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Scaling a Wholesale Business with Brett Snodgrass
Brett Snodgrass is a full-time real estate wholesaler who has been actively investing since 2007. Brett is the owner and CEO of Simple Wholesaling, a company focused on bringing opportunity to real estate investors as the buy and sell properties in the Indianapolis area.
His mission in life is to glorify God by serving as many people as he can through his real estate business. In this episode, Brett shared his unique business model which is co-wholesaling.
In this episode, Brett shared his unique business model, about co-wholesaling, and many more.
- Brett's background and how he got intro real estate
- Overview of Brett's team
- Generating seller leads
- How co-wholesaling works
- On their wholesale profit
- About their list
- Type of properties
- What they use to value their properties
- Having a separate brokerage
- Advice to those who want to get started
- Transitioning to being the visionary and ceo
- About EOS (EOS - Entrepreneurial Operating System)
- Roles of a visionary and integrator
- Running his business virtually
- Accountability metrics
- Taking interest in buying and selling notes
- Getting his family involved in note investing
- Assignment vs double closing
- Cleaning out properties
- Systems they use
- Focusing on one thing and doing it well
- On their market
- "If you don't have your acquisition's team getting deals, nobody else has a job."
- "Don't do it alone. If you don't know exactly what to do, just get involved with a company whose doing deals already."
RESOURCES AND LINKS FROM THIS SHOW:
- SWP:045 Real Estate Day Trading, Owner Financing and The Power Of Being An Extreme Giver
- SWP: 163 How to be Rich and Generous through Your Wholesale Business
- EOS - Entrepreneurial Operating System for Small Businesses
- Traction by Gino Wickman
- Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman
- The ONE Thing by Gary Keller
- Simple Wholesaling meetup
- Simple Wholesaling website
Larry: Welcome to the Brain Pick-A-Pro Show live from Lake Wylie, South Carolina. I’m Larry Goins, and, man, today is a very, very, very special show, but before we get into that, I just wanna remind you if this is your first show you’re watching or even if you’ve watched hundreds of episodes, please share, please like, please comment. We really, really appreciate the feedback. I hope you guys get a lot out of it. I try to bring you the best of the rest, right? I mean, there’s a ton of people out there talking about real estate, you know, some are doers, some are talkers, and I try to bring you the doers, the movers, and the shakers. People that I personally know, like, and trust. Now, I’m really, really excited because today I have a good friend of mine, we’re fellow Mastermind members. This guy is a mover and a shaker. He’s doing probably twice the amount of deals that I’m doing and I’m a little embarrassed to say that, but I wanna be picking his brain and asking a ton of questions today, right? And I do a lot of deals but this guy is crushing it, right? So, please give a warm welcome to Brett Snodgrass. What’s going on, buddy?
Brett: Hey, Larry. Thank you so much for having me a guest on your show. Super excited and if you guys don’t know, check out our website, episode 45, and you’re gonna see yours truly, Larry Goins. That was about a hundred episodes ago but I know a lot has changed since then but check that out on the Simple Wholesaling website there, 45.
Larry: That’s really cool, that’s really cool. Now, you’ve got a really cool, a really unique business model. I’ve picked your brain about it. I’ve really inquired and asked some of your team members about some of the things that they’re doing and we actually ended up working with our Podio developer with some information we got from one of your guys to kinda tweak our – we actually redid our entire Podio, our CRM, but, so, really, man, I appreciate that. That’s awesome. So, why don’t you start out and tell everybody a little bit about yourself and your business.
Brett: Yeah, no problem. Thanks, Larry. So, I’ve been in real estate investing about twelve years, started 2007. I didn’t come from any type of knowledge or background with real estate. My parents were both teachers, just hardworking Americans. You know, for thirty plus years, my dad was a – he was a shop teacher and a basketball coach, mom was a preschool teacher, so I didn’t have any knowledge, but then just got to know some people in real estate investing, read some books, and I really got interested and we bought our first house in 2007, my dad and I. He wanted to retire from teaching and then I had this niche of real estate so we bought our first house and we wholesaled it. We made about $6,000 and that’s when it kinda started and the light bulb went off and I was like, man, that seemed easy, it can’t be that easy, but let’s just see how it goes and literally the next year we did 150 of those types of deals and then I’ve done a lot of different – everything in real estate, you know, we started to do fix and flips. You know, I was managing contractors, waking up at 5 AM, going to Home Depot, and I did that for a few years and I realized that was – it was difficult but, yeah, I made ends meet. I’ve done a lot of seller financing. I know, Larry, you talk a lot about that, but then, a few years ago, I just wanted to get back into wholesaling and that’s why I developed our company, Simple Wholesaling. I wanted to do it big here in Indianapolis, Indiana. I wanna teach people how to do it so we do a lot of educational with our podcast. We host our own local meetup that we get about sixty, seventy people to come to, and then, yeah, and then, just kinda fast forward, we do about twenty-five deals a month for the past few years and do about a few hundred a year and that’s kinda where we’ve landed. We got a team of about ten now and that’s where we’re at.
Larry: A team of ten.
Larry: That’s huge, man. Would you mind running through a little bit about – just give us a little overview about your team. You know, I got three people doing this, two people doing this, we got one person doing that, and give us a little overview and not quite to thirty thousand, maybe the fifteen thousand view.
Brett: Yeah, no problem. Well, in wholesaling, basically, there’s some moving parts but there’s not a lot. You basically have three different departments. Number one, it all starts with the acquisitions department ’cause if you don’t have your acquisitions team getting deals, nobody else has a job, so you gotta start there. Someone answers the phones and takes the leads in. We have a couple of acquisitions managers. They’re the ones going out looking at the properties, taking pictures of the properties, analyzing the deals, negotiating with the sellers, so those are very crucial to your business, they need to be good salesman, so we got a couple of those, and then, once you get the deals, then you have to close ’em, so we have a closing coordinator. She handles all the paperwork, the administrative, looking at the closing documents, wiring money. She handles all that. And then you have your dispositions department and they’re the ones building relationships with investors like you Larry. They’re, you know, building your buyers’ list, they’re sending the e-mails out to the buyers, they’re selling your deals. So, that’s pretty much the three different departments, and then, you know, we have a guy that does marketing so he’s doing our mailing list, he’s choosing the postcards to send out, he does all that, and then I also have a COO so he handles the operations. I’m more of the visionary, the idea guy. So, that’s kinda most of the roles, then we have a couple of VAs that kinda fill in all the gaps in between.
Larry: That is awesome, man. That’s really good. So, you got about ten people. You got acquisitions. You have dispositions or sales, right? And then you have somebody handling closings, somebody handling marketing, but also you have some people answering the phone, right? That’s not your acquisition people.
Brett: That is correct, yeah. We have a different person answering the phone. We just think that’s crucial because we used to have our managers answer the phone and kinda take it from beginning to end but realized half the calls at least are people that are gonna say, take me off your mailing list, don’t call me anymore, or they got this – they’re just not a – they’re a cold lead, they’re not really warm, and we really want our acquisition managers to focus on those warm or hot leads so that’s why we have someone else taking in just to kinda, you know, get at least half of them out of the way so we can focus on the half that are actually worth looking at.
Larry: Good, so let’s back up a little bit. Will you tell us – I mean, if you’re doing 300 deals a year, man, you’ve got to generate hundreds of leads a week, I would imagine. Tell us a little bit about how you generate your seller leads ’cause, you know, I used to teach and preach HUD houses, HUD houses, MLS, but even I had to start doing direct mail, you know, almost a year ago, right? To keep up, because I could only go so far going wide, so we’re doing direct mail and some other stuff as well, so I wanna hear what you’re doing to generate seller leads to do twenty-five deals a month.
Brett: Yeah. Well, you know, we’re not anything different than a lot of other people. I feel like the market, as the market shifts and the market tightens, you know, we’re all looking for different ways for marketing and there are so many different things that you can do out there but we do direct mail, that’s pretty much our number one still, and so we’re sending out 25,000, 30,000 letters per month. We also do the Google AdWords, you know, PPC, where we have a company we’re paying for to be number one on Google’s site when people type in, we buy houses in Indianapolis, that’s where we pop up. We do some Facebook. We do some cold calling so we got a big list of 10,000 names and we got people hammering the cold calling. We basically just take our direct mail list, skip trace them, get their numbers, we don’t find them all but we find a percentage of them, then we cold call those. But, you know, one thing that’s a little bit different about us that we’ve really – I love, I love teaching, you know, my parents were both teachers and I love training and teaching people how to do this business because I feel like I just have some experience with it obviously and so our meetup and just really honing in on our local community, that’s one thing that I said, you know, I don’t maybe care about being known nationwide but we really wanna be known local so when people have a deal and they figure out who do we wanna send this to, we’re like, let’s just send it to Simple Wholesaling because those guys know what they’re doing and they take down deals so we’ve developed a program really where we do a lot of co-wholesaling with other people in our community and that’s helped out huge so out of those three hundred deals, I’d say half or less are just from people bringing us leads, bringing us deals, which has worked out great.
Larry: So about half of your deals are co-wholesaling deals. Share with everybody a little bit about how co-wholesaling works and about how you implement co-wholesaling.
Brett: Yeah. Well, there’s a couple of different ways, so we do it two different ways. The traditional way is, you know, we’re training – a lot of ’em are brand new people, they wanna get into wholesaling, they’re doing their marketing, they’re going out looking at houses but they don’t have a buyers’ list yet, they don’t have a lot of investors, they don’t know a lot of people like we do. So, they’ll find the deal, they’ll send it to us, we’ll analyze it for them. We’ll say, hey, I think we need to be here. They’re the ones negotiating with the seller, getting under purchase agreement, and basically they just assign it to us for zero dollars a lot of times and then we sell the deal and we typically give them a percentage of the profit. That’s the other way, but we also have other resources where we buy deals, we actually take ’em down, and some wholesalers, they want their fee right now. They don’t wanna wait for us to sell it, right? So sometimes they’ll say, hey, I have this deal. Instead of splitting a percentage of the profit, why don’t we just assign it to you for $2,000 and we’ll just get out of your way and we do that as well so we do it both ways.
Larry: Oh, that’s cool, man. That is good. What would you say is like your average profit, you know, for Simple Wholesaling on a co-wholesale and then on one that you do most – you do everything yourself?
Brett: Yeah. So, our market here in Indianapolis is probably a little bit different than some of the other. I know the wholesaling fees in some places seem super high to me but our average price point honestly in Indianapolis is $20,000 to $50,000. I mean, that’s like 65 percent of our business comes in that –
Larry: That’s my market. That’s my market.
Brett: Okay, so you know what I’m talking about. Usually when I say that, people are from Boston or something and they’re like, man, my average house is like $450,000. So that’s kind of our market so our margins are not huge but just to kinda give you – if we do a direct mail deal, our direct mail deal average is about $9,500 per deal profit and our average – when we buy from a wholesaler, it’s less than that obviously but we don’t have a lot of the marketing cost going into it, it’s about $6,500, something like that, with another wholesaler.
Larry: Oh, okay, cool, man. Cool. And I would imagine if you – I’m gonna give you a little tip here and you probably are already doing this but I’m in the Charlotte MSA and there’s so much competition, man. It’s like Indianapolis. Everybody and their brother wants to be an investor, right? So what we started doing is we started marketing outside, you know, two or three counties out and, check this out, most of my deals, I’m gonna buy it for $10,000 and sell it for $20,000, buy it for $15,000, sell it for $30,000. I’ll buy it for $20,000, sell it for $40,000. We got one deal going right now, we bought it for $15,000 and we’re selling it for $50,000.
Brett: Wow, that’s awesome.
Larry: $35,000 wholesale profit, and a house right around the corner just sold for $99,000, right?
Larry: Yeah. Also –
Brett: That’s awesome. I mean, you’ve looked at return on your money, it’s like, you know, you can buy and double your money on a deal like that. I would much rather do that all day than buy one for $300,000 and sell it for $310,000, you know?
Larry: Absolutely, absolutely. The least amount I made on a deal recently was a house that we bought for $100,000 and we had to sell it for $105,000. C’mon. And we’re buying houses for $15,000 and selling ’em for $30,000, right? We’re basically making the same amount the person we bought it from is.
Brett: That’s awesome, that’s awesome. You’re talking my language, Larry. I mean, I’m usually talking to people that they don’t get the $50,000 prices so that’s cool.
Larry: And that’s really good. So, you’re doing 25,000 to 30,000 direct mail pieces. Who do you mail out to? Do you create your own list? Do you do any list stocking? Do you buy a special list?
Brett: Yeah, I mean, we do a mixture. Our marketing guy actually, he’s the one that kinda goes through the list so I’m always sending him just different ideas but he kinda scrapes it and he gets it – so we buy some of the list, you know, vacant houses, absentee owners, but then we also do manual, go through VA, go through and we’ll pull all the evictions that happen in our county because that’s usually, you know, if someone’s evicting somebody, usually they’re pretty motivated to sell it. We’ll do all of the code violations. We’ll have someone go through and get all the code violations. We’ve done arrest records so like, you know, people get arrested, we’ll send them mail and we’ve bought properties literally from people that are in jail so that’s been kinda interesting.
Larry: Send a mobile notary to the jail and get it signed.
Brett: Yeah, it’s –
Larry: It’s like bail, right?
Brett: Yeah. So we do a lot of manual stuff as well so those are some of the different things that, you know, just typical, just like everybody else but tax delinquencies, tax sale properties, and those –
Larry: That’s cool. That’s good. Now, most of your properties, are they owner occupied or vacant or tenant occupied?
Brett: Yeah, so most of the ones that are in the lower price point, like I said, between that $20,000 to $50,000 range, I mean, a lot of those are vacant properties, non-owner occupied. Typically, it was maybe someone who had it that they thought they’re gonna fix it up and never did or they had it rented but the renter ransacked the place and it’s just a mess right now so a lot of our properties –
Brett: Yeah, but certain price points, you know, once you get $100,000 and over, you’re dealing a lot with the owner-occupied people so it really just kinda depends on the prices.
Larry: You know what, man, I limit my valuation on my list, $100,000 or less. I don’t even market to anybody over $100,000.
Brett: That’s interesting. That’s interesting. I mean, you know, if you look at our numbers, you know, we don’t think this year we’ve, you know, done – you know, like I said, about twenty-five deals a month and I was looking at our numbers the other day and I looked at how many properties were over $100,000 and I think it was only like eight. So, we don’t do that many either.
Larry: That’s pretty cool, man. I love it. I love that whole market, I love that, and you know what, it kinda moves me into the next topic is it’s much easier to value a two-bedroom, one-bath house that’s 900 square feet versus a $200,000 house, wouldn’t you agree?
Brett: Yeah. I mean, definitely, unless it’s in, you know, if that $200,000 house is in some sort of cookie cutter subdivision, things like that, then maybe you, you know, you can get the comps fairly easily based on that subdivision, but if it’s a $200,000 house out in the middle of nowhere in the country, yeah, it’s hard. Like I get – I don’t know, it frees up, honestly. Like I don’t know how to get the comps for something like that.
Larry: I hear you. What do you guys use to value your properties for your acquisition guys ’cause your guys go out to the house, right?
Brett: Yeah. Typically, they go out there, they’ll take pictures, walk around, they’ll meet somebody if they can but a lot of times our properties are vacant and the owners they don’t wanna meet anybody at a $20,000 ransacked house. So, you know, we’re brokers here in Indianapolis. I got my broker’s license about eight years ago and that’s when we were doing a lot of REOs and I realized I was paying the agent putting in all of our offers about $70,000 a year just off of us, so I was like, wow, I wanna keep some of that so I ended up getting my broker’s license so we could put in our own offers so I have my license so we just use the local MLS to analyze the deals.
Larry: Now, do you have a separate entity that you use for your broker versus your Simple Wholesaling?
Brett: Yeah, so our brokerage is Red Ridge Real Estate and that’s just an LLC and then our Simple Wholesaling, yeah, that’s just our investment company. We just do the wholesaling out of that, so, yeah, definitely separated. I would never have my wholesaling company be the brokerage.
Larry: Right, right. Yeah. Do you run into any problems with, you know, other agents and brokers and stuff wanting to give you a hard time about you’re trying to sell a property you don’t own?
Brett: Sometimes, you know, but we have a pretty decent reputation, you know, so they know we’re kind of on the up and we, you know, we’re not trying to hide anything and so I haven’t had a lot of push back. We’ve had some agents, you know, call us or call the real estate commission ’cause they got a letter in the mail and then we didn’t maybe put our brokerage on there so we asked the real estate commission, well, you know, what do we do, and they said, hey, put real small at the bottom of the postcard, you know, your brokerage name and that’s it and so we started doing that and we haven’t had any issues in the last couple of years. So not too much, no. A little bit here and there. You’re always gonna – real estate – as you grow and you scale and you do so many deals, there’s always gonna be little things here and there but I just kinda like take it on now. Like, oh, another obstacle, another challenge, another problem to solve then just kinda take it from there.
Larry: So, Brett, you help a lot of people get started in your own local market, right? And I know there’s some people watching this that’s in Indianapolis and, guys, check out his meetup, go to his website because if you’re right there in the local market, he can help you get started so what would you tell people who are, you know, wanting to get started, maybe they don’t know where to turn. How do you get those newbies up and running and trained in your own local market?
Brett: Yeah. No, definitely. I mean, that’s one of the reasons why we host our meetup. I mean, we’re always – so check out our website like Larry said on simplewholesaling.com. Our meetup location is on there. We host it the fourth Wednesday of each month and then we usually have sixty, seventy people so we typically go through a certain niche of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. We go through a good deal, bad deal where we talk about a great deal, everything involved with that deal, where we got it, how much money we made, what was the story, and then we talk about a bad deal. We’re like, man, this didn’t go so well and this is why. We gotta watch out for these things. So that’s one thing I just really recommend people to come to that. We’re also getting ready to launch and start doing more intense training so once every other week or once a month, we’re gonna be actually sitting down with a handful of wholesalers that are really serious about doing this business and we’re gonna really take them through their deals and help them really get started and analyze their deals. So, I always tell people don’t do it alone. If you don’t know exactly what to do, just get involved with the company who’s doing deals already and just start. Maybe there’s a position open, you can start working with them. Maybe you can just do some free stuff for them, go hang out some signs or door hangers or knock on doors. Just get involved with that company just to start to learn and I love it because I’ve seen guys that literally talked to me three years ago and they were struggling. They just were getting started, they didn’t know what to do, and then now they’re doing, you know, four, five, six deals a month and it’s awesome and I love doing it.
Larry: That’s great, man. That is really good. I love it, man. You got such a great little business model there. It’s not even little, you got a huge business model going on, but, you know, but you’ve got other people in positions. You even got a COO, a chief operating officer, that’s handling the day-to-day operations and now you’ve elevated yourself to where you can just be the visionary, right?
Brett: Yeah, and this is brand new, Larry. I mean, I was, you know – this has evolved and people like look at me and they’re asking me a lot of questions, they’re thinking, oh, I just started – they act like I just started this two years ago. I’ve been doing this for about twelve. The first seven, I was a one-man band. Me and my dad, we were doing deals. We were looking at all the houses. We were cleaning out the houses. We were selling them. Everything, right? So, that was the first seven years of my life and then we started this business and it scaled up and I was leading everything until January 1, 2019, this year, that’s when I brought in a guy who – he was already working with us, his name is Brian Snider, and he was our dispositions manager and he was a great leader and he was a teacher before and he talked the talk and he was great at systems and processes so he took over that and we’re still in this transition because I’ve never been the visionary, I’ve never been the CEO role, he’s never been the COO role, so it’s like we’re trying to get through it and we’re doing a really good job but it’s like peeling back the onion like what exactly do I do, what do you do, so we’re like – we’re actually training that with that just to figure out what that looks like, but this is exactly what I wanted. I’ve put that vision out there and I said, man, I just want a business that I can run when I want to but I just don’t have to be in it, because, sometimes, there’s certain things that are really important that I don’t have to be in the day to day and I’m still getting, you know, through all that but that’s the direction that we’re going so it’s pretty cool.
Larry: That’s really good, man. I love it. I love it. So, explain a little bit about visionary and do you base your business on EOS?
Brett: Yeah, we run EOS. We have a coach, Gary Harper, out of Northwest Indiana.
Larry: Oh, man, I love Gary. He’s awesome.
Larry: I’ve spent a lot of time with Gary. Share a little bit about EOS and what visionary integrator is, you know, you and your COO, a little bit about that.
Brett: Yeah, definitely. So, there’s two great books, if you wanna check them out and there’s one called Traction, it’s by Gino Wickman, and this really takes you through this EOS which is Entrepreneurial Operating System. So, if you’re a real estate investor or not, you can be running any business and this will –
Larry: I am looking for my copy, I didn’t – I couldn’t find it over here.
Brett: Yeah, no problem. So, he wrote that book but then he wrote another book called Rocket Fuel and me and my COO are reading that one and that’s really about the relationship between a visionary and an integrator. So, my role honestly is I’m an idea guy, I’m a relationship guy, I love, you know, being in front of people, I love the stage, I love talking and inspiring people. That’s just what I like doing and I love doing. That’s what energizes me, being on podcast like this, Larry, and that’s just really cool to me. And then the integrator, they, you know, maybe like some of that stuff but really they love processes. They love putting process maps and, you know, writing all these circles and who reports to who and putting these systems into place and running the operations of the company, so they take my ideas and he puts them into the business because I have a really difficult time doing that. I might have this great idea but I don’t wanna sit down and write out three pages exactly how to do it and all that and that’s where he comes in, so it’s a great relationship to have and that’s kind of it in a nutshell, but we’re trying to get through it because my team always reported to me. I was always the guy, they would ask me questions, they would come to if they had a problem, and now it’s like now I’m trying to wean off on that so they go to him now and that’s been kinda like, who do you report to and it’s been kind of a, you know, it’s just a balancing act basically.
Larry: That’s pretty cool, man. So, also if – unless something’s changed or maybe I didn’t have the right perception about this but you run your entire business virtually, don’t you?
Brett: So, I actually live about a couple hours away from my market. Personal family reasons. I moved out of my market in Indianapolis, two hours north and I live in a town called Fort Wayne, Indiana, and so – but the rest of the team, they’re in Indianapolis, so, I guess, yes, I do run virtually. I typically meet with my team once every other week. I do drive down and we have our meeting once every other week then we all get together, but other than that, yeah, it’s through Zoom, it’s through Skype, phone calls, and all that. The cool thing is I haven’t looked at a house in a really long time which is, you know – if I have to go look at a house, I get a little bit weird about it. Like I don’t know what to even do, which is really neat.
Larry: That’s funny, man, but your entire team is virtual as well, right? Everybody works in the market but they don’t come to a central office every day, do they? Or do they?
Brett: That is correct, yes. You are correct. So they all live in Indy but I just kind of – we do have like an office where we get together for our L10 meetings, our weekly score card meetings. You know, my sales guys, I mean, they’re – I want them in the field, you know, I don’t want ’em –
Larry: They –
Brett: Office. Our lead manager, she lives in Texas. She doesn’t even live in Indy so she’s taking the calls from Texas. We have a couple of VAs from the Philippines so I got a couple of guys. My COO, he typically goes to the office but, you know, we just kinda run it all but I think it’s really cool because we have just different systems set up in our business that this – technology these days, you don’t have to have an office. I mean, look at all the brick and mortar offices, it’s – I just see it going away. You don’t have to have that anymore. There’s other ways that you can do to keep a thumb on your business and keep a tab on people with their accountability because that’s the biggest thing. I mean, you want them to be accountable, and people think if they’re not sitting there, what are they gonna do? There’s other ways you can set up in your business to keep them accountable, that’s having a score card, making sure they’re meeting their metrics each week. We have something called – we have a Google Sheet document that everybody puts exactly the top six things they’re gonna do in their business each day so I can look on that and see what everybody’s doing and if they didn’t do that, then – so we have some of those accountability metrics in place. Takes away – we don’t have to have the office, basically, Larry.
Larry: That’s great, man. I love it. I love it. So, Brett, what are you working on now? What’s next for you?
Brett: Yeah, so I got definitely some things in the fire. You know, this year, we’ve been kinda working on the COO transition, visionary, we’ve hired a couple of new people, but I’m really excited, I took a class. I don’t know if you had him on the show but Eddie Speed, he came to Indianapolis a couple of weeks ago and he talked about notes and I’ve been doing some seller financing in our market last year, started dabbling in it and I got kind of excited about it and I know you do some of that too, Larry.
Brett: And it’s just really evolved because, you know, honestly, wholesaling is an active business. You got this active transactional day in, day out, you gotta get deals, you get paid one time, and that’s it. So, the note business and the seller financing business is you sell it, you get a down payment, and then you make, you know, 12 percent on your money for years to come or more or less or whatever that looks like, right? So, I’m getting more and more interested in these notes, so buying and selling notes, and I have this company, it’s gonna be launching in a couple of months. It’s gonna be, you know, kind of hand in hand with our company now because notes, you know, we’re doing the same thing except instead of selling the property cash, we’re gonna sell it with financing in place. We’re calling it Simple Notes so check that out in a couple of months. If you’re interested in notes, I just think it is a great, great business that you have to check out. And the cool thing about notes is is this. I’ve been wanting to get my family involved in real estate for a long time, my dad, my brother. They’re all looking at us and they’re saying, wow, you guys are doing some cool stuff, but I never knew how to get them involved, right? Because I’m like they don’t wanna swing a hammer, they don’t wanna fix up a house, they don’t wanna be landlord, but the notes business is something that everybody can get involved because we all invest somewhere and it’s a very passive way to invest. So, I’m super excited about it so check it out, Simple Notes.
Larry: That’s great, man. I love it. I love it. The website is not up yet but Simple Wholesaling. Man, you got a ton of properties there right now.
Brett: I do, yeah.
Larry: That’s huge, man. That’s awesome. I love it. You got some videos there from your meetups and training and stuff. It’s really good information, good stuff. I love that. I love that. You know, I love the seller financing stuff, I really do. Eddie Speed is a great guy. I’ve known him for many, many years, done business with him probably twenty years ago, you know? So, yeah, he’s a good guy and notes are really, really good and it’s kinda funny you mentioned about, you know, wholesaling, you know, that’s a grand, it’s a business, you know, and I like to tell people, in wholesaling, every month you go from hero to zero and you gotta start over, right?
Brett: It is true. I mean, literally, I’m not sure when this show’s coming out but yesterday was the last day of the month and we had, what, five, six closings on the sales side that day, so we’re like, man, it’s an awesome day. The last day of the month is always like that, and then now it’s the first and we’re like, wow, well, we start from zero, here we go.
Brett: It’s like you can’t even breathe –
Larry: Exactly. Exactly. So, what percentage of your deals would you say you do assignments versus double closings?
Brett: Yeah. Well, we didn’t get into our model that much, Larry. We actually do pretty much all the, you know, the double closing model right now. We actually don’t even do a lot of assignments and we actually do a different type of model where we’re trying to take down a lot of deals and just buy them, clean them out, more of a wholetail model where we’re able to, you know, list them on the MLS, you know, we have different exit strategies that we can do, we can seller finance them, that’s when that kinda came into play, so we’re doing a lot more of that. And in our market, with the cheap houses, we can – well, I can take down a $20,000 house or $25,000 and it’s not like a $500,000, you know, where we can do that multiple times and we just realized it, it’s a better model for us, you know, but I’ve done double closings and assignments for years so this is kind of a new thing in the last few years that I just felt was better for our model and we can make more money on the back end ’cause we’re not just sticking to our buyers’ list. This way, we can buyers’ list, MLS, you know, other websites, and we can clean it out, we can, you know, we own the property and it’s just we feel like we make more money on the back end.
Larry: That’s good. So, do you do a little bit of rehabbing or anything or, you know, cleaning it out, painting, or whatever?
Brett: Yeah. So, the thing about this business is it’s very – you have to be very quick, you know? If you start rehabbing in – I’ve been down this road, I’m sure maybe you have too, but you start painting something, then you’re gonna like, oh, maybe we should put in flooring and then you’re like, oh, the water heater busted, you know, we should probably just go ahead and do that and, you know, all this stuff and you start getting into this rehab, right? So, to answer your question, we clean them out and we clean them up and we take nice pictures, so a lot of our houses are just trashed. They have personal belongings everywhere, so we actually have two crews, they don’t work for me, they’re independent contractors here in Indy that they clean out all of our houses so as soon as we buy a house, we call them up, say hey, go clean this house, give us the price, some are only a couple hundred bucks, some of ’em are $5,000, just depending on the clean out, but we just felt like, you know, when we were wholesaling before, we would take pictures, there would be junk just everywhere, and we felt again that if we can clean them up, make ’em look a little bit better, that they’re just more desirable rather than someone just trying to look through all the junk, right? So that’s what we do. We buy it, we clean it out, and then we list it, sell it.
Larry: That’s good, man. And you found that you increased your value by being able to do that, don’t you? Or that’s been increased.
Brett: Yeah, I believe so. I mean, I think it’s just goes a long way. Yeah, I mean, real estate investors, people always real estate investors, they could pass all the junk and they can, we’re just humans, you know? And I see a house like that, like, I don’t know, I just, I think it’s just human nature, we’re like, man, that looks gross, it looks disgusting, but you get all that stuff out of the way, then you can see the wall, actually. Or the cabinets, you know? So, we just started doing that. I think it’s gone a long way. I think it’s improved our business and, again, like we wanna put our best foot forward but we don’t wanna put out a crappy product and I feel like if we put a house out there with just junk everywhere, it’s like, man, I’m like that’s not the best product we can put out. We can probably do little bit better than that and that’s when we started doing this.
Larry: So, if you don’t mind me asking, and I know it’s kinda justified because if you can sign a deal and make $7,500 but if you could clean it out and put it on the MLS and sell it for $10,000, it’s really not much difference, you know what I mean? Because you got real estate commission, closing costs twice on the buy and the sell, and if you use private money, you got that cost, and then you got the cost to clean it out, so do you see that you’re able to increase the sale price by doing that?
Brett: I mean, honestly, and I’d really have to like dig into the data, I haven’t like analyzed, I know our profits are going up and that’s a great thing. I feel like that one of the big reasons why we wanted, as you talked about, Larry, it’s so competitive out there. We wanted to put out something different than everybody else. So, now, when someone gets something from us, they know it’s cleaned out, they know the pictures are good, they know they don’t have to worry about any of that stuff, and it’s just a little bit different than the normal person. So, I definitely know we make a lot more money on some of our deals and sometimes it’s not worth it. We kinda have to make that call, but it was more of like an all or nothing, like let’s put out a great product every time and not pick and choose so we – ’cause it all just boils down to the system, right? Like I don’t wanna have to answer questions like should we clean this one out or should we assign it. Let’s just do the same thing across the board and that’s just kind of what we decided to do so now it’s a system so now everybody knows on the team, we close it, this is exactly what we’re gonna do to this system, rather than make the decisions in the middle of it, what should we do, right? So that’s –
Larry: Wow. It’s funny you mentioned that because you’re not the first person or the only person out there doing that. I know three or four other guys that have scaled businesses that are doing that exact same thing. We pick and choose, right? We pick and choose. We don’t list every property. We don’t clean out every property. We assign a good bit of ’em. A lot of times, whether or not we double close or assign is it’s gonna depend on our buyer and seller, right?
Brett: You know, just to backtrack, we do assign contracts sometimes. There’s actually a specific deal, this guy wanted a certain amount of money for it and I wasn’t typically comfortable paying that for that particular property but there’s a buyer looking for this particular type of property so we actually asked him, hey, we got this property, you know, what do you think about it, and that’s a property we wouldn’t have bought so that’s a – but we were going to assign ’em so there is some different things here and there but typically our normal is the systems I mentioned.
Larry: That’s really funny you mentioned that because my sales guy sent a guy to look at a house that I don’t have under contract yet to see if he was selling then we’re gonna get it under contract, ’cause it’s that kind of unique situation.
Brett: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. If you got those buyers, it’s like, you know, they tell you what they’re looking for and then you have options, like we just – we just met this one company and they’re looking for type A properties, cookie cutter, $100,000 or more, rents $1,300 a month, $1,400, and they’re typically properties that we’re not gonna take down so if we build that relationship with them, then, yes, we’re going to, you know, assign those properties to them so, you know, when I take ’em down like it has to be – so the disadvantage of it, it has to be a pretty good deal ’cause I’m putting my money where my mouth is, right? But there’s other situations where like, yeah, like if you have a few relationships that you can assign the contracts.
Larry: That’s really good. That’s good. So, Brett, is there anything else that you’d like to share? We’ve gone through a lot and I feel like I’ve just been slamming you with questions the whole time.
Brett: Got the fire round.
Larry: But it’s good stuff, man. I love it. It’s great information. You know, what would you like to share?
Brett: I mean, I think that if you’re gonna get into real estate investing at all, man, there’s so many aspects for it, so what was the – the biggest thing for me was just focusing on one thing and doing it well, so that’s what I did a few years ago. I feel like that’s when I’ve been able to scale the business. I’ve had so many opportunities people throwing at me on all these different wavelengths of self-storage units to apartment buildings to, you know, a bunch of different things that would have property management, it would have taken me a whole different direction and would have taken my – just distract me from the business if I said no, like we’re just gonna do this, we’re gonna do it really well and that’s how we’ve been able to scale so I think just pick one thing, focus on it well. If you do diversify, which we are doing with notes, but we feel like that goes a little bit hand in hand with our business model. Like if I wanna get a phone call person, someone answering the phone a new direct mail for people who own notes, it’s the same process. We already got the system lined up. If we wanna seller finance deals, it’s the same. We’re just instead of selling it cash, we’re selling it with financing, so it goes hand in hand with our business, but if I would have said, hey, let’s open up a property management company, it’s just different, totally different, so if you’re gonna do something different, do something that you already have the structure kind of in place. I think that’s what you should do.
Larry: That’s really good. That’s really good, man. I love it. It’s kind of like the book The ONE Thing, right?
Brett: There you go. Yeah. Gary Keller.
Larry: That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. Good. So, who is your buyer? Who’s your buyer? In other words, are you selling mostly to landlords? Fix and flips? Fix and flippers or rehabbers? Or are they just, you know, people who want a good deal on a house and they’re gonna buy it, pay cash, and fix it up, move into it?
Brett: Yeah. So, Indianapolis is a very amazing cash flow city, so we get a lot of people from all over the nation, all over the world honestly, coming in Indianapolis and buying properties for cash flow. You can buy a property here all in, you know, $50,000, $60,000, rent it out for $700, $800 a month. You can get that deal if you want or you can buy a cookie cutter house for $120,000 and rent it out for $1,200 a month. Just depends on what percentage you’re kinda looking for, so it’s a great cash flow city, so 70 percent of our deals probably are to landlords and investors that are looking for that cash flow. Thirty percent are the flippers who we have a lot of hot spots in Indianapolis that, you know, the urban historical areas that are sort of downtown, they’re like, you know, they used to sell for $30,000, now they’re selling for $300,000 types of areas so there are some great flip opportunities here as well. So, both I think, you know? Not very seldom do we sell to someone gonna live in a house. Unless it’s, you know, a seller financing type of deal and then we’re going to, you know, a loan origination, things like that, just to make sure they’re qualified. But, yeah, that’s kind of what we do.
Larry: It’s funny you mentioned that because the vast majority of my buyers are landlords, okay? And the rest of ’em, except probably maybe 2 percent, right, are people who are gonna buy it, fix it up, and live in it, or the parents of somebody who’s gonna buy it and fix it up and live in it. ’Cause we got a lot of parents or grandparents that will buy a house right down the street from their child or grandchild and buy it for them and then they fix it up altogether as a family and one of ’em moves in it.
Brett: That’s awesome. You don’t sell to any flippers primarily?
Larry: Most of my houses. See, most fix and flips, you need an ARV over $100,000, right?
Larry: ’Cause most of those are gonna be, you know, if somebody’s buying a house for $50,000, banks aren’t gonna loan on it and they probably don’t have the credit to be able to qualify, right?
Larry: So, if I was seller financing it or doing lease options, yeah, that’s good. But most of our properties, I mean, our average sell price is $30,000 to $40,000.
Brett: Got you. See, in Indy, there’s some hot spots. A lot of our flips are kind of in that hot spot, urban, you know, towards downtown, so, you know, the ARV on those are honestly about $250,000 now and we can typically sell those for, you know, $70,000, something, $80,000, but, I mean, they’re big rehabs so it takes a really experienced person. I mean, they’re gonna be putting in $80,000, $90,000 into this place but they can make a lot of money but it’s a big project so a lot of our flips are like that.
Larry: Absolutely. That’s good, man. That’s good. Now, you fund – you said you take down a lot of your deals now and put ’em on the MLS. How are you funding those, if you don’t mind me asking?
Brett: Yeah. So, since I’ve been doing it for twelve years, I have a lot of my own resources, you know, I live a pretty simple life so I’m constantly, you know, putting my back into the business and funding it that way, but I can’t do that, you know, with how many properties that we’re doing so I’ve been very fortunate just by doing the podcast and if anybody out there is looking for opportunities to make a very, very passive, hands-off, you know, return on their money, we use private lenders, so I have not a lot, I got about ten or twelve guys that have heard me on the podcast or just at our meetups or our local networking events and they’ll say, hey, I have $100,000, $250,000, whatever it is and I’m looking to invest, I don’t wanna swing a hammer, I don’t wanna flip, I just – I don’t wanna put it in the stock market, I’d rather just put it in, you know, a steady return that’s, you know, so we’ll do a note and a mortgage on the house and private lender, that’s a great way to go. I mean, if I was – man, I tell you. If I was in that position and I had some extra money, I would lend to companies like me or you, Larry, all the time. It’s so much better return than, you know, the rollercoaster ride of the stock market or any of that. So I would just highly recommend it.
Larry: That’s so true. That’s the difference between that business and investment, right?
Larry: Real estate is a business, buy, sell, buy, sell, and investment, being passive as well. Yeah. That’s really good. That’s really good. And it sounds like it’s short-term money as well because you’re buying it and you might only hold it, you know, I don’t know what your average hold time is but – maybe thirty or sixty days, I’m guessing.
Brett: Yeah, so just to kind of put it in a nutshell, I got some people that they wanna do more long term, they wanna put their money in for a couple years, a few years, and we’ll do more of a business loan on something like that. But then the other guys, I mean, they want it secured by the house and then, yeah, that’s short term. It’s based on the sale of the property so most of the time, we’re selling that within forty, thirty to sixty days and they’re getting their money back, so it’s great for people that don’t want their money tied in, you know, like apartment syndications. That can be good money but, you know, they might be in that thing for three years, four years, so this is a great thing that if you’re in between kind of what you wanna do, hey, I’m gonna put in $50,000 for, you know, forty-five, sixty days, it’s a great model for that.
Larry: That’s awesome, man. That’s really cool. So, man, this has been a very long podcast but it’s been great stuff. I really appreciate it.
Brett: Thanks, Larry.
Larry: Yeah, man, great content, great information. And, guys, please go check out Simple Wholesaling. His e-mail address is literally right there behind him, you know? So, you talk to him if you want to, you know?
Brett: And I’ll just put a plugin for that just real quick, you know? If you’re interested in Indianapolis, check out our website, simplewholesaling.com. We also have our podcast, the Simple Wholesaling Podcast with Brian and I. We got some educational things on there about wholesaling. If you’re local, come to our meetup, fourth Wednesday of the month. My e-mail’s email@example.com. Our private lending, whatever you guys wanna know, and then in the future, if you’re interested in notes, I know I’m not maybe the most qualified guy to talk about that ’cause I’m kinda new too but Simple Notes is coming and we’ll have that up in a few months here.
Larry: Sweet, man. That sounds good. That sounds good. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Brett: I don’t think so. Just I really appreciate you, Larry. I know, you know, like I said, you were on our podcast, episode 45, I think you’re coming up again, we’re gonna have you just to kinda pick your brain again ’cause you got so much knowledge to share but just really appreciate you and the things you’re doing and your education platform and it’s just awesome. It’s awesome to know people like you.
Larry: Thanks, man. I appreciate you saying that, and you’re – man, you’re a mover and a shaker and, you know, you got it going on, man, so I’ve learned a lot today. I’ve got a full page of notes here, right? So it’s really good stuff, man. I appreciate you sharing. That’s awesome.
Brett: Awesome. Thanks, Larry. Appreciate it.
Larry: Thank you. Guys, thank you so much for watching. I really appreciate it. Please share, please watch, please – give us some reviews, share the love. We really, really appreciate it. We’ll see you on the next episode. Brett, thanks a lot, buddy.
Brett: All right. Thanks, guys.