Case Study – Casey Carroll – Vancouver, Washington
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 “I’m making 6 figures in 6 different States In 15 hours a week – without leaving my office”
Casey: My name is Casey Carroll and I’m from Vancouver, Washington, right above Portland, Oregon but no one really knows about Vancouver.
Casey: Yes, so actually this was March of this year. It was a property that I had found from the Automarketer actually. It was one of the very first properties that I found. It was kind of an interesting deal. I was a little frustrated because I got the property under contract. It was actually a manufactured home. I found a buyer and then two weeks later, the buyers decided to back out. At the time, I didn’t really know how to structure it and how to close it, and the timing and whatnot, not to mention not having people move out before you actually sign the paperwork. But, anyway, I’ve learned from my lessons, but that was just about two months after I started using the Automarketer actually.
Casey: For the first month, I actually didn’t do a whole lot with it. I really started to take it much more seriously once I was like, ‘Okay, well it’s going to cost $200 now so I’ve got to start taking this seriously’ and when I did I actually saw results.
Casey: The first one was $3,000. I think it was $140,000. I had it under contract for $144,000 and I assigned it for $147,000.
Interviewer: Was it a lot of hard work to put this first one together?
Casey: No it wasn’t. The only setback was having people back out because I wasn’t prepared for that, you know? I thought everything was going to be a slam dunk. But then, I quickly found another buyer because I had quite a few people call me from my ads and whatnot. I probably spent maybe eight or nine hours into it but that’s probably the most I’ve ever spent on a deal. Since then, things got a lot easier.
Interviewer: It’s been seven months since then. How many deals have you done?
Casey: Last time I counted it was somewhere between 10 and 15. So quite a bit actually.
Interviewer: Are you doing this all by yourself or do you have a staff?
Casey: All by myself, yes. So I actually just quit my job three months ago. I was kind of trying to do both, burning the candle at both ends, spending about 15 to 20 hours a week doing this and then also working full time, and then I realized that I was missing out on so many opportunities. Once I had about 10 to 12 properties under contract and I’ve got more people calling me than I can even call back, at that point I realized that I’m spending too much time on my day job and not enough on making this business lucrative and grow. And so, I quit my job three days and since then, my income has skyrocketed.
Casey: Right now, I’m actually making somewhere between $8,000 to $10,000 or so, but that’s only me working 15 hours a week. You see, I kind of have that luxury because I have a couple of Automarketer’s. So, I don’t just have one; I have six. And I focus on a wide area, so I basically can only take the low hanging fruit or I only want to take the low hanging fruit, the ones that are going to be easy to actually put under contract and sell, so as a result, I don’t have to slave away pounding my head against the wall all the time, and now I can pick and choose my deals and work about 15 hours a week doing it.
Casey: So with the Automarketer, it’s all entirely email based. So basically, I’ll queue up about 15,000 emails a month will all six of my Automarketer accounts.
Interviewer: You mean you’ve got the Automarketer in six different cities. Is that what you mean?
Casey: Six different Automarketer accounts and six different states, actually. So basically I’ll take deals wherever I can find them, and that’s my business model. Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Hawaii and Nevada, but I plan on expanding actually to the entire United States within a couple of years.
Casey: The funny thing is – so actually, I’ve known about Joe for years now. I didn’t actually ever want to jump in, though, because there’s a lot of other real estate programs that kind of have that more sexy appeal so, I started actually with rehabbing homes. And with my first home, I was lucky to break even. With the second homes, I lost $20,000 each actually, and I lost $20,000 of one of my best friend’s money, which was extremely painful.
Casey: And so, I tried rehabbing homes just like what the TV’s tell you to do, and so that didn’t work for me. So, all of the sudden, I’m up scrambling, going, ‘Okay, I’ve got to make this work.’ I eventually did make one rehab work and I ended up paying my friend back and making $20,000. But it was about a year full of just nonstop stress, hating my life every single day, and I wanted so badly to be a real estate investor full time.
Casey: I mean, I left a career in a full time sales position making almost $100,000 a year when I was 24. So I left that job just so I could grow this side business, so for me, failure wasn’t an option. And so, I was stuck at a lower paying job focusing all of my free time on these businesses which were failing, so rehabbing homes didn’t work and then when that didn’t work, I tried wholesaling, and I tried going after absentee people. That cost a lot of money to do that sort of direct mail. I tried going after pre foreclosures. I tried doing a couple of short sales. I tried doing some bulk REO stuff, note investing – none of it worked, ever.
Casey: So, once the Automarketer came out, I really decided to give it a shot. I didn’t really ever want to do rent to own. I was more chasing kind of the sexy deals (quote, unquote) rather than the ones that actually pay you, and then I realized fairly quickly that there’s a lot of investors out there who want to be investors who want to flip and yet are chasing the wrong types of flips. They don’t have that capital to do certain types of deals. And finally, after failing everything, I came to Joe Crump, basically.
Casey: The Automarketer was what really switched me over. Because with direct mail marketing, when I was sending out yellow letter mail campaigns at a thousand bucks a pop, I was only getting maybe 10 to 20 phone calls out of those, and out of those I would get nothing under contract and wouldn’t make any money, so I wasted $1,000 basically on marketing that didn’t work.
Casey: And now, with Joe’s program, I saw the Automarketer. I have a degree in marketing, so when I see how effective something is, I can really, really, really appreciate it because I see everything else, and nothing holds a candle to the effectiveness that I’ve ever seen like the Automarketer puts out. So, when I was seeing email response rates of 12-14%, and then eventually voice blasting which was 15% – these sorts of percentages are just UNHEARD OF – you don’t hear of any marketing being that effective. And then when you see all of the autoresponders that go with it, and the fact that it follows up with people on your behalf without you ever intervening.
Casey: I mean, if I wanted to stop this whole – I’m powerless to make money if I wanted to stop this. You would have to truly try to not make money at this if you have a couple of Automarketer accounts like I do.
Interviewer: What’s the best deal that you’ve done so far?
Casey: The one I just did, actually. Well over the last two months, I’ve had a couple of good deals. Last month, I sold a house over in Portland; it’s actually on a golf course. It was a 500 – no it was a 400 – I had the property under contract for $490,000. I found a lease option buyer for $497,500 so I basically assigned it for $7,500.
Casey: This month, I found another deal that rivaled my best. I actually sold a deal over in Kona, the big island of Hawaii. I actually got more responses in Kona than in any other house I’ve ever sold, period. I had about 30 to 50 people call me on this house and I had it under contract for $520,000 and sold it for $527,500. I probably could have sold it for $530,000 but with how much people called me, I sold it in two weeks. I hired someone to actually handle all of the process for me. I never met a seller and I never met a buyer. I flipped that whole house practically in my underwear the entire time and I made $7,500.
Interviewer: Tell the people that aren’t familiar how the Automarketer works, how you do that here in Washington, doing it in Hawaii.
Casey: Right, so the Automarketer targets for sale by owner listings wherever you want it to. So because I have six different Automarketer’s, I focus on a couple of – one goes for one specific geographic area, and one goes for another one. So I know, for example, that my first account goes to the entire state of Oregon and the second account does the entire state of Washington. Well, I had someone actually fill out one of my forms online, because what happens is that whenever you send out an Automarketer queue, it blasts out 100, 200 or 300 emails at a time without you doing anything. So you click a button and it emails out to everyone.
Casey: So this guy over in Hawaii had actually gotten one of my emails. He was put into my autoresponder campaign which comes with the Automarketer and the clone sites. So he went to my seller interfacing sales site, went through all of my information and filled his information out saying, ‘Yes, I would be interested in selling with a lease option.’ I got that email and I called him back and I got it under contract two days later. Once I got it under contract, I put it back – I started marketing it aggressively and I found a buyer with literally, all in, probably five hours of work; something like that – five true hours of work.
Interviewer: You had someone in Hawaii who was doing that marketing for you?
Casey: No, well I had someone in Hawaii who was showing the house for me. Because it was more of a high end home, I didn’t want to just put a lockbox on there; I wanted to actually have someone show it. I paid him on commission actually but they made $500 out of it and I made $7,500, for doing nothing, practically.
Interviewer: In your jammies, right?
Casey: In my jammies the whole time. But what’s cool about this. So, I’ve quit my job recently. I work 15 hours a week and make way more than I’ve ever made, except for compared to when I was in my full sales job, but I worked about 50 hours a week doing that. So I make about that much with 15 hours’ worth of work with no stress at all, and I actually just bought an Audi, too.
Interviewer: Do you mind telling us how much you’re making per month with 15 hours a week of work?
Casey: About $8,000 to $10,000 right now. I’ve realized – I’ll be flat honest with you – I’m kind of lazy, actually. So, after burning the candle at both ends for so long, I decided that I just wanted to kind of do the barebones minimum, and after a couple of months I got really good at talking to people so I’d only maybe prospect a couple days a month actually, you know, get five properties under contract and just focus on selling those. Right now, because the Automarketer is so effective, I have a little over 950 people – I can show them in my email – I’ve got 950 people who have called me in the last month and half of that I haven’t even had the chance to call back yet.
Interviewer: Sellers or buyers?
Interviewer: Oh really?
Casey: Yes. So I’ve got more business than I can really even handle, and I can really pick and choose kind of whatever I want to do and so as a result, it’s given me a certain level of freedom, not necessarily exponential income growth. But I’ve decided that when I go back, because I’ve been lazy for like three months now – it’s still making good money but I could be making so much more – I’ve decided that I’m really going to amplify my business once I get back after this conference and probably spend about 30 hours a week, maybe 40 or so.
Interviewer: You say you’re lazy but you certainly don’t seem so. You said you’re going to go national and then expand as well?
Casey: I may be lazy right now, but its lazy in the sense where I’ve created a lot of systems and the Automarketer does about 90% of my work anyway, so it allows me to really be able to focus on actual revenue generating activities rather than just a lot of the minutia that you deal with on a day to day basis. I created systems that basically automate almost everything for me. I rely heavily upon the autoresponders to follow up with the people on my behalf. So, I can kind of be lazy actually.
Casey: I mean, the only time I really spend doing anything with this business is waking up and spending about 20 minutes queuing up new emails, filtering stuff so that it gets classified correctly in the Automarketer and then occasionally calling some sellers and just posting stuff on Craigslist and making sure my online presence is out there correct, and besides that, I play video games the rest of the day for right now.
Casey: But I will get to the point where I’m doing 30 to 40 hours a week. I do have an empire building mindset and I can really see, because of how effective of this is, that it’s a scalable business that I can actually put anywhere into the entire country, and so that’s why my eventual goal is to have 50 Automarketer accounts in 50 different states and hiring an office to help me manage that so that I can focus on new forms of investing and be able to grow and do other portions and add new components of investing to my business.
Interviewer: Now, what advice would you give somebody that you care about who would like to get involved in investing but really doesn’t know how to get started?
Casey: I would say that the fear of failure is something that really does paralyze a lot of people. And there’s a lot of analysis paralysis. I mean, I read books for five years. I’ve been wanting to be an investor since I was 20. And I read books for five years before I ever even decided to jump in and actually try to rehab a home, and I failed miserably at my first couple of homes. I mean, it’s hard to describe what it feels like to lose $20,000 of your best friend’s money, and then also right after that, $20,000 of your own parent’s money that you owed them still. I’ve paid off all of that lately, but still, to have that feeling of hopelessness…
Casey: I mean, it’s easy to want to quit when the chips are stacked against you at that point. And so, because of the fact that before I ever went into this, I had this mindset where I did not want to go back to that corporate grind; I did not want to have a manger telling me what to do. I didn’t want my promotions and my income to be dependent on some middle level corporate manager that I don’t want to play the politics card with, you know? And so I wanted to live life on my terms and be able to control my own financial destiny, and that’s why, when things were failing miserably around me and I couldn’t sleep at night, and I was losing money left and right going, ‘How am I going to pay my bills?’ I kept going forward with that.
Casey: So, I don’t think anyone can really fail as badly as I have, realistically, but at the end of the day, this is going to take work. I didn’t make any money for the first three months doing this, and I spent a lot of time talking on the phones and just feeling normal with the script and how to communicate to people and learning a little bit about how to do lease options and the different ways that you can speak to people to make them feel comfortable selling you a home when they’ve never met you in their entire life.
Casey: So, it takes time. It’s not something that’s done overnight, but I can tell you that once you’ve done this long enough, you can get to the point like where I’m at where you can choose to either spend 15 hours a week and make $8,000 to $10,000 a month, which is personally I think very, very great, or you can spend 30 to 40 hours a week, which is less than what most people work and still make 10 to 20 times more than what they were making before.
Casey: So I would say just don’t give up – you’ve got to keep going. Follow Joe Crump. He actually – I followed so many gurus out there and a lot of them sell SIZZLE but none of them really sell STEAK, and what Joe sells is *pure steak*. So, I really respect him for that, and as a result, after I failed at every other guru’s program out there, I finally settled on one that actually knows what he’s talking about.
Interviewer: Anything else you’d like to say to the people out there?
Casey: For selfish reasons, I hope that no one has as many Automarketer accounts as I have someday, but I can tell you that because I have so many, it’s really changed and transformed my entire business. So, if you’d like to, that’s cool, but you’re going to have competition. [laughs]