4 Steps to Get Started in Wholesaling (While Minimizing Your Chances of Failure)

4 Steps to Get Started in Wholesaling (While Minimizing Your Chances of Failure)

3 min read
Marcus Maloney

Marcus Maloney is a value investor and portfolio holder of residential and commercial units. Marcus has been named the “Equity King” for his impressive ability to find real estate opportunities with massive amounts of equity.

Marcus, a high school dropout, went from G.E.D. to M.B.A. Although his education has a major impact on his investment philosophy, the real impact came from his upbringing.

Marcus thrives on completing successful transactions. As a young kid, his parents and grandparents faced many challenges; as a result, it made him think of ways he could help. His mother and grandmother were avid investors—not in the market but in people. Marcus was a recipient of those investments. And his early years were hard work growing up on a farm.

Marcus was a strategist at an early age. To relieve the burden of his family buying him clothes when it was time to return to school, he decided to make a small investment that paid big dividends. Marcus decided to purchase a small piglet at the beginning of summer, feed it until it became fat, and then sell it to a local farmers’ auction before the school year started. This was one of his first transactions and the beginning of his adventure of finding equity in every opportunity.

Marcus’ hard work continues today: He has completed over $3.3 million in wholesale transactions. Currently, Marcus is a licensed agent who wholesales virtually in multiple states while building his investment portfolio. Although wholesaling provides great money, he saw the opportunity to buy some of the deals he found and convert them into cash flowing rentals.

Marcus currently holds seven rentals, two of which are commercial units. He’s also done the unimaginable and purchased a school, which was converted to a daycare center. Again, he turns what is a marginal profit into a significant equity position. He leverages the equity by using the BRRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) strategy to increase his portfolio without any money out of pocket.

Marcus has been featured on numerous podcasts, such as the Louisville Gal Podcast, the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever podcast, FlippingJunkie, and many others. He’s currently a featured blogger for BiggerPockets, the largest community of real estate investors in the world.

Along with completing transactions and working to build his portfolio, he provides mentorship to aspiring investors. This is done through one-on-one interactions and through his successful YouTube channel and blog.

Marcus does utilize his M.B.A. for more than real estate. As a consultant for a successful non-profit institution south of Chicago, he uses his expertise in the development of human capital. His philanthropic efforts help existing stakeholders develop in their capacity to serve those in need of assistance.

Marcus completed his M.B.A. in 2011 from Olivet Nazarene University.


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Someone recently said to me, “What steps can I take to get started wholesaling? I cannot afford to fail.”

When answering the question of the gentleman, I first informed him the reality of wholesaling and that failure is a part of the process. I told him that marketing is the most important piece of wholesaling. When marketing, failure will present itself immediately; you will receive a limited response from those you’re marketing to. However, you have to find a way to set aside your fear of failing and persevere. We began to review these simple and practical steps. This may not be as in-depth as you would like, but these few practical steps will help you tremendously in your journey.

1. Study

Everyone want to be a professional at their craft, but the majority of the people do not want to study. I believe this first step is essential. This may sound elementary, but there are so many newbies I see who review one course by a guru and believe they know the ins and outs of wholesaling. Granted, it is not rocket science, but you need to be astute because you are working with most people’s largest asset.

There are many resources to educate yourself with such as blogs, podcasts, webinars, seminars, and mentors.


Related: 5 Smart Strategies for Newbie Wholesalers to Find an End Buyer

2. Network

This is highly important when trying to get started when you can not afford to fail. Begin networking. Seriously, you should have business cards and hand them out to everyone you meet. Discuss what you do and have confidence when you are giving your elevator pitch to anyone who is willing to listen.

I got my first deal because of my network. I made it a habit to attend at least 10 open houses a weekend just to meet real estate agents — and one of those agents sent me a deal that helped me get started. It is important to attend open houses and real estate club meetings, join Facebook groups, and participate in the BiggerPockets Forums. By networking, you will begin to build your team. Everyone thinks they simply need to find a deal, but once you have your deal, you will need someone to sell it to. You will need an attorney and title company to facilitate the transaction, so networking isn’t just about finding the deal but about bringing the deal to close.

3. Marketing

You should know this by now; if you’ve been doing any studying or research on wholesaling you are aware that marketing is the most important piece.

You need to purchase a list of sellers to market to. You need to be consistent in your marketing according to your budget. (Please create a budget — do not throw caution to the wind and dump everything you have in one mailing or one batch of bandit signs. You will need to budget for mailing consistently.)

A budget for bandit signs is great to have, as well as a budget for mailing to buyers. So creating an overall budget is great, but you will need to scale it down according to your different forms of marketing. A website is not needed in the beginning, so don’t waste time and money starting with that. The need for a website will eventually come, and it is good because it validates you, but it’s not needed when getting started.


Related: 4 Steps to Landing a Wholesaling Mentor as a Complete Newbie

4. Systems

Create a system for everything you do, especially for your marketing. One of my biggest mistakes was randomly planting bandit signs without creating a system for it. Now I’ve created a rotating schedule for each area I am going to place signs. It is great to outline your systems while you’re a small operation, and it can expand with you when you expand.

There should be a system for everything you do. In business, these systems are called standard operating procedures (SOPs). These SOPs are your system processes, and they should answer the following questions:

  • Why am I doing this?
  • Why is it important to do it this particular way?
  • How do I do it?

This is not only for you, but for those you hire once your operation expands.

These four practical steps will help you go a long way. Again, I did not go into depth on each one because each one is a subject within itself. Make sure you research and study each practical step and then get going.

Is there a step that you believe I may have overlooked that could help others?

Please add you input in the comments section below!