Case Study Interview How I Completely Automated My Business – 1 Year Later
My 6 month mentor program:
A few Case Study Video Interviews with my Students:
Terry: My name is Terry Nation and I’m from Columbia, South Carolina. I started the mentor course 12 weeks ago. I was taking the newsletter for probably about a year before I got into the Mentor Program.
Terry: I knew that another step probably needed to be taken, but I did my first deal just off the newsletters and I said, ‘Oh boy, if I can do one deal off of this, what in the world is waiting for me?’ So I decided to take the next step.
Terry: You learn real basic stuff off of the newsletter; you learn signs and a little bit of the marketing thing. But the first thing that I did was that I went and had some signs printed, the ‘I Will Buy Your House’ signs. My first deal had come from a guy who was calling for his dad whose house had been on the market for about 8months. His dad really needed to get out. He had moved on. He had built a new house. And the house was just sitting there, and of course, the mortgage was eating at him. At that point, I didn’t know anything about “Subject-to’s” or anything I probably could have offered this guy.
Terry: So when the son showed me the house, I kind of explained to him that I could put someone in there and that I would just make a fee and he said, ‘Well, I’ll tell my dad about it and if he’s interested, he’ll call you.’ Well, he did. He called me the next day. He still hadn’t met with his dad. We had an agreement over the phone. I didn’t have a lease option agreement. I didn’t know anything about it.
Terry: So I went over and put a sign in his yard, and within 2 weeks I sold his house for what they had it on the market for, and I thought I was a big hero at that point and I said, ‘Man, I’ve got to do more at this point.’
Interviewer: What did you make on your first deal?
Terry: $3,000. I probably could have sold it quicker but I had a $3,000 mindset on that job, on that particular deal, and so I weeded out anybody that didn’t have $3,000. With that house, I was taking about 40 calls a day. I think I put out 15 to 20 signs on that house. I put them on a major highway. If it was a crossroads, I put a sign out, and I put them at all the interstates that the main road connected to (which was with two interstates).
Interviewer: What kind of signs did you put out?
Terry: Rent to own. I actually put the rent price there. I went back and put the rent price after a week or so because I was getting so many nonsense phone calls. “Rent to own, 3 bedroom, 2 bath,” and my phone number. I answered every call.
Terry: Handwritten, yes.
Interviewer: How much longer after that did you then jump into the Mentor Program?
Terry: Probably two months.
Interviewer: How long have you been in the Mentor Program?
Terry: 12 weeks. This is my twelfth week.
Interviewer: How many deals have you done since you’ve been in the Mentor Program?
Terry: I’ve done six more.
Interviewer: Six more?
Interviewer: About how much money did you make?
Terry: I was trying to think of that awhile ago. It’s probably been $12,000 or $13,000.
Terry: My biggest goal now is for it to be what I do for a living. I’m a contractor at this point. I work for another company. We build schools, and I hate getting up and going to work. I look so forward to doing this business. I always wanted to do something in real estate. I got my contractor’s license young. I’ve built houses and I’ve always loved the residential real estate business and that’s where I’ve always wanted to be. So that’s what I want to do for a living.
Terry: My goal is this year… I want to quit my job this year. If I could do 2 deals a month, I would quit my job.
Interviewer: You think you can do it?
Terry: I think I can do it. I did two deals last week, so I definitely think I can do that. Joe’s material pushed me in a… I’ve bought many courses. His motivation factor is different than any other course I’ve bought. Still, at that point, you have to make that decision on your own. Either I’m going to do this or I’m going to keep wasting money. So I just made a decision that I was going to do it and once I made that decision, I’ve done it.
Terry: Every day, I’ve had something to do with this business, whether it’s getting off work at the least and going to look at a house that I’ve talked to someone about. I’ve been a lot more involved than he suggest that you be, but I think that I needed that early on – to go look at every house, to meet every owner and to put out my own signs. I’ve done every bit of that. And like I said, early on, I answered every single call. I didn’t let it go to a voicemail. And I’ve talked to every person that made a phone call, and yes, I can’t stand answering the phone now.
Interviewer: Yes, I completely understand.
Terry: Don’t get me wrong. It was a great training. After 100 phone calls, to talk to a buyer is so simple now, when with the first 50 you’re kind of nervous and you didn’t know what to do, but now it’s just second nature. So now I’m ready to second nature that to a voicemail and get something sent to me.
Interviewer: How is talking to sellers?
Terry: Talking to sellers is great. It’s no problem.
Interviewer: No problems there.
Interviewer: How did you feel about it when you started?
Terry: I was scared to death. I didn’t know about what reaction they would have. So I sat down one evening and I got into the for rents to start talking to them. I probably called 15 people that night. I left, well, I probably called 20. I left about 15 messages because I’d done it in one evening. I talked to one couple. I think I owned the phone. I picked up two houses. The next day, I had eight return phone calls from folks that were interested in doing it, and out of those eight, three or four actually did it. So within three or four days, I had five or six houses. Now, I didn’t make deals on all of those houses. They actually either rented them out or something else, but it made it real easy to start talking to sellers.
Terry: My Mentor Program would have been (September, October or November?) – October. My first deal was probably in August or September, no – August – probably around August was my first deal. And then I joined the Mentor Program. And so, in October is when I really started even calling for rents to make deals on the “For Rent Method”.
Terry: With the market and anybody that I’ve ever been around telling me I’m crazy for trying anything, but it’s like Joe says – there’s really no risk to what we do, so all it takes is a little effort. But the negativity around me almost pushes me down not to do anything, so I decided to put all of that aside and just prove everybody wrong. So that’s another one of my goals, is that on the day I can quit my job, to let them know that this actually works.
Terry: I guess your first deal is always your best moment because you build so much confidence that, ‘My gosh, this really does work. How can something this simple… How come everybody in the world isn’t doing it?’
Terry: My next one. And it came from calling all of those for rents. I have an agent who called me back who also has a bunch of rental properties so she gave me two houses, which I sold both of her houses from when I started advertising them, both within a month. She’s blown away because she had them both on the market (her own houses) so I put rent to own tenants in both of hers and in return, she’s given me two other agents that I now try to sell for.
Terry: As a matter of fact, I closed one of those this past week. And then, with your help and your script for Craigslist, one of the biggest deals that I got just happened last week as well. I sent the script out to 10 or 12 people. One guy called me back and he is actually a builder in town and wants me to start selling houses he has already built. But if I can get folks prequalified to know they can get a loan in the next year, I’m going to be able to offer them building a brand new house that we can put them in in whatever neighborhood they want. This particular builder has 15 neighborhoods in the Columbia area. So we can actually build them a house and put a rent to own buyer in a brand new house. So I’m real excited about what he’s got.
Terry: With that being said, he actually had a customer when he called me that was ready to buy one of his houses but with this big financial thing going on, as of January 1st, something happened to where they weren’t going to let him buy the house until he had his rented or sold. So this guy said, ‘You will be my hero if you can rent this house out.’ He’s been trying to rent it – he can’t rent it. So I went and met with that owner that afternoon and he signed the agreement, and within a week I closed that deal the day before I came here and I put somebody in that house that week. So they’re just kind of blown away. He had it with two different management companies. He’s fired one, hired another one and they wouldn’t put anyone in there. I went up there and I didn’t even put a sign in his front yard because of the realty company sign – I just put them outside the entrance and on
Interviewer: That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?
Terry: Man, I just can’t believe it. And the owner – I even offered him a subject-to deal. He went and talked to his mortgage broker. I never knew what came out of that before I ever got an answer, which I’m confident he wasn’t going to do because he didn’t call me back the next day anyway. I called him and said I had somebody for his house so it didn’t really matter to me. That deal there will give me – that builder’s going to have so much confidence in what I do now. I just think the Columbia area’s going to explode (just between me and him – because he does a massive amount of houses and neighborhoods).
Interviewer: Are you going to start thinking about getting a piece of the back action on that?
Terry: Yes, as a matter of fact, he and I were talking about that. And he’s willing to work with me in any way possible. He just thinks what I do is the greatest thing. And he promised me and he said, ‘I’m not going to steal your idea.’ He said, ‘I know other people have.’ And I’ve had two people that I’ve talked to from the for rent ads, and then after I talked to them, I would notice that next week in the paper, they’d have their houses rent to own, so they kind of think they learned the process. They’re still in the paper a month later.
Interviewer: That’s what I love – they keep running an ad in the paper.
Terry: That’s right. I’ve never run an ad in the paper and I’ve got all I can do while working a full time job.
Interviewer: That’s awesome. To be honest, I couldn’t be happier for you.
Terry: Thank you, sir. I’m excited. The biggest thing in my situation is that I couldn’t have went out and bought a house for $1,000 if I could have turned around and sold it for $10,000. That’s the situation that I was in. My wife can’t work because I have an ill son. I had to do something that didn’t require money. So the biggest investment I had was buying a few signs, but with one deal, I can buy all the signs that I’ll need for the next year. So, with that deal I put some money in the Mentor Program, but within two deals after that, I paid for my Mentor Program. So yes, the initial investment seemed really big but within just two deals it takes no time before you’ve paid for your investment and then you’re building a profit center.
Terry: It’s just an amazing thing. I mean, with the negative people with real estate, I still can’t imagine that people wonder what in the world you’re getting into. I’ve always wanted to do it. I’ve never been negative about it. I’ve just never gotten off my butt to do it.
Terry: But everybody thinks that if you’re buying into a program that you’re just making someone else rich, that all of these programs are out to get you, and they’re selling you junk. It is so simple, and it still to this day blows my mind how simple it is. I don’t want to share it with people in my area because, first of all, if we were all doing for rents, all of us, I mean, there’s only so many in my paper, but I’m scared that more people are going to learn about it in my area which is really stingy. And I don’t want to be that way, but with the more stuff that I know Joe teaches, I’m not really worried about that because I can see myself getting more into the for sale by owners now. I see how well that’s working to where I kind of graduate from picking up that for rent paper and making those phone calls.
Interviewer: Yes, but you have a son with special needs. Tell me about your son.
Terry: He has cystic fibrosis and he’s on Medicaid up until the 18th of March. His medications can run up to $5,000 a month. Luckily up to March, that’s paid for. So I have to now look past March when he turns 18 unless the government has some other program that’s going to help us to pay for his medical needs. Last year, he spent four straight months in the hospital. The year before, he spent three, so it seems that every year, he gets a little worse.
Terry: With that being said, my wife can’t work a full time job. When he’s well, he’s fine but when he’s not well, he’s not fine, and no employer can allow somebody to take a four month leave without having to replace you. And that’s fine. She does a lot of stuff to take care of him. So, not only with that being said, I know that I’ve got medical bills that are coming in the future and I needed some more income to handle that, but I also want to create a way that I can spend more time with him.
Terry: It’s tough for me to talk about that he’s not going to be here forever. And I want ways that I can spend more time with him. And I know that this is the way.