On this episode of House Flip Masters Holly is joined by guest Danny Johnson. Danny Johnson is a repeat guest to the podcast, he is the first repeat guest that we have had on Secrets to Real Estate Investing because he is such a great teacher and a wealth of information. Holly received an email showing a pie chart about the various ways that Danny finds leads for his deals online. Holly wasn’t aware how much Danny actually worked online for his deals and he is here to share that information with listeners today.
Danny and his wife, Melissa, have been flipping houses in San Antonio, Texas for over 14 years. Before he got started in house flipping he was a software developer with a degree in computer science. Danny saw what house flipping was all about firsthand from his father. Seeing his father flip houses Danny decided to give it a try and he flipped houses part-time for about 3 years, and it wasn’t until he has laid off from his job that he started flipping full-time. It wasn’t too long after going full-time that Danny was thinking a lot about getting leads online - Danny and his wife were doing a lot of direct marketing; postcards, bandit signs, yellow page ads to gain leads. Danny found that direct mail pieces resulted in a lot of angry phone calls from people who were not happy to be receiving mail about Danny interested in buying their homes. When they started advertising in the Yellow Pages, Danny would receive phone calls from people that were genuinely interested in finding a solution to their problem. They stayed in the Yellow Pages for quite some time before it started to not generate anymore results or leads. When the popularity of Yellow Pages went down Danny created a website in an attempt to generate leads. Danny created the website but yet was not receiving any feedback from it at which point he realized he needed to optimize his website so that it popped up on search engines based on specific key words that people were actually searching when they wanted information on individuals who would purchase their homes. Danny says that when dealing online and search engine optimization (SEO) that it is important to keep in mind that sometimes it can take weeks to months for the changes that you make in keywords and specific search terms to start to produce results and become visible to online searchers.
Holly asks Danny to discuss the pie chart that she received in her email and asks Danny to share with listeners what the difference is between an organic search and a result generate through AdWords. Danny shares that an organic search is when you show up in the search results at the top and above that are the ads that are paid for per click. Holly says that she has has heard that pay per click can be expensive and the pricing can vary based on location - Danny confirms that it can be expensive and he says that they currently pay about $30 per click. Danny explains why pay per click prices can be expensive and the different factors that go into it. Danny explains that it is important to know what key words are being searched and to have a website that is quality and keeps visitors there for at least one minute because all of these elements determine your websites quality to a specific search engine. Danny and Holly discuss the different ways that Danny is using to test to see if the quality of his website changes to search engines and where this site ranks with those changes. Danny also discusses how a few years ago they become Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited and it helped to generate results because it stood out to people who were searching and it helped their credibility because it allowed for people to visit the BBB website and view their score and reviews. Danny asks Holly if she is BBB and she explains that she is not because of the type of deals that she works with and the fact that she works directly with real estate agents.
The chart that Holly and Danny are directing in this episode will be available on our website so that you can see the breakdown of online leads and how many leads came from each section of online advertising. Of the pie chart that the two are discussing 30 profitable flips came from the 404 leads that they generated online. Danny says that people have success online because of the commitment that goes into that type of marketing because of the amount of effort that it takes to market online. Marketing online takes a chunk of time because you need to make sure that you are staying active with blog posts and optimization of search words to make sure that you are using the words that are being searched.
Holly asks Danny to discuss how AdWords works and he explains how a term like “We Buy Houses” has a various amount of variations such as “We Buy Houses Fast,” “We Buy Houses Cash,” “We Buy Houses in San Antonio.” Danny says that it is important to have ad groups and all of the specific terms for each ad group to gain that specific audience. Danny and his team offer services on navigating AdWords and explains that how he has learned from his mistakes by trying to reach to broad of an audience. Holly talks about how AdWords can be confusing and it is important to hire someone who knows how to properly navigate the website and someone that has already dealt with the learning curve which Danny explains can be costly if you are not using the correct terms and learning how to make AdWords work for you and your business.
Holly asks Danny to share one of his successful deals from an online lead. Danny shares a story about a man who started out as a waiter and transitioned into a real estate investor. This new investor as able to find this deal that paid $30k with the help of one of Danny’s Lead Propeller websites.
Lead Propeller offers the most technologically advanced websites for real estate investors. Danny shares that with a website it is different than phone calls because you can’t answer a call or a question so they have texting built into the website so that when a form is filled out online the investor will get a text with the information so that the investor can followup right away. Holly and Danny discuss how important it is to get in touch with the person who has submitted information quickly before they move onto the next website or agent who might be able to help them. Lead Propeller offers services all over the country and in other countries as well. On Lead Propeller they have created tools specific to this website to better create and manage leads that are coming in. Danny has created videos on the site to explain all that Lead Propeller offers and the features that are built into it. You can also visit www.FlipWebinar.com where you will find webinars that will go into all that he discusses in more detail.
If you are interested in learning more about the pie chart that was discussed in today’s episode you can find it on our website www.HardHatHolly.com/49 - we also will have a free 17 page report that Danny has put together that shares a wealth of information.
If you are interested in learning more about Lead Propeller you can go to www.HardHadHolly.com/LP which will offer you a little something extra by going through our link.
To listen to Danny’s first visit with Holly you can visit www.HardHatHolly.com/9
On this episode of Secrets to Real Estate Investing host Holly is joined by Erin Pullins. Erin joins Holly to discuss how she finds her deals in the market where deals aren’t as plentiful as they once were. Erin started her career out of college in financial services, while she did love this field she wanted to have the background because she knew that she didn’t want to do it forever but she did want to learn all that she could. Erin worked in financial services for 8 years before her and her husband had their first child, after their first child was born she went back to work part-time until the couple had their second child. After the birth of their second child Erin found it to be much more difficult to work and take care of the family so she quit her job to take care of the babies. While both her and her husband were working they started buying and renting properties and once her youngest was in preschool they started flipping properties. Both Holly and Erin boast the love that they have for the flexibility that their real estate journey has afforded them.
Holly asks Erin to share the story of her first flip. Erin and her husband partnered with someone who had experience for their first flip which Erin says did not go so well. The person that they flipped with was a member that they were in a mastermind group with; in retrospect Erin says that this member was someone that they didn’t know very well and other members also didn’t know this person very well. The deal was structured so that Erin and her husband were to bring in the money for gap funding, the amount of money that the hard money loan does not cover - Erin and her husband brought the money for gap funding. Long story short Erin says that her and her husband lost $50,000 on the deal because the person that they partnered with was getting paid all along the way and was not passing the money down through the partnership. While Erin and her husband did lose a lot of money from this deal they both felt that it was a learning experience and they have not let this happen to them again they also knew that this bad experience would not make them quit because they knew the lifestyle that real estate investing offered was one that they really wanted. Holly reminds listeners of one of her favorite quotes “it’s not you win or lose, it’s you win or learn” because at the end of the day each experience is one to learn from.
The next deal that Erin and her husband did was one that came from an agent that they work with a lot and one that they trusted. This deal came to them because the deal was brought to them and it was already ready to go. Holly asks Erin how she finds her deals - Erin says that 50% of them come from realtors and the others still come from the MLS. While neither Erin or her husband are licensed agents they do a lot of the searching on their own and Erin says that she favors Redfin to look for deals because of the way that they lay out the information which Erin feels is much friendlier and easier to read than the MLS.
Holly asks Erin what her strategy is when she gets her deals from realtors. Holly says that a lot of time realtors will set investors up on an auto email for deals similar to the ones that are sent to those for people who are looking to own and occupy the home. Holly reminds listeners that this can be frustrating for investors because the realtor often times does not even check out the information that is being sent out on these auto emails. Erin shares that her strategy when working with real estate agents is that she talks to the listing agent. On one property Erin called the listing agent and was told that he couldn’t represent her and connected Erin with a colleague that specialized in working with investors. This agent has now become an agent that Erin and her husband work with often because this agent knows the specifics that they are looking for and sends them exactly what they want which is helpful because there is no value in sending just any and all listing to them. This agent also will go with Erin and her husband to the homes that they are viewing and give them insight on what they might consider doing when they want to sell the home from a buyer’s perspective since this agent also works with traditional buyers. Erin appreciates that this real estate agent offers value to her business which is why they continue to work with her. Holly shares a similar story of when an agent told her not to take out cabinets in a certain neighborhood because that is what people in that area like so it would add value to the home and the agent was right and Holly says that the listing sold quickly even with the cabinets that Holly thought were ugly and would stop the house from selling. A local agent who sees things from the buyer’s perspective is extremely valuable because they know what people are looking for when often time investors aren’t showing homes to buyers.
Holly asks Erin to share other tips or advice that she has encountered with working with realtors and how to train them. Erin says that when she was learning the business she remembers people saying that investors are open to sharing while realtors are the opposite. So she says that when she finds agents that are about quantity seem to be the best fit for her and her husband. She wants agents that are willing to build a longterm relationship because they end up brining the best deals.
Holly asks Erin to show how she networks with agents in her area. Erin often times finds her agents by talking to people but also says that finding those agents that work well with investors isn’t always the same every time. Erin advises that if you are looking for an agent that works well with investors to start putting that information out there and call local real estate options and ask if there is an agent in the office that specializes with working with investors. She also says that even agents that are newbies are helpful because you can often train them how to work for you. Erin also advises checking out Redfin because you can see properties that have been flipped and see who represented those investors and reach out to those agents. Another tip that Erin mentions is to network with other investors in your area and introduce yourself because you never know what they might have that might be better suited for you and not for them - find people who are doing what you are doing. Another avenue that Erin and her husband have started using is leads from handymen who deal with fixing homes and know the neighborhood. Erin and her husband compensate the people who bring them deals as well.
If you are interested in getting in touch with Erin you can reach her by email at PullinsEM@gmail.com
You can visit our website at www.HardHatHolly.com/48 to get a downloadable resource of the tips that Erin has shared today on training real estate agents for working with investors.
On this episode of Secrets to Real Estate Investing Holly is joined by guest Janet Woods. Holly and Janet discuss tips on how to use Feng Shui to help maximize the price of your flips. Janet was originally in the corporate world working for Xerox for 15 years where she actually discovered Feng Shui. In the early 1990’s Janet started studying Feng Shui and she left the corporate world to help people to utilize Feng Shui in their lives to get what they want. Janet is also a doctor of Asian Metaphysics and she has been practicing for 18 years. She has been helping people all over and from all walks of life on how to use Feng Shui. Janet explains that Feng Shui is the art of placement that originated in China, and in the corporate world Feng Shui is referred to as space planning. Feng Shui is about creating an environment that nurtures, motivates, and inspires a person into action to have a better life.
Holly recalls that she was surprised when she learned about Feng Shui how simple it was because it deals with placement and color. Janet advises that when you use Feng Shui in a home you are trying to sell you need to use energy and placement to make the buyer feel like the home is already thiers. Holly reminds us that buyers will purchase a home, whether they realize it or not, based on emotion and have been known to turn down what would have been a perfect home because something about it felt off to them. One of the first experiences that Holly had with Janet was with a home that had been on the market for 5 months and Janet came in and spent 20-30 minutes to make some changes to the home and the first couple who walked into the home ended up buying it that same day.
Dr. Janet has prepared a download for listeners with extensive information on how to use Feng Shui in your homes.
Dr. Janet advises that we want to see the home through the buyer’s eyes. Holly asks Dr. Janet to share with listeners how to give their homes curb appeal because it is the first impression that a buyer will get when they see the home. Dr. Janet says that when talking about curb appeal buyers want to feel safe and you want to draw people to the front door. To do this you need to plant flowers in purple, red, or white. Holly asks why those colors - Dr. Janet says that those colors are linked to safety. It is also vitally important to have a welcome mat, you should also remove things that are dead or unattractive, and remove any personal items that you may have in the home. Also keeping the home as clean as possible is important because once again this is the first impression to a buyer.
Holly asks when staging a living room what are some steps that should be taken. Dr. Janet says to remove anything person that has a special meaning to you because it may not have the same meaning for a potential buyer. When placing decorative items Dr. Janet says to keep items in groups of 1, 3, or 5. Keeping the space minimal allows for a buyer to visualize the house with their personal items in them. By keeping the space open and minimal allows for it to feel like there is more square footage. Removing unnecessary furniture and rugs will add to the look of more square footage.
Dr. Janet advises for people on a budget to go to Home Depot or Ikea to purchase black folding trays that you would use to watch TV on and use them as end tables because they are easily stored and portable. You can use these trays as well to display flyers of the home you are staging.
In the dining area some important principles are that the area is inviting and that once again people see themselves in this area - you want to make sure that you have 2 or 4 chairs at the table and not more than that unless the home is over 3,000 square feet in which case you can use 6 chairs. Another tip Dr. Janet discusses is that when you have a dining table to pull out the chairs a little bit almost as if the chairs are inviting the buyer to sit down. Holly asks Dr. Janet if there is a particular color that the dining room should be painted to make it more appealing. Dr. Janet says that the color of skin, a color with a pink hue will be the most appealing in the dining area. Holly and Dr. Janet both agree that color is very powerful and can sway a person’s decision if the color isn’t just right.
Next Holly and Dr. Janet discuss the kitchen, the kitchen is where people congregate and eat food. The Chinese believe that to have a good life you need to eat good food. To make this area appealing you need to clear the counters of anything that hasn’t been used in 3 months - a sparse kitchen helps the buyer mentally move their things in. Some things that Dr. Janet says you need in the kitchen area: a plant - fake or real, a plate on a plate stand, cookbooks, and a bowl of fruit.
Next in the bedroom, Dr. Janet suggests making sure that the furniture is small - if you have a king sized bed change it for a queen size bed. She also advises to remove art from the bedroom or to keep it to landscapes or abstract because you want to again make people feel like they can see themselves living there. Dr. Janet reminds us that closets sell houses, so you need to have a few hangers in the closets and a few decorative boxes on the shelf.
When discussing the bathroom Dr. Janet says to have white towels. Additionally you can take dove soaps, unwrap them and place them in a basket or a glass container to keep a constant, pleasant smell. Dr. Janet suggests also to remove the bathmats from the bathroom. If you are selling a home where people are still living in the home they should have a box for all of their personal items that can be stored under the counter when the house is being shown. It is important to have the counters clear of all things-- especially toiletries and personal items.
When it comes to staging an office Dr. Janet says to keep it very minimalistic - a small desk with a chair and very few desk accessories on the desk. By keeping the furniture small it allows for people to think that the house is big because it is big enough to have a home office.
If you are interested in getting in touch with Dr. Janet about learning more or about having her help with a home that might not be selling, you can visit www.TheArtofLifeInstitute.com where classes are taught for people interested in a DIY level of Feng Shui. You can also visit her personal website www.JanetWoods.com where you can contact her, as well as learn weekly tips on using Feng Shui.
Dr. Janet has created a downloadable resource of Feng Shui tips for listeners which can be found on our website at www.HardHatHolly.com/47
On this episode of House Flip Masters Holly is joined by guest Whitney Nicely. Whitney has been called the Queen of Weird Real Estate in Eastern Tennessee.
Whitney started flipping houses in 2009 with her parents, her mother was a real estate investor and she knew that she would become one herself. The first house that she flipped with her parents is when she fell in love with the process of flipping homes; she also fell in love with this particular house and ended up moving into it instead of her parents selling it.
In 2013, Whitney and her brother were buying houses with cash, like her mom always did. They bought 3 houses and one of them was a total loss. With the two houses that they had left she realized that they had their life savings in them. Also, with only two houses she realized she was never going to get ahead. Whitney knew she had to figure out a way to do real estate without putting any of her own money into the pot. Since than Whitney learned about lease options and did her first deal in the Spring of 2014. Although Whitney has only been using this method for the past 3 years she has done over 50 deals without having to use any of her own money. Currently she has 19 apartments and 7 chunks of land that she hasn’t had to use her own money to purchase.
Holly knows that a lot of people are interested in getting into real estate don’t have a lot of money which is why she is so excited to have Whitney share her success with listeners. Whitney says that her favorite way to purchase a home is through lease options, or as she refers to them as band-aids, because they can fix any situation.
Holly asks Whitney to share with listeners some situations in which a lease option is good choice. Whitney says that when a house is over leveraged a lease option is a great choice to get a piece of property without using any of your own money.
Holly asks Whitney to share how a lease option works and what the process might be like. A lease option is an agreement that allows someone to rent the house with the option to purchase it at a point in the future at an agreed upon price today. Whitney shares that when she was a normal real estate agent she had her license for 18 months and only made $1,200 in 8 weeks using lease option she made $15,000 doing a lease option that she posted on Zillow.
Whitney shares with Holly that she recently found out from her lawn guy that he owned 13 properties, and after talking to him Whitney decided to buy a few of them from him. The first house that she bought was a cracked house-- the house was literally cracked and had been partially burnt. An interested party saw the listing and wanted to buy the house from Whitney. She was able to turn her small purchase into big money by offering the right option to the buyer. When her lawn guy found out that she turned around and made more money on it than he had initially charged her Whitney decided to give him a little more than she originally agreed to. The second house that she got from her lawn guy is not proving to be as successful as the first, but because it is not successful Whitney has decided that she is going to owner finance this house and put a big pink “Whitney buys houses” sign in the front and use it as advertising in that neighborhood. Whitney says that her bandit signs get her a lot of homes to look at so she is excited to see what this option will bring her. She will actually own the land instead of renting billboard space.
When Whitney started doing lease options and owner financing she said that everyone else was working in one suburb so she decided to go the other direction and work in another county. She decided to do this so that she could get the experience and learn to play with the big boys in her neighborhood and have the portfolio to back it up.
Holly mentions that Whitney has provided an awesome cheat sheet for listeners that will go over what she has talked about during this podcast that you can find at our website www.HardHatHolly.com/46 and you will be able to download Whitney’s awesome notes.
Holly asks Whitney to share another one of her secret weapons that the ladies both love to use called ‘Subject to’. Whitney explains that ‘subject to’ is when a seller still has a mortgage on their property and they need to move quickly you can buy that property subject to the mortgage staying in their name and the title transfers to your name. The reason you do this as subject to is because there is a due-on-sale clause in the mortgage that says that if the title transfers out of their name the bank can call for the whole note to be due. This is why Whitney likes to do lease options because the title does not change names and cause any red flags to the bank. Whitney has learned that by doing lease options she is protected and so is the buyer in the event that something happens that wasn’t planned.
Holly asks Whitney to share her best advice for someone just getting started in this game. Whitney advises that you just have to keep going, good deal or bad, just keep going because you don’t know when the next phone call will be or what the next seller will stay. The only way to get really good is to keep at it.
You can also find her on social media as Whitney Buys Houses
You can also check out her podcast All Real Estate All the Time by Whitney Nicely
FREE DOWNLOAD AT www.HardHatHolly.com/46