2.5 Years Later – 73 House Portfolio – Millions In Real Equity
Case Study – Shelly Fonner – Terra Haute, Indiana
I believe the best way to learn the business of real estate investing is to hear how others have done it.
When these interviews were recorded, I asked Tom, the interviewer, to ask questions that would help the viewer see how these folks got started.
I wanted to hear the struggles, the successes and a clear path and explanation of what they had to do to make these deals happen.
I did NOT want them to be a bunch of people telling you how wonderful Joe Crump was. I wanted content, examples and real life experiences.
I hope we succeeded.
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Read Transcript for “2.5 Years Later – 73 House Portfolio – Millions In Real Equity”
Shelly: Shelly Fonner from Terre Haute, Indiana. The very first transaction that we had done actually was prior to becoming part of the Mentor Group. We had gotten something in the mail from him and ordered maybe a $39 book. I’m not sure what it was. It was about 2 and a half years ago. We had actually done a deal just by reading that book. So that was extremely exciting. We felt like if we could get that much information from a book, well, we better join the class because I could imagine what we could get from the group. So that was our very first one that we had done.
Shelly: Within 30 days of getting the book. I mean, we’d gotten the book and we’d dissected the book (I should say I did). I shared with my husband what we were going to be doing and it literally just kind of happened very quickly. We had gotten a property. It was an assignment deal. We had secured the property with a purchase agreement, began marketing it, the phone began to ring, we started to kind of learn as we were going and we had it under contract within literally 2 weeks of putting a sign in the yard. So, maybe 30 days – a couple of weeks to analyze and then a couple of weeks to close. And, on that first deal we made $3,000 and that was fabulous.
Shelly: Physical work? No. I think that becoming successful can be a challenge, depending on where you’re coming from and what you’re doing. Was it hard? No, but not necessarily extraordinarily easy, either. I think it was just a point of – it was all outlined in the book. But if you don’t do what you’re reading, then it isn’t going to happen. So it was one of those things of doing A, B and C. We did A, B and C and it absolutely happened. Had we not done one of those things, then it wouldn’t have happened. So maybe the hard part about it would be deciding that you want to change your life. That might be the hardest thing to figure out. Once you’ve made that decision, the rest of it fell into place very quickly.
Shelly: On the first deal, we probably had maybe ten hours, not including reading the book. I dissected the book front to back. We probably had ten hours or so. We put a sign out, we filled in some calls and had shown it three or four times. Then, someone took it. It literally was like that. So it wasn’t as if we had day in and day out with 12 hour days or anything. We would put the sign out, the phone would ring, we’d work on it for two or three hours, and then we would show it. That would take 30 to 40 minutes and then, before you know it, we’d have it under contract. We were like, ‘Oh my goodness! 3,000$! – You do the math.’ And that was much more than what we were currently doing.
Shelly: Oh gosh, the best deal that we’ve done. It’s really hard, when you begin to help people, to put it into perspective. We love what we’re doing now. It’s phenomenal and it’s snowballed into something we really didn’t think would happen. We had no idea where it could go. So to talk about our best deal – I’m not sure that there’s a best or a favorite. When you’re helping buyers and sellers and you’re putting them together and you’re solving a problem, they all have their own sentiments. So you’re helping a seller who didn’t think there was a solution, so that’s very rewarding. And then, you’re putting a family into a property that they would not normally qualify for. That’s also very rewarding. So we’ve helped the people start out. We’ve helped the people start over. We’ve helped the people that just want to get out.
Shelly: Maybe they’ve lost their spouse or they’re aging and they just don’t want that house anymore. But when they’ve tried everything and you’re their solution for them, it’s very rewarding. You sleep well at night knowing that you’re helping people. And I think that’s really the most important thing.
Shelly: We started with Joe – it’ll be 3 years in May, so we’re just upon two and a half years, and it has been a fabulous ride.
Shelly: We have automated our business. We didn’t automate for probably the first six months. And then when we began to come back and realized that it was time for us to do that, we certainly did automate the business. That has really brought in some other avenues that we didn’t have prior to automating. So we are fully automated now. Each time we get together and we network with our friends, we realize, ‘That’s a great idea. We’ll go ahead and implement that now.’ And that has also been great. We are fully automated and I think that that’s extremely important to piggyback on everything else that you’re doing.
Shelly: The techniques that we’re using are that we have the clone sites and the “Push Button Method”, so we have those. We do a lot of online advertising such as Craigslist and classified ads in our area. We do a lot of autoresponders, meaning people are going to get emails from us automatically. And we do that for both buyers and sellers. We want to build our list from anything that we can do so, for example, with someone who is not ready yet today – we want to make sure that they hear from us for when they are ready. And that’s where the automation comes into play. And so, any of our buyers and sellers are able to automate, or I should say sign in, and what that does is that they get an automatic email from us so we’re always there when they’re ready. So if they’re not ready today, that’s okay – we’ll be there when they are ready. That’s what the automation has done.
Shelly: It’s almost one of those things that we don’t have to worry about because once they’re in the system, they’re just there. Then they get an email from us and all of the sudden, in two or three months or six months later, they pop up and say, ‘Remember me? I’m ready now.’ And that’s fabulous. We don’t lose them that way.
Shelly: Our ultimate goals have varied actually. And I think that that happens often times. When you get to a certain level, you begin to realize that there’s other things that you can do and other avenues. So when you learn one technique, you kind of add another and you piggyback on another idea. At this point, we have started more of the property management. In our business we have an office and so people are able to bring us their rent. We’re able to be right there. With that being said, we do a lot of our own property management. We’re able to offer that.
Shelly: Where it’s going to go, who knows? At one point or another, maybe we’ll do our own brokerage. But the beauty of it is that whatever we want to do, we now know that it’s possible. We didn’t really know that at the beginning (when you do something brand new). So, it’s like every six months, it almost changes, but it changes for the better because you’re ready for that next level.
Shelly: This impact that it had has been huge. I feel like Joe’s a phenomenal teacher and a phenomenal investor, and when you can mix the two of those together, it has been, needless to say, fabulous. And the impact has been more time that you’re not able to get back. Even though we work every day and we’re very happy to go to work, its way different when you’re going to work at your own office or your own company than it is to work for somebody else. We don’t miss ballgames and when the kids need to be picked up; we’re right there. And it gives them a sense of pride – ‘Oh, there’s their office.’ And they come in and they see mom and dad working for themselves. That’s something that they then want to do.
Shelly: It has been a phenomenal ride and I certainly would never want to change any of it. Joe has, what I think is a blessing that is out there, because you have a lot of people that are teaching a lot of things, however, they’re not teaching everything. So often times, you get a course and you get it home, and before you know it, you don’t have all the answers and you don’t know what to do. Joe does his own emails and he does his own conference calls and so you actually get to speak to him. That is a service that is not offered when you go elsewhere, most of the time.
Shelly: We came from always having that dream, so we spent thousands on other types of programs that we were hoping would get us where we wanted to go, but the vehicle just wasn’t there. I mean, we had the car and no gas pedal. We would have the car and no steering wheel. We just had issues to where we couldn’t get to the next level. Joe has actually provided the full vehicle with a full tank of gas, and you can go wherever you want to go.
Shelly: Yes, we quit our job. I was working full time when we started and my husband had just retired from the government at that time, and so he was almost on the front line for the first couple of months and it began to snowball so much that within four months, we were both full time at this.
Shelly: I want it to grow big. And how big? I don’t know. At this point, we’ve just grown so much and it’s been so exciting, that once again, it kind of changes. And so, I think that whatever service we can provide, we’ll continue to do so. And as long as we’re helping people, I want to continue to grow. So if we can bring people on board and help other people do what we’re doing and branch out as big as we can, and who knows? The sky’s the limit. It can be as small or out of your home as you want it to be, or it can be big and on the corner and in everyone’s face as you want it to be. The beauty of it is that it can just fit your personality however you want it to do. So, today we want it to be big and if we want to change that ever, then we’ll change it. That’s kind of the beauty of being able to do this.
Shelly: The amount of money that we can make – is it sad to say that we don’t necessarily sit down and figure it all up? It’s been phenomenal, right? $30,000 a month is what we bring in and what we do with it from there is we reinvest a lot of it and then we go from there. We don’t have to punch a time clock. It pays our bills and we’re able to do what we want to do. That’s where we’re at right now. And so with the income? I couldn’t tell what your bottom line is, other than it all works. And that’s the fabulous part.
Shelly: My advice would be that if you want to be a real estate investor, you need to go for it. If that’s what you want to do. And it’s all about finding what you want to do. Some people want to do other things and that’s great. I think that the beauty of being self-employed or an entrepreneur is being able to do what you want to do. And if real estate investing is what you want to do, then you absolutely have to have Joe Crump as your mentor. I mean, you have to. I think that you’re doing yourself a huge disservice not to.
Shelly: Take it from someone who has spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars hoping that I could find it. I knew I wanted to be a real estate investor. I knew I had a passion for real estate. But I just couldn’t seem to get off the ground. What I was doing seemed to be the wrong things and it just didn’t happen. Having been able to join Joe and be able to experience from this point has just been great! I can’t imagine doing it or getting to where I’m at without him.
Shelly: The beauty of it is that if you want to be a real estate investor, that’s fabulous. If you want to do something else, then maybe you should invest in real estate a little bit so that that can be your vehicle to do what you really want. I think it’s a no-brainer to do real estate, but if that’s not your personality and you have other dreams that you want to do, this can be the vehicle to get you where you ultimately want to go.