At a dead-end road in real estate/wholesale

30 Replies

The saying goes and it's true, one has to spend money to make money. But when one has no money to invest, how is one supposed to spend it? Another is the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expect different results. I've been attempting wholesaling for nearly one year, you guessed it, I've not made any money to speak of. So, I must be insane. I spend day and night looking for that big break (deal), the only break I've gotten is my bank account and credit score. I know what you're thinking, I must be doing something wrong and should try a different approach right? Honestly, I've learned a lot about real estate and wholesaling. I think I know what I'm doing by now and I'm doing nothing wrong. I'm disabled living on a small fixed income. I'm unable to work a regular job, all I can do is sit in front of my computer all day. So, my question for all high rollers out there, what am I supposed to do? I'm ready to just quit and be content with being broke the rest of my life. Any other suggestions?

Wholesaling is a tough racket, period.....even if you were mobile, which is important.  I’d try to find something else you can do remotely from home.

wholesaling or flipping assignable contracts is hands down the hardest thing to do in the real estate game with a failure rate approaching 90%.. so its not shocking what you saying.

maybe stick to the over the counter tax deeds you already bought  and get very good at that .. seems like a perfect on line gig.

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Have you considered getting your license and trying to wholesale deals off the MLS? You could partner or pay someone to walk the deals / get pictures if there aren't any on the listing.

Every house on the MLS that needs work is a deal at a certain price. You could probably fire off 20+ offers a day, I guarantee you'll get something to hit

Anyone who tells you that you can't wholesale off the MLS has obviously never tried it

Thank you everyone for your reply. I will clarify my post somewhat. I say I'm disabled, I am an ex-machine mechanic, plumber and electrician. I have severe COPD which means I can no longer do those things without running short of breath. And I have back trouble. I'm not totally disabled, just insane. Most all of my so-called marketing has been online with different websites I've came across. And placing phone calls/emails thereafter with sellers and buyers. Any other marketing requires money that I simply cannot afford. Thanks for your suggestion Jay however, buying tax deeds also requires money upfront. Trust me, I've spent countless hours searching for some other online gig and have found most to be a scam of some sort. In fact I recently was able to avoid an attempted online scam by a so-called buyer with a spoofed email. In short form, back to page one. Any other suggestions?

Originally posted by @Randall E Collins:

Thank you everyone for your reply. I will clarify my post somewhat. I say I'm disabled, I am an ex-machine mechanic, plumber and electrician. I have severe COPD which means I can no longer do those things without running short of breath. And I have back trouble. I'm not totally disabled, just insane. Most all of my so-called marketing has been online with different websites I've came across. And placing phone calls/emails thereafter with sellers and buyers. Any other marketing requires money that I simply cannot afford. Thanks for your suggestion Jay however, buying tax deeds also requires money upfront. Trust me, I've spent countless hours searching for some other online gig and have found most to be a scam of some sort. In fact I recently was able to avoid an attempted online scam by a so-called buyer with a spoofed email. In short form, back to page one. Any other suggestions?

Yes ,   Transaction coordinator for a real estate agent / agents.. my wife pays 400.00 per file to her TC. this is a job that is done at home and on the computer very little phone work.. as long as your proficient in what is required on real estate documents / contracts.  This can be easily learned ..  I suspect my wifes TC makes well over 100k a year from her home office and she is worth every penny to the high producing agent.. Lori / my wife closed about 50 transactions last year and does around 25 to 50 for the last 30 years.. So JUST HER created 20k in income to Wendy ( her TC) Wendy has numerous clients like Lori.. so there you go.. start talking to agents and offering your services start by giving a big bargain deal to them then move your fee's up with your quality of work and experience.

sure beats most of those who think wholesaling is the answer. 

As many others have said, there are a lot of other things you can do that don't have the payoff that you were hoping for by wholesaling. You can be the caller for a wholesaler on commission per appointment, etc. Wholesaling is hard for everyone and if you are not fully mobile and can do the meets, it's a bad use of your time when you can take your phone skills to work for others who need it.

Hey Randall,

I am going to have to agree, Wholesaling is not as simple as the gurus make it sound.

I am currently wholesaling full time in Houston, Texas. When I first started I was putting in 16 hours of work a day, 7 days a week (not exaggerating) - I spent this time cold calling (which will make most people quit), listening to podcasts, hand writing letters, reading, driving for dollars, etc.

I came from a sales background so when I got on a phone with a seller I at least had a good general idea of how a sales conversion worked. 

I used to wonder why so many people didn't make it in this industry but over the years I've come to realize that we're all built differently. We all have unique talents/strengths that would help us excel in real estate (whether it's wholesaling or not) its just up to you to find what that is.

Hope that helps.

First criticism is that you say you're doing nothing wrong. If you were doing nothing wrong, you'd have results. But that's ok, just be real with yourself and your performance. The performance hasn't been there, so look at what you've been doing and pinpoint the break in the system.

Wholesaling/dealfinding is like any other business... it's just a system that you continuously refine and make better. First let's look at the different steps in wholesaling:

1) List Building - This is where you're pulling the lists of preforeclosures, probates, out of state landlords, divorces, tax delinquent, expired listings, etc. You could also be Second piece of this is skip tracing the data to find the contact information.

2) Sales & Marketing / Lead Generation - This is where you could be doing several things to reach your customers. Usually it boils down to either passive outreach (meaning you pay money and it markets in the background) or active outreach (usually lower cost but takes your time for outreach). Passive methods include but aren't limited to Google PPC, SEO, Direct Mail, TV or Radio Commercials. Active methods include but aren't limited to cold calling, texting, emailing, and door knocking. A healthy mix of both is the best way to pump up your pipeline and lead generation.

3) Contract Conversion - Once you get a lead, it's going to come down to your sales and negotiation skills to find the motivation of the seller, the condition of the property, they're timing, and purchase price. Negotiation skills are outside the scope of this post, but sales is a skill anyone can learn and SHOULD learn. Secondly, you're not going to convert everyone right away, so make sure you have a good follow up system in place to continue your outreach to them.

4) Disposition - Now is where you need to decide if you're going to keep it, assign it, flip it, build on it, or something else. Ask yourself what is the highest and best use of this property, then monetize the lead. Always continue building your buyer's list and your network so you can push up the prices on your deals and get better returns from your marketing dollars.

That's pretty much it. 4 steps to wholesaling/deal finding. Now that you know this, where are you falling short? 

Do you have bad lists? Try list stacking, which is where you target people that fall under multiple lists. For example, instead of spending time reaching out to a vacant property, reach out to a vacant property owned by an out of state landlord, who came into this property by probate and is now facing foreclosure. Or maybe you're already list stacking, but you have bad phone numbers so you never connect with homeowners. Try a better skip tracing service. Or maybe its just the total volume of prospects on your list - buy more data.

Maybe it's your marketing. Are you only reaching out to people via direct mail? Maybe you need to try getting in touch with them directly through cold call, texting, or some other method. Open up more funnels that will produce additional leads for you. 

Or maybe you're getting people on the phone, having tons of conversations, but just not getting the deals. It might be your sales skills. For example, a cold calling rule of thumb is that per 200 conversations, you might get 20 people say "yes I'm interested in an offer" and half will say "I'm willing to sell at a discount" with 1 person selling at enough of a discount there's room for an assignment fee, flip profit or BRRRR. It's just going to take time. I've been in sales and marketing my entire career, so this step is more natural for me. But there are countless books out there around sales, marketing, negotiation, etc.

Lastly for dispositions, it sounds like we're not even getting to this point so I won't touch on it. But people are looking for deals all over the place right now. If you find a deal, someone will buy it through assignment or partner with you... granted it's actually a good deal. You can find people on BiggerPockets, Facebook, your local market, everywhere. There are investors all over the place.

A word of caution, I don't advise wholesaling unless you have the means to close the deal yourself. The last thing you want is to lock up a contract with an owner in distress only to realize you can't buy it or wholesale it. Wholesaling is in desperate need of regulation, so just be ready to close the deal once you get one.

@Randall E Collins

Wholesaling bs is the same as every other sales commission bs. A very few people make really great money. The vast majority fail to one degree or another. What is interesting is that the failures always claim to be doing great. As if by just claiming success you will be successful. We long term experienced investors know that the vast majority of these boasts are bs.

Problem is first of all you have no real access to off market deals, you’re just looking at deals that have been worked over by every other “wholesaler”. The successful wholesalers I know spend A LOT OF MONEY generating unique leads.

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Without a marketing budget, you are placing yourself between a rock and a hard spot. I really like the TC suggestion above, learn the contracts in your state and get your license. This is a job you can do in your jammies at home without ever leaving if you so desired. $400-$450 per file is also what I pay for TC work and if you had 5 files per week, that is $100k annual income my friend. You will need to meet a ton of agents to get that work though but at least that is easy to do and no cost, just time making calls. Agent lists are easy to obtain from your department of real estate.

I will also agree with the consensus that wholesaling when starting out is very difficult and although it is pitched as the easy way to start, it is not which is why so many fail at it.

Originally posted by @Randall E Collins:

Thank you everyone for your reply. I will clarify my post somewhat. I say I'm disabled, I am an ex-machine mechanic, plumber and electrician. I have severe COPD which means I can no longer do those things without running short of breath. And I have back trouble. I'm not totally disabled, just insane. Most all of my so-called marketing has been online with different websites I've came across. And placing phone calls/emails thereafter with sellers and buyers. Any other marketing requires money that I simply cannot afford. Thanks for your suggestion Jay however, buying tax deeds also requires money upfront. Trust me, I've spent countless hours searching for some other online gig and have found most to be a scam of some sort. In fact I recently was able to avoid an attempted online scam by a so-called buyer with a spoofed email. In short form, back to page one. Any other suggestions?

How serious are you?

My thanks again to everyone for being understanding and supportive. No tears, but it truly means a lot to me on a personal level. Seems like God is on my side as well. Who can give up with that kind of support? Suffice it say, wholesaling with no money is not just hard, it's freaking impossible. I'd love nothing more than to get a realtor license, but I don't qualify. Jay first mentioned becoming a TC long ago. I should have listened. I like that idea I simply just never put placed much effort into it. Guess it's time I do so. I've actually learned a good bit about being a TC already because the deal that turned out to be a scam. Because the buyer didn't want a title company, I drafted the LOI and the contract, plus I have working knowledge of the law. As for my being serious, I'll ask, is a heart attack serious? I'm not in a position to not be serious because I seriously need more money.

@Tucker Cummings I know all the normal steps to wholesaling. I'd much rather take a different approach. First, I refuse to draw up a contract without an end buyer already in place. I will not tie up some one's property in case I'm not able to sell. Secondly, I also refuse to do cold calling, texting, email or direct mail. I get several of those myself and it's very annoying to the property owners. PPC, skip tracing, pre-foreclosures, probate, out of state landlord, divorce, tax delinquent, expired listings, all require money I don't have. While SEO is free, generating a good website and drawing in traffic is almost as impossible as wholesaling. Thanks for your post however. 

Originally posted by @Randall E Collins:

My thanks again to everyone for being understanding and supportive. No tears, but it truly means a lot to me on a personal level. Seems like God is on my side as well. Who can give up with that kind of support? Suffice it say, wholesaling with no money is not just hard, it's freaking impossible. I'd love nothing more than to get a realtor license, but I don't qualify. Jay first mentioned becoming a TC long ago. I should have listened. I like that idea I simply just never put placed much effort into it. Guess it's time I do so. I've actually learned a good bit about being a TC already because the deal that turned out to be a scam. Because the buyer didn't want a title company, I drafted the LOI and the contract, plus I have working knowledge of the law. As for my being serious, I'll ask, is a heart attack serious? I'm not in a position to not be serious because I seriously need more money.

@Tucker Cummings I know all the normal steps to wholesaling. I'd much rather take a different approach. First, I refuse to draw up a contract without an end buyer already in place. I will not tie up some one's property in case I'm not able to sell. Secondly, I also refuse to do cold calling, texting, email or direct mail. I get several of those myself and it's very annoying to the property owners. PPC, skip tracing, pre-foreclosures, probate, out of state landlord, divorce, tax delinquent, expired listings, all require money I don't have. While SEO is free, generating a good website and drawing in traffic is almost as impossible as wholesaling. Thanks for your post however. 

Tucker I disagree somewhat on your point that one can learn how to be a good/great salesmen.. Having been in this industry all my life literally from selling fuller brush door to door at 12 years old to getting my RE license at 18 .. being in numerous sales organizations over the years either working or owning..  Sales skills while can be learned there is also an innate / born with it ability to that just cant really be taught or easily taught.. just walk into any car dealer and look at their bragging wall of the top sales persons.. you will almost always note its the same few folks month after month..  Not everyone can be a top salesmen/women.  Just does not work that way.   And the sooner someone realizes they are not cut out for a sales gig and move on the better they are going to be..  Keep in mind most of BP is about investors buying rentals no real sales skills needed.. you can be a zero personality wise gruff stubborn a jerk whatever and you can still be a landlord.. NONE of that will work when your trying to convert an owners equity into your pocket.. that takes sales skills and there are guru class's for it. I have gone to many over the years.. but the best training I got was just our weekly sales meetings were I listened to the veterans go round the table of how they handle objections its all about objection handling  being prompt courteous and knowledgeable. 

Top wholesalers I know and fund their deals are vertically integrated  IE they have their telephone folks they have their buyer agent that when a lead comes in they are at the persons house literally within hours trying to close them. They have the inside transaction coordinators 

Some of the big ones i work with have 10 plus employees and 50k a more a month in marketing budgets. 

@Jay Hinrichs I'm sure we have some overlap in our thinking, some people have an innate skill of selling, some people have to learn it. I think it's still something anyone can be taught and honed over time. It's the same as having a skill for being a great quarterback. Some are born with talent to be great, some work hard to be great. But you can't beat talent that works hard.

You're definitely right about the top wholesalers though and the intense marketing budgets. I have no desire to be at that level, but I do have a business that helps me find deals on a regular basis. I mostly just use it as a way to help me find properties to keep until I can comfortably retire from my W2, and wholesale out deals that don't fit my criteria along the way. I know wholesalers get a bad rap (which I believe is due to youtube gurus saying how easy it is and you wind up having teenagers locking up preforeclosures with no idea what they're doing), but the ones worth their salt are definitely earning their assignment fees.

@Randall E Collins

I hope all is well with you. It takes a lot to seek advice when things are not going your way. You recognized that your situation could be better and you are doing something about it. 

First, what are you trying to accomplish? You stated, looking for a big break. There are no big break. My first purchase was a four unit using a FHA loan. I was making $800 a month after expenses. That doesn't look like a big break on paper, but it changed my life.

Second, if you are flipping/wholesaling properties then you can not be in front of a computer. You have to be out meeting people and working on properties. That is how flipping/wholesaling works. How many offers did you write? How many properties did you go see? You can not look at properties from your computer screen and try to flip them. 

Third, do you have a team of people to call on? Do you have a realtor, a contractor, loan officer, insurance guy/gal, and attorney? If you don't have any of these people that you talk to on a regular, I have to honestly say that you been playing real estate and not doing real estate. 

Randall, I hope this helps you on your journey.

Beleza,

Charles Anthony

Originally posted by @Tucker Cummings:

@Jay Hinrichs I'm sure we have some overlap in our thinking, some people have an innate skill of selling, some people have to learn it. I think it's still something anyone can be taught and honed over time. It's the same as having a skill for being a great quarterback. Some are born with talent to be great, some work hard to be great. But you can't beat talent that works hard.

You're definitely right about the top wholesalers though and the intense marketing budgets. I have no desire to be at that level, but I do have a business that helps me find deals on a regular basis. I mostly just use it as a way to help me find properties to keep until I can comfortably retire from my W2, and wholesale out deals that don't fit my criteria along the way. I know wholesalers get a bad rap (which I believe is due to youtube gurus saying how easy it is and you wind up having teenagers locking up preforeclosures with no idea what they're doing), but the ones worth their salt are definitely earning their assignment fees.

Sales can be taught but you have to have the right personality to start with. 

You have to be able to take a 1,000 "get out of my face" conversations and still be able to move on to the next call. You have to understand you are providing a service, not forcing someone to do something they don't want to so. You have to be willing to continue learning. You have to understand what the goal of the seller is. You have to be confident you can provide the solution. It helps to love people & real estate.

You have to "show up" everyday. You have to "practise, drill, rehearse". You buy houses by talking to people who own houses. If you prospect (make phone calls, go door knocking, drive for dollars, etc), If you are friendly, conversational, know the proper things to say & understand why you are saying those things, if you think of the other person as a friend that needs your help, then you buy a lot of houses.  If none of that is your "thing", you'd be a better "support" person.

If it was easy, everybody would do it. Most people who don't succeed in real estate simply don't talk to enough people because they are afraid of people and what others may think of them. If you want to be successful in real estate wholesaling or as an agent, you meet people, you are pleasant to them and you don't worry about it if they are not pleasant to you.

Yep, I've been called everything you can think of in 26 languages and a couple I'm not even sure if they are a language at all. So what. I wish them a nice day and I move on. 

Originally posted by @Mike Hern:
Originally posted by @Tucker Cummings:

@Jay Hinrichs I'm sure we have some overlap in our thinking, some people have an innate skill of selling, some people have to learn it. I think it's still something anyone can be taught and honed over time. It's the same as having a skill for being a great quarterback. Some are born with talent to be great, some work hard to be great. But you can't beat talent that works hard.

You're definitely right about the top wholesalers though and the intense marketing budgets. I have no desire to be at that level, but I do have a business that helps me find deals on a regular basis. I mostly just use it as a way to help me find properties to keep until I can comfortably retire from my W2, and wholesale out deals that don't fit my criteria along the way. I know wholesalers get a bad rap (which I believe is due to youtube gurus saying how easy it is and you wind up having teenagers locking up preforeclosures with no idea what they're doing), but the ones worth their salt are definitely earning their assignment fees.

Sales can be taught but you have to have the right personality to start with. 

You have to be able to take a 1,000 "get out of my face" conversations and still be able to move on to the next call. You have to understand you are providing a service, not forcing someone to do something they don't want to so. You have to be willing to continue learning. You have to understand what the goal of the seller is. You have to be confident you can provide the solution. It helps to love people & real estate.

You have to "show up" everyday. You have to "practise, drill, rehearse". You buy houses by talking to people who own houses. If you prospect (make phone calls, go door knocking, drive for dollars, etc), If you are friendly, conversational, know the proper things to say & understand why you are saying those things, if you think of the other person as a friend that needs your help, then you buy a lot of houses.  If none of that is your "thing", you'd be a better "support" person.

If it was easy, everybody would do it. Most people who don't succeed in real estate simply don't talk to enough people because they are afraid of people and what others may think of them. If you want to be successful in real estate wholesaling or as an agent, you meet people, you are pleasant to them and you don't worry about it if they are not pleasant to you.

Yep, I've been called everything you can think of in 26 languages and a couple I'm not even sure if they are a language at all. So what. I wish them a nice day and I move on. 

Everyone who wants to go into sales in my mind would do fine with the following.

1. work for a car dealer  learn to do a one sit close.

2. work for a time share outfit in Vegas  same thing learn very good sales techniques  and of course you can work in Orlando or other timeshare prevelant areas although I think a real estate license is needed.. good time share salesmen knocks down some pretty big dollars.

3. and if there was still siding salesmen those guys were very good.. 

4. And in my day Land sales  glen Gary Glen Ross style thats the incubation I was in starting out in the 70s..

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs:
Originally posted by @Mike Hern:
Originally posted by @Tucker Cummings:

@Jay Hinrichs I'm sure we have some overlap in our thinking, some people have an innate skill of selling, some people have to learn it. I think it's still something anyone can be taught and honed over time. It's the same as having a skill for being a great quarterback. Some are born with talent to be great, some work hard to be great. But you can't beat talent that works hard.

You're definitely right about the top wholesalers though and the intense marketing budgets. I have no desire to be at that level, but I do have a business that helps me find deals on a regular basis. I mostly just use it as a way to help me find properties to keep until I can comfortably retire from my W2, and wholesale out deals that don't fit my criteria along the way. I know wholesalers get a bad rap (which I believe is due to youtube gurus saying how easy it is and you wind up having teenagers locking up preforeclosures with no idea what they're doing), but the ones worth their salt are definitely earning their assignment fees.

Sales can be taught but you have to have the right personality to start with. 

You have to be able to take a 1,000 "get out of my face" conversations and still be able to move on to the next call. You have to understand you are providing a service, not forcing someone to do something they don't want to so. You have to be willing to continue learning. You have to understand what the goal of the seller is. You have to be confident you can provide the solution. It helps to love people & real estate.

You have to "show up" everyday. You have to "practise, drill, rehearse". You buy houses by talking to people who own houses. If you prospect (make phone calls, go door knocking, drive for dollars, etc), If you are friendly, conversational, know the proper things to say & understand why you are saying those things, if you think of the other person as a friend that needs your help, then you buy a lot of houses.  If none of that is your "thing", you'd be a better "support" person.

If it was easy, everybody would do it. Most people who don't succeed in real estate simply don't talk to enough people because they are afraid of people and what others may think of them. If you want to be successful in real estate wholesaling or as an agent, you meet people, you are pleasant to them and you don't worry about it if they are not pleasant to you.

Yep, I've been called everything you can think of in 26 languages and a couple I'm not even sure if they are a language at all. So what. I wish them a nice day and I move on. 

Everyone who wants to go into sales in my mind would do fine with the following.

1. work for a car dealer  learn to do a one sit close.

2. work for a time share outfit in Vegas  same thing learn very good sales techniques  and of course you can work in Orlando or other timeshare prevelant areas although I think a real estate license is needed.. good time share salesmen knocks down some pretty big dollars.

3. and if there was still siding salesmen those guys were very good.. 

4. And in my day Land sales  glen Gary Glen Ross style thats the incubation I was in starting out in the 70s..

Lol it sounds like you’re not too fond of sales people. 

Originally posted by @Tucker Cummings:
Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs:
Originally posted by @Mike Hern:
Originally posted by @Tucker Cummings:

@Jay Hinrichs I'm sure we have some overlap in our thinking, some people have an innate skill of selling, some people have to learn it. I think it's still something anyone can be taught and honed over time. It's the same as having a skill for being a great quarterback. Some are born with talent to be great, some work hard to be great. But you can't beat talent that works hard.

You're definitely right about the top wholesalers though and the intense marketing budgets. I have no desire to be at that level, but I do have a business that helps me find deals on a regular basis. I mostly just use it as a way to help me find properties to keep until I can comfortably retire from my W2, and wholesale out deals that don't fit my criteria along the way. I know wholesalers get a bad rap (which I believe is due to youtube gurus saying how easy it is and you wind up having teenagers locking up preforeclosures with no idea what they're doing), but the ones worth their salt are definitely earning their assignment fees.

Sales can be taught but you have to have the right personality to start with. 

You have to be able to take a 1,000 "get out of my face" conversations and still be able to move on to the next call. You have to understand you are providing a service, not forcing someone to do something they don't want to so. You have to be willing to continue learning. You have to understand what the goal of the seller is. You have to be confident you can provide the solution. It helps to love people & real estate.

You have to "show up" everyday. You have to "practise, drill, rehearse". You buy houses by talking to people who own houses. If you prospect (make phone calls, go door knocking, drive for dollars, etc), If you are friendly, conversational, know the proper things to say & understand why you are saying those things, if you think of the other person as a friend that needs your help, then you buy a lot of houses.  If none of that is your "thing", you'd be a better "support" person.

If it was easy, everybody would do it. Most people who don't succeed in real estate simply don't talk to enough people because they are afraid of people and what others may think of them. If you want to be successful in real estate wholesaling or as an agent, you meet people, you are pleasant to them and you don't worry about it if they are not pleasant to you.

Yep, I've been called everything you can think of in 26 languages and a couple I'm not even sure if they are a language at all. So what. I wish them a nice day and I move on. 

Everyone who wants to go into sales in my mind would do fine with the following.

1. work for a car dealer  learn to do a one sit close.

2. work for a time share outfit in Vegas  same thing learn very good sales techniques  and of course you can work in Orlando or other timeshare prevelant areas although I think a real estate license is needed.. good time share salesmen knocks down some pretty big dollars.

3. and if there was still siding salesmen those guys were very good.. 

4. And in my day Land sales  glen Gary Glen Ross style thats the incubation I was in starting out in the 70s..

Lol it sounds like you’re not too fond of sales people. 

complete opposite i love sales people they make me cash flow who needs rentals when i have sales people working for me.