The ONE Thing Your Success (Or Failure) Hinges On In Real Estate…
So let me ask you: Why are you even doing this?
I mean, why are you even in real estate investing in the first place? What first sparked your interest and made you decide to choose this path versus some other one? What is it that motivates you to keep going?
Or even better question: When things get super discouraging, or frustrating, or weird, or bone-crunchingly hard, what is it that gets you back on track and keeps you focused and pressing on? What keeps you getting out of bed early with excitement and passionately awake inspired at night?
Maybe you've already faced something that's sent you reeling or sucker punched you and sent you flying off the tracks entirely, like…
⇾ Overwhelm or info overload
⇾ Bright shiny objects yanking you all over the place
⇾ Fear of making big, expensive, painful mistakes
⇾ ‘Negative Nancies' or other challenging people in your life
⇾ Confusion about the right direction or next steps to take
⇾ Money wasted with no results, or even deals gone bad
⇾ Disillusionment, distraction, despair or other head junk
The fact of the matter is, this stuff is pretty typical in the life span of most investors… but it's also a merciless dream killer… or an outright death dealer for far too many of us.
But here's the really great news: When crap happens like this, there's one potent thing that'll let you tap reserves of energy, focus, determination and courage you didn’t even know you had, when you need them the most.
It's a singular, game-changing idea that'll keep you (or put you back) solidly on track when the proverbial feces hits the proverbial rotating blade device. –»
So what's the big idea?
I'm so glad you asked… 😀
See, not long ago we (Patrick and JP) did this fun little experiment where we hopped on a webcast live and started answering a whole bunch of real estate questions in real-time, anything goes. And in the process we really opened up and shared some heavy stuff.
It was actually a 3-parter over three consecutive nights, and our goal was to really put it all out there and share openly from our real life experiences some of the biggest, most important lessons we've learned over the years, including even the painful and/or embarrassing ones from the school of hard knocks.
So in the first webcast we ended up focusing almost entirely on this one game-changing concept – and it was powerful. So, if you missed out when we did this live then I invite you – no, I urge you to take some time and ponder this with us for a few minutes. Because frankly, I'll go out on a limb and say this is very likely the single biggest, most important hinge point in your ultimate success (or epic failure) as a real estate investor – hence the title of this blog post. **winks slyly**
So, lookie here…
We tackled the big stuff right out of the gate in the first half, and then chased that with a sweet, free-for-all Q&A in the second half where a lot of great tactical real estate investing questions got answered. I think you'll get a lot out of it.
JP Moses: I'm excited. This is exciting. We have a lot of cool stuff coming to you guys tonight. And why don't we just start off with a little toast to our audience if you.
Our goal tonight is to share something a little awesome with you. You're going to get to know us a little better, it's not all about us, though—but we want to share some of our story with you, my story and then Patrick’s story, and some of the gut-wrenching lessons that we've learned through our real estate careers.
I want to be very clear in emphasizing that this is about you guys. This is not about us. And first off, let me begin by saying thank you. Thank you for being here and being a part of this with us because your time is valuable. I know my time's valuable and yours is as well. There's a lot of other things that you could be doing right now. You could be spending time with your family. There's a lot of other stuff you guys could be doing right now. You're here with us and we're grateful for that, and we want to do our very best to make it worth your while tonight—and make sure that you walk away with some really valuable stuff.
You're probably wondering, “These guys got something to sell? What are they trying to pull here? What kind of tomfoolery are we going to have to deal with?”
Well, we do have something to sell, but it's not what you're probably thinking, folks. Tonight, for sale: We have big ideas—big ideas to challenge you, to inspire you, to sharpen you and hopefully to shape you for the better.
And the cost for you tonight, for these big shaping ideas is not the $32,997 value, but only around an hour or so of your time, depending on how many and what kind of questions you have. We are going to open up the floor here in just a little while. We want to know whatever questions you guys have…. it might have to do with what we talked about tonight… it might be totally unrelate… it could just be a real estate investing question. Whatever it is, part of the experience here tonight is: We want to make an investment in just answering whatever kind of questions you got.
Between the two of us, we have about 28 years of cumulative real estate investing experience. We both have a lot of ups in the business over those years, and a lot of downs, and a lot of lessons that we've learned—and we're happy to let you stand on the shoulder of our experiences and learn from that.
So what's this all about? Well, first we're going to kick off truly awesome… something that we want to invite you to be a part of with us. We're not going to ask you to pull your wallet out for it. It's completely gratis. It's part of us serving you because that's part of our core values, and you’ll hear more about that in just a moment, but it officially kicks off tonight…
We've kept it tightly under wraps, and we're ready to let the cat out of the bag.
Patrick Riddle: This has been in the works for months, a long time. And it's awesome that you're here with us, for us to unveil this at the end—and you're going to love it.
JP Moses: So, we're also going to share very openly tonight. I've alluded to this, we're going to be speaking from our own real-life experiences. And, one of the values that Patrick and I share is just being real with you guys and being open and honest about some of the stuff that we've been through. We're not trying to get you to cry us a river over anything, but we're actually both very grateful for the shaping experiences we've had that have been hard—some of those tough spots, those low points that we've been through—because they've made us better versions of ourselves.
And, Patrick, I don't know about you, but I kind of wear them as a badge of honor. It gives me an opportunity to help someone else avoid similar struggles.
Patrick Riddle: Exactly.
JP Moses: We're going to try and drive home one very important, I would say game-changing idea for you tonight. And I mean this is a big, big idea. We're going to talk about other things, but if you walk away with nothing else but this one idea, I think it really can be a game-changer for you.
I'm going out on a limb and call it: the single biggest, most important thing that you must learn and understand… that your ultimate success or failure in real estate hinges upon. I know that's a big promise and it probably sounds like a lot of hype, but I think if you'll track along with me, you'll see where I'm going. It's gonna make sense.
We're also, as I said, going to answer your questions. Anything goes. It doesn't matter what kind of questions you got. We want to inspire, motivate and dream a little bit together tonight.
Patrick Riddle: I want you all to understand, too, that tonight is not about a brand-new real estate tactic or strategy that you can use yesterday to make $50,000. If you're looking for a tactic, this is deeper than that… and I hope that you can just really absorb what we share tonight because it's going to come from the heart and we're going to share it because we're here to be open and real. So that's what you're going to get here. And we're so excited about it.
JP Moses: I also want to let you guys know if you didn't pick up on this, this is actually the first of 3 parts: tonight, tomorrow night and the following night, we're going to be live. We're going to be answering questions all 3 nights, but each night we're going to focus on something different. Each night we only have big ideas for sale. So, know that we're not leading up to a sales pitch, we're not launching a product we're going to ask you to buy. Take your suspicions and set them to the side and just enjoy the experience and learn from it—and use us and abuse us while you have access to us at this level.
But to give you an idea, here's what's ahead after this, tomorrow night and the next night… some what we're going to cover is, for example, the real estate investors essential lifecycle. This is something that it took me a lot of years to figure out even existed. I wish I had learned this earlier on in my career, it would've saved me a lot of headache just to get the bird's eye view of what this lifecycle looks like… kinda like the map at the mall and you see the whole thing from above. And then you see the little red dot that says, “You are here,”—that's what we're talking about, but for the real estate investing lifecycle, so that's ahead of us.
The five 5 milestones that every successful real estate investor must walk through. We're going to talk about the 2 major linchpins of your awesome success or epic failure. We're going to talk about some of the biggest obstacles that you—and we all—face as real estate investors. More specifically, we’re going to talk about how to identify and obliterate the tactical trap…
We're going to talk about what the tactical trap is, why most fall head first into it and how to avoid it. And I myself did for many years. And… the 3 axioms of awesome, which I'm pretty proud of as a name, it’s pretty clever… but I'm just going to keep that one shrouded in mystery until we get to it.
Patrick Riddle: So that is all coming up soon on the nights to follow.
JP Moses: Do what you can to be a part of this with us. I'm live. Okay, we dare you to really dive in with us here. Engage with us tonight. Set your expectations aside for a moment, wherever they are, and just open your mind.
Someone once told me, ideas are like delicate soap bubbles floating around near jagged rocks… at any moment that idea, that thing that you're finding so attractive and valuable and inspiring—could just pop and be gone if you don't capture it. So make sure you do that. Share and care with us tonight and don't forget to be awesome.
So. who are these cats anyway? I realized that many of you do know us—you’re friends of ours, you’ve been a subscriber, or a member, perhaps, of one of our joint projects for some time—but a lot of guys probably are relatively new to one or both of us and don't know us as well as we'd like you to know us.
So, we want to take just a moment and give you a snapshot of who we are and why we're even somebody you might want to pay attention to. So, Patrick, why don't we start with you, quick backstory.
Patrick Riddle: I live on Isle of Palms, right outside of Charleston. I've been here for years. I've always lived in South Carolina. And a couple hours away, I bought my first real estate investment property while in college, and it inspired me to quit. And I have been at this real estate investing thing ever since.
I've done a little bit of everything from fix & flips, buy & holds through rentals, through lease options, probate deals, bankruptcy, pre-foreclosure, you name it, we have probably done a deal in that niche or strategy.
I love real estate. I love sharing—and that's really been my journey over the past number of years, reaching out and connecting and sharing all the knowledge and experience from over a decade of hands-on, in-the-trenches real estate experience.
JP Moses: So, a brief short story of JP. I got started in real estate investing in 2000 after reading Robert Kiyosaki’s book. I jumped in headfirst into rentals, initially, and it was a struggle. And, I heard that you're always supposed to join your local Real Estate Investing Association—your local REIA—and I didn't have one here in Memphis at the time, so I thought, “Well, I don't know much about real estate, but I kind of know a little bit about herding cats. So I'm going to, I'll just start our local REIA.”
And I grew that for 6 years, 2000 to 2006, alongside growing my real estate investing business. Over the course of my career, I have done a little bit of a lot of things—a lot of different types of deals. I have done everything from short sales… to I've been an REO broker… I have a dabbled in rehabbing and lease options and notes.
After a little while, I stuck my flag deep into wholesaling, and wholesaling is my bread and butter. It's my favorite. I love the velocity of it. It just fits my personality. We have a local wholesaling operation here in the Memphis area called the House Guys. My partner James and I have a blast doing it. We are still involved in the REIA, but we don't run that anymore.
I am a father of two beautiful redheads. You'll see them here shortly and a beautiful redheaded wife. So it's just me and a bunch of ladies here in the house. And, one of the things I love the most about the life that I get to live is being able to work and be around them here at home. Anybody who knows me, knows I don't leave the house a lot, actually. And I liked it that way.
So, right now I'd say we’re wholesaling anywhere from 3 to 5 houses a month, and I've wholesaled somewhere north of 450 transactions since getting started. So that's me in a nutshell.
Got a question for you guys: What is it that first sparked that real estate investing flame in you? That flame inside you, about real estate investing, that gets you excited. What was the thing that first sparked that?
I just want you to think for a moment about that…
- Was it that you wanted to jailbreak from your J.O.B.? Maybe you were so miserable and you just needed out of the job?
- Was it financial autonomy that you were drawn to… and not having your financial future or present dependent upon someone else?
- Maybe it was just the idea that the big shiny object of getting rich, getting wealthy, boats, cars, mansions, Glitz, glamour, rockstar lifestyle.
- Maybe it's living the high life.
- Maybe it's bucking the system… maybe you're wired to be a rebel and you want to zig when everyone else zagged and that led you into real estate.
- Maybe you're hardwired to be an entrepreneur or a self-employed individual.
While you're pondering that, we're going to help you a little bit by sharing what initially sparked us in real estate investing. We got to go back a few moons to be able to do that. Patrick, I'd like to have you share that part of your story first. What sparked you?
Patrick Riddle: My spark dates back to growing up. As a kid, I remember seeing the mold that society tries to force us into: go to school, get a job, work for somebody else, hopefully maybe retire by the time you're 65 or older and didn't live the good life and have time to do the things that you want. None of that ever made sense.
My parents: one’s in healthcare, one’s in education, a teacher—they've always had jobs, they've been employees, and there's nothing wrong with that. But what I saw… them getting up, going to a job, working for someone else, having to be somewhere at a specific time, having to ask if they could have time off when they wanted it off… none of that made sense to me. And I didn't know what else was out there at the time.
My dad has always made fun of me for this over the years, but at some point in time when I was growing up, he asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And I said, “I want to do odd jobs.” I don't even know what that meant exactly, but I think it's a hint that at the time I was thinking, “You know what, I'm going to find something else to do, and it's not going to be the typical mold, and I'm not going to be a doctor.”
I almost became a civil engineer, but veered off course, thankfully. As a kid in school, I think I was in 6th grade, I started buying boxes of candy in bulk and selling them for a profit at school.
I’d buy a box of Airheads, and I'd sell them for a quarter A piece. So, I think just the idea of going out there and doing something, making money myself, making my own way… was kind of a part of me growing up.
But it wasn't until after my third year at Clemson University… I was on break with a couple of friends in Charleston, and one of my buddies met a guy in his late 20s, he owned like 6 rental properties and each was cashflow around $200 a month, he talked about appreciation and mortgage paydown—and we were eyes wide open!
That caused us to venture into unchartered territory: Barnes and Noble. I never was a reader growing up at all. Only time I ever read was the Cliff’s Notes of whatever book we were supposed to read for school.
We left the bookstore, one of the books was called like, How to Make Your First Million in Three Years Investing, and the other one had… Without Tenants Banks or Rehab Projects. But I peeled back the pages, and it spoke to me. For the first time ever, I saw a way out of the rat race… a way out of the mold society tries to put you in.
I started thinking about the time freedom, being able to go and do what I want when I want, of course financial freedom and the riches, status, power. At first, I was definitely more motivated by things and stuff that the money could buy. But that was it for me—that was my spark and that got me started, and shortly, a few months later, I bought my first property and was off to the races.
JP Moses: So, what sparked me… I kind of hinted at it a minute ago, the major turning point was when I read a book by Robert Kiyosaki called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It is rather well-known. I'm not a big Robert Kiyosaki groupie, and there's some things his organization has done lately that I'm not a fan of…
But those 2 first books, Rich Dad, Poor Dad and the Cashflow Quadrant Arch should be on everyone's bookshelf. The ideas in those 2 books just blew my mind at the time, and it spoke to me at a level that stirred something that had always been inside of me, but had been untamed and I wasn't really even sure what it was.
It goes back to the way I was raised. My Dad didn't have a regular job, he was an artist, a painter, he painted paintings. And because of that, he always worked from home. He was self-employed and a lot of ups and downs came along with that. But I think because that's what was modeled for me… and as I thought about what I am going to be when I grow up—I always gravitated toward starting a business or being in some way self-employed.
And it led me into a lot of different trial-and-error experiments. I did multilevel marketing multiple times. I used to be an Excel rep. I tried a lot of different things. I used to do telephone sales from my bedroom just trying to sell an information product. It's before the internet, because I'm older than I look.
Maybe some of you guys can relate—you just hustle. I need to do something that's not just working at a restaurant or sitting in a cubicle. So I always had that kind of energy inside me but didn't know how to channel it. And once I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I had those ideas to wrap around what was inside me. I thought, “Well, this guy got started in real estate. So I'll get started in real estate.”
So, I got started real estate. That was the spark. It was this idea that I can take this hardwired entrepreneur/self-employed person inside me, and I can wrap something legitimate around it that really makes sense and truly carve this path. Now, one of the parts of that story that's important to understand is, although my dad was self-employed, we were broke all the time. We would be doing great for a month or two, and then it would all go away because he was not good at finances and he was not good at business development. He just did not have business skills.
I love my dad a lot, extremely talented artist, but he did not know how to build a business. And that's why, to me, today… that's one of the things that I really try to focus a lot on is: I'm learning the skills of building a business not just flipping a house. Those are two totally different things. That's a different conversation for a different time, but that was my spark. So that's what got me into it.
The next point of the discussion I want to make is: the spark that got you into real estate investing versus the flame of the fire in your belly. A spark starts a flame, right? Kind of common sense—but it won't keep it going. There are imminent things in your life that threaten to clinch that flame inside you.
Here's an example of several. Patrick, why don't you run through the list…
Patrick Riddle: Negative people. They're everywhere! Watch out. Sometimes, it could be the person you love most, which hurts. But negative people, if they haven't yet, you’re probably gonna run into some people who try to tear you down… who tell you that real estate investing is not gonna work for you… that you can't do it because of X or Y or Z… they're going to name any number of reasons…
And for me, negative people can either send you straight out of the game or it can fire you up because you're so pissed. Do you want to prove them wrong?
There was a guy from my college, he was a friend of mine, and every time I ever saw him again after I quit, the only thing he wanted to talk about was when was I going to go back to school and get my degree. It just ruined a previously good friendship. And, you're going to deal with other potential flame-quenchers who overwhelm your own junk in your head.
After my first year investing, one of my partners at the time walked out on us, I was left holding the bag. His responsibilities at the time were financing for our company. So in my head, all of a sudden, I had all this junk saying, “You look too young, there's no way you can do this and get the money and do what he was doing for us.” Limiting beliefs.
One of the biggest flame-quenchers that you're going to have to deal with might right inside of here—that voice of the negative person that's ringing inside of your head telling you that you can't do it. But, just press on, take action.
Surround yourself with positive people who are going to bring you up. If a deal goes bad, if a deal falls through, if you're financing falls through—life is going to turn sideways, sometimes you're gonna be distracted. You might be in a little bit of despair. We're going to show you how to make sure that flame keeps on and does not go out.
JP Moses: And here's the bad news when it comes to these flame-quenchers… it's really not a matter of if but when. And it is a factor for every single person who is pursuing freedom, fame and fortune, through real estate investing or through any entrepreneurial self-employed endeavor, these things are going to be factors. They are going to face them. It's a sad truth.
Your fire—that flame inside you can burn on its own for a while, but eventually it will flicker out unless you add fuel. The right fuel turns a flicker into a goal inferno. So what is the right fuel? What does that mean?
The fuel is your “why.”
It is the reason why that motivates you. So what's a why? I think it's important to understand that why is not just as simple as: my family. This is my why or I want to make a lot of money or here's some goals. Those are all important, those have value, but that's not a reason why by my definition or one that's really going to help propel you and motivate you the way that a true reason why will.
A clear sense of purpose inspires you to do what you do. It's the power of purpose in your life. It's the fire in your belly that gets you out of bed early in the morning. It keeps you up at night, it’s what enables you to tap into those reserves of energy and focus and determination, and encourage you when you didn't even know that you had it when you need it the most.
It's bigger than money. It's bigger than a riches. It's bigger than cars or boats or dream vacations or living the real estate lifestyle or the real estate dream.
However you define your true why: it moves up the food chain from being about you to being about something bigger than you. Think about that for a moment. It's about connecting those natural skills and talents that you have with what you're truly passionate about, and then focusing yourself like a laser on a mission that deeply resonates and motivates you.
So as I was thinking through some of these concepts before we started tonight, I wanted to fill up my thoughts with what some of the other great thinkers in this arena have had to say about motivating and why… and I came across this article on Forbes and it really resonated with me. I think it's a beautiful word picture that really drives this home:
“The power of purpose is similar to the energy of light focus through a magnifying glass. Diffused light has little use, but when its energy is concentrated as through a magnifying glass, the same light can set fire to paper, focus its energy more as with a laser beam and it has the power to cut through steel. Likewise, your clear sense of purpose enables you to focus your efforts on what truly matters, compelling you to take risks and push forward regardless of odds or obstacles.”
I hope you can let that soak in to the crevices of your mind and your heart for a moment. Because it is a profound concept and a critical concept, because knowing your why is an important mission critical first step in figuring out how to actually achieve the goals that excite you and create a life that you deeply enjoy versus merely surviving day to day.
Only when you know your why can you muster the courage to press on even in the midst of those darkest days and nights… to take the risks needed to press ahead, to stay motivated. When the chips are down, it feels like you're licking the bottom of the ash tray of life. In these moments, only your why can have the power to lift you back up and to move your life to an entirely new, more challenging, more rewarding trajectory.
Nietzsche said: “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
You know, that's a lot of words. A lot of thoughts. I want to make that even clearer by opening up the Kimono a little bit with Patrick and I, and we're going to share with you our why and hopefully that will make tangible some of those somewhat ethereal concepts that we just discussed. So without further ado, Patrick, let me hand off to you and let's talk about how you found your why.
Patrick Riddle: To tell you how I discovered my why, we've got to rewind the clock a bit and go back in time. All the way back to the end of 2007, to paint a picture for you. At the time, I had over 40 rental houses… a couple of apartment buildings, a couple of duplexes. And property management issues started surfacing. We had 7 evictions going on. We had properties sitting there waiting, like renovated and waiting to sell properties, ready to rent… tons of vacancy plus the evictions. We had 6 renovations going on, full-time crews going house to house, a couple houses waiting to be renovated…
In the last quarter of 2007, I had $847,000 leave my business bank account to get deployed into the business. Scary. The business was devouring cash, and the market had finally caught up with us and our business model was broken. It felt like I was the captain of the Titanic, and I had just realized at the dead end of 2007, the ship was going down and it didn't seem like there was any way out.
But let's rewind even a little bit before that… the years prior coming into that year—we're buying and flipping dozens of houses a year, adding rental properties, the portfolio expanding into markets throughout South Carolina, plenty of funding, closing deals like clockwork, on top of the world…
And then 2008 hits and to start off the year I cut off my own income and no longer had an income but I had a full-time business to run. I started drastically cutting expenses to get as lean and mean as we could, and focused in on all of the properties that we had under management to get bad tenants out, get the properties rented out, get what was up for sale sold, to get our renovations that we had on the docket finished while we had funds left.
It wasn't enough and not even close. I mean, have you ever had a stack of bills and had to sort through them to choose which ones to pay? I have and it is painful. Putting every penny I could get my hands on in the business to do everything I could to save it. The first payment that I ended up letting go was my personal residence, my dream house on the water in Charleston.
Have you ever had that feeling when you don't want to check your voicemail or you don't want to check your mailbox because you're scared of what might be in there waiting for you? The hardest thing that I had to do—and looking back on it was the smartest and best thing that I could have done—I sat down face to face with every single person whom I affected, from employees to contractors to lenders, many of which were friends and family, and I'm telling them things that they didn't want to hear. Breaking promises.
When it comes to money, emotions run high, and letting down the people whom you love and care about most, sucks. That's the worst. That's the bottom. And that year, to top it off… I played beach volleyball competitively and I got a hernia that took me out for the whole year… had surgery, totaled my Mercedes… my girlfriend moved thousands of miles away… and I got lawsuit papers and opening that up was just scary.
Having to go through all that, being right there in that situation—I drew a line in the sand and I said, “I never want others to have to go through the same mistakes as I have and go through the same pains as I have.” And I just made a power decision that I would spread my knowledge, my experience to every single person that I could affect to help them along their path to success, to help shorten their learning curve.
And for me, what does it is getting a message or mail from somebody saying that they broke through some barrier that they didn't think was possible. That they closed the deal and they quit their job and they made it happen. And no matter what, you’ve got to understand that you're gonna make mistakes. Period. Everybody does. It's not the mistakes that matter. It's how you react and how you respond to the things that happen in life, not the things that happen. What's important is how you respond to them.
I could never have learned what I had to as a businessman, to be around today—without going through all that I did. I feel privileged to be here and to be able to have the impact that we do today and on into the future. Going to keep making it happen.
JP Moses: Cheers to you, my friend.
Well guys, before we turn to how I discovered my why, I just want to say I saw some of the comments that came in when Patrick was sharing, and I can tell that that hit home for a lot of you guys. Some of you said, “I'm there now.” I just want to say we can relate. I think a lot of what you see from the faces and voices in the real estate investing world does an injustice to real life, because you see just the hype and the glitz and the glamour of what's possible. And yes, so many amazing things are possible, all of the hype is not really hype. It's real. But Patrick and I both feel like we have to be authentic and vulnerable about the bumps and bruises and scrapes that are necessary part of everybody's story… your story… our story.
And I think that when you do that, you offer people hope that there's not something wrong with them. The fact that they're not experiencing an overnight success, whatever that looks like, it's part of the journey and it's part of a rite of passage, as challenging as that may be to go through some of those dips.
If it doesn't happen for you right out of the gate, maybe you experienced some fast success though, didn’t happen for Patrick right away, it happened further down the road when things came crashing down. It doesn't mean that Patrick shouldn't have gotten into it. That's part of the story that has made him who he is today.
The successes of today are built upon the failures of yesterday.
That is a fact. And that's also a big part of my story and how I discovered my why. So, my why was not a big lightbulb moment. Unlike yours, Patrick, it wasn't me sitting in one place and having one clear thought that kind of shone a spotlight down from heaven and now I understand my reason why. It was a process…
It was a process for me that has spanned, the better part of the past 15 years. It was a process of self-discovery of me uncovering my vision and my values. And I want to explain to you what I mean by that.
When I say my values, I don't mean: don't tell lies and don't be mean to people and don't steal. I mean those are values, but I'm talking about the things inside me that I am uniquely wired to do that really resonate deeply inside me, the things that I'm wired to do.
And those values are not something most people know innately, just automatically by default. I think you kind of have to go through a process or real life trial-and-error and self-discovery, to figure out what that is. But when you uncover what your values are, you can see where those things point—and where those things all point is one common place… and that's your vision for your life.
So for me, if I were to take the culmination of that process I went through and bring it to a head and say: What's 1 thing that is my vision, my mission in life? It has become clear to me that it's to make a difference in other people's lives. That is it. To make a difference in people's lives and that has nothing to do with money.
It does involve money at times and there's nothing wrong with making a lot of money in the process as often as possible—but the money is not the emphasis… the values that I discovered about myself along the way that play into that are as follows… these are the things that I feel like I'm uniquely wired to do that also hit a really high note in my heart:
- leading people well
- being creative
- building value into people's lives
- God and family first
Those 4 things: leading people well, being creative, building value into people's lives and God and family first. If I look back at the things in my life that I've been involved in, the things that I have gravitated toward doing… and I look and say: What are all the commonalities in these things that were consistent throughout them?
I can pull from those experiences and basically that's a big part of the process of how I assembled what I'm wired to do… what values I've been wired with. If I asked myself what have been my most rewarding—truly, deeply rewarding experiences—it's been those that have made a difference in people's lives.
So, a big part of that has been me also realizing that when I got into real estate investing, I didn't have any of that clarity. I wasn't running toward a vision. My reason why was very impotent because I wasn't running toward something that I had some clarity of. I was running away from something…
And to tell you what I was running away from, I have to go back to talking about my dad. As I said, he was self-employed and we went through some tough times and as a part of that process, my dad illustrated for me not only the benefits of being self-employed and working from home and being able to go to my games and go to all the plays that I was in and that kind of thing, but it also solidified in me that I do not want to put my family through what we went through financially. That instilled in me a fear of recreating that scenario in my family.
So when I started to channel this entrepreneurial drive, I wasn't running toward this clear goal. I knew I was running toward success and financial success and freedom. But those are very fuzzy concepts, and they aren't what keeps you up at night. What kept me up at night was the fear of not wanting to recreate the lack that I grew up in—and that had crystal clarity.
So when I realized that is not a reason why that's going to be lasting… it's not going to get me through those dark nights…. it’s not going to wake me up in the morning… it's not going to keep me up late at night—I had to spin that whole thing, uncover what is the positive thing that I'm wired to do? What is my reason why that motivates me in a positive way, not that it has me running away from something I'm afraid of?
And once I uncovered that and changed my perspective, now I have a filter through which everything else in my life goes. If I have a business opportunity… if I have a business I want to structure… If I look at the people I want to do business with… I looked at Patrick… I looked at my partner James, and I say: “Are they the types of people who helped me to live the kind of life I want to live? Is this opportunity going to take me closer to or further away from my vision of making a difference in people's lives and is it or is it not congruent with these values that I have established, which are non-negotiable, because I'm wired this way?
So that process is a long process, and it took me way too long to explain it, but uncovering your reason why may not be like that, but it does need to be uniquely yours and it should not be something as simple as money or family or freedom—because while those are noble concepts and they certainly are a piece of the puzzle, they are not the puzzle.
You have to assemble the puzzle of your reason why. And it may be a process for you.
Patrick Riddle: And maybe those are sparks to the flame.
JP Moses: Well guys, I hope that hearing how we uncovered our why… I hope that hearing that may help you in your journey to doing this, but it is critical that you do this. This is not a negotiable thing, because you will not last in this or any entrepreneurial journey unless you know your why.
Understand that your why is not the same as goal-setting. Goals are fine. Goals are important, goals are critical, but they are a vehicle to get you where you're trying to go. Your why is the fuel in the tank of that vehicle.
I also want you to understand that money is just a tool. It's a means to an end. It's valuable, it's great fun, but it really isn't a why. Freedom, as I said, it's just too fuzzy and it varies widely in definition. Not just from person to person, but from stage of life to stage of life… and to say that my family is my why guys, that's just too easy and too darn sappy.
So you could try harder than that and do better. Understand that a crisp, clear why is by far the most potent. And that's part of the reason I shared that in my story of how fuzzy my why was in the positive way, but how crisp and clear the negative side of it was until I spun that around. And gain clarity.
Your why is a clear sense of purpose that inspires you to do what you do.
Patrick Riddle: I loved when you explained your why, that you were able to use it as a filter for decision-making—because as an entrepreneur, opportunities are going to come at you left and right and from all over outside of real estate investing and inside of it… and it's easy to get distracted a lot of times with entrepreneurs. We're wired to seek the new, the fresh.
If you can use your why like JP explained, as a filter for decision-making, it's going to help you say no to the things that aren't going to move you closer to your vision and where you want to end up… and it's going to make sure you say yes to the right things.
It gives you just a part of your story—like getting started as a landlord—and quickly realizing that that was an anti-lifestyle choice for you. It just was not a match. That's power, actually.
JP Moses: I'll correct you because it wasn't quickly. It took me too long to discover that because at that point I didn't have those filters in place, I didn't have a clear vision, I didn't understand my values. And so while I knew real estate investing was a powerful vehicle, I just picked somebody’s template and ran with it without really having a filter to put it through.
Had I had a better understanding of my unique values, of my reason why… I wouldn't have gotten into rentals because it doesn't match up with those things. And I'm not saying rentals are bad. This is my why, these are my values.
I wish I had that back then, so it made things a lot less painful. So you need to force yourself to paint a very specific, tangible picture. And here's one way you can do that. Ask yourself this question… and I'm going to give you some challenges that I want you to actually follow through on. If you can do this either tonight before your head hits the pillow or first thing in the morning while it's fresh, I think it's going to be the most meaningful to you.
Ask yourself: What is it that truly inspires me and makes me come alive?
And like I did, look back at all the things that you've been involved in… all the things you've done with your church (if you go to church)… projects you've been involved in… even hobbies that you've been involved in: What are the commonalities?
What are those things that when you do them, when you're involved in them, it's almost as if time stands still? The word inspire itself comes from the Latin meaning to breathe life into. And here's the other tool that I think may help you in this process of uncovering your own way—I want you to, as morbid as it may sound, imagine that you're on your deathbed…
- What would you truly regret the most not having done and would you be the most proud or the proudest of all to have actually achieved?
- What would you want your friends and family to say about you at your eulogy?
- Would you want them to say, “Man, he had a lot of a lot of money.”
I can tell you, those things are probably not coming to the top of your mind. If you're really thinking through those questions—and these can bring you clues as to what your real, true why is.
Finally, last but not least, I want you to get real. I want you to get clear and I want you to put it in writing. I want you to view and tweak it regularly. It needs to be in front of you. I want you to understand that your why is intrinsically tied to your values. That's why I brought that up earlier.
Now, I've talked about my values, the ones that are unique inside me. Not that you may not have some of the same values, but I want to also talk about some of the synchronous values that Patrick and I share. And actually, Patrick, I'd like to ask you to kind of bump through these a little bit. We're in business together, Patrick and I, and we have a lot of projects that we work on and we're actually going to talk about one of those here in just a moment, but a part of that process for us… the part of the real fun of it was realizing how synchronized many of our values are.
We’re made of a lot of the same stuff. So, I think that as Patrick goes through this with you briefly, I want to ask you to see which of these you identify with, which of these resonate with you.
Patrick Riddle: These are self-explanatory:
- always care
- always have fun
- If you've been around here for a while with us, in any of the various training programs that we've come out with over the years, we're about having fun. We're not serious, stodgy, old, saggy, we're always going to have fun and be lighthearted.
- always keep it real
- We're here to tell the good, the bad and the ugly, we've had wins, we've had huge losses and we've had even bigger wins. It's about always getting up when you get knocked down.
- always have an abundance mindset.
- I've made so much more money by working cooperatively with investors than in a competitive manner. Open your mind. You're either going to be thinking one way or the other where you feel like there's an abundance of deals and there's enough for everyone and that you can share and have more about working together or you're going to think the opposite, that there's a limited amount and there's a scarce supply. And if he gets that deal and that's one less that you can have, I invite you to open your mind to the fact that there's enough out there for everybody. You're going to make so much more money. You're going to be so much happier when you realize that there's an abundance out there. Start to tap into that as an investor. You may have some value in your business. You may be marketing for lease option leads, buyer leads, and have a pile of them over here that you're not using and be able to fill some other investors’ properties with those leads or vice versa. You can wholesale back and forth. Maybe you can lend money to invest—there's just so many ways that you can work together. It doesn't have to be competitive. It can be cooperative.
- always be students, not just teachers
- In my car lately, I've been listening to like nothing but podcasts, and in the shower in the morning I'm listening to the podcast. I'm back on a reading tear. I just finished, Ready, Fire, Aim and Smart Cuts. I just tore open a book called The Boron Letters, and I've got like three more books in the mail. This weekend I'm flying out to San Diego for a Mastermind meeting, and I'm going to be there with some investors and some entrepreneurs who are way ahead of me in business and they're going to stretch me to think bigger and bigger. Know that no matter how far along you get, there's always more to learn… and don’t just be a student, be a teacher in this. Even if you're a newbie, share what you're learning and what you love with others. Just because you're not an expert at this certain status doesn't mean that you can't also be in that teacher role as well.
- always keep improving, learning and growing
- If you're not growing, you are shrinking, you’re decaying, you're withering away. There's so many ways that you can easily keep on that edge of improving learning, growing.
- always be grateful and not just for the good stuff
- It took me a while to get to the point where I am now, where I am grateful for all of the struggles and tough times that I went through. When the market shifted and went through everything bad that can happen in real estate—foreclosure judgments, lawsuits—it was nasty, it was ugly. But you know what? I'm grateful for it because I'm a better businessman and man because of it. I challenge you… there's something in your life that every time you think about it, you put yourself in a negative state, and you probably have a lot of anger and resentment toward it. But I invite you to a different perspective. Give thanks for it. It showed up in your life. It's there for a reason.
- always learn from mistakes
- The only way you can learn from your mistakes is if you take some responsibility and by taking responsibility, you can be grateful for everything that shows up in your life. You can take responsibility for what's there, learn from your mistakes and not have to repeat them again. Who wants to repeat mistakes again? Because insanity has been said to repeat the same mistakes over and over and expecting different result. You've gotta learn from those mistakes.
- always have a positive impact and build people up
- It's easy to tear people down. People do it every day. And even judgments inside your head, it's hard sometimes to put those aside. But be on the other end of the spectrum, actually be someone who builds people up instead. And so much of what everyone hears and sees just tears them down. It'd be a counteractive force… join us and we can do some great things together with that.
- always respect people enough to be honest
- Telling the truth, being honest makes things a lot. Heck-of-a-lot easier.
- always give first
- instead of asking somebody for something from them, just find ways where you can add value to their business, to their life… based on what their goals and needs are.
- always be awesome
- It's quite important.
JP Moses: So guys, these are some of the values that we have identified that we are synchronous with, that we share together. And probably, you can identify with more than a few of those. These common values have led us to be involved in things together over the years.
We were blogging at the same time, right? Both you and I had real estate investor blogs starting back in like 2008, 2007. And we actually engaged in some battle of the blog a few times… that was your home turf, you posted the battle of the blog.
But we've been involved in a lot of really fun, exciting things. We've trained and coached people together—but this leads us to an awesome friendship bros since ’08. An awesome new startup venture together, which we're about to let the cat out of the bag on, to amplify our core values, which we just laid out for you.
And it takes our why to a whole new level. And we are so excited and it is called: AwesomeREI: Real Estate Investing for Awesome People.
Patrick Riddle: Any of you who have been around since the beginning of private money blueprint… private money blueprint is now AwesomeREI. The new company that we're operating out of and we're going to give you a looksie at some pure awesome that we have coming down the pipeline for you.
JP Moses: Here it is, AwesomeREI.com. Now what I want to do is just take a moment, we're not going to take a real long time, but before we get to the Q&A and have you guys grill us with questions, I want to very briefly let you know what this is, but more importantly, WIIFM: what's in it for me?
I want you to understand, that this is a major shift for us. We've explained to you that our values and our vision and our why, and a huge part of that is pouring value into people's lives. It's walking alongside our fellow real estate investors and helping them in their journey, helping shorten your learning curve, helping teach you from 28 years of experience that we share between the two of us. And that's what this is. It's almost like a ministry to the two of us.
So let me just give you a little snapshot to whet your appetite. As you can see here, we are on the homepage and I'm just going to zoom in a little bit so we can get this real clear in case people are on a small monitor. You can see Real Estate Investing for Awesome People, but these two paragraphs, I'm just gonna read through these because I want you to grasp this and I want you to hear it from my own mouth.
Money, freedom and fun through real estate without the infomercial aftertaste.
It is far too common for real estate investors to struggle, to wander after shiny objects, let fear hold you hostage or just fizzle out. Our mission here is to help you stop doing that and be awesome instead. We are not infomercial guys. You won't find us offering free seminars in hotel rooms. We are just real life actual human beings, not action figures. We care about you. We actually care about your success. We are willing to let you learn from our wins, but also and equally as importantly, our losses, so that you can shorten your learning curve in the process. So if you're new to real estate, we believe in you, we want to walk with you, we don't want you to quit. You can do this if you're experienced, we've got a few tricks up our sleeve we want to share with you. We want to help you crank things up to the next level. If you want to grow your business, if you want to do more deals, if you want to make more money and strive toward freedom, expand your mind, have piles of fun in the process, and be generally awesomer… then you're in the right place. AwesomeREI.
That is basically a statement of culture for us. So if I scroll down here just a little bit, there's one more thing I want to point out to you…. What Can We Help You With Today? Those are links to some of our training programs that we have already. I want to blow past that and show you our most recent Knowledge Bombs.
So let me just explain to you what a Knowledge Bomb isn't and why I think this is going to be exciting to you. If you accept our invitation and travel along with us through this AwesomeREI experience. Patrick, How would you differentiate a knowledge bomb from a blog post?
Patrick Riddle: Well, I'll tell you what. It's not just your normal article. It's not your normal blog post, it’s in-depth. It is meaty, actionable. Awesomest.
JP Moses: So, we've said we come from a history of blogging. Both of us like to express and share. My blog was REItips. His was Must Know Investing. So we thought, as we were putting this project together, we want to be able to share freely the ideas that we have currently from our real estate investing businesses, what we're learning even now in real time, but also the wealth of what we've assembled in knowledge from our years in the trenches, as well as what we've learned from the people who've poured into us and our lives and whose shoulders we're standing upon.
But rather than just do another blog, when I think of a blog post, it’s typically… here's a tip on this thing that I learned and then here's a tip on yellow letters that I learned and here's a deal I recently did that has a cool story attached to it—and that's fine. There's nothing wrong with that. But we wanted to really do something more that's going to give you guys a much richer experience and a much bigger value each time. And that's where this idea of Knowledge Bombs came from. I’m not going to dig into any of these right now, but I just want to let you know already we have some there for you to dig into.
Patrick Riddle: Yes, we want you to dig into them. Head on over to AwesomeREI after the call and dive in, leave a comment., let us know what you think.
JP Moses: I would encourage you to start with this first one on the right: Time for Something Awesome. This sets the stage for everything else. And that's the only one that I would say is not a true Knowledge Bomb, because it's like the foundation under the house. I think it's a great place to start, though.
From there, you can see we've got 33 Ways to Build a Ridiculous Cash Buyers List. I'm telling you right now, when we got done putting that together, I was like, Patrick, we could sell this thing… but we're not, we're giving it to you because that's our culture now.
It's Knowledge Bombs. Boom! That is the last thing you will ever need to consume about how to build a cash buyers list for your wholesaling business, I can tell you that right now.
47 Awesomest MLS Keywords for Real Estate Investors, and much more to come. This is just a starter… a taste of what's ahead in terms of the Knowledge Bombs that we have cooking. You guys don't know this, but I have a different business outside of my real estate business, and I have a whole team of people who are at work taking our ideas and massaging them into Knowledge Bombs. So, exciting stuff coming. This is your taste.
I want to cordially invite you guys to, at your leisure, begin to make your way through these. Give us feedback, give us input. We are listening, we are reading every comment and we're excited to make this everything we possibly can for you guys, because it matches our values that matches our reason why and that scratches that itch for us.
When it not only matches are our why, but it also is what we feel would serve you best. We've been both actively teaching and training… I've been on the education side of real estate for a number of years and this is what we feel like can take things to the next level. This is what we're bringing you here.
So I think when you land on the site, you're going to see it's a little different. It's probably not going to seem like your normal real estate website. But that's okay. One of the things I want to make sure you do… look at what’s like an about us page, and I guarantee if you take a little time and look through that, you're going to smile and maybe LOL a couple times. Scrolling down, you see this section in blue that says, Meet Team Awesome. If you want to get to know Patrick a little better or me, you can toggle these, and you can actually read a little bit more about Patrick and who he is. But who cares about that? There's me, you can read about me.
But even more importantly, Charity Acres. Charity is our Chief Membership Experience gal, and those of you who've been around for a while, you know that we put a lot of emphasis in quality support for any of the trainings that we've ever done for any of the programs, even just for the blog, and Charity is our frontline of defense. She is an amazing gal and she oozes customer support. She is so good at what she does. So if you ever reach out to us, chances are Charity is going to be the first person you talk to. She is a champion for you guys. She's the one making sure that questions don't fall through the cracks. She's the one making sure that every single person gets taken care of in the way that they need to be taken care of, and she is a baking ninja. Not gonna lie.
Tim Trulia is our Numbers Cruncher guy. He's the one who looks at the numbers, so that we don't have to sweat it so much. He's super good at what he does. The man can eat Excel spreadsheets for lunch, and he definitely digs tater tots.
David Eldrid, you may never ever hear from David because he's very much behind the scenes. I think he likes it that way too. He is our Operations Underlord, and he's a super awesome guy too.
So, we're going to continue expanding the team. We actually have another person that we're going to be hiring soon to help Charity with support. We want to be open about who we are, about who's behind the scenes. We're not hiding behind a website or a smokescreen of any sort because we're very community-focused-community minded. And we want you to know who we are and what we're about.
You may notice also further down on this page, if these look familiar, these are our 12 Always Dues under the What Do We Stand For section. Those are all the values that we just went through, our synchronous values. You may also want to check out the 11 Always Don'ts and The 10 Awesomes.
As you can see, among the 11 Always Don'ts, one of my favorites is definitely: Don't Put Baby in a Corner. I'll just leave you guys to come back in and check that out. And, I want you to know that you can reach out to us on the Contact Us page. We're accessible. You can reach out to us through here. Again, Charity’s our first line, then she connects with us with whatever we need to look at or talk to her about or respond to.
Patrick Riddle: So, what was Private Money Blueprint LLC is AwesomeREI. All of the awesomeness that many of you are familiar with from the Private Money Blueprint Home Study Course, Private Money On Demand, Investor Profits On Demand, 10 Hour Wholesaler, you name it… it's all under the umbrella here of AwesomeREI. And we're excited to unveil this is.
JP Moses: We're going to jump into some Q&A to answer your questions, but first I want to remind you guys of what's ahead tomorrow night and Thursday night. Real Estate Investors Essential Lifecycle, The 5 Major Milestones Every Real Estate Investor Must Face in Your Career. The 2 major linchpins of your awesome success or epic failure… biggest obstacles that most newer investors face and how to obliterate them. We're going to talk about the tactical trap that everybody falls into and how you can avoid it. And the 3 axioms of awesome.
Alright, so let's jump into some Q&A, shall we?
Patrick Riddle: It's now time to ask us what's on your mind. It doesn't matter if it's totally unrelated to what is at hand here… you can ask us clarifying questions to get to your why… if you have a deal on your plate and you need some guys like us to run it by…if you've got a funding question… whatever it may be, just hit us with it.
And, JP, I'll let you tackle one I saw here:
“I am interested in virtual wholesaling only. Does this animal exist?”
JP Moses: Virtual wholesaling. Yes it does. For those who don't know, virtual wholesaling is kind of a buzzword that was first started by our mutual friend, Cris Chico. It’s basically another word for remote wholesaling or wholesaling in an area that's outside of the area that you live in.
It absolutely exists. There's no reason you can't do it. It is a slightly different approach than a lot of wholesalers are used to, but it certainly can happen. I know a lot of guys who do it. I do very well with it.
I do want to give you a bit of a caution… I don't know your situation. I don't know your story or your experiences or why you are interested in virtual instead of local—but a lot of people have a limiting belief that wholesaling won't work in their market. So they started looking at the grass that's greener on the other side. And I tend to recommend to people that unless you don't see other people wholesaling in your market—that maybe you try in your market first, because you do have a little bit lower barrier of entry in a few ways…
In my view, one of the signs that your market might not be the best for wholesaling, though, would be if you research… you look around and Google for a REIA group… if you basically see zero wholesalers, if there's no competition, then that may be a sign. It's not necessarily a sure-fire sign, but it's a possibility that you might be in an area where wholesaling is more challenging.
So anything to add to that, buddy?
Patrick Riddle: That's good stuff. You can definitely make it happen. I'm a fan, I like doing deals that are within arm’s reach, within 30 minutes of Charleston. However, for a little while, I wholesaled a couple deals in Phoenix, Arizona, back when the market was smoking hot.
When doing out-of-market flipping, I liked having some legs on the ground. So, a buddy of ours out there, he was our legs the ground to go scout out properties, get a repair estimate. It's not necessary to have legs on the ground, but I enjoy that and that's how I've done a little virtual wholesaling myself.
JP Moses: I think the best way to do it is to have somebody you know—whether it's through a co-wholesale arrangement or whatever it is—who can be those legs on the ground. It’s not hard to find somebody who's willing to do that if you bring the lead to the table.
The questions are just piling in….
“What information should I give a private lender, applying for a loan for the first time, besides property info?”
Patrick Riddle: I'll jump on this. With private lending, the private lenders whom I've worked with and teach students to work with, are asset-based lenders—meaning, the property is the collateral in the asset to the loan, not you, the person
So, with private lenders, I never gave them a social security number ever. I've never provided a private lender with the credit report or a financial statement. It's always been about the specific deal itself, the property, and in the fact, that it is the collateral and security for the loan. So I would suggest that you have a private lending PowerPoint presentation.
That's available for free if you don't have it. It's a simple template where you can fill it out and use that to sit down with a potential private lender to walk them through it. If you don't have that yet, just email our support or send a message through the Reach Out area, we'll send you that.
But basically, I've found it’s the most effective process with a private lender. Use that presentation, that's gonna give the lender all the information you need and also allow you to collect the info you need, and it doesn't have anything to do with giving them personal information like your social security number or credit score, any of that stuff.
JP Moses: Patrick, I have another question here. Brian says:
“I'm 36 years old. Is it too late for me to get into investing? I paid for a school, but feel lost with what's out there. What should be my next option to get my investing going?”
I'll say right off the bat, everybody who is 40 and over just got very offended that you would even ask that question!
Patrick Riddle: No, it's definitely not too late. I mean, not even close. We've got students who are in their 60s, 70s and on up from there. It's never too late. You can get out there and make it happen.
And I used to have a limiting belief that I was too young and that I will look too young, when I was 23, the first full year of investing… I seriously looked like I was 15. Old, young… doesn't matter. You can make it happen.
Start out soaking up as much information as possible about the different strategies with real estate and different business models. And you want to figure out your goals, your dreams, your why, and what business model and what niche of properties you want to focus on. That's the biggest thing—if you can figure that out early on, that's going to hone all of your study time and action time down to a specific business model and method.
So I would suggest soaking up information on wholesaling, fixing & flipping, rentals, and then deciding, “Okay, this is my strategy that I'm going to move forward with,” and just focus in so you know what kind of information, knowledge and whatnot to seek out.
JP Moses: I want to say this to Brian—what you're going through, that sense of overwhelm and a deer in headlights combined with a lost sheep—that is so normal and you are in such good company to go through that. It's kind of a rite of passage your first year, if you will, to go through that smoke screen, that cloud of uncertainty.
First something sparks you, right? You get sparked into real estate investing and you're like: real estate investing is where it's at! And then you get into it and you find yourself subscribing to email lists and you're like, “Whoa, I just got into thinking about this thing when I saw Flip This House and now I see this thing called wholesaling. Well that looks pretty good. Whoa, lease options!”
Then the, “Whoa, I can do this,” Kind of went, “What the heck is a Contract for Deed?” And the rabbit hole just gets deeper and wider and deeper and wider and deeper and wider. And before you know it, you're like, “Ahhhh, this is too stressful… subject-to’s and flex options and…”
That is a normal part of the process. Your mission is to not nail it right out of the gate. Your mission is to try and figure out, try and absorb enough information without the pressure to get it right. Even the first time. Absorb enough information about what's out there to try and find a niche that you think is the best fit as best you can tell—you won't know for sure until you try it—but the best fit for your personality, for your likes and dislikes, for your market that you're in. And you can't necessarily make that determination based on a video sales letter or a presentation that somebody makes about their training program, because while they're training program is very good, what you're looking at is designed to promote that material, including ours.
But, you do have to do your best to look inside yourself and look outside yourself and say, “What do I think is maybe the best place for me to start in this real estate investing space and invest a little bit of money in learning about how to do that.?”
Go to the library and get some books and read on it. Invest, maybe $100 bucks to $300 bucks in a training program, and then go out there and start to get your feet wet. Don't go out and spend $10 grand or $5 grand or $20 grand on a training program or a big event or something when you don't even know for sure what type of investor you're going to be yet, because you'll likely blowing your money.
That's why we talk about the free hotel trainings that occur. You know, we know a lot of the guys, actually, who put those on, and I just think it does an injustice to investors by setting an expectation when they don't even know if they want to be a wholesaler or rehabber yet, because you have to have a little bit of trial by fire.
So once you start down that road, you may discover—give yourself 6 months—you may go, “This isn't right for me because I thought I wanted passive income through rentals, but turns out I kind of hate dealing with tenants, I'd rather stick hot pokers in my eyes than deal with tenants.” (That's how I feel.)
So, if you discover that and you're like, “Man, this is really not a good fit for my personality,” that's normal… pull out and go try something else. It's not about the individual tactic or strategy and nailing it right out of the gate, it's about the bigger picture of what real estate can accomplish and how that matches with your goals and your vision.
You don't have to get it right, right out of the gate. Just keep moving forward. Just try a little bit and try a little bit of something else. When you find that sweet spot, though, put blinders on and hunker down and focus on doing that thing and nothing else. You do the crap out of that thing and then and you don't keep going wide, you go deep—an inch wide and a mile deep instead.
So that's the process that you're in. I know this is probably hitting home for a lot of people who identify with those feelings and being a part of that process… but I just want you to know it's normal. Don't be super stressed out about it. Just go through it. I've been through it, Patrick, I'm sure you went through some version of that.
Patrick Riddle: Yeah, for sure.
We’ve got a lot of questions in here:
“I am a complete newbie. Never done deal. What do I do first?
So in addition to a little bit of what we shared… a great thing when you're just getting started: go to your local REIA or whatever investment groups are in your area. Just start networking, hanging around, getting to know some other active investors in your community. Just being around some movers and shakers, people who are making things happen and doing deals is going to be good for you.
Go down to the foreclosure auction and just experience it… see what happens. Go buy a couple of books, read some blogs and websites and just start that education process. Start networking, team-building… that's some of the best stuff that you can do when getting started—even if it's not specifically in marketing to motivated sellers and generating leads and making offers.
“What’s the best business cards for investors?
Do they have to be professional or can they be quirky?”
They can be either. A lot that you'll probably come across are more professional. But, be yourself. I don't think it has to be a big decision. You can go on to VistaPrint… put your information on there, at least you've got something to hand others as you're networking and getting to know them.
JP Moses: Okay…
“I'm new to this business and do not know exactly where to start. I've been doing webinars with so many different people. I just feel very confused about which business model to follow. I get your value and I can identify with JP and Patrick. I'd like to come on board with your business model. I do not have any real money to invest. I want to learn this and I will work hard. How do I get started?”
JP Moses: I want to say our business model is really not what we're here to sell you tonight. I mean, I like to do wholesaling right now, and occasionally we'll do something outside of that, but that may not be the right fit for you. (We can talk about that in a different setting.)
We have programs and training and stuff that have to do with a different wholesaling models. But, I just want to say that's not really our message and I don't want you to walk away with that message in terms of how to get started. I want to refer you back to what I said a minute ago about wading through all the cloudiness of uncertainty. A lot of people get.
Some of the questions I've seen have been, “Man, I'm broke and I got to have money now. How do I get into wholesaling and get paid as fast as possible?” And I don’t know, what's your thought? There's been a few of those types of questions. Patrick, how would you respond to that type of question?
Patrick Riddle: I'm staring at another question… lost his job last week, married son in college, no income, wants to quickly get into wholesaling…
JP Moses: I feel like I don't want to diminish the potential to make quick cash in wholesaling right out of the gate because it exists. It can happen. And I don't want you to go pull your credit card out and buy this right now, but we have a program that's probably tailor-made for that. It's our 10 Hour Wholesaler program taught by Justin Wilmot.
But, I think that if you're in a position where you’re bent over a barrel, and you’re broker than broke and you're in a bad way and you've got to make money and you're looking at wholesaling as the answer and you don't know how to do it yet… that's not a plan I think that you should stick with.
You’re in a position of trauma and triage financially, and that's not a good place to make good decisions on deals. You always make the best decision when you don't need the deal, when you don't need the money. And there's nothing wrong with being in need. I understand that. I've been there. But if you're in a place of desperation, you're going to do everything you can to try and make a deal happen. And your judgment is going to be questionable.
So I would encourage you to look for a way to get out of the financial triage before you go all in with something like this. Learn, but don't depend upon it to get you out of your emergency.
Patrick Riddle: Maybe find a way, even if you have to work in a job that you don't like, that you think is below you, that at least gives you the income to have something coming in. Having to do a deal to eat is a tough position to be in. Especially if you're new. And it's not that it can't happen. I mean, at any point in time you can… there's deals out there, there's motivated sellers, there's people who need out. And can you find them, put them under contract, close next week and flip the deal—sure, it can happen. It does happen.
But to put yourself in a position where you're relying on making that happen… there’s a 2-step approach to it:
- Find a way that you can get a reliable source of income coming in
- And then put the pedal to the metal on the wholesaling side of things
JP Moses: Go back to my story that I shared earlier. You're running from a negative and that's not a good place to be. You may be motivated to hustle, but you're hustling out of fear… to try and run away from financial pain as opposed to hustling because you have a reason why.
It's like a beacon of hope that motivates you in a positive way. So that's the place that I think you need to really dig in your heels and make this happen. And in the meantime, come up with something that isn't as up in the air and unknown as building a business to solve your financial emergency.
That's not the answer you're probably looking for, but that's just the straight answer that I’ve got to give and to have a good conscience.
Patrick Riddle: To fire away at wholesaling… if you use the 10 Hour Wholesaler model that Justin Wilmot uses—you network with wholesalers who already have deals under contract that are on a timeline, where they have to have a buyer—focus on networking with those wholesalers who have the deals… build your cash buyers list, and we've got a post sitting on AwesomeREI.com “33 Ridiculous Ways to Build Your Cash Buyer List,” and just take massive action. Ready or not jump in, dive in.
JP Moses: Okay…
“How do you protect your earnest money when purchasing a bank REO, or for that matter, a property being bought as-is?”
So, protecting your earnest money. Well, I don't do a lot of REO deals anymore. I did for quite some time, but that's not where our opportunity market is right now in the area. So, let me talk about our mom-and-pop deals, where we're going belly to belly with an individual seller… we just don't do earnest money, we don't put it down.
We basically don't even bring it up. We just do $10 earnest money on the contract, and if they ask us about it at all, we say, “We make a lot of offers, for a lot of houses, put a lot of contracts down, it's not practical for us to put $500, $1,000 down multiple times a month.
So most people don't realize that you don't really have to have that in a contract. It's just a formality. But we just don't do it as company policy.
When it comes to REOs, you're going to have to put earnest money down. And really, the only way you protect it is by having a good contingency in your contract for an inspection, or financing—one of those two. If you don't have one of those two contingencies, your earnest money is at risk. That's just the way the game is played. So hopefully that helps.
Patrick Riddle: Yeah, that is excellent.
JP Moses: Next question:
“Any of you use Podio?”
Yes, I use Podio. Patrick, you don’t.
So, it's a CMS for my whole company right now. Everything… contacts for buyers, for everybody. It's really more than I can explain in a short conversation, but I'm glad we're using it.
It has a learning curve, and it's not like you can just plug in and everything is easy from the get go. It's so customizable, you can do so much with it.
But because of that, it has a learning curve. So I do use it. I may try FreedomSoft again, once it relaunches. Our buddy, Rob Swanson, is giving it a whole huge upgrade that he's building into it. It's going to be pretty sweet from the sound of it.
“Will this be our one-stop real estate investing training company? There’s just too many choices when it comes to real estate training companies.”
Well, our vision for this is not necessarily to try and create a training program for every type of investing you can do.
Patrick Riddle: Yeah, there's, plenty of subject matter that we're personally not experts in… other types of niches and business models that you can focus on courses that aren't ours. And I definitely don't see us as a one-stop shop for everyone. We have a, just a specific audience, and niches of real estate that we excel in and are really good at and have training programs on.
JP Moses: We have friends in the industry as well who are excited to be a part of this with us. Justin Wilmot is an example of that. Justin has a specific model of wholesaling, a specific version of it… and we've extracted that out of him and created training around what he does, so that other people can duplicate it.
We've got another friend in the industry—who I'm not at liberty to talk about yet because we're still in talks with them about it—he has a specialty in the abandoned houses arena that we are working on. I'm putting some specific training together to duplicate what he's been able to accomplish with this sweet arena of abandoned houses.
So when we put some training out that's going to be a training program, first of all, it's going to be within reach… we're not looking to sell $10,000 books and tapes. So we want to make sure that it's within reach for people, but at the same time, it needs to meet our standards of quality—and you're going to know exactly what it is and what it isn't.
If you look at anything that we offer right now, we try to be very clear about what this it and who is right for and who it's not right for. So, we're not all things to all people in real estate investing, but we want everything we do to match our values and our culture and to have fun and to be awesome… and just to be kind of weird. Maybe keep it a little bit weird too.
But, it's about you guys, not about us. It's about our flavor of what we have to offer, providing value in your world, right where you are.
“How easy is it to find reliable people or local firms to assist me in renovating a property?”
I assume you mean like to general contractor. The best way to find a general contractor is to ask other investors. So you need to find those watering holes locally for other investors. Here's a little tip: Your REIA group may be too big. Sometimes there's not the best networking opportunities if you have a regroup that's very lecture-focused. I love our REIA group. I started our group, but it's not the best place for me to find a contractor necessarily. The space is not conducive to that at monthly meetings.
So, one of my kind of secret weapons is: I work hard to position myself as a center of influence in the local real estate investing space. This is a lesson I learned by starting our local REIA group. I have gained so much value out of being the guy who started the group—just being visible and being seen and serving people by running this group for the first decade of my career.
I think I can say that every deal I had ever done until that point in some way involved somebody that I knew through the real estate association that have started. So I have continued to take what I learned from that and even now I want to continue to position myself as a center of influence within the local real estate arena… and one of the ways I did that is I recently started a Meetup group.
Meetup.com is a place where anybody can go and find people who have a common interest. If you go to meetup.com and look in your area, there’s a lot of people… everything from real estate investors meeting and the Shoney's down the street to guys who like to drink beer on Thursday nights and watch movies in their garage together, and everything in between.
So I started a Meetup group. And, specifically, we meet once a month at a pizza joint for 2 hours—it's like an extended dealmakers networking session for wholesalers and rehabbers only. I made it narrower. Wholesalers and rehabbers. You come, you share deals, you ask what people need—like “I needs a professional plumber”—and a guy will say here's a plumber whom I used that you can use. Or, “I need a general contractor.” Or, “Who does hard money locally?”
It's amazing what has come out of these meetings just by being a facilitator. All I'm doing is facilitating this. So I want to hand that to all of you guys as an opportunity to embed yourself. Start a Meetup group around a subsection that you're right in the center of and facilitate the whole thing.
Remember, we said give first is one of our core values. This is an opportunity for you to give first to the community… and you know what happens… I had 3 people come up to me after this last meeting and say, “Hey, I got this deal. I don't have a buyer for it. Would you want to run it by your buyers list?”
Because I said during the meeting, “We love co-wholesaling. If you have a deal. We got the buyers list, bring us your deal and we'll run it by our buyers lists and split it with you.”
They came right up to me, and we've got one of those deals working right now. That's a really strong tactic that you can wield in your market. It's going to pay dividends for you that you can't even imagine
Let's keep going…
“What are the action steps to flip a house and a lot?”
Well, I'm gonna assume that the house and the lot or together… first thing is, you’ve got to find out if it's a deal—do the numbers make sense? So you analyze it… if the numbers do make sense—because either you can see a retail market that you're going to sell to and you can see that when you subtract the repairs out in the purchase price, it leaves a good margin… or you know that there's cash buyers who are buying these types of deals and you can sell/flip it to them as-is for profit margin. Determine one of those two things…
Then the next step is to put it under contract. I'm going to go the wholesaling route for the rest of this example. If you want you have it under contract, you control the property and you want to market your contract to a list of cash buyers. If you don't know how to get cash buyers, I refer you to the Knowledge Bond about 33 ways you can get cash buyers—we've posted it on the website.
So, you want to market that property to your cash buyers, it should be a sweet deal. If somebody raises their hand and says, “Heck, yes! I want that house and that lot. Please give that to me.” Great! You can then sign another contract to sell to them even though you don't own it yet. You can sign another contract to sell it to this new person. As long as you don't close the two of them—you don't want to sell it before you buy it because then that's illegal.
But if you have a contract to sell, as long as you buy it even a moment before you sell it, that's totally fine and you get the spread. That's a simultaneous closing, or you can just assign your contract over to them for a fee, and they step into your shoes in that contract.
You go to closing, you get paid a check if you did a simultaneous closing—two closings, you pay a little more closing costs—you take title just for a split second and you have to bring some funds to the table or you have to have transactional funding of some sort. But, you get a check for the spread in the middle.
If you just assigned the contract, then you just get your assignment fee. It's just a line item on the HUD and you walk away with a check. And the deed is transferred to the end buyer. And congratulations, you flipped a house and a lot. Those are the steps.
Patrick Riddle: Okay…
“What if you use your own property to put other homes on it for rental?”
I think she maybe owns a property already and is asking about if you were to use a property that you own to put houses on it for rentals… so maybe to build houses on it or maybe to move houses on it… could you use a property you already own to maybe subdivide it and build some other houses or put other houses on there and rent it out? Sure. There's potential there.
JP Moses: Okay…
“How do I go about buying my first rental property?”
Well, don't… I'm just kidding. I've talked about some of the pain I’ve had with rentals…
Here's my first advice. When you are analyzing a possible rental property, make sure that you take all expenses into account… factor them all in, including a percentage for estimated repairs and maintenance and a reserve for vacancy. Don't assume 100% vacancy or 100% occupancy, and make sure that you take those into consideration.
Make sure that your profit margin after principal interest taxes, insurance, and a reserve for vacancy and a reserve for repairs… is at least $300, please. No less than that would be my opinion. And, frankly, I feel like you should go for higher-end properties, even though the numbers tend to look pretty sexy on low-end properties.
The vacancies will eat your lunch… the quality of tenants you’re dealing with will eat your lunch, if you're not an experienced landlord. I'd go for houses that rent for at least $1,000 a month or better, so you can deal with tenants who are kind of reasonable people like you, I’m a little jaded about tenants.
I've been a tenant, so I feel like I can speak from experience. I would also say make sure that you have cash reserves, because it's not a matter of if but when you're going to have to replace a roof or a whole central heat and air unit. Don’t go into this without some cash reserves to take care of those things.
Patrick Riddle: I would not recommend trying to buy a rental property just so you own a property. If the equity is based on what you think it's worth and what she owes is going to be razor thin and the cash flow is going to be negligent… why are you buying it? So that maybe if you hold it for years, it'll eventually pay?
Make sure you know why you're buying it when you're going in and leave yourself with some room, because that room can quickly disappear in an up-and-down market. If you're doing a deal that's razor thin and if everything works out, you'll make some money… watch out because something's going to happen and it's better to be safe and have over budgeted for potential repairs and costs and all that stuff, then the other way around.
JP Moses: I got a question here…
“I just need leads. I have plenty of cash buyers ready.”
What I want to do is show you guys a mind map that we use in our wholesaling company that just shows you the types of lead generation we're doing right now that's bringing in leads. This just give you a snapshot of what's going on. While I pull it up, Patrick, would you mind answering: What are the essential professionals to build a solid team?
Patrick Riddle: Your essential professionals… my first question would be: What's your business model? Essential professionals for a wholesaling business versus a buy & hold business are going to be different. Your essential professionals if you're dealing with mobile homes or if you're dealing with single-family houses or apartment buildings are going to be a little different.
So, know your niche, know what types of property you're buying… and having somebody on board like a Realtor who can help you value properties, know what stuff's worth, if you're not a Realtor yourself or if you don't have those skillsets.
If your business model has anything to do with repairs, either estimating them so that you can make the right offer upfront if you're wholesaling or if you're doing the renovations in the backend… having somebody like.
My favorite thing for team building period is getting referrals. So, getting someone who can help you value property, someone who can help you estimate repairs and things that are going to be wrong with the property. Those are two extremely valuable first team members to have on board. And whoever might handling closings—whether it's a closing attorney or title company.
I'm a huge fan of going first and foremost to referrals.
JP Moses: So, can you see the mind map here on the screen.
I haven't started this yet, but I got this idea from a buddy of ours recently. Laundromat flyers… basically paying someone to put tear sheet flyers and/or business cards. At every laundromat in town. That would be a real easy thing to systematize once a month.
Mining through the MLS. That includes low-balls on distressed properties and old listings. We don't actively do HUD, but we have done HUD campaigns. We're not actively doing that right now. We don't actively buy leads right now either, but we have several channels… Ebuyer and FastHomeOffer, Bandit signs, Craigslist, we do actively post Craigslist ads.
The bandit sign sneak attack. I learned this from a Dwan Bent Twyford: 50 bandit signs a month all in one day. So one day a month you go put out 50 bandit signs, and you put them in the yards of vacant houses in your targeted farm area because code enforcement doesn't care what's in the yard of a vacant house. So you don't get calls from the house cops. And if you have enough vacant houses in the area, suddenly the neighborhood looks around and they're like, “Whoa, this investor bought up the whole area. He must be the guy to call if I need to sell my house.” You can pay somebody like a $1.25 or $150 a sign to put them out. You can use SimpleCrew.com to track where they get put.
We were on Craigslist ads constantly. Our VA handles that. Post It Notes, I learned that from Cody Sperber—blanketing certain neighborhoods with Post It Notes, stick it on the door, it looks like they missed a package. And SEO. We get some traffic because our website is a pretty good. We reach out to landlords sometimes, we haven't been as consistent with that as we should.
And tax sale properties is kind of a new and for us. Direct mail is really our bread and butter, though. We're running absentee owners in our top 15 zip codes that have owned the property for at least 20 years. I keep track of a lot of this stuff in spreadsheets so that I can rinse and repeat a lot of it.
I've done probates over the years, had a lot of great success with them. Didn't do them for a long time just because I didn't have a good system for them, but we've rebooted the system. So our probates are actually starting back up this week. Probates tend to be some of our highest-margin deals. And vacant tax-defaulted properties that are both on the tax default list and vacant. That's a great list. We're just about to send that campaign out early next week and probate.
Facebook messages. I'm not going to go into that because we haven't tested that yet. I learned it from a friend. So I got previous campaigns and possible campaigns we're looking at. But that gives you a window into the digital lead generation side of our company.
“Do you have a good deal analyzer program?”
Patrick Riddle: If they're looking for a good deal analyzer program, our good friend Danil Kleyman has a software called Rehab Valuator. He's got a free version and a paid version. Even the free version is awesome. Check it out. If you need the link to that, you can email our support and charity can give you a link. He also just made an online platform, just launched it in the past few weeks and he's still got a free version of that as well. So you don't pay anything for the free version and enjoy.
JP Moses: The paid version is worth it, though. We've started using it and it's a pretty sweet. I like how he put it together.
“What is the fastest way to generate leads and should you set up a business entity?”
It's probably bandit signs. You’ve just got to hustle them out there. And a lot of times, if your code enforcement is particularly rough, you're going to put them out on a Friday afternoon and pick them back up on Sunday night because code enforcement doesn't work on the weekend.
Should you set up a business entity? Yes, but don't let that slow you down. If you're worried, maybe I shouldn't go out and start trying to do deals and sling mud until I had my business entity… you need to get that out of your mind. You need to make fast forward action, press ahead. But yes, set up a business entity.
We run our wholesaling company through an LLC. I can't advise you as to what the best entity is for you. I can tell you that friends of mine have training programs. We don't currently sell them on our website, but you can Google them and find them. I recommend both of them.
One of them is John Hyre—The Real Estate Investor’s Kiss Guide To Asset Protection. And then if you really want to go deep, which I would not recommend right away because this is pretty intense, but the best out there is Dyches Boddiford at Assets101.com. Dyches is one of the brilliant real estate asset protection minds alive today, but it's thick stuff. So brace yourself.
“Was being a broker beneficial to my business.”
It was, but it wasn't everything. I'm not currently licensed. And by the way, I wasn't a broker. I was an affiliate broker, there is a difference. I'm kind of on the fence… it’s six in one, half a dozen in the other.
A lot of people believe strongly one way or the other. The best scenario is to have somebody who's licensed but it not be you. If you could pull that off, that's the best. Maybe your partner or your spouse, so you don't have to go through those classes and get spruced up on the knowledge and all that kind of stuff.
Patrick Riddle: Alright guys and gals. We've got another training session tomorrow night and another one the next night. We're here for you. Boom.
JP Moses: Awesome, thanks guys. Go read those Knowledge Bombs. Take care. Cheers to you. JP and Patrick, we’re out of here.
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