BiggerPockets Podcast 023 with James Vermillion Transcript

Link to show: BP Podcast 023: Flipping While Working a Job, Partnerships, and Military Investing with James Vermillion

Josh: This is the BiggerPockets Podcast, Show 23.

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Josh: Hey, everybody this is Josh Dorkin host of the BiggerPockets podcast here with my co-host Brandon Turner who’s making weird funny faces at me on the screen. What’s that about, Brandon?

Brandon: I was trying to throw you off. Didn’t really work.

Josh: Yeah, I’m a professional.

Brandon: Oh, you’re a professional? Uh-huh.

Josh: And I am professional.

Brandon: I’m sure you are.

[laughter]

Josh: Well, what’s up, man? We got a cool show ahead.

Brandon: We do, we do. I am a big fan of our guest today. He’s been on the site for awhile and I’ve—yeah, I am excited.

Josh: That’s good. I love to see you get excited.

Brandon: Woohoo!

Josh: When Brandon gets excited he starts shaking and vibrating. It’s kind of funny.

Brandon: You make me sound like a Chihuahua.

Josh: Like he’s going to explode.

[laughter]

Josh: That’s very possible, but, yeah, today we’ve got a cool show. We’ve got James Vermillion. For those of you guys who don’t know James; he’s definitely been around for a while. James is almost one of these—another one of these homegrown BP success stories, as we’ll probably hear about later on. We’ll get into him really quickly.

Before we do, a couple things; The BiggerPockets iPhone App did come out last week and it’s been downloaded tons of times already. If you haven’t checked it out, please do. You can find that at BiggerPockets.com/app or just go to iTunes and look up BiggerPockets, just BiggerPockets with no space in between cause that’s our name, and otherwise it’s great. The response to it has been fantastic.

The show, the BiggerPockets Podcast show is also doing quite well. We’re now up to 279 five star reviews, and 182 written reviews. So, if you have left us a rating or a review: thank you, thank you, thank you. We’re now getting close to 11,000 listens per show. Hopefully some of you other guys can jump on there and leave us some feedback and ratings. We really, really appreciate it. These things do help us better rank on iTunes. So, just go to iTunes and make sure to leave us some feedback. Otherwise, we’ve got this thing that we do every show. It’s called the…

Josh & Brandon:Quick Tip.

Brandon: I went high there.

Josh: Yeah, you did. You did.

Brandon: My Falsetto.

Josh: I didn’t know you were a Soprano, but…

Brandon: I was. I was a Tenor in High School Choir.

Josh: Were you really?

Brandon: Well, do I sound like a Bass?

Josh: Uh, no.

Brandon: I sound like a Tenor.

Josh: Okay. You sound Ten-der as well.

Brandon: Thank you. Thank you, Josh.

Josh: Yes, yes. Well, for today’s Quick Tip, for those of you who are interested, today’s Quick Tip is: upload a photo. We are talking about a photo on BiggerPockets for your personal profile. These things help people trust you, helps you get more colleagues, helps you find more deals. Preferably that photo should be your face. Putting up a photo of your face will build trust. I know some of us are not as good looking as Brandon, but we still need to put a picture up.

Brandon: Yeah, you know, no one’s perfect.

Josh: Well, you know. So, yeah, but listen, and if you’re uncomfortable of putting a picture of your face up just grab a photo of something that kind of represents you. Your dog, a house, you know, we prefer you didn’t. We really do prefer you use your face because it does help you establish your credibility, but any photo is better than no photo. Anyway, that’s today’s semi-long and verbose Quick Tip.

Brandon: Cool. Let’s move on.

Josh: Yeah, let’s move on.

Brandon: Do it.

Josh: So, we’re going to move on to James Vermillion. James is today’s guest. James is one of two partners of K&V Investment Group LLC., which is a real estate investing company based down in Lexington, Kentucky. His firm incorporates various strategies including; distressed property, rehabilitation, real estate sales and property management throughout the Blue Grass Region. He’s also a licensed Real Estate Agent and is a moderator on the BiggerPockets forums. So, let’s bring him on! James, welcome to the show!

James: Thanks, Josh. Thanks, Brandon. Glad to be on with you guys today.

Brandon: Awesome.

Josh: Yeah. Well, let’s jump in dude. Let’s get right to the very beginning. How on earth did you get started? I know you, you’re a military guy. What kicked this thing off?

James: Well, I got started pretty much like everybody. I inherited $10,000,000 and went out and bought some properties.

[laughter]

James: So, just started scooping them up and here I am today. No, I got started the real way most people got started. I got started really just by talking to a friend of mine. We were always scheming. You know, what businesses we could form? What things were hot in the market? What the newest fad was, and sometimes how goofy some of those things were, but sometimes we’d always come back to real estate at the end of the day, and I guess, you know, after a couple months of doing this we finally just said, “hey, we talked about it enough. Let’s go ahead and see if we can’t make something actually happen here”. That’s kind of when we decided to take it seriously.

Josh: Nice, nice. So, I know you were—you are a military guy so was that while you were serving, or was that previous, or post?

James: It was actually right after I graduated college that I commissioned into the Air Force and the person I’m speaking about is still my business partner today, my friend Ryan Kenimer, and I had actually gone on to active duty. He was finishing up his last year of school cause he’s one of the smart engineer types so, he was doing a victory lap or whatever, but during that was when we started having phone conversations about these business ideas. So, it was while I was in that kind of the initial phase started and into actually purchasing houses.

Josh: Nice, nice, and this Ryan Kenimer—I mean, we’ve—I didn’t even know he existed. Do you keep him—do you tie him up and keep him away from BiggerPockets, or something? I mean, what’s going on here?

James: Well, you know, he knows about BiggerPockets plenty, trust me, but I don’t know. He’s too busy, you know, doing other things. I don’t know. I’ll get him on there eventually.

Josh: Hey, we should have had him on the show! That would have been fun, actually.

Brandon: We could have made fun of him in person for not being on BiggerPockets.

[laughter]

Brandon: Well, now he can listen to the show later and he’ll feel silly.

Josh: Yes.

James: Oh yeah, he will.

Brandon: Alright, so, I guess I’m curious. What kind of stuff do you do now? I mean, what was your first deal and how did that transition to what you do today?

James: Basically, after we took some time to figure out exactly what we were doing, well—we still don’t know exactly what we’re doing—once we thought we knew exactly what we were doing we decided to go ahead and start flipping. So, we purchased our first house. It was not the first house we tried to purchase, of course, we did the dry-runs—I don’t know, maybe 50-60 times leading up to that purchase, but we finally got one. It had foundation problems, you know, some basement water damage, that sort of thing, but, you know, the rest of the house was in relatively good shape minus a lot of cosmetic stuff.

So, we bought the house. I think we paid about $87,000 for it. Renovation costs were right around $24,000 and then we spent about $4,000 in holding. So, we were all in for around $115,000, and it was only on the market when we finished I think for about 20 something days, and we sold it for $150,000 plus about $6,000 in seller concessions. So, I think our profit was about $28,000 on our first deal. So, we were beyond thrilled with how that went down.

Brandon: Nice.

Josh: Yeah, that’s great. That’s great. Hey, you mentioned dry-runs. Can you explain exactly what you guys were doing there?

James: Oh, yeah, I mean, you know, when you’re first looking for houses, you know, you’re not gonna—well, maybe somebody’s done it, but very few people start looking and get a house under contract, that’s gonna turn into a food flip at least, right away.

So, we did—we started out going to the Court House auctions, and we put so much time and effort into analyzing these things; Coming up with what the rehab budget would be, what we could pay for it, what the ARV would be. So, we put a lot of time into analyzing these things only to get to the Court House and the bank buys it back for $20,000 beyond what we could have paid, or whatever. The same thing happened with online auction sites. The same thing happened with regular offers.

So, by doing that—I mean, at the time it was awful. You’re sitting there thinking, “jeez, we’ve wasted hours, and hours, and hours”, but looking back on it you’re like, “well, okay we got pretty proficient at doing a lot of these things”, and that was critical to being able to actually do it fairly well the first time it went down.

Josh: Wow, that’s great. Yeah, that’s a fantastic way to train, man, that’s a really good idea. Hey, really quick, for those people listening: ARV is After Repair Value and that’s just the value of the property once it’s been fixed up.

Alright, we’re going to jump around a little bit here cause there’s a whole lot of stuff that I know Brandon, and I want to talk to you about. Really quick. You are currently employed, correct? You are working at a full-time job while you’re doing your real estate, is that correct?

James: Yeah, that’s correct.

Josh: Okay, and then also; you did start while you were serving so not only are you currently working while doing your real estate but you were actually overseas when you started all this?

James: Yeah, that’s right. You know, when we started—when we were in the “education phase” is kind of what I like to call it—I was actually in Guam with the Air Force. So, I did a lot of that ground work, and a lot of that education, and even got licensed by taking online courses at night after work.

Josh: Nice.

Brandon: Cool, is that when you found BiggerPockets?

James: That is when I found BiggerPockets. I was googling something about flipping houses, I don’t remember exactly what it was, and I came across BiggerPockets, and I’m not normally a huge forum/blog guy, but that was one of the few that I’ve looked at and I said, “man, this thing. It’s got everything I was looking for”, and I’ve been there ever since.

Josh: And I think you are one of our many, many, many BP success stories which is why it’s so much fun to talk to you, and have you on the site and everything. I mean, it’s been awesome, and I’ve watched you from deal one til—I think I saw the other day you guys are on 10, or I don’t now what you’re on now, but it’s fantastic.

James: Yeah, we’re on 10, and I told you the other day, or I posted on it—it was scary to go back and look at some of my initial forum posts. I was reading them going, “oh my gosh, I can’t believe I asked that. I’m surprised I have any credibility around there”.

Josh: But that’s the beauty, I mean—

James: It is.

Josh: I mean, we all, and forget BiggerPockets, just in general, we all learn, right? Everybody starts with baby steps, and I think for anybody listening it’s important to know that, you know, you’re the prime example of, “there are no stupid questions”, right? I mean, you asked questions, you looked back, you’re like, “man, I couldn’t believe I didn’t know that”, but we all—we’ve all experienced that.

James: You’re right. I mean, when you don’t know something you’ve got to ask it or figure it out, and not being afraid to do that was one of the things I think that really helped us. So, you’re right, there are no stupid questions.

Brandon: Hey, did you buy any course? You said you did—you got licensed so you were a real estate agent, right? Did you do any other courses, guru, programs, anything?

James: Blew my life savings on a bunch of guru courses. No, I didn’t. I have not spent a dollar on any kind of courses. Now—

Josh: That’s impossible. Hold on. Wait. You’ve done 10 deals, and, wait—because the only way to get training is to spend $25,000 or $50,000 and get expensive mentors, isn’t it?

James: Well, you know, that’s what I’ve heard, but that’s not what I did.

Josh: There you go.

James: So, I have not bought a course. You know, obviously I bought some books, and stuff, and I used the Library a lot and I used a lot of free college courses online. I used BiggerPockets. I mean, I don’t understand why today you need to spend thousands and thousands of dollars that you could be buying property with to buy a course. I think a lot of times it makes people feel better. It gives them some confidence, but it’s not necessary if you’re willing to put in some of the work yourself. Because you might not get it in the neat little package that is a guru course, or whatever, but you can still get the exact same information, and even better information sometimes, for free.

Josh: Yeah, and you wrote a post, and we’ll dig it up and we’ll link to it on the show notes at BiggerPockets.com/show23. You wrote a post on free college courses for real estate. It was like a whole list, which I remember was pretty cool. I think it was, like, a blog post, but tell us about that because I think some people might find that really helpful.

James: Well, you know, I wasn’t a business major or anything. I was a political science guy and I kind of always, looking back, wished I would have done business, and taken more business classes. But, as I got around online, I found there’s—you know, it’s called OpenCourseWare. If you Google it you’ll find tons of options. I’m talking schools like Princeton, and Stanford. I mean, incredible schools where you can get online, and take classes and a lot of times they’re the same exact classes that an undergrad, or even a graduate student, would be paying who knows how much to sit in and listen to, and they’re getting better every day, too. When they started it was a lot of paperwork type stuff, just like the lecture notes. Nowadays you can actually go and watch the video of the professor standing up in front of a class. So, I mean, why pay thousands of dollars when you can get a Princeton professor teaching you about finance for free?

Josh: There you go, there you go. Yeah, that’s great advice, and I know I’ve played around a little bit. I haven’t fully gone through any, but I’ve definitely kind of snuck in on a couple of these courses. Some of them are fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. Alright, well, why don’t you walk us through, you know, we talked about the first deal. Have all your deals been flips, or have you guys done any buy-and-holds?

James: We flipped for about… I guess we’ve been doing this for about 2 and a half years now. The first two years we fully focused on flipping, and the primary reason for that was it fit what we needed. So, at that time we didn’t have a lot of cash. So, to generate more capital we flipped. I mean, it makes sense, but over the last few months—really just the start of 2013—we’ve been kind of transitioning into holding some of those as rental properties.

Brandon: That’s cool, and I think that’s a really good way to go. I think a lot of people, just this morning on the forums I was talking to a guy who wanted to start flipping so he could save up money for the buy-and-hold, and I think that’s cool. That’s a good way to do it. I mean, if you can flip and you can follow the—I mean, if you can treat flipping like a business and do it correctly. I liked to joke that a lot, I would say, and I don’t know if this is true or not, but I would say at least half the people who try to flip a house probably end up failing. So your chance of succeeding is probably worse than Black Jack, but there’s a line where if somebody learns and takes the time to actually learn how to flip a house correctly, you know, it goes exponentially higher and you can succeed just by following, you know, the right way to do it. Again, that’s just the value of being able to engage with people on sites like BiggerPockets and stuff.

So, going back to those first flips; how were you financing them? Did you have all cash, or what were you doing?

James: We actually got financing from a small community bank, and that financing, I mean, is fantastic for us because it includes rehab budgeting in there so we can actually draw that money out like a construction draw as we go along throughout the renovation, you know, time line. So, for us, that was one of the critical pieces to being able to continue to flip houses because we would have not have had that cash. We would have had to do other things, you know, hard money lenders. I think there’s a lot of options out there, but that one worked really well for us at the time, and, you know, we’re still doing that right now.

Brandon: That’s awesome.

Josh: What kind of rates were you getting on those?

James: The rates were I think 5 and a half, about?

Josh: Far better than hard money if you can get it.

James: Yeah, well, exactly, and not the points as well.

Josh: Yeah.

Brandon: Yeah. How did you find that originally? Did you just call around to banks?

James: We went on a little journey.

Brandon: Sounds like a long story coming.

James: It could be, but I’ll try to keep it short. I mean, I kid you not we went around, and I was gone at the time so the burden of this was all on Ryan. He went around, to every bank probably, in the city of Lexington, and some of the other, smaller communities outside of it— basically telling them what we’re trying to do, and at the time I think we were both 22 or 23 something like that just out of college. Neither one of us had a business degree. Neither one of us had any business experience. So, as you can imagine when you go to someone and say, “hey, I would like $100,000 I don’t have any credibility at all,” it’s a little tough. So, some of em laughed at us, some of em politely—

Josh: They laughed at him, they didn’t laugh at you.

James: That’s a good point. Wait, that worked out really well for me. You know, we’d be on the phone afterwards and he’d be like, “oh it was awful! They were laughing at me,” I was like, “haha”.

Josh: Were they really laughing at him, though?

James: Oh, that’s true. One lender seriously did laugh.

Josh: Oh my goodness. Wow.

James: Yeah, it was a little bit of a tough time because it’s frustrating, and meanwhile we’re still finding properties we think we would be able to flip and make a profit on. So, you kind of feel like you’re losing out and you’re just not gaining any ground, but if you do it enough and you refine how you approach the lenders, and I think that’s the important part, your odds of success just go up.

Josh: So, how did you approach them? How did you end up refining that, for anyone listening who’s starting out? You know, what pitch worked and what’s going to get you laughed out of the room?

James: Well, at first—I’ll tell ya, I can definitely tell you, which one will get you laughed at, and that’s going into the bank and saying, “we’d like to flip houses. Can you give us a loan?” Because that’s just not going to work. Yeah, exactly.

Now, when you go in you sit down, maybe formalize things a little bit, maybe take a deal that you would, you know, may have already passed up, but one that you’ve looked at. You’ve already done all the analysis and you know it’ll work, or maybe one that’s even out there now that you’re still trying to get financed. Take that to em, show em the break down with the purchase price, all the costs—all the soft costs, what the house is valued at when they’re done and say, “look, here’s why it would work. Here’s what we’re doing, and here’s the preparation we’ve put into this,” they’re going to have a lot more faith that you’re going to follow through and do things the right way.

Brandon: Well, I think the key thing there is the bank isn’t lending on a house flip. They’re lending on a business, and you’ve proved yourself that you were a business that could actually handle it. So, I think that’s awesome.

I know we talked about that with Arthur back in Podcast #6 and that was a really, really popular episode, too. Because he did almost the same story. He went around, he called I think he said dozens of different banks and community banks around, and finally found one that was willing to work with him and it was in a Wal-Mart of all places.

Josh: It was in a Wal-Mart, yeah.

James: That’s right, yeah, that was a good episode.

Brandon: That was awesome. Yeah, with the shoeless people, and, yeah, anyway people can go back and listen to that.

Josh: So, how did you find the deals? I know you talked about going to the auction. Were your first deals actually from auction? Have you gotten any at auction?

James: No, we’ve basically completely given up on that for several reasons.

Number one: it’s a little tougher to do the background work on those because a lot of the time you can’t get into the house. It’s harder to come up with the renovation budget if you don’t know what you’re dealing with. So, that was one big problem we weren’t really comfortable dealing with.

Number two: there is a lot of competition, or at least around here, at the auctions, and most of it is from the banks themselves buying the properties back, and we just got fed-up with spending hours, and hours, and hours and then getting there and zero chance. I mean, the banks are just snatching the up and it was really frustrating. We said, “you know what? This isn’t working, it’s taking up a lot of time, and it’s not worth our time to do this so what can we do differently to get those deals?”

Josh: Gotcha. Okay, so what was the new approach? What are you guys doing today to find your deals?

James: Well, most of them actually come off the MLS and I know— if you get on BiggerPockets a lot of people will say they’re just not there, or whatever, and that probably is true in a lot of markets. I will say this: it’s getting much more difficult. I’m spending probably five times as long per deal than I was a year ago, but they’re still there and there’s some little tricks and tips that we use to try to find deals that maybe other people overlooked something, or they may have passed up for something they don’t want to deal with that we can say, “okay, there’s an opportunity here. Let’s go for it, and see what we can do”.

Josh: Gotcha, gotcha, and that’s great advice. What works in one market doesn’t necessarily work in another market so, you know, if the MLS doesn’t work in LA that doesn’t mean it’s not gonna work in Dubuque, if that’s a real town. I don’t mean to pry into your ancient Chinese secrets here, but, you know, do you mind sharing one, or two of the MLS scouring tips?

James: No, I don’t mind sharing them, but you’ll have to buy my course for the small price of $10,000! No, it’s nothing special, Josh. You know, we look for houses that have foundation problems that people don’t want to deal with that your everyday flipper who just started, you know, says, “okay, that’s a little beyond our scope”. We look for mold issues cause we know we can remediate most mold issues at a certain cost. So, we look for things that other people might pass up and also houses that maybe have been on the market and the seller passed up several deals, but now they’re getting a little more desperate, or price reductions. So, there’s certain key things that we look for that we think will give us a little better shot than if we’re just searching every house that comes on the MLS.

Josh: Gotcha.

Brandon: That’s good.

Josh: How about mistakes? Have you— over these ten deals are there any mistakes that really stand out for you?

James: There was a lot of mistakes. I’m trying to think which one stands out. I think the biggest one was probably when we first started. We didn’t market the houses soon enough, and what I mean by that was we spent 2 or 3 months renovating this house and we wouldn’t have a for sale sign in the yard. We wouldn’t have it listed anywhere and looking back on that it’s like, “man, we were wasting time! We could’ve had it sold before we were even finished with it”. So, I think that was a big one. We spent a lot of time that we didn’t need to spend by not marketing right away.

Josh: Yeah, and we’ve talked about that on a couple of the shows. I think especially with the flip. Getting the front dressed, doing the curb appeal stuff beforehand and get people excited about what you guys are doing and you can market and pre-sell. It’s fabulous.

James: Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, we did that, as a matter of fact I think it was flip #4. We had the buyers. We actually didn’t get the contract before it was finished, but I mean, this couple literally came back twice a week to check on the progress. So, we knew right then we had a pretty solid lead if they’re out there that often.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s awesome. Hey, going back a little bit to your partnership that you have going on here. Can we talk about that for a minute? Because that is something that I think is a huge, huge important thing for new investors especially if you can’t do it by yourself, or you don’t have the time, or you’re working a job I think partners are awesome. So, I guess, why don’t we just go into some of the benefits or the challenges to that?

James: Yeah, I wrote a blog post about this and I think partnerships can get a little bit of a bad rap and I kind of liken it to reviews on restaurants. A lot of times it’s only the bad reviews that you hear about and I think that’s true for partnerships. There are partnerships all over the place that most people don’t even know about that are highly successful that both people, or however many people, are completely satisfied with, and are able to do things that they can’t do by themselves, but you don’t hear about those because why would they really talk about it? But you hear about all the ones that go sour. So, there are a lot of things that partnerships can provide to both people, or however many people are involved, that really they just couldn’t do as one person.

Brandon: And how do you guys split duties and stuff? I mean, is it everything 50/50 money and responsibilities, or do you differ that up a little bit?

James: Well, that’s one thing to understand. It’ll never be 50/50 at any given point in time and anyone who wants it to be that way you’re probably setting yourself up for a disaster of a partnership, and here’s why I say that. Because every person has things going on in their life at any given moment whether it’s family issues, work issues, whatever. There’s been times when Ryan has had to take the bulk because I was stationed overseas, or I was in the middle of Air Force training and I couldn’t do some of the things I was doing and I wasn’t in the location at the time.

Then there’s times that we’re here where he gets bogged down, or has to travel with work so I have to pick up some of the things that he would normally do. So, it’s never going to be 50/50 all the time, but the key is that it’s 50/50 as far as kind of the overarching, you know, you can’t take a snapshot in time. You have to look at the overall thing and if both people are 100% committed to making it work then you can overlook the times when it’s a little unbalanced.

Josh: That’s great advice. It’s like a marriage. I mean, that’s the bottom line is you’re gonna have to concede. You’re going to have to exert more than your share at some times, but in the end you need to be willing to do that upfront because if you’re not it’s not gonna work.

James: No, you’re absolutely right.

Josh: It’s not gonna work. So, in terms of benefits, then, I guess, the obvious one is going to be that when you were away he could do a lot of the work and vice versa. Are there any other benefits that come to mind?

James: Oh, yeah. There’s a ton. The biggest one that we realized right away was access to borrowing power. Instead of one person we now have two incomes that we can borrow against so that was, you know, one of the key things to get started because we basically co-signed the loans as individuals. The loans were to the LLC, but we had to basically, you know, sign and say if something happens we’ll pick it up. So, they were a lot more comfortable knowing okay, there’s two salaries here. They could easily cover this if it doesn’t work out.

I’ll run through a couple real quickly, and stop me if I get too long winded here, but one big one is an extra set of eyes when you’re analyzing something. When you have two people agreeing on the budget, the purchasing price, on the after repair value, the odds that you’re doing it correctly go up.

Complimentary qualities. I said Ryan’s an engineer. I am not an engineer. I cannot picture walls coming down, or walls going up, or turning this into a bathroom. I mean, it just doesn’t work for me, but he can do that and I provide some other things. Some of the financial knowledge and savviness that he might not have on his own. So, combined we can do a lot of things.

A couple others, and I’ll just read these off real quick, that I pulled from the blog post I wrote. Division of tasks, obviously you can do more with two people. Accountability, I think, is a big one. You know, you might not want to get up and go look at that house, but if someone’s out in the driveway waiting to pick you up to go look at it then you’re probably going to get up.

Brandon: That’s funny. This morning one of my business partners woke me up at 5:30 this morning to go jogging and I mean, like, it’s business but it’s also like we’re friends and I would not have done it without him holding me accountable to go jogging—

James: I thought you were going to say Josh woke you up to record the podcast.

Brandon: Well, he does that other weeks.

Josh: Yeah… are you complaining that you had to get up at 5:30 to jog? I mean…

Brandon: No! No, I’m just saying my—that is a good friendship or partnership. It’s a good example.

Josh: Dude, if somebody banged on my door at 5:30 in the morning it’s not happening. Exactly, James.

Brandon: Accountability is huge. Huge.

Josh: Absolutely. Absolutely.

James: The two other ones are confidence. A lot of people just won’t pull the trigger on their own. They’re too scared, but if you’ve got someone else saying, “let’s do this man! We’ve done the ground work. We know this is going to work out”, then you’re going to say, “well, okay,” even if you’re a little reluctant it can get you through the door. Then the final one is you’re splitting the risk. So, the same way with the borrowing power you’re also splitting the risk as well.

Josh: Great list man. Yeah, that’s fantastic. Alright, now that we’ve got the benefits let’s go to the challenges. No, but seriously. I mean, there are a ton of reasons to do it. There are a lot of things to be wary of, of course, some of which we have already talked about, but for you guys in particular, I don’t know if you mind sharing any of the—beyond the, “Hey, he’s gotta go away,” or, “I’m footing the bird in for the next two to three weeks,” are there any big challenges that you’ve experienced?

James: Well, there have been those times when I’ve said, “this is what we need to do”. I mean, whether it’s a specific property or more of a strategy type discussion there’s been times where you’re flat out not gonna agree, but what you have to do is just talk it out. I mean, we’ve had conversations where we never got to throwing hay-makers, but we maybe came pretty close.

Josh: I would pay to watch that.

James: Well, if we have another one come up I’ll set the webcam up, and try to get it for you, but no, I mean, those things happen but at the end of the day you both need to make the decision, or however many partners are involved, and you need to stick with the decision and not blame somebody if the decision was maybe not the best one. That’s what we’ve done, and usually at the end of the day whoever was maybe against the decision at the beginning, but ended up getting on board usually says, “hey man, nice call. that worked out really well. I’m glad we talked it out and came to that decision”.

Josh: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Brandon: You know, I think a lot of newbies come on the site, and they want to know their first step—not that I think a partnership is the first step, but I think it is an important step, especially when somebody doesn’t have the money. I mean, I financed a number of deals that way by finding a partner who had what I didn’t have and I didn’t have borrowing power at all. So, I’d find a partner who could actually easily get a loan and we’d work together on a project. So, there’s a good tip for new people. So, why don’t we move on a little bit to the military stuff and working a full-time job, those kinds of things. Before I do, real quick, just a quick plug: you can get these show notes, you can read them, at BiggerPockets.com/show23, and I did that right, Josh.

Josh: You did do it right! I was waiting for you to just say BiggerPockets.com/23, which would have been wrong.

Brandon: Yeah, that would have been incorrect, like last week.

Josh: That’s correct. Last week you were incorrect.

Brandon: I was gonna say, “now you can’t make fun of me,” but you still did.

James: Maybe next week, Brandon.

Brandon: Maybe next week I’ll do it and I won’t mention it.

Josh: I’ll give you a pass, I’ll give you a pass.

Brandon: Alright, so, yeah, let’s talk about when you were in the military, you mentioned it earlier. How do you do any investing when you’re gone like that? There’s a lot of people in the military that listen to this podcast. What’s your advice for them?

James: Well, number one: I want to say this, and this goes for military or people working any job, I feel very strongly that you need to put that as your priority. When I go to work every day I do not want to be halfway there when I’m in the office. Someone’s paying me to do a job and I want to make sure I do the job and do it well, and I work my business around that. It’s an inconvenience to me sometimes, yes it certainly is, but I think that’s important because you’re selling yourself short, and you’re hurting somebody else’s business if you’re not doing that. Same for the military. That job takes a lot of dedication and it takes a lot of sacrifice so you need to put those things to the forefront or you need to try to go full time if you’re not willing to do that. So, I just want to get that out there. That’s how I feel about that. I don’t want people thinking, “Oh, he does it. He probably just goes to work and looks at houses online all day,” you know, no. Are there sometimes when I might have a few seconds to write an email or make a phone call? Of course, but put your job or whatever you’re doing—that should be number one as far as that goes.

Josh: Great advice.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s awesome. You can batch things too. Like, I know a lot of times I’ll just take an hour break, like lunch break and I’ll just try to get everything I can, real estate wise, done in that time. I think that’s a good way to do it. I think I once heard that on another podcast somewhere who said that.

James: Yeah. There’s a lot of lunch break warriors out there, I think, who do real estate investing and that’s a good time to do it.

Brandon: Cool. So, I guess, what else do you got for people working a full-time job since you work a full-time job. What other tips can you give?

James: One of the big things is you just have to manage your time and you have to implement whatever systems you can to make time management easy and work for you. Now, there’s no magic bullet for that because everyone’s lifestyle is a little bit different. Everyone has different priorities in their life, different family situations, and I’m still working every day to try to systemize things. You know, I do all the accounting and bookkeeping type stuff. So, I’m trying to come up with everyday ways where I can memorize transactions with our software so that I don’t have to input them every month, if they’re the same every month. You just need to come up with a way where you can make things automate where you can. That’s what we’re trying to do now, and that will help you as you try to scale because right now we’re going through a phase where we are looking to get a little more deals at a time and get going. So, if you can scale up that automation is going to be very important.

Josh: Well, let me ask you about the automation because there are a number of companies and gurus and folks who have these automation tools that are a one-size-fit-all we’re-going-to-run-your-whole-business-for-you-through-this-automation tool. You know, it seems to me that those tools are—they may be helpful, but everybody kind of needs to develop their own systems. So, ultimately in the end just buying a prepackaged system that somebody else created for themselves may not necessarily work for you or your business. What’s your take on that?

James: No, I agree with that 100%. Kind of that way it happened with us is you’re not likely—I don’t know what those packages are like. I’ve never seen or bought one, but what we’ve done is: as we’ve grown and as we’ve continued to do deals we figured out what things are taking the most time, what things are able to be auto-mized and we do them ourselves. I mean, there’s no need to rely on someone else other times, of course for advice or whatever, but you know what is taking your time and you know what you don’t like doing so you need to come up with the solution on how you can make that easier, make it less time consuming and free yourself up for those other things.

Josh: Yeah, that’s great advice. When new investors come and ask me, “hey, should I buy this? Should I buy this?” I don’t say, “no, don’t buy that particular product,” because I don’t have the familiarity with it, however I do say, “you shouldn’t buy any product. You should hold off. You should figure out what works for you. You should figure out what investing you’re going to do and then figure—you need to kind of learn along the way. You can’t just skip the learning part and just plug into a pre-packaged program because you’re going to miss out on everything that you absolutely have to know as you’re moving forward with your business”.

James: Right. I mean, as the regular forum people know, I speak out pretty heavily against gurus and courses. I think some people might be asking, “which one of the gurus beat him up and took his lunch money when he was a kid?” But it’s not, and like you said, it’s not that I’m saying this program’s bad or this one’s bad, it’s just that you need to make sure you’re making the right decision. Especially when you’re talking about thousands of dollars and the important part to me is that you could be using that to do what you’re actually trying to learn how to do.

Brandon: I mean, yeah, a $2,000 course will go a long way towards direct mail or towards driving around. That’s a lot of gas.

James: Well, yeah, and then in my situation you throw a business partner in there. If you each have $5,000 that’s $10,000. You could have $0 between the two of you, or you could have $10,000 which, in a lot of areas, is enough to get a loan on a cheap house you could renovate and make a profit. Not only that, but you’ve just learned probably a 100 times more than what you would have learned from buying a course. Now you’ve actually done a deal.

Josh: Hey, I’m thinking back, speaking of money here, you talked about that first loan from the community bank, did being a vet—you weren’t a vet at the time, you were active duty, but did that help at all, that you were serving? I mean, was there any kind of VA concession there or anything like that, and are there programs beyond just traditional VA loans that might work out for flippers or investors?

James: Well, there’s a lot of things I looked at. There’s even a lot of VA small business loans that you can get if you’re starting a business, whether it’s real estate or something else that’s separate from a traditional VA house loan. So, there are a lot of options. You can get free counseling on real estate and on business on accounting on a lot of things if you just seek those resources out. In our case it didn’t really help us so much because there were two of us, we were purchasing and stuff under a business entity to I kind of lost some of those resources I maybe could have used if it were just me doing it that way.

Josh: Gotcha, gotcha, and this will probably be my last question on the military stuff. So, you know, if I’m listening to the show, and I’m in Guam or Afghanistan—and by the way we have guys who listen to the show everywhere we’ve got bases which is totally awesome and to everybody listening thank you for what you guys are doing—but I always send people to you. You’re kind of our resident, “hey, this is somebody from the military. Go talk to James. James has been there, he’s experienced it. He’s done it”. Do you have any kind of generalized pieces of advice for those people? Particularly those people who are currently active duty overseas?

James: Yeah, well number one is it can be done. I know a lot of people who did a lot more than I did with real estate while they were on active duty. I knew a Chief Master Sergeant who managed hundreds of properties while he was in the service and he was a great, great service member. So, he was not slacking to do that so it can be done. One thing I do want to point out, and I do want to say thanks to all the service members, those on BiggerPockets and those listening, or veterans because I’ve been there and it is a lot of sacrifice and it takes a special kind of person to do that, but the one thing people talk about—common advice is to buy a property at every duty location and by the time you get out or you retire or whatever you might have 15 houses, and I think generally that’s well intended and good advice.

That will work in a lot of cases, but I like to take that kind of same idea and say keep this in mind too: you don’t have to buy them where you’re at. If you see a market, maybe like the Dallas market right now, and you think for the next 50 years it’s going to be a good place to be you can buy three or four there, and there’s a couple benefits to that.

Number one: now you don’t have 15 properties spread out all over the country. You might have one or two key locations.

Number two: you pick the market instead of the military picking it for you, and

Number three: you can really cut back on property management because you’re going to be an absentee landlord probably either way because you’re going to be moving around so if you can cut down on some of those costs that might actually be a huge benefit down the road.

Josh: That’s great advice.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s awesome. So, let’s talk about property management for a little bit. Do you manage your own properties or do you hire that out?

James: I do, like I said we didn’t buy any rentals until 2013. So, in fact, one of them we’ve only had finished and leased out for about 3 months. So, I don’t have a ton of experience, but what I did do was take a lot of time to figure out tenant screening. To figure out a lot of things that people need to know to be an affective landlord.

Brandon: That’s cool. Well, I have to plug this here cause you brought it up. So, I wrote a guide awhile back called The Ultimate Guide to Tenant Screening, we’ll link to it in the show notes, but that is by far one of our most popular posts on the site. So, if anybody wants to know exactly how to do that that’s a good place to check out, and again we’ll have it in the show notes at BiggerPockets.com/show23.

Josh: Wait, you got it wrong. What was it?

Brandon: I did it right! SHOW 23. Okay, so cool. So, you’re just getting into it, but you do manage it yourself then.

James: We do. We do for now, yes.

Brandon: Any troubles with that so far? Anything you’ve been learning?

James: No, well, we’ve learned a ton. We’ve been fortunate so far. We had a lot of applicants to choose from, and a lot of good applicants to choose from. One thing I thought was pretty interesting; The first house that we finished our painter ended up leasing for his family. So, I think when people that are around know that you’re doing a great job, and that you’re going to take care of them, and do as you’re supposed to you will find that people want to live in your properties. And he’s someone who’s been in all of our properties, he’s been painting for us for a while now, and he was comfortable enough to rent that house out for his family. So, I felt really good about that and I think that kind of says a lot about how you can do things as a landlord to really influence who comes and stays in your properties.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s awesome. So, how did you decide from flipping moving onto the rentals? How did you decide, you know, the first rental, how did you decide that was the one you were going to do? What made that a perfect rental?

James: You know, that’s a good question. It wasn’t so much that property, it was more of the timing. We had generated enough capital to where we were able to do that. I think I view real estate as often polarizing as far as you’ve got these groups of people that swear that their way of doing things is the best and only way to do it.

You’ve got flippers versus buy-and-hold guys. You’ve got the group that says, “don’t do any education, just get started, gung-ho go in there and screw it up, and you’ll learn,” and then you’ve got people who say, “take 20 years and get four PhD’s and you’ll be ready,” but usually I think the truth is somewhere in the middle or a mixture of things and that’s how I feel about different strategies. You know, they all have benefits. They all have negatives. So, why not try to focus on how you can leverage the benefits of different things and work them together and move forward in a way that you’re reaping the benefits of different things?

Josh: That’s great advice, great advice. Well, then it sounds like you are self-financing your buy-and-holds at this point, yeah?

James: Well, the same lender we’re using for our flips we’re actually getting commercial loans on for the rentals and what we’re gonna do with those loans—we’re basically going to try to pay those down pretty quickly with proceeds from our upcoming flips. So, we did put more down than we do on flips. We have more equity built in.

Josh: And why are you going to do that versus use the write-offs on interest and everything else?

James: Well, there’s a couple reasons. I’m fairly conservative by nature and I want to strike a balance of being aggressive, but not being caught with my pants down, so to speak, whenever the market changes. So, that’s kind of why we decided, you know, yes we might not be able to do roll our cash as quickly and do more projects and build it as quickly if we do this, but by taking a little hit now and taking this balanced approach when the market changes, because it will, it’s not if it’s when, we’ll be in a better position and we won’t be struggling to figure out how we’re going to keep the thing going.

Brandon: Great advice, man.

Josh: Yeah, I love your balanced philosophy. I think, you know, and again, yeah I know we talk about it, and almost too much, but you know on for those who don’t know the reason that BiggerPockets was started and that I founded it was I needed this information to help myself with my own personal investing and what I didn’t like about what existed at the time was I felt like there wasn’t a balance. So, what we really strive for is we want every opinion. I want the pros and the cons, we want the highs and the lows, we want to know everything because the more that people can see the more different approaches that you can learn from you’re going to get to make that decision.

So, if I present, “hey, James, I’ve got this opportunity,” you give me one piece of advice and ten people give me ten other opinions I could then judge it for myself versus, you know, going to a single mentor whose advice might be fantastic, and it may be dead on, but at least it kind of opens the opportunity to getting other feedback. So, anyway, that’s why I just love our community so much. It’s amazing watching people just absorb these varying opinions and coming to their own conclusions.

James: Yeah, definitely. Absolutely.

Josh: Well, in terms of—you had talked about getting your license when you were overseas. Have you used that? Are you using that to acquire and sell your properties on the flips or was it more as a tool to get access to MLS?

James: Yeah, both Ryan and I are licensed and the license I think has played a pretty important part in our business model. For one thing we do use it to comp our own properties, for the MLS access, and then we also do use it to buy and sell properties so we save a ton of money in commission on those.

I think and I kind of got this idea from Jay Scott. He’s the one who kind of brought it to the forefront. It’s the control aspect that I think I love the most. You don’t have to have someone go with you every time you go and see a house. You don’t have to rely on a realtor to go back and forth with negotiations and I never really pieced that together until he said that in a forum post, but that’s what it’s all about for me and that’s what really kind of pushes us to keep doing that, and yes I recommend it to people. There’s a lot of different thoughts on there but I don’t really see how it can hurt you too many ways, I can’t find too many negatives, it’s usually not overly expensive, you know, you can inactivate it whenever you want. So, I think it’s a good starting point and it can lead to some good opportunities.

Brandon: No, that’s awesome. I probably mentioned this before but I’ve taken the class, now I’ve paid for it twice, and I have not actually finished it yet. It’s terrible. I know. I did it like five years ago and then I flipped a house and I was like, “I don’t need my license I’m going to flip houses,” and then oh… one of my biggest regrets. And then I paid for it last summer and I never finished it cause—

Josh: You should have your 5:30 AM running buddy come over and bang on your door and tell you to get your a** over there.

Brandon: And go and study for my class, yeah. I’ll get it one of these days. So, you started pretty young you said earlier, right? 22 or 23 right out of college? What kind of advice do you have for young folk?

James: You know, one thing you hear a lot about with young people is go find a mentor. Well, that doesn’t really tell people anything. How do you find a mentor? Where are they? If they’re not in your family and you may not know them that’s kind of hard. You know, yeah you can go to Real Estate Association meetings, but it’s hard to go up to somebody and say, “will you be my mentor?” So, I kind of think young people do that backwards.

I think if you get started and you’re doing some things—you know, I wasn’t looking for a mentor but I’ve got several guys who’ve been in the business for years and years now that I can call and get advice from. It’s not that I went up to them and asked them, it’s that they saw hey here’s this young guy, or these young guys, out here making things happen. That’s pretty impressive. Maybe we can do some things together or maybe you can help me with this, and I’ll help you with this. so, I think that’s where you’re going to find a valuable mentor. It’s when someone else recognizes in you that you’re trying to make things happen and see skill sets and certain personality traits where they go: okay this guy might be onto something. So, sometimes you might have to do something first to get something in return not look for something in return and promise oh I’ll give you something later.

Brandon: That’s awesome.

Josh: That is cool.

Brandon: I’ve always been trying to say, like, put that into words what you just said cause that’s exactly my theory and I’ve never been able to say it as eloquently as you’ve just said it. So, that’s awesome.

James: Well, I haven’t either.

Brandon: Well, that was good. That was good.

Josh: There ya go, beautiful, beautiful. Hey, James, how about—we’re starting to wrap up, but any of your best tips for getting started beyond what you’ve already told us?

Brandon: I think, you know, one of the biggest things to get started is: don’t pick a strategy and try to build your situation around it. Look at your situation: how much cash do you have? Who do you know? What skills do you already possess? Who do you know that maybe would be interested in joining you? And what your goals are, that’s a big one. Where do you want to go? And then build a—figure out which strategy fits your needs because you see a lot of people saying, “I’m gonna flip houses,” then they tell you their situation and you go, “you probably shouldn’t be doing that you should be doing something different,” and then you can get there at another point in time, but it might not be the right time for you. So, take those things into consideration and then figure out how you’re going to get from A to B.

Josh: You know, that’s good advice. It reminds me of, there’s somebody who I’ve seen on the site over a couple years ago, and she had all the best intentions, and wanted to be this real estate investor and finally decided, “hey I’m going to go out and get my license,” and that was great, you know, she’s got a family to take care of and all this stuff. The problem was she doesn’t have a car, right? So, great. You want to be a real estate agent. You don’t have a car. You’re trying to use your real estate to try to get your car and kind of build everything up, but that’s kind of backwards. In order to be a real estate agent, unless you’re in New York city, or San Francisco, you need a vehicle. You’ve got to have one and so that didn’t work. There is no way to make that function. You know, you can’t be an agent and say, “hey guys, can you give me a ride to the house that I’m going to show you?” You know, that’s probably not going to fly.

James: Yeah, that’s probably not going to go over too well.

Josh: Yeah, so, looking at your situation and being realistic about your financials, about your skill sets is I think some of the best advice we’ve heard so far.

Brandon: And I think that ties in too—back at the very beginning of the show you were talking about going full-time in that if you’re full-time you don’t have to—I mean, we look at people on the site who are full-time flippers and you say, “well I want that life,” and you try to build your business around that but if you’re full-time and you like your job there’s no reason to say you can’t go slowly. I mean, I do only one deal at a time generally and I think you’re kind of the same way and we can ramp up later.

James: Yeah, well, I’m huge on that. I’ve actually kind of changed course a little bit on that. I used to think I’ll do this for a couple years, build a solid base, and then I’ll quit my job and I’ll be a full-time flipper, and I’ll be making so much money I won’t know what to do with it, but now I’ve kind of changed. In fact, now I see the benefits that having a job can provide, and one of the big ones is we can just roll our money. We’re not relying on salaries and you’d be surprised at how fast that money grows when you’re not feeding your family off of it and you’re not paying insurance and all those sorts of things. So, to me I’m kind of switched to the point where I’m going to work until one of two things happens. That’s where I just cannot continue to do both because I’m not going to do either one of them well or it’s just so much more of a financial benefit for me to leave here, and I think a lot of times people underestimate that so I want to be very smart about making that decision.

Josh: Well, and the cool thing is that you love your job. Which is great. You got a cool job. You get to play with bourbon all day don’t you?

James: Play with it, drink it, ship it overseas. No, I do. I work for Blanton’s Bourbon so I’m in the bourbon industry, and being from Kentucky that’s a good industry to be in. It’s a lot of fun, and surprisingly I’ve learned some things that I can use even in real estate investing so a lot of times you can kind of combine skill sets and you can come out ahead by doing that.

Josh: That’s great.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s awesome. I always recommend that people do a job they love and if that’s flipping then flip, but if not, I mean, if it’s teaching high school math then go teach high school math. Who cares? Do something you love to do but then invest on the side. So, very cool. Should we transition to these ending—the

Josh & Brandon: The Famous Four

Brandon: Good job.

James: I was going to join you there but I didn’t want to mess up the flow.

Josh: Oh, come on man. Get in. Get in on the action. Alright, so the first of the Famous Four is what do you think is your favorite real estate book, if any?

James: I’m not a huge real estate book reader to be honest with you. I like other mediums. I like the forums and blogs and podcasts. Just talking to people, but that’s not to say I don’t go and read real estate books, but my favorite, and I think the most useful it’s more of a guide I guess than a book is the Estimating Rehab or Renovation Costs. I thought I had them nailed down but after I flipped through that I actually said, you know what, I know it’s a different market but I could probably do better on some of these things. So, I actually used that and kind of compared and contrasted and I found some savings based on that. So, I’m more into that sort of thing than reading some book that’s gonna get me pumped up and to go out there and do things.

Josh: Sounds like you’re pumped up already.

James: I’m already pumped up.

Josh: Yeah, and that book, the estimating book, that’s a BiggerPockets book which is pretty cool. It’s the Book on Estimating Rehab Costs, by Jay Scott and that’s available at BiggerPockets.com/FlippingBook along with the Book on Flipping Houses, also by Jay Scott. How about your favorite non-real estate business book or even one of the courses that you’ve kind of done online? Any of those stand out?

James: I like biographies a lot. I’m kind of intrigued by different people and what their situation was and how they were able to turn that situation into where they ended up and one of my favorite biographies that’s kind of business related is Titan and that’s about the life of Rockefeller. Can’t even think who the author is, but that’s just a great book about one of the most famous business people of all time.

Josh: There you go, there you go. That’s great. What about hobbies? I know you’re always over at the races man. Are you a big horse guy?

James: Well, you know, I love going to the track. That’s a Kentucky pastime and I’m probably going to get a lot of flak and a lot of private messages with some 1-800 helplines or something but I like drinking bourbon and I like gambling on horses so, I don’t know. You know, maybe I’ll get some help at some point but those are two things that we like to do. Me and my wife love to travel. We like to get out and about. I don’t like sitting around too often so we try to stay busy and the horse track is one place you can find me in the spring and fall.

Brandon: That’s cool. I have never been. So, someday. Well, cool. Final question for today is what do you believe, James, what do you believe sets apart those who succeed in this business, and especially maybe the flippers, but anybody really from those who don’t?

James: I found this, you know, I’ve listened to a lot of the podcasts—actually I think all of the podcasts, and I found this to be the most difficult question to answer and I think the reason is I can’t think of one thing that does it. You know, you see a lot of people that they’re passionate about something, they’re really passionate about something for a week until they’re passionate, very passionate about something else. Those type of people will not succeed in real estate period. And you see a lot of them come and go. You got the other people who come and expect success right away. Huge success. Whether they read a course, saw something on TV, so they come and they’re hyped up ready to go and then maybe it’s a little more difficult than they expected so they tap out and decide to move on to the next thing. So, I think it just takes, I talk about balance a lot, but it takes a balanced person. Someone who is willing to work hard, put in the effort, someone who is able to overcome failures and kind of build on successes. So, I don’t know if that was really “an answer” but—

Brandon: No, that’s great.

Josh: I think that’s a good answer. I think the bottom line is having realistic expectations. I think if you come in thinking—well, if you come in with unrealistic expectations you’re going to get slaughtered or you’re gonna quit and if you come in understanding that this is a business, it takes work, it takes time and you’re willing to put in the work and time and you’re going to be fine.

James: Yeah, definitely.

Josh: Yeah, that’s great. Well, James, man listen, fantastic stuff. It’s funny— I look at you as one of our amazing success stories at BiggerPockets. I’m very proud of what you’ve accomplished and like to think that we’ve played some part in that success and I can’t wait to be hearing about deal 15 and 20 and 30 and so on and I’m really happy you came on the show too.

I think a lot of folks, and I do say particularly military guys, but I think anybody who’s listening. I mean, you’re a young guy who’s kind of, you’ve really crushed it man and you’re doing it while you’re working at a job that you love and you’re learning while you were overseas. I mean, you’re one of those guys who makes me think about those people who complain about everything. You know, “it’s too hard it’s too difficult,” that’s nonsense. I mean, what you’ve done is really hard and you’ve done a great job with it and I want to wish you all the success.

James: Well, I really appreciate that. That means a lot to me, but you know BiggerPockets did play a huge role. You know, I don’t want people to think I’m just shamelessly plugging BiggerPockets because it’s absolutely true. So many times when I just had questions, and even when they’re little questions, you know, to be able to go to one source and to know the answer is either there or it’ll be there as soon as you ask it. That saves a lot of time. There’s a certain comfort level in knowing that, “okay as I come across these things I know that I can find an answer”. So, it has been a huge part of it and you’re right it’s not easy but if you love it then it’s a lot easier. So we really enjoy it and we’re glad we found some initial success and we hope to keep it going.

Josh: That’s awesome. Awesome. Well, listen man, thank you so much, and by the way we are not paying you to say these things and you are not paying us for anything either. This is straight up, you know, you’re one of the guys around and we thought you’d have a lot of value to share and I don’t know man, I listen to these things and every time there’s something new that you pick up, and I think that I’ve picked up a couple things from you as well so thank you for being on the show.

James: Well, thanks so much for having me. It’s been fun guys.

Brandon: Awesome, thank you, James.

Josh: Alright guys and that was our show for today. I hope you enjoyed our talk with real estate investor James Vermillion as much as we did.

I want to thank everybody that’s gone to iTunes and left us reviews and ratings. Once again, we couldn’t be where we are today without all you guys. If you haven’t yet left us one, once again please do take a moment to do that on your iTunes player. Otherwise, do remember all the information talked about on today’s podcast can be found on the show notes at BiggerPockets.com/show23 and don’t forget to make sure you’re following us on Facebook at Facebook.com/BiggerPockets on Twitter.com/BiggerPockets and you know, everywhere else. We’re on YouTube—make sure you’re subscribing. We’re putting out lots of cool videos there and of course most importantly you know get on BiggerPockets. Join us, participate, engage, connect, ask questions. We’re getting close to a thousand new forum posts a day. We’re getting close and it’s amazing so jump in, engage, connect and you’ll see whether you’re just learning or whether you’re trying to do deals it’s a very valuable place to be a part of. So, that’s it. Thank you so much again this is Joshua Dorkin signing off.

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