Case Study Interview ’96 How I Completely Automated My Business ’96 1 Year Later – second interview
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Terry: My name is Terry Nation and I’m from Columbia, South Carolina. I’ve been working with Joe’s program for about 15 to 16 months. The last time we talked, I had completed about 4 deals and made $12,000 if I recall correctly. I had been doing it for about 3 months at that point, just from using the cash flow newsletter. Then I joined the mentor program about a month or two before we had our last interview.
Terry: The last time we talked, I basically did everything. I called the buyers, I met with the sellers, I called the sellers, and I met with the buyers. I put out my own signs. I met with everybody at every house. I answered every single phone call that came in. So every deal was 100% me – I did everything. Joe teaches us to let the phone take the messages and weed the people out. I answered every single phone call back then. Now all I do is take the interested sellers. I have a virtual assistant who sends out emails. I have the same virtual assistant who sends out my voice blasts so I only know when the interested sellers go and then I actually make those phone calls. Other than that, I sign the lease option agreement with them. All I do is see the money in my bank account when the deposits are made. I’ve got a guy who answers the phone calls. He meets the folks at the properties. He goes and signs the deals, so I’m almost virtually automated except for me meeting the sellers.
Terry: Real estate agents – I have them calling me – and mortgage brokers – when I call them to make deals and to get someone who’s doing a rent to own, they’re really excited because there’s actually someone who can qualify for a loan now.
Terry: Investors that were doing other things are now calling me if they’ve got a potential lead – they want me to be a part of it. They’re coming to my real estate route now and wanting to work deals with me. It’s really amazing. To these folks it’s like, ‘Terry’s doing all the deals. Let’s see what we can do and be a part of his deals.’
Terry: I was a part of Aria in Columbia. That went from 300 members and I don’t know how many are in it now, but it wasn’t many, and I went to forming my own real estate group which is really growing. And it’s because of the success of one side versus the other investors that don’t really know how to invest with this economy.
Terry: I can tell you that this is January, and I’ve done $20,000 this month. It’s a lot of deals split in half, a lot of other investors who are kind of coming in, and then me splitting deals. It’s unreal. I really don’t know what to say – it’s really unreal. We’ve actually taken it to a whole other level. The guy who’s working with me is a big finance guy. We’re doing things that Joe doesn’t even teach. We’re now building houses because we can get folks qualified. We’re also doing wholesale deals. So we decided to make this year way better than last year (and last year was really good). This year is really great. I’ve been able to quit a full time job and go from working like crazy to not working a whole lot because of the automation part of the business.
Terry: The first thing I did is I went and got a voice blast set up because like Joe taught early on – you need to learn how to do this, you need to learn how to talk to the sellers and buyers. I feel like I’m past that point because I was talking to literally 50 or 60 a day. I’m working hard. I’m signing up the sellers and meeting all the buyers. I still wasn’t, at that point, comfortable with a buyer, going to a house and me not meeting them. I was still meeting them and getting stood up on a regular basis by buyers when meeting them at houses. So I got past that point and I went to sending out voice blasts to pull in my sellers. That was a big relief. I didn’t have to sit down all day Saturdays and all day Sundays and make all those phone calls.
Terry: It’s very different now, because once I hired a virtual assistant to start taking care of stuff, I kind of got addicted to virtual assistants. I would start looking for other ways to get them to do different things and not just have one do one particular job. I ran across some assistants who really didn’t do their job very well. And the last thing I wanted was everything in one basket with one virtual assistant. So I would hire one who wants to do different aspects, so that if one failed at something it would be easy to have another pick up and do that particular thing. Now with that being said, I’ll send them a video of me doing whatever it is they’re going to be doing in order to train my virtual assistants. Now I don’t have to get on the phone and explain all of this stuff to them. Another one of Joe’s concepts is you just send them a video and you teach them everything they need to do. And you know when it’s working because your phone’s ringing and you’re making deals while not even being in the picture. So virtual assistants and outsourcing is one of the greatest things I have ever learned about running a business – because I’m not really running it.
Terry: I have a guy who really, really loved what I was doing. He went and opened an office, which I still am against, but so what? – I don’t go there. He likes to bring buyers in and meet with them in the office which is all fine and good. He can do that all day long. But I’m not a part of that. So he meets them and he closes the deals. I send over the contracts to make sure everything’s good and then he closes the deal. For example, today he deposited money in my account. He has my account number, and then it just deposits in there and I know that the business is making money.
Terry: There’s way less work. I‘m able to spend more time with my son. If you watched my last video, you know we spend a lot of time together. He’s a big race fan. We go to a lot of races. So it’s just really great.
Terry: If you sit down and make the phone calls, you’re going to get more deals personally but in the end, I made more money with very little work. And if I get to where I don’t have many houses or something goes wrong, I can just sit down and do that and pull in some deals. But I’m not having to do that because of the different ways we’re pulling in sellers right now. Automation is the key and also, hiring somebody to put your signs out. So like I said, we went another step in doing wholesales, hiring somebody to go look up probates at the court house. So it just comes down to pulling yourself out of it and creating money and not having to be involved in it, which is a very different kind of life.
Interviewer: How do you like it?
Terry: I love it. You have to know how to do that. There’s no way around it. I’ve talked to guys and I’ve got a couple of other old markets going in Charleston – so I’ve tried to train guys to do that, and they want to go just straight to the automation. But you can’t do it – they’re lost when they start getting phone calls. They don’t know how to talk to these sellers so they’re calling me and saying, ‘Can you call so and so and try and get this deal?’ because they hadn’t stepped back, and maybe lost a deal or two along the way and then learned how to speak and learned what people need to hear. So you absolutely must talk to the buyers and sellers to begin with.
Terry: The key is to start automating. You’re still going to have to talk to folks but it’s just so simple at that point. It’s second nature once you learn how to talk to folks and then you start to ease back. You figure out, ‘Alright, what’s the first step that I can do that wouldn’t change a whole lot that I can save a lot of time with?’ And mine was sitting down, going through those for rent ads, and having to make all those phone calls. That saved a ton of time. Next was getting a VA to send emails to folks on Craig’s List or Backpage or whatever. Joe had a program that he had developed for him, and I bought one, that pulls emails out of Craig’s List, so now you can blast emails at the folks on Craig’s List in a matter of a minute and send hundreds of them. So it’s the little things like that which pull in these leads that you have virtually no money and no time in.
Terry: It’s a really great thing. I made the best decisions of my life and it reaped so many rewards, and it was in real estate in the worst market that I’ve ever known.
Terry: What’s so funny is I think about my partner who sits in that office all day because he’s a workaholic, and it drives him crazy because he calls me, and I’m doing whatever I want to do, and he’s depositing the checks. But that’s what he loves to do and that’s all fine and good but I just think our two personalities are very different. What’s important to me, and of course you’ve got to have money to do it, is to enjoy the time with your family. That’s what’s important. What’s important to other people – other people might have different focuses. But I’m very happy.
Terry: There’s a lot of factors. When I think back, I started buying real estate courses when I was 20 years old. I kind of alluded to this story with you in our first interview. I never had any drive to do anything. I came across Joe Crump and he had what it took for me to take that next step. I took the next step and again, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I can actually make money doing real estate. I’d spent all that other money on those courses and some of them never got unwrapped. But when I got his, and learned that you could really go out and get into real estate with no money, and then make money, and then learn the next steps, and automate it… And you’re making money with no time and then on top of that, you can look over at your family your kids and go, ‘What do you all want to do today?’ It can be as simple as going out to a nice restaurant or hanging out together, but that’s what we can do and that’s what makes me happy.
Terry: First of all you’ve got to get off your butt and do it. It does take effort and it’s not easy in the beginning. You have to get out there and work at it. You have to sit down and make those phone calls. That’s not hard work but you’ve still got to go out and put out signs in the middle of the night. You’ve got to get out there and put in the grunt work for it to pay off. Once it starts paying off, you can use some of your money from what’s paid off and start hiring some of this stuff out. And it’s not expensive. There’s folks out there that need the work and they’re willing to do a lot of stuff. All I have to do is download pictures. My wife downloads pictures from my camera and I’ve got a VA who handles everything else. I wish I had started this when I was 20 but I waited until I was almost 40, but hey – so what? – I’m good and I’m happy.
Terry: My son is one of my virtual assistants. But I don’t know how virtual he is because I do see him.
Terry: We are now venturing, like I said, into wholesales. We are now starting to build houses from the leads we’re getting from my marketing. Of course, I’m outsourcing that as well. I’ve got somebody hired who’s going to watch out over the house building. I would like to take wholesaling to the next level. That’s something else that really interests me. As I said, I’m studying internet marketing. I’m very dumb when it comes to the internet. I’m trying to learn from someone I know and trying to take that to the next level. So we’ll have to see where those three things go. So that’s something to do for the next year – residential construction, wholesaling – I really want that to really, really grow. There’s a market for it and then also I want to learn more about computers. That’s one thing about this business – you need to do it yourself first, and then outsource it.
Terry: I’m glad to be here. I’m glad to come back. Hopefully with these new guys coming in, maybe I can share a little something, too. It’s great.