BiggerPockets Podcast 031 with Lamar Cannon Transcript

Link to show: BP Podcast 031: Building a Professional Wholesaling Business with Lamar Cannon

Josh: This is the BiggerPockets Podcast, Show 31.

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Josh: What’s going on everybody? This is Josh Dorkin host of the BiggerPockets Podcast here with my cohost Mister Brandon Turner. Hey, Brandon!

Brandon: Hey, Josh! Knock-knock.

Josh: Who’s there?

Brandon: Yah.

Josh: Yah-ha-ha-hoo!

Brandon: You sure are excited to see me!

Josh: I am indeed.

Brandon: Classic.

Josh: I am indeed. That was not juvenile at all.

Brandon: That was awesome. How’s it going?

Josh: It’s going good, man, it’s going good. Things are going great with the fam, with the site. You and I had a pow-wow into the depths of the night last night, which was a lot of fun, and, yeah, things are great, man. How about yourself?

Brandon: Things are good. I didn’t sleep much cause we were Skyping until, like, 3 in the morning—okay it was like midnight, but—

Josh: It was actually like 11:30 your time, 12:30 my time, and I was awoken by a screaming infant by 4 in the morning. So, you know—

Brandon: I’ll have you know I was awoken by a cat walking on my face at 3 in the morning. So—

Josh: You know what? You cannot complain. You have nothing to complain about, and, you know, the worst part about that kind of wake up call, though, is the fact that, frankly, and we’re going to lose some listeners here, I think cats are gross. You have a cat that crawls in its own stuff, and scratches and buries it and then goes and walks on your face—

Brandon: Trust me, your new baby does worse. So, you love your baby, I love my cat.

Josh: Crazy cat lady man! Well, things are going well, man. Things are good. Well, let’s jump into it cause we’ve got a very fun and interesting show and I’m excited about it. So, why don’t we jump right into our—

Josh & Brandon: Quick Tip

Josh: Today’s Quick Tip is don’t let your cat in a box and scratch you on the face at 4 in the morning.

Brandon: Good Quick Tip.

Josh: You like that? Alright, cool. So, now today’s Quick Tip is: G-Plus, Google-Plus, if you’re not already on Google Plus it is definitely a great network. Great place to be, lots of cool interaction and of course we are present on Google-Plus. BiggerPockets can be followed at G-Plus/Google-Plus/BiggerPockets. Actually, that’s not true at all. Google-Plus has the most complicated URLs ever, so, just look us up. Go on Google-Plus and look up BiggerPockets and be sure to follow us there.

Brandon: Or we’ll link to it in our show notes which are at—

Josh: BiggerPockets.com/show31 because this is the 31st show of the BiggerPockets Podcast.

Brandon: Very exciting.

Josh: Yes. So, today on the show we’re talking with a fairly new real estate investor, but somebody who’s really smart and successful already. He’s a wholesaler from the Austen, Texas area, Lamar Cannon. Lamar was a Sales Professional who used his skills in business to create what, you know, is really starting to become an impressive wholesaling business and he’s gonna share all his inner most secrets with us today. He’s going to share some great advice, and tips and you should definitely tune in because there’s some good stuff even if you’re not a wholesaler. Definitely pay attention.

Of course, like all our shows, definitely make sure if you’ve got any questions to post them in the show notes at BiggerPockets.com/show31. Lamar will be happy to jump in and answer any and all of your questions. So, certainly do that. So, why don’t we just jump into this interview?

Alright, Lamar, welcome to the show, man!

Lamar: I appreciate you guys having me here. I’m pretty excited to be here on the show.

Josh: Oh, was that like the Nintendo da-duh-duh-loo?

Lamar: Yeah, that’s my iPhone ringtone.

Brandon: That’s awesome! I’m going to change mine to be just like that!

Lamar: Reminds me of being a kid.

Brandon: That’s awesome. Well, very cool.

Josh: Well, perfect timing! I’m glad that people are calling you during the show.

Lamar: It’s muted now so we’re good. I just wanted you guys to hear it once.

Brandon: Thank you.

Josh: You made my day, you made my day. Alright, man, so let’s hop into this and get to the beginning. How on earth did you get started?

Lamar: How did I get started? That’s a good question. I started out growing up— my Dad, and my Uncles they had real estate, they had construction companies; ever since I was 8 years old I was always doing some kind of work on a house. Then once I—

Josh: You realize that you just admitted your dad and Uncle had you on a job site doing repairs, construction work, on houses. Hopefully I didn’t end up purchasing that house because there’s a lot of problems—

Lamar: Well, I was mostly handing out the tools at that age. So, I wasn’t really hammering too many things, but that helped me associate real estate with hard work. Anyone that knows me they know that I like to get results, and the easiest way possible. So, I decided to step away from real estate and go into business. So, that’s what I studied in college. I got into investing in stocks and doing all kinds of different other things. I became the Vice President of a software development company shortly after I got out of college, and then I just saw that the returns in stocks and working for someone else weren’t my favorite things in the world to do.

So, I just started digging into real estate a little bit, and then once I got deeper into that I saw that we could make pretty good returns without doing too hard of manual labor. So, it’s tough work, but it’s not too much manual labor unless you’re working on a house yourself, which I don’t do currently.

Josh: Nice, that’s awesome. Yeah, I went into the market myself. I was a Prop Trader for a little while after college.

Brandon: Prop trader? That sounds so—

Josh: Proprietary Trader. Yeah, don’t work about it.

Brandon: Fancy terminology.

Josh: It’s above your pay grade, Brandon. Lamar knows what I’m talking about.

Brandon: Thanks.

Josh: Alright, awesome. Well, so how did you end up making the switch over to real estate?

Lamar: Well, while I was still in college I ended up doing a real estate deal. It was actually kind of an accident because I knew some people. I heard them talking, and they were talking about one of their houses that they didn’t live in, and it was rented out to a couple of their friends. Then that didn’t end up working out; the person that was renting the house out stopped paying the rent for about six months and then the bank was about to foreclose on the house. So, this was at the time that the banks were taking a lot of houses back, they didn’t really want too many more houses on their inventory so I got the idea that I could—the homeowners, they just wanted to let it go. They had other houses that they were building, other houses that they owned, they didn’t really need credit too much anymore. So, they were going to let the bank take it back. So, I just decided that—I told them that if they let me get the house sold for them if they would let me get the profit cause the house was worth about $80,000 in the current condition that it was in and then we ended up—there was about $40,000 worth of equity on the house.

So, what I ended up doing is I told them that I’ll sell it for them so that they don’t have to pay the mortgage or they don’t have to have a foreclosure on their record. I had no idea how I was going to make this happen, but I knew we had a good amount of room to make it happen. So, what I ended up doing—I told them I would pay the mortgage until the house sells, as well as I would help them find a way to get it sold so it was in a different state. So, I called an agent in that state and I told them that we needed to sell this house at this price and then I had to call the bank and tell the bank that we were going to get the house sold and if they could move all the late payments to the end of the loan so that we could keep current and then we’d keep paying the mortgage until the house sells. So, we ended up doing that. It actually—I was in college at the time so I guess everyone that’s been in college knows that you don’t have too big of a budget when you’re in college so I had to switch to the Ramen Noodle Diet.

Josh: Which is the typical diet of the college student anyway, right?

Lamar: Then I was paying that extra—I was paying that mortgage every month. So, I did that for about four months until that house sold. We ended up selling it to another investor and so that’s how I ended up getting excited about real estate. I wasn’t too smart with the money cause being in college I ended up using that for a spring break trip. So—

Josh: Hey, that’s a good use of the money, I think, as a college kid. Why not?

Lamar: But that’s how I got into real estate in terms of that’s what excited me about it because I really didn’t do too much, I just found an opportunity.

Brandon: Nice.

Josh: That’s awesome. Go ahead.

Brandon: So, do you do any stocks anymore or are you 100% real estate now?

Lamar: I’m 100% real estate. I took all my money out of stocks and put it into real estate. I just wasn’t getting the returns that I wanted in stocks. So, if I have millions of dollars to invest getting that 5%-10%-20% return a year that would be pretty awesome, but I’m not there yet so what I decided to do is get a return on my money quicker in terms of making it grow.

So, all the stocks that I was investing in in 2008 right now most of them are about double so that means about 4 or 5 years pass and the stock’s doubled so if I had $10,000 I turn that into $20,000 which isn’t too exciting when you start getting into real estate and you’re doing wholesaling, or whatever kind of deals that someone’s doing, you can get a much higher return on that in a couple years.

Brandon: Yeah.

Josh: Nice, nice. Hey, so I got a question on that first deal. You said you called the bank. How did that go? Tell us about that conversation and what was the response? Because I think that’s something that—and I don’t think we’ve actually talked to anybody in the first 30 shows so far about their actual calls and conversations with the bank so I’d love to get a little insight into that. Lamar: Okay, well I called the bank for them and I told them where the house was at, I mean, they knew where the house was at; that it was past on the mortgage and they were about to foreclose on it pretty soon.

So, I just had the thought in my mind that they didn’t want to get another house back that was going to sit on their books for a good amount of time so I just called them and I told them that we’re going to end up selling the house; That it should sell within the next six months, we’re going to make the mortgage current. It’s going to get paid on time every single month on time, not a day late, and then it took them a little bit to respond—banks aren’t the fastest at responding, so it took them a little bit to respond, but once they did they said, “that’s okay,” I started paying the mortgage and then three months later the house sold.

Josh: So, who did you talk to at the bank? Is that, I mean, is there a specific person, role-player at the bank that you want to talk to? The person in charge of mortgages? I mean, who is that?

Lamar: It was just—that was the only time I ever had to call a bank and negotiate it that way. So, I just called the mortgage department and they put me in touch with the person that does it. I don’t remember exactly what their position was.

Josh: That’s fine.

Lamar: I was just trying to be solution-oriented and make it happen and that’s what we ended up doing.

Josh: That’s great, and there was no back and forth on that? It was just the one call? Here’s my pitch and let us think about it for a couple days and then they got back to you?

Lamar: Absolutely. It was actually a pretty quick response.

Brandon: Now you didn’t have title to that right? The seller still owned the house, right?

Lamar: Correct.

Brandon: So, you just then—how did you make money then off it? Did you call it a finder’s fee or how did you actually make the money?

Josh: Oh, you’re talking at close, Brandon?

Brandon: Yeah, like, at close did you wholesale—exactly, like, I’m just confused exactly how you made the money.

Lamar: It wasn’t the best structured deal. I mean, it was my first one so it wasn’t the best structured. It was all dependent on trust and I trusted the people I was working with pretty well. So, once they got paid by the bank they ended up giving that extra that they got paid they ended up giving that to me.

Brandon: Okay, yeah, that makes sense.

Josh: And, you know, I’m going to go back to my question on the bank thing, because I know when I call the bank and they ask me questions the first question they ask are, “what are the last four digits of your social?” and, you know, if it’s my wife calling on my behalf they say, “well, we can’t talk to you about this loan. We have to talk to the person of record,” well, my wife could, but my mom or somebody else wouldn’t be able to call. So, how were you able to actually get through being that you weren’t the owner of the note?

Lamar: Well, I was able to get through with the help of the current owner. So, they did most of the talking and then as well as once they told the bank that they were going to let me handle it from there they had to sign some paperwork to let that be possible, to make that official, and then I was able to communicate with them from there.

Josh: Got it.

Brandon: Nice.

Josh: Perfect. Yeah, no, that’s great. That definitely makes a lot of sense. Awesome, awesome.

Brandon: You know what I like about your story, Lamar is that first deal is something I always say; I think it’s important for people to go out and just kind of, I mean, not be reckless, but just move forward and start doing something and you’re going to figure a lot of things out just as you go. That deal definitely was something that you just kind of kept pushing forward and figured out as you went and that made you who you are today. I think that’s awesome.

Lamar: Yeah, absolutely. There’s one thing that I always see a lot of new people do, I’m the opposite of this because I used to do it in the past with a lot of things, but there’s steps. Like to accomplish something there’s a certain amount of steps. So, if there’s 30 steps some people want to know all 30 steps before they take one action. So, with me I try to figure out what step one, start doing step one and try to figure out step two before I’m finished with step one.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s a good way to put it. That’s awesome. So, wholesaling… you kind of wholesaled that first deal even though technically, you know, I was kind of a weird way of doing it. How did you actually get into wholesaling then, like, as a business?

Lamar: Yeah, so once I did that I was thinking that it was pretty—in my mind I was thinking it was pretty impossible to do that on a regular basis. So, cause I was thinking of structuring it the exact same way so it was pretty impossible to continue to do that on a regular basis. So, I kind of took a big break off real estate and I was wanting to try to figure out a way to continue to do that, but what I ended up doing was I just kept on researching, and researching, and researching and then I was just like, “well, maybe I can find these deals for people and then just pass it off to someone,” and then once I decided to go down that path then I figured out what wholesaling was through YouTube and all over the internet. Especially looking on BiggerPockets then I found out you can make more than just a couple hundred dollars on a deal, and so we try to do that as frequently as possible.

Josh: Yeah! Awesome. That’s great, that’s great, and I think part of what the imputes to that was I guess you probably didn’t want to trust people to just give you the money after the deal’s gone through. Like, “hey, we had a deal, man! Where’s my cash?”

Lamar: Yeah, it’s—everything’s cool until someone gets the money in their hands and then the decision’s changed a little bit. Got to get everything down on paper.

Josh: Yeah, exactly, exactly. Nice. Okay, so you get into wholesaling and, you know, now that you’ve learned it and studied it did you just jump right in and start doing it again or what was kind of the process at that point now that you’ve realized, “hey, I want to be a wholesaler”?

Lamar: Okay. Well, my transition into it was pretty, I’d say, pretty slow because at the time I was planning on opening a direct sales business and so that’s what I did. I had a time period there for about 3 years where I did 100% commission door-to-door sales, business-to-business or door-to-door, which I think that helped me develop a lot of the business acumen that I have now because you meet a lot of business people doing that. As well as they’re pretty excited that you’re out there working hard so I learned a lot from them as well, the people I was working for.

Josh: You weren’t selling phone books, right?

Lamar: I wasn’t selling phone books, but I could though.

Josh: Nice, nice.

Lamar: So, from there I just decided once I got into wholesaling it was kind of a slow transition because I was doing the normal mistake that most new people make; is every time you find a strategy you hear about a different one and you think that can make you more money so you bounce from strategy to strategy to strategy and next thing you know instead of being good at once thing you’re really below mediocre at everything. So, I had to go through that. Takes some bumps in the road. I was wholesaling here and there on accident, but once I got consistent with my strategy and I decided to focus on one thing at a time then that’s when we started to get it rolling.

Josh: That’s an awesome bit of feedback because I think so many people, especially many who are probably listening to the show right now, are going through that, right? The next best shiny object that stands out and they jump around and clearly that’s not a good strategy.

Lamar: Yeah, absolutely, and it’s kind of hard not to do that because there’s so much good marketing on the internet about different programs and different things. So, once you read that you read it and you’re like, “wow, that strategy is better than what I’m using now. That’s probably why I’m not making money”. Then you switch, and two months later you’re doing the same thing.

Brandon: I know I’m guilty. Every week on the podcast here we interview a guest who’s got a little bit different way of making money in real estate and every week, like, we hang up from the call and me and Josh go, “man, that sounds so cool. We should totally do that,” like, every week. It’s like the grass is always greener on the other side.

Lamar: Absolutely.

Brandon: In The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing that we have on the site one of the chapters in there is about finding the niche in your strategy and it’s basically find one strategy that works and then find a niche within that. So, like, wholesaling and wholesaling houses. That’s a niche and a strategy, and then just focus on that and get really good at it. Exactly what you said.

Lamar: Yeah, exactly. I think the thing that helped me the most is one of the most awesome business women that I know told me, “it’s better to be great at one thing than mediocre at a lot. So, instead of focusing on being average at ten things find one thing and be great at it and then move onto the next thing”. So, I think that’s some really good advice for people starting out. I think that helped me out tremendously because otherwise I would have been just spreading myself thin trying to get good at every single thing.

Josh: That’s fantastic. That’s fantastic. Now was she a mentor or just a friend of yours who had some good pearls of wisdom?

Lamar: Pretty much both.

Josh: Okay, gotcha.

Brandon: So, what neighborhoods are you focused on? Speaking of niches and finding your place, what are you looking for when you wholesale a deal nowadays?

Lamar: What I’m looking for is I’m looking for whatever my buyers are looking for, and then I think that’s the thing that a lot of new wholesalers they just look for properties everywhere so when I first started out I was finding properties, but they were in country where not too many people that I knew wanted to buy there. So, I think my strategy right now is I’m focusing on properties that are really close to the center of the city which is where most of the cash transactions are happening and a lot of the investors are pretty excited about because Austen is a really competitive market in terms of real estate in terms of finding good deals. So, most people that are looking for deals if they can find anything within 10-12 miles from downtown then they’re doing a really good job.

Josh: So, a lot of people find that wholesaling is this chicken and the egg problem, right? So, some people will strategize, “hey, you know, I’m going to go and find buyers, and once I have buyers they’re going to tell me what they want and I’m going to go out and find them,” a lot of other people will say, “hey, no, that’s crazy. Go find good deals and the buyers will come”. I tend to agree both work, but I prefer the latter. Which was your strategy?

Lamar: My strategy was to do both at the same time.

Josh: Okay.

Lamar: So, I think a lot of people stop themselves and hinder their progress a bit when they only look for buyers first and then have buyers and then look for deals because if you get a deal most people that are going to flip houses or most people that are looking to invest in houses they’re looking for a house that the final value for that house, the After Repair Value, the price that they buy it at is 70% of that minus the repairs. So, if you find a deal like that it doesn’t matter too much if you have buyers or not, you’re going to have five people banging on your door within the first 10 minutes of you posting that.

Josh: Right, yeah, so basically you find a good deal you’re going to find buyers is really the bottom line.

Lamar: Yeah, that’s the bottom line. The thing about finding buyers the more different types of buyers you have the more properties you can wholesale. Cause in my mind I kind of categorize buyers into all different categories.

Josh: Nice, nice. Alright, so, let’s chat a tiny bit about the buyers here. How many buyers do you need? I mean, a lot of people will say, “hey, I want a buyers list. I need 10,000 people on a buyers list,” and, frankly, I think that’s crazy. I think you need 5-10 good buyers and you’re set, but what’s your theory on that and what’s worked for you?

Lamar: I agree. You don’t need a ton of buyers; you just need all the different types of buyers is what I think. Because there’s different types of people that do different things with properties. Some people are more aggressive than others, some people take more risks than other people. So, a lot of times I’ll be able to find a deal and then get the house under contract and then once I do that I can figure out which buyer is going to buy it. So, while I’m negotiating I’m thinking about which type of buyer is going to buy it.

So, in my mind there’s a couple different types of buyers. So, there’s the normal buyer that wants to fix and flip so they’re going to want to buy it at 70% minus the repairs that house needs.

There’s other buyers that do what Jason Grote talked about on the call that he was on which is called wholetaling. So, basically that buyer, they’ll get the property from you they’ll get the property in a condition that it can be financed by a bank so that someone that wants a fixer upper can get a bank loan and purchase that property. So, that strategy is a strategy that’ll get a buyer in and out a little bit quicker in terms of the return on their investment.

There’s also buyers that fix the property and then rent it out. They’ll purchase at a certain price.

There’s buyers who buy it and then hold it for three months because they know the market’s going to go up, and then don’t even do anything to it and then sell it because they’re able to get more comps.

So, there’s some of those strategies that are a little bit riskier, but it’s just like investing in the stock market. There’s all different types of investors, and so if there’s only one type of investor then most of the stocks would be at dramatically lower prices, but there’s people that day-trade, there’s value investors, there’s people that are going to hold the stock for a year, there’s people that are going to hold it for 30 years. So, it’s just the same kind of thing with real estate is the people that are buying the properties from you; you have to have all different types with all different strategies because that way whenever you’re negotiating with someone that really wants to sell their property and there’s a certain amount owed on the property that you can’t go below then you are still able to find a solution for that person as well as find a deal for someone that’s pretty much a home run deal for them as well.

Josh: That’s awesome. Cool.

Brandon: So, hey how are you finding these buyers? Like, how should people start out finding them?

Lamar: Well, I think the easiest way to start out is, I mean, you can do some Craigslist posts posting that, “I’m a wholesaler. I buy properties,” the best way is for the people to actually meet you, and know you. So, I think I met a lot of people that buy properties from me through a BiggerPockets meetup that we had here in Austen.

Brandon: Nice.

Josh: Aw, yeah!

Lamar: That was pretty awesome. I feel like most of the people that I know I met through BiggerPockets which is pretty awesome, and I met a couple really, people that I would call geniuses, through BiggerPockets, and it’s good to learn from those people as well. Then I have another tip for the people who are starting out if you’re starting out in wholesaling; a good thing that I do is I have a certain price on a property that I want to sell it at then when the person wants to buy the property from me if I respect that person and I’ve seen that person’s work and I want to learn from them I’ll lower the price a little bit if they allow me to come look at the property and learn from them as the project is going on so that I can learn what they’re doing and then I can apply that if I ever decide to do that same thing.

Josh: That’s awesome.

Lamar: It also helps to know that right now I can see a house and I’d know exactly what a couple of my buyers are going to do to it and how much that’s going to cost them so I can say the repairs in terms of their language and what they would do the repairs as.

Josh: That’s great. That’s really, really, really great.

Brandon: Can I pop in here? I want to ask a question, and a lot of times on the podcasts here and just in general we talk a lot about theories and what’s good and stuff. I want to get really, really specific here, and be a little selfish, I want to ask you about a specific deal that I’m considering working on and I want to hear your take on it.

Lamar: Okay.

Brandon: Alright, so a lady called me from a website I set up. Actually, I made this tutorial on this site on how to use—how to build a website in under an hour, and I’ll link to it in the show notes it’s BiggerPockets.com/show31, but, so, this lady calls me and I actually didn’t even know she called for three weeks cause I didn’t have my Google Voice hooked up, right? But that’s another story. So, anyway. I get the message three weeks later. I call her back and she’s very motivated to sell. She doesn’t owe anything on the house. It’s in a bad neighborhood, though, not the worst neighborhood, but definitely—it’s like, I’m not going to get shot there, but there’s definitely drugs in that neighborhood. She says she needs, she started at $30,000, well, $29,000, and just in the five-minute conversation she dropped her price to $18,000. So, what I’m wondering is; should I pursue this in a bad neighborhood? I don’t have any cash buyers that I know of yet that buy in that neighborhood. What would you do in that case? I would say After Repair Value probably $40,000 or $50,000.

Josh: How much does it need?

Brandon: Maybe $10,000. Paint and carpet. Maybe a little more depending on who does the work, but what would you do?

Lamar: I’d pursue it. I had a deal like that pretty recently. I pursue it and then just add in there a discount because of the neighborhood. So, if it was in a different neighborhood of course you could probably sell that property for quite a bit more, but in a bad neighborhood you had to take into account—especially if it’s not the worst neighborhood and it’s not like, really, really, bad it’s just not the best place you’d want to be then you’re just discounting it based on the neighborhood as well. So, I’d pursue it and then find the buyers that buy in that area. A lot of times if I’m going to do something like that then I’ll drive around and if I see any “we buy houses” signs in that area I’ll call that person and see what they’re looking for and then next thing you know I’ll have a buyer. So, I’m not going to tell them the exact deal and where it’s at just in case cause I never met em and you never know if someone wants to steal a deal from you, but I probably take a little bit of a look at it and see if I need her to discount it even more to make it work or go for it. There was one property I just had, I actually talked to the guy yesterday, and I needed him to discount it about $20,000 to make it work just because it was on a certain side of the street. If it was on the other side then it would have been perfectly fine.

Brandon: Interesting.

Josh: Yeah, that’s great. Do you mind if I jump back a second here to something, and it’s a little selfish on my end? So, you said, you know, you went to that Austen meet up and you met a lot of people. That’s great. You said you also found people on the site itself. For anyone listening how would one go about finding folks on the site? Are you finding potential buyers just by engaging and interacting? What are you doing?

Lamar: Yeah, I’m just engaging and interacting. I mean, you’re going to find people that do fix and flips. You’re going to find people on the site cause if you just search for what you’re—cause I was just basically doing a search to gain knowledge so if I’m searching and then I find people that are fixing and flipping houses and they live in my same area then I’ll meet up with them for coffee. So, my goal isn’t to add the person to my buyer’s list. My goal is to get to know them and figure out what their strategy is and learn from them and then a byproduct, once they figure out I wholesale properties, is they’re going to want to be added to my buyer’s list. So, I don’t really feel like I ask too many people to be on my buyer’s list with such a competitive market right now and most markets it’s really tough to find deals and a lot of people that depended on MLS deals they’re not able to find them there so they have to look for another source and that source is really good wholesalers.

Brandon: Yeah. Well, let’s talk about that. It’s a competitive market. Obviously Austen’s hot right now you’re saying. What are your tips for doing that? How do people handle it when everything’s flying off the shelves?

Lamar: Well, I think—do you mean in terms of getting the property?

Brandon: Yeah, yeah, I mean, in terms of just wholesaling and just finding good properties when there’s so much competition. It was easy when the MLS— you could find anything you wanted there. It was a lot easier.

Lamar: Yeah, when the market’s not as hot the MLS is a little bit easier to find deals, but when it’s hot there’s a ton of competition so you have to be creative and you have to have really great marketing. So, with me I have all different types of marketing.

I started out with just direct mail. I use an expert that I met on the site and he does really awesome work, that’s Jerry Puckett, so I feel like someone that’s just sending out the copy on the letters that they decide to make up out of their brain I feel like I have a competitive advantage over them because Jerry’s an excellent, I mean, he’s done it himself as well as he’s applying that and he’s tweaking it and I have ideas, and he has ideas and we’ll merge those together and next thing ya know we have a really great product. I feel like the other thing that you need to do in a competitive market is you have to act fast. If you hesitate at all you’re most likely going to lose the deal. So, what I do is I’m able to—if someone called me right now as soon as we finished this call I’d be able to look up the comps and do everything on my phone within 5 minutes and let them know the price that I can purchase at.

Josh: Gotcha, gotcha. Alright, so you’re sending out this direct mail marketing which sounds like kind of your primary method for finding folks. Who are you marketing to? Obviously I’m assuming some form of distressed property owner, yes?

Lamar: Yes. I mean, we market to people that just inherited property. We market to people that don’t live on the property and they’re absentee owners. We have a different—we have a pretty big list of different types of people that we market to and we’re growing that list as time goes on, but the main thing is just getting the letters out there, deciding which list you want to mail to, and continue to mail to those people. Because a lot of times what I did when I first started out, and what a lot of other new people do is they’ll try one list, they’ll mail to those people, and then they won’t get as big of a response or they won’t make a deal so they’ll switch to a different list without continuing to repetitively hit those people.

Josh: How long does it take to hit somebody? I think they say the average is seven. Are you noticing that it takes makes four or five, six or seven touches before somebody’ll get in touch with you?

Lamar: Well, we had a pretty good response from our first mailing. I mean, our first mailing we did 2 deals off that mailing.

Brandon: Nice. How many letters was that?

Lamar: That was about 1,000.

Brandon: Wow. That’s not bad at all.

Lamar: Yeah, so we got a good amount of calls. We got about 30 or 40 calls coming in from that and then we just had to be persistent and follow up to make the deals happen. So, from there it’s just all about being persistent and being solution-oriented and figuring out if you can make a deal.

Josh: So, what happens? You send out a mailing and presumably you’re directing people to call you, right? Not to email you or go to your website, is that right?

Lamar: Right.

Josh: Okay, so they call, do you answer every phone call? Do you send them to a voicemail system? Do you have a virtual system? What do you do?

Lamar: Well, we do a combination of both. I have one of my types of letters are going to a recorded answering service where they’re actually talking to a live person, another one goes to a voicemail that I directly return the calls to. I used to answer them live, but when I answer them live I don’t know anything about the property. They expect me to know everything about it, so I spend like 2 minutes once I hear that voicemail I get a brief overview of that property, know how much I want to pay for it, then I’ll call them back and we’ll be familiar with it.

Brandon: Nice. So, what do you do then when you say you look on your phone to try to figure out what you could offer them? What are you doing to look on your phone? All the comps and all that?

Lamar: Well, there’s all different types of apps that you can use and luckily in my market we have Redfin which is pretty similar to MLS for people that haven’t used it. It has the sold houses, the available houses and the pending houses. So, I can—first I go check on my Zillow app so I can figure out the exact square footage of the property, how many bathrooms it has, sometimes there’s missing information, but if there’s missing information then I’ll go to the county website find out more about the property and then I can take that information and run the comps in Redfin and then it’ll pull up what the max the properties are selling for.

Josh: So, are you finding that Redfin’s comp data is a little more accurate than some of these other guys?

Lamar: Well, I would say yes because it’s the actual solds. So, they’re not giving you an estimate of what they think it’s worth like Zillow does, it’s just showing you which properties have sold and I’m finding similar properties to the one that I have that have been remodeled that have sold in the last 3 to 6 months.

Josh: So, you’re doing the comps yourself, but you’re just using that as the tool?

Lamar: Yeah, that’s my quick way to do it and then I have a real estate partner that I use so I just send it over to him, but that gives me a rough estimate just in case the person needs an offer right then and there.

Brandon: And then do you have any tips for knowing how much repairs are going to cost? I mean, I know you have a construction background, but for those who don’t how do people know what to offer based on the repairs?

Lamar: That’s kind of—it’s a little tough starting out. I mean, there’s a lot of different things you can read in terms of determining the repairs, but I think the best thing for me is I look—I talk to people that have done the deals and I see the projects that they’ve done and see how much money that they’ve put into it and I’m looking at those before and after pictures and then that helps me understand.

Josh: Nice.

Lamar: That’s like the quick answer to it, but it’s one of those things where you can get really detailed and that kind of thing, but every single person that’s gonna do something with the house they’re going to have a different number on how much the repairs are going to be.

Josh & Brandon: Yeah.

Lamar: So, you just need to be somewhere around there, but the main thing you want to make sure you don’t do is underestimate the repairs so you can sell a deal.

Brandon: Yup.

Josh: Nice. Nice, and as a selfish plug here I think that Jay Scott’s book on estimating rehab costs is a pretty valuable tool. That’s a BiggerPockets book, you can find it at BiggerPockets.com/FlippingBook. You got to buy it with our book on flipping houses that way, but if you just go to Amazon you can actually just pick it up on Amazon and it kinda breaks down every different kind of rehab cost and kind of gives you ranges for different markets. It’s kind of a helpful tool. I was gonna ask, you had talked about answering service, I just was going to ask who that was that you were using? What’s the answering service that you use?

Lamar: It’s PatLive. So, when they answer the phone it seems like you’re calling into an office.

Josh: Oh, nice. That’s great, and then when somebody calls the other line and they get the voicemail is that like a Google Voice, or what is that?

Lamar: Yeah, I’m using Google Voice for it. It’s nice and simple, easy to set up and then I can forward it straight to my cell phone.

Josh: That’s awesome.

Lamar: Call them back from that same number.

Josh: That’s great. Alright, so let’s talk about wholesaling. You know, I really want to dig here. Well, first I don’t think we actually talked about your deals, right? So, I don’t know if you’re comfortable, but about how many deals have you done so far as a wholesaler?

Lamar: We’re getting close to 10 in this last, since April. So, I’m kicking it up a little bit. We’re doing a little bit more marketing. We’re getting a really good return on our marketing. We’re figuring out exactly the niche that we want to continue to go at and we’re solving a lot of problems for the sellers as well as we’re solving the problems for the people that are buying properties from us because they need property and it’s hard to find. So, we’re helping them solve one of their problems in terms of getting them more properties.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: And I think it’s important, you know, that you don’t have 100 deals under your belt, you don’t have 1,000 deals and I think one of the coolest things about this podcast is bringing folks like you on who, you know, you’ve been at it for a little bit now and you’re really starting to pick it up and I think it tends to be inspiring.

Lamar: Yeah, I mean, I’m definitely not an expert by any means at all. I just feel like I have a little bit of momentum and I’ve hit a few bumps in the road and I feel like people can learn from those mistakes that I’ve made and that will help them be a little bit more successful than me.

Josh: Come on, Lamar, you’ve done 10 deals. I mean, where’s your coaching program, man? Come on!

Lamar: I thought about making one of those guru courses, but I’d rather make deals.

Josh: Awesome, awesome. Hey, so in terms of the marketing, you know, you’ve really talked about being consistent and sticking with it. Do you think that’s one of the big flaws that a lot of people have is they give up and ultimately they try one mailing, they stop, they move to something else, maybe they get a lead or two and suddenly they’re like, “eh, I’m done”?

Lamar: Yeah, absolutely. Because I think a lot of people they have expectations and then when those expectations aren’t met they just end up slowly giving up. So, it’s kind of like working out. You start out a new work out program and you’re pretty excited when you’re first started then you lift some weights, you get a little sore, then the next day going into it you know you’re going to get sore so you’re not as excited and then I think that excitement diminishes because you’re not seeing the results immediately. So, I think that’s the same thing with wholesaling, and any type of real estate, if you’re not seeing the results immediately you just have to know why you’re not getting the results then once you know why you’re not getting the results you can try to tweak things to make the results come.

So, I think a lot of people— the main thing that I had to learn was that I had to learn what my law of averages was. So, I had to learn that I need this many leads to equal one deal. I need this many people to call me to equal one deal. Once I figured out what that was and it was between 20-30 people I needed to call me so if I wanted to do two deals a month that means I needed 60 people to call me a month, but if I’m giving up after only 5 people called me in 3 months then that’s my fault because I don’t know my law of averages. I’m basing everything off time rather than the amount of leads. So, if I’m getting 60 leads in a week then that’s awesome because I’m doing 2 deals a week, but if I’m getting 60 leads in a year then I have a much different amount of deals that I’m doing. So, I think that’s the one thing that helped me out was understanding how many people need to call me before I’m able to buy a house and sell it.

Josh: So, what do you have to do to get 60 people to call you? How many letters do you have to send out, or how much marketing, and, if you’re willing to share it, what does that cost you?

Lamar: Well, I mean, so we’ve been focusing on a lot of direct mail, but we do all different types. We do bandit signs, we do online, we do pretty much everything, but direct mail is the one that we like the most because you can control your whole funnel. With bandit signs you can’t really control how many people are going to call you cause you’re just putting the signs out and hoping people call, but with direct mail you can send out a certain number of letters and that’s going to get you people calling. So, we’re getting about a 10% call—about 8%-10% response rate on our letters and then from there we’re able to make deals and go from there so sending out anywhere from, it ranges, but we’re sending out anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 mailers. Then I think one tip that I will give everyone is if you’re doing direct mail you have to know how many calls you can handle per day, or per week because when I first—one time I sent out about 700 mailers at the same time and then about 60 people called me in a week and I was only able to return like 12 phone calls within a two-day span and by the third day most of those other leads didn’t even call me back so I just wasted probably a couple deals there because I didn’t have everything set up correctly.

Josh: That’s awesome advice. That’s really good. So, you know, it sounds like you can directly affect the number of deals you’re going to get by applying more or less budget, right? So, you know, obviously as one guy you can’t handle 60 phone calls, but if you had a partner or two partners or folks working for you potentially and you, say, wanted to spend $3,000 or $4,000 or $5,000 on mailers and increase the number that you’re putting out, you’re going to see a lot more deals come through the funnel?

Lamar: Correct. So, I think that the reason I chose wholesaling is not so that I can do a couple of deals and go chasing deals around, but the reason I chose wholesaling is no matter which strategy I choose in real estate I need to be really great at finding good deals. So, if I have a systemized business that can find deals for me then I can delegate that to other people and then the next thing you know we’re finding deals, we have our own funnel and it’s not MLS.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: What’s your theory on being a wholesaler with who’s broke? Like, “hey, I want to be a wholesaler, I’m broke, I got no money, I got no nothing,” is it feasible? Is it possible?

Lamar: Yeah, I think it’s possible. I mean, you can either save your money for a couple months and then do some marketing, you can start with bandit signs and save some money there, I mean there’s all different types of ways that you can make it happen. I think the thing that helped me make it happen is I had money to invest, but I really wasn’t sure that what I was going to do was going to work which is not usually how I am, because I’m usually pretty confident. So, I applied as little of my money as possible to get started and next thing you know once I hit that first deal I just re-invested all that, most of that, and we just kept rolling it through. So, I think you can do it and I heard, a wise lady told me one time, you put a man on the moon so you should be able to do this, it’s easy.

Brandon: Nice.

Lamar: So, I feel like if we can go to the moon, or do some crazy things that people do then, I mean, it doesn’t matter how much money I have, I feel like I can be successful. So, I feel like if someone applies that same mentality to it and they don’t use it as an excuse they can make it happen.

Josh: Hey, well, you know the saying about excuses, right? So, really quick I’m going to jump in, I know you mentioned bandit signs, but it’s a particular pet peeve of mine; in many cases the use of bandit signs is illegal, and I will disclaim that we definitely recommend people only use them where they’re allowed. Putting up signs illegally is a quick way to get yourself into some trouble. So, don’t do it!

Lamar: Yeah, definitely.

Brandon: Yeah, I have a—

Lamar: There’s certain ways you can do it and you just have to make sure you’re doing it the right way and you’re following the city ordinances and those different types of things.

Brandon: Yeah, good idea. I’m wondering about talking with sellers. I want to go back to my selfish question. So, when I go—

Josh: Yeah, “what about my deal, Lamar, come on, I’ve got this deal what should I do??”

Brandon: I need help here! I need some encouragement.

Josh: Here’s what’s going to happen you guys: after the phone call they’re going to talk, you’re going to explain the deal, Lamar’s going to walk you through it. Moving on!

Brandon: No, I got it. So, when I go to talk to this lady, I go to talk to her and I’m wondering how do you get, like, what do you do to talk to people? How do you get people on your side to like you, to want to sell to you?

Josh: He’s nice! You’re just a jerk! That’s why nobody likes you, Brandon.

Brandon: Well, I think she liked me, but I don’t know. I’m wondering, like, what can I do better?

Lamar: Well, I don’t know what you can do better. We haven’t really hung out too much, but—

Brandon: In other words, it’s hopeless.

Lamar: But a lot of times I’ll get deals because the person that talked to them before me for some reason or another the person didn’t like them. 9 times out of 10 it’s just because the person came in and they just got straight to business, like, with me I’m genuinely excited to meet new people and I genuinely care about them and I always make it a goal to never ask them a question that I don’t care about the answer to. So, that forces me to genuinely build relationships with people, and then when we’re building relationships next thing you know someone’s going to give them a $5,000 higher offer than me, but they’ll still sell them the property because they like me better and when someone likes you they trust you a little bit more. It’s just all about building that relationship. So, when you build that relationship then I think that makes everything easier. So, my goal is to build that relationship as fast as possible and then be able to do business as well. So, I had one seller, he ended up selling me his property, but at the end of our first meeting he told me he feels like we were best friends and we’ve known each other forever and so it was kind of a good compliment to me.

Brandon: Nice.

Josh: Do you have any ice-breakers or any tips for folks who are afraid of that phone call? Because that could be really intimidating; somebody calls, you get the voice mail and you’re like, “uhh, okay, I don’t know how to…” how do I do it? What do I say? Any advice on that?

Lamar: I used to always try to come up with these crazy ice-breakers and different things like that, but a lot of times they end up sounding corny. I know some people are really good at it, but I’m not. So, I just, my easiest ice-breaker is I’m just really excited when I call them back and they answer the phone and I ask them how their day is going and based on how they respond to that lets me know what they want to talk about. Like, if they’re like, “yeah, my day is awesome. I hung out with my kids today. Blah, blah, blah,” then I can keep talking to them about that for a little bit and now we like each other a little bit more, or then that same person if they say the day’s been awesome and all that stuff then I just go straight into business they’re going to dislike me a little bit. So, my goal is just to make sure that I’m building great relationships. Sometimes people want to get straight to business and that’s the way to build the relationship is getting straight to business so I think your tone of voice and how excited you are when you’re talking to them makes the most—

Brandon: Alright!! That’s awesome!!

Josh: No, that’s very good.

Brandon: That would creep me out, Josh. That would creep me out.

Josh: Hey, Brandon, how are ya?! I got your postcard!!!

Brandon: Creepy. So, what do you typically aim for in a wholesale deal? Like, how much minimum profit do you want to make?

Lamar: I don’t think I’ve done one for less than $5,000, but as well as you don’t want to try to get greedy, but I just try to get the max that I can to make the deal work. So, maybe my goal is to make $10,000, but then the person that’s interested they can only give me $7,000 so I’ll see if that’ll make it work and if it can I’ll do it. So, I’m not trying to be greedy. My goal is more for volume rather than hitting home runs every time because I know if I just keep hitting those base hits eventually I’ll hit a couple home runs and that’ll be pretty awesome, but I just need to be—develop that reputation of being a really good wholesaler with a great integrity that brings people good deals depending on what their strategy is.

Josh: I’m glad you said that. Integrity is something that, you know, it’s a shame. Because this business—one of the reasons I started BiggerPockets was I felt like the business was just real crappy. There were so many bad people with bad reputations who just kind of dominated the space and my goal was let’s try and change this business. Let’s try and bring a little more integrity. Investors don’t have to be the bad guy, and I love it when we—more and more we talk to people and that’s what it’s about. It’s like, hey, we’re not trying to screw people, this is, like, you know, let’s have integrity and it’s going drive us and it works!

Lamar: Yeah, cause my goal is to be in business for a long time. Anyone can make a deal and trick someone and make a couple thousand dollars once, but if you want to have a long lasting business it’s all about integrity so that’s the reason I focus on that. It’s not the main reason, but it’s because it’s the right thing to do, but it’s a byproduct of it.

Josh:Gotcha, gotcha. Hey, really quick, you talked about what you aim for. Have you had any home runs, and if so, what did those look like? Maybe you could afterwards tell us, you know, have you had any terrible deals and what were those like?

Lamar: Well, home runs, I mean, I haven’t had any crazy home runs recently, but, I mean, we made $15,000 here on one of these properties in Austen. It was actually a deal that I almost gave up on cause the guy called me and we were about to make the deal and then he called me the next day when we were supposed to meet, about an hour before we were supposed to meet, and he told me, “hey, I don’t think I want to sell my property,” and I was like, “why not,” and he was like, “because I think I’ll waste the money too fast,” and I was just like, “okay,” I didn’t know what to say, so I was like, “alright, no problem, maybe in the future,” whatever you’re supposed to say I guess. Then we hung up and in my mind I was thinking, “well, that can’t be the real reason because, I mean, if he owns 8 properties he has to be good at managing money,” so I called him back and I was like, “hey, I was just trying to figure out, I know you’re good at managing money so I don’t really think that’s the real reason”.

Josh: You called him out.

Lamar: Yeah, I mean, we had a good relationship so it allows for you to say different things. Then so he was just like, “yeah, I mean, I just don’t know what my taxes are going to be like and all that different kind of stuff,” and then he was planning on buying some more properties. So, basically I came up with a solution for him so we could do a 1031 exchange so he could use that money from that property to put into another property which was actually way bigger and he could get a higher rent and he got that deal from knowing an agent that he bought another property from. So, it ended up working out, but we ended up making about $15,000 off that one. I wouldn’t call that too much of a home run, but I feel like that’s pretty good for doing about 6 hours of work.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Josh: Nice, nice, and in terms of bad deals, did you have any go sour that you just couldn’t close, or were there any just terrible experiences?

Lamar: Nah, I think one of my bad deals that didn’t become a deal was that I built a pretty good relationship with the guy. He was like, “hey, you’re my guy. You’re my guy, I’m going to sell it to you,” and we were just waiting for him to become the executor of the property because he inherited it so becoming the executor allows him to sell the property. So, he was going through that process and we had such a good relationship that he was showing me contracts from other people that were sending them to him. He was giving me all the direct mail that he was getting cause I asked him for it so I could know what my competition was doing.

Brandon: Nice!

Lamar: He still gives me that mail to this day, but what happened is he called me on a Friday and he was like, “hey, I’m the executor now, I’m ready to sell. You’re my guy. I’m ready to sign the contract,” I’m like, “okay, cool”. It was a Friday afternoon and so I was like, “yeah, I’ll be there in the morning,” he was like, “okay,” so I go there in the morning, seven o’clock in the morning, he told me he wakes up at five, I get there, I knock on the door. He’s not that excited like he normally is, he’s like, “hey, yeah sit down. I signed the contract with someone else yesterday”.

Josh: Oooh. Dirty.

Lamar: And it was like $1,000 more and it was a contract that I’d already seen, but they showed up and they ended up convincing him to get the deal. I mean, that was, I would say that about a $10,000 learning lesson and so I’ll never make that mistake again.

Josh: So, the key is: don’t wait, just do it.

Lamar: Correct. Act as fast as possible.

Josh: Yup. Cool, okay, well, we’re starting to run out of time here so we’re going to jump right into our—

Josh & Brandon: Fire Round

Josh: What is the Fire Round, Brandon Turner?

Brandon: Fire Round are questions chosen from the BiggerPockets forums that people have asked recently, and we’re going to ask you to chime in quickly and first one is: How old is too old for a house to wholesale? Is there such a thing?

Lamar: I don’t think there’s such a thing.

Brandon: So you’ll go any age?

Lamar: If it’s not standing you can just tear it down and build something else.

Josh: Nice. Alright, yellow letter or white letter?

Lamar: Whatever you test that gets the best response. Usually what your competition’s not doing works better.

Josh: Ahh, nice.

Brandon: What are you using right now?

Lamar: I use a combination of stationary and yellow letters.

Brandon: Okay.

Josh: Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha.

Brandon: What do you do when you go to talk a seller and you find out they owe more than what the property is worth? Do you do anything?

Lamar: I refer to a real estate agent that does short sales.

Brandon: Okay.

Josh: There you go, and are you licensed?

Lamar: I’m not licensed.

Josh: Okay, right on. If you were that would be an opportunity to get some fees there potentially.

Lamar: Yeah, definitely.

Josh: What do you do when you have a really heavy call volume, but you’re working a full-time job? So, what should somebody do if they’re working and how do they handle all the calls?

Lamar: I’d say the best thing to do is figure out how many calls you can handle per day and then only mail the amount of mail that would get you that many calls or less.

Brandon: Okay.

Josh: There ya go.

Brandon: And wholesaling long distance, do you do it? Why, or why not?

Lamar: I do not do it because I know the market better here and I don’t have too much of a shortage on deals here, but eventually in my long term plans that might be a strategy.

Brandon: Okay, and I think that’s important to kind of know the market at least. So, even if you are going to wholesale long distance make sure that you know the market that you’re wholesaling in. Good idea. Alright, next one, Josh?

Josh: Web presence. Is it necessary? Do you have one and is it required?

Lamar: I think it’s like any other type of marketing; it’s not necessary or required, but if you have it it’s better.

Josh: And do you have a web presence?

Lamar: I do.

Josh: Okay, perfect, and we will point to that website from the show notes.

Lamar: Okay, awesome.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: Alright, last question, Lamar. Do you use paper-click adds like Google or Facebook? Why, or why not?

Lamar: Yes, I do, you’ll get a really good response rate if you do it the right way.

Brandon: Cool, that sounds like a whole other show right there.

Josh: Yeah, yeah, I think that’s the lead-in question: what’s the right way, Lamar?

Lamar: Well, I should say find someone that’s an expert on it and get them to do it for you.

Josh: Nice.

Brandon: That’s actually great advice.

Josh: It is. Alright, well listen that’s fantastic. We’re coming to the close here of course of show 31 of the BiggerPockets podcast. You can check out the show notes at BiggerPockets.com/show31. Let’s finally jump into the big fat—

Josh & Brandon: Famous Four

Brandon: Good. Alright, favorite real estate book, Lamar?

Lamar: My favorite real estate book is, it has to be, I know everyone says this, but Rich Dad, Poor Dad and the only reason is, and the main reason, is because it changes your mentality from being an employee and having that employee mindset they would get taught in school to being more of a business owner and investor. So, I think that’s the book I read that changed my mentality.

Josh: Nice.

Brandon: You know, I’m thinking anybody who listens to our podcasts on a regular basis if they haven’t read Rich Dad, Poor Dad they really should. I mean, some people don’t even like it. A lot of people don’t like the book, but the fact that almost every single person says it says something about the book.

Lamar: Yeah, it’s not the best book in the world, but it changes the mentality and it's really good for that.

Josh: Yeah, I agree on that. Alright, favorite business book, any business books that stand out to you?

Lamar: I have two of them. One is Good to Great, that’s probably my favorite business book and the other one is Four Hour Work Week because when I read that book I learned what outsourcing was and I found that I’ve been doing that my whole life outsourcing my chores to my little brother so…

Brandon: Josh makes fun of me cause I like the Four Hour Work Week so much so you can back me up there, it’s a great book.

Josh: Now did your little brother realize that he was being outsourced?

Lamar: He’ll probably realize if he ever hears this call.

Josh: Nice, nice. How about any hobbies? What do you do for fun outside of real estate?

Lamar: My favorite thing is to play basketball. So, any real estate investors in Austen that play basketball if you ever want to get dunked on just email me.

Josh: Ooh, challenge!

Brandon: How tall are you, Lamar?

Lamar: I’m about 6’4”-6’3”.

Brandon: Okay, I’m 6’5”, but I’m terrible at basketball.

Lamar: Ah, okay. You’re a little taller than me. You could probably block my shot.

Josh: I want to see a one-on-one right here; I want to see Lamar vs. Brandon. I think it’ll be ugly, but—

Brandon: It will be ugly on my part. Alright, last question of the day. Final question: what do you believe sets apart the wholesalers who succeed and take off and those who just don’t?

Lamar: Persistence. Plain and simple. You just have to be persistent. In that book Think and Grow Rich, one of my favorite books as well, there’s a story about a guy that he’s searching for gold, he stopped right before he hit it, he was three feet away from hitting one of the biggest gold bands in history and then a junk dealer ended up finding it and became one of the richest people. So, I think you just got to make sure you don’t stop because you might be 3 feet away from gold.

Josh: Nice. That’s fantastic, and I’ll say along similar lines, you know, many, many, many years ago, with BiggerPockets as a perfect example, this site—I had lots of people tell me, “what the hell are you doing? This site’s not going anywhere. This isn’t going to be a legitimate business. You’re not gonna succeed,” and I said, “listen, if I stick it out I know that there’s a passion here. I know that this is something I’m excited about and I know how to do it. It may take me a little bit longer, but I’m going to work through the challenges and difficulties,” and I did and lo and behold we’ve got this community that’s second to none and I see it so many times in my life with people who just worked through it. You got to work through the hard times.

Lamar: Yeah, definitely.

Josh: Yeah, awesome, awesome. Alright, Lamar, well, listen man, it’s been an absolute pleasure. Really, really excited to have you on the show. Anybody listening, again, if you have questions for Lamar jump in on the show notes. He’ll be there to answer your questions or you can check out his profile and connect with him. He’s definitely a good guy to know. So, jump in, ask questions and, Lamar, we definitely appreciate having you.

Lamar: Thanks for having me. This is pretty awesome.

Brandon: Thank you, Lamar.

Josh: Alright, guys! So, that was our show. Thanks again to Lamar for jumping in and putting up with Brandon’s absolute nonsense.

Brandon: Hey, Josh, knock-knock!

Josh: Seriously?

Brandon: Knock-knock.

Josh: Seriously?

Brandon: Knock-knock.

Josh: Okay, who’s there?

Brandon: Etch.

Josh: Etch-who?

Brandon: Bless you! Get it? Etch-chew?

Josh: Really? Yeah, I got it.

Brandon: I thought that one was funny.

Josh: Yeah, that was not funny at all. So, as I was saying. Now, listen, thank you guys for checking out the show. We certainly appreciate it. As we always say; if you’re not already following us on Facebook definitely jump in and check us out at Facebook.com/BiggerPockets, check us out on YouTube at Youtube.com/BiggerPockets, check us out on BiggerPockets at BiggerPockets.com. Jump in, hang out with us, participate, you know, get involved, you’ll meet guys like Lamar. You know, that’s, we literally just talked about him doing that and building up these business leads, so be sure to do that.

Otherwise, as things go we definitely appreciate everybody who’s taken the time to share this podcast, to let people know about it, it really does mean a lot to us. The more people that you guys can help spread the word to the more people we’re going to have interacting with us and potentially doing business with us on the site. So, please do that. On iTunes we’re up to 357 five star reviews which is awesome. We continue to be the top-rated show on iTunes and we now have 237 awesome written reviews so if you haven’t done that please take a couple minutes and let you know what you thought about the show and by doing so you’re going to let other people who are curious find out what the BiggerPockets podcast is all about. So, that’s it. No more jokes, no more nonsense. This is Josh Dorkin signing off.

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Brandon: Hey, are you still here? Okay, let’s have a little fun. If you’re on Twitter go over to Twitter.com/jrdorkin and leave Josh a tweet with two words: Knock-knock.