Just Start Real Estate with Mike Simmons

In this episode, I get the chance to interview fellow 7 Figure Flippers Rob Badhorn and Ernie Vargas. Rob lives in Arizona, but performs flips and owns rentals in Ohio. He worked in corporate America for 23+ years, handing $1.5B in revenue for Sales Teams Across USA. He is constantly building multiple streams of income, especially during these challenging times, as he considers himself a serial entrepreneur. Rob’s rental portfolio includes the flips and/or wholesale of 100+ homes utilizing the marketing strategies of Direct Mail, Bandit Signs, Cold Calling, RVM’s/Voice broadcast, FB Custom Audiences, and Texting. He also owns a software company specializing in Lead Generation and Skip Tracing.

 

Ernie Vargas purchased his first house in 1994 and continued doing real estate while working full-time, but he didn’t hit the success he felt he was capable of. In 1999, after an accident that left him in a coma, he realized that life was short, so he quit his job and went into investing full-time. Eventually, probate hit his radar and started him on a quest to learn all he could about this niche that no one had answers for.

 

After many years of specializing in probate, Ernie has become a true probate expert, often helping attorneys and their clients in the probate process. His ability to think outside the box coupled with his expertise in negotiating and marketing has allowed him to help several hundreds of investors, agents, and sellers get deals closed. Now Ernie not only has more time to spend with his wife and four kids, but he gets to do what he truly loves doing - helping everyday people create wealth and personal freedom.

 

The guys first began by giving us their backgrounds and what lead them to real estate investing. Ernie described the moment that really changed things for him when he was working as a freezer stocker at a warehouse store that would eventually become Costco. His boss said something to him that made him realize that he wanted much more from life. He changed jobs and on his way to his first day of training, ended up getting into a terrible car accident that left him in a coma. This experience, coupled with a seminar he went to, completely changed his thinking.

 

Rob said his journey was similar to a lot of other investors - he read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, went to a few seminars, but he said he has always had the bug to get the passive income stream going. He was in the corporate world but purchased a couple of rentals in order to make up his salary so that he could invest full-time. Joining the 7 Figure Flipping mastermind group really changed everything for him.

 

Rob talked about his rental portfolio and how he manages the properties himself while employing one handyman to do the work. I asked how much of the work he actually does himself as far as background checks, collecting rent, etc. and Rob said he thought the thing that changed the most in the past several years was the software available for property management.

 

Even though he has a large rental portfolio, Rob felt the need to expand into other forms of real estate investing to develop multiple income streams, which is the reason why he and Ernie partnered up. I wanted to dig deep on the details of their partnership because so many people struggle with making this work. Ernie said they both have different areas of expertise; Rob is really strong in the area of technology related to real estate and Ernie has become a probate specialist. They had met at a 7 Figure Flipping event and Ernie called Rob concerning skip tracing and the rest is history.

 

We also discussed the issues with probate investing which have been intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic situation. There is so much talk about this type of investing being deceitful that I wanted the guys to explain how they actually help people with integrity. Ernie talked about how many investors shy away from this type of work, but that the demand for people-loving investors is so high because there is a real need to help those who are grieving through the process.

 

These two investors bring so much to the proverbial table and share so much information with you in this episode of Just Start Real Estate. Don’t miss my conversation with Rob Badhorn and Ernie Vargas!





Notable Quotes:

 

“We get lessons out of anything we experience in life if we allow them to change us.”

 

  • Ernie Vargas

 

 

“I was bitten by the idea of opportunity and change.”

 

  • Ernie Vargas

 

 

“Have a goal, give that goal a deadline, write it down, and go out and take action.”

 

  • Ernie Vargas

 

 

“You do what you can with what you have.”

 

  • Ernie Vargas

 

 

“You have to be ready when opportunities come.”

 

  • Ernie Vargas

 

 

“The NBA did not work out for me.”

 

  • Rob Badhorn

 

 

“It’s like bringing a puppy to the park if you are looking for a date.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“When it can bring value not only to myself but to other people, that’s what really gets me excited.”

 

  • Rob Badhorn

 

 

“There is a lot more value than just buying the leads themselves.”

 

  • Rob Badhorn

 

 

“The ultimate motivated seller is probate.”

 

  • Ernie Vargas

 

 

“You have to have a passion for people in this probate business.”

 

  • Ernie Vargas

 

 

“Keep moving forward.”

 

  • Ernie Vargas

 




Links:

Flip Hacking Live

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

7 Figure Flipping

Buildium

LeadFuzion

Ernie’s Website

Return on Investments

Just Start Real Estate

JSRE on Facebook

Mike on Facebook

Mike on Instagram

Mike on LinkedIn

Mike on Twitter

Level Jumping: How I Grew My Business to Over $1 Million in Profits in 12 Months



Direct download: Flipping_Wholesaling_and_Multiple_Streams_of_Income.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, I get the chance to interview fellow 7 Figure Flipper Darren Smith. Darren is a residential and commercial real estate investor in multiple markets across the country. After being in the Army and working in the computer industry, he tried his hand in real estate but unfortunately lost his earnings in the housing crash. This experience took Darren out of real estate for a few years, but his love for the industry drew him back. Working as an assistant to a wholesaler at first, Darren learned a great deal and started his own business. A week before he was laid off from his computer job, Darren joined the 7 Figure Flipping Mastermind group.

 

We began, as we often do, discussing what drew Darren to real estate investing. He said after being in the service for several years, he found himself sitting next to an investor that was flipping houses and had a multi-family property in Baltimore. Because he was super passionate about the work that he was doing, this caused Darren to catch the real estate “bug.”

 

Since his first deal in 2003, to the present day, Darren has had some ups-and-downs in this business, like every investor. We talked about how he made some money in his first go-around with investing but lost it in the housing market crash. After starting up his own company in 2014, he ran into some issues in 2017, hired a coach, laid off some employees, and rebuilt from there. We talked about meeting the challenges by changing strategies rather than giving up.

 

We talked about helping out clients, the pros and cons of wholesaling versus flipping, how Darren’s deal-finding process is ever-evolving, and so much more! We discussed a ton of marketing ideas and why cold-calling is a longer process than some other strategies. Darren explained the training and role-playing that they do as a staff in order to convert deals through this method.

 

Darren also explained the differences he has faced in speaking with both buyers and sellers during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said in both cases it is just really important to acknowledge the change in circumstances, and yes, things are challenging, but no one really knows what the future is going to bring. I asked about other changes they have had to make and Darren talked about how they are having home inspectors go out to take pictures and videos of homes, which ends up being the only necessary point of contact whether buying or selling.

 

I asked Darren what markets he is working in and he explained that he lives in Pennsylvania, works in two markets in Colorado, and just bought an existing real estate business outside of Philly. This was such a novel and interesting concept to me that we discussed this in detail. I asked if it was just a property database, and Darren explained that it is really the established business presence and reputation that they invested in. He even explained how they structured the deal, which he actually recommends to anyone attempting to do the same thing.

 

Darren wrapped up the interview by not only giving credit to his team but also pointing out how much he counts on the support and fellowship of 7 Figure Flipping. This character-filled investor gives us so much wisdom in the latest installment of the Just Start Real Estate Podcast, you would be crazy to miss it!



Notable Quotes:

 

“It’s like flying too close to the sun - you could have burned up, but you didn’t.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“You have to assess what is going on and make changes accordingly.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“Fifty percent of our processes are different than they were 90 days ago.”

 

  • Darren Smith

 

 

“We throw meat into the pen and let the lions fight over it.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“The reality is, it’s a people business.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“If it gets harder to sell, it will get easier to buy.”

 

  • Darren Smith

 

 

“Specialists make more money than generalists.”

 

  • Darren Smith

 

 

“We’ve gone from about 90% closing in person to about 90% closing over the phone.”

 

  • Darren Smith

 

 

“When you have the right people in place, scaling gets much easier to do.”

 

  • Darren Smith

 

 

“Any time there is economic hardship, rentals become more of a thing.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“Dude, you are even smarter than I thought you were!”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“You have a clear focus, sound logic, and a strong game plan.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“I have never been more thankful to be in a mastermind than right now.”

 

  • Darren Smith

 

 

“Masterminds are a lifeline. If you were on the Titanic, what would you be willing to invest in a raft?”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 




Links:

Flip Hacking Live

Darren’s Email

Return on Investments

Just Start Real Estate

JSRE on Facebook

Mike on Facebook

Mike on Instagram

Mike on LinkedIn

Mike on Twitter

Level Jumping: How I Grew My Business to Over $1 Million in Profits in 12 Months




In this episode, I am joined by Carla Reeves, who is known for her compassionate, direct, and truth-telling candor. Carla Reeves has coached hundreds of executives, CEOs, and other ambitious leaders over the past ten years. She  is committed to guiding individuals to clarity about the real stumbling blocks that stand in the way of their growth and equip them to experience profound shifts in their confidence and ability to communicate powerfully.

 

Carla spent 10+ years in Corporate America working in Human Resources and Information Technology. She left Corporate America at age 32 to raise her boys and live the entrepreneurial life she loves. A series of entrepreneurial adventures organically evolved into the coaching she does today. What she knows to be true is that people are far closer than they realize to the very things they deeply desire. Often, the only thing standing in the way is an old, outdated way of viewing themselves and the world around them.

 

Carla uses the analogy of the lens of a pair of glasses… if we are looking at the world through these and they are marred by faulty or unhealthy thinking, no matter how successful we are, we are not going to experience our life as happy. She talks about the escapism that so many people think will make them happy - escape from a relationship, or a job, or a location. Carla tries to get people to delay those actions in order to help them discover what is really driving them.

 

Carla is a big proponent of journaling, so I asked her why she thought that is so important. She said there are many benefits but that she would focus on three ways it can be a helpful tool. Journaling can be a mechanism to empty your mind and clear out all of the noise, which Carla calls taking out the mental trash. It also gives us a little distance from our thoughts and awareness of what we are allowing in our headspace. Clara also says she likes to think of journaling as a tool for navigating our lives, to get things down with pen and paper in order to examine the circumstances and prepare our response.

 

I asked Carla to explain the meaning and importance of mindset shifts. She said we often get focused on what we don’t want, and how fear can play a part in unhealthy and unproductive thinking. She said that it is important for us to be aware of this and then ask ourselves what we do want, and focus on that instead of imaging negative outcomes.

 

We talked a little bit about the pandemic, the wide range of reactions to it, and how Carla is helping her clients get through this challenge. She said the tone of her coaching calls have really changed from being forward-thinking and goal-focused to rather a survival mode kind of situation. Carla said because we are getting so much information, and much of it conflicting, and differing view and opinions, it is even more important to unpack our thinking, whether through journaling or speaking to someone we trust. She emphasized how important it is to control the things that we allow in our lives and the power that they have over us.

 

During this interview, Carla really emphasizes the power our thinking has and how much positive influence we can have if we take the time to become aware of it and change it up, if necessary. This episode is incredibly helpful in reminding us of the need for self-care if we are going to grow both personally and professionally and I hope you will join us!

 

 

Notable Quotes:

 

“What holds people back has more to do with what is between their ears rather than the external tools they have at their disposal.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“On the outside, life looks really good, but there is a disconnect on the inside for them to actually experience that.”

 

  • Carla Reeves

 

 

“Thriving begins on the inside.”

 

  • Carla Reeves

 

 

“A deep change in the way that you experience life requires a deep change in the way that you think.”

 

  • Carla Reeves

 

 

“We have to examine our thinking first to really shift our outer experience.”

 

  • Carla Reeves

 

 

“A lot of high-achievers have an old, out-dated story inside themselves that doesn’t fit, but got lodged inside them somehow.”

 

  • Carla Reeves

 

 

“I try to help my clients let go of their faulty thinking which causes relentless striving for never-ending achievement.”

 

  • Carla Reeves

 

 

“What I discovered was that many people came to me for coaching because they wanted to escape something.”

 

  • Carla Reeves

 

 

“They become fueled by inspiration or passion rather than trying to prove something.”

 

  • Carla Reeves

 

 

“Just replacing that fuel or engine with something more productive and positive is the key.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“Journaling is like taking out the mental trash and will help you to be more present and engaged.”

 

  • Carla Reeves

 

 

“If you don’t make decisions for yourself, life will make them for you.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“A lot of times we get focused on what we don’t want.”

 

  • Carla Reeves

 

 

“We create a lot more suffering and struggle with our thinking.”

 

  • Carla Reeves

 

 

“We all carry a load - the heavy is in our heads. We may not be able to change the load, we can control the weight by the way we choose to think.”

 

  • Carla Reeves

 

 

“Mastermind groups become a lifeline in challenging times.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“This is a time of re-invention for people.”

 

  • Carla Reeves

 

 

“The pandemic has given us all a “Little House on the Prairie” life scenario.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 




Links:

Flip Hacking Live

Carla’s Website

Return on Investments

Just Start Real Estate

JSRE on Facebook

Mike on Facebook

Mike on Instagram

Mike on LinkedIn

Mike on Twitter

Level Jumping: How I Grew My Business to Over $1 Million in Profits in 12 Months

Direct download: Executive_Lifestyle_and_Mindset_Coach_and_Speaker_Carla_Reeves.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, I am excited to interview Mark Podolsky, who, armed with only $3,000, gut-wrenching fear, and absolutely no real estate experience, bought his first few parcels of raw land in 2001. Today, Mark is the author of Dirt Rich, the ultimate guide to helping you build a passive income, and owner of Frontier Properties, a very reputable and successful land investing company. He is also the host of two popular podcasts, The Art of Passive Income and The Best Passive Income Model. By focusing on working smart, not hard, he has completed over 5,500 land deals with an average ROI of over 300% on cash flips, and over 1,000% on the deals he sells with financing terms.

 

Mark begins by giving us a little detail on how he got into land investing. He was working as an investment banker in mergers and acquisitions and had a co-worker achieving incredibly high ROI by investing in raw land. Mark couldn’t believe the numbers, so he tried it himself. After about 18 months, he was able to exceed his corporate job income and was able to quit in order to invest full-time.

 

I asked Mark to walk us through his investing model. He starts by going to the county treasurer in a particular area and gets the list of everyone who owes back taxes on land. He said that this advertises two things to him: the owner is not emotionally attached to the land and he is financially distressed in some way. Mark then looks at comparable sales, takes the lowest comparable sale, divides by 4, and offers that fraction to the owner of the land. Because this is cash, and better than nothing, 3-5% of the people will accept it. Once bought, Mark wants to make the property cash-flow, just like if he had a rental home, and he has a usually has guaranteed buyers in the neighbors. If they have no interest in the property, he has an extensive list of buyers and sites to sell it.

 

Mark talked a lot about selling to his buyer’s list, so I asked him how you build a list for land. He commented that he has a huge market for raw land and he explained some of his marketing strategies. He also employs a 90-day return or exchange and 365-day exchange program so it removes the risk for his customers. He then explained how he has automated both the front-end and back-end systems. He says he only has one hour in this business a week when he conducts his team meeting.

 

I asked Mark to lay out what his team looks like. He has an Acquisitions Manager who decides on a market after extensive research, gets the delinquent tax list from the county, and then who works with a guy on Fiverr, who Mark says is an “excel ninja.” He scrubs the list and uploads it to The Land Geek’s proprietary software LGPASS, which sends out direct mail offers. Then the Intake Manager takes over as the offers come back, to ensure they are actual deals, and to try to negotiate a lower selling price, in addition to the actual closing. The property due diligence is performed by a group in the Philipines associated with an American title company, and then they have ad writers for the major selling outlets like Craiglist and Facebook Marketplace. Mark also employs Virtual Assistants (VAs) to work with the Acquisition Manager handling administrative duties.

 

This episode is about so much more than land investing! Mark walks us through his entire process, which is such valuable information for any investor! Join us for this powerful episode of the Just Start Real Estate Podcast!




Notable Quotes:

 

“Now we are working because we want to, not because we have to.”

 

  • Mark Podolsky

 

 

“No renters, no rehabs, no renovations, no rodents.”

 

  • Mark Podolsky

 

 

“The game that we play is can we create enough of these land notes so that our passive income exceeds our fixed expenses.”

 

  • Mark Podolsky

 

 

“Happy customers guaranteed.”

 

  • Mark Podolsky’s business philosophy

 

 

“What used to take me hours and hours, now takes me one second because of automation.”

 

  • Mark Podolsky

 

 

“You just have to show up - it is a consistency game.”

 

  • Mark Podolsky

 

 

“COVID is definitely changing the way we do business. We might not have the same success rate closing deals over the phone, but it is dwarfed by the volume of deals when you are doing it virtually.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“We are learning how to do things faster and better.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“Owning land is kind of like man-jewelry.”

 

  • Mark Podolsky

 




Links:

Flip Hacking Live

Mark’s Website 

Tax Title Services

GeekPay

LGPASS

DataTree

ListSource

Dirt Rich

The Wholetailing Course

Return on Investments

Just Start Real Estate

JSRE on Facebook

Mike on Facebook

Mike on Instagram

Mike on LinkedIn

Mike on Twitter

Level Jumping: How I Grew My Business to Over $1 Million in Profits in 12 Months

Direct download: Land_Investing_with_Mark_Podolsky.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, I am joined by super-successful Karen Briscoe, who is the principal owner of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) with Keller Williams. The HBC Group has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the 250 Top Realtor® teams in the United States. Since 1977, HBC Group has sold over 1,500 homes valued at over $1.5 billion. The team consistently sells over 100 residential properties annually ranging from multi-million dollar luxury estates to condominiums and townhomes. Primary market areas include Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland, and Washington, DC.

 

Karen is the creator of the transformative "5 Minute Success" concept. Her books Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day: Secrets of a Top Agent Revealed and Commit to Get Leads: 66 Day Challenge offer a combination of information and inspiration delivered through memorable stories. Her most recent book, Flip Time / Love Life is a heroine’s journey tale about loving the life you have while you create and co-create the life of your dreams. Karen also hosts the highly-rated and immensely popular show 5 Minute Success - The Podcast.

 

Karen starts by telling us how she got into real estate and what led her to authoring books and becoming a podcaster. She initially got started in property developments, but then switched to the residential side of real estate after staying home with her children for many years. Her success in re-building her business after the housing market crisis in 2008 led her to share her methods through her books and podcast.

 

I asked Karen what she thought helped her to be so successful so early and she said it was her primary strategy of lead-generation that she covers in her Commit to Get Leads book. She said she consistently took a plain notebook, numbered a page from one to twenty-five, and when she had filled that up with people she had reached out to that week, she knew her work was done. She is a firm believer that this consistent effort and commitment is what has led to her continued success.

 

Karen then walks us through the 5 Minute Success principles. She is convinced success is achieved by getting into action immediately and applying lessons learned. Karen talks about how spending five minutes each day, especially attaching the reading of these principles coupled with an existing habit, like having your morning coffee, is very effective and makes the new habit effortless.

 

I then asked Karen to explain her 66 Day Challenge so we could dive a little deeper into lead generation because it is so vital to a profitable business. She pointed out that there has been a lot of research done on how long it actually takes to form a new habit. Many people say it takes 21 days, but during that period the person is really excited and, when that wears off, the habit can fail to fully form. If they continue, in the second 21 days, the person goes through a period of evaluation, determining whether they really want to continue developing this new habit. The remaining days in the 66 day period are when people actually start to experience the benefits, and so it is important to power through and create the energy for persistence. And then, of course, this is just the challenge to get you jump-started for forming a life-long habit.

 

Because Karen has had so much success for a long period of time in real estate, I asked her where she thought the market would be headed because of the impact of COVID-19. She said she thought the concept of home has actually changed because of the shelter-in-place directives, and people are going to be more mindful of their living space because of it. Karen described how where they were seeing a trend toward urbanization, it now seems to be shifting toward suburbanization, because people want more space and land. She said many agents from around the country are seeing demand, but many of the sellers are unsure about the ongoing situation and not pulling the trigger.

 

Karen then talked about her partnership with the Front Row Foundation which helps individuals and families braving critical health challenges live life in the Front Row. The hope of the foundation is to provide a Front Row experience that will allow the recipient to set aside any physical or emotional challenges while they attend the event of their dreams and create memories that last a lifetime.

 

Karen is an ultra-successful business person, but much more importantly, an incredibly generous and kind one as well, so you will definitely miss out if you don’t listen to this week’s episode!



 

Notable Quotes:

 

“The best system is the one you use.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“Don’t overthink it - it is the consistency and the work that matters.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“Preparing to do the work is an excuse for not actually doing the work.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“I call it activity blocking rather than time blocking.”

 

  • Karen Briscoe

 

 

“The delivery system of these principles for 5 minutes a day is very powerful.”

 

  • Karen Briscoe

 

 

“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is like saying ‘I don’t want to.’”

 

  • Lao Tzu

 

 

“If somebody doesn’t want to invest 5 minutes a day into their personal or business development, then they don’t really want to be successful.”

 

  • Karen Briscoe

 

 

“Leads are oxygen to your business.”

 

  • Mike Simmons

 

 

“If you are living life on the front row, you can have a front-row moment wherever you are.”

 

  • Karen Briscoe

 




Links:

Flip Hacking Live

Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day: Secrets of a Top Agent Revealed

Commit to Get Leads: 66 Day Challenge

Flip Time / Love Life

5 Minute Success Website

5 Minute Success - The Podcast

Return on Investments

Just Start Real Estate

JSRE on Facebook

Mike on Facebook

Mike on Instagram

Mike on LinkedIn

Mike on Twitter

Level Jumping: How I Grew My Business to Over $1 Million in Profits in 12 Months

Direct download: 5_Minute_Success_in_Real_Estate_with_Karen_Briscoe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

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