On this weeks episode of the Invest Four More Real Estate Podcast I interview Mark Evans, DM. Mark started investing in real estate at 18 and has never looked back. Mark has wholesaled, flipped and currently owns a turn-key rental property company. Mark owns hundreds or rental properties himself and has shown that a great attitude and a drive to succeed can make big things happen. Mark has built a multi-million dollar business and he attributes much of his success to thinking big and not letting others tell him what he can or can’t do.
Update on Invest Four More
Before I get into the interview with Mark, we have had some issues with the website recently. We switched from Bluehost (a website hosting service) to GoDaddy earlier this week. In what was supposed to be a smooth transition the site was down for almost an entire day! The shop was also not working correctly and if you tried to purchase a product you might have received a message saying the site was not secure. That has all been fixed and everything is working now, hopefully. If you find any parts of the site that don’t work or give you an error please let me know and I will get them fixed. Mark@investfourmore.com. For all the hassles we have had this week you can get 25 percent off anything in the store with coupon code: system25.
Why did Mark Evans, DM want to invest in real estate so young?
Mark grew up in Ohio and barely graduated from high school. After graduating he was working installing gutters on houses. He me many people through his work and started to notice a few guys with really nice cars, who were having a lot of houses remodeled. Mark asked the people with the nice cars, how they got them and they all said real estate. They were house flippers or rental property owners and Mark knew he had to get into real estate. He began researching as much as he could, he went to real estate coaching programs and he learned to wholesale and flip.
How was Mark able to be so successful at a young age?
It did not take Mark long to find success in real estate. He went seminars, took courses and did what they told him to do. He started making a ton of calls, talking to as many people as he could and started to make deals. He admits he did not know what he was doing half the time, but he learned on the fly. Mark loved the business and made a lot of money, but was young and not the best with keeping the money he made. After almost going bankrupt twice he knew he had to change the way he was living and investing.
Mark changed the way he conducted business
After finding a lot of success in real estate, but not having much to show for it, Mark changed his path. He realized he had to create businesses that would run without him and hang around successful people who weren’t just looking for a free ride. Mark worked hard to build a business, hire people and change his life. He ended up creating a business that would work without him physically there. He traveled the world, moved to Florida and still made money. Mark ended up starting a turn-key rental property company to help other investors invest for cash flow and the success continued.
Was it just hard work that got Mark to where he is now?
Mark was very successful at a young age. He also had a few bumps in the road, but has come back stronger than ever after those bumps. When asking Mark why he has been so successful, he attributes many things.
- Hiring great people to help him grow bigger
- Taking action as soon as possible
- Reading and learning how to have the right attitude for success
- Not listening to what others say he should want in life or what he can accomplish
- Be persistent in everything you do. Many people start out strong, but fizzle out very quickly when things don’t go as planned. Things almost never go as planned so be prepared to change plans, keep working hard and fight through the tough times.
How can you contact Mark?
If you liked this episode, be sure to leave us a review!
[0:00:14] MF: Welcome to the Invest Four More Real Estate Podcast. My name is Mark Ferguson and I am your host. I am a house flipper. I flip 10 to 15 houses a year, I own 13 rental properties with a goal to buy 100 by 2023. I’m also a real estate agent. I’ve been licensed since ’01, I run a team of nine and we sell close to 200 houses a year.
So on this show, we’d like to interview house flippers, landlords and the best real estate agents in the business. So stay tuned for some great shows, if you want more information on my rentals, on the numbers, on how I buy properties, check out investfourmore.com.
[0:00:57] MF: Hi everyone, it’s Mark Ferguson with the Invest Four More real estate podcast. Welcome to another episode, I’m super excited today, I have a great guest Mark Evans DM who I know personally, he’s been a really good friend, really helps me out in my business in a number of ways. He’s been a super successful real estate investor, owns a turnkey rental company now, has his own podcast, does a ton of stuff.
Mark, thank you for being on the show, I appreciate you coming on.
[0:01:27] DG: Absolutely my man, thank you very much Mark, good name by the way.
[0:01:30] MF: Thank you, you know, I agree. Very cool, well yeah, we have a lot to talk about today, a lot of what I go over but you got started in real estate at a very young age. Tell us how you got started and what attracted you to real estate when you’re first starting out.
[0:01:46] DG: Great question. I started real estate investing, I was actually 18 years old, 1996, June of 96. I’m a small town buy, I come from a small town, an hour east of Columbus Ohio, 666 people in my town, no cops, no stop lights, kind of craziness still but anyways, I was not a school guy Mark. I literally barely graduated high school with a 1.8, not bragging, it’s just the reality. I had no college in my future, I hated school, everything about it, I love math class but I hated English and science and all that stuff.
At the end of the day I was sitting there, I come from a town. My parents make $25 to $35,000 a year, it’s just kind of good old hard working people, I still am amazed how well my family did, I never felt poor Mark, I don’t know if that makes sense? But I never felt poor without — like Christmas way to get socks, underwear in one gift. We were always super appreciative. Now you give kids 80 gifts and they want 150 gifts. That’s a whole another story, right?
[0:02:44] MF: I know what you mean.
[0:02:46] DG: I was literally back then, this is when lifestyles of the rich and famous was huge, form 10 years old, I remember, actually eight to 10 years old, I remember watching that show and like, “Wow, I want to be rich,” whatever that meant then, I was living in a trailer park then. I literally just decided, I started reading books when I was 15, 16, 17 of self-improvement, I used to buy those home entrepreneur magazines, I don’t know if you remember those, I’d go to the library and read them or go to the Barns and Noble back then, or little stores and just kind of read that kind of stuff and go send $7 to get a free CD or whatever.
Anyways, 18 years old, one month out of high school, had my own little seamless gutter company, I was doing a lot of work for these guys, they’re pulling up in Porsche’s with cigars saying, “Hey man, I got this other house over here,” and they’re paying me cash or check. How are you able to drive this nice car, I’m doing all the work and you’re making all the money kind of thing? I started asking them, “What do you do?” They say, “We’re real estate investors.”
I heard that probably about five times over and over and I was like, “I’m not that smart of a guy but if I hear it five times in a row, it probably means I should look at becoming a real estate investor.” I was watching a late night infomercial, Ross Whitney and I went to a three day seminar in Columbus, spent every dollar I had to go, I wasn’t a whole lot back then maybe $2,500.
That’s what started the journey Mark, I went down to Florida for three days, I drove there 20 something hours and I stayed in a hotel by myself eating Doritos and Cheetos and figuring out, I saw Ross Whitney in a room of 65 people or so, make a phone call — this is newspaper times — you picked up the newspaper, called the first cell people in the newspaper and some ladies like, “Yeah, I’ll sell you my house, I just want to get rid of it. I was like, “Holy smokes, I can do that.” That literally was the journey, that’s what started the process man.
[0:04:40] MF: That’s really cool. Most people, it’s almost probably a good thing that you didn’t go to college, you didn’t get stuck in the corporate world, the path that so many people have, it’s kind of like society tells you a certain path that you have to go through to be successful and most people get stuck on that path and they don’t see how much else is out there.
[0:05:01] DG: Yeah. 100%. I haven’t really connected with the 65 people in the room, I had a couple of connections with those people but it’s interesting you say that because a lot of the people in that room, I was the youngest guy by far in that room, probably about 10 years and literally everyone in there was like, “Let’s go to the bar,” they’re talking about going to the bar, drinking and eating for dinner, noon. I’m sitting there, I got to get to the room, I got to make some calls, I got to make something happen.
Another thing I think too Mark is the problem, people are very comfortable being comfortable. They haven’t had that life altering decisions or life altering situation to force them for change you know what I mean?
[0:05:37] MF: No, I know exactly what you mean. I was in that same boat too, when I graduated I went to college, got a finance degree, came back and worked with my father as an agent for a while, that was super comfortable, I wasn’t super successful but I had nothing that really pushed me and said, “Hey, you need to get out there and really do something big,” that came later in life and I realized, “Man, if I would have just been stuck out there in my own I probably would have succeeded a lot sooner in life than in my comfort zone.”
[0:06:03] DG: Absolutely man.
[0:06:05] MF: Very cool. How much do you think the self-help, those books, talking about your attitude affected your success in looking for those opportunities?
[0:06:14] DG: I think without it, I don’t think you have a fighting chance but I could see a car wreck and you could see a car wreck, not you in particular someone else. One of my family members, I won’t mention their name and literally they’re like, “Oh my god, it’s catastrophic, everyone’s dead,” and I look at them and, “Wow, it’s pretty amazing, only one person died.” How do you see it, it’s a very big determination I think on how you project your life out there.
As you know Mark, we have challenges every single day, I’m a huge fan on focus on data not drama. Everyone has drama but I don’t want to hear about it. I think without the great books like the magic of thinking big by David Schwartz. As a man think of… I could go on and on, there’s so many amazing books but just getting your head wrapped around this and saying, you got it made. We’re alive right? We actually have a fighting chance every single day until we get six feet under.
[0:07:07] MF: Yeah, that’s great stuff. What I did recently, I’m always reading books too, I’m pretty busy, I don’t have time to read all the time but I’ve had a hard time finding some good books lately, I just went through my library and like, “What are my favorite books?” And I just reread them, I’m rereading Think and Grow Rich right now which is just for the time it was written and amazing book. Just changes my whole perspective and attitude about things when you read those really inspiring books. I know exactly what you mean.
[0:07:34] DG: It does Mark, another thing, just to touch on it a tad more because I don’t want to talk about way too much but that book, I read every single year and every single year I learn something totally different from that book. I’m a different person, I’m at different place in my life, I might even be seeking different answers or asking myself different questions. Sounds like you’ve had that experience as well, you always discover new things in that book, it’s like, “Wow, it’s amazing.”
[0:07:59] MF: Yeah, I completely do. It’s weird because I can’t describe exactly what it is I read that makes a big difference but I just feel different when I’m reading it. It’s like, “Oh, I’m thinking way too small, why am I getting stuck on this little stuff when there’s so much bigger things to be worried about?” Well not worried but building and making things bigger and better.
[0:08:19] DG: Absolutely.
[0:08:20] MF: Cool. When you first got started calling people, were you trying to wholesale, how are you trying to get in to the real estate business in the beginning?
[0:08:29] DG: Yeah, that’s a great question. This is where I see a lot of people fail, they’re trying to learn all the strategies, the truth is, I want through Russ Whitney’s group, he was just teaching us how to buy and hold through creative financing right? That’s all I know, no more, no less. I think the problem is, people get over educated and then it creates fear, procrastination, “Am I doing the right thing at the right time at the right moment?” There’s never a right time, there’s never a right moment.
None of those stars are lining up for that. I literally only had, I was very tunnelled vision and I literally just calling people and trying to structure owner financing deals you know what I mean? So I would call you and say, “Hey Mark, I see a house for $83,000 over in the west side of town. Hey, would you be interested in renting it and/or I would call the rental ads. Okay, why are you selling the house? Why are you renting the house?” “My tenant tore it up, I evicted them.”
“You don’t want to deal with that anymore do you?” “No, I’m just tired,” but the only thing they knew right? “Let me take it over on an owner financing or lease option, back then we call it, let me at least auction it and let me be the person to deal with all the headaches.” “Oh my god, you’re like a godsend, thank you,” that’s how I got started. Yeah, I was selling the retail people on lease option.
[0:09:40] MF: Nice, how long did you do that? How quickly did you find success when you first started out and how long did that continue until you moved on to new strategies?
[0:09:49] DG: Yeah, so it’s interesting. I found success very quickly because I actually did something, to me, I wrote a book called The One Buck Deals about this but I met these two cops, brothers, making his brother and yeah, come in the office. What I discovered Mark is you know this as well is a lot of people are very good at one way and not the other.
These guys were investors, they were really good at acquiring but they weren’t good at dealing with putting the sign out in the yard, talking to tenants and selling it and all that. We actually come to an agreement, I’m talking like, this happened within my first 40 days or less, I don’t know the exact timeline but very quickly. I met these guys, I went to their office, I’m like 18 years old. I’m still amazed that they’ll listen to me or even took the conversation but what I realized is it’s not about me, it’s about them and they inked the deal and I did deals — I made money within 48 hours of that meeting with them.
[0:10:45.2] MF: Wow.
[0:10:45.9] DG: Biggest check in my life, it was like $50 grand or something like that, I almost peed my pants and I messed everything up. I messed it all up, I messed up how I posted the sign, I messed up what I said, I was so nervous and excited that I forgot to even ask them what their name was. I totally screwed everything up but made money.
[0:11:02.3] MF: But you did it?
[0:11:04.2] DG: As you know that’s all you got to do, you just got to do it, listen, what’s the worst case scenario? Call them back and say, “I’m totally sorry but I forgot your name, I was writing out the lease,” but absolutely.
[0:11:14.8] MF: Nice. What you said earlier was true, people get so engrossed in doing all these different things and learning all these strategies at once, they never do anything, they just keep learning new strategies and that happens with people I talk to and coach all the time where it’s like, “Hey, you’re a real estate agent, you’re doing flips, you’re doing rental properties, you’re doing a blog, how do I do all that?” And it’s like, “No, you can’t do that all at once.” You have to start with one thing, really master that thing then maybe you can move on to something else and expand after that.
[0:11:45.3] DG: For sure.
[0:11:46.1] MF: Cool. As you progressed in your career, I know you’ve got a ton of properties now, you’ve got another company. What really caused you to get bigger and bigger and really grow into something really huge over the years, was there an event or was it just steady growth?
[0:12:02.6] DG: Yeah, no, I don’t believe in steady growth, I think steady growth on a very methodical way is overrated, I think it’s for the Wall Street guys that lie to people and steal from people every day because they’re just looking for incremental growth, I’m looking for massive multiplication growth all the time.
Grant Cardone always talks about 10X’ing stuff. Here is a couple of things that happen, I almost went bankrupt twice, right? On my early years because I was young, dumb. Making money and keeping money are way two different functions right? In the business of life. I started making a decent amount of money as a young kid but I had not financial mentors therefore seeking financial mentors, it’s how I discovered Robert Kiyosaki’s books.
Then got myself out of there and then that’s how I discovered how to do wholesaling mark at a high level. Because I wholesaled my way out of bankruptcy, I never filed the paperwork, I almost did. I still have the paperwork today at my desk but as that progressed, I was making money, doing a lot of rehabs, working 15, 16, 18 hours a day and I loved it. I was young, I was in my 20’s and I was at my office on day, this is a true story, October 8th, 2005 my grandmother passed away unexpectedly.
That was a pivotal moment to me. Okay Mark, you have money in the bank, you’re working like a maniac, you have a lot of people you work with, I just was working for everyone else too, I love what I do so It didn’t feel like work. I said, I want to do something different and bigger and I want to challenge the status quote what I knew. I’m always comfortable being uncomfortable, it’s kind of my motto.
My girlfriend then, Dina and I, we traveled to south beach Florida for one month which ended up turning into a two and a half year stint across the world. Since then, we actually traveled the world for seven years in total over the years but it forced me to stop being a micromanager, it forced me to become a better business owner, it forced me to become a business owner, there’s a lot of investors that think they own a business right Mark? They’re just high paid employees for themselves.
It’s like, if you get hit by a bus, your business is done, if I get hit by a bus, my business still continues, it might not continue as good as me, truth is, it might be better, right? I might be holding it back. There’s a lot of real variables there, I always kind of challenge myself but it forced me man, my grandmother passing — she was like one of my biggest mentors in my life, not financially, just as a great person, hard as nails. That was a huge pivotal point for me for sure to say, “Let’s live while I’m alive.”
[0:14:32.1] MF: Right, that’s good stuff. I’m curious, when you filed bankruptcy, what cause that? Was it just over spending, was it not…
[0:14:40.5] DG: I did not file bankruptcy.
[0:14:43.9] MF: Almost.
[0:14:46.4] DG: I was like 22 years old and I was making hundreds of thousands of dollars, a quarter. I was at the bar buying $10,000 tables and wasting money and just being stupid, buying “my friends”, not real friends obviously but people I was just hanging out, I was just over spending, not taking care of business. Again, it’s so entrepreneurial, I was such a just a dumb business guy. I was in business, I was just a dumb entrepreneur.
I was making money and spending money right? There’s a lot of people listening right now that’s like that I promise you and if that’s you, you have to stop it, you have to start asking yourself how to be a better business person. The truth is Mark, I think I was 23 or 24 my second time when I almost went bankrupt and I looked at myself and said, “I’m so much better than this.”
I almost felt like I was letting my parents down, letting my buyers and sellers down because I could help them sell deals and buy deals. Letting people around me down, I put the problem on them not just me. That’s how I really said, “Enough is enough,” and just really started changing my lifestyle, working differently and just getting serious about life.
[0:15:58.3] MF: Nice, that’s good. One thing I read a while back that may have contributed to that, I know it probably contributed to some of my young decisions was, I read our brain is not fully developed until we’re 25. Maybe that was part of it, especially in males for some reason, also worse in females too.
[0:16:16.2] DG: Yeah, I think I might be 65 for me.
[0:16:22.6] MF: I remember some of this thing that I did when I was younger, I’m like, “What was I thinking?” Obviously I wasn’t thinking very well. Cool, when you started your wholesale business, what are the real keys? I know there’s a lot of people who want to get started at wholesaling, it’s kind of taught as the “get rich quick scheme”, you don’t need any money to do it, there’s obviously much more to it than many people think. What have been your keys to success with wholesaling?
[0:16:46.4] DG: Persistence, I always have a saying, “you’re either consistent or nonexistent.” The problem is, everyone’s great starters, they suck at follow through, they suck at completing deals like closing the gap. My biggest thing, especially in the beginning, I knew that was a weakness for me, I was a great starter but never finished it, I was like the guy who had 80 business cards from different companies I would start in my head every day.
One, be honest, be ethical, ask questions, not a lot. But ask high powered questions to potential sellers and the potential buyers, let them tell you what they need help with, let them give you guidance on how to structure the deal and kind of take off the burden off yourself. Because when I started Mark, literally I was near bankrupt. When I I say near bankruptcy, I was living in an efficiency apartment, had no electric, no gas and didn’t pay my rent for two and a half months.
I’m literally sitting in there with a candle reading a book rented from the library, this is a true story in Columbus, Ohio. I never saw that as a bad thing, I was like chapter seven of my life right? Not chapter seven bankruptcy but chapter seven of my book. This is my time to shine, this is what you’re made of now, time to show the world what you’re made of, that’s how I kind of talk to myself.
Literally I just — you just got to call, the truth is, I’m holding out the phone to show the video, the phone is your secret weapon, that’s like my gun dude. If I was going to go into battle, I’m taking a phone with me because the phone you just make calls, you stay persistent, you follow up people, you do what you say you’re going to do, you provide great service, great value. Really it comes down to just doing what you say you do because you know in this business man, so few people follow through and do what they say they’re going to do.
[0:18:31.6] MF: Right, and it’s very true. The thing you said about starting strong, so many people start strong, so many people have this grand ideas and once they run into a little bit of resistance or a little bit of trouble, “what else could I do? What’s the other business I can try? This one’s too hard.” It’s over and over again I see that.
[0:18:51.6] DG: I call it being a punk, I think you’re the biggest punk in the world if you do that honestly. I’m calling your people out Mark, I’m a punk sometimes myself so I get it. As you know Mark, right when you hit the resistance is actually usually where the biggest opportunity is at that moment. I always say when that happens, that’s where what am I made of today? Boom, you hit that resistance, you’re like, “What just happened?” I always say if you’re not dry heaving and all that good stuff at night, you’re probably not pushing yourself hard enough.
[0:19:22.1] MF: There’s a great book, the art…
[0:19:25.4] DG: Yeah, Art of War.
[0:19:28.5] MF: By Steven Pressfield, great book about resistance and pushing through it. I know exactly, I have it on my wall, it says “Conquer the resistance”, in my home office just to remember when things get tough and especially at the end when you’re about to get close to something big, usually when it gets to toughest you just got to push through it, if you can push through that, good things will happen.
[0:19:49.6] DG: Right, absolutely, I love it.
[0:19:52.0] MF: Very cool. You’ve done rehabs, you’ve done wholesaling obviously, what were the pros and cons of both and what do you prefer doing?
[0:20:00.7] DG: That’s why I have to wear a hat, I don’t have enough hair to do rehabs anymore. I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of rehabs but again, here’s why, true story. My whole entire family does construction where I’m from, that’s just what you do right? When I was 10 years old, I was in a bobcat moving gravel, moving dirt, loved every second of it, building metal studs, doing commercial buildings, building houses, by the time I was 15 years old, I probably built more houses than most people’s ever build or thought about building in their life.
That’s just what we’ve done. That’s all I knew, I took the simplest paths right at that moment and those rehabs, I could literally walk in a house and see exactly what it’s going to look like in 15 seconds, I think that was my unique ability at that moment, that was my advantage I guess if you will. The other investors looking at it Mark, they’re like, “Oh my god, the house is trash”. I’m like, “$1,500 I have this thing looking amazing,” right?
That was the unique ability, I’m not a big fan of it now because there’s a lot of uncontrollable situations, there’s overages, there’s real cost in it. I love whole selling, I think whole selling should be a part of everyone’s portfolio process every single day because there’s deals as you grow that just become too small or too big depending on where you’re at in your life an business where you just want to wholesale those out and make a fee. We just wholesaled a big deal, I think we made like $600 grand on it Mark, it was too big for me at the mall.
Actually it was too small, true story, it was too small and it was kind of scattered so it wasn’t like our core focus, I sit down with my COO Peter which you know and I said, “Hey, should we acquire in house and just hold it and/or should I sell it because I got to buy it right now?” And he said, “Dude, just sell it, that’s not our core.” Again sometimes it’s good to have that bouncing board off of him. We sold it.
I think it was like $575 grand, something like that in a wholesale fee. Commercial, apartment complex stuff. I love wholesaling, it will always be a part of my life in business for sure. Mark, where else can you literally find someone, have a conversation, ink a deal, a contract and find someone, go to the bar or go to the restaurant or go to somewhere and meet someone else that wants to buy it and pay you five, 10, 15, 20 grand or more over what you have in contract for?
It really is an opportunity for everyone that has any kind of gumption to go out and make something happen.
[0:22:12.7] MF: Yup, I’ve done a few wholesale deals this last year, I never did them before and it’s just some properties, I was planning to flip but for whatever reason I didn’t have the contractors available, like you said, there’s a huge part of flipping, the oversight, the getting in contractors and a lot of work. I ended up just selling those as they were, I made like 15 or $20,000 on each room, okay, this is a good deal, I’m okay with that. I know what you mean.
[0:22:38.1] DG: The question is, do you want a slow dime or fast nickel?
[0:22:41.7] MF: Right.
[0:22:42.1] DG: Right? I want the fast nickel because the slow dimes on a rehab project might take you 90 to 120 days, there’s a lot of factors in that too right Mark? You do the rehabs, you have acquisition cost, you have holding cost and then you’re hoping the market is sustained as you go to resell it. Obviously right now is a great time but in 2007, eight, if you were holding the bag on these types of deals, you might be in big trouble and/or bankrupt by then. I like wholesaling because there really is no risk except time risk because you’re investing your time.
[0:23:14.0] MF: Yeah, nope, that’s some great points. From the wholesaling, you’ve actually got in to turnkey rental properties, how did that transition happen and how did you get into that business?
[0:23:24.2] DG: I’ve always sold — so here’s what, I love selling to investors, the reason is, when retail sells like if you buy a house, fix it up, clean it up, do all these stuff and then resell it, you only have an opportunity typically to make money from that person one time. Yeah you might make $50,000 but I’d rather sell to an investor that’s going to buy and sell three, four, five, 10 times a year or at least buy.
I was looking at my motto and saying, “How can I create a consistent, predictable process procedures and put people in place to make these pieces manageable for myself and everyone else involved?” The turnkey just kept popping up. We did whole selling back then, hard core whole selling meaning chest to chest with other investors but I virtualized a chest to chest business, a non-virtual business if you will where my team is in palm beach, we’re doing deals in Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania, et cetera. For me it was just a natural transition to take the business the next level, there’s a lot of money out there sitting on the sidelines Mark as you know, they don’t want to be in the stock market.
I’m my own client, in 2005, December 31st 05 when I started traveling, I had holdings, I still have holdings and I was like, “How can I make this easier?” So I started hiring ground teams, property managers, this and that and just started building it up since then. It really is a whole another level now for sure but I think it’s one of the best businesses out there, the most consistent predictable business that I know that exist.
[0:24:54.0] MF: What do you think your biggest — first of all, tell us exactly what at turnkey rental property is to you? Because there is some different definitions out there if you talk to agents or other investors who think just a house that’s fixed up is a turnkey. What do you consider a turnkey?
[0:25:09.1] DG: We would be like the Sax Fifth Avenue in the turnkey world. We’re not the cheapest, we’re not the most expensive but we are a high level white glove service. Turnkey investing to me is buying a house, fixing it up, putting a good property manager in place and putting a good tenant in place. I always tell people Mark, “When you buy a property from us, you’re not buying a property from us, you’re actually acquiring a team. And many, many, many years of experience.”
We try to make it as seamless as possible, we don’t want you to hear all the problems that go on behind the scenes because again guys, this is an investment and you have human beings in properties, there are real problems. Having grounds teams and boots on the ground to me, that’s the difference. Like you said, it’s turnkey house but it’s not turnkey, the house is turnkey because it’s ready to move in but you have to find a tenant, you have to place a property manager, you have to deal with the issues and everything else that comes with that. There are. as you said, a lot of variables are.
[0:26:06.0] MF: Yeah, very good. You’ve obviously built a really cool team, I’ve done the same thing myself, before we get in to that though, what have you found is the biggest challenge with owning your turnkey company, what was your biggest challenge?
[0:26:21.9] DG: The biggest challenge in any business, management right? 100% management’s going to be the biggest challenge. If you want a company like say a brick and mortar company, your hardest part of your business to grow is going to be managing the people inside of that company.
Same thing with property management. Property managers are on the ground, they’re dealing with tenant issues, they’re dealing with local issues, they’re dealing with people trashing the property, they’re dealing with all those issues. Anybody in the turnkey business that says property management is not their biggest issue is not doing enough deals that’s for sure.
Once you start get clipping along going like real volume market, it’s the beast, it’s the big beast in that business for sure.
[0:27:03.4] MF: Right, okay, very cool. What I was going for before I thought of that question was, you’ve built a team up where you can travel the world, you can operate from different areas of the country, you don’t have to be there. What was the first step, who was the first person you hired when you decided to build a team and really start building a business instead of just being your own employee?
[0:27:22.5] DG: It’s a great question. Again, I always tell people, what is your unique ability? Find your unique ability and hire for everything else, you just do what you’re great at and hire for everything else. Once all those positions are filled, now you got to start asking yourself how to hire people to do your unique ability.
Mark, you kind of know my story behind the scenes. My unique ability is talking to buyers, I’m really good at it because I am the buyer. I know exactly the good, the bad, the ugly, the fears the motivation, et cetera. That was my last thing I got rid of in my company and we have three guys that do that now. What we did, my first thing, I hate paperwork. True story, I don’t know anybody that’s a good investor that’s good at paperwork.
It’s a totally different mindset, I hired a virtual — I hired an assistant, not a virtual assistant but an assistant. They took the deals to closing, they followed it up with sellers, they followed up with my buyers, they got the paperwork to title company, et cetera.
[0:28:18.7] MF: Yeah, I hate paperwork too. Taxes, when I used to do my taxes, I would get anxiety, I would just put it off until the last minute, it just made my life so miserable as soon as I start handing that off to somebody else it was like my life was so much better.
[0:28:35.2] DG: Just hand it off you know? It’s such an investment right? Everyone’s like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t afford 500 a week.” You’re in the game to make millions and you’re worried about investing $500 a week? You’re never going to make millions of dollars like that ever. I don’t care who you are, you can’t millions of dollars worrying about investing $25 grand a year for an assistant like that.
[0:28:57.9] MF: Right, many people get caught up in the nickels and dimes of the business and worrying about these little cost and they’re forgetting about the big picture and how much money, free time will make them. That’s the thing that will help you make more money is if you have time yourself, to think about the bigger picture, look at your business and not get stuck running at yourself.
[0:29:17.7] DG: Yeah. Can I just add one thing Mark? This is a huge piece, we were asking about growth and all that stuff earlier in the show, probably one of the biggest things, you just kind of said to spark a peace forming. So many people, there’s actually millionaires we talk to daily but they’re so scared Mark, they have the crappiest life because they’re so scared to spend money right? You can be 60 years old with a million dollars in the bank but if you don’t have the means or the wherewithal to make more money, you are in big trouble.
What do you do? Put the money in the stock market and pray every day? If that’s your marketing strategy or your business strategy, you’re in big trouble, you’ll never be freed every, you’ll never have like a real amazing life. For me and you guys and like us Mark, we figured it out, we can always make money, its’ not about making money, it’s about making change. Like growth and all these other opportunities that exist. For me, I’d rather have a hundred grand in the bank knowing I can make another hundred grand next month.
Where I’m going with that is cash flow is key, not cash. The person with the million dollars in the bank or in an IRA or 401(k) or whatever, you need to put that money in an environment that’s generating you seven, eight, 10, 12% a year and then you just live off of your interest for the rest of your life. That’s really where the opportunities exist for people that are scared to death. It’s a scared millionaire, it’s a very scary place to be Mark.
[0:30:44.6] MF: That’s a really good point and when I first started making decent money, it bothered me because I’m making this money but I didn’t have anything to show for it, like you said, when you’re younger, you’re spending all your money, you got a family, you got a house, you got cars. And it’s lie, “Well sure I’m making good money,” but it’s almost worse than not making money because you feel like you should be saving it to show for it.
Once I started getting cash flow and buying rental properties, I’m like, “Hey now I’m actually doing something with it, I have this money coming in whether I’m working or not,” that’s one reason why I bought my Lamborghini. “Hey, I have this money coming in, I don’t have to stress and worry about finding the next deal or the next job,” and I think what you said about having a million dollars in the bank is a great point, I know a lot of people who have this big chunk of money saved up.
It almost gives them more stress than if they didn’t have it because they’re worried about losing it, they’re worried about ever investing it, it’s like they’d probably be better off if they didn’t have that money and they had to go out and make more and drive and start something from scratch.
[0:31:45.7] DG: I agree 100%. I think drive and goals and all the — what are your potential? I’m not living up to attempt on my potential every day in my head that’s why I tell myself. That’s my driving factor, what your saying is like, I don’t want millions in the bank, I want millions in properties that are paying me millions a month. It’s just a totally different way of seeing things.
[0:32:08.0] MF: Yeah, no, that’s really good stuff. I really like that, very cool. So, we’ve talked about how you got started, the rehabs, the wholesales, the turnkey properties. If somebody wants to buy a turnkey property, where are you guys focused, what kind of deals do you guys have right now for turnkey properties?
[0:32:26.6] DG: Again man, I’m all about boots on the ground and structure and teams. Boots on the ground, that’s management contractors et cetera. I’m in the Midwest, I’m in the Midwest where it makes sense to have deals. Columbus, Ohio, been there 19 years where in Cleveland, Akron as well as Atlanta, Georgia and Atlanta’s huge but the key is this like, I always look at markets where I can get a double digit return. Net return not gross return and then all of a sudden you netted out you’re like four percent.
I’m looking for areas, again, everyone’s looking for different things. If I put a hundred grand in and I’m getting 12% return, I make $12,000 a year. I don’t care if the property goes to million and I don’t care if it goes to zero. Do I want it to go up? Yes, am I changing my lifestyle if it goes down? No. That’s why I don’t invest in hyper structure markets like San Diego, buy for $500 grand and pray and hope that you can sell for $650 next month. You might be able to do it next day but the problem is, there’s a cycle and I’m buying for cash flow. We’re in the Midwest man, 100% Midwest.
[0:33:31.6] MF: Right, very good. Yeah, I have bought a turnkey property with you guys in Cleveland. I know exactly what you mean, there’s a ton of people in California, New York that they tell me about these deals and they’re trying to squeeze a penny of cash flow out, a $500,000 property. I’m like, “That’s crazy, do you know how much risk is involved if the market goes down? You’re going to be paying money out every month to own that property too.” It’s crazy some of the things going on in other areas.
[0:34:01.9] DG: It is great, how is your investment with us going? How involved are you in all that?
[0:34:06.7] MF: I haven’t done anything. It’s been good, yeah, I bought it with my IRA and like I said, I’ve never been to Cleveland in my life, I never — I saw pictures of the property, that’s it. The checks come in to my account and I see that and that’s all I do.
[0:34:23.5] DG: Cool man, yeah. That’s kind of what it’s about right? White glove service, having a structure, I would say 99% of our clients will never ever, ever go to the houses, personally talking about structure real quick, I don’t build houses, I haven’t been in closing or house that we’ve purchased since 2005. December 31st 05 when I started traveling, that was a huge fear for me.
Now, honestly, it’s more structured and more systemized process than it’s ever been because I’d get emotionally attached to real estate, I actually love real estate for what it can do. I’d convince myself to buy deals I shouldn’t have bought back in the day. Now it’s just all numbers and data, not the drama.
[0:34:59.7] MF: Nice, one thing I wanted to talk about before, I forgot about it too, was you talk about numbers and data and being a math guy and I’m a math guy myself and so many successful investors I talk to, this seems like they’re engineers, they were IT guys, very math, analytical oriented. When you’re running your business whether it’s turnkeys or wholesales. How important was it knowing the numbers, looking at the data to be successful?
[0:35:26.0] DG: I’m a KPI guy, Key Performance Indicators, you only need like six, seven of them in total. For example, in the beginning, obviously, Mark, it’s very easy right? Contractor for 30, sell for 35 plus five. Very simple. I’m not the guy going down to the penny. Someone’s trying to figure out down to the penny what they made or didn’t make, I actually just made $12 more grand while they’re trying to figure out where the extra two cents went.
I was more like, that’s a unique ability that we have in our business, we have high profit margin business. For me, your key indicators, your KPI’s are very ultra-super duper employment for growth. Your data will give you direction, right? What I mean by that just to talk about that for a second. All my buddies back in the day, 2005, six, seven, they’re making crazy money in California, Miami.
They’re all calling me up, “Mark, this is where we’re at, we’re making millions, come on.” I’m like, “Dude, I’m perfectly fine, my team’s crushing it, we’re going well and I’m not going anywhere.” Guess what happened, right? They all go BK because the market crashes, my business actually flourishes because the market’s crashing so people are just unloading properties for pennies on the dollar so we’re buyers. The reason I was able to do that is I’m paying attention to real numbers. Not what you say or someone else says but like my real, real numbers in house.
[0:36:46.6] MF: Nice, that’s something I think is probably one the most important things being an investor with this rental property flips wholesaling, it’s looking at the numbers, you can’t just buy a property and assume someone’s just going to buy it from you for a profit because it’s a property, you’ve got to look at the numbers, know what it’s worth, know what you have in to it, really dig in to the numbers and then that’s when you can become successful in real estate.
[0:37:12.3] DG: Absolutely.
[0:37:14.1] MF: Very cool. Besides the turnkeys, the flipping, you also have your own podcast and you’ve written a couple of books, tell us about that?
[0:37:22.7] DG: Yeah, that’s right, I’m a podcaster on real estates with Realestatepowerhour.com, it’s a show we do, actually we’re moving to daily here shortly. It’s a show I try to do once a week and just talking about, honestly it’s not about strategy or structure, it’s more about mindset, growth. It’s very high level, it’s real estate related obviously, talking about how to build a team, how to build a buyer’s list, how to do this things and then every innate bestselling books on Amazon which is cool.
Why that’s cool Mark for me is 100% of our net profits go to charity. All of our book sales goes to charity, I work harder on books than I do my business. But it’s awesome to be able to give back, I call it full circle giving, I’m able to take my knowledge, transplant it to you guys via book, you read it, you got, create success and then we get back to charity together, it’s a pretty cool piece.
[0:38:11.3] MF: Nice, very cool. All right, well yeah, I think those are all the questions I have, we’ve covered a lot of different topics, is there any other advice you want to add for somebody who is just trying to get in to the real estate business? Do you have any advice for someone who is just starting out?
[0:38:27.0] DG: Yeah, quit now, if you’re a quitter just quit now and save yourself a lot of time right? The truth is you got to be ready to go balls to the wall. You can’t let people tell you what you can and can’t do, if you abide by the rules, you’re in big trouble and I’m not saying break rules and do illegal stuff but I’m saying, if you’re very easily persuaded, “Don’t do this, don’t do that, you can’t make money doing that,” and you actually listen to them, you’re in Doomsday.
It’s typically Mark as you know, it’s the people that care about you the most, tell you what you can’t do. Yet when you’re a little kid, I just had a baby boy about four and a half months ago, when you’re a little kid they’re like, “You can do whatever you want, you could be an astronaut or whatever.” And now when you get old enough to actually pay your own bills, they’re all, “Be safe be careful, that seems scam-ish.”
I would say just pull up your big boy pants or big girl pants and just get out there and do wholesaling and find a great mentors, now I’m not just two but I have three and I typically have two mentors a year and I know Mark you have mentors as well. These pieces are very important because you have to have mentors and you have to find out a passion and just stick with it. Don’t bounce around, that’s all I can say, just stay focused?
[0:39:44.2] MF: That’s great advice and something else you remind me of Daren Hardy who write Success Magazine and has a bunch of different programs and I was listening to his CD’s the other day and he said, you always hear people talk about professional athletes and like, “Oh if I had the talent they had, I could do that or was as fast as them, I could be making millions.”
And the truth is, they don’t want to admit that those guys worked harder than anybody else, it wasn’t just talent that got them there, it was hard work and determination. If people realize how much hard work and determination they put in to it, they would realize how much else they could do in their life if they did that same thing for themselves.
[0:40:23.1] DG: Dude, I was up at 2:30 this morning working, right? I don’t even need to work, I want to work. We work, we love what we do right? The lights are on early morning, I’m cranking, I’m ready to go and it’s not even for me, again it’s all about what my potential is, I can help more sellers, I can help more buyers, my team can make more money.
I’m working for everyone else now dude. I know you do the same thing, you have kids, you have a spot like — we’re in it at a high level, I want to make money, that’s another great tip. I’m sorry I’m running off on tangent because I just talked to a guy this morning at the coffee shop, he said, “Oh man,” because I have a Rolls Royce, right? A Phantom or whatever.
He’s like, “Oh man it must be nice.” I said, “It is nice.” I’m not bowing down to your limits, I’m actually going to say, “Yes it is nice, you got a problem with it?” “Man you know, that’s kind of crazy, you should be giving more to charity.” “How are you judging me?” People that judge people that say they don’t judge people is always amazing to me. I’m like, “Dude, listen, you’re holding yourself back.” This is like a late 30’s, early 40 guys.
We’re talking and I’m like, “Dude, your mindset of me being successful based off of what I have is holding you back from being super successful yourself.” And he’s like, “You’re right.” You take that conversation and change it, if you see things differently, your outcome will be such — it’s just day and night, I can’t even explain it.
[0:41:46.5] MF: yeah, that’s a whole another conversation but you’re right, if you see someone with a nice car, a nice house and he’s like, it must be nice or man, they got lucky or how they get an inheritance for that. You’re basically telling yourself you don’t want that stuff and it’s bad.
[0:41:59.7] DG: Exactly.
[0:42:00.7] MF: You’ll never get it.
[0:42:02.4] DG: Put on their dream board right? They dream board because they watched the secret, they have the Ferrari, the Lamborghini, the Rolls Royce, the mansion. I’ve had all that stuff before I was even 30 years old because I wanted it and I got them. I’m like, “Okay, that’s cool, I don’t want that, I like that.” I’m finding my path every single day like everyone else. You’re 100% correct. Like you pull up in a Lambo and your market, people are probably like, “Holy cow, what’s going on?”
[0:42:23.9] MF: yeah, I have 100,000 people in my town so yes, there’ snot a lot of them around but if you’re using the right way, you can do a lot of good. People will talk to you, it’s really a fun thing if you do it the right way and you share what you have.
[0:42:39.2] DG: Yeah.
[0:42:41.6] MF: All right, if someone wants to get a hold of you, wants to listen to your podcast, what’s the best way to contact you, to get in touch with American wealth builders too?
[0:42:51.2] DG: Yeah, I have two sites, Therealestatepowerhour.com is a great podcast show, we get rave reviews on it all the time, a lot of great stuff there. I’m not selling anything, they’re just straight content. Kind of same thing you do Mark, just provide great value and great content to the listeners.
And then Amercanwealthbuilders.com, we got a great free report over there talking about who we are, what we do, how we do it in all that. You’re more welcome to check that out. Just in the comment box, let us know that you heard me on here on the show here. I’d love to give you guys props and always appreciate your support Mark as well.
[0:43:22.4] MF: Cool, no, thank you and yeah I’ll provide links to both those sites and the write-up I do for the podcast. Yeah, I think that’s all I wanted to talk about unless you have anything to add?
[0:43:32.8] DG: I have lots of to ad but we both are busy guys, we got stuff to do though, we’re going to be here for 10 hours.
[0:43:37.5] MF: I know. Well thank you so much Mark, I appreciate you being on the show, of course we’ll talk soon and yeah, have a great rest of the week.
[0:43:45.3] DG: Definitely, thank you Mark, have a great time guys, enjoy.