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Achieving Your Desired Lifestyle by Hiring the Right People with Brian Ellwood

SHOW SUMMARY:

In today's show, Larry talked with Brian Ellwood. Brian is doing a lot of deals and is having fun making money and living the lifestyle. They talked about how hiring an acquisition manager changed his business and helped him achieve the lifestyle he desired.

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Brian's background
  • How he discovered real estate
  • How he started his own business
  • Working with a coach
  • The impact of hiring an acquisition manager
  • Permanently moving to Denver
  • Being passionate about helping other people achieve financial freedom
  • Brian's book - Fire Yourself
  • What Brian's business looks like - business structure - process
  • Percentage of each real estate investments
  • How he pays his private money lenders
  • Structuring the terms
  • Typical price range of the houses Brian buys
  • Building their buyer's list
  • How they are getting their deals
  • What PPC is
  • Recruiting Bird Dogs
  • Brian's advice

QUOTES:

  • "I am just really passionate about helping other people achieve financial freedom and being able to design their lifestyle the way they wanted it to look."
  • "You have to know what your numbers are."
  • "Lifestyle is the real end goal."
  • "The fortune is in the follow up."

RESOURCES AND LINKS FROM THIS SHOW:

SHOW TRANSCRIPT:

Larry: Welcome to the Brain-Pick-A-Pro Show live from Lake Wylie South Carolina and Colorado. I’m really excited about our special guest today. He is a rock star, he’s doing a lot of deals, he’s having fun and making money and living the lifestyle. Please welcome Brian Elwood. What’s going on buddy?

Brian: What’s up Larry? Thanks for having me.

Larry: How you been?

Brian: Man I’ve been pretty good. I was actually born in South Carolina.

Larry: Really what part?

Brian: Spartanburg.

Larry: Spartanburg I bought a lot of houses in Spartanburg and Greenville and Woodruff all down in there. 

Brian: Okay yeah my grandma still lives in Spartanburg. So I’m there a couple a year to see her.

Larry: That’s great that is awesome. I’m glad to hear it. So why don’t you start out and tell our listeners a little bit about yourself?

Brian: So I grew up mostly in Nashville Tennessee, went to the University of Tennessee. I moved back to the corporate thing for a little while and absolutely hated it.

Larry: What did you do in the corporate world?

Brian: Oh man I sat at a desk and pretended to work, I’m being honest but it was like health insurance claim so I’d work claims and try to get the companies to pay for their claims.

Larry: You needed something a little more exciting huh?

Brian: Yeah everyone’s eyes are glazing over just listening to that much of that story. So after that I discovered real estate, started birddogging for a local investor and finding him deals. He paid me a little finders’ fees but that really taught me how to find deals.

Larry: Good.

Brian: And then started my own business doing wholesale deals and fix and flip deals, six years ago or so, five six years ago. And we grew to where we’re doing over 100 deals a year.

Larry: And this is in Nashville right?

Brian: Yeah this is in Nashville.

Larry: I was in Nashville this morning.

Brian: No way.

Larry: I’m serious. I had a 5:40AM flight out of Nashville back to the office. I was at the office before 9AM.

Brian: Jeez, you just had to lay over there?

Larry: Yeah no, I was in Nashville for the last few days at a Mastermind that I’m in.

Brian: Oh cool neat. Yeah Nashville is a great real estate market and it really was back then especially. If you look at it today statistically it’s one of the strongest real estate markets in the US. 

Larry: Wow.

Brian: But it’s also very competitive and inflated like a lot of other cities right now.

Larry: Sure. 

Brian: But back when the gig was real good we were doing over 100 deals a year and fix and flips and wholesale deals buying rentals. And we started working with Joe McCall as our coach at this time.

Larry: I saw Joe yesterday.

Brian: Did you?

Larry: Yeah I hang out with him the last three days.

Brian: I love Joe.

Larry: He’s a great guy.

Brian: Yeah I can attribute a lot of my success to things that Joe helped me with over the years.

Larry: Good.

Brian: I was thinking about this this morning I wondering how I could repay him.

Larry: I’m going to get him on here soon. I’m going to get him on the podcast soon. 

Brian: Awesome. Yeah so hired Joe and he taught us how to start making our business more virtual, how replace ourselves. He taught us to hire an acquisition manager because at that time we were only making 300 grand a year in gross revenue running around like crazy with all these deals and closing. 

And there was no more time in the day and he taught us that’s the first 
person you replace yourself with. And when we hired out first acquisition manager not only did he give us back a lot of our time but he literally grew our revenue to a million bucks. He was spending all day finding deals and just tripling the volume of activity that we were able to do when we were doing and everything else. 

We got real interested in this idea of making the business virtual we started saying, “Well where else can we replace ourselves?” And we hired a project manager so we never had to go manage rehabs and we hired an office manager so we never had to addend closings anymore. And anything that required our physical presence we’d put somebody in that seat. 

And then I started travelling a lot we were still doing a bunch of deals. I’d take three-week road trips across the country, work from my laptops in coffee shops and things. And it’s like man this is the life. I didn’t realize real estate could be virtual. You think that you got to be up at the courthouse steps to do real estate deals but. 

Larry: Right.

Brian: And then three years ago I tested that theory out fully by permanently moving to Denver and I live here now. And I run the real estate business in Nashville and I also have an education business where I teach people how to do what I do. I started out about a year ago.

Larry: Right.

Brian: And yeah today I’m just really passionate about helping other people achieve financial freedom and being able to design their lifestyle the way they want it to look. So they can sit here like you and me and do cool stuff like his on a Wednesday morning and not have to go to a job I used to and all that stuff.

Larry: That’s awesome man that’s great. Now you actually wrote a book about how to hire your first acquisition manager right?

Brian: I did. It’s called Fire Yourself.

Larry: I love it.

Brian: It’s just soup to nuts operations manual, everything we did to hire that guy that tripled our revenue and gave us back all our free time. Since that day I’ve never talked to another seller myself I mean that was years and years ago. And I never will because I don’t like that part of this business, but I want good deals. And I’m happy to pay somebody a percentage of the deal so that they can do that for me.
And a lot of newbies get hang up they send out their direct mail right and then all the calls come in and they freeze up. And then, “I don’t want to call these people back I’m scared what if they get ticked off or whatever?”

Larry: Right.

Brian: I was the same and I powered through for a couple years as our acquisition manager and it never really got any better or more fun for me because it’s not my personality. So yeah if you’re that type of person I suggest checking out the book. I only charge the cost it cost me to print and ship.

Larry: Right.

Brian: At fireyourself.net you can get a free copy if anyone wants to check it out more.

Larry: Good we’ll put that in the resources on the show. 

Brian: Awesome.

Larry: Yeah that’s good, fireyourself.net.

Brian: Yeah.

Larry: That’s awesome I love it. So tell us a little bit about what your business looks like, what’s the structure, how many people do you have and what do they do?

Brian: Sure, so you may have met my business partner Frank when we were at Collective Geniuses where we’ve always been there together. But as of like the third, fourth quarter of 2017 we split up and we kind of few employees were with me a few went with him. 
So I think it’d be more helpful for me to describe to you how our business was just a handful of months ago, because that’s how it’s going to be pretty soon again just on my own. It was an amicable split we wanted to do different things.

Larry: Right.

Brian: So basically we have an acquisition manager obviously to go on all the appointments and work all the hot and warm leads. 

Larry: Right.

Brian: And then inside sales rep which is someone who basically works the phone all day.

Larry: That’s a lead manager right? Is that a lead manager or something different?

Brian: We have had a full time lead manager at one time, as of lately we realize that that might be a little bit overkill when you can train someone like your acquisition manager or your inside sales rep to analyze leads while they’re talking to people.

Larry: Right.

Brian: So yeah nowadays we actually let our acquisition manager do the lead analysis piece.
Larry: So they take it from when the lead comes in all the way through getting a contract?

Brian: So a call comes in and the inside sales guy will answer it and set the appointment gauge motivation, ask all the right questions. And then hands the lead off to the acquisition manager which is like the outside sales rep the main lead guy alright. And then he analyzes the lead, attends the appointment, does the repair estimate on the spot, makes an offer.

If the offer gets accepted then our project manager gets activated and he goes out there with an inspector and the contractor maybe a realtor or a property manager. And gets all the advice from all the experts on what’s this house going to take to get fixed up and what’s it going to rent for all that. Then the acquisition manager also acts as our transaction 
coordinator. So he’ll send the contract to the title company, make sure the closing gets handled.

Larry: So the acquisition manager handles the closing pretty much.

Brian: The office manager will attend the closings just to sign. We give her a onetime resolution for every deal because she’s stamped permission to sign for us. So I’ve never had to go to the title company. It’s been a year or two since I’ve had to go to a title company.

Larry: That’s awesome.

Brian: I used to go four times every week and I hated it. I would just hang out in the parking lot of the title company which I mean there’s worse things you could spend your life doing. And then after we close on it, project manager works with contractors get it renovate it and then we either sell it or keep it as a rental hand out to the property manager. That’s essentially the bullet points.

Larry: That’s awesome. So I know you do wholesaling, you do fix and flip you keep some as rentals. What kind of a percentage is each?

Brian: Nowadays it’s very little to know wholesaling.

Larry: Oh really?

Brian: Yeah I’m just more- I really like to take title to the property take it down.

Larry: Right.

Brian: And I know you know Mark Terrio he always tells his students on his podcasts like step one is you get the contract signed for a good price. And then step two is you decide on your monetization strategy. And the first thing you should always try to do is hold the property. If you can, hold it.

Larry: Right.

Brian: Because then that’s like passive income is kind of what gives people the lifestyle they think they’re after when they get started in real estate anyway. Because a lot of people end up with this huge crazy business they’re like, “Man I thought I was going to be sitting on a beach but instead I’m managing 12 employees.” So I agree with that philosophy.

Larry: Good.

Brian: So that’s why I try to hold everything I can, and really I started raising private money regularly to buy rentals, that’s been a really powerful strategy that I teach a lot. Now I don’t like banks they’re really difficult to deal with.

Larry: Right.

Brian: Yeah I spend a lot of time talking to lenders whether it’s a friend from grade school or a local investor or whoever, anyone who wants to make six to 9% on their money that’s guaranteed and it’s backed by a real asset can talk to me and do a loan. And that’s been powerful. 
So it’s shifted it’s like in early days it was like, “Let’s wholesale as many deals as possible.” And now I slowed down a bit I’m like, “I want to build something that’s really going to last. I want a portfolio of assets that money hits my mailbox every month. My philosophy has shifted over time for sure.

Larry: You don’t want to sell the goose that lays the golden egg right? 

Brian: Yeah exactly.

Larry: That’s good. Now you pay your private money lenders around six to 9%, is that right?

Brian: Sometimes as high as 10% and then there’s usually one to four points in there, of course that’s a wide range. But it’s all deal dependent.
Larry: Sure.

Brian: So a lot of people feel like they’re at the mercy of private money lenders but what I usually do is when a deal comes across my plate I’ll run my own numbers and just determine the most that I can pay.

Larry: Right.

Brian: And I’ll just draw the line and be like, “Look I can only pay 8% plus two points on this deal. Is anyone interested in taking this?”

Larry: Right. 

Brian: And if they aren’t that’s okay I don’t really negotiate and that’s a better way to kind of frame it.

Larry: That’s a good point. Now how do you structure the terms? Is it interest only or is it fully amortized?

Brian: So if it’s 18 months or less it’s usually an interest only loan because there’s really no point in amortizing for that short of a loan. It confuses the lender especially if you’re pitching someone new. It’s so much easier to say, “Look if you loan me 50 grand for a yeah I’ll mail you a cheque each month for 300 buck which is just interest.”

Larry: Right.

Brian: And at the end of the year I’ll pay you back your 50 grand in full right.

Larry: Right.

Brian: So they don’t have to think about oh this little part knocks off the principal. But if you and some private money lenders will do three five seven year loans just an individual, which is awesome. And then you usually go amortized.

Larry: Right.

Brian: Just because it’s a long- you don’t want to pay interest only for five years that yeah.

Larry: Right you want to be building some equity.

Brian: Exactly yeah.

Larry: That is good. What’s a typical price range house that you’re buying now?

Brian: That’s one of the things I really love about my market. And maybe you have the same thing going on in south Carolina is everything is under $100,000 just to give you a rough starting point. So every like we always have a handful of fix and flip deals going on at any given time.

Larry: Right.

Brian: But if they don’t sell, if I list it and the market crushes or something, and it won’t sell, what it will rent for always is going to cover the payment. I can always double every deal I do would double as a rental. It’s kind of a rule I made especially here in 2018 where things are crazy inflated, I don’t want to have 10 speculative half a million dollar rehabs sitting on the market fingers crossed hoping they sell.

We’ve worked too hard to get to where we are to lose it all at this point. So I really like cheaper blue collar markets like not really rough areas but working class neighborhoods. You can get a house for 60, 70 grand, it’ll rent for 1000 bucks a month. And it’s rented most there’s no problems with vacancies and things like that. That’s been my sweet spot.

Larry: Awesome that’s really good. And it’s very similar to what we do, we buy a lot of houses for 30, 40, 50, 60 and then if we’re wholesaling them we’re wholesaling them for 40, 50, 60, 70. Or we’re doing a lease option of a land contract or something like that. But I love and I know you have a lot in your market like this, I love the three bedroom, one a half or two bath brick ranch houses, 1100, 12, 1500sqft. Love those kinds of houses.

Brian: Yeah it’s the perfect investment I mean and multifamily probably are awesome too I haven’t gotten into that. But for single family houses, yeah like it doesn’t get any better. I would hate to have a @300,000 house that I was trying to make work as a rental property. That would be stressful you can’t do it. Really I’d much rather have six $50,000 houses.

Larry: Exactly.

Brian: For many reasons.

Larry: Exactly.

Brian: Yeah.

Larry: So tell us a little about you’ve got an acquisition manager, one acquisition manager and an inside sales person which is really your lead manager. They’re doing the set when the leads come in. and then you’ve got your operations manager she’s basically doing your closings it sounds like.

Brian: Right.

Larry: Now are all these people full time?

Brian: Yes.

Larry: Okay. Now what about your salesperson? Do you have a salesperson that’s wholesaling you fix and flip stuff?

Brian: So for the fix and flip stuff it’s just our relator because we’ll lease that retail.

Larry: Right that makes sense. 

Brian: For the wholesalers back when we were doing a lot of them, we would have our lead manager also be the disposition manager I think that’s what people call it. Person that sells the contracts and stuff like that. That was definitely one of our strengths back in the day was building a buyers’ list that’ something that we could do very easily and very well. I can talk about that if you want me to.

Larry: Yeah that would be awesome. How do you build your buyers? What’s a great way to do that?

Brian: Okay. So some people pitch this model where it’s like I want to email these like 30,000 people in my market that I’m just going to blast every deal to,” but I don’t really like that approach.

Larry: Right.

Brian: I like to work with just a handful of real players where I can make a few phone calls and sell the deal without posting it anywhere because you can get busted for stuff like that too sometimes. Like the local real estate commissions for advertising deals in a bunch of different places when you have it under contract. It’s different in every market.

Larry: Right.

Brian: But I always like to just do it via a phone call or an email just to one person. So in order to get like people ask me all the time, “How do you build a buyers’ list?” and they pay for software and stuff to do it but I think it’s really simple and easy. What I do is okay so normally you obviously know about going in and pulling a direct mail list for absentee sellers, right it’s one of those-

Larry: Right explain that to our listeners though so they can understand if they look familiar. 

Brian: So for normal direct mail you’re learning about real estate marketing they would say, “Let’s start with direct mail and pull a list of absentee owners in your market of people who own a property but they don’t live in it. And you send a mail and you’ll get leads okay. So my strategy for getting buyers is the same as that but with a small tweak.

So you go in and pull a list for absentee owners. But normally what you do is you will put about 10 years of equity in there. so if today is 2017 you might pull the list they had to own it anywhere from 1900 all the way back up until call it 2007.

Larry: Right.

Brian: Alright. So they’ve had it for at least 10 years. That’s how you would normally pull a list. For a buyers’ list you actually go only about one year or two years back at most from present day. So I would put in there for the dates, I want absentee owners who have bought properties from February 2016 to February 2018.

So just in the last two years. And then when you go to purchase the list, you don’t exclude duplicates so you get every purchase. So you basically end up with a spreadsheet that has every house that every investor has bought in the last couple of you years.

Larry: And how many.

Brian: And how many. And then you put that spreadsheet you create what’s called a Pivot Table to where you can see it just shows you, it ranks it in order. So you can see but you don’t do it by the name of the LLC you actually do it by the address because some investors will have 10 different LLCs but they always use the same address. So you create the pivot table by the address.

Larry: That’s a great tip.

Brian: Yeah and then you end up with on a spreadsheet literally a list of the ranking top 10 buyers in your market. And sometimes the top two will be like those the big hedge funds like American Homes for Rent and if oh they bought 296 and then the next one somebody bought 186 houses and then some guy bought 97 and then some guy bought 86.

Larry: Right.

Brian: And it goes down in order from most to least on the pivot table. So once I have that, I call that your dream buyer’s list.

Larry: Right.

Brian: Our disposition manager when he didn’t have a contract to sell he would just call and send letters to everyone on that list regularly, follow up with them like diligently, send them like gifts to their office. Before we had him we used to drive around and knock on the doors, we’d go to the addresses and we’re like, “Hey are you so and so LLC?” and they’d be like, “Yeah, who are you?”

And I’m like, “We want to bring you some deals.” And they’d be like, “Come on in you guys want a water or a coffee?” and all of a sudden we’re at their roundtable and they’re showing us the areas they like to buy in and these are the guys that are buying 50 houses a year or more. So it’s so easy to work with, they’re not stingy about prices and stuff, they just want volume.

So that’s how we’ve done hundreds of wholesale deals every year it’s just with that top 20 list let’s call it, who are the top 20 players in your market? Pull that list every six to 12 months and you’ll always have your finger on who’s the main buyer at that time. And man that’s a powerful list it just makes your life simple too as a wholesaler.

Larry: Right, that’s awesome. Now let’s talk about on the acquisition side. Tell us how are you getting your deals?

Brian: So historically direct mail has always been our bread and butter. As 
you probably know it worked a lot better back in the day than it’s working today.

Larry: Right.

Brian: So direct mail was the main way we did it for the first three, four five years. Then it started to work a little worse, we added in PPC.

Larry: Explain PPC. I mean you know I know what it is but just so the people can understand.

Brian: Yeah so I don’t know a lot about it because we hired a company to do it for us but basically if someone Googles sell my house Nashville, we want to be in the top one to three results in the sponsored section on the very top of the Google results. And then they click that link and it goes to a squeeze page, has a guy in our company saying, “Hey you want to sell your house, put your details in this form right here.”

And then it enters into our podio, becomes a lead, acquisition guy gets a text calls those leads back real fast because PPC leads are expensive and they’re also really valuable. But they’re fleeting you have to jump on them pretty quick. But I mean they’re expensive yes and you might get a deal and on one bought PPC.

It doesn’t seem like it’s very scalable like I can’t just keep dumping more money on it, it’s going to get sweeter and sweeter. One strategy that I’ll talk about real quick that I think is one of the most underappreciated strategies is building a huge network of birddogs and wholesalers.

Larry: Right.

Brian: And this strategy works better if you’re going to flip the houses because otherwise you’re just trying to co-wholesale everything which some wholesalers don’t want to enter into that agreement with you.

Larry: And the profits get thin.

Brian: Exactly yeah. But the good thing is that your cost per deal is basically zero it’s just your time. So those offset like the expensive direct mail deals that we’re doing nowadays. And we don’t have it going this crazy at this time but at the peak I mean we would have like 100 people on a webinar every couple of weeks. 

There were local birddogs and wholesalers in our market and just teaching them how to find deals, how to put it under contract, what to say to the seller, how to analyze the deal. So really we invest in these people and train them and then who do you think they bring the deal to when they get one? Who are they going to think of first; the guy that does weekly Q&As with them or whatever. 

But you shouldn’t give them all your personal cellphone number because all you’ll do is talk to these guys they’ll call you every time they get a lead because they’re confused. These days you can do Facebook Lives and just create a closed group and people can put their questions as a comment and you can just answer them.

Larry: Right.

Brian: On live video, Friday for two hours each Friday or something like that.

Larry: Sure.

Brian: That’s a free marketing channel. If you’re someone who likes to give back and educate which I know you are like me, it’s fun to help other people. And then you also get what you want out of it which is deals. So I love that channel. Like people over estimate the importance of the fact that a wholesaler network that your cost per lead is zero.
Your cost per deal is zero. That matters business, because no business can escape the fact that you can’t get deals. If your customer acquisition costs divided by lifetime value the customer doesn’t work out, you know how the business speaks really.

Larry: Right.

Brian: Right you have to know what your numbers are. And all the cheap for free deals that you can get, I think you should really scale those marketing channels first. And then from there you can start to spend money and track it.

Larry: That’s awesome. That’s really good. I love the birddog thing. How do you recruit your birddogs? How do you find the people that you’re going to get on the webinar and nurture them and get them out there finding deals for you?

Brian: It’s a good question. So back in the day it was a little more difficult before social media was as big as it is now. You go to the local REA meetings, REA club or whatever in your city with your business cards and hand them out to people. I remember a lady at mine one time had those binders you put baseball card in.

Larry: Yeah.

Brian: She put business cards in them and she had like really just ages of business cards. And I’m sitting thinking, “That looks cool but how much money is that really making you?” Anyways that was the old way of doing it, and you might spend a few hours at the meeting once a month and come home with five new contacts or whatever.

Larry: Right.

Brian: Today, you can literally make one post on your local Facebook group if you’re REA whatever usually most market will have 10 different Facebook groups. Like Houston Cash Buyers, Houston REA Club, Houston Wholesale Deals. You just find them all and join them all and post in those, “Hey I’m a buyer I’m look for birddogs wholesalers I’ll teach you what to do just put your email address in the comments.

I’ve literally from one post in one group gotten 25 email addresses.

Larry: Wow.

Brian: From a Facebook post. But things are easy nowadays, easy to network nowadays and find the person you’re trying to find. That’s one of the beauties of the modern age is that part of it is just so much easier.

Larry: That’s awesome.

Brian: That’s it. I mean you can do things like Craigslist and stuff but like social media if you ideally post on there because not everyone’s going to see it every time, I think you could end up with a list of 100 or 200 people relatively quick. And then you treat that like an email list, put them on email them once a week. You could put them on a drip sequence with your auto responder.

You can create like in podio what we did is we just created a link, they clicked it and it takes them to a form in Podio where they fill out the address. So anytime they had a lead they wanted to share with us, they just clicked the link and then it just goes in our podio and it’s tagged with their name. so we know that if we do a deal out of it we have to pay them whatever we agreed upon, $1000 finder’s fee or.

Because if they just give you the lead it’s less valuable than them bringing you the contract. So yeah I love this marketing channel especially today in 2018 where I mean hard direct mail costs are crazy right now. It’s like 300 bucks to get a lead in the door at least in Nashville proper. In the fringe markets it’s cheaper but the more I learn about marketing the more I realize that I need to track that stuff cost per lead cost per deal average deal size.

Because you can’t scale a company even if it costs you five grand to get a deal and you’re only making 10 grand from the deal, that’s a 2:1 ratio. That’s not good enough to scale a company, you kind of have to be a one man show, you can put employees in. So you have to be like 3:1 to 4:1 in those ratio, what it cost you to get a deal and what you can make from the deal.

It has to be 1:3 or1:4 ratio to be healthy. If it’s greater than 1:4 you can actually afford to spend more money on it. But if it’s less and which it is for a lot of people, the only way you’re going to make money if you do every single thing yourself. So there’s no other costs.

Larry: That’s not why you got into real estate to begin with.

Brian: Yeah exactly. Most people want to make money in real estate because they believe that the money will afford them a certain type of lifestyle. They’re like, “Once I have the money things will be awesome.” But there’s a lot of billionaires in the world that are depressed and unhappy and working 100 hours a week and on antidepressants and they can’t sleep at night.

Larry: Sure.

Brian: Because they’ve created this monster that now runs their lives and they can’t remove themselves from it.

Larry: Right.

Brian: You think, well man they’re crazy if I had a billion dollars I wouldn’t do that. But the things you have to do to earn a billion dollars change you.

Larry: Right.

Brian: It changes your reality and like changes you, you becomes attached to things you no longer were. I know this is a bit a tangent but-

Larry: No it’s good, it’s rough.

Brian: It’s really like when I coach people I really start with lifestyle. What type of day are you trying to live on a day to day basis and how can we build a business that’s definitely going to afford that lifestyle. Forget about money for a second, let’s just what can we do to- because the lifestyle is the real angle to have that you love and enjoy. And that’s what I’m really passionate about at the end of the day.

Larry: I love it that’s great. Now you mentioned podio tell us a little bit about your podio and did you create it yourself or have somebody develop it for you or get it out of the box system or what?

Brian: We just created it ourselves over time. There’s three main apps that we use. There’s one for leads obviously and then there’s one for contracts. Once you get the contract signed. And there’s another one for contacts. So we separate someone’s name, phone number, email address from the lead itself. It’s in the lead too but it’s like the contact it linked to it in the lead. So it’s a separate app. It’s easier for marketing.

Larry: But they’re connected.

Brian: They’re connected and then we have some cool and I don’t honestly know how this works because our COO set it all up. But we have cool automation built in there where it’s like a new lead comes into podio, the first week they’ll get a phone call. The second week they’ll get a voice blast, the third week they’ll get a text blast and the fourth week they’ll get a direct mail piece.

Larry: That’s nice.

Brian: It’s one touch every week for four weeks and then that repeats. And that’s a big part of us being able to do a lot of deals is just having good follow up. That’s a thing that if you’re a newbie listening to this you got to squeeze every bit of juice out of the fruit that you can. And follow up is everything in the business.

Larry: The fortune is in the follow up.

Brian: Yeah,

Larry: Because if you don’t have follow up, you’re just wasting your money on direct mail or PPC or whatever. You’re just wasting your money because a lot of the deals and you can tell our listeners this, a lot of the deals they come after six months or a year or two years. What’s the oldest lead you’ve ever sold or bought their house?

Brian: Two or three years probably.

Larry: Wow.

Brian: Yeah.

Larry: That’s amazing. Man I really appreciate you sharing all this stuff with us, this is really good stuff. What kind of parting words would you have to somebody out there listening? Maybe they’re brand new or maybe they’re a one man show and they’re trying to scale or maybe they’re just trying to create the lifestyle. Or what’s some parting words you would share to somebody? Some words of wisdom that will help them get past where they are right now.

Brian: Man I’ll just try to be brief because I could go for an hour of course. But let’s just go with three quick things. Alright one, always have a mentor of some kind it doesn’t have to be like a coach like me where you pay good money to. It can be a local person who will meet you for coffee and has experience and will do it for free or the cost of some deals or whatever.
Always have someone that’s ahead of you that’s helping you stay on the right path, helps you figure out what you need to do. Second, get really clear on the lifestyle that you’re going after. What do I want to do when I wake up? Where do I live? Who do I work with? What am I doing? When do I do it? Just get clear on what that lifestyle looks like.

And then craft a vision for your business that clearly links to that lifestyle being lived right like you can read the vision for the business and say, “You know what, if I build this business it will give me this lifestyle.” They’re clearly linked right. Because you don’t want to end up somewhere you were never trying to go in the first place. You do those three things as the foundation for success, there’s lots of other things you have to do but that will really set you up to have a good chance of succeeding.

Larry: That is awesome. That’s really good stuff. Well man I really appreciate your being on here and what’s that website again where people can run grab your book? It sounds like a really good book.

Brian: Yeah it’s www.fireyourself.net .

Larry: Awesome. Well man thanks so much for being on I really appreciate you and thanks for sharing with our students and I’m sure they got a lot out of it. Appreciate it and I’ll see you soon.

Brian: Yeah thanks for having me, alright.

Larry: Thanks a lot see you.