gosh, Christiana, she’s crazy. I wish she was here, but she’s always pushing me maybe a little bit too hard, and she’s like, “No. 200 units in two years.” And I’m like, “What are you talking about woman?” She’s talking about 100% ownership by the way. She’s not talking about let’s syndicate a deal. She’s amazing, and the only reason that I’m here, that we’re here is because of her and I can get to that later when we talk about the deep dive.
Josiah: She’s always pushing me, and I think that sometime in the next couple years we want to get to 200 units. And for me, I like nice stuff. I like nice cars, and I like the idea of a cool house, but it doesn’t really go past that for me. I’ve always thought of being a billionaire or something, but for me right now it’s kind of just sticking to what I do. And I’m sure if we have another conversation in a couple months or a year that we’ll have completely changed and I’ll be doing something different, and making a million dollars a year, seven figures, and now six isn’t good enough.
Josiah: It’ll get there, but for now, to be honest with you, the properties that I have under contract it’s five units here, six units there, 10 units in Macon. I’m just kind of growing organically, and I don’t want to push it too hard and max myself out. But I really enjoy the land development stuff, and more than I even enjoy the deals I just enjoy the guys that I do it with. I could just hang out with Doug and my dad, and our other investors all day, and it would be a blast.
Josiah: For me, I love where I’m at right now, and I’m excited to grow. My ultimate goal is being a billionaire by the time I’m 65, and that’s just based on the whole compound interest thing. I always said, if I can invest $100,000 from the time in 20 to the time I’m 65, if I can invest $100,000 a year at 17.8% interest, then I’ll be worth a billion dollars.
Brandon: Wow, really?
Josiah: Yeah. Yeah.
Josiah: So that was always kind of the goal, but it’s a pipe dream. Who knows. By the time I’m 65 a billion dollars will be like being a millionaire.
Brandon: I don’t know, but that’s still going to be a lot of money. That’s cool though. That’s interesting about the investing 100 grand a year. That’s cool. That’s amazing in compound interest.
Josiah: I honestly wish that I could tell you that I had a step by step plan to be worth X, Y, Z dollars in this many years and all that stuff, but to be honest, at this point, I’m still kind of reeling just form the massive blessings that we’ve experienced so far. So I’m always kind of reminding Christiana, “Let’s just be okay with what we have.” And she’s always trying to push me. So I guess I kina take that place in the ring. So I’m always kind of pushing back like, “Let’s just chill out and relax.”
Josiah: I’m sure that I’ll sit down and I’ll read another one of your books, and I’ll be all pumped up on a vacation, and I’ll be like, “I need to make another goal.” And I’ll do it, but for now I’m kind of just enjoying where we’re at. So I hope that’s not the answer you were looking for.
Brandon: That’s great. And by the way, I just ran a calculation, if you were to put… Let’s say you were 18 to 65, if you started with 100 grand, you can say 18 when you put the 100 grand in and did 100 grand a year, and I did a little bit higher. I rounded up to 18%, yeah it works out to $1.75 billion. That’s insane.
Josiah: Yeah. I ran it. I’ve spent… My wife laughs at this, but I downloaded a compound interest app, and I don’t know, I was obsessed with it for a while. She made me delete it, but I would be on the toilet or even just hanging out, and I would be on my little compound interest app, and she laughed one time because on the weekend your phone shows you, here’s how much time you spent on each app. 20 or 30% of my time was on this compound interest app. It was eight hours for that week. I was just doing my little numbers. It helps to keep the goal in mind, I guess.
Brandon: Dude, that’s awesome.
Brandon: Well, let’s shift gears. You mentioned the deal deep dive so why don’t we head there now? Boom, boom, boom. All right, it’s time for the deal deep dive. This is the part of the show where we dive deep into one particular deal that you’ve recently done, and let’s see what you got. We got seven questions [inaudible 00:57:18]here about that. First of all, what kind of property are we going to be talking about here on the deal deep dive?
Josiah: Okay. So this one is a multi-family wholesale deal I guess you could say.
Brandon: All right. Multi-family wholesale deal. Number two.
David: How did you find this multi-family wholesale deal?
Josiah: Funny you ask, just like everything else.
Brandon: Cold call.
Josiah: I cold called, yeah. It did take me many… This is probably the longest one. I think I called her the first time back in December of 2018, and the deal didn’t close until the beginning of June of this year.
Brandon: Wow. All right. It takes time.
Brandon: By the way let me back in and go deeper on the cold call. How did you get, even the… how did you know about this property? Did you pull public data list, did you just drive by it, or what’s your go-to for getting the lead initially?
Josiah: I don’t want to repeat myself, but pretty much the same five things that I said earlier. I used the GIS, they had a corporation. When I went on Greenville County and I searched all the multi-family property, and I sorted it by when the last time it was sold was, this was the second property. The last time it had been sold it, they actually built it back in the ’50s, so this one was actually interesting. This was… I mentioned I only have one guy who I can’t get in touch with in Greenville, this was the second person. So I was not able to get in touch with them, but for whatever reason, every month I would get this little reminder and it was just long enough to where I would be like, “I can do it this time. I can find something new.” So I would always get in touch with their daughter or their son-in-law, and it never really went anywhere. But I kept doing it every month. I would call someone and just see if I can get in touch with someone. By the time they actually were interested, they actually called me on their personal phone just because I was bothering the family.
Brandon: That’s cool.
Brandon: I’ve never thought of that before about the idea of just finding all the properties. You get the data of all the properties, and then start by last sold, and go to the oldest ones. That’s never occurred to me before. That’s kind of a really cool idea just like start hitting them from the back of that list.
Josiah: Yeah. Yeah.
Brandon: All right. Very cool.
Brandon: Number three. How much was it?
Josiah: The deal was… I got it under contract for 28,000 a unit. So it was 62 units, so I think that’s 1.736 million. And that took a lot of negotiation. I know there’s not really a part in the deep dive where I can tell the story, but I don’t know, I mean-
Brandon: Please. Well, that was the next question, how did you negotiate it?
Brandon: Yeah. Tell us the story.
Josiah: Pretty much I told you Christiana is a rockstar and she’ll be dormant. She’s like a volcano. So we’re dormant and she’ll be just kind of waiting for an opportunity, and then all of a sudden prime time and she’s there telling me exactly what to do. So like I said, I had been calling, and calling, and calling, and to be honest with you this was just another thing I want to point out, this was my least favorite call of the month. Literally, this lady was not nice, even once I got her number and she said, “I might be interested.” It was another six months because she just went back and forth, went back and forth. She wasn’t the nicest person in the world. Sometimes I would just leave a message. It was their home phone, which is terrible. It was definitely my least favorite call. But I still called them back every month.
Josiah: Around December of 2018, I remember it was right before Christmas, she finally said, “I might be getting ready. I might be there soon.” So it was months, and months. Basically how it ended up going is… I’m just going to try to find the [inaudible 01:01:08]. To be honest, this is stupid, but I knew what people were paying because, like I said, I have the list. I knew that people were paying… In my area people for these, they were all one bedroom except for six apartments, which was really interesting, but they were originally university housing almost like dorms. But they all have their own bathrooms and kitchens. So they were just your standard one bedroom apartment, and I knew that people were buying these things for 50 or 60. So I just did the stupid thing, and I drew out a number.
Josiah: So I said, “I will offer you $24,000 a unit.” And she was like, “I don’t know what they’re worth. I don’t even know if that’s a good price.” And then I said, “Well, I talked to my partners…” and I did the classic thing, “I can go up to 26.” And then [inaudible 01:01:57], “Well, I talked to them again, and maybe if we squeeze it we can do 28.” So we finally agreed on 28, and basically what happened is we were planning on meeting the next week, and she said, “Well, before we meet and sign this thing I really want to have an appraiser look at it.” And for me that was like, “It’s over. It’s totally done.” An appraiser is an appraiser, so they’re going to come out and look at it, and by just the absolute grace of God she was not… She had the appraiser set a date to come out and look at it, and it was days before and she kept on calling him, and calling him, and he never responded. So she just never got back in touch with him and she goes, “You know what? I’m tired of this. I’m just going to do it.
Josiah: So we set a date for that next week to go and sign the contract. That weekend we were at Lowe’s, we were picking up something, and this is where I’m talking about my wife coming in and doing her thing. And I get a call from this lady, and she’s like, “You know what? I’m not ready. I’m not going to do it. I’m going to do it later. I’m just going to be a couple years.” And my heart syncs. I’m like, “Crap” because I had already thought I could make easily six figures on this one.
Josiah: And at the time, I remember, this was the only one I really felt like I had in the pipeline. So we were at Lowe’s and she said, “I’m not going to do it.” And I hung up, and I was just… I wasn’t crying, but I was like, “This sucks.” I was in such a bad mood. Christiana just held my arms, she was shaking me and she’s like, “Hey, you can do this. Call her back.” So I was like, “What am I going to say? I have nothing to tell her? I want it. I really, really want it, please.” Basically I told her, “Hey, I feel a responsibility to these investors who I’ve already told about the deal. We’re getting ready, we’ve already invested some money and time into the due diligence, and she said, “Let’s meet tomorrow and let’s sign it.”
Josiah: So it was all because of Christiana shaking me up a little bit, and just saying, “Hey, let’s try one more time.” And we were able to kind of get it under contract, and go from there.
Brandon: Dude, that’s awesome. I love that story.
Brandon: I tell people often on webinars when I’m teaching on the Bigger Pockets webinar every week, which by the way you can sign up at biggerpockets.com/webinar, but I talk about the power of the followup when you get a no that oftentimes all that means is no for now. So set a reminder. There’s a way to actually do this in the Bigger Pockets calculator, the actual calculators we have, but even if you have to just set a reminder on your phone with every time you make an offer, follow back up later. And I love your story. You followed back up five minutes later or whatever inside of a Lowe’s, and you were able to get it. But just that follow up because a now doesn’t always mean no. Sometimes people say no because they’re scared or because they need to think about it or because of 100 different reasons. So follow up again, and it’s the followup that really can help you get a lot more deals every year.
Brandon: All right. So once you signed this thing… actually, David, I’m taking your question. Sorry, go ahead.
David: Well, normally we’d ask how you fund it, but I’m assuming you wholesaled this to someone else, so you didn’t fund it, correct?
Josiah: Correct. Yeah. At the time it was a little bit big for me. So, [crosstalk 01:05:07]
David: And that explains what you did with it too. So tell me, what was the outcome from this deal?
Josiah: It’s frustrating, but it was good. I got a broker… without really looking at it, I sent him some stuff, and I said… He’s a friend, so I said, “What do you think this would go for pretty quickly?” I’m like, “What’s a conservative price?” He was like, “38, 48 a unit.” So I was like, “Oh my Lord.” I had money balls in my eyes. So I had some gentlemen who had been asking me about apartments, which was why this came up in the first place. We had met two weeks… we had officially all met in the conference room, and I was telling them what I was looking into, and they were like… I got pretty much the verbal from them, “Yes, we want to do something very soon.” And that was two weeks before this.
Josiah: So just a side not, that goes to show it’s really important to be doing these things simultaneously because I have had deals where I get a great property under the contract, and I haven’t had the right people to close it. So we were doing all this simultaneously, and I told these guys, “Hey next deal I find you’re going to get it.” And they were a great group of Christian guys, they’re all doctors her ein Greenville. So I brought it to them, and I said, “Hey, I have this email from a broker and he says it’s worth 40, so here’s what I’ll do, I will… basically, if you do the calculations 28 I think is 75% of 40… 70% I think. Yeah, 70% of 40. So I said, “I have it under contract with 30% under market value. I will sell it to you for 85% under market value and you guys can [inaudible 01:06:51]that extra fun stuff because for me wholesaling means giving someone a good deal. I hate… oh my gosh, all these wholesalers around here, who are like, “I’m wholesaling this $200,000 house for $199,000.” And you’re like, “Great. Thank you.”
Josiah: So I was like, “I’m going to give these people a deal.” So I stuck by my word. I said, “You know what? I know I’m losing out on literally $360,000 or something,” but I ended up doing pretty well, and I walked away from that deal with a $372,000 fee. They got an offer the next week for somewhere in the 50s per unit. So that’s the frustrating part.
Josiah: I was actually off, and so was the guy I asked about it. I should’ve wholesaled that thing for low 40s and I could’ve made closer to a million bucks, but for me, like I said, relationships is everything, and I have more than enough. So I’m not going to try to nickel and dime people for a couple extra bucks. But it was a great deal.
Brandon: That’s awesome, dude.
Brandon: So I guess that kind of sums up my last question, but if you have anything else to add, what lessons did you learn from this deal?
Josiah: I mean, I guess I would just restate that I think it’s just be good for your word. There are way too many cut throat people in this business, especially in the land of element business to be specific, and a lot of snakes and smooth talkers. And a lot of times it’s not a fun business to be in. So I love to be the one guys who people look to and say, “Man, it was fun doing that deal with that guy” because I gave them a great deal, and sometimes people honestly look at me and they’re like, “What are you talking about? You realize how much this is worth? Did you say the wrong number when you told me how much you’ll sell it to me for?” And I’m just like, “No. No. I built in profit for myself and I’m good. That’s fine.”
Josiah: So I like being the one, true wholesaler who’s still around in Greenville who can give people a good deal.
Brandon: And that’s a great reputation to have. Super cool, dude.
Brandon: All right. Let’s move on. I was looking at the fire round. I think we should skip the fire round today. I think we’re going to move right on because this has been a long show and I don’t want to make it go too much-
Brandon: No, no. This is really good. So let’s just move right past [crosstalk 01:09:18]
Brandon: Well, I’m looking at the questions that I had originally pulled, and every one of them you had already answered today. It’s like-
Josiah: Oh wow. Great.
Brandon: What’s the best way to get in touch with people? How do you find… I need a cold call, how do I find this… So it’s all the stuff I had already planned on asking. We might as well just… We’ll skip it, and we’ll move right on.
Brandon: All right. So let’s just head over to the next segment of the show, which we lovingly call our Famous Four. All right, the Famous Four. These are the questions that come direct… No, these are not the ones that come direct out of the… Now I’m all thrown off because we’re not doing Fire Round.
David: You need to start over.
Brandon: Let me say this again, this is the part of the show where we ask you the same four questions that we’ve asked every guest, every week for ever now, but before we get there let’s hear about what’s going on this week over on the Bigger Pockets Business Podcast. Let’s hear what’s going on this week over on the Bigger Pockets Money Podcast.
Brandon: All right, with that let’s get to the Famous Four. Question number one, what is your current favorite real estate related book Josiah?
Josiah: My favorite real estate book is probably the Art Of The Deal because I think… and I don’t mean this in a self righteous way or something, but I think that Trump kind of reminds me of myself a little bit back when he started. It was a lot of boots on the ground. Every time he went to a meeting he went to a meeting. Most times it wasn’t a phone call or a text. So I like him in some areas. [crosstalk 01:10:54]
Brandon: Yeah, be very careful how you say that. Yeah.
Josiah: He’s a very successful business man.
Brandon: All right. The Art Of The Deal, which I actually have not read that of all… I don’t think I’ve actually [crosstalk 01:11:06]. I’ve read a couple of other ones, but-
David: Congrats Josiah on finding a book that Brandon hasn’t read. [crosstalk 01:11:09]
David: What’s your favorite business book?
Josiah: My favorite business book I read before I was in college. Is it okay if I do two?
Josiah: Number one is How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. That one is just…
Brandon: It’s phenomenal.
Josiah: Yeah. It’s definitely an amazing book.
Josiah: The second one is The Riches Man In Babylon. And I think the thing you’ll see between all these books is that I like story tellers. So I like seeing… that’s why I love the podcast because I love how people’s stories teach a lesson. So I like The Richest Man In Babylon because it’s all one big story.
Brandon: That’s great.
David: Me too. Love those.
David: Okay. When you’re not making six figures on a deal or crying in a grocery store with your wife pulling you through it-
David: What are some of your favorite hobbies? Lowe’s.
Josiah: I actually, I made a note to say I did take a break form hobbies for the first year of doing the business stuff because we had no time and I gained a lot of weight, and man it was bad. I started eating badly and everything. But I’m back into it now, and so I used to do a lot of working out, and I don’t know if you guys know what parkour and free running is?
Brandon: Yeah. Parkour.
Josiah: Yeah, exactly. It’s like the videos on YouTube, people jumping over stuff.
Brandon: I just can not think if Dwight Schrute on the office [crosstalk 01:12:41]
David: That’s one of the best openings from that show.
Brandon: Yeah, best scenes of that show yeah.
Josiah: Yeah. They definitely were the ones who made it famous unlike the people who actually do it.
Brandon: Who actually do it, yeah. Parkour.
Josiah: I stopped doing stuff on grass and concrete and stuff. It was too dangerous, but there’s a local trampoline park that I have a membership to. So I do that for my workouts. I go pretty much every day. So it’s fun.
Brandon: That’s awesome. I’ve always wanted to go to one of those trampoline parks. I’ve not yet done it, but I’m going to.
Josiah: Do they have one in Maui?
Brandon: They do not. Maybe we’ll have to open one. Let’s do it, Josiah. Come on. You got a lot of free time.
Brandon: All right. Number four, what do you believe that’s a part of successful real estate investors from all those who give up, fail, or never get started?
Josiah: This one is also kind of two fold and I feel like… Is that okay if it’s two fold?
Brandon: Yeah. There are no rules here.
Josiah: And I feel like I already mentioned these things, but I did want to say, number one I think is surrounding yourself with people who have bigger goals than you. Honestly, the stupider you feel when you’re around people you should probably keep hanging out with them. All the developers who I hang out with, they can talk way over my head, and they’re making millions of dollars a year, and those are the people you need to be hanging out with in my opinion. They’re goals are so much bigger than mine. If my goal… Anyways.
Josiah: The second part of that is, and I feel like anything I say to this question feels so cliché. I feel like 100 people have already said it. This was the question that I was thinking about the most. I’m like, “I don’t want to be cliché.” But I guess the one thing that I kept on coming back to was just trying one more time. I know it sounds cliché, but it really does come down to that because I can’t even explain how many times I was thinking about not calling that lady that month, and just saying, “I’m just not going to do it. I’ll just skip this month,” but I tried just one more time, and you just really never know. It’s also another cliché thing to say, but you really never know when you’re that miner who’s an inch away from gold or whatever [crosstalk 01:14:53].
Brandon: I actually like cliches. I think cliches are cliches for a reason because there’s a lot of truth and wisdom in them. I think those are great answers. Those are fantastic. I love that idea too to get around people who’s goals are way bigger than yours. That’s a powerful statement right there. Awesome, dude.
Brandon: All right. Well…
David: Last question of the day. Tell us, where can people find out more about you?
Josiah: The only place where we have a real presence is on Instagram. We’re in the process of building a website, and stuff like that, but Christiana’s Instagram is Christiana. It’s spelled like Christian with an A, underscore pott, P-O-T-T. And mine is Josiah_Pott. So that’s us. You can check us out.
Josiah: Honestly, if you really want to know more about our business she probably posts more than I do. She does house flipping and stuff like that. So that’s a lot of fun.
Brandon: Cool. Awesome dude.
Brandon: Well, thank you for coming on today. I love your story. I love what you’ve done just in the few years you’ve been involved with this, and I think people… stories like this give a lot of people who are at home right now listening, they’re in the car listening [inaudible 01:16:01]people a lot of hope like, “Oh man, if he can do that at 20 years old, I can do this. I have no excuses.”
Brandon: So thank you for coming out and just kind of baring your soul today.
Josiah: Thank you.
David: Incredible show. Thank you Josiah.
David: I am davidgreene24 on Instagram. Brandon is beardybrandon on Instagram, and you were josiahpott, is that correct?
Josiah: Josiah_pott, but it’s two Ts.
David: I don’t think you have an underscore. I just looked you up when you were talking. Are you sure you do? That might’ve been just your wife. That’s okay. You’re too busy making money. I think it was just josiahpott.
David: Anyways though. Thank you very much. It was a great show. It was awesome having you on.
David: I am David Greene for Brandon 90 Days Of Intention Turner signing off.
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