My 6 month mentor program:
A few Case Study Video Interviews with my Students:
Read Transcript for “How I Made $8,000 In My First Three Weeks By Helping Others”
Terry: My name is Terry Elsner. I’m from the Atlanta, Georgia area. I reside in Marietta. I’ve been in Joe’s program since April of 2009. I’m excited to be here and to be around the people that I’ve met and be involved with and I’m looking forward to the exciting days ahead.
Terry: It’s just really amazing. Over the last year, the information that we have gathered has not only allowed us to build up a passive income but it’s also allowed us to get immediate income. One of the things that we have always struggled with is always that one or the other – you can either have passive income or you can have immediate income. But what we have done through Joe’s system is we’ve blended the two together in a way that allows you to take both sides of the coin. So while I’ve been making a great amount of passive income for the future, I’ve been able to pay all my expenses and have immediate income as well. So it’s been a two sided coin for us with what we’re doing.
Terry: We were into the buy it, fix it sell it mentality. We went into auctions. Houses were cheap and plentiful. We went into auctions, bought houses, and began to rehab them and then to turn around and sell them. Well, about two months into that ballgame, I found out very quickly that I did not have the mentality or the ability to be a rehabber. Its good work – nothing against rehabbing –it’s just not me. I tell a lot of people that what I’ve become now is a transactional engineer. I just put the transaction together now. We put the paperwork together. We find the way when there is no way. When the bank says that you can’t get it, we’ll find a way to put you in a house. We’re dealing with people who can’t get a house any other way. Otherwise, we were selling to investors. They were getting the end money. But now we’re dealing with the end buyer most of the time. We’re finding people that have had rough patches in their life. They’ve had situations maybe not of their own fault. Maybe they’ve gotten caught up in some type of adjustable rate mortgage to where they lost their own home. And now these aren’t your typical go to your apartment complex types then move on types of people– these people are homeowners. And so what we have done is we have found a way for them to own a home, to buy it with the hope of getting their credit restored, and then they become very great tenants and/or land contract people and they pay their bills. And that’s what we have become – we have become the bank. So we don’t have to worry about the land lording issues that we had.
Terry: As I said, rehabbing was okay. There was money to be made there but it’s a lot more fun to make the money through the papers and signing documents. As I said earlier, most of the people that we deal with, even investors, are really familiar with how many different ways there are to creatively finance a project. You can look at any house, any situation and there’s a way that we can find to make that house work. There’s not been many instances that we’ve had to just walk away with our hands in the air and say, ‘We can’t do anything with this.’ Somebody, some way, will work and even as these new programs are coming along, and through short sales and other situations there’s even more things there that’s going to be able to be helpful there. First time home buyer credit has given us immediate cash flow and so we’ve allowed ourselves to work both sides of the aisle and make a real nice living.
Terry: We were buying, fixing, holding sometimes, most of the time selling. And land lording – we had our own share of rental houses that we had. Then we were introduced to Joe and that’s why I was attracted to Joe’s program. It was a program that talked about no money. Even though I’d been surrounded with that in all of my real estate activity, I never really either believed it or I never really did see how it would be possible. So Joe’s program opened up a way of using his method system and ways of getting houses and turning them over with no money, and it became attractive to us. It got us out of blue collar and into white collar type of work.
Terry: It was really strange. The first time that we talked to Joe and Joe interviews us about becoming part of the mentor program, I had a deal that I bought actually over on eBay – bought the house up in Indiana up here, and I was coming up to the people and after what I picked up from Joe’s calls, I went up and talked to them about putting them on a land contract instead or them renting and went through the process. Within three weeks, we had the check sitting there for $4,000. We said, ‘Well, that’s easy.’ We had another house in Fort Wayne. Let’s do that. So literally we made $8,000 within 3 weeks using Joe’s systems of getting our program in no money down. No more paperwork, nothing different for us, just a creative way of thinking out of the box way of getting things done. That took about 3 weeks.
Terry: My appraisers are (if they’re not in jail) suffering a good bit as well. Most of my rehabbers are calling me every day, begging for work. It was a tough year. And so I’m getting the sense of almost feeling guilty. It was a great year for us. As the economy dipped, and went to the bottom, our income started going up. And as I see it, the next few years, we’re going to still, as we bump along the bottom here before we start to rise again, it’s just a perfect time to implement our strategies to get people to take programs that we have and make it a win-win situation for them as well.
Terry: Being rehabbers, we were very hands on. Even to the point of rehabbing – even though I didn’t swing hammers and I didn’t paint, I was still on the job site. So it was hard for me to let go of the automation. When I started out under Joe’s program, it was just me. I was the only one that was doing any of the work. Soon after that it became pretty intensified so we brought on help to help us in the office; administrative assistants and things of that nature. Now, we’ve built up a network of people that we can call on; by using tax attorneys, by using real estate attorneys, by using people that are in the actual hands on business to work hand in hand with. We do very little of that work ourselves now. I bet our next step will be to automate our business to get it to where we basically just kind of let the internet run our business for us. I see it now getting to that point. I can understand the necessity because it comes to a point to where it gets to be so large that without some type of automation, you begin to see people fall through the cracks. I have people now who call me. My phone will ring and they’ll say, ‘Do you remember me? I talked to you six months ago.’ I can’t remember who I talked to six days ago. And so through automation I could see where it would be an opportunity to keep those names in a file, in an auto responder or something that would help keep them before me. Because there’s no telling how many people that have fallen through the cracks, the people that said, ‘Find me a house,’ that we just literally lost through the shuffle of normal living.
Terry: That’s what’s amazing to me. We just had a deal, and I think it’s been about a month ago now, where we had a guy call me out of the blue. He’s an airline pilot, a corporate pilot. He called me up and he said, ‘Are you the house guy?’ Well, I didn’t know how quite to respond to that, but yes I am the house guy. And he said, ‘Listen, my neighbor in my neighborhood – you worked with him on some of his homes. Would you be willing to take my house?’ Well, that was an interesting question to me: ‘Would you be willing to take my house?’ To cut a long story short, he had a house, had a mortgage, he took an 80-20 loan on, completely mortgaged up and nice house too – $200,000 house in a very exclusive neighborhood. And he said, ‘I’m just looking for somebody who will take my house.’ And it wasn’t one of those deals where the guy was seven months behind on his payments. He was paying his payments. He was making $1,500 payments, he had a new mortgage probably of over $3,000 on his new home and he was just wanting somebody to take his deal. And that was nothing I garnered myself. It was nothing that I had dug up. It was just because he was talking to someone that I had done business with. So we’re getting to that point now – people calling me all the time where they say, ‘So and so – he said you can help me.’ So we’re now getting a lot of word of mouth business. And that’s where business is growing. It’s really starting to outgrow me. There again, in your neighborhood, and in my neighborhood, you become ‘The house guy.’
Interviewer: ‘The house guy.’
Terry: ‘The house guy’. People will find you, not out of the phone book, or any other type of advertising, but they’ll believe the guy that you’ve done a good job for somewhere else, so it’s going to make a ton of difference that you have helped someone that they know and they trust. It’s amazing to me. I stand amazed often times, Jim, at how many people just trust you. And it’s because of the reputation that you garnered – we do things right. We’re not out here trying to hurt people. We’re not here trying to take advantage of people that are hurting. We’re out here trying to genuinely help people, and as you told me early on, if you don’t have the heart to help someone, you’ll fail in this business but if you have the heart to help someone, the business will take care of itself.
Terry: The support group is the backbone, I believe, of business – of anyone’s business, particularly when you‘re starting out. You kind of feel as if no one’s out there for you but if you can talk to someone who’s going through the same trials and difficulties and challenges that you’re facing and get their feedback – get the mastermind group in your area or through a national base as we do here and take all of their ideas – I mean, any time I get around someone such as I am this weekend, I will pick up an idea that will make me several thousand dollars. If people say I don’t have time for that, the truth is – how much money is it costing you not to do it? So if you take the time to be around people and take time out of your schedule, it will make you money down the road. And then there will be those eventual bumps in the road and then you really need to have the sounding board. That’s why having a program or being in a mentor group or a group that you can share ideas with will bring strength to your business. We’re growing and so we’re going to make mistakes but – we are learning. So to be honest with you I’d rather you have to learn from your mistakes than for me to have to learn from my mistakes. And so I’ll take your bumps in the road and avoid the pitfalls, and I think that’s real important. And I also think we get our eyes off that many times. We are not in competition with one another. If we lived on the same street and next to the same house of one another, there’s so much business out here right now it’s not too crowded. Most of the time, people aren’t doing what we’re doing anyway but at the same time, there plenty out there for anyone. And for people who’s doing it ethically and morally, and for a situation that not only going to help them but it’s going to help the people that they’re working with – if they keep that in mind, and work around like minded people, its going to strengthen their business. In the years to come, time will only tell how much we’ll be able to do because of this difficult time, as we called it – this recessionary period. I’ll take the lows; I mean I want the good times to come back, but throughout it all there’s ways to make money when the market’s down like it is now – there’s ways to make money when the markets up, too. You’ve got to prepared for it and when it gets here, to be able to seize the opportunity when it comes.
Terry: I had a little difficult time with my health. I was not at 100% and what this business allowed me to do was to really take off a little bit of time and the business was still right there. I didn’t miss a paycheck. I didn’t miss any meals. The business was right there and it never affected me whatsoever. So I’m not affected by if the economy’s up. If the stock markets up 100 points today I’m excited for the bulls. If it’s down 200 I’m excited for the bears. If it’s going through a difficult time around me and I see foreclosures, there’s opportunity out here. We just have to be able to look for it and to grab it. And to have an opportunity like we do, this is really not a job – this is a lifestyle and it’s all about the people and helping them. The guy who wants to get into real estate business is a person who is two different kinds of people. One kind of person is saying, ‘I want to get into the real estate business. I want to make a lot of money. I want to be filthy dog rich.’ That’s one individual. The other side sees really what this business is about – ‘I want to help people.’ The person who’s out here for the money, I think will eventually fail. But the person who’s out here trying to help people will ultimately succeed. And if somebody’s looking at a program such as this, and they say, ‘Can I do it?’ I look around and I stand amazed. We are from different backgrounds and different parts of the country. I see people who are from the south who are like myself – they talk with a southern twang. I see people from the West Coast who work with $500,000 and $600,000 homes. I see people from up north and their challenges and it’s all one common thing – it’s taking the practices that you’re taught and, not without studying and working in the early days and putting the effort into it, but instead, to take the program and not try to reinvent it but to use it as its presented. If someone tells you to step left, step left, if someone tells you to step right, you may not understand it or quite agree with it but just take it as what it is, and take the program and utilize it as it is presented and you will definitely have the win situation and you’ll not only make a tremendous amount of money but you’ll also help people along the way. And that’s really what it’s all about.
Terry: For all the guys and I know there’s many out there who’s pushing their particular program ad pushing their particular way to riches, and if you find someone who’s genuinely wanting to help someone, that’s how you need to listen to. Listen to someone who’s been there. Listen to someone who’s had the bumps in the road, who’s fell in the ditch a few times. Let them get that out of the way for you. But with the guy who’s out there for the pie in the sky, it might work for a while, but ultimately it won’t carry on. You need a support base, a support group – somebody you can turn to and somebody who can help you when you don’t know what to do.
Terry: The thing that I’ve always been impressed with this organization is that I can send Joe an email any time. He’s never too busy to take time to answer my emails or communicate with me through phone or email or however we communicate, about different situations that I’ve needed to have handled. And it’s really become a situation where now my desire is to pass that along and help the next guy. And so that’s what I think we’re here for. If we can’t pass it along, we’ve really not accomplished much. What are they going to say about us after we’re gone? And that’s what’s really important to me. The fun and the kick to me is when you’re sitting there and you tell them something and for the first time, the light comes on – ‘I GET IT!’ And if they start to take that home with them and you hear from them that they’ve accomplished their first deal or they’ve taken their first check to the bank, or maybe some past due bills that they’ve been struggled with have been paid. The pressure’s off for them now. Its cookie cutter as you said earlier – that they learn before, and they just do it again, and they do it again and they do it again. And there’s plenty of opportunity to do it as many times as you want to do it.