Season 4 Episode 48:
Finding and Closing Deals in a Challenging Market
with John Campbell
Welcome to the Get Traction Podcast, a show aimed at educating aspiring real estate entrepreneurs. Today, Tom welcomes to the podcast real estate entrepreneur, John Campbell, who shares some of the exciting deals he’s been working on. Despite the difficult conditions that the global pandemic has thrown his way, John and his sons have been able to continue closing deals throughout the Southern New Jersey and South Carolina markets. John discusses the importance of persevering through challenges and obstacles in real estate, how he performed prior to attending Tom’s workshop and the incredible results he’s been able to accomplish post-workshop.
- 00:13 – Tom introduces today’s guest, John Campbell who joins the show to share his experience as a real estate investor and the deals he has in the pipeline today
- 07:26 – John speaks to other wholesale deals he’s working on
- 15:55 – The importance of persevering through the challenges of wholesaling
- 17:15 – John shares another story of his experience as a real estate entrepreneur
- 23:31 – John talks about how his business was performing prior to meeting Tom and what John learned from Tom’s workshop
- 31:58 – Advice John would give to those looking to break into this industry
- 35:15 – The single biggest thing that changed for John over the past year and a half
- 41:07 – John speaks to his goals for the coming year
- 45:25 – Tom and John discuss the importance of repetition
- 49:38 – John talks about dealing with unpleasant people in his business
- 53:53 – John shares his specific experience with outbound marketing and the results it yields
- 56:11 – Tom thanks John for joining the show
Connect with John
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Tom’s Website – https://tractionrealestatementors.com/
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It was the week of closing, if you can believe this, he called and threatened the attorney's office. He was coming in with his assault rifles on the plate, don't do anything where, you know, I'm going to, I'm taking everybody out. I'm blowing up the place. So my son calls the attorney and he says, Hey, listen, just so you know, I think we have a problem.
Welcome to the get traction podcast. If you are ready to learn exactly what it takes to become a real estate entrepreneur. This is the show for you. With your host, founder of traction, real estate mentors, and president of the traction real estate investors Association, Tom z.
Welcome back. Tom Zeb, here, looking forward to sharing this week's episode with john Campbell. JOHN is a student of mine, operating in both New Jersey and South Carolina. And I'm super excited to share his story about how he's broken through and moving ahead massively, and how he's turned it into a family business with his kids as well. So without further ado, let's get into this conversation with john. JOHN Campbell. Welcome to the program. How
are you? Great, Tom, thanks for having me on. So you guys, you know, I'm a real estate investor here in the Cape May New Jersey area, we also invest in Charleston, South Carolina, have my sons kind of work in that market down there and bounce back between the two. But we work mostly South Jersey. And so thanks to you and your rapid cash generator workshop, it's been just the tips we've picked up there. And just been applying. It's been amazing. You know, we had a good year, believe it or not, you know, I hear you hear a lot of different things. But it can be just stay focused and just do the work to get the results.
That's amazing, right? You have a good year, even through the COVID year. So tell me it's been about a year and a half. Since we met since you joined my program, what's, what kind of deals you've been doing in time, john.
So we've done some, done some rehabs done some wholesale deals, we've purchased a couple of rental properties. And we're getting ready to start our first new construction, which happened to come about through some deals we were looking at as wholesales the one thing we learned is to have multiple exit strategies, you know, figure out what works. Sometimes, you know, a deal that looks like a deal may not be a deal for one strategy, but it is for another, you know, so we've kind of we passed, you know, we had we passed on a couple because we weren't sure. And then you know this, we had to get a little more resourceful. during these times. There's so much competition out there right now that just kind of had to attack things from a different angle. And we're doing some things that looks like it's going to work. And it's been working, and we just, you know, kind of feel on our way, but just keep applying the pressure. Awesome. Well,
let's break. I want to talk more about competition in a minute. But let's break some of those deals down first. So at one point, you would emailed me in advance of her saying you are on track to hit the six figure mark in about eight months time. 10 months time is
10 months. Yep. Yep. So it was right at just about the end of the year, I think was right before Christmas, actually. And we had some things lined up. We ended up closing out 192,000 for that first year. And you know, it's funny, I kept hearing my son's you know, who are dying to get to a live event with you, you know, if we promised do that, and then, you know, couple hurdles, but we're going to get there. So they heard me saying things, but they weren't really quite sure where it was coming from, you know, so I kept hearing like, find a deal. Make the deal, close the deal. And the thing that I remember you saying is, you know, you can go through the steps, but until you actually close it, you don't get paid for years to get paid. Right. And sounds simple enough. But, you know, I think it would be easy to you know, you get to do you get it under contract, and you're like, oh, okay, let me put my feet up, let everybody else do the work. But we found and I'm sure a lot of other people found that that's not so. So the work started when we actually thought we were just about completing it, you know? So our first our first deal came from a bandit sign. And the sellers it was father and son team, you know, the son called us and he said, You know, my, my father's not doing so well selfs fate and you know, I want to be able to take care of him, but I'm moving in with us. You know, we want to sell our house, you know, come take a look at it. So we set up an appointed a couple days later, we went to the house, you know, did the old you know went through the motions and it was one of those where we were looking to take it on as you know was was like we can rehab this and you know, make it look nice in in. Yeah. With what the contract when we started looking at you know all the possibilities. We still have AB This is bigger than we want to take on right now. So let's come up with a wholesale strategy. It is also part of our negotiating technique was to say hey, We offered them a price. And it was a little bit lower than they wanted. And, you know, so we tried coming up, we got to their bottom line. And I said, Listen that, that doesn't work for us. So let me talk to my dad, you know, so went through a couple more days, and they weren't going to budge. So I saw this, we thought about and I said, that number doesn't work for us, you know, with our strategy. But give us a little bit more time we'll change our strategy, we can make it work, and we'll move this house for you. So he said, sounds great. So so that's we. So instead of looking at as a rehab, we just did it strictly as a wholesale. By the end of the week, we had it under contract. We were getting a $15,000 assignment fee on that. And everything was good to go. Until the day before closing, of course, drawn earlier drama late yet. And all that rang true. I remember you talking about it, you know. So, the day before closing? We got a phone call from the sun said my father passed away last night. And we're like, wow, okay, now what, but now, the buyers, our you know, our buyers are ready to go there. They got contractors lined up, they're ready to get in there. And, you know, the race pad it's going to take take a year to get this done. What have you, fortunately, because of all, you know, probates, one of my favorite campaigns, you know, so I spend a lot of time down the court, I was spending a lot of time down in the courthouse, you know, I have a concept when the surrogates office, I called down to her, spoke with her and she said, Listen, give me the name. Give me the address. You know, what have you and we'll work on expediting. Yes. So, from the time I got his call, to the time we actually closed was two days later, I walked in through she got all the paperwork lined up. She said haven't come in after hours. It'll be sit here in this mailbox. Morning, you know, helped him with all the paperwork. And we close two days later. So that was the old get paid, kept coming in my head, you know?
It ain't over till it's over. You can't rest you know, you can't back off. You can't rest on your laurels. You've got to it ain't over till the checks clear the bank. Yes. So there's vigilance need the whole time, folks? I mean, fantastic. We're able to get that done in two days, because it's almost a Herculean effort, because a lot of people get around. Some people get derailed the first sign of trouble, but that's not exactly a small problem. So well done.
Yeah, yeah. Thanks. Mike, who's going to help me with this? I called the surrogate, you know, and she's like, we'll get it done. No, no big deal. We'll take care of everything. So was great. It's gonna happen. No, it's not bad. No, God was what month was added. That was in Wednesday, it was late. So that was the other chat was late December, early January. So it was probably right around. It was like Christmas, New Year's, you know, so that's the other thing, you know, in the midst of COVID. Christmas, New Year's? Yep. Yep. Yep. When a lot of people were off on vacation, you know. So we persisted, and we got that one done. You know, awesome.
was, you know, tell you a smashing out. You know, you were saying you're hoping to hit six figures in a year, you wind up doing almost double that not double six figure but double, you know, you know,
we'd say about 191 92 in a year. Yep. For last year got antastic.
So tell us about some of those other deals, that was a $15,000 wholesale fee in the midst of COVID. Having to scramble at the last minute to save it from the fact that the owner had passed away. What other deals have you done? And you told me about some other wholesale deals, he had some pretty hefty fees to another 30 or 15.
Yeah, yep. So we did trying to take on this one here. We had, I got a call from one of our mailers, was an absentee owner and spoke with the seller. She said, you know, hey, again, it was kind of an area that I was in. It's funny, I was a little slow on the uptake on this one, because it was an area that we weren't really looking to do too much invest in it, you know. And so, during the conversation, I said, Okay, listen, you know what, I'll take a look at this. We'll look at the numbers, I'll check the property out. And while we're doing Do you have any other properties that you might be interested in selling, she said, matter of fact, it happened to be, you know, in a town not far from where I'm at now on the bay. So I have water views that had been her property manager didn't winterize at one year, and so the pipes broke. And so the distress came the mold, you know, the whole deal. And so, I said, Well, listen, I'll give you we'll take a look at both of them. And we ended up kind of flip flopping the numbers a little bit. I went a little bit more than I think we went 10,000 over because it was I knew at this point, there was a little bit of competition, you know, there's other people so she'd got some other offers. So I said, Listen, we'll buy both properties. They're only offering to buy one, we'll give you a 10,000 more than we told you. But the other property is not as attractive. So we're gonna have to reduce the price on that a little bit. So adding 10 here and lowered it by 10. On the other end, you know, the same amount. Yeah, yeah. So it sounds a lot better. Yeah, yeah. Right. And she's like, you know, I like you. It came down. She goes, I like you. We've talked, I trust you. And you're going to take both properties off my hands. So it just it only makes sense for me to do the deal with you. So that was about as good as he got. And so I heard that little voice again, you know, make the Find the deal. Make the deal. close the deal. So, the little Tansy voice Yeah, I see you right here on my shoulder. Angel side. That's right. My son's a little more intrigued now, because they're like, here we go. Again, you know what's happening. So the lady ended up being a doctor, she was disabled. The one property was in. It was her old doctor's office, she had an apartment upstairs. doing some research, we found out that it was currently a duplex, we could turn it into a triplex set everything up, you know, through the town, everything was good. The place on the bay, we looked at, you know, as you know, if you tore it down and built notes, that's all there. They're tearing them down, they'll monsters out there, you know, so. So we had some good numbers for that. And we ended up closing on the one on the bay, we got a 20. I think it was we were looking for 25,000 that we ended up getting 22,000 on that assignment fee. And then the one that we weren't really interested and we picked up another 15 on that one. So was good, you know,
so you wholesale, both one for 15,001 for 22,000. From the same seller that you got you said what was the source? What was that was a an absentee owner mailer, there we go.
So like I said, that was as easy as that one got, getting that one to close in was a little bit. So the doctor was disabled, she wasn't the best at answering the phone, it took us probably 30 days longer to get that deal done than we debated, you know, 2930 days, somewhere in there. And we were afraid we were going to lose it because she just wasn't responding, you know. And then like the 11th hour, she wanted to just get rid of it. This one was interesting, because she was supposed to have somebody clean the place out. You know, she had some things in there that she wanted. And she wasn't willing to give it up until her things were out. She didn't know when somebody was going to come help her. So I said, don't worry about that. So my wife and I rented a u haul it over. We cleaned the place out, delivered it and closed the next day.
I think that's worth moving some things and getting a u haul. Right? Yeah, you know, the legal term, you know, that vacant and broom clean. They're supposed to deliver the property vacant and broom clean. Most of the time I say, forget about broom, clean, I could care less just be out of it. You're typically vacant. If you want anything, we'll get it to you. You could always hire somebody or you go do it yourself. Just get the stuff out and tell them what it is and go because who's gonna make but who's gonna move mountains more than you? Right? You and your wife you went and you got it done, where you're sitting around waiting for her. I mean, she's not going to go get it herself if she's disabled. So you just have to send somebody and sometimes people just slow getting things done.
Yeah, no, absolutely. And you know, like I said, answering the phone. We were hoping it was going to close was set to close on a Monday. This was Sunday morning. She called she said Listen, I didn't get my stuff out. I don't have anybody. I said don't worry about it. We're going to take care of it. I'll have it to you by this afternoon. Yep. So, you know, like I said, we read and then I treated my wife for lunch. You know? That was a fair, that was a fair trade. 15,000 I guess we'll change our plans on Sunday. You know, it was good. That one got interesting that we actually closed the deal. And we got paid. So it was interesting. I'm trying to think how this whole thing basically, I unbeknownst to me, I didn't personally know who the buyer was, you know, I never met them. Our title agent works closely with us. He You know, he sent me a message, great guy, you know, blah, blah, blah. Everything went smooth. I'm like, Okay, good. By mid week, he told me to check it bounce. So I said, check it bounce. So he took a personal check. And the guy was, I think 28,000 short on the purchase. And so he got a little bit hairy there. So was back on the phone, you know, we worked it out. He ended up bringing in another partner we got the deal done, you know, because he said, Listen, I mean, we're gonna I'm gonna have to cancel all the checks. The deals not done. So we ended up fixing that too. And I said, Please don't take any more personal checks when people you know, may
have a little surprise now where where did this buyer come from them?
It was coming from the north end. We did just a marketing campaign. We found him online. Okay, no did everything You know, basically virtually send him some pictures What have you checked everything out? And, ya know, everything was good except for the money that he was short 28,000
yeah being 20,000 shorts a small problem now did you win? You know, I teach you that check the buyers out and ask for the bank statements make sure they've got the money in the bank. So you know, that qualifies in the move ahead. Did you do that on this month? Oh,
yeah. So he had the money initially, and I guess he had overspent, you know, he bought a couple other properties. And so, so we got that worked out, too. But it was unlike so Second, we close. And we still had to go back and do a little more work to wrap it up.
Now, you know, buyer control is such a big part of the deal. And these are the obvious reasons why if you're as a wholesaler, you're relying on somebody else to find the money. So yeah, it's incumbent on us to check cross check, make sure that we've got control over them. And it's, you know, the sooner you can get them certified funds into escrow, the better.
Yeah, yep. So lessons there, you know, lessons along the way, there's always lessons. That's the fun part. Yeah. You know, what I was gonna say, when people say, What do you how do you describe this a fun? Crazy, never boring, you know? That it's all done, something else pops up?
Yes. So I mean, does that keep you unsettled? Or do you kind of oddly love that? Ah,
yeah, I like what you said, I love it, you know, you kind of roll with the punches. And, you know, I always, you know, my philosophy is that there's a solution for every problem, you know, so focus on the solution, forget about the problem, just focus on the solution and figure it out, see who can help with it or what have you, you know, and when it's
something I've come to accept in the business is, I know there's gonna be bumps and roadblocks and there's gonna be crazy crap starts to fly through the I mean, just the way it goes. But that's I view it as that's what I'm getting paid to deal with and manage. But I always look back on it with a smile. Now, in the moment, I might be cursing, and I might be angry, and it's stressful. But that's in the moment. As soon as you get past it. I love having done it sometimes during the rocky road. But the challenge of having to figure out how to get through those, those roadblocks, those hurdles, those problems that fly up and being able to gain control over them again. That's a skill nobody can ever take away from you. Because you know how to solve a problem that stays with you forever.
Yeah, that's true. Yeah. And something I like to think that's the most rewarding piece of it, you know, is eels and analogy game while I'm going through that process, you know, I mean, the money at the end is just kind of like the fruit, you know, I mean, it's nice, too. But going through that process, and getting that experience and all it's been like, I think the most rewarding part for us, you know,
yeah. Can you almost get the attitude like, Oh, come on, let's see what they could throw at me this time? What's it going to be now? And then, you know, you know, whatever it is, you're going to overcome it? And then yeah, cash rather substantial check.
Yeah, yep. So I got another one for you. I think people are gonna say, this guy's making this stuff up, you know, this happened. And I'm waiting for the one that comes. That's just, you know, nice and smooth. I don't know if there is such a thing. We found a distressed, motivated seller in South Carolina with a property. So pre foreclosure deal, you know, went out, set up one of the letters, you know, for the pre foreclosure target of the pre foreclosures, and everything was smooth as can be, you know, we, we locked him in on a price. I think we figured the assignment fee was going to be about 27,000. Everything was going good. And in the meantime, from the time we got it under contract, and we started marketing it, it was right about you trying to think now this was I think it was probably middle to end of February, when we started kind of talking with him. And, you know, the market was turning, you know, everybody was coming in with cash over asking on every deal. You know, it was definitely a seller's market at that point, you know, and so call us and say, Yeah, no, we're, so my son was helping with this one, because he's down in South Carolina, he was doing most of the, you know, the talking in the back and forth with the seller. So he reached out for me, so we have a problem on this deal. And I said, What's going on? He said, a realtor reached out to him and said, How much are they going to give you? I can get upwards? I'll have it sold 50,000 more than that, and in no time? Yep. So I said, You told him we have a contract. Right? He said, I went through that with him. So I told him, we're good. We're closing on this, you know, the date set. Everything's prepared. You know, we'll see a closing basically. And there was some pushback and what have you. So a couple days later. My son said, we have I think we have an issue. And I said, what's the issue? He said, he sent me the contract back it's highlighted, you know, what have you There's a couple clauses now that he wants to exercise, it allows him to get out of the contract. So I remember the classroom discussions to try to everywhere, right? And so I said, Send me a copy of the contract that he sent you. So I start reading it. And I looked at the highlighted areas, and it wasn't that I said, This isn't the contract we use. He fabricated his own contract and, you know, put in the signatures, the whole, you know, made up a whole different contract. The seller did the seller. Okay, basically saying, you know, yep, nope. Based on these couple, I forget what it said, you know, there was some little nuances that would allow him to get out. And I said, Send this contract and our contract to the attorney, let him reveal it. So he said, Yeah, they're clearly two different contracts. This guy, you got him, you know, and tell him we're closing. You know, the nice thing South Carolina. So the attorneys are the closing that, you know, they represent to the title, are you talking to them all? So he's like, tell him we'll see him You don't want closing? So basically, we go through that he hires an attorney, his attorney calls our attorney and says, I told him, he screwed, he's got to close. You know, what, so this guy wasn't happy. He's really he's getting agitated, the longer it goes, we find out the more distressed he's becoming, he's going through a divorce, he's losing everything. His wife was giving him a hard time on the sale price of the house. So along the way, we find out that there were a couple of other liens that cropped up, you know, after we'd got it under contract, so it was the week of closing, if you can believe this, he called and threatened the attorney's office. He was coming in with his assault rifles, all the Please don't do anything where, you know, I'm going to, I'm taking everybody out. I'm blowing up the place, you know. So my son calls the attorney and he says, Hey, listen, just so you know, I think we have a problem. Already. Alright. Sorry. It's just, oh, he's just bluffing. It's okay. You know, you're used to that. And so this is like, you know, like I said, a few days out, I think it was one or two days. Now, prior, the attorney calls us and says, I think we got to report this guy. Remember? We told you, you know, yeah, so he said, Well, let me have a conversation with him. You know, we'll say, so, long story short, by the end, at the end of the day, we worked everything out. By the time the extra liens were paid off, and what have you. I think we ended up with $12,700. Out of that deal, you know, it wasn't the 20 some 1000 that we were expecting, but it worked. We paid and helped him out. You know, in the end, it was good for him. It's good for everyone. So
if you think about it, I find it there's a couple things it's I've had that before where suddenly says oh, I can get you know, an agent comes in promises more, but it's already under contract. And that's why you use my contracts, the bulletproof and they're binding and and that, that that locks them in that way. You have the right to market the deal, but you also have control over it, versus someone else coming in and say, oh, I'll get you more. But they seem to be forgetting. Yeah, they'll get you more, but then you're going to lose just as much in the fees. Yeah, but what does the guy really walk with and then you come to find out there's all these extra liens, that the word to dangle out there in front of them that is torturous interference, because you're not supposed to be interfering in someone else's contract. Someone else has a legally binding contract, if you interfere in that it's torturous, and you're not torture, like, you know, waterboarding, taught like tort law, torturous.
Yeah. And it was it was good. Through all this, my son actually built a pretty good rapport with the seller. You know, he liked him, he hated everybody else. But he liked him. And so you know,
so. So he put the machine gun down. I told him, I said, you know, hey, at least we know, you're gonna be okay. You know, about everybody else, you know, he always wants you back.
Right. So, so he was able to kind of just kind of string it along and get it there, you know, to the 11th hour. And, you know, once again, was another interesting deal, you know, but we're having fun with all of them.
JOHN, that's fantastic. What happened? So before we met, how was your business rolling?
So we were kind of just learning. You know, we were figuring out the learning piece. Done. We'd completed let's see, what do we do? We had we purchased two properties. We completed the rehab on one and we're working on the other one, you know, at the time we met. Yeah, at the time we met yet, and I think you have to learn the hard way. At least I do, you know, did everything they told me they're just telling me that because they don't want me to do it. You know what I mean? So, so we bought 200 year old house, 100 102 year old houses, whatever. And so everything that comes with those came You know, it was everything that the people that told us not to do it said it was going to be, the only thing that saved us on those deals was the market was like slowly on the uptick, you know, when we purchased them. And so, you know, I think on both of them, I think we were just about even on one and maybe made a couple 1000 bucks on the other flexion the lessons that came with it were worth it. You know, I mean, the first one we ended up, you know, was the old don't over approve the properties. And so the city we were in at the time said, Listen, you don't have a driveway, and I said, none of these places have driveways. And he said, Well, we actually put a new ordinance into place that any properties that zone they'll have to have driveway. So I said, that's fine. I'll put a stone driveway and they said, well, it has to be either blacktop concrete, what have you and I said, Okay, so we blacktop that driveway, ended up the pipes were all shot, you know, if the water pipes, the sewer pipes from the street to the house, you know, we'd completely put all new piping in the house, but it was from the you know, we had to dig up the yard. Eventually, we got the yard to the street, all the connections, everything, you know, we've done it all. So I don't know, you know, there were balloon construction. So there were some other challenges that came with that to bring everything up to go. But we got through that, you know, like I said, everyone was unique. There were things there we hadn't anticipated. And we always say like, now we're like, I don't know if there's anything that we haven't dealt with at this point. But something will come up, I'm confident in that
was pretty good. I mean, you know, you got machine gun sellers and stuff. So I don't know if it's right. Everything might be a little gentler.
So sit, you know, I mean, and you know, I think so back to the question of what were we doing before? And I'll tell you the difference. I mean, really, when we went to your rapid cash generator, you walk from the beginning, every step to the end, where it just made complete sense. There were no gaps. You know, it was like, Okay, I'm here. How do I get here? Right? So you filled in all those gaps, simple, duplicatable? You know, I mean, and you just walk through the process. I mean, basically, like I said, I use that to show my sons, and you know, they're enjoying every minute of it. And, and so that piece of like I said, finding the deal and get it through to the close, was key. I mean, probably without those couple days in our training with you, who knows, we did you know, close to any of those. I mean, I don't get, you can't talk to anybody else about it. Because, you know, this, everybody said this to the seller, but what do you do? You know, and I said, Well, I didn't know, but I knew what they had to go through the surrogates office. So you know, and I just kept, like I said, I kept hearing you say, close the deal, get paid, right, you get paid when you close the deal. And so that was what kept us pushing, you know, and then the other key thing was the marketing. I mean, you know, you said, make offers. And once we started doing that, we had deals rather than it's funny, because I go to you know, I do these networking events now. And people go and they say, you know, we just can't find any deals, john, and I said, What do you do it, you're now looking super? Well, not really doing anything that I said, Well, there you go, you're getting the results that you're expecting, you know, it'd be do nothing, get nothing. Yep.
It's a guarantee. Yeah. When you join my implementation Bootcamp, it saved the deals that you were currently doing. And then it gave you the ability to expand out because you took the marketing seriously, you went and did it. You know, I tell people, you do your marketing. When you're in my system, you have my kit, you have the materials to do the marketing, you have all the direction, you just have to go and do it. And when you did you find that it works.
Yep, just implement. Right? It's all there. Everything's there. And if you're not sure, plug in the flash drive, and go through it. And you know what, even now, like, if there's something that we come across, I know it's in there. So I'm just going to, and I know, you know which section to look in, you know, whether I'm making the deal finding it, you know, you know where to look. And now I taught my son's, you know, I taught my wife. And so we're looking to, you know, kind of, we've refined that enough now that we're gonna bring some other people and I think to help and let us work in other areas, like, we're able to find, you know, through marketing, some land in South Carolina, outside Myrtle Beach. And we were looking at that as a wholesale and just through other networking events and connecting with people. We met a real high quality builder through another contact, who's become a friend, you know, and so, this guy's a machine. He's pumping new houses out every 64 days, you know? So he reached out he said, Listen, yeah, we can do this. But why don't we just partner on the deal? You guys lock the land down, I'll build the houses. And we'll you know, we'll split the profits in the end. I'm like, Yeah, no, you're so pointer. All the opportunities come.
I love that. You Doing it in two separate regions that are, I think, very different from each other. So when you say South Jersey, we're talking to Philadelphia as suburban Philadelphia on the jersey side, right? Oh,
yeah. Well, yes. I mean, we're, we're an hour and a half from Philadelphia, when we were at the bottom tip of South of New Jersey, we have, okay, so we work, we do most of our stuff here, Cape May, in Atlantic County, you know, you have all the barrier islands, you know, the beach, that shore towns, and then you know, we're close enough to the city. And actually, that's a great, you know, source of buyers for us, you know, you know, people leaving, especially now, right, leaving the cities and get
going to cool places on the beach. And I love that I love that you make it into a family business as well. We have live events coming up soon, it'd be great to meet your sons.
Yeah, I know, looking forward to it, you know, as are we.
So john, when you were at the event, there was probably a time where maybe you almost didn't? I mean, you're glad you're happy with the app. But let's think back to when you made a decision whether or not to invest in my program. Was there doubt? Was there a reason that you almost didn't?
No, no doubt. Okay. Now you want? You know, so one of our big things, you know, one of my big things is, you know, networking, I love networking, you know, I always I don't know where I got it from, but I know if I'm sitting in my house, I'm not going to meet anybody. And nothing's gonna, I'm not gonna, you know, nothing changes. You know, they say, nothing changes. And so, you come home every night, you sit in the house, what do you you're missing? God knows how many opportunities to meet people, make contacts, you know, maybe find deals. And so I think that when I first met you, you were in, in our region for most of the week, any, you've been to three or four, the same meetings. And so I went to every meeting, and you were there. And I heard you talk. And it was great. And, you know, I, I heard I kind of knew where you were gone, and then maybe picked up on something that I missed, you know, whatever. But I knew without a doubt that we were going to go do this. You know, I said, Susan, she said, No, listen, this is the most thorough explanation of wholesaling that we've ever seen. You know, so we were in, you know, there was no doubt, matter of fact that the Saturday morning presentation, we made sure that we were out there first, because we didn't want to miss out all you know. So yeah, no, that was great. Awesome.
Yeah, I'm often accused of being obsessive compulsive in the training and the way the system is laid out. But there's a reason for that, like you said, what, you know, whatever you need, it's in there. And it's easy to go and find the exact point that you know, the exact point you're at with a question, so you can get an answer when you need it.
Yep. Yep, it just flows flawlessly.
It's been a year and a half. So think back. If somebody came to you and was in a similar position, you're just starting or, you know, maybe a couple deals in but not totally sure themselves in the business yet, what advice with the john of today give the the john of a year and a half ago.
So always be out there networking, always be marketing, always be learning, and always implement, the people you meet are going to help bring deals, you know, or they're going to feel a part of the team, you know, where they're going to lead you to somebody else, to help you fill the void you're looking for, you know, I mean, my sons Tell me today, they're like, they do a lot of the traveling with me, you know, we're out in Arizona a few weeks ago, meeting real estate investors, you know, that people come in from all over the country, anyhow, you know, what I mean, to these events, and sometimes in Jersey, you know, I grew up in North Jersey, and we get a lot of people from New York, Connecticut, met people from California. So you never know who you're going to meet when you go out to these things, you know, but that and how many times you say, you know, I'm tired, or I'm just going to stay home tonight. And then you meet somebody that maybe fills one of those voids. And you look and you say, Man, if I didn't go out? Yep, they missed this, you know, and so that's my thing, I'm afraid of missing stuff, I want to you know, want to be out. And I like to be sharing and doing what I can, you know, to offer some value. But also, I think that's the nice thing is now you get a good core of, you know, people, and everybody helps everybody, you know, everybody leans on each other, you get the support you need, you know what I mean? When times get tough. There's no thought of ever quitting because, you know, you've kind of formed a team, you know what I mean? And I think that's the key for people is just and you know, what, be careful who you surround yourself with, I think is the biggest thing, you know?
Yeah. Probably gonna build you up or tear you down.
Yeah. Yeah. And if you're talking to people that aren't doing real estate, they don't have a clue what you're talking about. So the only shot you're getting from them is they're knocking you down, you know?
Yeah. That's Yeah, I'll tell you. It's hard for people because you know it. You know, do you have to Tom Do I have to completely get rid of my friends and family? No, you don't have to get rid of them. But maybe don't talk about your business with them, they don't get it. And they're almost it almost instinctively go to a negative state about it. So just ignore him focus on what you want focus on is why it's important to be surrounded, you know, like he said, be surrounded by people that get what you're doing. Never Let Me You heard that there's the old saying about never let anyone who's not done what you want to do talk you out of it, but anyone who has, but they're the only ones allowed to talk out of it. So basically, unless you're talking with other real estate entrepreneurs, they can't talk you out of it only let fellow real estate entrepreneurs talk you out of it. And I highly doubt that they will.
Yeah, right. Matter of fact, you're I think we were talking about, you know, you met you likened it to a GPS, you know, like, you know, the GPS doesn't know where it's going until you put it into first time. Give it a destination, then I can figure out the way. Right, right. Just like that talking with people, right? So don't talk to people, like you're saying, Let's they've already been there and done that. Yeah, they're the ones you want to follow, you
know, because it's just a weird human nature to try to talk somebody else out of it usually out of their own fears, not even yours. It's weird. So john, what's up? What would you say? What's the single biggest thing that changed?
I would say probably the biggest thing was my mindset. You know, just reprogramming. You know, re, I don't even know if reprogram is just always learning. You know, like I said that surrounding, we've gotten so busy now, then, I spend most of my time with my family, which is who I want to spend my time with, anyhow, you know, I talked to my sons that like, they're almost 800 miles from here, you know, they live in Charleston, but not only do we talk every day, we talk several times a day, you know, it's almost like they're still here, you know, because we're talking about the business show in different things. And, you know, one of them will take a phone call on this. So our mind is we're just always focused on and this is the biggest shift for me, I think, was that we always, I shouldn't say always 90% of the time we're focused on, you know, like real estate, or businesses or talking to people that have the same interest. And it's, it's really boring when you get around people now that they don't know what you're and I get it, they're probably bored talking to me, too, you know, they don't think. And, you know, I realized there's only so many minutes in a day, you know, how am I going to spend them? And who am I going to spend them with? So we've kind of limited, like I said, You know, I got the old friend that calls for lunch, and not that I don't talk to him, but it's just sort of kind of tied up, you know, maybe we'll make this app, you know, because we're working in two different directions, you know, and I think maybe the realization that that's maybe what took a little bit so long to, you know, get everything moving in. because like you said, the naysayers are there, you know, and the ones that aren't there, they just don't want to see you do well, because they don't want you to leave them behind. You know?
Yeah. That's any old you've heard the crabs in the bucket analogy before or like as your drives the bucket, the ones on the top, try to get out the ones underneath have no idea what's happening, but they don't want them to go and grab on and hold tight.
That's one of my favorite analogies, right? Because we're here at the shore and beach. As we love eating crabs, and so is the old days of you know, cooking to put the crabs in the pot. The other ones are Polo man, you know, so yeah, no, that's one of my favorite. And now. And you know what? It's gotten to the point where my son's the same thing. Like we talk all day about real estate by saw another deal we have we're working on right now. So another thing we learned at one of the events was was just a different take. My son was driving is actually on his way to the beach down there in Charleston. And so they take a different route. Right, fine. Yep, I'll drive the same roads. It took a different route, you know, sounds very familiar. Yeah, yeah. We talked about that your class, and he was driving all day and a great piece of property. It's on the street at the beach. But it's across the street. It's not, you know, it's not the one that sits on the beach, but across the street. And he said the house was dilapidated, you know, obviously, unoccupied. So, he put the address down, you know, the old dry and wet joy the beach, skip trace the number when he came home and talked to the guy owns several of these properties. And he said, you know, listen, I'm just really sitting on for the land. I, I know what I have. And, you know, make me an offer. I don't want to deal with real estate agents, right before that before. He said, but you know, this is what I'd like to get. If you can make it work, you know, then I'll sell it to you. So he called me was all excited. And you know, one of the other things we learned we were thinking about it, we're still working on the numbers trying to, you know, tie down because the plan would be to tear it down and build a new house. And we just want to make sure we had the ARV right. And you know, so but I said this and call him up. And you know, we got some preliminary numbers and we think we can give him the number he wants. And I said, but tell him this. I said we'll give you the price that you want. If you can give us the terms. We need. And the deal is he's only sitting there, the property is doing nothing anyways paying taxes on it. So I think we have him talked into holding the property, we'll come up with a document that says, you know, we're partners on this, he'll give us the land, we'll build the house, when it sells, we'll give him his money, and then we'll walk with our money, you know, and I think that's going to work. And then like I said, he's got a couple other, so we're gonna tackle this one, and then maybe, you know, partner with him, you know, down the road. But when you sit in the house, you miss all these opportunities, you know, you gotta get out and do something. Everything's real estate, Tom, that's, you know, I really focused, you know what I mean? And so, no matter what we're doing, we're talking about real estate. And, you know, you get people come in, you know, you meet people that want to get rid of properties, or, you know, they need money. I mean, everything revolves around place to live place, you know, whether you're buying it selling it, you need money for it, you know, so it all fits, and I love it. I get up every day, you know, every day, I don't even know what date is anymore. Half the time, you know, we just almost like lifestyle by design at this point. You know?
That's a big piece of the puzzle. And it's a I'll tell you what's really interesting, john doing COVID is how many people have gotten a taste of an entrepreneurial lifestyle. But they're not entrepreneurs, but they still want the lifestyle and they don't want to go back to the old but it's, it's, well, you know, folks, if you want to lock that in, you've got to make it happen on your own and real estate's a perfect spot for that. There's, there's other options, but you know, yeah, I think you'll agree with me, Real Estate's the best way of doing it.
Yeah, I agree. I think I don't know if there's any bigger paydays To be honest, you know, if there are I haven't come across them yet. You know, but ya know, the networking, just you never know where the next deals going to come from, or the next person that's going to help you, you know, so I think
you get out there and stay active. What do you got planned for the next year? So what you've saw absolutely smashed the last year and a half fantastically. So are you going to hit you think the next 12 months? Double that?
I mean, our our goal is to be honest, I mean, listen, if we miss it, that'll be okay. But that's our goal. We have right now, I'm trying to think we're working on this. And it all came from marketing. And you know, like I said, just, we had the wholesaler mindset going in, but we've got to just broaden that to see whatever works. And so
you've got options now for exit strategy. So all sell great rehab, great buy and hold great. It's it again, you know, different people, depending where you're at. But you're at the point now, where any of the exit strategies open up to you.
Yeah, yep, we have a couple deals we're working on right now. It could be a wholesale or a, you know, rehab, this, you know, we have to get in most of them. So most of our deals we had to get through probate, which is my absolute favorite, you know, I think, and almost that goes hand in hand, at least for me in this area, as well, absentee owner, right? Because usually, it's the kids that inherited, and they already have their own home. And some of them can't afford, you know, to pay for that much less the house that mom and dad left home or mom or dad, whoever, maybe has all the bills that come with that distress situation, right? So I find those to be the most profitable. And then, you know, because what, you don't have to worry about people moving out, you know, they're already out. And all they're looking for, you know, they're happy to get a little bit of cash, but they're just happy to not be paying for, you know, it's a liability for them at this point. Right. You know,
you're relieving the burden of even having to deal with it. That's the biggest payout to them more so than the cash.
Yep. Nope, you're right. And, and then the absentee owners, you know, great. Those are two biggest, I think our you know, what, and never mind out of state absentee owners, you know, I mean, that's even. That's right behind probates we're making, you know, because, you know, one of the deals we did was the sister lived in Philadelphia, and the other sister was from North Carolina. Nobody was traveling, you know, you know, I met with him a couple times, it was the old we're not ready yet. We still have some things we want to get out of there. And I'm like, that's fine. We're not in a hurry. You know, that's the benefit of doing business with us, you know, and so it ended up within like six weeks, they came down, we got you know, got it under contract, renovated, sold it and I think we made just over 92,000 on that, you know, I'm so. So yeah. So it's great. We're having fun. So next year, we have from now moving forward. We're looking at finalizing some contracts on 28 new builds in the just out Myrtle Beach areas, outside Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. A couple properties outside of Charleston. That one was the one I was telling you about the tear down. And then we're working on like I said a couple here that are probates Just waiting to kind of catch up with. We spoke with the seller, he has a job was on the water a couple weeks. So once he gets back we'll meet. We'll work on the contract on that. And yeah, just like we
were you were you're working my two favorite lists, absentee owners and probates. Were
you working those before you met me? I wasn't really working a whole lot of anything, you know, bandit signs, you know, I shouldn't say so. And I'm glad you brought that up. So we were the people that were sending out the Oh, yeah, let's see, here's the probate. Let's send the letter out. And that was it. And you know, what we get now we got people to set, you know, I said, I take the phone call, you know, instance, on your house? Well, I wasn't, but you sent me four letters. So maybe we are, you know, and I know we talked about that, too, was just being consistent. And I see now you know, the letters that come and we get them at the office, you know, they've come here to the house where people are just, you know, pitching in at this point, they're looking, you know, whether it's realtors or whoever they're looking for inventory. And so hey, we'll buy your house. But I never get more than one from the same person.
Ain't that amazing? You'll never get more than one. And so that, you know, I stress the the multiply, factor that multiplication effect of repetition. And you know, someone gets four from you, they go, Oh, this guy is serious. He's actually in business. It happens all the time. Yeah. And so I'm always trying to, you know, like, push my students you get don't, it, what happens is, if you worry about the expense of that first letter, and you didn't get any results, then people back off, but now you're just like everyone else, you send something one time and it disappears, or like a bad smell in the wind. Instead, you just keep hitting it again and again. And you got to be invested in it. And because that's what the that's one of the gold is coming.
Yeah, no, absolutely. So that that's one of the biggest things, though, is just being consistent, you know, get those letters out. I think, I think we're sending out five per campaign. And, you know, we get our best responses from letter three and letter four, you know, after that, you know, that they have an answer, by the time you send the fifth one out, not really too much results from you know, we've kind of filtered through the list. And so the sweet spot plus has been like, number three, and number four, okay, the point now where we can almost predict it, you know, it's like, okay, you know, we'll get a couple calls, you know, the first the first one or two that, you know, stop bothering me, you know, what have you. But the deals come in on the third and fourth letter? Ah,
yes. Yeah. So it's interesting, you got to wait, there's some patience to wait for third and fourth rounds. And what's how far spread out third and fourth round come?
How long? It's about 14 to 15 days, you're moving in fast. So you still have to wait. For probates we do three to four weeks, you know, we try not to hammer them, you know, between you give them a little bit. And I'll tell you what we did, Tom, we're working on, I shouldn't say we've done it yet. But it's in process now. So for the surrogates office that is reaching out, and you know, especially now, I mean, with with the amount of competition, limited inventory, we're just trying to figure out how to get in front of, you know, some other investors, you know, how to be the front runner. And so I was actually speaking with my contact in the surrogates office, and the county clerk. And she said, by the time they actually put them up on their website, they're probably, you know, anywhere from 28 to maybe 32 days old already, you know what I mean? So they're not, they're sitting there waiting to get imported in processed. So what do you what's the best way? Like, how can we get those, like, when they're the hottest? You know, because now we're trying, we're thinking, you know, let's get out in front of the nut that you want to pressure, the people that are grieving, but you want to beat the, you know, the real estate agents and everybody else and so I thought it was a little comical At first, I say comical because the I don't know if you ever saw the movie Wedding Crashers. But that came to mind where she said, so the best way to get out front, and you may not have you got to do a little bit of digging on your own. But she said, go to all of the funeral home websites, in the areas you're working, and just, you know, go through the obituaries. And not everybody puts up an obituary, so I but you're there's a large amount of people that, you know, you're going to get some background, right, the family, you know, you'll be able to figure out, you know, when they say, you know, pre deceased by, you know, are they the last you know, did their spouse already pass and so now what's them, you know, there's a good shot, they have all these siblings, you know, you're going to have, you know, family to pass it down to and so, so we're not going to send a letter to that but we're going to send a postcard like hey, cash for your house or looking to sell kinda so this way, you know, those first couple weeks, when they're, I don't know what to do now. What do I do about the house, and then a lot of times they call the real Most people call real estate because they don't know. And so it's just like we can maybe, you know, trim it up three or four weeks ahead of time, just to say, hey, when you're ready, we're here. Gotcha. Yeah, that's
good to kind of warm up and pre educate them about there's other options. Yeah, sometimes a better option, because the house is a mess. It's not that, you know, it's not a beautiful listing, but it's fantastic for an investor just come in and take it as is. Yeah. JOHN, you mentioned one other thing when you were talking about the phone calls that you get, and, you know, waiting a few months before the, you know, that third, fourth round hurts. People get nasty with you on the phone, I can't imagine.
Right, right. Yeah. So, you know, it's like, Hey, take me off the list, or any of these you got to send me or why are you sending me these, but we just want to see if your insurance on your house? You know, so yeah, there's a pretty simple, we've had some challenges. I don't know if you have any experience with the challenges of, I'm sure you have with the like the pre foreclosure lists, you know, where, you know, people and I shouldn't say, they don't get nasty, a lot of people are concerned, like, wow, you know, hey, I was, but I'm okay. Now. What do you know that I don't know, you know, when it comes to take my house? So we're like, Listen, you know, don't worry about that. I mean, if you're good, you know, you're good. We're just your name showed up on a list. You know, we form these lists in so your name showed up? If you're good, that's fine. But listen, if you're ever interested in selling, we're here to help. You know.
So basically, you're not worried, you know, a couple of nasty phone calls. You don't let it you know, like to knock you down. You just carry on and the rest of the people you tell them? No, you're not ready yet. It's fine. It'll come back to you.
Yeah, you know, it's funny, we sometimes that's our comedy, our ways, we share the goals and the periods, you know, and it's amazing how much effort people will put in to be nasty. And they're probably the ones that you couldn't get a minute and niceness out of them. You know what I mean? If you want to go to so. So that's interesting, too, you know?
Yeah. So yeah, just have some fun with it. I mean, you get together and laugh and say Comedy Hour, and but you don't let it bother you. Because the next call couldn't be the goal.
Yeah, it's funny. We're even thinking about it. Now. Like you mentioned, I had to reflect on it. But yeah, nope. Just part of the business, you know?
Would you? Well, yeah. Would you rather you don't get those calls, but then you also don't make a couple 100,000 a year? I mean, that's what it comes down to put up with a few of those for the big payout.
And you know, what, when you start studying like your KPIs, or what have you, you almost know, when the next nasty calls coming, you know, so you could kind of make a game out of that, too. If you want it,
you know, exactly. Like I've told people, they always think it sounds a little funny, but I say, look, you have to become perversely addicted to nasty phone calls. Because that means your marketing is working people are getting it, the nasty people will call first before the good people call. It's just the way it's going to be. I mean, maybe you get lucky every now and then and you get your first call is a great deal. But most of the time, you got to put up with the junk before you get to the good stuff. And it's almost like it's some sort of trial by fire, you got to you know, you got to go through that to be able to get to the goodness.
Yeah, yep. That's exactly right. And, you know, it's funny, you know, we've had the calls where, you know, you talk to them the first time and they're, they're angry, you know, why you call on me, I'm not interested. And then maybe, you know, two, three months later, they're calling you back and back. You still want to buy my house? And I'm like, Well, you know, I mean, you were offended by me. You know, it actually, you know, you can build a nice relationship to it, because then, you know, if you get the right person are actually laughing, too. Yeah, no, I was a little bit of a jerk, or I had some things going on, you know, yeah. And I tell my sons, I'm like, you know, it's never about you. It's always about them, you know, what, and whether you're making the deal, or you're dealing with them, you know, as you're, you're going through it negotiating, you know, it's whatever is bothering them. You know, it's the stress that, you know, is what's causing their actions.
Yep. They are reflecting it on to you. There's gold in that in that last statement of yours. They just, you know, even the nastiest people a couple months later are calling, you know, eating crow for you and saying, Yeah, I'm sorry, I was a jerk. Buy my house from replays.
Right. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, you have to why you just, I don't know is conditioned the right word. I you know, you just, you expect it, right. Yes. You know, it's coming. Like I said, you can almost we can look at the numbers and check the phone calls and say, all right, the neck, it's almost like, you know, what's that game with the, you know, like roulette? You know? Which ones are going to be Yeah, or who's going to get it but it's
Yeah, you know, coming. What are the kind of close up on some of those numbers you're talking about? When you look at numbers, you know, it doesn't have to be exact. Just what's your gut feeling? How much outbound marketing equals how many phone calls equals how many turn into deals.
So for I keep it silic. So every 100 letters that go out We get probably five to 10 calls probably closer to seven and 123 deals. Okay. And per 100 voicemails going on?
Yes, fantastic results, because the direct mail industry says you're only really supposed to get one response out of 100. And the response is not a deal. So your numbers are doing fantastic.
Yeah, yep. I think it's targeting the right, you know, having the right, you know, list on the right list, you know, dealing with, you know, that'll lead you to the right, you know, person that you're looking your tells you, you're targeting the right person. Yeah. And like I said, our results have been right around 3%, which is, you know, thrilled with that.
Phenomenal. That's phenomenal. Yeah, in multiple areas is great. And the letters and postcards that you're sending are out of my kit. It is Yep, they are correct. Yep. So you get the, you're getting the market, right, you're finding the right people, you're getting the message, right? Because you're using materials I've given you, and you're getting the multiply the multiplication factor the multiply element, right, because you're repeating the process. That's what lets you find deals, if you don't do that, you're not gonna find any deals, like you said,
and you know, that in talking with some of the other investors or, you know, people that are having some trouble, you know, I said, I think your issue is, you know, people say, implement, and they haven't been implementing, so they're like, let me just throw 100 letters, or 1000 letters, or whatever. And I'm not necessarily, you know, paying attention to where they're going. I'm just getting them out. And then I can go say, Well, I mean, I sent 1000 letters, you know what I mean? Yeah. So they feel like, Hey, I'm doing the effort, but I'm still not getting the results. I'm like, well, these are refine that a little bit. You know, you're not finding, you know, the whole goal here is to find distressed, motivated sellers. You know, the people you're targeting may not be, you know, either of those. And so there's no deals that come with that. You know what I mean? Yeah,
yeah. Amazing. Well, john, super happy for you super psyched for your next upcoming year. I want to thank you for a great interview. Thank you for your candor. I think the amount of detail of people need to listen to this episode a few times to be able to absorb all that and really let that sink in. So it's fantastic. Thanks, Tom. Thanks
for asking me to do this. And it's great connecting with you again. And listen, we can thank you and Karolina enough for what you've done for us. You know, you guys are tops in our books. And, you know, I attended that workshop meeting you attended the workshop was the best thing we've ever done. So I'm super glad to hear it. JOHN, take care of Say hi, the whole family and we'll look forward to seeing you soon. Yep. Thanks, Tom. Have a good one.
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