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 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.
Case Study – Daniel Riegel – Galatia, Illinois
Dan has built a pretty amazing business – and to do that, he has had to overcome some pretty big hurdles that most of us don’t have to deal with. You should listen to his story – it’s inspiring. He and I are also doing some deals together and it’s been a great experience working with him.
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My Main Goal Is Financial Freedom, To Do What I Want, When I Want, And I Can Do That Now
Dan: My name is Daniel Riegel. I’m from Galatia Illinois. A lot of people don’t know, but I’m actually a T2 paraplegic. I’m in a wheelchair. I do all this stuff from a chair. I’m coming up on my three-year anniversary with Joe. I do a lot of terms deals. We’ve been doing a lot of cash deals, too, where we buy properties in cash and then rehab them. Joe and I have just recently started doing a few where we bought them in cash and I run the jobs and remodeling them and listing them for sale to sell them. A lot of the terms deals that I do, they might be you know, no interest, I make guaranteed payments. I’ve got a guaranteed payment program where I can go in and fix the property, basically relieve the burden from the people.
Dan: So it kind of helps, it helps them, it helps me, it fixes up the neighborhood, turns out to make pretty good money. Doing the no interest is kind of a game changer. You know, a lot of people, if you have to go through a bank, you’re going to spend most of your money, closing costs and interest on the loan itself. So if you can get into one, if you can help somebody to fix their property, no interest, they’re happy to do it. I’m happy to do it. And then I can still sell it on the back end, you know, in cash for somebody or do the lease option thing where ultimately I sell the properties on a lease option and then I work with people and help them to buy the property from me within a couple of years.
Dan: So, it works out pretty good. Right now, I’m working on, I guess, we’re remodeling five houses right now. I’ve got a couple that I’m buying on terms and a couple that I’m buying in cash. It’s sort of a steady stream of new leads coming in all the time. The more that I do the more that I get. It just sort of, success breeds success, you know? So, at three years, I’m completely financially at this point. We own everything, I have my own construction company, we’re buying the houses in cash. I’ve got people fixing up, I do a lot of subcontracting, I sub out a lot of the work to other people, so, I don’t have to spend a full day’s work on a job, you know, I can just check on different jobs and check on different people and make sure that they’re doing what they’re supposed to do. Get pictures of everything, get updates, send those to Joe so he sees what’s going on, too. Basically, it’s running like clockwork right now.
Dan: I don’t do as much automation as I did. I do a lot of signs, word of mouth, people that started to just know who I am. I live in a small area. The properties that we do are within about fifty miles of my house. So, I’ve got a good reputation for doing quality work and doing a good job and never miss a payment, never given a house back, you know, things like that. People know who I am and what to expect at this point, you know, three years of doing it, it’s a pretty constant process. So I’ve built the business up from nothing.
Dan: Well, one of the main goals of course is financial freedom. I think that’s why everybody does this. So it’s nice to see that it can be achieved pretty quickly. I mean, this is, I’m coming up on three years. And so the first year I spent learning, you know, a lot of these zero down structures, how to buy properties with no money and still make everyone happy in the process. So, the main goal I think for most people is, financial freedom. Getting your time back. Spending more time with your family and I’ve been able to achieve all of that. I’m a full time real estate investor now. This is all I do. I say 24/7 365, but I really don’t work 24/7 365. It’s kind of like being a doctor and being on call, you know? If something goes wrong I can step in, I can take care of it.
Dan: But I probably put in maybe fifteen or twenty hours a week. And that’s, you know, that’s working pretty hard actually. And a lot of that is the renovations. They’re labor intensive. There’s a lot more work. You’ve got to pay attention to all the subcontractors, make sure everybody’s doing their own job. Coordinate everything. Make sure that there’s no material delays and, you know, all the little hiccups that go along with renovations. It’s not like, they show on TV, you know, where you go in, you fix a house and you make that much money. You do, but, they have unlimited resources and unlimited people behind the scenes, you know, so you have to be a little bit more realistic about it than what they show.
Dan: But, I’d say, so that’s my main goal is to be financially free, to travel around, to do what I want when I want to do it. And I can do that now. Really, just whatever, you know, whatever I want to do like, I go do it. And it’s nice to have the freedom to be able to do that. Most people cannot do that. They’re stuck at a nine to five and they wish they could do something different. You don’t have to wish about it. You just get up and do it. It’s not rocket surgery, you know?
Dan: I’d say focus on the For Rent Method at first. You really don’t want to put yourself in a position where you’re risking your money, so if you’re doing the For Rent Method, the only thing you’re really risking is your time. You know, you might waste your time, but you’re learning from every phone call every time that you talk to people. Learn the options, listen to people. Listen to what they need, what their situation is, and you figure out how you can step in an solve that situation. And that’s probably the most effective thing that you could do.
Dan: Then if you really want to get into it and start building your own portfolio, you take the money from the For Rent Method, whenever you’re, you know, assigning your deals to people or lease optioning houses, you take that money and parlay it into your own properties that you can buy. Even if you’re buying them no money down, you still need to have money in reserves for fixing them up or whatever, if anything goes wrong.
Dan: So, you know, think ahead, you’re going to start making more money. That doesn’t mean that you should just spend a lot more money. I mean, you can, but, if you’re thinking about it long term, you really want to start building your own portfolio. It helps you deal with sellers a lot better if you own that many properties, too. You can relate to their situation. But that is probably the quickest way to financial freedom. At least it was for me, to start building your portfolio. So that’s another ultimate goal.
Dan: If you want to be financially free, you really need to have properties that are making you money while you’re sleeping. I’ve been a real estate investor for most of my life. I started when I was eighteen researching it all. I did pretty good, you know, fixing, flipping, I bought my first one when I was twenty. Fixed it up myself while I was going to school for construction management. I did business, things like that. But I really liked the hands on part of it, and I like to be able to work for myself and do what I want when I want. At the time, I was really doing it the conventional way, you know, you get loans and you buy properties and it was a lot, it was pretty risky. I was doing pretty good and then the world broke.
Dan: Everything crashed and I lost a fortune. I lost everything that I ever earned. So, I had to get back into it somehow and I got into a lot of research online about the lease options and I had bought a property at foreclosure that I was trying to sell. And I couldn’t really sell it the way that everybody was selling properties, you know? Just put on the MLS and sell it for cash. So, I was looking into lease options. And that’s how I came across Joe’s stuff and then I started, you know, looking into his zero down structures and everything that he has. And I thought, wow, you know, if I had known this guy ten years sooner I wouldn’t have lost everything. But, so, it’s easier to build it back, though, even if you do lose everything, and you know this stuff, it’s kind of like riding a bike, I guess.
Dan: If you can do it once, and you know that you can do it, you can do it again. And you can just keep doing it. One of the things that I’m going to get into in the future is more about the outsourcing and more about the automation to recoup a lot more of my time. There, he has some pretty incredible programs to do these things, to get your time back. And you know, one of these days it’s going to click. Right now, I’m pretty hands on, I do a lot of things old school, but the automation is really nice. I’ve done a little bit of it and it helps a bunch. It really, it makes things easy. Makes things very easy to automate and outsource. But, so I’m slowly, you know, progressing into that. You know, right now I’m still, I still do a lot of things hands on, you know. I like to be in charge and coordinate everything. I’m sure there are people out there that can do things much better than me, but, you get to feeling like nobody can do it as good as you and the truth of the matter is, probably a lot of people can do it better than you and so outsourcing is a good thing.
Dan: It can make your business grow faster, you can accomplish a lot more – it’s like cloning yourself, you know? So, I’m interested in getting into that in the future.
Dan: For me, I’d probably most interested in having someone handle the buyers for me. I like to deal with the sellers, I like to do that one-on-one stuff and talk to them and look at the properties. I like renovating the properties myself and, you know, drawing out however it’s supposed to be, how I want it to be. But, it takes a lot of time to deal with all the buyers, whenever you have that many properties. So that’s probably the first thing that I would outsource, is a buyer finder.
Dan: I like the zero down structures. I still buy properties in cash. I prefer to buy them on terms. Like I said, I have a guaranteed payment program, but buying them in cash, it works out pretty good, too. If you have the cash to put into something, and build to fix it up, I, the no interest terms deal is definitely the best thing that I’ve come across in a very long time. You’re helping the seller get them out of a situation, you’re relieving their burden. You’re handling all the risk so they don’t have anything to worry about, just collect the check. And, actually, these days, I don’t even write people checks. I just directly deposit money in their account. So they don’t even have to worry about that, either. They can completely trust me to do everything on their property and they just, they don’t have to worry about anything. They just the money in their account and they don’t have to think about it. So, that’s a pretty good thing. That’s pretty powerful.